As promised to those who have been following the subject of smidsy... Here... https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=125404 ...press release Here... https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=125418 ...letters to the press Here... https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=125683 ...straw poll This is a follow up post to bring everybody up to speed with what is happening, and the outcome of the meeting I had with Adam Kostick and John Voyager of Maurice Blackburn & Associates on Thursday 22 Sept to discuss the topic of SMIDSY further. I'll endeavour to clarify a few things and share with you as much as I can. Please bare in mind that the purpose of the meeting was to simply discuss the topic and a lot of things are only at discussion stage. There are no plans set in concrete at present unless stated otherwise, and it's important to treat anything I say as being just a discussion. I'll be steering away from anything that is preemptive on purpose. However you're more than welcome to ask questions and I'll answer as best I can. First things first, yes there are hot legal babes at MB&A and I encourage you to get up to the tenth floor if you ever need their services. Secondly, John and Adam are two genuinely nice blokes who have the ability to make you feel welcome and set you at ease immediately. So there wasn't any of that preamble or posturing that gets up my nose and we got straight down to business. Thirdly I think it only fair to share my gaff of the week. When I was speaking to Adam on the phone to arrange the meeting I thought it best to pre-warn him that I'm prone to colourful language and if i get over excited about a subject he and John may get to hear some. Adam gently reminded me that they have been representing riders from all facets of motorcycling for quite a long time, and when discussing topics like the TAC it's not unusual to hear colourful language........yes well errmm. What a muppet. Ahem, moving right along... The elephant in the room - "Maurice Blackburn are only in it for the money". It's been raised here and been said to me in discussions that MB are into this because it's a money spinner. I'm prepared to stake my reputation that they're not. John and Adam raised the issue first and filled me in on the background as to how we came to be sitting around the same table and discussing our common issue. MB&A have been representing motorcyclists and their rights in regards to the TAC for quite some time. I did intend to ask for a brief for you but it totally went by the wayside as we drilled into the issues. It's through seeing for themselves how motorcyclists come to find themselves injured and needing to engage the TAC, and seeing how the TAC engage with motorcyclists that they're placed to have an insight into our world. So when the parliamentary inquiry came up they decided to put forward their perspective afforded to them through their insights, in an effort to restore some balance to one sided discussion of motorcycle safety. The short version, when motorcyclists who are innocent of any wrong doing are involved in an accident are then being treated by the 'system' as the problem rather than as the victim, then there is an injustice. Maurice Blackburn are in the business of justice. Because of the response and support they received for their submission and press release by Netriders, it quickly became apparent they had struck a chord with all motorcyclists, not just their clients. So this is where their social conscience and their social justice department comes in. http://www.wefightforfair.com.au/our-services?id=1212 As you are probably aware John Voyager went out for a spin with John Karmouche on the Harley and invested his own time to see the world through our eyes, all so he could garner a greater understanding of where we are coming from. Keep this a secret but I think we may have a convert on our hands. I wonder how he’d go if I popped him on the back of a sportbike….hmmm Adam and John have also spent their time talking to rider representatives (yes they do exist) and are planning to do more in the future so we can all get on the same page and unite on the SMIDSY issue. They generously extended an invitation to me to sit at the table with the big guns. Note to self – do not swear. The immediate plans at this stage are for Maurice Blackburn to have a stand at the MotoGP which is just around the corner. It will be an opportunity to talk with riders on the topic, perhaps familiarise them with the saying if they’re not aware of it, and also to collect stories from riders who have had a dose of the SMIDSY. So if you’re heading to the GP look for them and go and introduce yourself. They’re great people, go and see for your self. In the pipeline will be a social networking page where it will be up to riders to spread the word through our social circles to raise awareness and be another collection point for ‘war stories’. Where the rest of the population may be connected through six degrees of separation, motorcyclists are connected by three degrees of separation. It will be up to us to use our contacts to push this along, and we’ve already seen what we can do with the Herald Sun. Tentatively, the guys at Maurice Blackburn are weighing up their options of what else can be done into the future. The direction they’re currently looking in is exciting to say the least. On Thursday I got to borrow Chook’s Hyoflung twofiddy to ride into the city. 28 horsepower of sheer exhilarating awesomeness at my disposal. I hadn’t ridden a bike for a while so it was like breathing pure oxygen after nearly drowning. Too much of that stuff can make you heady. Rode the Mash, didn’t pay tolls, didn’t get stuck in a lane behind a retard, straight up the guts of the city, parked smack bang outside the front door, winked at chicks as I went inside. Ah yes, I remember why we do this. The thing about talking to the guys at Maurice Blackburn, is I came away with the strange sensation that somebody actually gives a shit. That there is somebody out there who is interested in us, and is very keen to listen to us. They genuinely wish to represent us and it’s no longer about us banging our heads against the impenetrable bureaucratic wall. They have the contacts, they have experience, they have the knowledge……and just as importantly, they’ve found the issue that will unite us. The thing about bikes and why they go like shit off a shovel, is the power to weight ratio. Now I know the little flung didn’t gain any power, but it sure as hell went like the clappers on the way home. I put it down to the weight being lifted off my shoulders just by Adam and John taking the time to talk with me. I had an epiphany on the way back home. Sitting at the last set of lights along Batman Ave before entering the freeway, I pulled up at the front beside a scooter then looked across as another 2fiddy and a gixxer thou filtered up to the front. Waiting beside the banks of the Yarra, sun warming our backs, girls out strolling in summer dresses, the gentle breeze and oh did I mention the girls in the summer dresses? The obligatory exchange of glances between riders where not a word is said but everything is spoken. Our own world within a world. Our language, our values, our joy. The lights go green and we’re off. Four engines of freedom singing in unison and letting their song ring out for all to hear…..’this is living’. It occurred to me as I watched the three riders in front, they may never know what is being done for them on their behalf and in their absence. But their experience of life they are free to enjoy is in good hands. It’s not just big brother or Vicpol or the TAC who are watching over them. They’re being watched over by motorcyclists, and they’ll continue to be free because of it.