WHILE ASIO boasted that it was spending a third of its budget tracking imaginary Garage Nazis, left-wing terrorists down the road from its headquarters attempted to burn down Old Parliament House. To be fair, though, selective blindness in matters pyromaniacal is a trait more commonly found in journalists. This is a straight news story at the ABC this afternoon:
Hundreds of empty, parked cars go up in flames in France each New Year’s Eve, set afire by young revellers, a much-lamented tradition that appeared in decline this year, which saw only 874 vehicles burned.
The number of cars burned overnight has declined compared to New Year’s Eve 2019, when 1,316 vehicles went up in flames, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Saturday on Twitter…
Like many countries, France sees cars set on fire during the year for many reasons, including gangs hiding clues of their crimes and people making false insurance claims.
But car-torching took a new step in France when it became a way to mark the arrival of the New Year.
The practice reportedly began in earnest among youths — often in poor neighbourhoods — in the 1990s in the region around Strasbourg in eastern France.
It also became a voice of protest during the fiery unrest by despairing youths from housing projects that swept France in the fall of 2005.
Those despairing “youths” in 2005 murdered bystanders Jean-Claude Irvoas and Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec. The cars they incinerated at one building caused the death by smoke inhalation of Salah Gaham. The “protest” began on 27 October at Clichy-sous-Bois when three “youths” running from police (they weren’t being chased) hid in an electrical substation where two were electrocuted. The tragically zapped duo caused a blackout – something like the one that caused the disappearance of Thursday’s Canberra blaze from the pages of Fairfax and the ABC.