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Readers may recall me chiding our learned friend because he addressed me as “mate” in a comment to a previous post. It rather amused me to see that a magistrate has sent someone to the cells for using the same form of address in his courtroom.

Thomas John Collins was sent to the cells after twice calling Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin “mate” during a hearing last week.

When Magistrate McLaughlin objected ordering Collins to address him as “sir or your honour”, the defendant replied “okay mate” and was sent for a stint in the cells.

He later returned to the courtroom to apologise.

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully said the incident followed another in Toowoomba, where a magistrate hauled two tradesmen before the court for making too much noise, and threatened to charge them with contempt.

Cr Tully said the pomposity of some magistrates had gone too far.

“It is getting out of control,” he said.

“Some of these magistrates see themselves as Lord of the Fiefdom.”

He said there was nothing “more Australian than calling someone mate” and it was hard to believe someone could be locked up for using the word.

“It’s probably time for magistrates to understand they have a wide variety of people before them and calling someone mate is a term of endearment,” Cr Tully said.

“I say to every magistrate – Come on mate, get off your high horse and show some tolerance.”


Don’t get me wrong, I love the egalitarian aspect of calling someone “mate” I do it all the time myself and it is especially handy when you have forgotten someone’s name. While the use of “mate” becomes an almost automatic figure of speech for some people (and one that is far less objectionable than the use “fuck” as a universal conjunctive ) as I suspect is the case with Mr John Collins but for others it is is something that is more deliberate and used only in the most condescending manner. So which is worth of sanction? The man who uses the term in general without a second thought (even when its inappropriate) or the man who uses it as an element of his sarcasm?

Cheers Comrade Maaaates 😉


  1. Sax says:

    Lets face it, judges ain’t exactly got much, or known for their sense of humour are they ?

    wait for it, a true story told to me by an English acquaintance quite some years ago.
    I can’t remember exact details, so licence is asked here, but interaction is accurate.

    An arrogant cockney thief was ‘done’, and brought up before a crusty Old Bailey judge.

    Judge : “I find you guilty of robbery, and sentence you to five years imprisonment. Do you have anything to say ?”

    Defendant : Do that standin on my head ya honour”

    Judge : “In that case, I sentence you to the original five years, and sentence you to another five years, to get you back on your feet ?”

    Defendant led sobbing from the dock.
    True story !

  2. Toaf says:

    It seems to me that what is more worth of sanction is blogers who scrape the barrel in search of a post that might earn them a little attention from their mancrush. (Sarcasam warning.)

  3. bingbing says:

    You were warned about staying away from that Jimmy Loughman…

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