POLICE PRESENCE: Dozens of police, including some in riot gear, gather in Taylors Hill, Melbourne, after a large group of youths wreaked havoc in the area.
POLICE PRESENCE: Dozens of police, including some in riot gear, gather in Taylors Hill, Melbourne, after a large group of youths wreaked havoc in the area. Jason Edwards

There's plenty to see here

WE'VE all heard the old saying 'shooting the messenger' when people attack people telling you bad or uncomfortable news. This week, a few local council leaders in Victoria decided to do just that when they attacked the media and politicians for daring to talk about the obvious gang problems currently besetting Melbourne.

They claim people are being racist for noticing that there has been an obvious uptick in attacks by gangs of teenagers with clear family roots back to Africa.

Even writing that sentence will qualify me as one of the evil souls they are going after. But let's deal with the facts: if there is no problem, why do the police have a task force to target it? If there's nothing to see here, why does the ultra-left Andrews government even use the term to describe what we can all see?

Not a week goes by where there's not footage of these gangs ravaging the North Western suburbs.

The latest saw hundreds of teens fighting at a basketball court, some as young as 12.

Things got so out of hand, local residents were told to stay in their homes and a police car was smashed. No one was arrested because local police were clearly outnumbered and it would apparently escalate the violence.

When people can't leave their house, when everyone else can see the footage and the police car needs a new windscreen, it's impossible to say there's nothing to see here.

These local leaders aren't leaders. They are pandering to identity politics.

The safety of their residents is more important than their sanctity on Twitter.

But welcome to 'leadership' in 2018.

REPUBLICANS PUSHING DANGEROUS CHANGE

The people pushing a Republic were back in Canberra this week and Bill Shorten used the opportunity to pledge his support for the cause yet again.

At a time of crippling drought, half a trillion dollars of debt and almost daily attacks on traditions by the left, people just don't care about the Republic.

Those who think this rubbish is urgent, often say it's about standing on our own two feet and there is something lacking about our own identity if we don't have an Australian at the top of our governmental tree.

But as I have written in the past, polls tell us there is only one republic Australians will cop and that's one where they can directly elect the President.

This is the worst type of Republic and would wipe out whatever good will and pride its advocates constantly push.

For there to be an election, there would be more than one candidate and an inevitability of the major parties getting involved.

The fundamental politicisation of the highest office in the land is dangerous because you are voting for someone with clear political ties to be given the power to sack a government of a differing political cover.

Imagine the pressure on a Labor President to sack a minority Liberal government, or vice versa for a LNP President.

Republicans also say the change is minor because the office is basically ceremonial. Then what would the election for a President be about? I can cut a ribbon better than the other candidate? Of course not, it will depend on every other political fight where the candidate will have a view on everything from asylum seekers to the exhausting identity politics games.

I can indulge a debate about an Australian as head of state, but when it leads to a partisan figure, we have to fight this with everything we've got.

Paul Murray is a broadcaster with Sky News. He can be seen on Paul Murray LIVE each Sunday to Thursday at 9pm AEST on Foxtel Channel 103 and 600. Coming soon to Sky News on WIN.