She can be warm and loving but as cold as a mackerel … sometimes you’ll go to bed with a warm and loving person and wake up with a fish

Big Jim Byrnes talking about his ex-wife Jackie Love

Unfortunately due to Queensland’s ridiculous refusal to join the real world and adopt daylight saving we missed most of Big Jim Byrnes  testimony at the Royal Commission this morning, which is a bloody shame because it’s always fun to watch an abject liar and thief pretend to tell the truth. And an abject liar and thief Big Jim is. On the day he was born the maternity nurses wallet went missing. It was later found down in Big Jim’s nappy. It’s been the same ever since.

Over the years Big Jim has been jailed for heroin dealing, been bankrupt, sued a thousand people, been shot at, bashed people, advised Alan Bond, smashed up lawyers offices, been banned as a company director, associated with the most unsavory of people – including corrupt cop and murder accused Roger Rogerson (above) – why, Big Jim’s even been a suspect in a murder himself.

In among all this he somehow find time in the 1980’s to marry leggy entertainer Jackie Love. You dead set couldn’t make it up. But Jim could – he’s one of the most inventive souls in modern Australian history. How he hasn’t been put six-foot under by of his criminal associates is a mystery to all, but probably partially explained by the fact that he only sets foot in the country when his enemies are locked in custody or otherwise busy in court proceedings. At all other times he chooses to reside abroad.

No-one said the big bloke was stupid.


Big Jim’s business associate and mate – murder accused Roger Rogerson, once NSW’s most admired copper, now a convicted con

This morning Big Jim was cross-examined by George Alex’s barrister, a Mr Hadji, a chap who shares a name with Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, which is funny because George and Idi Amin have a fair bit in common I would have thought. Hadji grilled Big Jim about his criminal past, and put it to him that he was using the commission as a grandstand to try to get out of paying a truckload of money he owed to George Alex. Big Jim of course vociferously denied the claim. He’s just here to tell the truth he says – and pigs fly say I.

And just who is that man sitting in the gallery? Why, it’s George Alex himself, miraculously recovered from his mental illness and now playing instructing solicitor, busily scribbling notes which his erstwhile assistant – a very cute young middle eastern lady – runs back and forth to his lawyer John Hadji. It’s good to see George up and about. It will be even better to see him in the witness-box next Thursday.


There’s George Alex – playing the fool with his foxy mad eyes – it’s going to a circus on Thursday. His very cute assistant bag-carrier is to his right.

The Maestro takes a quick turn at examining the witness and paints a vivid picture of Big Jim as a scumbag extraordinaire. A rip off merchant of the highest order, a standover man, a crook and a fraud. A person of interest in the hot-shot murder of a potential witness against him (Jim allegedly threatened to kill another witness’s kids).

It’s charming stuff, and although it’s hard to believe this cultured, well spoken gentleman from the leafy eastern suburbs of Sydney is everything the Maestro is describing, the simple fact is that he is that and more.


Big Jim’s Bellevue Hill mansion. James Packer’s right-hand man lives next door.

The Maestro sums it up in his usual concise way, putting it to the bandit from Bellevue Hill by posing the rhetorical question “Mr Byrnes, we’re really in this position aren’t we, nobody in their right mind would trust a single word you say, would they?”

Of course they wouldn’t.

We knock off at 12 and the lawyers all head to the bar. Big Jim dons the Kevlar, is surrounded by bodyguards, heads via the back entrance to his armored car and drives off in convoy to the nearest airport, destination Majorca.


Oh, the sweet smell of success – Big Jim dressed to kill – or perhaps have someone killed