Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Trouble Comes To Humpytown

NEITHER Tony Abbott nor Tony Hodges was anywhere close at hand, but anger still bubbled at the Tent Embassy. A Canberra correspondent reports:

I was passing the Aboriginal Tent Embassy today at about 12.05pm when a fracas broke out among members of the Embassy ‘staff’.  I was about 100 metres away, but it involved about haf-a-dozen blokes, and there was a great deal of swearing and shouting as well as pushing and shoving.  I didn’t see any punches thrown, but one ‘diplomat’ was waving what appeared to be a club. Finally, one of the protagonists broke away from the group and fled out of the embassy, er, grounds in the direction of the lake, carrying a dilly bag and a guitar. The others chased him as far as the perimeter but gave up.

I don’t know what caused the altercation and the bloke who fled may well have deserved chastisement for all I know. Nor have I  seen anything like this before at the Embassy, although I don’t go by very often. I’ve heard rumours of violence before but it has all been hearsay.  On the whole it wasn’t a good look for a movement that stresses it’s ‘peaceful’ credentials.

Perhaps the fleeing guitarist was former prime ministerial party planner Tony Hodges, who is still making himself scarce. One day those dauntless seekers of truth in the press gallery might recall the Australia Day riot and make an effort to track him down and pose a few questions.

Or, if that seems a bit too energetic, perhaps a brave scribbler could name his or her colleagues who are said to have received Hodges' text messages prior to the eruption of nastiness at the Lobby eatery.

Oh, that's right. Principled reporters never betray confidences. Well most of the time, anyway.

(see Section C of the ABC report linked above. Once there, perform a Cntrl + F on one word, "Brissenden".)


  1. 'Brissenden' is easier to spell than 'I'.

    PS. He's not the kind of person you'd want to challenge to a 'stare off'.


  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 6, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Never trust a snake when inside the snakepit, Prof, the ethics of quality journalism notwithstanding. Nothing is ever really off the record in public life although a degree of trust and order may have to be assumed for civilised convenience; as you illustrate, things can so quickly devolve to solving problems by chasing someone with a nulla nulla otherwise. It's the same in private life too, methinks, when I come to muse on a few past examples of my own confidences deeply betrayed. Circumpsection is most likely the better part of valor.

  3. About 10 days after Operation Tent Embassy in Canberra, we had a "tent embassy' appear on our town green.(west Vic city)

    Now it isn't really in the centre of town or even where anybody using the main streets has to walk ,being out of the main drag unless you are going to a church for a funeral or want to park within a short walk of the PO and the parking bays of the main drag are full.

    Our bit of green is on one side of the N end of the town central grid, with some car parks(parallel) along its S side,and the opposite of the road, but the grass area is secluded and hardly used,except by people from a short side street of about a dozen houses.

    Hence it has no discernible traffic or attention when one goes for a phizzgig during week day business hours..

    The dills who put up a tent now have a caravan and another tent ,lots of sticks tied up forming a big totem pole, and a scrawny sort of sign saying something like "No More British resists"

    I refuse to get close enough to ask what it means,and someone told me today nobody knows,and that the twits go off at night(Guess the rain wasn't popular Sat night in a storm).

    The funny thing is that the local newspaper has carried numerous condemning letters since the first issue after the "embassy" appeared,with writers asking what would happen if they too set up tents etc, and demanding the laws be upheld..as far as I know the council hasn't done a thing.

    Then, there was the rebuttal by the "leader" in the second week of this discourse, an outspoken if unintelligible most of the time, angry brown woman , "Sandra"
    Her letter consisted mainly of calling our city"the most racist in the country"but nobody knows what we did that was "racist" as the rabble just "appeared" from nowhere apropos of no local incident ever reported etc,and Sandra still hasn't enlightened anyone as to what exactly the group is protesting or desires for an outcome of their "powwow" act..

    What has happened since ,it seems to me ,is that more people have been disgusted at the mess, the breaking of hygiene ,parking and assembling or loitering bylaws with impunity, by this little rabble of half blacks and more whities.(I have only ever seen 4-5 at any one time)

    Just like the Canberra mob, ours is losing any sympathy or support in the wider community and I find folk are asking why they seem to be able to do what they like, break laws, and still suckle on the public teat more than any other one group in our region.

    As for me, I shall hope they hang on till the winter,as being still well within the range of the chill sea winds,from the east,and our port, they should really "enjoy" camping out!

  4. It has also been rumoured over the years than some of the bedraggled occupiers of the 'informal sector' accommodation in the surrounds of the site are persons who do not wish to help police with their inquiries. A police sweep of the area checking identity would assist the crime clear up rates in all Australian jurisdictions. On a tenuously related topic, Prof's readers might wish to read Keith Windschutlle's 'Chronicle' in the latest Quadrant, available free on their website.

  5. Professor, really. This is rather a cheap shot and idle gossip mongering, and doesn't deserve to be here. It's the sort of conspiratorial pettiness you'd expect to see at Media Watch.

    1. The tent embassy ratbags must be near the top of any list of persons at whom a shot, cheap or otherwise, should be taken. Just reflect on what they got up to on Australia Day, from the affray at the cafe/restaurant, to the absurd return of the shoe, to the burning of the flag. Paul Coe is a big player at this scene, and that says enough. The local Aboriginal 'custodians' of this land are the Ngunnawal (alternatively Ngunawal, because they dispute how their name should be rendered in English), although there is another little group (the Ngambri) that have got in on the act. There have been times when the tent embassy controllers have been at loggerheads with the Ngunnawal, who want them to go away. So much for respecting the custodians. The embassy ratbags want to damage Australia's reputation and judging by the number of tourists who visit the site they are.

  6. That chap with the nulla-nulla, was he perhaps the Embassy's Cultural Attache?