Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Clarence Darrow of Wagga

One of the great insights of our time was pithily expressed by Tim Blair, who observed that clots coagulate via a process that sees "the world's multiple idiocies becoming one giant, useless force." It is Blair's Law and not to be disputed, so Bunyip's Law should be seen only as a refinement: With the profoundly stupid, that urge to fuse is immediate and irresistible.

Consider Fairfax for starters, which daily nails its inanity to the mast of Daily Life, the post-modern ladypages where militant vegan reformative Muslim lesbian anti-Zionists and Clementine Ford and vagina self-scrutineers and Clementine Ford fill columns with insights gleaned mostly while perched alone upon the couch exchanging tweets with fellow sofa spuds, also attempting to extract sociological insight (and their next columns) from re-runs of Gilligans Island and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Lately, Daily Life has also been featuring columns by Daniel Stacey, the editor of Radio National's website, where there must be precious little left from that $10 million Julia Gillard recently dispensed to pay the salary of Virginia Trioli's hubby, Age refugee Russell Skelton, if the poor fellow needs to augment his pitiful stipend with moonlighting at Daily Life.

At the same time, Clementine Ford has also been sharing her thoughts with the ABC and Anne Summers' paramour, Young Chip, whose success at putting cubes of cheese on little sticks for Sydney Writers' Festival soirees recommended him to Mark Scott -- above scores of other candidates, mind you --to run a site dedicated to the free, frank and fair discussion of ideas. That would be The Drum, and "would be" are the key words, as many of the current entries run a distant second in terms of appeal to some of the nastier things you might find at the very bottom of Margo Kingston's laundry basket. If one were chart the relationships, the favours, the jobs and flow of cheques for mates and partners, it would bring to mind the sort of root-bound family tree seen often in the Middle East but seldom in these southern precincts (with the obvious exception of Tasmania's more isolated glades).

Now there is further proof of that compulsive urge to merge, courtesy of Clementine Ford, who recently became involved in a rather unpleasant Twitter confrontation. No surprise there. Twitter hosts any number of rude and disputatious souls, which is why the Professor will have nothing to do with it. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all -- that is the motto at the Billabong and always will be. Ms Ford seems quite suited to the format, however, as you would expect of someone who can take offence at other people's choice in pop music.

On this occasion, however, her opponent proved especially unpleasant. An argument over Islamic immigration soon turned to vicious abuse, with Ms Ford’s foe announcing that he would “love to see them rape the shit out of you”. At this point, most people would decline further correspondence. There is nothing to be gained in dealing with someone so base and hateful as to wish sexual assault upon a woman, or a man for that matter. But Ms Ford had other ideas.

Noting that her vulgar interlocutor supports the Geelong AFL team, Ms Ford contacted the Cats and requested he be denied membership as punishment for his Twitterabuse.
“My name is Clementine Ford, and I’m a columnist for Fairfax,” began Ms Ford’s letter of demand, outlining her Islamic Twitter dispute to a no-doubt puzzled recipient. “I believe,” she continued, “the Geelong Cats should act swiftly to identify and cancel this man’s membership for life.”
A spokesperson for the club offered a polite response, but little else, so Ms Ford appealed to a higher authority – the AFL itself. Again, she was to be disappointed. The AFL’s Twitter account advised:
“Hi Clementine. This is not an issue for AFL or Geelong; it's a matter that should be reported to Twitter & Victoria Police.”
To which Ms Ford replied somewhat huffily:

The final siren? Not at all.

Launching himself into the fray came Jeremy Sear, hero of the oppressed, scourge of parking officers, intimate and defender of the late Alene Composta, and (for now, at least) a prominent Wagga lawyer.
“The offender is attached to one of your clubs,” he informed the AFL. “It certainly is your problem. Clubs can kick out members who bring them into disrepute.”
Readers are invited to consider Sear’s legal judgment. A fellow writes something disgraceful on Twitter; this, apparently, is the AFL’s “problem”, because the fellow happens to support an AFL club. It doesn’t matter that the issue at hand has nothing at all to do with Geelong, the AFL or indeed any sport. Again, examine Sear’s words: “The offender is attached to one of your clubs. It certainly is your problem.”

And not just for the AFL. For if the AFL and its clubs are responsible for supporters' general oafishness, even at this great remove, then how are the principled among us to act when we find ourselves much closer to abysmal woman-hating behaviour? What ethical boundaries or distances determine our reaction?

For example, should a person remain in the employ of a man who has admitted in court to making brutal threats against women? Is the comfort of a weekly cheque sufficient to overcome the shame of working for someone who pleaded guilty to charges of intimidation with the intent to cause fear of physical and mental harm? Surely money can never compensate for sharing an office with, to pick a random employer, Philip Day (whose website unblushingly avers to his “firm roots in the community”) and who figured in a relatively recent Daily Telegraph report from the courts:
MEET Phillip Day - the soliciting solicitor who terrorised occupants of a brothel by threatening to slit a woman's throat and "tear the place apart" in a drunken rage.

Day, 49, pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of intimidation with the intent to cause fear of physical and mental harm.

Burwood Local Court was told Day went to the Saxons on Saxon brothel at Wagga Wagga on September 9, 2008 and paid $220 cash for an hour with a prostitute known as "Jasmine".

He emerged 50 minutes later, wrapped in a towel, before charging another $220 on his credit card to extend his stay in room 4 of the establishment.

Receptionist Nicarla Waugh then heard a loud bang coming from the room and went to investigate.

She found Jasmine in a "shaken and distressed state".

Jasmine told Ms Waugh that Day had fallen asleep while getting a massage but woke up angry and demanding a refund.

Ms Waugh asked Day: "What seems to be the problem?" Day replied: "Absolutely nothing, that's the problem. She didn't do anything for me. All I want is my money back."

When the receptionist said she could not guarantee a refund, Day said: "If I don't get my money back, I'm going to tear the f. . .ing place apart."

Ms Waugh told police he approached her with his right fist raised and teeth clenched, saying: "I'm going to f. . .ing slit your throat. Give me my money."

"The accused was so close to the victim at this point she could feel his breath on her cheek," police alleged.

Ms Waugh said she then told Day: "You've threatened me - you're not getting your money back," at which Day became angrier, screaming: "I'm going to smash your face in."

Ms Waugh told police she was "scared, frightened and intimidated".

Day's bail was continued on condition he not go near the brothel. He will be sentenced early next month.
Philip Day is Jeremy Sear’s boss.

The offender is attached to your job, Jeremy. It certainly is your problem.

H/T: Many thanks to the modest commenter who provided those fascinating Wagga and Telegraph links


  1. Never mind the slings and arrows Jeremy. Chin up. Oops.

  2. waddaya gunna dooo about it JERMENY

  3. You've made my day & it's only 8am!

  4. Clementine's twitter abuser also has a Flybuys account. Unless Coles supports violence against women, they should expel him.

  5. LOL. Perhaps Jezza has already read this* and reflected upon his folly, because he ain't working for the soliciting solicitor any more.

    * I am assuming he can read

  6. The incredible power of the Bunyip has acted. The link to Mr Sear's profile at DennistonDay no longer works...

  7. Congratulations, perfessor. The story actually appears to end in the comments. What a blog!

  8. Colorful character, larrikin etc. Alleged wall puncher Abbott is where our nation's gender shame is found.

    1. Yawn, we're a happy lot here, we don't hate, we make fun ... of progs like you. No self loathers allowed please.

  9. Isn't it a joy to see the useful idiots in our society hoist on their own petard?
    On second thoughts perhaps I should erase the word useful.

  10. David of the RiverinaJuly 30, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Sear is now at Farrell Lusher, if his LinkedIn entry is correct. As someone who has cause to consult Wagga solicitors from time to time, I must strike it off the list after Sear's sloppy assumptions. Sear has assumed the twitterer is a member of the Geelong club. All we know for a fact is the person claims to be a team supporter. Further, Sear calls the person an offender when no offence has been proven. I feel strange trying to explain this to a lawyer, but someone who is offensive is not necessarily an offender in the eyes of the law. Finally, Sear has taken no steps to verify that the twitterer is indeed Peter W Hill as alleged by Ford. A Twitter account doesn't require proof of identity.

  11. That's why it's called Twitter - on account of all the Twits who "coagulate" there.

  12. day by Day....oh dear Lord

  13. The Old and Unimproved DaveJuly 30, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Professor, rather than expounding a new law, I believe you are formulating a Corollary to Blair's Law.

    As to Fairfax, I would suggest that they are nailing their trousers to the mast, as Sir Humphrey put it ... so they can't climb down...but the new groovy-sized tabloid Fairfax newspapers presumably can only get in in the shorts.

    As to Our Darling Clementine's scribblings ... have you noticed they make far more sense when set to the works of Jefferson Airplane?

  14. "Philip Day is Jeremy Sear’s boss". Oh, my god, how I burst into laughter and couldn't stop for 5 minutes. The utter idiocy of the progs. I'm not sure what is more hilarious, the fact that they so stupidly open themselves to this ridicule or that they are so stupid and incapable of seeing the flys on the wall.

    Prof ... your a star!!!

  15. Two observations.

    On entering the soliciting solicitors site I noted he is an expert on
    personal injuries. Not.

    Secondly, "Our People" shows aforementioned SS and a photoshopped bookcase claiming to be a paralegal.


  16. Interesting - as others have noted, it looks like Wally has moved on from Denniston & Day. His LinkedIn profile makes no mention of him having worked for them - in fact there's a gap in his employment record from Aug 2012 to July 2013:


    The Denniston & Day website still says:

    "Phillip is assisted in the firm’s work by solicitor Mr Jeremy Sear, who worked as a commercial and criminal law barrister in Melbourne."

  17. Reading that Twitter thread made me feel ill and a bit embarrassed to be a woman. Whatever the "gendered violence" to which Ms Ford refers, it was not real. It was virtual. How often I have said "I hope you (shrivel up and die) (drop dead) (fill in the blank). This woman just seems to be trying to start a fight. Or stir up some gendered violence.
    NB Ms Ford. Nothing actually happened. He was just rude to you. Grow up.

  18. Hey Prof, why does Ms Ford look like a younger version of the (delightful?) Ms Anne Summers, especially the red lippy. Related?, daughter perhaps? Ahh well at least Chip will have something to inherit - LOL

  19. Ah, as "nice" a bunch of lefties as you would ever want to avoid!
    How do I know?...they don't even recognise irony and plunge on into hypocrisy without missing a beat!