Flat White

Equal before the law

27 February 2022

2:00 PM

27 February 2022

2:00 PM

While it came as a surprise to me that a Canberra resident could lose her patience in front of the tens of thousands of anti-Covid vaccine demonstrators gathered in front of Parliament House, what really surprised me the most was how quickly all reports of the incident disappeared from the online searches.

The resident, who didn’t like the Freedom Convoy in Canberra, is reported as telling one demonstrator not only that she was a ‘Bogan sl**’ (which suggests that a girl can be a Bogan or a slut – or both), but that she should ‘Get the f**k out of Canberra.’ The demonstrator was also told to, ‘Go get a job and find something better to do with your f**king life.’

Video footage shows that the demonstrator asked for the Canberra resident’s licence and, after the demonstrator called the driver ‘a maniac’, the woman responded, ‘Yeah I am!’ before ramming her car into the protester’s vehicle, saying at the time that it was an accident.

Normally, what happens in Canberra stays in Canberra – just ask their rugby team – but I would never tackle a female with such a command of the English language. I am at a total loss when women swear at me. It seems so … Bogan…?

But this demonstrator, and the general response to the incident by police and the public, has me wondering whether Australians have lost that tolerance and common sense for which they are noted. Just remember through all of this that Covid vaccination is voluntary – so far.

Then came the report by Nine News that: ‘ACT Policing released a statement saying that they had attended Patrick White lawns, near the National Library of Australia, about 4pm to advise the large group they were camping illegally and could be fined if they stayed. Footage shared to social media showed things soon kicked off and the crowd became extremely hostile when they saw a woman being restrained.’

Now to be fair, you would not want to share tea and scones with some of the crowd even though they looked like they could use the food. Other than that, they were simply frustrated human beings who were tired of being abused by different governments who kept changing the rules. They had no other solution than to protest governments that happily placed the nation under the control of doctors.

With that in mind, think back a few weeks to the beginning of January when the Aboriginal Embassy was erected on the lawn outside Old Parliament House. The Aboriginal ‘diplomats’ gathered beneath the Aboriginal flag in their traditional attire of singlets, shorts, and thongs clutching a Didgeridoo and a cigarette.

A wisp of smoke curled upwards from a small fire while members gathered to celebrate another successful day demonstrating against the white invasion now that some legal fool with no political science has supported their call for a Voice in the Constitution. A verbal altercation is evident, which seemed to suggest that someone forgot to buy the sausages and beer for the barbie.

Meanwhile, the security camera outside of Old Parliament House’s front door has been covered over for an (un)security purpose and a fire has been lit against the wooden structure. An unidentified male suddenly appeared carrying an armful of sticks and leaves which were dumped onto the fire. It quickly accelerated.

Even someone on full-strength beer for a week knows that this is not only illegal, but stupid. It will have serious repercussions and may even cause an international incident for those in the embassy. Have the Canberra residents, even those that live nearby, had enough of this 50 year protest?

The truth is, no one gave a damn. There certainly weren’t any irate drivers hurling abuse or police demanding that the tents be torn down.

Madeline King, the Western Australian Labor Party member, tweeted fatuously above a photograph of a happy smiling crowd standing quietly before Bob Hawke’s Mausoleum – which is also used for Parliament House: ‘Never did I imagine that I would not feel safe in Canberra.’ That must surely be the result of backing Albo, for whom the knives – even as we speak – may be out.

The police did not threaten to fine the Aboriginal Ambassador if he didn’t move on. They arrested the individual responsible for the fire. The sun came up the next morning and the cultural attaché put another log on the little fire and lit a cigarette. Everything was as it was the day before – except for the charcoal door on the Old Parliament House – and that is how it will be in another 50 years when, thank goodness, I am long gone from this increasingly irrational nation.

I can’t say I have much time for the Tent Embassy; but while it remains, I can see some article clerk before the High Court arguing that Mary the anti-vaxxer ought not to be convicted for failing to move on, when for 50 years, no one has brought the same complaint against our indigenous brothers.

Equal treatment before the law. That is an important principle of justice. Now, how do we ensure that it is available to everyone?

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