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A Geert Wilders supporter responds

Crikey readers weigh in on the issues of the day.

Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders’ speech in Melbourne

Inez Bowker writes: Re. “Wilders from the inside, where mouths are ‘more dangerous than guns’” (Wednesday). I am the “60-something door bitch” mentioned in Shakira Hussein’s article.

My husband and I were volunteers helping The Q Society with checking in of people that evening. In our briefing before the doors were opened to the ticket holders we were given our security procedure: people will be directed to your table, U-Z in our case, and please check their ticket and their photo ID and then check the name against your list. If the name is on your list, OK, put a green wristband on their wrist which will allow them to enter the conference room. If the name is not on your list, please direct them to the management table.

The door check people were not allowed, under any circumstances to let people without green wrist bands into the room.

Hussein approached our table but was told by my husband that she should go to the H-K table. She went to enter the conference room. Of course she was stopped by the door check lady and told that she could not enter because she had no green wrist band. There was no entry on the master list for the name Hussein.

Hussein complained, saying she had already been through security and did not want to walk back to the other table. So I alerted the people on the management table and asked Hussein to wait.

I pointed to a couch about 15 steps away and asked her to wait there. She again complained and said that she could not walk that far and she was not carrying a gun. Now, me being an immigrant and having lived through wars and in an already tense environment, the mere mention of guns made me very uncomfortable and scared (a bit paranoid, I know, but that’s what happens to people who have lived through very difficult situations).

So my retort of “mouths can be as dangerous as guns” is what my thoughts were right then.

Now, it seems that Hussein was a member of the press. And it seems that she did not proceed to the media reception desk, right in front of the entrance. If she would have gone there she would have had no problems. Media people were on a separate list and seated in a separate area in the conference room.

Her description of me was not only incorrect but also insulting. But we have free speech and she can say what she likes! Really?

Although I am saddened that in our country such security for a meeting is so needed. We are a country of free speech, which is a right of all people, not just the demonstrators. I did not see what went on as people entered the car park. So I cannot comment. But from what other people told me it was not peaceful. At all.

James Smith writes: Geert Wilders declined to talk to Waleed Aly or Jon Faine on the ABC.

So freedom of speech is subject to no scrutiny at all unless one is given enough rope to hang themselves in the media with falsehoods and lies by two intelligent men.

I would avoid them at all cost as well to avoid the embarrassment.

The currency wars

Peter Matters writes: Re. “The currency wars: how the mighty A$ is quietly shaping politics” (yesterday). Certainly, all the options discussed for lowering the currency have serious consequences. But this only proves that only the wrong options are being discussed. What about the Tobin Tax? Currency itself must not be treated as a commodity ripe for speculation — it is simply a means to conduct trade. The overvalue of the Australian dollar is not due to trade imbalance, it is due to toxic currency speculation.

An impost so small that it would have no bearing on trade, would have the consequence of lowering speculation. Apart from providing an extra resource for a struggling Labor — or Coalition — government, it would have the welcome and unusual consequence of shutting up Rinehart, Forrest, Palmer and co.

Guy Rundle and Labor

Alan Baird writes: Re: “Rundle: boo hoo, the Greens have gotten the better of Labor“ (yesterday). Bloody good article by Guy Rundle. Great to see Labor cop a serve, while at the same time pointing out that the Coalition are worse, but not much. Sick of seeing Swan set himself up for failure and derision from the Libs with the knee-jerk and slavish “surplus mantra”. Watching Labor is like watching Monty Python’s knight-torso in the forest, but gagged…

Jack Ellis writes: I’m sure Guy Rundle will have booted the bum of the headline writer who used that woeful Americanism “gotten”, the world’s laziest non-verb, in what was otherwise a good report.

Along with all the -isms and -izations being inflicted on us, maybe Crikey should change its name to Wow!

Malcolm Cameron writes: I would like to recommend that you cease behaving in an infantile fashion by referring to Viscount Monckton as “Lord” Christopher Monckton as if he were some form of imposter. Monckton may well be eccentric but he is nonetheless a hereditary Viscount and as such it is correct and polite to address him as Lord Monckton. All Viscounts are Lords. I suggest you consult Debretts if you are still in doubt.

Christopher Monckton claims that he is entitled to sit in the House of Lords. Notwithstanding the letter to Monckton from David Beamish, the Clerk of Parliaments, stating otherwise, it may come to pass that Lord Monckton, along with the other disenfranchised hereditary nobility, will be entitled to sit in the House of Lords again. Legal action is proceeding, albeit slowly at this stage, to overturn the legislation that reduced the number of hereditary peers. Whether it succeeds or fails, only time will tell.

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  • 1
    CML
    Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Good on you Ms Bowker! When Crikey accepts articles such as this from Hussein, without checking the facts, I begin to wonder how much different you lot are to the MSM. Or are we just supposed to accept what Hussein said as truth because she happens to have an axe to grind about Geert Wilders?
    Let me make it perfectly clear - I wouldn’t walk across the road to listen to Wilders, let alone go to an organised meeting with him as the star attraction. But I am very concerned that the media, Crikey included, is not telling the truth about Wilders and his supporters.
    This man’s appearance in Oz should have been an opportunity to debate his assertions about Muslim immigration instead of the “Muslims right, Wilders wrong” attitude of just about everyone in the media. Just exactly what did you expect Hussein to write in the critique you published? Wrong person for this assignment. We could do with a little objectivity in the future.

  • 2
    CML
    Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    @ Alan Baird - You see Guy, all you have managed to do with that ridiculous article about Labor is give Liberal and Green twits the opportunity to dump further buckets of sh+t on a party they all love to hate.
    My comments below the actual article are proving true!!
    Alan, go away and vote for your beloved Tony and/or Christine. Hope you enjoy the outcome, while the rest of us sane, rational people have to put up with a pack of lunat+cs running the country.

  • 3
    Matt Hardin
    Posted Friday, 22 February 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Ms Bowker could you comment on Ms Hussein’s assertion:

    It wasn’t easy to get into the venue, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, even though I’d arranged to attend as a journalist for Crikey. Every few metres, a Q Society volunteer would stop me to ask for my photo ID and media registration form — always an interesting facial expression as they took in the name “Hussein”.

    that she had already been checked out by volunteers and that she had showed media credentials and photo ID prior to encountering you.

    Also unless one is rabid and goinmg around biting people under no circumstances are “mouths more dangerous than guns” as someone who lived through wars should know.

  • 4
    Tom Lalor
    Posted Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Well done Inez, I saw Geert speak and am very grateful for volunteers like you, I’m not the greatest fan of the Australian media and appreciate you setting this reporter straight.

  • 5
    me ell
    Posted Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Journalist never write a true story half of it sensationalism. Make better writers for Hollywood.

  • 6
    me ell
    Posted Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Miss Hussein,

    May i ask why it’s so important for you to state “I’m a Muslim”. I know that amongst Christians, Agnostics and Atheists that that is not so important to declare what our religious beliefs are. They are kind of personal. Do you think you were the best person to attend this? As a journalist i thought, maybe I’m wrong, that you had to give an impartial view and not a personal view?
    And please don’t call me an infidel under your breath. I find it rather derogatory and insulting just like you hate being heaped in the same basket as all the radicals.

  • 7
    Kevin Tyerman
    Posted Monday, 25 February 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    @ me ell,
    I would suggest that a Muslim journalist attending an anti-Muslim rally, is probably best to declare their “vested interests” (for want of a better tertm), while giving their own perspective of such an event.

    In all of the articles by Shakira Hussein that I have read, I do not recall her using the word “infidel” in the context that you suggest. Perhaps only taking offence at insults that are really directed at you would make for a happier and more productive life, than smearing a person for making an insult that you imagine they may have made, assuming that they even read your words at all.

  • 8
    sebster
    Posted Tuesday, 26 February 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    @Malcolm Cameron hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Thank you *ever* so much for penning the most hilarious sentences I’ve read all week.

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