The trials and tribulations of beleaguered ex-Family First candidate Andrew Quah have gone global. He has featured in England’s Pinknews and had a star turn on Toronto’s Channel 24 news show. Yet questions still remain: Why did Quah take these photos, and who did he give them to? Who has betrayed Andrew Quah and introduced him to the pain of international humiliation?

Crikey has cracked open the tinny of intrigue, supped deep of its contents, and can now regurgitate the following worldwide exclusive.

It all began online at Bored of Studies, a website where high school and university students can compare notes and discuss exams — amongst other things.

Andrew Quah, who posted as Phanatical, had a tendency to annoy other posters with his misogynist and rambling rants against women, however it wasn’t until his real-life behaviour began to frustrate some of these people that a few of his fellow University of Sydney students – as one of the students involved told Crikey this morning – “cracked the sh-ts” and decided to “mess with him.”

A number of fake MSN messaging accounts were created and began communicating with Andrew. Increasingly saucy chats led to the exchange of photos. The fake girls sent Andrew random pictures of teenage girls pulled from MySpace, and Andrew sent the close-up pictures of the p-nis he denies is his. While reluctuant, he eventually gave in to the request for a photo in which both his face and p-nis could be seen.

The photos were then sent to a few select people – it was intended to be a private joke. One of those people, however, felt that the joke could be enjoyed by a wider audience and an email purporting to be from Andrew was sent to a number of addresses in August 2006. There it would have ended, but for Quah becoming a candidate for Family First.

To read the chatlogs is incredibly depressing. Quah constantly makes self-deprecating comments, and though he doesn’t understand why these young women are showing an interest in him, he still falls for what is a fairly obvious ploy.

The original pranksters are somewhat taken aback by the attention the incident has been given in the press. They say this is just a case of a prank that’s gotten out of hand, surely not deserving of international coverage.