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.