Okay the title is admittedly an awful pun but that seems kind of fitting. In my view, everything to do with Fraser Anning being hit with an egg was bad.
I’ve already written one post about Anning tonight and I so even the fact that I am writing about that lowlife again frustrates me, but so does everything about this episode.
How there are still people that want to hear the senator speak at an event is another slightly depressing aspect of this whole saga, but regardless of my disdain for the senator, I didn’t like anything about this story.
I hated reading about a young kid being set upon with manifestly excessive force by a group of thugs. It will be interesting to see whether any charges can be laid, or whether he looks at civil litigation.
I won’t argue that Anning is scum. But I can’t condone any kind of unprovoked attack on a politician (or anyone really) no matter how abhorrent I may find his views. Similarly, when a self-described anarchist headbutted the loathsome Tony Abbott in a Hobart park, there was no way I could condone such as action no matter how much I detest our former PM.
“It’s just an egg,” you might say. Fair enough, but what does it represent? If you think that comparing throwing an egg to a violent assault is a bit of a stretch, let’s consider a more similar example.
Alan Joyce experienced a similar attack when he had a cake shoved in his face at a public event by an opponent of marriage equality. Even though there was no injury caused, this was widely – and quite rightly – condemned as unacceptable. Why? Because the offender in question had no legal right to physically interfere with Mr Joyce and the implication is that the victim is not safe from this type of harassment at any moment they are in public. This is not peaceful protest. It is intimidation.
The major difference between the attack on Mr Joyce and the one on Mr Anning appears to be that most of Australia thinks the egg was okay because the senator deserved it. Maybe he did – or even something worse – but it wasn’t kid’s place to decide.
I’d hate to see a society where if your views were judged too divergent from mainstream, you were free game for people to harass in the street. Who would make the distinctions about who deserved this type of treatment and what level of harassment was considered fair? A couple of years ago, my views about our disgusting treatment of refugees seemed to be far removed from the majority of Australians. That could have made me a fair target under such a paradigm.
And that is what we are tacitly condoning as we continue to lionise this attack and the boy behind it.
People are going to tell me the kid was standing up against bigotry and to that I would say, I applaud his passion but he should find a better way. Equally, I don’t seek to question the boy’s motives or integrity, but the internet has no shortage of people looking for their 15 minutes of fame. What do you think this public adulation of this kid means for the likelihood of copycats? Let’s not forget that this young kid copped a pretty heavy and disproportionate assault in response. I don’t want to see any more young kids getting hurt like that (or worse) in an effort to achieve internet stardom.
Lastly, Anning deserves a nation’s disgust- not our sympathy. Don’t give him any chance to play the victim (conservatives will do this at the first opportunity). Public dialogue in this country is for once focused on inclusion and tolerance. This is a conversation people like Anning, Hanson and Abbott have no place in. Let’s leave them sidelined and take the conversation further. Arguably, incidents like this give Anning relevance when we could move on without him.
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So a kid coward attacks a politician from behind, the politician defends himself, and now the perpetrator is a “victim “!
Imagine the outcry if Shorten copped the same treatment- double standards, this is what causes unstable people to do unspeakable things. Violence is violence…………..
Very good balanced analysis.
Thinking, how I would feel being egged? Not good.
Would I turn on the egger and punch them (assuming I could)? No I wouldn’t, but maybe that’s just my conditioning, being female. If I were male maybe I’d react differently. Dunno.
How do I feel about the egging of Anning? I know I don’t feel sorry for him, not one bit.
Looking at the circumstances, Anning had just given a speech, to his supporters, AFTER the murders at Christchurch, in which he repeated his racist views. Something had to break, better it was an egg.
And, I hope Eggboy seeks damages – the beating he took from Anning and his goons was not acceptable nor reasonable.
The egg as projectile seems to me a lot closer to the sponge cake/custard tart in the face of someone whose inflated ego/ public persona warrants grounding – many world leaders have received the custard tart treatment and as far as I know it’s rare to have been characterised as a violent assault – certainly deflates the old ego when there is a wide audience.
Anning’s minders would have been thrilled at the opportunity to publicly bash someone in their masters presence – such a male bonding activity. One of Anning’s boy bashing minders is apparently someone called Erikson who has a warrant against him from the NSW police.
The anti-terrorism people would do well to keep a very close eye on Mr Anning after he is ejected from the parliament seeing as he seems to have built quite a little following of testosterone fueled, angry white men.
Indeed! And who should do the judging? And how do we know when the mainstream views have shifted – which they certainly do over time? Try marriage equality as an example – remembering that in some countries it can still bring the death penalty. Here in Australia – it’s just eternal damnation – at least in the eyes of some.
Then there’s hate speech. Does some of the vehement criticism levelled against Peter Dutton amount to hate speech? Seems to me, that when it comes to Dutton, there’s a whole lot of hate going on. Some of which is verbalised and some presented via the written word. Should we ban same? Or are our enemies fair game?
Perhaps we should think very, very carefully before we rush to judgement re curtailing freedoms that were long in the making and involved the spilling of much blood? Perhaps we should stress that with any freedom comes an implied responsibility and without that responsibility – so called freedom becomes mere license? Perhaps we should put a ban on knee-jerk reactions? Or even put a ban on talking about freedoms because it might offend some? (As it will.)
But not to worry, Morrison is putting the some issues re social media restrictions on the G20 agenda. No doubt he will lead that debate. Shakes head.
Alan Joyce was hit in the face with a cream pie but didn’t react physically. Julia Gillard had eggs and even a sandwich thrown at her by a High School student but laughed it off, saying it came with the job.
Also, one of the men who restrained the young man is reported to be Neil Erikson – one of the men who “terrorised” the Gosford Anglican Church congregation last year. He’s a self-professed Neo-Nazi with NSW arrest warrant on his head.
Anning has some interesting like-minded followers and throwing eggs can’t be compared to firing bullets.
“It’s just an egg,” you might say. Fair enough, but what does it represent? If you think that comparing throwing an egg to a violent assault is a bit of a stretch…”
Many years ago, when Malcolm Fraser was pelted with eggs, I pointed out to law enforcement that: “…where an egg could go, so too a grenade.” I won no friends, nor did I expect that but as a former Indian PM pointed out, that was: “When the solids hit the punkah.”
In general terms, I agree with your obsession with and loathing for Anning. But where were you when eggs were thrown at ADF personnel during Vietnam and since?
Well, I can only answer for myself, I have never thrown eggs at anyone, when eggs were thrown at ADF personnel during the war in Vietnam I was at school.
Since then I have attended many demonstrations for workers’ rights, women’s rights, East Timor, Howard’s coalition of the willing, equal marriage, action on climate …
Have I been attacked or abused for expressing my opinion? Yes.
What was the point of your question?
Jake Stevens: “So a kid coward attacks a politician from behind, the politician defends himself, and now the perpetrator is a “victim “!
Imagine the outcry if Shorten copped the same treatment- double standards, this is what causes unstable people to do unspeakable things. Violence is violence”.
OK, the kid should not have egged Anning as it is assault and its unacceptable, whether directed at Anning or Shorten. But Anning’s “defence” was in my opinion an aggressive reaction. He would have have been better telling the kid to back off. As well, the kid was wrestled to the ground, and a journo present who protested over this over-reaction, was forced to leave the building.
News outlets thrive on this kind of drama. It is frustrating to see politicians who have no idea of what is in the public good. But what happened to civil debates and seeking the best argument? Apparently the childish and cowardly ways of egg-boy is now an acceptable substitute for public debate in the eyes of some in the media. They need to grow up.
Thank you so much for this Dave Chadwick.
I have been bleating, online and to my por family, ever since this happened that no form of violence is an acceptable response to an opinion. The boy committed assault. And whilst you rightly point out that he could have been badly hurt I would also like to point out that he will likely get a criminal record from his assault. Anning, sadly, comes up almost clean as his first response was self defense. Of course, he should not have thrown the second fist recognising is attacker to be a kid wth an iPhone ut his initial response was ar best likely reflexive
WE DO NOT WANT OUR FUTURE CITIZENS TO BECOME CRIMINALS UNDER COMMON LAW BY PROTESTING AGAISNT THE TRUE CRIMINALS IN OUR GOVERNMENT,!!!
To quote Michelle Obama
She they go low
We go high.
WHEN THEY GO LOW
WE GO HIGH,
I make the observation, it was obvious Anning was expecting trouble at that meeting firstly as he knew the words he was going to use were provocative and would be taken as he intended, insulting and hateful by the majority of Australians and beyond, particularly New Zealand.
Secondly by having those thugs at his side he was expecting trouble and regardless of the pro’s and con’s he got it, if in a manner that could only have damaged the shell of the egg.
17yr old Will Connolly has said he will donate the money donated to him to the victims and families of the murders. He added “This was the moment I felt so proud to exist as a human being. Let me inform you guys, Muslims are not terrorists and terrorism has no religion. All those who consider Muslims a terrorist community have empty heads like Anning.” Will concluded ” I learned the hard way, don’t egg politicians”.
Hardly the words of a coward. Perhaps a couple of the Anning supporting contributors here are the ones who need to grow up.
The kid could have thrown the egg from afar. He chosse not to. He broke the egg against his skull instead. He caused no injury except the embarrassment of the egg dribbling down to his shirt. How is he a coward? What he did was wrong. He did not deserve the violent attack on him by Anning & his ilk.
There has been $45k or more raised on his behalf. The 17 old said he will be donating it to the people in NZ.
No one has asked him as far I know why he did it? Maybe he shoulod have just used a yellow postit. it was at no time a serious violent aggressive assault.
Personally I would far rather the media is talking about and discussing the wrongs and rights of what the lad did, than reporting on another speech full of vitriol and hate made by Anning at a far right rally (after which he was heading to a gun show) on the day immediately following the awful events in Christchurch.
The Media were all out there and would have reported his speech, where he just reiterated the appalling victim-blaming he’d already spouted on Twitter, causing more hurt and rousing more of his followers to rise up and rebel against those they see as ‘the others’.
Would I have done what that lad did? No, I’m too much of a coward. Am I glad he did it and turned the coverage around into talking about Anning being humiliated? Yes, I bloody well am. And anyone that previously didn’t know the sort of man Anning was – when they saw him hit out – not just once in reaction, but twice, even after he’d seen his opponent was a kid and half his size – would watch that footage and be left in no doubt.
The MSM seem to see no wrong in their actions in giving far-right politicians far more publicity than they deserve or merit, so anything that forces them to report on something else which shows these thugs in their true light and makes them the subject of ridicule instead is ok by me.
Well said, Diane
The worst atrocities in history were committed by people who believed the victims deserved it. It is one of humanity’s most problematic traits that we can get a real kick out of people being kicked – or egged – so long as we don’t like them and think they deserve it. No weighing of evidence is required; just being told they deserve can be enough. Just having the same affiliations – ethnicity, religion, nationality, ideology – as someone we already think deserve it can be enough.
Laws against vigilantism exist for good reason – because even if it turns out to be true that someone is out of control and acting in ways most of us think is vile, the right to a trial protects us all. Laws and courts are imperfect but the independent rule of law is still a foundation upon which our modern democracies were built.
Perhaps Anning will face no more formal rebuke than parliamentary censure – but the contempt of the vast majority of Australians will endure; it does not need violence, symbolic or actual as well. Whilst the response to the egging was over the top and should be considered potentially criminal, the egging “helped” create the circumstances that led to more serious retaliatory violence.
I find symbolic as well as actual violence abhorrent – no spitting at police at a climate rally, no burning effigies as a way of saying we want to burn someone but aren’t allowed, no wishing someone would die or should be put up against a wall and shot because we disagree with them. And no egging people because we find their views abhorrent.
Perhaps, Ken Fabian, you could think it through a tad more and then get back to us…I mean..think about WHY and HOW IS IT that you feel so safe and secure in your social position or environment …in this country…in this era ..to be able to confidently state that YOU (now) abhor any form of (even symbolic) violence…
Just reflect a tad back in history, roll those figures and events over in the old nong a bit…cogitate on the whys and wherefores and then get back to us…nothing wrong with warm-fuzzies…I too am thankfull I live in an era where I don’t have to fight tooth and nail for them…and by the living Jeezus…I still feel for those folk who did.
Just a pity it wasn’t a goose egg.
I totally disagree. Anning got a dose of humiliation.
No physical harm was visited upon him.
Anning now has to realise he has some skin in the game. These people are so brave until they get targeted. Maybe if he finds serious heat on his tail, he will think twice. And if he expects a police cordon every time he goes to one of these extremist events, he should foot the bill. Preaching hate has consequences. If you deliberately set out to make others targets of your bile, you can not be surprised if it returns in kind. If he deliberately sets out to manufacture unrest, then we shouldn’t have any sympathy, he got what he wanted. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
Verbal abuse/hate can be just as effective as physical violence. It just outsources the physical part.
I dont like violence in general, but i am not stupid enough to say never ever. Police dont arrest violent people with a cup of coffee, so it cant be totally avoided in society.
Matters not, so what your saying is that after the neo nazis have influenced a nutter to kill 50odd innocents, we shouldnt be allowed to put them in their place? As you say freedom of speech comes with an implied responsibility. What happens when these haters cross the line? What your saying is that we should recognise they crossed the line and spank them with a feather because, well because its freedom of speech. You may want to split hairs on morality, but haters have always been trouble makers. I prefer to deal with them in a language they understand cause they certainly dont care about us.
Julia Gillard, egged numerous times, said words to the effect,”It’s no big deal, just egg. Easily washes off”.
Now Anning on the other hand :
Did not respond passively, in self-defence or ‘instinctively’.
He bodily turned, very briefly paused & assessed the teenager half his size, then immediately threw two punches. Whilst saying words to the effect,”You little f__king bugger”.
Nothing ‘instinctive’ nor self-defense here, it was considered & deliberate prima facie assault.