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What’s on the Menu?

There is a post going round social media which alleges to be from someone called “Sascha Taylor” where she claims to have worked at the restaurant on the night of the “Menugate” (If the Democrats had been at the Hilton instead of the Watergate Hotel, would every cover-up now have to finish with “ton”?). She claims that the menu was widely circulated, and that she resigned in disgust a few days ago.

I’m going to go out on a limb and declare this to be a fake! If anyone can produce “Sascha Taylor” then I’ll apologise. But it strikes me as strange that it took until now for the person concerned to resign in disgust. I don’t doubt that there were people working that night, and I find it weird that I’ve seen no reports from anyone who’s interviewed them, nor any report that they weren’t prepared to speak. Again, if anyone has any links to such things, please post them.

Of course, we have had the restaurant owner, Joe Richards, claiming that he only printed up a couple of copies for him and his son, which raises the question, “Was it his son or him who passed it on to the part-time chef who made it public?”

And, of course, the other obvious question is why was this Mal Brough’s reaction when the story first broke:

‘Mr Brough says the menu was drawn up by a non-party member who thought it would be “humorous” and “didn’t mean any harm by it,” but is now “deeply apologetic”.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey was the guest of honour at the March event, but has tweeted that he can’t recall ever seeing the menu.

“It is offensive and inappropriate whenever it was put out and it is now,” he said.

Mr Brough, a former Howard government minister who is seeking to return to parliament in a Queensland seat, has also defended his colleague, telling the ABC “Mr Hockey had nothing to do with it.”

Mr Brough also insisted he could not recall seeing the menu at the event for 20 people, held on March 28.

Asked if it could see him disendorsed, or affect his preselection in any way, Mr Brough said that was a “ridiculous” suggestion.

“I didn’t condone the menu nor did I authorise it…it should never have been written,” he said.’

Why didn’t Mal Brough condemn it as a fake straight away? Surely he must have known it was a “fake”. But as Andrew Bolt writes: “Brough says he did not see the menu. There is no evidence he did.” Yet, in spite of never seeing the menu, he knew that it was ‘written by a non-party member who thought it would be humourous”. This statement was made before Richards sent his email apologising, so whether he saw the menu or not, he was clearly aware of its existence. So while he knew who wrote it, but had no knowledge of it. Of course, it has been reported that Joe Richards is a Liberal Party donor, but I’ll take Mr Brough’s word that he’s not a party member.

Why does this seem vaguely familiar to me? Ah yes,

“Mr Brough was quoted in The Sunday Mail last weekend dismissing as ”nonsense” any suggestion he knew of James Ashby’s court documents before they were lodged.

He reportedly said he knew Mr Ashby as a local party member but had no previous knowledge of his civil suit.

But Mr Brough yesterday confirmed he had met Mr Ashby three times and sought legal advice on his behalf. Mr Ashby went to him for advice on how to deal with the allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of travel entitlements, he said, at the urging of Liberal National Party of Queensland member Val Bradford.” Sydney Morning Herald, May 6th 2012.

 

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