Vile abuse from the sidelines as the big men fly

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Grand Final day at Manuka Oval… abuse hurled from the sidelines. Photo: Mike Welsh

Seven days columnist MIKE WELSH charts another big week in the life of the national capital. 

ON Canberra AFL Grand Final day I watched “The Australian Dream”, the outstanding doco about footy crowds’ treatment of Swans star Adam Goodes. 

Mike Welsh.

The Stan Grant-directed feature rightly confronts fans for our failure to call out abuse, in particular racist attacks on players.

Later in the day I was at Manuka Oval for the Ainslie versus Belconnen Division One decider (Ainslie won) where I witnessed vile abuse by young members and registered players of the Belconnen club. 

Among the usual rubbish were highly personal comments relentlessly spewed across the boundary line. 

I watch a lot of football and this was far worse than the sort of abuse that would see a patron quickly punted from the MCG. Yet despite security regularly wandering past the group nothing was done. Why not?

CANBERRA based blogger Richard Tuffin dares to go where many still fear to tread by calling into question Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Christian faith. 

In a piece on the Independent Australia website headed: “The blatant hypocrisy of Scott Morrison’s Christian faith”, Tuffin rebukes the PM’s “public and loud proclamation of faith… without acknowledging the absolute and blatant hypocrisy that goes along with the way he leads his life and the manner in which he performs his role as PM.

“There’s also the fact that he lies – often and wilfully – and the last time I checked, honesty was a big part of the Christian mantra”.

ABC journalist Francis Leach has scolded political columnist Michelle Grattan and others in the profession over the casual use of the PM’s nickname. The ABC sports writer tweeted: “Can we journalists please stop referring to @ScottMorrison with his cartoon name ScoMo. It’s overly familiar and frankly unprofessional. He’s not your mate. He’s the Prime Minister.”

SINCE the democracy caravan rolled back into town for the spring sitting there appears to have been some slippage of the ScoMo halo. I muted the Prime Minister’s chat with “7.30’s” Leigh Sales and it appeared the familiar smug smirk of the blokey, goofy, suburban dad had disappeared and a snarly, “let’s get serious” sneer had taken over.

PROVING yet again we are downright neighbourly here in the capital, showbiz Mr Niceguy Hugh Jackman was made to feel extra welcome when he dropped by recently. The “Boy From Oz” star and wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness were at Yarralumla to collect his Order of Oz from the Governor-General, David Hurley. 

THE ANU has given itself an F for the way in which it handled the reporting of on-campus sexual violence.

The institution has admitted it was an error to cut deputy heads at Bruce Hall, Fenner Hall and Wright Hall. The move was met by a strong backlash from students who claim they had to report incidents of sexual violence to other students.

Pro vice-chancellor Tony Foley clumsily admitted at a forum: “We tried an experiment about pastoral care and I don’t think there is anyone in this room who doesn’t think that experiment had not worked”.

MITCHELL may not have its own light rail stop but it is getting some competition at the petrol bowser. A “Coming Soon” sign has gone up a few hundred metres down Lysaght Street from Mitchell’s sole Caltex servo. Metro Petroleum and Car Wash is expected to bring a long overdue price war to the area when it opens.

THE capital could be joining the “big” club in a very big way. But none of your tacky bananas, bulls or merino rams for us. No, we are going big on batteries and technology. ACT Climate Change minister Shane Rattenbury put out a tender for construction of one of the nation’s biggest batteries, expected to surpass the capabilities of those already operational in Victoria and SA. The battery will be able to store energy to power 25,000 “typical homes” for two hours.


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Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh is a serial blogger and former Canberra radio presenter.

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