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Brendan and John being mean to Amanda Bresnan?

By 21 September 2009 39

So, I’m hearing snippets, did John Hargreaves and Brendan Smyth say something horrible about a Green (Amanda Bresnan?) over the weekend and are now trying to apologise in the wake of a torrent of tears?

If you’ve got more on this, send it in…

UPDATED: The ABC now have the story online:

    Mr Hargreaves and deputy Liberal leader Brendan Smyth have apologised to Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan for picking up and pretending to throw her off a stage.

    Ms Bresnan complained to the MLAs after the incident at Canberra’s Hellenic Club on September 11.

We’d love to hear from witnesses what they made of it.

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39 Responses to Brendan and John being mean to Amanda Bresnan?
#1
caf10:45 am, 21 Sep 09

Saw this on the front page of the CT at the cafe this morning – apparently they physically threw her off stage at a charity event back on the 11th of September in a misguided attempt at comedy.

#2
housebound11:05 am, 21 Sep 09

I must have misread it – I thought they picked her up as if to throw her, but stopped short of actually doing it. It’s not online, so i can’t check it now.

If they were all friends, there might not have been the drama. But they’re not, and let’s face it – some women really object to being manhandled. You are supposed to ask permission before even touching someone these days (let alone tosssing them off a stage).

Smyth apologised in person and in writing (ie hand-delivered the letter), and Bresnan accepted the apology.

Hargreaves said he had only two drinks. Bresnan didn’t accept his apology. I wonder what he actually said that has blown it up into a front-page story.

#3
Gobbo11:10 am, 21 Sep 09
#4
GYW11:16 am, 21 Sep 09

And there’s this from the ABC, who were discussing it on 666 this morning and also had Jon Stanhope on:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/21/2691650.htm?site=local

#5
housebound11:20 am, 21 Sep 09

UPDATE: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/21/2691650.htm

Hargreaves has now ‘apologised unreservedly’.

#6
Skidbladnir11:32 am, 21 Sep 09

According to this bit on the ABC website:
Ms Bresnan complained to the MLAs after the incident at [a charity event at] Canberra’s Hellenic Club on September 11.

Other than Wheelchair for Scarlett, what else was happening that night, or can anyone who was there enlighten us?

#7
tortfeaser11:36 am, 21 Sep 09

Was briefly mentioned and commented-on by unresponsible Kate on 666. Bresnan wasn’t into the comedy, Hargreaves allegedly pissed, both apologised, one apology not accepted (whose not mentioned).

#8
Gungahlin Al12:50 pm, 21 Sep 09

Everyone does things they wholeheartedly regret. The measure of a person is their ability to a) realise it, b) sincerely make amends and c) learn from it.
I’d imagine that JH’s ‘apology’ was rather qualified, leading to the rejection.

Amanda’s pretty small, and I could imagine it could be somewhat intimidating – particularly if there was grog involved – and certainly embarrassing.

It’s hard to see how JH could mistake the relationship as anything beyond cordial workmates after some of the insults that get trotted out in the Assembly.

They are technically workmates, and these days there are a lot of things one does not do with workmates – particularly if one is in a more ‘powerful’ position – by status, sex, size or longevity. It’s a reality with which JH seems to have difficulty.

#9
caf1:14 pm, 21 Sep 09

Gungahlin Al: By all reports, everything except the bit about the apology equally applies to Brendan Smyth, too.

#10
astrojax1:38 pm, 21 Sep 09

ms gallagher, our redoubtable health minister, was with ross solly on 666 this morning and the sub-text was that JH’s apology, though apparently ‘unreserved’, has yet to be accepted. he rekkuns he was designated driver, so wasn’t inebriated. sh’rr oshifer…

katy is also lead liaison betwixt labor and greens, so she’ll have her work cut out for her.

maybe mr garrett could become involved – surely it was simply a jocular moment..?

#11
Pommy bastard2:18 pm, 21 Sep 09

Well one has ever accused the Greens of having a sense of humour.

Am I alone in thinking this “incident” is being manipulated for political ends?

I carry no candle for Hargreaves, but I’d take him over the greens any day.

#12
Pommy bastard3:03 pm, 21 Sep 09

I wonder if Hargreave’s apology didn’t get accepted as it wasn’t written on recycled paper? :)

#13
bd843:17 pm, 21 Sep 09

That’s the problem with doing these sorts of things, you never know who has no sense of humour. Obviously we all know now.

#14
Thoroughly Smashed3:39 pm, 21 Sep 09

bd84 said :

That’s the problem with doing these sorts of things, you never know who has no sense of humour. Obviously we all know now.

I wouldn’t expect being fondled by either of those idiots to rate very high on anyone’s fun-o-meter, let alone at the same time.

#15
mistermongo3:40 pm, 21 Sep 09

Does she have a crush on Brendan? Is that why his unreserved apology was accepted when John’s was not?

The whole thing smacks of primary school.

#16
Cal3:51 pm, 21 Sep 09

I was at the event and hargeaves’ behaviour was totally unacceptable. Would he have picked up and pretended to throw Vicki Dunne or Katy or Meredith? I don’t think so. In which case, this is about a bloke showing his power over a small woman. What’s the message this sends – don’t run for the Assembly unless you don’t mind a bit of rough stuff from the blokes? And Pommy Bastard, if Ms Bresnan had wanted to be political she would have made this public and gone on Alex Sloan’s show. I don’t think this is about Greens, or Labor or Libs, it’s about treating women (and women politicians) with respect and decency.

Would Jon H like his wife picked up and manhandled in public?

#17
mistermongo4:44 pm, 21 Sep 09

Cal said :

I was at the event and hargeaves’ behaviour was totally unacceptable. Would he have picked up and pretended to throw Vicki Dunne or Katy or Meredith? I don’t think so. In which case, this is about a bloke showing his power over a small woman. What’s the message this sends – don’t run for the Assembly unless you don’t mind a bit of rough stuff from the blokes? And Pommy Bastard, if Ms Bresnan had wanted to be political she would have made this public and gone on Alex Sloan’s show. I don’t think this is about Greens, or Labor or Libs, it’s about treating women (and women politicians) with respect and decency.

Would Jon H like his wife picked up and manhandled in public?

Seeing you were there, what was the difference between the behaviour of Hargreaves and the behaviour of Smyth?

From the reports, it sounds like they were equally to blame, but Brensan accepting one apology and not the other.

#18
54-114:47 pm, 21 Sep 09

John Hargreaves is a drunken, ignorant boofhead who is an embarassment as a Minister of the ACT.

What I can’t understand is that Stanhope continues to protect him and retain him as a minister, despite his track record as a serial f*wit.

bd84 and pommy bastard, it’s nothing to do with having a sense of humour – this was a drunk being stupid and manhandling a much smaller person, who happens to be a woman from a different political party. Any way you look at it, it was not funny or smart (both attributes sadly lacking from Hargreaves repertoire of tricks). I can’t see how you can pretend it was otherwise.

#19
Pommy bastard5:20 pm, 21 Sep 09

Cal, I train at the gym daily, and I still wouldn’t fancy my chances of shifting Sticky Bun.

Oh, interesting how your post only mentions Hargreaves, there were two involved in this prank, only one seems to be catching the censure.

It’ll be interesting to see how the party leaders react. Zed’s got no need to keep the greens sweet, Stan on the other hand….

#20
johnboy5:29 pm, 21 Sep 09

Rather than some anti-hargreaves conspiracy, it seems likely to a non-partisan observer that their actions were not equal at the time, and that the sincerity of their apologies might also have not been equal.

#21
54-116:24 pm, 21 Sep 09

PB, the problem is that Smyth gave a genuine apology, whereas Hargreaves did not. In addition, Hargreaves has a long track record whereas Smyth does not. Serial offenders get more shit thrown at them than first-timers.

#22
Pommy bastard6:48 pm, 21 Sep 09

54-11 said :

PB, the problem is that Smyth gave a genuine apology, whereas Hargreaves did not.

Really, have the apologies been published? I’d love a lookee see…

#23
bd849:49 pm, 21 Sep 09

54-11 said :

John Hargreaves is a drunken, ignorant boofhead who is an embarassment as a Minister of the ACT.

What I can’t understand is that Stanhope continues to protect him and retain him as a minister, despite his track record as a serial f*wit.

bd84 and pommy bastard, it’s nothing to do with having a sense of humour – this was a drunk being stupid and manhandling a much smaller person, who happens to be a woman from a different political party. Any way you look at it, it was not funny or smart (both attributes sadly lacking from Hargreaves repertoire of tricks). I can’t see how you can pretend it was otherwise.

Given no footage or other witness accounts have been reported so far, it is difficult to make a firm judgement of what this incident was intended to be (joke or stupidity, or both), unless you can indulge us with such things?

You seemed to have missed the point of my post of that while some people may think a prank is funny while other don’t is the biggest danger in jokes/stunts in the workplace

Personally, I think it would have been funnier if they picked up Hargreaves and threw him outside then locked the doors and changed the locks to the assembly to prevent him from entering.

#24
sepi8:43 am, 22 Sep 09

Joke or not they should not have tried this on.

Can you imagine if Joe Hockey and Malcolm turnbull tried to throw Julia Gillard off a stage at a public event ‘humerously’ of course and ‘not drunk’?

there would be an outcry, and quite rightly. It just shows a huge lack of respect – and common sense.

#25
Thumper8:46 am, 22 Sep 09

Hargeaves acting like a boorish, uncouth oaf? Well, it’s quite expected.

As for Smyth, what was the idiot doing, or thinking?

#26
Skidbladnir9:02 am, 22 Sep 09

Surely we could ask the host of the event in question, one of RiotACT’s own members?

Although if I was the only non-politician host and everyone wanted to hear my account of what happened (and still wanted to deal with these people & parties again at some point in future), I’d probably keep my head low too…

#27
poptop9:13 am, 22 Sep 09

What do Ministers have to do to get sacked around here?

Where’s Zed’s release on Smyth’s behaviour?

#28
caf9:26 am, 22 Sep 09

Some of these comments seem to be sailing pretty close to the defo wind – particularly calling someone a drunk.

#29
Skidbladnir9:37 am, 22 Sep 09

Caf is right, Hargreaves is only a confirmed drink driver. Watch yourselves. :P

However, before y’all get too upset about it, bear in mind that the MC and also the mother concerned think you’re all getting too excited and it could be a bit counterproductive.

CT article this quote comes from:
But the young girl’s mother said she was annoyed the controversy had overshadowed the fund-raiser. Estelle Sydney-Smith was concerned the incident would deter other politicians from attending charity events and supporting the community.

#30
orangegirl9:43 am, 22 Sep 09

I was there. It didn’t seem that big a deal from where I was sitting.

I can understand how this incident may have over stepped the mark, and it is appropriate for Hargreaves and Smyth to apologise if the subject of the joke was offended.

And they have.

Also, let the point be made there were some pretty off-colour comments flying in all political directions that night. It was a fundraiser. The MLAs seemed to be having some fun at each other’s expense – shock horror.

This sounds a bit too much like capitalising on a reasonably minor event to get media attention.

From what I have been told the event achieved its goal. Scarlett gets her wheelchair because the Canberra community – including the political community – got behind this excellent cause. That is the real story to me.

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