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Childish storm in the Facebook teacup?

By johnboy - 25 April 2009 36

[First filed: April 24, 2009 @ 08:34]

Younger members of the Liberal Party have a near limitless ability to revolt the general public. (Although it should be noted that young members of the ALP can be equally grotty but the party generally keeps them out of the public eye more effectively.

In the most recent installment on this theme the Canberra Times’ Victor Violante appears to have kicked things off with a story about one Brett Chant, formerly of Steve Pratt’s office who stepped adroitly to into the employ of Jeremy Hanson.

At issue is comments made by Brett on Facebook:

    In one comment, Mr Chant said of newly elected Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, who was the face of the party’s campaign, ”Do you think that Rat face Shane will be calling the shots in a coalition with Labor?

Jon Stanhope (who spent a great deal of time failing to sack a young staffer, by the name of Aidan Bruford, who made childish statements not on his own Facebook account, but in graffiti upon other people’s property which lead to a criminal conviction) is not above calling for the sacking of the foolish and humourless Brett.

At 6am this morning Zed Seselja’s office pushed out a statement on the matter from Jeremy Hanson:

    My position is that consequences for mistakes of judgement should be at an appropriate level. The actions in this case did not involve deliberate misleads, breaches of security or illegal behaviour.

    I believe that in this case, this young man deserves a second chance. However, I have made him aware that further lapses of this sort will not be acceptable.

    This decision was made in consultation with and agreement by the Leader of the Opposition, Zed Seselja.

So there you go. Brett will also be apologising for getting caught.

UPDATED: In relation to this on 666 this morning the Labor Senator Kate Lundy dropped a bombshell on Liberal Senator Gary Humphries. Senator Lundy was claiming Brett Chant was linked to a stupid and offensive spoof profile of the Deputy Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

A great number of the claims made by Senator Lundy are in no way substantiated by the evidence available on the spoof profile. Senator Lundy also seems to have mistaken spoof-Katy’s “attendance” at a legitimate anti-labor “event” for October’s election as an indictment on every Liberal (or other person for that matter) ever invited to attend that “event”.

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36 Responses to
Childish storm in the Facebook teacup?
Granny 3:53 pm 24 Apr 09

I would hazard a guess that people have been fancying themselves to be witty and clever with that particular jibe since the day Shane Rattenbury first set foot in kindergarten. He probably humours them … a lot.

; )

Mr Evil 3:08 pm 24 Apr 09

RayP said :

So, I was not intending to insult Stanhope in the way that you are suggesting.

Damn, because I thought someone thought the same way I do about Stanhope! 😉

RayP 2:54 pm 24 Apr 09

Mr Evil,

I would say that Rattenbury seems to be strong enough to take care of himself, that robust debate is important in a democracy, that it’s important to focus on real issues and that insults don’t play a positive role in robust debate.

So, I was not intending to insult Stanhope in the way that you are suggesting.

Mr Evil 2:45 pm 24 Apr 09

RayP, are you saying that Stanhope is a petty little man, with a vindictive streak?

RayP 2:36 pm 24 Apr 09

Im confused too. How does this process work? John Stanhope wants a Liberal staffer sacked, in part, because of comments he made about Shane Rattenbury.

But there doesn’t seem to be any similar call by Shane Rattenbury. I doubt whether Rattenbury would feel the need to be protected by Stanhope. Rattenbury doesn’t seem to be a thin skinned politician who would be deeply hurt by comments on Facebook.

My guess is that Rattenbury would also recognise that as an elected representative, what role he plays in a coalition or otherwise in the Assembly are legitimate matters for public comment and disussion in a democracy.

Rattenbury has put out a press release today that’s on the Green’s web site. It’s on a seminar on Canberra Airport’s plans and noise curfews. This looks to me like a focus on important issues.

It would be good, though, if people did not use terms like “Rat face” in public debate.

gingermick 2:24 pm 24 Apr 09

Relieved to hear that, bubzie. I thought it was just me.

bubzie 12:22 pm 24 Apr 09

….Im confused.

Ian 12:02 pm 24 Apr 09

There appears to be a lot of seriously under-employed political staffers around.

Mr Evil 11:30 am 24 Apr 09

chewy14 said :

Those facebook insults must really cut deep.
Obviously our leaders have no more important things to do.
Surely there is some public art that need putting up somewhere.

Maybe this is classed as public performance art?

trevar 11:21 am 24 Apr 09

I think it’s funny. It could be funnier, and it would be better if he had the help of a professional comedian, but it’s a good start.

Actually, it makes me think there would be a benefit in political parties actually employing comedians to do stuff like this, but do it a bit better than Aidan managed. A comedian employed by a party might not be as funny as an independent one (what with the limits to their material), but it would be a good start.

amarooresident2 11:19 am 24 Apr 09

They don’t learn do they. First rule for political staffers – DON’T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN!

That includes on the interwebs and walls for that matter.

chewy14 11:07 am 24 Apr 09

Those facebook insults must really cut deep.
Obviously our leaders have no more important things to do.
Surely there is some public art that need putting up somewhere.

PBO 10:54 am 24 Apr 09

Maybe if they stopped surfing eachothers Facebook profiles they might get some work done for once.

johnboy 10:09 am 24 Apr 09

Well there’s nothing I’ve seen to show Brett Chant was responsible for the fake Katy G profile, only that he at the least knows some fellow travellers.

Katy on 666 this morning claimed (let slip?) to have known about the spoof before this morning.

So Labor appears to be performing the payback promised after Kate Lundy’s staffer got the heave for his letter writing.

grundy 10:04 am 24 Apr 09

This Brett fella sounds like he needs to learn some hard lessons… and get his ass kicked by a few people. 🙂

What sort of twit would go to the effort of producing a fake FB profile like that!
Sounds like the perfect politician actually…

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