[Originally posted 14-APR-05]
It appears that a Stanhope staffer has been picked up by the AFP for spraying anti Howard graffiti on a house somewhere. Interestingly Stanhope, according to himself, made the brave and compassionate decision not to sack this young fool.
Anyone else heard about this or have something online?
[ED – Gary Humphries has put out a media release on this. ABC coverage is also up now, Aidan Bruford is the name of the alleged culprit, the March 2005 Government Contacts Handbook has him in a very prominent position (same page as the Chief Minister) on page 5. Also ABC Online has a further piece of fallout with the Federal Environment Minister (of all people) wading in. Furthermore the local Libs have woken up late and finally put out media releases from Brendan Smyth, and Steve Pratt]
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[Another Day, Another Update: Snark site Spin Starts Here have awarded Aidan their Wanker of the Week Prize, They’ve also linked to an Age article with a quote demonstrating a fair degree of insanity on the part of Our Brave Leader:
Mr Stanhope said he decided not to sack Mr Bruford partly because many people in positions of importance, including politicians and judges, “engage in behaviour that is wrong and criminal” and continue to sit on benches and in cabinet rooms.
You have to admire the honesty, he’s saying “we’re a bunch of evil crooks so why single out young Aidan”, right?]
And finally, we can show you what the fuss is all about:
[Note: The Chief Minister finally did accept Aidan’s resignation, as reported here.]
[ED – Back to Thumper]
Stanhope gets angry with Darwin media over staffer
No link yet but it would appear the Comrade got rather testy in Darwin when asked by a journalist about the graffiti issue. It would seem the said journo suggested that his staffer was a dickhead, to which the Comrade allegedly replied that the journo was a dickhead and then it was apparently nearly on for young an old with quite a few choice words and the Comrade threatening, as usual, legal action.
This just gets better and better. I think I’ll Google some Darwin rags…
[Ed – The Australian has got the Darwin story in the Strewth column:
UP north they are well past the wet season, but Darwin is still witnessing some troppo behaviour.
The environment ministers conference is on and yesterday ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope became hot under the collar when grilled about Aidan Bruford, his 24-year-old environment adviser, who was busted last week for spray-painting anti-Howard graffiti on a Canberra shopping centre. As the Chief Minister is refusing to sack the lad, local Channel 9 reporter Camden Smith, who has a reputation for provocative questions, asked Stanhope: “Why should we pay for him to be a dickhead?” Things became really heated when Smith “slapped” Stanhope on the back. The Chief Minister fired back: “Don’t ever lay your hands on me, mate.” Yes, minister.
They also have devoted editorial space:
Canberra graffiti paints out career
JON Stanhope is the sort of bloke every irresponsible young man would want for a dad. Forgiving to a fault, he believes in improving behaviour rather than punishing outright stupidity. But there is a limit to the tolerance extended to any adult who acts idiotically. And in the ACT, Aidan Bruford, a member of the Chief Minister’s staff, has exceeded it. Mr Bruford was caught by police spray-painting a shopping centre with a representation of the Prime Minister menacing a dove. Mr Stanhope says graffiti is “inherently obnoxious” but it seems this judgment does not apply when the offender has protectors in the highest places who approve of the drawing’s political sentiment. The men who incurred a $150,000 clean-up bill and nine months’ periodic detention for defacing the Sydney Opera House with an anti-war message must wish the courts were as understanding.
Mr Bruford has offered to resign but his boss evidently thinks they can brazen it out. They can’t, at least not without the Chief Minister looking like a man who places his mates above political principle. If Mr Bruford is convicted, he could face six months in the slammer, or a $1000 fine. Nor would a conviction be much good for the career prospects of the young lawyer. But spray-painting a shopping centre, and leaving it to the long-suffering retailers to remove the unwanted message, is also a wretched reference. Just as abandoned cars and broken windows in a community generate more urban decay, graffiti breeds graffiti, something Mr Bruford, who is employed as a political adviser on the environment, should know.
This foolish act can only encourage others to follow, especially if Mr Bruford’s career stays on track. Mr Bruford should pack up his desk and go. Staffers are no use in a political office once their behaviour becomes news. Mr Stanhope says Mr Bruford is a young man with great potential. Perhaps not in politics, at least while he sees himself as commentator with a spray can.
Google news has more]
[The CT’s Pryor casts aspersions on the maturity of Mr. Stanhope’s advisers.]