Underbelly, Al Grassby, and Canberra.

johnboy 23 February 2009 75

[First filed: February 16, 2009 @ 14:28]

In today’s SMH Paul Sheehan is tying in events from the wildly successful Underbelly 2 show on TV to our very own, very expensive statue of Al Grassby here in Canberra.

    “And yet we have, in the foyer of a public gallery in Civic Centre, Canberra, a life-sized bronze image of a smiling Grassby, paid for by the taxpayers, via the ACT Labor Government, at a cost of about $72,000. It commemorates Grassby’s role as the “father of multiculturalism” in Australia.

    When the Chief Minister of the ACT, John Stanhope, successfully championed this statue, the evidence of Grassby’s corruption and treachery was both abundant and widely known. For many years, Grassby had acted as an agent of influence for the Calabrian criminal network known as the ‘ndrangheta, which continues to thrive in Australia’s illicit drug trade.

    In the report of the Nagle special commission of inquiry in 1986, John Nagle, QC, found that Grassby had engaged in a smear campaign to protect the real murderers of Donald Mackay. He wrote that “no decent man” could have propagated “the scurrilous lies” that Grassby distributed about the Mackay family. He described Grassby’s performance as a witness as “long-winded, dissembling, and unconvincing, constantly driven to uneasy claims of defective memory”.”

The photo above is from the website of Canberra’s very own Member for Fraser, Bob McMullan. That’s Bob on the far right.

UPDATED: In the Canberra Times Mr Hargreaves has railed against the pygmies who question the wisdom of his beloved sculpture. The Minister is at pains to point out that no court ever convicted Mr Grassby of anything. By which standard almost no federal politician has ever done anything wrong.

There is, at the very end, a slight admission that an appreciation of Al Grassby needs to be selective:

    ”We have celebrated a certain segment of Al Grassby’s life as the father of multiculturalism.”

What's Your Opinion?


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75 Responses to Underbelly, Al Grassby, and Canberra.
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Mr Evil Mr Evil 5:07 pm 16 Feb 09

Hey, think of the positives!

This could become a great tourist attraction for Canberra – come and see Al: where Underbelly meets Federal Parliament!

johnboy johnboy 5:04 pm 16 Feb 09

I actually met him once and helped him box a press release up in the gallery in Parliament House.

He was a lovely, charming old duffer at that point and I took five minutes out of my busy day to give him a hand simply because he had been such an iconic figure in Australian politics.

On the other hand a member of my family helped him change a car tyre once in the Riverina and was a trifle embarassed to have to dig the spare tyre out from under a pile of cash money. An odd thing to see in a Minister’s car.

vg vg 5:03 pm 16 Feb 09

The fact that this local government lauds someone who has been shown to have, to put it mildly, not acted in the most pure of intentions, speaks volumes.

Father of multiculturalism my ass. If it wasn’t for his influence he would have had a lot of ‘private time’.

I’m suprised a member of the McKay family hasn’t made the trip to canberra to spit on the statue

barking toad barking toad 5:03 pm 16 Feb 09

The obscenity of having a statue acknowledging this vile person will confirm stanhope’s place in ACT history as Worst.Mayor.Ever.!

This slimy politician, whose seat was bought by the grass castle kings of Griffith, contributed nothing to Australia. The myth of him “fathering multicultalism” will only be propogated by the faithful from the labor party and blind ideological hippies, aka stanhope.

Recall his denigration of the McKay family at the behest of mafia masters.

If anyone deserves the epitaph it is this worm:

“death becomes him”

PM PM 4:59 pm 16 Feb 09

He wasn’t convicted due to political meddling at the time. There was evidence of some strength.

It’s not politically motivated – many Labor people who were around at the time didn’t like him either, but there’s that tribal nature in organised political parties that prevented people from speaking out. Besides, would you have publicised evidence against a bloke associated with gangsters? Look at the McKays.

jakez jakez 4:56 pm 16 Feb 09

Clown Killer said :

I’m no fan of Mr Grasby but it’s pretty easy to heap poo on the dead.

We’ve all heard the tired old tales people with barrows to push like to trot out about Grasby but seriously, without a conviction then all that rumour, inuendo and politically motivated slanging amounts to nothing.

Not commenting on this specific topic, the truth can be found outside of a court of law Clown Killer.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 4:42 pm 16 Feb 09

I’m no fan of Mr Grasby but it’s pretty easy to heap poo on the dead.

We’ve all heard the tired old tales people with barrows to push like to trot out about Grasby but seriously, without a conviction then all that rumour, inuendo and politically motivated slanging amounts to nothing.

jakez jakez 4:41 pm 16 Feb 09

uniqueusername said :

johnboy said :

murder and ministerial level corruption are not normally described as “slip ups”.

Fair enough. However I still support the idea of having a statue celebrating the father of multiculturalism in Australia.

johnboy said :

But I see now that the mineral water conspiracy goes deeper than I’d feared…

We’ve only just scratched the surface here.

Feel free to get with those who agree with you and pay for one.

uniqueusername uniqueusername 4:32 pm 16 Feb 09

johnboy said :

murder and ministerial level corruption are not normally described as “slip ups”.

Fair enough. However I still support the idea of having a statue celebrating the father of multiculturalism in Australia.

johnboy said :

But I see now that the mineral water conspiracy goes deeper than I’d feared…

We’ve only just scratched the surface here.

poptop poptop 4:26 pm 16 Feb 09

Allegations – yes. I think it would be difficult to characterise them as slip ups though.

jakez jakez 4:25 pm 16 Feb 09

Al Grassby was the corrupt politician who used his power to protect favoured interests and businesses, yet Paul Sheehan is the fascist.

I was going to make a ‘personally I don’t mind my taxes going to public art’ joke, however nothing I could say could come close to the joke that is uniqueusername’s contribution to this thread.

johnboy johnboy 4:22 pm 16 Feb 09

murder and ministerial level corruption are not normally described as “slip ups”.

But I see now that the mineral water conspiracy goes deeper than I’d feared…

uniqueusername uniqueusername 4:17 pm 16 Feb 09

I think that Grassby deserves recognition for his work on dismantling the White Australia Policy and building the foundations for today’s multicultural Australia. I think it took a lot of guts to advocate multiculturalism back in Grassby’s day, and in the end it cost him his seat. For that reason the statue is justified.

The fact is in spite of a few alleged slip ups, the guy made a profoundly positive contribution to our country. Fascist whingers like Sheehan will try and do anything to undermine our multicultural society, spruik dodgy mineral water, and fan the flames of racial intolerance.

johnboy johnboy 3:59 pm 16 Feb 09

uniqueusername said :

I’m sorry if I can’t take Paul miracle water Sheehan seriously.

To put it bluntly Paul simply doesn’t like wogs, multiculturalism or the Labor party. In fact he manages to rubbish all three in most of his columns.

You make some good points, but is anything he’s said here actually untrue?

Thumper Thumper 3:59 pm 16 Feb 09

However, in regards the Grassby statue, he does have a point.

uniqueusername uniqueusername 3:37 pm 16 Feb 09

I’m sorry if I can’t take Paul miracle water Sheehan seriously.

To put it bluntly Paul simply doesn’t like wogs, multiculturalism or the Labor party. In fact he manages to rubbish all three in most of his columns.

peterh peterh 3:20 pm 16 Feb 09

poptop said :

Is that sort of open-mouthed, happy expression handed out as a facial requirement when Labor men get elected? It’s kinda spooky.

I though the Chiefly One had flick-passed the “championing” of this artwork to the other John; the one who likes beer, dancing and meat onna stick.

and why does bob look like stewie off family guy??

poptop poptop 3:04 pm 16 Feb 09

Is that sort of open-mouthed, happy expression handed out as a facial requirement when Labor men get elected? It’s kinda spooky.

I though the Chiefly One had flick-passed the “championing” of this artwork to the other John; the one who likes beer, dancing and meat onna stick.

peterh peterh 2:49 pm 16 Feb 09

oh, is that bob?

54-11 54-11 2:48 pm 16 Feb 09

This must count as the most arrogant and unprincipled actions of an incredibly arrogant and unprincipled majority Stanhope government.

May the electors of Canberra never visit such a travesty upon us ever again as an ALP majority govt.

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