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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Footloose Footloose 7:54 pm 17 Feb 09

I would definately sign a petition

imhotep imhotep 8:13 pm 17 Feb 09

Did anyone watch last night’s Underbelly episode? Did that poor blonde girl have to get her gear off in every scene?

I like gratuitous nudity as much as the next man, but I don’t like having it shoved in my face. (maybe I should rephrase that). Excellent show, regardless.

As to Grassby, can his supporters supply one plausible reason why he would try to smear the wife of Donald Mackay? -other than the obvious reason, of course.

el el 8:30 pm 17 Feb 09

I would.

sepi sepi 8:46 pm 17 Feb 09

Subject matter aside, it is a great statue.

You see people taking pictures with it all the time, and draping it in hats etc.

I think Bob Hawke would make a great statue too.

Granny Granny 9:03 pm 17 Feb 09

I would sign vg’s petition. I also think Bob would make an excellent statue, preferably in his Australia II jacket. I have really fond memories of that day.

: )

But I would even rather a Stanhope or Hargreaves statue than a Grassby one.

poptop poptop 9:12 pm 17 Feb 09

Why don’t we go for a full set of memorable ALP personalities.

I want a Gough and a Keating, but like Pickering and Pryor drew them.

Granny Granny 9:27 pm 17 Feb 09

Absolutely, and what about a Leunig Follett?

Ian Ian 10:58 pm 17 Feb 09

Did anyone watch last night’s Underbelly episode? Did that poor blonde girl have to get her gear off in every scene?

Lucky all those criminals were doing all that rooting. Think how much worse the crime would have been if they’d devoted more of their time to it.

And, yep, I’ll sign up for scrapping the Grassby statue. Abomination!

PM PM 11:00 pm 17 Feb 09

I like Leunig’s duck.

monomania monomania 6:13 pm 21 Feb 09

I went to school in the same year with Paul Sheehan at that sh*thole St Edmunds. I can’t say that he struck me then as arrogant. It wasn’t until he labelled a great number of his classmates who had joined the public service as parasites and failed to mention the number who had become plumbers, horticulturists, builders, accountants, teachers and doctors that I could see what he had really thought of us.

Thumper Thumper 7:21 pm 21 Feb 09

I went to school in the same year with Paul Sheehan at that sh*thole St Edmunds. I can’t say that he struck me then as arrogant. It wasn’t until he labelled a great number of his classmates who had joined the public service as parasites and failed to mention the number who had become plumbers, horticulturists, builders, accountants, teachers and doctors that I could see what he had really thought of us.

But we’re not jealous in any way are we 😉

Thumper Thumper 7:22 pm 21 Feb 09

Oh yeah, I’ll sign up to have the grassby statue melted.

monomania monomania 11:06 am 23 Feb 09

After about 10 seconds of soul searching I have to admit that I’d love to be able to write as well and reach such a wide audience but I doubt that you wouldn’t either Thumper . Doesn’t mean that’s the reason I objected to what he did in the case I mentioned.

jakez jakez 11:44 am 23 Feb 09

I didn’t know Paul Sheehan went to Eddies. I probably didn’t know who he was back then though.

R. Slicker R. Slicker 1:49 pm 23 Feb 09

cranky said :

Footloose,

Hargreaves is the originator and pushy proponent of this abomination.

It is dificult to understand how any rational person could overlook the criminal leanings of Grasby and his libilous treatment of the McKay family, but laud his supposed ‘multicultural’ efforts.

The fact that Grassby’s wife was a minister in the Follett government and a key player in the local ALP might have something to do with it . . .

Avy Avy 3:24 pm 23 Feb 09

I would definitely sign a petition. The statue is vile and always has been.

54-11 54-11 4:03 pm 23 Feb 09

Agreed, Avy. Well, will we see this petition? Sounds like a real goer.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 4:18 pm 23 Feb 09

Interesting…

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/23/2498914.htm

Doesn’t matter though. I guess Amanda Vanstone’s image will be forever tarnished by the Howard government’s decision to give her the immigration portfolio as a means to stifle her speaking out about the rights of female politicians. Her politics might have stunk overall, but at least she had the guts to say some things that needed to be said (about women’s rights, of course).

I’d personally be happy to spit on the petition and lament the bearer about their blatant disrespect for the laws and the courts of this land. Al Grassby was never found guilty and convicted. Maybe he was dodgy…but I’m not going to support port-mortem kangaroo-courts.

sepi sepi 4:24 pm 23 Feb 09

I’ve always like Amanda Vanstone ever since she described sticking a really sharp pencil into John Howard’s eye and spiking it around. (Explaining how silly it is to ban butter knives on planes). I have heard little Johnny was a bit scared of her. I also saw her at Maccas once at the airport – despite being a liberal, she does seem like a normal person.

Not a fan of quite a few of her decisions, but overall I didn’t mind her.

imhotep imhotep 4:38 pm 23 Feb 09

Deadmandrinking said :

(DMD)”I’d personally be happy to spit on the petition… Al Grassby was never found guilty and convicted. Maybe he was dodgy…but I’m not going to support port-mortem kangaroo-courts.”

Nobody’s conducting a kangaroo court DMD, but I for one am saying that putting a statue of him in a public place is in poor taste, given his reputation.

“maybe he was dodgy”

Attempting to cover up a murder by casting suspicion on the victim’s wife is more than ‘dodgy’. Words like sinister are more appropriate.

Either way, given the controversy surrounding him, a statue is hardly appropriate.

.

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