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Aug 19, 2011

Protest Convoy: Canberra Times chucks a hissy fit.

Cartoon: Zeg illustrates the relationship between parliament and the people.

The Canberra Times seems a little confused over their attitude towards the Convoys descending on the town from all parts of the nation. In a report mentioned in the post below, on routes for the Convoy of No Confidence being altered to lessen the inconvenience for towns along the route, the following was said:

“Another route change involves a convoy deciding to travel directly to Canberra rather than stopping off in Marulan as originally planned on Sunday night. Convoy leader Ken Wilkie said the change was made due to concerns from the Australian Federal Police about traffic congestion for Canberra workers on Monday morning.”
Despite the clear indication in their own report that there was an effort to minimize inconvenience for the population, the editor threw a wobbly over the inconvenience of it all. Perhaps he should look at the inconvenience or, perhaps bloody minded destructiveness inflicted on Australians by Federal parliament that has driven hard working people to this sort of peaceful action.

Note: In the excerpt below there are frequent references to the term, “Canberrans,” which may cause some confusion. Wikipedia explains: “A resident of Canberra is known as a "Canberran."

This is presumably a word from the local ACT dialect which roughly translates to whatever term the reader normally uses to describe these people, although it lacks some of the subtle nuances and inferences contained in real world Australian terminology. Levity aside, here it is:
But before their show of disgust at politicians ''out of touch'' with the common man, organizers appear set to unleash traffic congestion across Canberra by having large semi-trailer rigs converge on the capital from all points of the compass. They may deny this will be the effect, but it is hard to envisage anything other than extensive traffic delays if the territory's main roads are flooded by up to 11 convoys of slow-moving trucks, utilities and camper vans during morning rush hour.

This apparent disregard for the rights of Canberrans to go about their business unimpeded by disruptive demonstrations suggests the organizers are as out of touch with reality as the politicians they seek to lambast.

For years, Canberrans laboured under the handicap of being equated collectively and individually with the Federal Government and federal Parliament - despite the fact that the politicians and their staffers comprise only a small subset of this city's social and business character. Indeed, with the exception of the territory's four representatives, no politician even deigns to live here except when Parliament is sitting. That people continue to believe this is a city of fat cat bureaucrats and self-interested politicians (even after two decades of self-government) shows insular thinking and blinkered viewpoints are not the sole province of our politicians.

If a desire for maximum media coverage is understandable, it should not be at the expense of ordinary Canberrans going about their daily business. Convoy organizers should rethink their plans to invade Canberra's roads or, failing that, show proper cause as to why they should not be barred by police from impeding or disrupting traffic.
Well, how about that. It seems to an outsider looking in, quite reasonable that they should have, “laboured under the handicap of being equated collectively and individually with the Federal Government and federal Parliament,” sob, shudder. Lets face it, if that area had not been chosen for the national capital, it would still be a bloody good sheep run, which was probably a better and more economical use for it.

Of course it is equated with “the Federal Government and federal Parliament,” after all, that’s the only reason it exists.

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