Irfan-the only quibble I have with your piece is that you didn't name the silly cow who threatened you.
I pretty much agree with the article. I certainly agree that tabloid hysteria can be extremely counterproductive when it comes to preventing child abuse (either, as in this case, driving paedophiles underground or alternatively, as in the recent Henson case, taking attention away from actual paedophilia and focussing it on perceived abuse). In respect of Neal, I agree that she had the legal right to not be interviewed, but where I differ from Irfan is that Neal can't pretend she hasn't spent the last two years telling anyone who'll listen that she is the best person to represent the region in Federal Parliament. She's pleaded with voters to put their trust in her, and promised the Parliament that she'll fully cooperate, and the more she tries to deal with this situation legalistically the more it looks like she has to rely on legal protections rather than the facts of the matter. As it stands, the media today are suggesting that her preselection is gone anyway, so she may as well go back to her legalistic approach and tell the Ben Fordhams of this world to f-ck off.
I always enjoy reding Irfan Yusuf's articles in Crickey, always clear thinking, and always telling it as it is - or should be.
Dave Liberts-if the law doesn't apply equally to Belinda Neal-a QLD pedophile or a jaywalker it isn't worth the paper it's written on. That is the point and for the PM and premier to pressure Neal & Della Bosca to forgoe their rights because of continual media harping debases all of us and IS an
abuse of process. It's highly probable that the disgusting media trashing of this couple and the pressure placed upon them to deny their rights is a far greater sin than a stupid dispute aboout table seating.
And when Neal was elected to represent the people of Robertson she doesn't automatically lose her rights and quite frankly, I'd be happy for her to represent me in Parliament-she seems to have more guts than the tossers in the media and certain MPs who cave in when the media goes beserk.
I wouldn't write off this couple too soon-2 years is a long time and this matter will be history within weeks. And speaking of Robertson-not one of the yapping political pundits who claim to report on
politics has taken the time to travel to Gosford and actually investigate how this matter is perceived amongst the voters. By ignoring them with -they insult them.
Although of course the trashy tabloid TV show that Fordham appears on presented an anti-Neal protest from the area-oddly enough, lead by the defeated Liberal candidate.