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October 15th 2012 print

Philippa Martyr

Rogue citizen alert!

An unauthorised visitor to Parliament House has landed in a bit of trouble. Didn't he know the right ways to mix and mingle with Canberra's servants of the people?


Apparently a random actual voter has managed to get inside Parliament House.


Artom Naumov entered Parliament House on 23 August and managed to cross over between the open and secure areas there. He visited the offices of our Treasurer (but sadly missed him jumping on the couches and playing air guitar to Bruce Springsteen), the Speaker’s office (no comment), and another MP’s office before attending a press conference and handing the PM a note.

The note apparently read: "How Could This Happen? Terrorism, Foreign Defence Intelligence Threats, Deaths and Zero Response from Australian Law Enforcement".

Naumov had, a week earlier, ‘disrupted’ a parliamentary committee hearing. How is unclear.·

  • Did he say that the Prime Minister had a big backside?
  • Did he complain that the budget surplus of the Howard years was being squandered?
  • Did he turn his back on Nicola Roxon?
  • Did he express a view contrary to that of the ABC, the supreme arbiter of faith and morals whose final decisions are binding upon all citizens of this country?

Anyway, he peeved enough people for them to request Canberra’s finest (and burliest) to make themselves more obviously present to other would-be grassroots democrats.

It’s absolutely clear to me what Naumov has done wrong. As in any oligarchy, there are accepted ways of obtaining uninterrupted access to the Great and the Good:

Perhaps Naumov needs to move to another country where his more hands-on style would be appreciated.

The other week I was watching Martin Clunes in Islands of Britain, in the episode from 2009 where he visits the Isle of Man. There, Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK – the equivalent of the Manx Prime Minister – could be approached at his house, or better still, at the shop where he still worked on Saturday mornings. The annual budget on Man, administered by this gent and others like him, is around 550 million pounds (around AU$750 million), which is not exactly a sneeze, even in a country of only around 80,000 people.

Philippa Martyr blogs at Transverse City