Insights from Quadrant

Jokers and yolkers

Yesterday’s egging of Prime Minister Scott Morrison by the nitwit from Green Left Central Casting, complete with smirk and obligatory woolen beanie, was not the first such incident. Julia Gillard became the target of an egging in 2010, her attacker subsequently slapped with a $1200 fine. Bear that figure in mind when this latest activist goes before the bench. Eggs is eggs, but magistrates vary in their application of the law. Just ask another young woman of the Left, the one who pilfered and leaked details of a scholarship awarded to one of Tony Abbott’s daughters. After a “no conviction” slap on the wrist, she landed a job with the Greens.

The most momentous egg incident took place in the Queensland town of Warwick at the height of World War One’s conscription debate. PM Billy Hughes was on a whistle-stop tour and addressing the crowd when he copped an egg square to the chest. The “big fellow” assailant and physically slight prime minister then duked it out, Hughes emerging from the fracas with what witnesses described as blood on his hand and torn knuckles. Trove.com, the National Library’s online extension and arguably the best value for money taxpayers receive from Canberra, has the archived reminiscence of someone who was there. That account can be read in full via this link.

The consequences of that egg-splattered prime ministerial vest are with us to this day. Livid that Warwick’s local police declined to arrest his assailant, Hughes saw to the establishment of what is today the Australian Federal Police. Times have changed. PM Morrison’s alleged attacker is likely to endure no greater ignominy than, if precedent is any guide, a paid position with the Greens. As she was also arrested with what police assert is a stash of marijuana, she’ll fit right in.

— roger franklin

 

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