Image for Shame on The Examiner for being complicit in this ruse

Today at least two correspondents to the Examiner’s online comments who claim to live near Mr Gay say there is a general problem with this sort of crime thoughout the area.

Indeed, the nature of graffitti on Mr Gay’s front fence was nothing related to Gunns or the Pulp Mill, rather an illegible squiggle and a crude image of a penis.

Pretty stupid stuff in anyone’s book. May the culprits be caught and punished.

Both pieces of graffitti look like the work of kids, the same sort of graffiti you see all over Launceston.

The Examiner’s Deputy Editor Barry Prismall and reporter Loretta Johnston reported the incident on Monday in evocative terms:

Gunns boss John Gay set to quit Tasmania
12/10/2009 7:25:00 AM

GUNNS chairman John Gay and his family may quit Tasmania to escape a campaign of terror against them - involving death threats, obscene graffiti, hate mail, endless bell-ringing in the early hours and now smoke bombs.

While all sides in the pulp mill debate yesterday condemned the weekend smoke bomb attack on the family home, sources said the Gays were on the brink of leaving Tasmania.

“They are frightened and feel like hostages in their own home,” a friend said. Full Story Here

But the comments beneath the story were more revelatory: 

“I too live not too far from John Gay’s house and have had vehicles damaged, steel letter boxes ripped off their welded supports, broken bottles etc etc by intoxicated people ‘on their way home’. This damage is reported to the Police and needs to be. If people fail to report these occurances as Gay intended to, we will never resolve it. Why should we pay for private security when the Police should be doing their jobs”?
Posted by Abbott, 12/10/2009 3:48:14 PM

“Well, i live about 5 doors away from John gay. I Don"t think Alot of the damage caused to his property is via his association with GUNNS. I have had my Car Bonet jumped on, My fences ripped off 7 times in 3 years, eggs thrown at my cars, Hoses stolen from my yard and the same Image Mr Gay has on his fence Drawn on the side of my work van!. This area needs more Police patrol, there are too many drunken People on there way home doing Damage! Just last Saturday Night i was awoken at 4.00 am in the morning with the noise of people ripping off someone else’s fence and throwing it onto the roof at my neighbours over the road. Someone needs to stand up to the damage that is being to People’s homes In East Launceston. Would you like this done to you every weekend?, ask yourself that question!!! Maybe all the residents in this area should put in for regular security patrols on a weekend, I would thats for sure”!
Posted by Simon, 12/10/2009 1:44:08 PM

Where does that leave the Examiner’s reporting of this incident?

Anyone who is familiar with the history of the forest wars in Tasmania knows the oldest trick in the book for the logging industry is to attempt to falsely impute blame to opponents for unsubstantiated acts of vandalism.

I predicted last week that there would be a smear campaign against mill opponents in the week following the Beacy rally. I wrote on Tas times: 

“It is likely that a smear campaign will be waged against TAP and others this week in an attempt to win back the moral high gorund for govt and Gunns”: HERE: The Great Pulpmill Swindle: A Chronicle of Deceit

Shame on the Examiner for being complicit in this ruse.

This type of mischievous slur is exactly the sort of thing that could incite a payback against mill opponents. Violence - the very thing the Examiner last week claimed to be so concerned about.

Rather than the anti-mill movement needing to control rogue elements I suggest the Examiner look to its own backyard!

Rick Pilkington
Gravelly Beach

Earlier: So why are you now attacking private individuals Mr Gutwein? - as you did this morning on ABC radio. You are just another Liberal party lacky with one standard for your mates at Gunns and one standard for the common man. Posted by dave on 12/10/09 at 03:57 PM: Read more, Comment here

Yet a week later we have the Examiner taking up its entire front page reporting a graffitti crime on Gunns Chairman John Gay’s front fence which was then directly linked with the protesters from Beaconsfield.

A link made without a shred of evidence.