Voters in the country’s largest local government district, the Brisbane City Council, head to the polls on Saturday.
Among the candidates up for reelection is the Greens Jonathan Sri, a self-declared “anarcho-communitarian” and spoken-word performer who also plays the saxaphone for Brisbane Band The Mouldy Lovers on their “gypsy-influenced ska music with punk, reggae, Romani and Klezmer elements”.
In other words, he’s possibly a bigger ratbag than every other representative of the party in federal, state or local government combined.
We know that’s a big call, but a quick Google will help sustain the claim. To take just one example, Sri was squatting in an illegal sharehouse with seven others when elected.
And to take another, look what his volunteers were sprung on social media doing yesterday: handing out flyers and canvassing in Brisbane’s trendy West End — in breach of Electoral Commission of Queensland coronavirus instructions.
Let’s quote from the post:
[The] ECQ says as of this morning no handing out voting material including fliers, minimise volunteers congregating (social distancing) and no canvassing voters. No more volunteers at polling booths. They can sit at a corner and wave but the principle is to keep people moving .
But did that stop these two at the busiest corner in West End? No gloves, no hand sanitizer, no trays; just bare hands distributing a totally non-essential item. Having long chats with people in close proximity.
Sri has written: “disruptive civil disobedience is one very important tool in a diverse social change toolkit”.
He’s denounced the police as “violent and racist” and in October last year was fined $1,300 for “inappropriate conduct” by the Councillor Conduct Review Panel, after “posing as a concerned resident in a hoax voicemail” left for state Labor MP Jennifer Howard.
So it’s fair enough to say that Sri doesn’t really believe in the rules or that they apply to him.
To such an extent, it appears, he’s prepared to land not just the general public, but his volunteers and supporters in hospital before voting day.
He’s clearly a “bugger the public type”, but might like to think through the second part of that strategy.
Illustrations: Wikipedia Commons/Shelley Kulperger.
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