Photo: Police arrest Greg McLeay
Popping out of the office to have yum cha can be a dangerous business in APEC Sydney. In the words of Mrs McLeay:
"The children are traumatised. We spent the night sleeping together on the sofa. How does walking to yum cha with your 11-year-old son end up with 22-hours in jail and no access to a lawyer?"
It appears that Mr McLeay was not the only one to strike trouble with APEC security.
According to Laurie Oakes, Opposition Leader Rudd almost did not make it to the Opera House lunch for Russian president Vladimir Putin at which he was to support Mr Howard’s speech of welcome.
Mr Oakes reports that Mr Rudd's Commonwealth car was turned back at three entry points to the secure zone, even though he and all members of his party — including the driver — had appropriate passes.
The Labor leader was told his car could not get past the checkpoints because it was not part of a motorcade!
Eventually Mr Rudd got out, walked through a check point, and set off on foot along Macquarie Street. Realising that he had no hope of getting to the lunch on time that way, Mr Rudd finally got a lift from friendly Sydney cop.
I cannot comment on the detail of these cases because I do not know all the facts. I in response to a ninemsn on-line question "Are police being too harsh on APEC protestors?", the no vote is presently 25,982 to a yes vote of 14,481.
I wonder what the response would be to an alternative question, "Are the APEC security precautions over the top?" I would like to think that the majority of Australians would answer yes. If not, we have a problem in that we are accepting what has happened as a new benchmark for appropriate security enforcement action.
Never let it be said that Australians lack a sense of humour. Cartoonists and photographers both have been having a field day.
I goggled at one photo and then roared with laughter. As youngest said, only the Chasers would go into enough detail in their stunt to have a car with the number plate MUFTI!
I see that Neil has put up a post on this issue. Now I know that Neil does not like Miranda, and I also find some of her comments objectionable, but the fact that this (the arrest of Greg McLeay) happened to one of her close friends means that the matter will get continuing coverage.
This may be unfair in regard to others who do not have the same linkages, the German tourist who had his film siezed comes to mind, but it is important in providing protection for the rest of us. And we do need this.
I had not intended to add such a fast third postscript, but I was struck by the traffic patterns on this blog. Of the last twenty search engine referrals, 14 have been searches on Greg McLeay. I haven't seen this before with quite this intensity. This topic is hot!
This unbelievable. While the blogosphere has yet to really pick the matter up, I have been refreshing the vistor page every few minutes. Hit after hit on Greg McLeay. Today's traffic is already the highest this week. I am trying to cook lunch. I will check again in a little while.