What to say if confronted by a protester

By Chris Johnson

February 10, 2022

Convoy to Canberra
Oh, do stop and chat. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Anti-everything protesters from various parts of the country have bombarded Canberra for days, with their misspelled placards and boring chants. They have been keen to confront as many people as they can and disrupt the flow of the city.

Ever thought about what you might do or say if you, a hard-working public servant, encountered a protester wanting to engage while you were walking to the office?

Here’s one suggestion of how such a conversation could go down. Hope this helps.

Protester: Hey, you work for the gov’ment right?

Public Servant: I’m a public servant, yes.

P: You’re part of the problem then.

PS: What problem is that?

P: You know, the problem.

PS: Ah, ok.

P: Are you paternalising me?

PS: Huh?

P: If you’re so smart, get us inside Parliament House.

PS: Oh you’ll have to see Craig Kelly for that.

P: Who’s Craig Kelly?

PS: Oh, you’d like him. He’s an MP. Prints his own money, Sends out friendly text messages to everyone and has all sorts of grandiose visions for the country.

P: Sounds like my kind of guy. Where is he?

PS: I think you can find his mobile number on Crikey!

P: Crikey.

PS: Yeah.

P: Strewth.

PS: No, Crikey!

P: So he can get us inside?

PS: Well, there’s not supposed to be any visitors inside parliament this week because of COVID restrictions, but he’s Craig Kelly – he can get you in.

P: I like the sound of this Kelly guy.

PS: Thought you might.

P: Bonza! Sweet! Does he like guns?

PS: You’re not a Russian spy are you?

P: No, comrade. Surely not even this Craig Kelly guy could get a spy into Parliament House?  

PS: You wouldn’t think so.

P: Thanks for your advice mate. You’re not so bad after all … for someone who works for the gov’ment, that is.

PS: You’re welcome.

P: Oh, one last thing. I got pinged speeding along Northbourne Avenue. They dropped the speed limit to 40 kilometres – just before we arrived – and none of us knew! That’s our main convoy route. This is a Convoy to Canberra, you know.

PS: Yes. Convoy to Canberra.

P: I’ve been given 16 fines in three days!

PS: The first one didn’t ring any warning bells for you?

P: Nah mate. But what can I do about them?

PS: Craig Kelly should be able to help you out there too.


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