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Short Skirt Long Jacket – Andrew Laming tries to save a reputation he once held

June 10, 2021 - 17:07 -- Editor

Does Andrew Laming MP have a reputation left to save?

Andrew Laming is a man keen to save his reputation as a politician of little or no consequence. The Member for Bowman has been in parliament since 2004. 17 years of moss gathering.

But we can criticise him all we like, that’s easy, but up until this year at least he could proudly say that hardly anybody knew who he was. How times have changed. 

Yesterday Marque Lawyer’s posted about Mr Laming, tweeting that tragically there have been Twitter users “making him sad’. I’m sure the thought of anybody doing anything online to upset someone would see Mr Laming peeved to the core. However, I have to confess today that as reported by The Guardian, I am one of those tweeters that sent the dark cloud of misery hovering over Andrew’s miserable little head.

On the 28th of March this year, I published the below tweet, which apparently upset Laming. Distressing him to the extent that I received a letter from his legal representation alleging “Defamation of Mr Andrew Laming”.

Laming’s legal representation is Company Giles Pty Ltd, they have offices in both Sydney and Melbourne which I guess is important for a Queensland MP. I mean I don’t want to go so far as to say that Laming has little or no regard for his own electorate, but seriously, he couldn’t find a legal firm in his own patch? I didn’t have any trouble finding several up there and I’m all the way down in Victoria.

Apparently, shame is something Andrew Laming doesn’t think his family has faced quite enough of just yet. He may well figure that taking on a few tweeters who called out his behavior might just make the thought of being in public places and crowds with him even more appealing for his family than it already is, especially after his less than savoury extra-curricular activities find themselves back in the media spotlight again.

Andrew Laming – On the right side of the bushesImage- Port Macquarie News

What apparently upset Laming about my tweet is that I referred to an ‘upskirt pic’. The young girl he took an unsolicited photo of when she accidentally showed her underwear bending over, was actually wearing pants, not a skirt. Somehow Laming appears to think that makes it better.

Lamings’ issues seem to be all about semantics. What is ‘upskirting” and what is ‘grooming’? Does tracking down someone on social media after being forced to delete an unsolicited photo you took of their underwear and trying to form a relationship through Messenger constitute ‘grooming’?

A quick Google of ‘grooming ‘ brings this definition up;

‘Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.’

 Now I wonder if a sitting member of parliament when caught taking a photo of a young girl’s underwear as she bends over might have reason to form a connection to attempt to manipulate the situation. I can think of about 110,000 reasons myself. One for every voter in that MP’s electorate.

As for ‘upskirting’ my view mirrors that of most in the legal profession, and published here in ‘The Conversation’;

“The act of upskirting is generally defined as taking a sexually intrusive photograph of someone without their permission.”

 “The broader category of “upskirting” can also include indecent filming of anyone without their knowledge, including photographing topless female bathers at a public beach, covertly filming women undressing in their bedrooms, or installing a camera in a dressing room, public toilet or a swimming pool changing room.”

9 News recently reported on a case of ‘upskirting’ that was perpetrated from above.

If Andrew Laming doesn’t think taking a photo of a young girl’s underwear as she bends over without her permission or knowledge is classed as ‘upskirting’ I was keen to know what terms he would use to describe his behavior.

To that end, I sent Mr Laming some queries seeking a response. The five questions I sent are below.

  1.  Are taxpayers being charged in any way for your legal action?
  2. If you would not describe your taking an unsolicited and provocative photo of a young girl as upskirting, how would you describe it?
  3. I note your lawyers are based in Sydney, are there no legal firms in your electorate that meet your standards?
  4. What have you learned from your empathy training?
  5. What do you feel has caused you the harm to your reputation, your own actions, or the words of Twitter users?

Given his lawyers mentioned in their correspondence that their client was upset I hadn’t contacted him before I tweeted about events that were already on the public record, I thought he’d be extra keen to respond. Alas…

The public thus far has been less than impressed with Lamings’ happy snaps, his hiding in bushes, or his online stalking and harassment of local women, and the Liberal Party hasn’t exactly been ecstatic with enthusiasm for his behavior either. With all of the scandals over rape allegations and treatment of women, it appears the only one who has crossed a line and been singled out for punishment is Andrew Laming, having been blocked from re-contesting his seat as a Liberal next election.

Mr Laming appears to have the delusional view that a few tweeters are going to do more damage to his reputation than his own behavior. To that extent, I suppose I should feel sorry for him, but you know what? I don’t.

Maybe I should book myself in for some of that empathy training Morrison thinks is so good?

Although I’m told the long-suffering Biloela family don’t think it works.

I reckon they’re in the best position to know.

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