27 September 2009

Alexander Downer, Schapelle Corby, and a Home Invasion...

It would probably be fair to say that Alexander Downer as Foreign Affairs Minister in the John Howard Liberal Government that he would have expected to take some heat over any role he could have played in securing the release of Schapelle Corby from Kerobokan Prison in Bali. This might be particularly so considering that Ms. Corby is still in Kerobokan prison and suffering from severe mental illness, including two attempts at suicide.

However, as a former Foreign Minister who has been out of government for some time and who is focused much more on conflicts in other parts of the world, he probably was not expecting a stranger to walk into his home and start abusing him on his failure to get Ms. Corby released from prison and then imploring him to do something to get her out now.

Yet, this was the case last Thursday. Downer was sitting down watching the news at 6.15pm when an elderly woman walked through an unlocked front door, sat down on his couch and then proceeded to give him an earful. There is little doubt that incidents like these get people to thinking about their home security. Without a doubt there is going to be some ramped up security at the Downer household from now on, starting with locking the doors.

It would seem that Mr. Downer was not in fear of his life, and asked the woman who she was, which triggered a tirade that culminated in the old lady suggesting that if Mr. Downer did not get Corby out of jail then God would damn him. Cutting to the chase, Downer called the police, the woman disappeared through his garden, the police arrived, the woman was gone. The police believed that they knew who the woman was and apparently an arrest has subsequently been made.

There is plenty to be said for the passion and commitment of Schapelle Corby's supporters, but it is incidents like these that make one wonder to what extremes some people are prepared to go in pursuit of their cause. A home invasion of the former foreign minister's home is certainly ratcheting it up to the next level.

It is a worrying development, aside from the action being a home invasion, I really fail to see how this sort of thing helps Schapelle and her supporters get her out of jail.


Neville said...

There could have been more to it but the media only picked up on the Corby name to run with. I agree that the incident does no good for the Corby cause, but then Alexander has never done any good for the cause. If it happened then the woman obviously needs help.

Rob Baiton said...


If it happened? Are you suggesting that this is a beat up by the press?

Are you suggesting that it did happen but there was no abuse about Schapelle or it just did not happen.

On whether Alexander Downer has done any good. I cannot honestly say. Although, I remember reading somewhere that he thought Schapelle was innocent, but that James Kisina was probably the one responsible. But, then the former FM backed off this and indicated he was merely asking if there was any family involvement.


Yes, the old lady probably needs some help.

Kay Danes said...

Thank you Rob for opening the discussion.

Regardless of what motivated the woman and regardless of how some Schapelle Supporters feel about Mr. Downer personally, I would have thought the more appropriate response would be in addressing the issue of discouraging unlawfulness, as a priority, thus be a little more strategic, and in doing so, safeguard the integrity of the supporters in general!

Kay Danes
FPSS Advocate

Rob Baiton said...


What I find interesting that any press that is remotely negative or has a link in anyway to Schapelle or the Corby family name is immediately thought to be a beat up by the press and part of a larger conspiracy against the Corby family.

I would have thought, similar to you, that the family acknowledges that it happened, when they are sure / convinced that it did, and then distance themselves from it.

Yes, there needs to be some discourse on discouraging unlawful behaviour. To my mind, this would also include impersonating others on any forum or in any format, including blogs.

One of Schapelle's supporters asked me whether I would have a problem with a stranger coming into my house and dropping crumbs on the sofa, now as prophetic as that was for Mr. Downer, the analogy that I took from that was that there were a number of commenters over on the Tampoe thread that were hiding behind the moniker anonymous or were posting under pen names like Larry Ho.

There probably also needs to be some distance put between those individuals and the "true believers" because some of these individuals are making a mockery of the "cause". For example, Larry Ho makes all these assertions and outrageous statements about what the lay of the land is in the case, and then when pinned on the specifics chooses to flee rather than ante up.

To my mind, it is this sort of behaviour that makes other potential supporters or those with the expertise to assist, think twice. If anything, this does a greater harm than any good.

BTW...I am not expecting the supporters to be back in droves. It seems I have been black-listed as unimportant and unworthy of "re-education".

That is too bad. But, my visitor stats show that the majority of people have been coming for the pictures of Miyabi and not for any debate on Schapelle Corby.

Jacqui said...

Another Corby blog. Mr Baiton, you are a very brave man :)

Kay Danes said...

I think Rob's blog became even more popular after it was introduced to the Schapelle Supporter Forum. As you can see, that site's owner, Neville, has joined Rob's discussions and this is wonderful. Neville has been a Schapelle supporter for many years and has always been balanced in his views of the case. It's nice of him to have helped create all this traffic to your blog Rob even though at times, the supporters from his forum have been uncomplimentary of your opinions. That you don't believe in Schapelle Corby's innocence and yet still have compassion for her as a human being is admirable.

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for dropping by, again. Also for leaving a comment.

It is not about being brave. The post is what it is. Home invasions on Schapelle's behalf are something that the family and Schapelle's supporters need to distance themselves from, and quickly.

I just think it is important if people are serious about getting things moving on the Schapelle Corby front that there is much better management of the strategy.

I am not suggesting any conspiracy or takeover from the family. I am suggesting that perhaps it is time that people with more expertise in matters such as these were asked to assist.

By Mercedes own admission the family is struggling with what it needs to do next. So, that says to me that it might be time to swallow a little pride and ask for help.

I have been saying all along that there are people out there willing to help. The offers to date have been rebuffed as the family has gone their own way on this one to date.

I also think that the legitimate supporters of Schapelle Corby also need to put some distance between themselves and these "fringe" elements that seem prepared to go to any lengths to make themselves heard (or feared).

It is a bit of a worry that the mantra seems to be you are with us the way we want you to be with us or you are against us. And, if you are against us then it will be no holds barred harassment and threats.

It would seem that a pretty weak threat was made against me over on the Tampoe thread.

Very sad really.

Rob Baiton said...


Gotta say, Nev (Neville) has always been civil in his comments and the manner of his arguments.

I do not attribute any blame to Nev for any comments from other less civil forum members.

Yes, it was certainly unexpected traffic, but the discourse was generally useful in thrashing out the issues.

Kay Danes said...


That's good to hear. I doubt Nev is even aware as to the extent of what some on his forum are doing. Let's hope that people heed your advice. There are some really kind hearted supporters out there!

Rob Baiton said...


I am wondering whether this thread will be the next one to come under fire.

Comment moderation is on and there have not been any comments to filter out on this thread.

The Tampoe thread is still getting comments but almost all are either attacking you personally or in support of you. Nevertheless, I am just letting them sit there in limbo and not publishing them.

I have not had any comments complaining about any failure to publish comments. Although, there was one about how I had modified a comment (unfortunately, I am not tech savvy enough to do that).

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