On Friday night I was invited to attend a Christmas function at Bella Vista Farm in the Hills Shire in Sydney where I live.
The event was the Hills Shire Council Christmas party and was hosted by the Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne whom as always was a gracious host.
The event itself was a great success, an outdoor event always runs the risk of disaster but thankfully the weather was onside and a great evening was had by all. Well almost all.
An unfortunate event almost as soon as I arrived with my partner however got our evening to sinking start.
When I arrived I was making my way through the guests and saying hello to those I knew and introducing my partner to those who had not met her as yet. Whilst making my way around I was greeting some people whom I knew that were standing near the Deputy Mayor Andrew Jefferies.
The Deputy Mayor and Liberal Councillor Andrew Jefferies then proceeded to yell at me “Don’t you fucking say hello to me”, “Fuck off and don’t come near me”.
I wandered off to defuse the situation and chat to others, however Mr Jefferies took it upon himself to pursue me and abuse me in front of several other guests.
Jefferies was angry at me for an article I wrote some months earlier although I have written a couple of articles where his childish antics and comments are mentioned so I can’t be sure which one.
Despite Jefferies being known for his smart arse style and frequent attempts to belittle others apparently he doesn’t feel his own behaviour should be open for discussion and fair comment.
I told him politely that I didn’t think that a council Christmas function was an appropriate place or time to have this discussion however Jefferies clearly felt differently.
In front my partner who was quite shocked at the unprovoked outburst and other guests I gritted my teeth and smiled while Mr Jefferies poked me in the chest and repeatedly called me a “fucking c**t”, words that I would not use in front of female company, particularly females that I do not know. Alas that’s just me, I am capable of restraint and respect, however I’m not Andrew Jefferies.
It is not alarming that a Liberal councillor would throw abuse at me, especially one with the apparent temperament and ego of Andrew Jefferies.
What is alarming however is that when I attempted to defuse the situation by wandering away Jefferies decided to pursue me. What is also alarming is the clear lack of anger management capabilities he can add to his list of failings. Even more alarming is that he would use such vile sexist obscenities in front of females.
However what is most alarming is that Jefferies thought that a Christmas function in front of invited guests was an appropriate venue to spew forth his vile rantings and threatening behaviour.
As I pointed out to Mayor Byrne and Hills Shire Council General Manager Dave Walker in a written complaint regarding the matter;
“Someone who cannot hold their temper, someone who will abuse a journalist in front of his constituents and invited guests at a Christmas function for writing an article he doesn’t like, and someone who is comfortable using the most vulgar and sexist of profanities in front of females he has never met is not someone who I feel is fit for office, and certainly not befitting of the title of Deputy Mayor in a council that has always shown the highest of standards.”
Although it was suggested that I report the incident to police as a result of the poking I decided not to potentially cast a shadow over the event, it is a shame that Jefferies did not show the same consideration.
Andrew Jefferies is a Liberal Councillor and a Deputy Mayor, however he is also hoping to be pre-selected as a Liberal Party candidate in the upcoming NSW State election.
Not only that, due to the public outcry and internal fighting in the Liberal Party over the majority of the State Executive of the Liberal Party in NSW being made up of lobbyists, changes have had to be made to the make-up of the Executive. There must have been desperation to fill positions within the executive, as something has led to Andrew Jefferies being appointed as a member of the NSW Executive.
Andrew Jefferies is known as a protégé of Federal Liberal MP Alex Hawke who is Jefferies former employer and his current factional leader. Hawke has guided Jefferies in his career path and taught him everything he knows along the way and was most surely instrumental in Jefferies appointment to the State Executive.
Hawke himself has often been the subject of controversy and even Alan Jones has referred to him as a “Cancer on the Liberal Party”.
Click on this link to hear Alan Jones talking on an episode where Hawke and Jefferies called in 25 police to their own branch meeting to stop opponents voting.
For those reasons any behavioural issues involving Andrew Jefferies must also be seen as a reflection on Alex Hawke who continues to support him and by doing so endorses his behaviour.
I am actually one of Andrew Jefferies constituents but needless to say he has not secured my vote should the Liberal party decide to endorse him again for council elections.
If I were a member of a Liberal Party branch I would also be taking note of this when voting in any upcoming pre-selections, as this episode I am sure will re-emerge again in an election campaign.
As for what should happen with Mr Jefferies, that is not my decision to make, however I know what a political party with morals and integrity would do.
If I were someone like Barry O’Farrell or Tony Abbott I would view this as a wake-up call. Jefferies is clearly someone who is likely to damage the party’s reputation and community standing, and as such is a liability that I would be going out of my way to distance myself from.
Then again this is the Liberal Party, maybe this is the kind of behaviour they are proud of.Follow @madwixxy