Report by Scott Balson
My flight down to Sydney was uneventful except for an invitation to visit the cockpit - one which I gladly accepted - resulting in the photo on the right.
I caught the bus to Sydney and a train to Dural to book into the Dural Motel.
That night I was to speak at a private function originally organised by the members of the One Nation branch at Camden south west of Sydney.
The pressure which had been put on the organisers, Shondra Briton, Gloria, Damian Alm and others by the One Nation executive had been quite extraordinary. They had persevered and over 40 people attended the meeting.
The secretary of the Camden branch had circulated the infamous David Ettridge letter to all branch members earlier that day - resulting in a great deal of anger and indignation from those who attended that such a blatant attempt had been made to prevent me from presenting my side of the story. Also attached to the correspondence given to all Camden branch members was a letter detailing the motion passed by the State Executive banning me from branch meetings in New South Wales.
One of the original organisers, Brian Zarth (ringed on the clicked image left), attended but largely as an informant to David Oldfield to report on what was going on at the meeting. Oldfield's political adviser, Lex, speaking to Zarth on several occasions by mobile phone during the course of the evening.
The talk on the media and my upcoming book was well received with sales of both "Murder by Media" and "One Voice, Many Issues" being brisk.
Below are images taken during the private Camden meeting - l to r: Scott Balson, Allyn opens the meeting, part of the audience in the Camden Scout Hall:
The next day I had been booked for a lunch at a restaurant in Galston.
Just before lunch I was advised that Lax, David Oldfield's political adviser would be attending together with Stephen Bourke.
The lunch on Saturday was attended by some seven people including Renata and Peter McCallum and Jeff Kay. Below is a report from Renata about "lunch with the banned white ant Scott Balson".
I must point out that I have not received a letter from David Ettridge requesting me not to have any association with Scott Balson. So I did not disobey official orders when I had lunch with Scott last Saturday.
Now that I am in my "mature" years, I think I was entitled to hear this man's story out and draw my own conclusions. I do not consider myself a stupid person - well most of the time I'm not. It was important for me to try to get to the bottom of all these accusations, rumours and innuendoes for myself. Any thinking person, with an ounce of intelligence knows, an informed decision cannot be reached without knowing ALL the facts.
The weather was rotten, but the setting was beautiful. An upmarkets nursery's cafe in Galston. Shon, Scott and Jeff were already seated at our table when my husband, Peter and I arrived a little late, as usual. Jeff has been a devoted One Nation member from dot. He is a very dedicated and active member, who would put most to shame. Jeff is the type who does not take anything at face value. He delves deeply, questions and researches everything before accepting anything as fact. So discussions/debates/arguments were hard-hitting, backed up by facts, figures, times, dates, etc. Round One - members v "white ant" over.
Image left: Peter and Renata McCallum and Jeff Kay
After about fifteen minutes or so of light conversation (to enable blood pressure to stabilise a little), it was time to eat. For reporting on this, I will not be forgiven, because I can't let it go unsaid, because I gained weight just watching. It could be for this reason alone that Scott Balson has been labelled a "white ant" (they eat you out of house and home don't they?).
Scott's lunch - Entree - a personal damper, plus bread (garlic I think) with a bowl of soup. Now this was not an ordinary bowl of soup folks, this was a bowl in which I could have bathed any newborn baby. Main - a huge plate, piled high with goodness only knows what, that even my neighbour's horse would find difficult in getting through in a day. But it did look nice. Sweets - cake and cream. This was not a normal piece of cake, it was the size of half a loaf of unsliced bread. I don't even want to think about the amount of cream that came with it.
Sorry Scott but I did gain two kilos all all I had was a sandwich. So I am blaming you. Just a hint people - if you should ever plan to have this man around for an afternoon barbie have a cow (or two) on standby.
During the eat-fest we were joined by Stephen (Bourke) (right), from the Manly executive. As he had already eaten prior to joining us and I had finished my lone sandwich, we took a stroll outside. I had a chance to privately voice my various concerns as did he. We then joined the others, who were busily debating when the new millennium was to start 2000 or 2001.
It was time to put all the cards on the table. The discussions/debates/arguments were on for young and old. Verbal diarrhea aside, it was quite lively, loud and entertaining. All three sides well capable of presenting their views. I was surprised we weren't asked to leave. I'm not big on noise (7 kids), so I left the table several times to go outside, but I didn't miss a word, nor all the table thumping. At around 4pm Scott called it a day. He was tired (probably all the food he had eaten). All that had to to be said to him and by him had been said. So we left much to the delight of staff and customers. Lunch will never be the same in that cafe again. We bid farewell to Scott and Shon. Round two members v "white ant" v executive over.
In a blink of an eye it all on again, Stephen, Jeff, Peter and myself. This time it was much quieter and without the tables to thump. It would be safe to say we got everything off our chest, about ten times over. Each of us had emotional and frank off-loading to do. A pouring out (in bucketloads) of concerns, opinions the lot. Hopefully it will be conveyed to Head Office in the spirit it was given. Round three - members v executive over.
Many, many thanks to "Sexy" Shondra for arranging the private function.
After three rounds and not a drop of blood shed. I truly believe, One Nation came out the winner, but only if we all work together. In my opinion there are NO white ants, But there are major and genuine concerns from all quarters, that need to be resolved immediately. Whatever actions need to be taken to get our party moving cohesively again, must be taken NOW, regardless of how difficult the decisions may be. We have to be united in order to advance. Those hindering our progress need to step in line or step aside, we can't afford any more losses.
Open letter to Stephen Bourke
Thank you for enlightening us on the weekend. I wasn't aware that the 2 David's owned the party, until you told us.
Thanks also for showing your genuine concern for Scott's health, heaven knows we don't want him bashed and and your warning was timely.
Thanks for warning us about the double-dealing and machiavellian machinations that we were so unaware of, happening in the background. Thank God you're there to protect us from the "boogie-man", or was that, "men"...whoever they are. (Hope you find out soon).
Thanks for all the inane prattle that filled the air at Dural, and all the answers you couldn't give us. As you know, ignorance is bliss, thanks then for keeping us blissfully unaware. (A state I'm sure you are more than familiar with).
Good luck with your political ambitions, I'm sure your success will only be eclipsed by your towering intellect.
YOU ARE A ROCK....no, really you are.
Sunday was a day of relaxation followed by a visit to Sydney on the Monday to meet with David Garrett. One of the infamous "white ant" brigade.
Some final images from the visit l to r: An Olympic toy "Made in China" sells for over $50 at Darling Harbour; image of the Sydney tower taken from the Novotel; leaving for Brisbane:
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