'Heckler' did not call PM 'white trash' – the real story

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Managing editor David Donovan tells the real story of Jennifer Nash, the lady widely misreported as having called the Prime Minister “white trash” at a community cabinet meeting on Tuesday night.

Jennifer and Jordan Nash protesting at another community forum in Clontarf.

It is somewhat gratifying to see the Brisbane Times online story, which initially claimed a “heckler” had called Julia Gillard “white trash” at a community cabinet meeting at Redbank Plains outside of Brisbane on Tuesday night, has been amended — with the correct quote now being reported.

[Watch a video of the forum on the Brisbane Times website.]

In fact, what Jennifer Nash, the so-called “heckler”, said was “we are not white trash” — putting an entirely different perspective on matters, as she is a low-income single mother who has been campaigning for social justice for her son Jordan for many years.

Confirming this, Jennifer made this statement to me in some distress after reading the initial reporting of the incident:

I did not call the PM “white trash”! I said WE are not white trash!”

Her son, Jordan Nash, was the last speaker to ask a question of Julia Gillard at the meeting, standing on a chair to be finally heard (at about 5’18” in the above video link).

Jennifer is well-known to long-time Independent Australia readers, as mid-last year we did a full and thorough investigation into former school bullying victim Jordan and his mother's fight for justice, along with their rather callous treatment at the hands of the Queensland Police, justice system and Government.

To access the three stories Independent Australia has published on Jennifer and Jordan Nash, including my two investigative articles and one written by Jordan Nash himself, click here.

Here is the start of part 1:

If your child has a disability and is suffering from bullying and harassment at school in Queensland, don’t even think about bringing a complaint to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission, because the chances are you will end up humiliated, harassed, destitute, beaten up and locked up — and all by the Queensland authorities. And don’t expect any help from the Federal authorities — you won’t get any.

This, at least, is the experience of Jordan Nash and his mother, Jennifer Nash. Sadly, it appears as if he is not the only one to receive such treatment by the heavy-handed, unresponsive and unfeeling Queensland legal system. This is not the standard one would expect from a civilized democracy — as citizens, we must demand better.

The tale of Jennifer and Jordan Nash is a harrowing and somewhat distressing tale.

I know Jennifer and Jordan reasonably well and they are extremely dignified people who would not, in my judgement, yell abuse at anyone under any circumstances; they are simply determined to gain attention to their plight — and are prepared to do so in ways others may find distasteful or unseemly, but which should be every individual’s right in a true and functioning democracy. It should be noted that they have tried all the usual and official avenues, but have seemingly been roadblocked by the authorities at every turn.

This is, indeed, the seventh time they have attended one of these community cabinet meetings. At others they have allegedly been assaulted by the authorities, arrested, handcuffed, dragged away by the police and locked up — so, on balance, perhaps this was one of the better events...

In short, they feel like they have been treated like white trash and abused by a system that seems designed to oppress the powerless.

I think they have a point.

What they didn't need after Tuesday night was to be on the end of further vilification and abuse through (even inadvertent) misreporting of this incident. In my view, the Brisbane Times should issue an apology and a correction to Jennifer Nash rather than merely adjusting their website and carrying on.

In any case, I hope you will take the time to read the story of Jennifer and Jordan Nash and consider their claims for yourself.

(Find out more from Jennifer and Jordan Nash's youtube channel.)

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