First the little bit of background.
The independent senator is Glenn Lazarus known from his rugby league days as “the Brick with Eyes.” He use one of the game’s legends and at 6ft 2 inches and 115 kg, not a man to be trifled with.
Recently, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott threatened to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin. Shirtfronting is a football technique which involves running at full speed into an unsuspecting and stationary opponent in the hope of doing significant damage. Naturally enough, Abbott was ridiculed in the international press.
But when the Brick with Eyes threatens to transfer rugby league violence from the rugby field to the political arena, you get the impression that, while he may be joking, at least he knows what he’s talking about.
ABC reports that Lazarus has threatened to grab the Prime Minister’s genitals — and possibly stick a finger up his backside — if he does not limit coal seam gas (CSG) exploration.
“I’m prepared to go and squirrel grip, squirrel grip, the Prime Minister,” Senator Lazarus said. “If that doesn’t work, I’ve got other things up my sleeve, like the grapple tackle, the chicken wing and even the crusher tackle.”
The Senator then went further, referring to a 2001 incident in which Wests Tigers player John Hopoate inserted his finger into opponents’ anuses. “If that (the squirrel grip) doesn’t work, I’m prepared to use the Hopoate tactics,” Senator Lazarus said.
People may think that the Senator has gone a bit too far this time in creating parallels between rugby and politics. But it keeps him in the news. And in Rugby League-crazy Queensland, they love it.
And that may be all it will require to have him re-elected.
And here’s just a little bit of advice for Tony Abbott about the annual friendly parliamentary rugby match: Tony, given that you and Glenn both played in the front row, it would be a very good idea if you didn’t wind up playing on opposite sides.