Paul “Fatty” Vautin has a problem.
The Footy Show host has attracted the ire of Mohammed Tariq, a victim of overcharging by the law firm Keddies, which the Herald has written a string of stories about. Vautin advertises for Keddies on radio 2GB, and Tariq is demanding that he desist.
Tariq suffered head injuries in a car accident in 2007 and Keddies later charged him $60 for sending him a welcome letter and $49 for reading a thank-you card he sent them.
On Wednesday Tariq emailed Vautin to outline his grievance. “Mr Paul Fatty Vatin,” Tariq wrote at 10.20am. “I believe that you are supporting Keddies lawyers to promote their business that means more Mentally ill peoples will be their victims and all will suffer,” it says.
By 1.30pm the gloves had come off in a second email. “Hi Fatty â€¦ Shame, shame Fatty â€¦ The minute I hear you promoting Kedies on 2GB, See the sign post with your Picture I get agitated, it aggrevates my medical condition â€¦ I am sick and tired of hearing your voice, seing your picture.”
When The Diary contacted Vautin late yesterday afternoon, he said he'd never seen the emails sent to The Footy Show, had never read the Herald's stories about Keddies and that he had no intention of ending his relationship with the firm because “the blokes who own it I've got a lot of respect for, they're good people”.
He knows who Tariq is now. Last night the one-man protest movement was marched from Channel Nine's Willoughby site, wearing a sandwich board with Vautin's photograph on it that said, in part, “Shame, Shame, Shame. Fatty Shame”.
A BIG DAY FOR JACOB ZUMA
His campaign anthem was “Umshini wami, umshini wami”- translated as “bring my machine-gun”- and he has a chequered history, including being charged and later acquitted of rape in 2005. But Jacob Zuma is nothing but popular in South Africa. The leader of the African National Congress, who has the support of Nelson Mandela, becomes the new president today.LINE OF WORK
Still in remand on drug charges, Richard Buttrose has secured the services of a little-known barrister, Martin Luitingh, following the mysterious termination of the services of solicitor Brett Galloway last month.
In February the 36-year-old nephew of Ita Buttrose was arrested near his Paddington pad, where police allegedly found a backpack containing $50,000 and 63.1 grams of cocaine.
His mother, Elizabeth Buttrose, posted $300,000 bail, only for Richard to be rearrested the following day after police found $1.3 million in cash and almost eight kilograms of coke at an apartment they claim he owns in Darling Point. This time bail was refused, and in the Downing Local Court yesterday the first bail application was withdrawn. Working in partnership on the case with Des Fagan, SC, Luitingh does not have the same reputation for big criminal cases. He describes his line of work as “predominantly concerned with infrastructure law â€¦ transport, insurance law and commercial law.” No date has been set for the trial but the matter returns to the Downing Centre on June 18. For Buttrose, that is another eight, long weeks away.LIVE AT THE LODGE
It's enough to make you think of the words “horse” and “bolted”. Yesterday private security operatives were seen tinkering with security equipment at the gatehouse of the PM's residence. It came soon after the revelation that bikie infiltrators, mysteriously equipped with entry documents, were allowed access to the Lodge. But whether the live-cam tinkering has anything to do with that intrusion or Kevin Rudd's secret ambitions for a “Live at the Lodge” show, we cannot say. We can report that the camera appears to have been upgraded, probably to enable even more extensive monitoring of the comings and goings there. Again Rudd's spokeswoman declined to comment on prime ministerial security arrangements.LIFE IN THE OLD HOUSE
Meanwhile on the other side of the grassy hill in Canberra, the Museum of Australian Democracy is set to open at Old Parliament House on May 9 with a debate featuring ABC journalist Steve Cannane, news presenter Tracey Spicer, Australian of the Year nominee Jeffrey Robertson and social pages fixture Bianca Dye. The topic, “Does 'work/life balance' exist for Australians today?” was selected, democratically, via an online poll.
It has been noted that the venue is apt. Old Parliament House is remembered as a place were politicians were forced to confront the public – and journalists – far more than they are in their new palace. As one member of the press gallery put it last night, “There was far less shit, spin, cover-up and crap.”
GOT A TIP?Contact [email protected]南京夜網.au or 92823585.
WHAT'S ON TODAY
* South African election results to be announced
* Macquarie Airports first-quarter results for Sydney Airport to be announced
* His Holiness Sakya Trizin, second to the Dalai Lama, arrives in Sydney
* NSW Waratahs' final training session, at Moore Park, before departing for South Africa for the Super 14 rugby tournamentSTAY IN TOUCH …WITH BOOK ADAPTATIONS
ACTRESS Angelina Jolie may soon be wielding a scalpel with reports that the film studio Fox 2000 is in the process of snatching the screen rights to author Patricia Cornwell's best-selling series on Dr Kay Scarpetta. According to the film publication Variety, the studio plans to cast Jolie in the central role of the opera-loving coroner.
Cornwell has written 16 novels with Scarpetta as the heroine. Producers are doubtless hoping for a blockbuster franchise in the vein of the Bourne Identity films, which saw the character of Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, become an action hero without being necessarily tied to the plots set out in Robert Ludlum's book series.
The final deal was secured only after Jolie agreed to the series and, along with studio representatives, met with the author to find common ground on the feature adaptation. Jolie has just finished filming on Salt, directed by Phillip Noyce.WITH RADICAL BOOKS
LIKE Che Guevera T-shirts on backpackers, Latin American revolutionary writing is back in vogue. This week the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, publicly handed President Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano's seminal tome on the foreign exploitation of Latin America, Open Veins Of Latin America: Five Centuries Of The Pillage Of A Continent. The book subsequently became an overnight hit and by Monday had skyrocketed to second place on Amazon南京夜網's best-seller list.
By yesterday, Scribe Publications had bought the Australian and New Zealand rights to the book, in which the Uruguayan author and journalist examines the impact of foreign intervention in Latin America in the past five centuries. It will be released here in June.WITH WORLD WAR I DIGGERS
THE stories of endurance and bravery of nearly 300,000 Australians who fought in the trenches of France and Belgium are to be given new life in a $10 million Anzac Trail to be created on what was the Western Front.
The plan to integrate and develop as many as seven key WWI sites in a commemorative project was unveiled by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Alan Griffin, in France yesterday, reports our European trenches correspondent, Paola Totaro.
Visiting Pozieres, Mr Griffin said the plan to create an interpretive trail for the thousands of Australians – tourists and families of soldiers – who travel to the area was part of discussions with both the French and Belgian governments.
“The Anzac Trail will foster a deeper appreciation of what Australians achieved and endured in the main theatre of conflict of the First World War” he said.
The Australian Government will spend the money over the next four years with local French and Belgian authorities also likely to contribute.
Mr Griffin, who has been in Britain and France this week, will deliver the commemorative address at the Anzac Day dawn service tomorrow at the Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
Earlier this week, French tourism operators voiced concerns about reduced numbers of visiting Australian and New Zealanders.