While most of the speakers at Speakers’ Corner (well, the few that exist) are trying to build Speakers’ Corner and return it to the halcyon days of yesteryear, one speaker tries hard to sabotage our attempts. Yes, you guessed it: Tony, part-time speaker and part-time heckler. Tony heckled Helmut to the point where Helmut began foaming at the mouth, and then Tony chose to feel threatened. This is despite the fact that Helmut has, in all his years of speaking, never assaulted anyone, and despite the fact that this is a weekly occurrence. Instead of simply walking away, Tony felt it necessary to call over three police officers standing nearby and ask them for protection. The officers then had to waste their time sorting the matter out. It would have taken them ten seconds to realise what they were dealing with. The result: Helmut remained un-arrested, and Tony was mollified. Smiles all around. Thank you, officers! Well done!
But jeepers, we don’t want Speakers’ Corner to get a bad reputation, Tony! Don’t involve the police, you muppet. Next time you work Helmut into an intimidating foaming frenzy, just walk away.
Then, later on, a young passer-by stood on The Ladder of Knowledge, and good old Tony saw it as an opportunity to interrupt. As usual. We speakers bring along the Ladder of Knowledge to give passers-by a feel of what it’s like to be a speaker, and to help promote the place. Well, Tony still tries to grab the ‘spotlight’. Sigh.
Years ago, some people believed Australia’s spy house, ASIO, was infiltrating Speakers’ Corner, and maybe even trying to bring it down. (There are files in ASIO on some of the past speakers.) Could it be that Tony is an ASIO operative trying to bring down Speakers’ Corner even now? Is it possible he is a highly intelligent mole fooling us into thinking he is an addled, attention-seeking numbat? When you think about it, no-one in real life could be that hair-brained and still be able to find the place.
In short, if you see Tony doing or saying something intelligent, you have blown his cover. Let us know.