How do you solve a problem like Ben Weerheym?

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He climbs a tree and scrapes his knee
His dress has got a tear
He waltzes on his way to Mass
And whistles on the stair
And underneath his wimple
He has curlers in his hair
I even heard him singing in the abbey

He’s always late for chapel
But his penitence is real
He’s always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Ben Weerheym’s not an asset to the abbey

I’d like to say a word in his behalf
Ben Weerheym makes me laugh

How do you solve a problem like Ben Weerheym?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Ben Weerheym?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell him
Many a thing he ought to understand
But how do you make him stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Ben Weerheym?
How do you hold a wingnut in your hand?

When I read him I’m confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
He’s as flighty as a feather
He’s a darling! He’s a demon! He’s a lamb!

He’d outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
He could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
He is gentle! He is wild!
He’s a riddle! He’s a child!
He’s a headache! He’s an angel!
He’s a girl!

How do you solve a problem like Ben Weerheym?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Ben Weerheym?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you’d like to tell him
Many a thing he ought to understand
But how do you make him stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Ben Weerheym?
How do you hold a wingnut in your hand?

Recently on perth.indymedia a discussion has been taking place in relation to how best to react to neo-Nazi “infiltration” (sic) of activist mileaus and, more generally, how best to react to fascist political formations as a whole.

The subject? Ben ‘Getaway Driver’ Weerheym.

This question is of particular relevance as it was occasioned by the recent (December 20, 2005) sentencing of Damon Paul Blaxall, 29, to 12 months jail for his part in what has been described as “a racist graffiti attack on a synagogue in Perth” and “possessing racist material” (ABC News Online) and “racial attacks on a Chinese restaurant and a Jewish food store” (Adelaide Advertiser). Earlier this year, and in relation to the same crime, Shannon Mark Post, 24, was “jailed for six months for his part in race-hate graffiti attacks on a synagogue and other buildings around Perth” (The Australian). Of course, the other members of this Devilish group were ANM members Daniel Tyrone Klavins, 26, and Frank James Lemin, 20 — jailed for 10 months and seven months respectively — and Ben Weerheym. Weerheym, 28, escaped a jail sentence because… well, rumour has it that Weerheym turned on his erstwhile comrades-in-arms precisely in order to avoid their fate. A more likely explanation is that Weerheym escaped a custodial sentence because i) he was ‘only’ the driver and ii) his intensive involvement in neo-Nazi politics was not brought to the court’s attention. An article by Paige Taylor (The Australian, August 7, 2004) reads:

A student who avoided jail over Perth’s latest race-hate crimes concealed his involvement with a terrorist group and is a white supremacist who has urged violence against Asians.

The state Director of Public Prosecutions will consider appealing the suspended jail sentence given to Benjamin Weerheym, 27, on Thursday in light of information from The Weekend Australian about his involvement with the Australian Nationalists Movement.

Weerheym, an IT student and part-time disc-jockey from the southern suburb of Como, admitted he was the driver for his two co-accused in the July 16 and 17 [2004] graffiti attacks.

Before he was sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence this week, Weerheym’s lawyer, Michael Tudori, told the Perth Magistrates Court Weerheym was not interested in the ANM and had not wanted to take part in the graffiti.

However The Weekend Australian has learned that for almost two years Weerheym has been promoting the ANM and urging violent attacks against ethnic groups on a white supremacist website called Stormfront.org.

Under the pseudonym Thor Hammered, Weerheym has posted more than 800 messages, ranting against Asians, Jews and Muslims. He has urged others to blow up a Perth nightclub owned by Asians.

“The more the white youth of Australia stand up and show them their true feelings towards the invaders THE BETTER!!” he wrote in March [2003].

Weerheym also wrote: “After a recent trip east by the key members of the ANM/ANWU, it has become apparent we are the most effective, organised, active and above all premier nationalist/pro-white organisation in Australia.”

When Weerheym was confronted about his pseudonym — which was tracked to his email address and his telephone number — he refused to answer any questions about it or his involvement with the ANM.

He instead issued an apology for his involvement in the graffiti attacks.

“I take seriously my political and social ideals but the methods of expression that were undertaken were most definitely not positive or a viable option,” he said.

DPP Robert Cock said Weerheym may have misled the court.

“If we establish that he had misled the court in his submission we would be very enthusiastic to get the matter back before the court to be corrected,” he said…

Weerheym was not jailed because he was deemed to have played a much lesser role as the driver.

The ANM campaign has been escalating since three restaurants were firebombed in February.

Police uncovered an ANM plot to harm West Australian attorney general Jim McGinty last month while investigating the racist graffiti attacks.

Ethnic Communities Council president Suresh Rajan said Weerheym’s sentence was woefully inadequate, especially because it appeared he acted with intent.

“I don’t think I’ve seen such hate being expressed by people in quite a long time, it is really quite frightening,” he said.

(More discussion here.)

Writing in The Review, Andrew Friedman notes that:

Blaxell and Post, arrested on July 20, were caught largely due to the help of footage taken from a security camera at the Perth Hebrew Congregation, where slogans calling for a new Holocaust were sprayed. The surveillance system monitors every individual that enters the building and is of high enough quality that the images of Blaxall and Post were clearly seen by police investigators following the attack.

Ooops. In a related vein:

‘Fifth man charged over racist graffiti attacks’
The Sunday Times
July 28, 2004

A FIFTH man has been charged in relation to a string of racist graffiti attacks in Perth.

Police said the 27-year-old man was arrested yesterday at his home at Como by officers attached to Operation Atlantic.

Operation Atlantic was formed to investigate racially-motivated graffiti found at various locations throughout Perth on the weekend of July 17 and 18…

Police will allege the 27-year-old man, who has been charged with nine counts of criminal damage, was identified as driving one of the cars seen at the scene of an attack on Saturday, July 17…

Blaxall, who is undergoing psychiatric assessment, also faces the additional charge of racial vilification.

‘Guilty pleas over racist graffiti’
Herald Sun
August 3, 2004

…The court was told today that some ANM members were armed and that the group had stockpiled enough equipment to enable it to set up camp in the bush for up to two years.

Lawyer for the three men, Michael Tudori, told the court his clients were easily led and that Mr van Tongeren was a “sweet talker” who could be very persuasive.

Mr Tudori said his clients, who all had troubled family backgrounds, regretted their actions and now denounced the teachings of the ANM.

“They’re all three people who felt left out and never felt accepted by their family groups,” Mr Tudori said. “It does, I submit, give rise to how they felt comfort in this group.”

He told Magistrate Peter Malone his clients’ roles within the ANM were restricted to the distribution of promotional material and they were led to believe that, if caught, it would be considered littering.

After being arrested, charged and remanded on wilful damage charges, Mr Tudori said his clients realised they had been used by senior members of the ANM. “They have also, in my submission, really woken up to themselves,” he said.

“They never once appreciated the seriousness of the matter. They do now.”

Klavins has pleaded guilty to 17 counts of wilfully and unlawfully damaging property, while Lemin and Weerheym have pleaded guilty to 11 and 9 counts respectively of the same offence.

They will be sentenced on Thursday…

‘Neo-Nazi duo jailed for race hate attacks’
Sydney Morning Herald
August 5, 2004

…A third man, Benjamin Weerheym, pleaded guilty to nine counts of wilful damage and received a sentence of six months and one day, which was suspended for 12 months.

The court was told Weerheym had acted as driver for both Klavins and Lemin and while his culpability was equal, his level of criminality was lower than that of his associates.

The court was told the attacks – in which posters promoting the ANM were plastered on buildings alongside racist graffiti – were premeditated and carried out in a clandestine way.

The right-wing ANM is headed by Jack van Tongeren, who spent 12 years behind bars for a spate of racially-motivated fire bombings in Perth in the 1980’s.

‘Supremacist leader in court’
The Age
August 7, 2004

White supremacist leader Jack van Tongeren appeared in a Perth court this morning charged with plotting to commit four arson attacks, and 19 counts of criminal damage.

Van Tongeren, standing in the dock without his trademark fishing hat and moustache, spoke only to confirm that he was commonly known as Jack, after being addressed by the magistrate as Peter Joseph.

The leader of the neo-Nazi Australian Nationalist Movement (ANM) was arrested yesterday after a week-long, statewide manhunt, which ended when a member of the public spotted van Tongeren entering the RSL club in Perth’s CBD.

After being questioned for several hours last night, he was formally charged and this morning appeared before magistrate Robert Black.

Mr Black told the court the arson charges related to four separate alleged attacks, carried out with others, between June 1 and July 16 this year.

Mr Black said van Tongeren was accused of plotting to cause criminal damage by fire to properties in the Perth suburbs of Willeton, Karrawarra, Ferndale and another unknown location.

Van Tongeren’s lawyer Brianna Lonnie said she had not been instructed to apply for bail, and the case was adjourned to be heard in the Perth Court of Petty Sessions on Wednesday, August 11.

Van Tongeren, a Vietnam veteran, saluted the court as he was led away.

The attention of WA Police was again drawn to van Tongeren in early July, when a series of racist graffiti appeared across Perth, along with posters and stickers promoting the ANM.

After five men were arrested over the attacks, it appeared the group had links with the organisation and van Tongeren. The ANM leader denied the claim.

Detectives involved in Operation Atlantic, the investigation into the graffiti, raided van Tongeren’s house in Gingin, north of Perth, on July 29, where, they allege, they uncovered a plot to harm WA’s Attorney General Jim McGinty and other high profile community leaders.

After the alleged plot was publicised, van Tongeren went into hiding until yesterday, when a member of the public spotted him walking into a club on St George’s Terrace and flagged down a passing police car.

Before being taken into custody, van Tongeren told the media he had organised a meeting with police, at the RSL’s Perth headquarters.

He said he had intended to hand himself in to the State Protective Services when he had been arrested.

“I came here to arrange to see (a particular detective) to explain the situation why I’m innocent and (to) answer all questions,” Mr van Tongeren told the ABC.

“Now I come in here, I got jumped on and arrested by a couple of police who happened to be here and recognised me.

I came here to arrange to sort all this out, explain what’s what.”

More on van Tongeren later. In the meantime, it’s worth adding:

‘Portrait of troubled son’
West Australian
23 July, 2004

The parents of alleged race-hate campaigner Damon Paul Blaxall say Graylands Psychiatric Hospital is the best place for their troubled son. David and Marion Blaxall distanced themselves yesterday from their 28-year-old son’s alleged crimes. An Australian Nationalists Movement member, he was charged on Tuesday after a weekend graffiti attack on the Perth Hebrew Congregation in Menora. He was remanded to Graylands for assessment. “Our son unfortunately is a product of the ‘system’, able to leave school and home and receive social benefits without parents’ knowledge and consent – while on the streets it makes it easy for these people to fall into the clutches of people like Jack van Tongeren,” Mrs Blaxall said.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe” — Albert Einstein

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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2 Responses to How do you solve a problem like Ben Weerheym?

  1. jeez andy, couldn’t you do something more recent on me buddy?

    Looks like your site gets some REAL hits pal.

    get back into be[d?] with Campbell Smith mate!

  2. Andy says:

    Ben, you’re an idiot.

Comments are closed.