#AusPol winners and losers: I (18) see you baby, shaking that…

Approx Reading Time-11Well, much like Highlander, there could only be one… One #AusPol topic this week, that is, as 18C drunkenly steered RMS Political Discourse awry.




Every Friday, your trusty commentators at The Big Smoke review the most lauded plays in the game of Australian politics from the week previous. Passionate? Unquestionably. Conniving? Undoubtedly. But it’s not about that. Headlines need to be made and an audience needs to be entertained. So, who won?



Mark Latham, for proving to the government that a loosening of the Racial Discrimination Act’s section 18C is a problem, by actively participating in discrimination.

When it comes to the topic of 18C, it seems there is a disconnect between the general populace and those who represent them. But there is a way to cross this chasm of misunderstanding.

Mark Latham.

This week, Latham represented both sides of the 18C argument, discriminating against someone on the basis of their birthplace, but doing so as someone who has lived politics. So it was an official breach. And now everyone understands.

Get it?


Bill Shorten, for going the full Antoinette and awarding much cake to all before losing his head.

The leadership of Bill Shorten has sometimes felt a bit numb. You know how it goes. You meet someone who is wonderful in many, many ways, but they don’t see it. Something unexpected happens and they marry for convenience, and every time you see them, that unique glow that enthralled you fades just that little bit more. Everyone can see it and everyone thinks the same: what a fucking shame, why are they together?


Well, AusPol’s Nadine has oiled the collective drape runners this week with two morsels of soundbites, one vocalising the left’s feelings on the catatonic empathy of the Coalition’s changes to 18C:

…and the other, channeling the vernacular of those who oppose the far left:

“Old Mate”.



Also on The Big Smoke



Us, for pigeonholing our politicians.

Just like a doctor turning their back on their Hippocratic oath, by closing their door in the face of their octogenarian clientele in favour of going bollocks-out at a catamaran party, so it goes with politicians who shirk away from flawless gubernatorial empathy. It’s a rare, harmful gem.

Rare, because borderline comments are spun in the PR washing machine until they emerge clean but somehow still smell.

Harmful, because it concretes the wall of prejudiced assumption of people who don’t follow politics because they’re all as bloody crooked as each-bloody-other, sport.

Starring in his own living Thug Life cameo is Coalition MP Michael McCormack who managed to defend senatorial entitlements and attack penalty rates by stating: “I get a travel allowance, others get penalty rates – it’s part of the package.” McCormack’s role? He’s Malcolm Turnbull’s Minister for Small Business. Respect.

The first six months of 2016 have been the warmest on record (53)


Malcolm Roberts, for confusing regional Queensland with ancient Jerusalem (beginning search for Grail in earnest).

For those devout in the Christian faith, best to bellow to your squire to prepare your mount and livery, and polish your halberd, as the third crusade to reclaim the holy land against the swarming Muslim tides is upon us. Chief God botherer Malcolm Roberts sounded the vestibule organ of conflict, labelling a Queensland town “worse than Saudi Arabia” because Christians are unable to preach in the cobblestone streets of yore.

Two points, though, in the interest of fairness. First: Queensland is often labelled as “God’s country”, as opposed to the holy land soubriquet “Kingdom of God” – easy mistake – and second: the second crusade actually enabled the 12th century rennaissance boom in the aggressors’ home state. Now that’s innovative.


Also on The Big Smoke


Honourable mentions

The “Golden Emerson” – awarded to those who waste everyone’s time with complete verbal tosh – goes to:

Bob Katter, for forming an articulate point crushed under the weight of its own stupidity.

Mr Katter, as shown below, made a rather empathetic point of logic, in that international terrorism is not strictly a “muslim problem”, but then soon proceeded to attach an engine block around the waist of his credibility and hurl it off the nearest pier:

Missed it Bob, by that much.


Lastly, “The Bushie” – the George W Bush commemorative plaque to honour outstanding performance in the field of trumpeted “fact” – goes to:

George Brandis, for abusing the pages of history with his fanfic.

If history is as Napoleon said, “a pack of lies agreed upon”, then our front-bench is a pack of youknowwhichwordgoeshere settled upon. This week, notable diary possessor George Brandis proved to all how he must have wagged Australian history during school, as, according to our Attorney General, the ANZACs sailed to Turkey to scale the cliff faces of the Dardanelles in order to return the precious resource, “racism”, to the shores of commonwealth so it may be planted in the golden soil of home – a resource that will one day grow into our greatest import.

I’m not entirely sure if the thousands of Indigenous Australians, Maoris or indeed the white Australians who served alongside them would be taking notes at George’s revisionist history lecture.

But, let’s not close with a five-megaton blast of negativity.

The simplicity of the effects of any loosening of 18C was eloquently put by Senator Nick McKim:

See you next week.



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