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- 100 days without COVID: How did NZ rid itself of a virus that keeps spreading elsewhere?
- One bedroom in Sydney, or eight in Paris: The realities of our housing market
- Whataboutism: The other epidemic gripping the nation
- Religious discrimination is on the rise around the world, including Australia
Well, 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.
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.
Latham is a nutcase https://t.co/tU5qN0gdim
— Tao de Haas (@TaodeHaas) March 22, 2017
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:
— knifey (((cypher))) (@jahan_tyson) March 22, 2017
…and the other, channeling the vernacular of those who oppose the far left:
“Old Mate Turnbull is under the pump from the right wing of the Liberal Party and One Nation”
– Bill Shorten on @TripleMMelb
— Charles Croucher (@ccroucher9) March 21, 2017
Also on The Big Smoke
- #AusPol winners and losers: Who sampled Elon’s musk?
- #AusPol winners and losers: Who tapped who…and where?
- #AusPol winners and losers: Who paid the penalty (rate) this week?
- #AusPol winners and losers: Stop the polls, I want to get off!
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.
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.
This afternoon I will be speaking on a Matter Of Public Importance.
The prosecution of the Christian community in south-east Queensland. pic.twitter.com/G0NepSSJjp
— Sen. Malcolm Roberts (@SenatorMRoberts) March 19, 2017
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
- While you were asleep: London attack misinformation, NK missile test limp, New York’s overcompensation tower
- While you were asleep: Italians doubt EU, river now person, female cricketers’ payrise
- While you were asleep: QandA is fake news, Gov thoughtlessly takes on 18C, large chicken crushes dreams
- While you were asleep: “Bomber” reaches White House, Prof wants drug decriminalisation, notable cartoonist passes
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:
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) March 23, 2017
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.
Defending changes to Racial discrimination act, AG George Brandis labels free speech “one of the key things the ANZACs fought for”
— Charles Croucher (@ccroucher9) March 21, 2017
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.