Matthew Reddin

The AFP gave the nation intersectional fascism, so there’s that

Yeah, it’s been a bad week, but it gave the nation an excuse to validate our worst paranoias. Plus, the AFP respectfully rummaged through a journalist’s underwear drawer. Not all bad.

 

 

We’re all fine, here. Everything’s fine in Australia. Nothing to see here, go on with your day and your business. Nothing to see.

Nothing but the AFP raiding the ABC for having broadcast a story a few years back that didn’t paint the top brass in a flattering light. Or, the feds raiding the home of a NewsCorp journalist only days before. This all happening around the time that Julian Assange is no longer holed up in London’s Ecuadorian embassy—although the Ecuadorian diplomats would be glad to see the back of that skateboard-ridin’, shit-smearin’ weirdo.

But we’re all fine here, not sure if I mentioned that. The PM’s in London, gladhanding the monarch, having popped into the airport Dymocks on his way to pick up a biography of Winx (it actually makes sense, vis-à-vis gift giving for Mrs Windsor, being that the ponies are one of the very few things on this earth that actually brings joy to her nonagenarian heart), and mentions to the gathered—and justifiably riled up press corps—that he’s fine, just fine with the AFP raiding the home of Annika Smethurst and the Ultimo HQ of the national broadcaster. He’s a big fan of the law, it seems.

I for one was impressed with the flat-out denial that Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton came out with when he stated that he had no prior knowledge of the AFP’s raid at Aunty. Now, you can be a socialist troublemaker, a trifle burned by the surprising results of May 18, or you could be the bluest of blue-ribbon Liberal voters like your racist uncle, warming his cockles at night by the hearty glow of a luminous franking credit, but that Venn diagram of “people who vote” and “people who don’t believe a word Peter Dutton says” is a fucking circle, fam.

I will wager actual folding money that a story comes out in months, maybe weeks, at some point that shows that yes, Peter Dutton was told about it, he knew about it, in all likelihood orchestrated it and did all he could to not laugh so heartily and loudly that he almost started lactating out of sheer villainous glee. And, again, nothing will come of it.

So, we’re in a new kind of post-modern hell here, where press freedoms are under threat, but only when the ruling party’s reputation is at stake. They raid Annika Smethurst’s house. They search through her underwear drawer, of all things, looking for incriminating evidence.


Also on The Big Smoke


But, because we are a burgeoning fascist state, yet an intersectional one, the underdurps were sifted through by two female officers, per The Age; also, we’re now in territory that lends this broad, brown land of ours to being well beyond parody. Back in the day, the jackbooted thugs who kicked your door down didn’t get a small order of coffee and muffins like the AFP did when they raided the Ultimo ABC offices, nor was there much live Tweeting when the Gestapo conducted the night of the long knives. Here, of course, Executive News Editor at the ABC John Lyons (@TheLyonsDen) live-tweeted the raid, and it would appear the officers doing the raiding—and coffee drinking—were following the Twitter action as it happened. If the whole thing got any more redundant and self-aware they’d have been giving themselves rectal examinations.

So, here we are. They didn’t expect to win; they won. And now the feds are going after the media. They could have done this before the election, but they weren’t going to win it, what’s the point? Now they’ve won and the colleagues of theirs with a conscience have all hit the bricks. Now they collectively have the social conscience of a dog on a croquet lawn. They can raid the ABC. They can go in to bat for Israel Falou under the guise of free speech, but secretly happy that they can feel good about laying into the poofs for a bit. They can raid the home, and underwear drawer of an individual reporter.

They can raid the headquarters of the CFMEU, and everything’s fine, just answer the questions and nobody gets hurt—you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve broken no laws, just answer their questions truthfully and you’ll be fine. Unless you’re Michaelea Cash, then you apparently can just say no and nothing comes of it. Hide behind a whiteboard, lie about Shorten stealing your ute, and refuse to answer the AFP’s questions when it comes to whether or not you tipped off the media about their recent raid of an organisation you’re none too fond of. Shonky AF.

This doesn’t seem like a party one would have much confidence in, but look, ScoMo drinks beer and supports the Sharks, everything’s fine.

Back to bed, Australia. Back to bed.

 

Matthew Reddin

Matt Reddin has been writing nonsense about film, TV, books, music and live theatre for a touch over 20 years. He’s gone from the halcyon days of street press in Perth, to regional dailies, national magazines and major metropolitan newspapers. Now, in between bouts of sporadically yelling at clouds, he vents his creative spleen at www.lessercolumn.com.au

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