When ASIO director-general Mike Burgess took aim at the “hateful ideology” of rightwing extremists it rattled a few cages in rightwing covens and cliques around Australia.
Surely he meant Leftwing nutters cried Rightwing extremist Peter Dutton: emerging from his lair, Mr Dutton said that it was important for security agencies to deal with threats from both rightwing and leftwing “lunatics”.
Rightwing spear-chucker and Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells attacked the ASIO chief for using the term “rightwing” when warning of the growing threat of rightwing extremism, saying it offended conservatives*.
*Conservatives are rightwing people who must not be offended under any circumstances – see IPA rulebook 13.1.
On Sky-after-Dark they were apoplectic in re-interpreting what the ASIO boss had said and clearly he wasn’t having a go at rightwingers like them.
Well, actually he was and whilst he didn’t single out Bolt, Credlin, Kenny, Murray and others in the Sky crèche, he obviously had them in mind as well as their shadowy alma mater the Institute of Public Affairs where rightwing grooming goes on to this day [and, so they tell me, self–flagellation].
So, I think we can safely assume that the ASIO boss knew exactly what he was talking about and it wasn’t a threat from those nice people on the Left but the extremist on the Right who are committed to tearing down Australia’s institutions – I’m not talking about the Sydney Institute but the good and wholesome things that we all treasure, like Medicare and the ABC.
It has to be said that the terms Right and Left have become somewhat confused in recent times. In Australia, for instance, we call a rightwing political party ‘Liberal’ which is clearly a contradiction in terms. Similarly, rightwing used to imply certain religious connotations meaning that somebody of the right held religious beliefs and was guided by religious principles. But that has gone by the board with religious zealots in politics finding it quite acceptable to tell lies and provide misleading information to a confused and increasingly cynical electorate.
In their origins, the terms spring from French Revolution (1789–1799) and they originally referred to seating arrangements in the French Parliament: those who sat to the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were broadly supportive of the institutions of the monarchy and the landowning class. Whilst those sitting to the left of the chair were more concerned about social equity, fairness and the rights of the people.
So, in simple terms it was very much as we see it today in Australia: the rich are on the right and they don’t agree with being taxed but they are very much in favour of those on the Left paying tax – that’s democracy.
What, then is to be done about this confusion? Mr Dutton has suggested that the ASIO director-general should be sacked or at the very minimum sent to an IPA re-education camp in the Blue Mountains. That could be a bit difficult as the prime minister has already booked out the re-education facility for the Auditor General and other members of the Australian National Audit Office who were caught out telling the truth at Senate Estimates in matters concerning the sports-rorts affair.
For those of us on the Left, we need to heed the warning from the ASIO chief and sharpen our antennae for spotting any of these rightwing nut jobs before they wreck the joint. Should you spot any of the aforesaid rightwing nutters, call your mum she’s the only person you can trust – but keep an eye on her particularly if she starts saying things like ‘I do so miss Gerard Henderson on Insiders, he’s so balanced’!
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