Ok, much has been made of Mathias Cormann’s so-called gaffe.
Of course, most people are presuming that Mathias’ illiteracy – I mean he did come here from a foreign land so he must be illiterate, right… Well, certainly he’d have to be innumerate because he’s Finance Minister in a Liberal Government.
Anyway, most people are presuming that when Mathias said, “Bill Shorten is very caring and very much in touch and Bill Shorten every single day is promoting our national economic plan for jobs and growth, which of course is exactly what Australia needs given the continued global economic headwinds,” that it was a mistake.
However, this is the sort of cultural misunderstanding that people frequently have when they’re dealing with people who are so different. You know, people like foreigners… Or Liberal Party front-benchers… Or back-benchers… Or indeed, anyone who thought that Tony Abbott did a good job!
No, Mr Cormann did not mean to say “Malcolm Turnbull” when he said “Bill Shorten”. What people are failing to realise is that when Mathias called Bill “caring” it was meant to be an insult. Sort of like when the Right refer to people as “bleeding hearts” as though hearts aren’t meant to release any blood. You know, in same sort of way that governments are never to release any of our taxes by spending them on us. They’re meant to accumulate them in the form of surpluses, so that we know that it’s far better for us to spend an extra five bucks for our doctor’s visit because if it came out our taxes then the government might have a deficit and then we couldn’t criticise Labor… Aw shit, if we have a deficit, it must surely be Labor’s fault anyway…
You see, “caring” is a form of abuse in politics these days.
Sort of like when Barnaby Joyce told us that he was Hannibal Lecter when referring to Jonny Depp and his dogs. He didn’t mean that anybody should infer that he actually ate human flesh. It was just his way of demonstrating that he had no actual empathy for animals being slaughtered, or anyone who wasn’t a fellow front bencher… Mm, much of a muchness… Of course, when he attempted to suggest that Labor’s decision to suspend live cattle exports to Indonesia with an increase in boat numbers, he went a step too far and demonstrated that he had no actual understanding that – in diplomatic circles – it’s not considered cool to accuse a neighbouring country of aiding people smugglers in order to get back at you. It’s even more uncool if it happens to be true, because then one would have to concede that it wasn’t Labor’s actual policies on “border protection”, but their policies on the ethical killing of animals that caused the upsurge in boat arrivals… which sort of brings us back to Depp’s dogs.
And, in a strange sort of way, helps me make my point about Mathias meaning it as an insult when he called Bill Shorten “caring”. Let’s be clear here, if you’re not Hannibal Lecter, you’re not fit to be Deputy PM.
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