I’m sure Josh Frydenberg thought he was being very funny as he ridiculed Jim Chalmers for suggesting we need a well-being budget. I’m sure he revelled in the laughter and accompanying jeers from the nodding heads behind him. He was no doubt encouraged by the smirking jerk to his right as he delivered his putdown.
“I was thinking yesterday, as the member for Rankin was coming into the chamber fresh from his Ashram deep in the mountains of the Himalayas barefoot in the chamber, robes flowing, incense burning, beads in one hand, wellbeing budget in the other, I thought to myself: ‘What yoga position the member for Rankin would assume … to deliver the first wellbeing budget?”
Unsurprisingly, Australia’s many Hindu citizens were unimpressed. The President of the Universal Society of Hinduism said in a statement it was “heartbreaking” for the hardworking and peaceful Australian Hindu community to watch the religion be “belittled and laughed at” in the parliament.
But that’s what our politicians do constantly. Belittling is their cap in trade. Jeering and catcalling and name-calling is standard practice.
This sort of behaviour is emotional abuse.
“Emotional abuse may include behaviours such as threatening, insulting, shaming, belittling, name-calling, gaslighting and stonewalling, which are done in an attempt to chip away at the victim’s independence and self-esteem so the abuser can gain control in the relationship. “
We see this behaviour every day in our parliament.
Along with the emotional abuse, politicians also fuel racism by their snide remarks and racial/religious profiling. Who could forget Attorney-General George Brandis defending the rights of bigots?
Peter Dutton is a constant offender – laughing about Pacific Islands being inundated, wanting to fast track visas for “white” South Africans, labelling second and third-generation Lebanese Australians as a terrorist threat, telling us that Melbourne is under siege from African gangs, boycotting the Apology and stridently defending Bill Leak’s cartoon about Aboriginal parenting, ridiculing Armani wearing asylum seekers – the list is endless.
Josh Frydenberg only recently spoke about the rise of anti-Semitism in Australia yet he seems to have little problem with his party wanting to prioritise Christian migration. They give lip service to religious freedom but they really mean the freedom to impose their beliefs on others.
We can’t punish our way out of the domestic violence epidemic that grips Australia. We can’t get rid of racism just by laws. We all have a part to play in changing our society by stepping up to say it’s not ok.
It would be great if the leaders of our country, the people who make the laws, took some time to examine the example they are setting with their appalling behaviour.
It’s not ok.
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