Hypothetical interview with our Treasurer:
“So are you going to deliver a budget surplus or not.”
“Well, nobody could have predicted the coronavirus…”
“Yes, but you predicted a budget surplus a year ago when you were facing an election.”
“That’s when we thought that everything was going to run smoothly. How could anyone predict the bushfires and the…”
“But hang on. You made a prediction and the whole thing about making a prediction is that you are telling us what’s going to happen. There’s not really much point to predicting say, the outcome of the Melbourne Cup and then saying that nobody could have predicted that the other horses would run so much faster than yours.”
“Look the fundamentals of the economy have us in a great position.”
“The dollar is as low as it was in the GFC, unemployment has jumped, the stock market is crashing and the budget is likely to be in deficit. Face it, you people aren’t as good at managing money as you pretend to be.”
“What did you say? You people? This is anti-semitism. Quick everyone, decry the rise in antisemitism in Australia and stop these terrible attacks.”
“But I meant the Coalition by ‘you people’. I wasn’t… I didn’t… “
If anyone is offended by that, I’m sorry. I mean, I don’t want to suggest that anti-semitism isn’t a problem. I’m merely suggesting that there’s a problem when one side of politics is adopting the Andrew Bolt method of dealing with the world.
The Andrew Bolt method goes something like this:
Everyone is too sensitive these days, what happened to the larrikin spirit when people could have a bit of a joke and now just because someone is called an hysterical, shrieking feminist or a useless, lazy drug-adled bludger thay get all sensitive. Why can’t the left take a joke, why do they have to get so nasty and call people names? Let’s look at some examples of these low-life scumbags resorting to personal abuse.
So let’s put that in a bit of context:
This week we had the spectacle of Josh Frydenberg mocking Jim Chalmers for his suggestion about adopting a well-being index similar to the one New Zealand is proposing. Frydenberg laughed about ashrams, yoga, meditation and various things, many of which are associated with the Hindu religion. How this was meant to convey a problem with Chalmer’s suggestion is anyone’s guess, but I suppose if you don’t have any legitimate criticism then ridicule is all you’re left with. Next we’ll probably see one of the Coalition mocking anyone supporting solar power as followers of Ra the Egyptian sun god, and laughing about them building pyramids, using hieroglyphics and making the Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” our national anthem.
However, when Kristine Keneally pointed out the disrespect to Hindus and linked it to the proposed religious discrimination bill, Dave Sharma was quick to tell her via Twitter: “Please spare us the contrived indignation @KKeneally Butt of the joke was @JEChalmers, & for good reason.”
Ok, I’m still yet to discover what that reason is, but moving on. Apparently it’s all a bit of fun and the left are too quick to be outraged.
But let’s not go back to earlier in the month when Paul Bongiorno happened to invoke Goebels “big lie” when Mathias Cormann’s talking about the refusal to accept the independent auditor’s report. Suddenly, Cormann’s accent was the issue and because that was the reason he was being called a “Nazi”. Ok, he did vote for “It’s ok to be white” in the Senate, but that was just a mistake. No, this was an outrageous link to make because the poor man happens to be Belgian and from the German-accented side of the country. Paul Bongiorno, according to many Liberals, should be sent to a re-education camp.
Now, you may notice that there’s a consistent pattern in all this. Just like the hypothetical interview at the start. all the discussion moves from the topic under discussion to something else entirely. Yes, the other thing – whether it’s anti-semitism or carelessly calling people Nazis – is important and worth discussion, but not as a distraction. It should be as a subject in its own right.
So instead of talking about the idea of a well-being index and examining the idea that maybe society is about more than money, we’re talking about the whether Treasurer’s was offensive. Similarly, If you read Cormann’s tweet in response to Bongiorno, he’s upset about supposedly being called a Nazi, but he doesn’t seem the slightest bit concerned about being called a liar.
But I guess that’s because he isn’t actually a Nazi.
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