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This goes beyond Bolt: It’s about racism and the government’s involvement.

August 9 2018

On the same day that Indian-born migrant Akshay Venkatesh was receiving the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics, the Australian born son of Dutch immigrants, mediocre columnist Andrew Bolt was publishing an article full of racist gobbledygook to titillate those on the extreme-right of Australian society.

The piece titled; “The foreign invasion” claimed that a “tidal wave” of migrants was “changing our culture.” In it he pointed out the proportion of Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish people living in various suburbs.

He has, as a consequence of his rather thoughtless, some say racist observations, been referred to the National Press Council.

Although usually an insipid few with fewer teeth, I expect this time the Council will be a little harsher.

Kaye Lee in her piece for The AIMN last week title “Andrew Bolt is a threat to our social cohesion” quotes from Bolt’s article:

“Immigration is becoming colonisation, turning this country from a home into a hotel. There is no ‘us’ any more, as a tidal wave of immigrants sweeps away what’s left of our national identity. Another 240,000 foreigners joined us last year alone, not just crowding our cities but changing our culture.”

She responds thus:

“Let me begin by saying Bolt would not be included in any group I would call “us”. We most certainly do not share the same values. And whilst we might both be speaking in English, we do not speak the same language.

Bolt singles out groups such as Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish and quotes what percentage of the community where they live that they represent

He laments, “Dandenong now has an official Little Indian Cultural Precinct, with 33 Indian businesses.”

One would have thought he would commend their industry in starting up businesses that provide employment and pay taxes but no, Andrew thinks this is a bad thing.

Bolt’s own history makes his words seem very hypocritical. His parents migrated to Australia the year before his birth. Even though he was born here, in a 2011 interview, Bolt reveals how hard he found it to settle in.”

It is not my intention to cover all of the very critical aspects of Bolt’s piece as Kaye Lee has done, but rather seek the “why” of what pretext he uses to justify the filth masquerading as journalism that he writes.

After all, Kaye has done a fine job on the angle she took particularly with this put down:

“For the son of Dutch migrants to lecture us about the dangers of “colonisation” of Australia by newcomers takes unbelievable gall, ignorance of history, and a complete lack of self-awareness”

There is nothing I would disagree with in her piece. Yes, he does find our opera not of his standard and he did work for Bob Hawke on two campaigns.

In 2016 the conservatives failed in an attempt to alter the legislation pertaining to free speech. I wrote:

I find it quite disconcerting that the Prime Minister of our country finds it necessary to ring a certain Murdoch columnist to inform him that legislation pertaining to freedom of speech would not be proceeding.

As if the journalist in question was on some sort of a promise of personal reward and needed to be pacified.

As I was scrolling down the comments on Kaye’s piece I came upon a point of view that happened to agree entirely with my own.

Terence Mills, commenting on Kaye’s article, wrote:

“Bolt has latched on to a money-pot, there is big money in being a contrarian, on being outrageous, unconventional and controversial.

These guys don’t actually believe in what they are spouting but like little kids teasing an animal, they keep on doing it just to get a reaction and of course a few more dollars.

Sadly, the echo chambers of Sky and 2GB are fertile ground, where they thrive following the template developed by Fox News in the US and by the dirty-digger.

But let’s not kid ourselves that they are serious commentators or that they believe in the controversy that they peddle: they are just another version of the Kardashians without the big arses – well, other than Latham!”

Putting the money aside for a moment I have always felt that people like Jones and Bolt fill a void in the Australian psyche, a place where the non thinking fools of the world dwell and are comforted by those who say things in a childlike black and white manner that they can understand.

An observation

“We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the shock jocks the media and other self-interest groups.”

Obviously it is the money that attracts them but to justify their presence they need to raise the standard as people become acquainted with it. So in order to maintain the viewers, or reader’s interest, their expectations, it progressively becomes more outlandish – more tantalising – seductive-more flirtatious-more provocative – more stunning and more enticing and in their desire to maintain some dominance, that’s exactly what the shock jocks and mainstream media do.

They choose to prostitute themselves in order to remain relevant and justify the huge salaries they receive. As if telling the truth wouldn’t suffice. If they think their audience is going to sleep they crank up the rhetoric and become more sensational.

So it’s all about the money. They get paid enormous amounts to spread their filthy commentary. The more outrageous the better. Filth, like sex, sells.

It is well-known that Bolt years back was looking for a niche in the industry that would make him stand out in political commentary. One that would pay exceedingly well. He visited America where Fox was experimenting with blatantly biased right-wing news. He took their advice.

These perverted peddlers of verbal violence and dishonesty are the most vigorous defenders of free speech because it gives their vitriolic nonsense legitimacy. With the use of free speech, the bigots and hate-mongers seek to influence those in the community who are susceptible or like-minded.

They use free speech as a justification to incite racism, validate hatred and promote both religious and political bigotry.

Where as it should be incumbent on people to display decorum, moderation, truth, fact, balance, reason, tolerance, civility and respect for the other point of view.

People of the ilk of Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Janet Albrechtson, Miranda Devine, Dennis Shanahan, Paul Kelly, Chris Kenny and Tom Switzer. Gerard Henderson Paul Sheehan, Miranda Divine, Alan Jones, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Smith. Steve Lewis and Ray Hadley spread their abominable words to which clings a currency of untruths.

I don’t think any fair-minded person could argue that when things aren’t going well for the Coalition they drag racism or national security into the mix to further muddy the swamp in which they dwell. We can go back to when Philip Ruddick was demonizing refugees by not even referring to them as people.

They were in trouble against Kim Beasley and John Howard, played the race card with his children overboard comment, which he knew to be untrue but he let it go anyway. He could have disclosed the truth prior to the election but didn’t.

In spite of the fact that we have never had a serious terrorist attack in Australia the Coalition continuously tries to create an atmosphere of scare mongering. Their anti-immigration stance come racist sentiments always come to the fore when they are in trouble politically.

At the moment they are recovering from the bad news of the recent bi-elections and are hopelessly cornered with their tax cuts for big business. Together with that they are struggling to get the Energy Guarantee over the line. Climate change never passes the lips of a divided ministry.

Hence Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s continuous hyping of “African gangs” destroying the calmness of Melbourne’s culture. People are afraid to leave their homes. Fairdinkum, one would think there is a civil war taking place. The sad thing though is seeing the Prime Minister follow suit with same racist comments.

Playing the race card has always been the conservative default position when things are going bad for them and you can prove it historically.

Writing in The Saturday PaperMike Seccombe drew the analogy of Dutton’s “African Gang” attacks with those of Kevin Andrews in 2007. Sudanese refugees were used to try to save the Howard government.

I said they had form. Seccombe wrote:

“At the time former Liberal immigration minister Ian Macphee (a descent and honest man) argued that John Howard had deliberately shattered the bipartisanship on race issues that had settled after the abolition of the White Australia policy.

Macphee traced this back as far as 1988, when Howard decried the “Asianisation” of Australia and led the Opposition to vote against a Bob Hawke motion supporting a racially non-discriminatory immigration policy. Macphee told Seccombe: “I’d always known Howard was a racist, but he demonstrated that clearly in that motion.” Macphee described the continuing efforts of conservative politicians to exploit issues of race for political ends as “quite tragic”.

Channel 7’s involvement in putting to air a dishonest view on African gangs must also be mentioned for its lack of societal responsibility. The Somali community is larger than one or two small gangs. The police wont even describe them as gangs.

Further evidence of this base racism was evidenced in Tony Abbott’s tenure of Prime Minister when he almost daily tried to whip up a storm, or perception, of continuous chaos and bedlam.

All around the world people are experiencing this sort of Trumpish propaganda that is very reminiscent of the days prior to Hitler’s takeover of Germany.

On 2GB last week Abbott asked“why do we store up trouble for ourselves by letting in people who are going to be difficult, difficult to integrate?”

He was advocating the complete exclusion of an ethic group from this country. I have never heard an Australian politician do this before.

So Andrew Bolt’s despicably xenophobic piece for Murdoch’s Herald Sun last week became a bit much for some people. He spared no one. From Chinese to Indian to Vietnamese to Muslims to Jews. The only group he let alone was followers of Christ.

Former senior journalist at The Australian George Megalogenis was appalled, tweeting: “A short history lesson for my old mates at News. The bigotry in your news and opinion pages would make Robert Menses turn in his grave.”

Paddy Manning writing in The Monthly reported that:

“Author Richard Flanagan said in a powerful speech at the Garma Festival yesterday, the Uluru Statement from the Heart demanded too much of Canberra’s politicians: “It demanded [they] imagine their country anew, stronger, richer. It required people who knew a life of the mind and a life of the soul, a largeness and generosity of spirit, and all these things are not just absent in the Turnbull government but consistently attacked and destroyed by them whenever they appear in Australian life.”

But of course Sky News topped it all off by interviewing Neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell. Cottrell appeared on Sky to give his views on immigration. He was once the leader of far-right group the United Patriots Front and advocates a photograph of Hitler in every classroom and that every student should be handed a copy of Mein Kampf.

We have recently seen the retirement of Gillian Triggs and Tim Soutphommasane made a retirement speech last Tuesday. Both are to be congratulated for publicly standing up to people like Bolt, Abbott and Turnbull.

In his speech Soutphommasane said that we had “good reason to boast that it is one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world.”

“Never been a more exciting time to be a dog-whistling politician or race-baiting commentator in Australia.”

“This is dangerous territory, … When politicians resort to using race in advancing their agendas, they inevitably excite racial anxiety and stir up social division.”

Soutphommasane concluded by labelling anti-racism the “highest form of patriotism.”

Personally, I have never turned my back on racist remarks be it at the football at a pub or a restaurant or the work place because that is what we must do.

Without even mentioning the redheads name I think I have established that the right do indeed have a long history of race baiting in Australia.

I started with Andrew Bolt so allow me to finish with him by repeating some words I wrote in 2014:

People who support Bolt and his racism need to ask just why it is that he is fixated on the subject of race (and Muslims and climate change for that matter) and the answer is simple. Murdoch has built his news empire on smut and controversy. The formula has made him extremely wealthy. And there is no doubt that Bolt is paid extraordinary amounts of money to proliferate the pages of The Herald Sun with this sort of gutter journalism.

It is where the truth goes to die.

My thought for the day

“An enlightened society is one in which the suggestion that we need to legislate ones right to hate another person is considered intellectually barren.”

 


24 comments

  1. New England Cocky

    Well said John.

    “people like Jones and Bolt fill a void in the Australian psyche, a place where the non thinking fools of the world dwell and are comforted by those who say things in a childlike black and white manner that they can understand.”

    This perfectly describes the unthinking voters in National$ land where the best “leaders” are the biggest fools, where adulterers are preferred, where being different is a cardinal sin.

    A Blot is a former Goolwa escapee who is repaying the social difficulties of his youth by distorting the present public opinion of fellow unthinkers.

  2. Kronomex

    Heinrich Dutton, the monster that gives Pennywise nightmares.

    “On 2GB last week Abbott asked; “why do we store up trouble for ourselves by letting in people who are going to be difficult, difficult to integrate?”” I think the Mad Monk has, somewhat inadvertantly, described the LNP, Murdoch, Avast Blot, Duttonuci, and other right wing nut jobs down to a tee.

  3. OldWomBat

    ” The only group he let alone was followers of Christ.”
    These people don’t believe in Christ, certainly have a very limited knowledge of what Jesus said, just their own perverted version of a few selected pieces taken out of context that support their own views and those of the big-businness evangelical money spinners. Stop refering to these people as christain – they are not!

  4. Ian Hughes

    If Bolt’s attitudes prevailed when his parents migrated to Australia perhaps we wouldn’t have his ridiculous commentary inflicted on us now! Ironic much?

    There is only one race – the HUMAN race!!

  5. Keitha Granville

    I particularly like ” . . . . a place where the non-thinking fools of the world dwell and are comforted by those who say things in a childlike black and white manner they can understand”. A perfect description of the USA under Trump I thought. And exactly right.

    Goodness me, next he will be attacking the Greeks and the Italians and the Poles without whose rich and vibrant communities our nation would be eating mutton and potatoes, never having tried the delights of baklava or dozens of varieties of pasta. How on earth can someone whose own family were migrants be so horrible. Are/ were his parents proud of him do you think ? Or is it simply and purely a colour/religion thing ?

    Until we rid ourselves of the fascists in our government who have completely taken control of the conservatives in this country, we are marching straight down the road taken by Hitler and destruction. Our fathers and grandfathers fought wars against this, and we are now handing the country over to their enemies.

  6. Harry

    Bolt and other shock jocks are a brand, they have carved out a niche for themselves and earn a damn good living from peddling their poison. There is no sign that they care about the hate and discord they foment.

    Ideally they would be ignored but that is not an option.

  7. Stop the Career Racists

    Harry is absolutely right re Both and shock Jocks being a “brand”. Let’s just call it how it is. These people are “Career Racists” and they work as a team.
    What we are seeing today is the commodification of Racism and cashing in on Bigotry. At the lowest level, you’ve got bogans selling “True Blue Crew” hoodies (Chinese made) to earn a buck. The Lad’s Society charge members a fee to use their gym.
    International bigots like Southern and Milo cash in by holding shows. Local bigots like Lyle Shelton join in. He’s worked out that homophobia is no longer profitable and has shifted to garden variety racism.
    Hanson and Ashby are at the racism trough too, courtesy of the taxpayer. Dutton and Co are trying to use racism to keep their jobs in parliament.
    Social media has provided new economic opportunities for racists. Bigots like Tommy Robinson put up “go fund me” campaigns when they break the law. And the cash rolls in.
    One of the best ways to attack the career racists is to destroy their business models. When social media companies kick racist bums off their platforms, their ability to cash in is severely hampered. Targeting advertisers of Sky News, 2GB etc also hits them where it hurts.
    There’s no point debating these racists. It’s like playing chess with pigeons. They just shit on the board, knock over the pieces and strut around like they’ve won. It’s time to ask advertisers if they want their brand tied to racist media “personalities”.

  8. johno

    Well said John Lord. This racist fear mongering behaviour is atrocious.

  9. paul walter

    Watched a little about this Venkatesh fella the other night and that is one astounding brain by the look.

  10. helvityni

    Stop the Career Racists,

    I don’t like career racists, not even fledgling apprentices.

    Does that make me racist, ‘cos I is white, and them too’ ?

  11. Terence Mills

    Interesting to note, with all the talk about The Bolt Report, that it could only muster 64,000 viewers last night against the ABC’s 7.30 report with over five hundred thousand.

    if he were on any other TV station they would have canned his show and replaced it with re-runs of Home and Away to get their numbers up.

    The strange thing is that Foxtel/Sky seem to have got a monopoly in airport lounges and other public areas, why is that ?

  12. CAROLC

    It still amazes me that people will not let you have an opinion about anything unless they put their opinion above everyone else. I think we are giving away our Australian way of life because of these refugees that get first dibs on just about everything when we have Veterans who need help badly, Senior Citizens who need help, Farmers who are in dire need of money water and feed.. We have youth running wild in the streets and our Governments giving money away left, right and centre to other countries while their own people can go to hell. Our so called Prime Minister is a millionaire and none of the everyday hardships of the Australian people matters to him and his cronies, I for one thing he is corrupt and only cares about how his friends can get more and more money. I could write on here forever about my opinions but I am sure someone is going to call me something that is not very nice and shoot my opinions down in flames which is the very reason most people never give their true opinion. I don’t personally like Pauline Hanson but I do believe she speaks her truth and a lot of people agree with her I also think Muslims don’t belong in a Christian Country like ours because they don’t want to assimilate, so there you go my OPINIONS.

  13. paul walter

    Rofl. You reckon this is a Christian country do you Carol?

  14. corvus boreus

    CAROLC,
    Australia is not a Christian country.

    We are a country that has lots of people who identify as Christians, but also has lots of other people who express belief in differing kinds of religious/superstitious stuff, as well a substantial (and increasing) number of people who express a complete lack of belief in any form of metaphysical divinity at all.

    According to our constitution and subsequent legislations, all are tolerated based on compliance to the laws of our nation (*a few notable exceptions and exemptions duly noted).

    That freedom of and from religion is a foundational principle of the nation state of Australia that I, one who has stood in militare gregarii, would be willing to defend with my life’s blood.

    Ps, you should consider employing paragraphs, they make lengthy OPINIONS much easier to read.

  15. Babyjewels

    Thank you for displaying Bolt’s ignorance and racism for all to see. I wish everyone would do something every single day to show up racism for what it is. If we all did this, people would eventually feel ashamed to express racist views and we would all benefit.

  16. Michael Taylor

    cb, paragraphs are vile things used by lefties to help spread their anti-Christian dribble.

  17. Babyjewels

    CarolC racist
    ˈreɪsɪst/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
    “I had a fear of being called a racist”
    synonyms: racial bigot, racialist, xenophobe, chauvinist; More
    adjective
    1.
    showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another.
    “we are investigating complaints about racist abuse at a newsagents”

  18. Joseph Carli

    CAROLC…I would say that there is an “innocence” of naivety in your extended opinion there…except that true innocence will always give the benefit of the doubt…instead, all I can see is an adult (I presume) who seems to not even have taken into consideration the personal experience of life’s lessons and vicissitudes before coming to an obvious conclusion that has to be about as dense as an impenetrable barrier of gorse.
    While there may be an excuse for a lack of education (I too suffered that), there is no excuse for a lack of inquiry BEFORE presuming to inflict such naivety of opinion upon others.

  19. paul walter

    Innocence is a euphemism in this case, Joe Carli?

  20. Stephengb

    Joseph, you really do have such a great turn of phrase.

    CAROLC
    Joseph Carli, has let you off pretty lightly, I on the other hand will not be so genteel.

    You CAROLC have displayed significant ignorance, of which you should be truely ashamed. I am embarrassed for you, but I suspect you will not take Josephs advise, but will continue your blindness to your own ignorance.

    There is a condition, called the Dunning Kruger Effect.
    The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.

    In your case the effect is similar with ignorance.

    So perhaps you will do yourself a favour, look up “critical thinking”, and the words “objective” and “subjective”. With any luck you will start to use the brain that is in head. If not then fear not, you will be destined to remain ignorant.

    Good luck

  21. corvus boreus

    Michael Taylor,
    Personally, I view paragraphs as more akin to the occasional pause for breath that separates measured speech from railing rant.
    However, I do concede that such literary demarcations might sometimes be deviously misused by marxist lick-spittle types seeking to subvert the divine messaging in JHWH’s scriptures.

    For example, I have seen some such miscreants and heretics use the medium of paragraphs to malign the 10 commandments (2nd and final edition), as dictated by JHWH to Moses, according to the book of Exodus, chapter 34, verses 17 through 26;

    *Don’t craft goddish statues out of melted metals.
    *Don’t eat yeasty bread during the month of Abid.
    *JHWH calls dibs on ownership of the firstborn from both family and flock
    *A slain lamb and a donkey with a broken neck are pretty much sacrificially inter-changeable.
    *Never work a 7 day week, no matter the circumstantial necessity
    *Hold a religious shindig every spring and autumn.
    *Humans with external genitalia must grovel to JHWH 3 times per year.
    *JHWH will dictate exactly which lands should be invaded and conquered.
    *Don’t soak up sacrificial blood with yeasty bread, and don’t leave any altar-scraps out overnight.
    *JHWH likes first servings, but has a culinary aversion to baby goat stewed in mother’s milk.

    Myself, I reckon these 10 final and crucial commandments straight from the mouth of the omnipotent and omniscient universal creator should be enshrined upon the walls of every courthouse and classroom across our nation.

  22. Joseph Carli

    Crow…I reckon wam has charge of that side of the street…YOU are trespassing!

  23. corvus boreus

    devotee of Stalin, admirer of Mao,
    You have no right or privilege to dictate if or how anyone should comment on any thread not of your own authorship.
    I spoke neither to nor of you, but offered a conversational response to a direct communication by the host of this website.
    I ask/suggest that in future you refrain from trying to engage with me unless you have some valid informational input to offer.
    I am not interested in your bullshit.

  24. nexusxyz

    The majority of commentators here are indirectly supporting the government’s cheap neoliberal economic labour immigration policies. Amusingly, if you have the temerity criticize the stupid policies and levels of migration you are apparently racist. Some of the facts are disturbing. For instance Australian youth and graduate unemployment is now growing rapidly. I’m sure some of you have kids. Not a particularly nice future when job opportunity is choked off. Also when your amenity declines further as it will do, congestion continues to rise, can’t get doctor or hospital appointments, etc. whining to a blog is going to do sod all about those issues. The government will have long changed, their mates made of with the profits from all those crappy slum dog-boxes they have infested Melbourne and Sydney with, etc. Luckily we have the rapid economic collapse of the ‘FIRE’ sector to come. That should also choke of migration and rid us of a good proportion of the ‘temporary’ migrants’

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