When your average Coalition MP speaks, a lot of people get very, very angry about what he (or occasionally, she) has said. These angry people try to argue about what’s making them angry.
However, this is probably the wrong approach. What we need to do is to simply ask the politician if they’ve changed their mind. When they say, “Of course not, we never change our minds. We’re committed to life exactly as it was in the 50s!” Then simply point out what they said about a different issue just a few years, days or minutes before.
Take protecting our borders. We can’t have people arriving by boat because we need to protect our borders, we’re told. Compare that with their statements on globalisation and how we need to be part of the world. We need to knock down artificial trade barriers and invite the rest of the world in… even if they want to bring their own workers.
Or compare the demands for religious freedom with the calls to ban the burqa. Ok, ok, the burqa may be cultural, but there does seem to be a contradiction there. Notwithstanding that, it is nice to see a party with so few male MPs who tell us that their party doesn’t need quotas, complaining that a particular garment oppresses women. Ok, I concede the merit argument: Women could get preselected if only they could find women the calibre of Tony Abbott, Kevin Andrews or Eric Abetz… And they could make it to the ministry if only they could be like the new Minister for Immigration, David Coleman. Now, there’s a rising star. Remember his recent interview? You don’t… Maybe that’s because he hasn’t done one in living memory.
Then we have the whole 18C thing. People should be allowed to say what they like. However, you shouldn’t be allowed to call someone racist or sexist because that’s political correctness gone mad.
But I guess the most obvious recent example is the “African” gangs. I put “African” in quotation marks because it’s rather interesting that we refer to them as African. No, I’m not having a go at Dan Tehan’s statement about kids not knowing that Africa is a country. I’m just pointing out that we don’t have the children of immigrants from England or Scotland refered to as “British” gangs when they commit a crime.
Nontheless, we have to face up to the fact that the Sudanese community is over-represented in crime statistics. Even though they make up significantly less than one percent of the population, they account for about one percent of the crime. (I’m quoting these figures from the media, so they must be accurate). Yes, there are all sorts of reasons for this, such as there being a greater likelihood of being charged, or their difficulty adjusting to a new country after traumatic experiences in their youth.
This may be a novel defence, but I suggest that the lawyer for the next member of an “African” gang uses these figures to justify releasing the defendant without charge.
Why? Well, it’s very simple. It’s only one percent so if they all stopped, it would make no difference to the crime statistics. They would only hurt themselves financially. And for what? Nothing would be achieved. It’s only when everyone else stops committing crimes that we’ll make inroads. Besides the science on crime isn’t really settled yet…
Yes, the Coalition on climate change does sound rather strange when you apply it to other areas…
Now I could keep going on about Liberal inconsistencies and point out the contradiction of spending half a billion dollars on upgrades to the War Memorial, while skimping on support for veterans, but that’s hardly a change of mind. The Coalition have always been good at glorifying war, while pretending that any individuals who are having problems adjusting afterwards aren’t really worth discussing because there’s plenty help for them.
And, of course, Scott Morrison doing a bus tour of Queensland where he flies just about everywhere isn’t a contradiction; it’s more the norm when your government uses “Utopia” as a “How-To- Govern” video, rather than a cautionary warning.
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