There was a protest against the proposed mosque in Bendigo.
I know this because, not only was it front page news this morning, but for the past few days various news sites -including the ABC – have been telling me that a protest was planned.
Well, estimates put the total number of protesters at about 600. And that includes the anti-racism protesters who went to protest the protest.
What other protest could get all that free lead-up publicity? Some of you lefties probably remember March in March and how extensively that was covered by the mainstream media. One can’t help but wonder why the Repulsive Right are given free advertising in the lead up to the event.
And, it’s not as though the organisers of the mosque protest were simply wishing to rid Australia of mosques. If they left their demands at “We can’t have Muslims in this country because they’re too intolerant”, I could simply say: So far, so hypocritical. But they want to silence lefties, greenies, Malcolm Turnbull and pretty much anyone who disagrees with them.
Racists we’re not racists, we hate everybody who isn’t part of our group … And even some of them are looking a bit dodgy lately.
I could say that if they don’t like Bendigo’s laws – which after due process including an appeal to VCAT – allow a mosque to be built, why don’t these people go back where they came from? But I would never say such a thing because then I’d be a hypocryte.
And speaking of hypocrites. Do you remember the whole 18C thing? At least, I think it was 18C, it was a long time ago and like most people I’ve forgotten all about it. Now what was the problem?
That’s right. Andrew Bolt had been told that just because he wrote for a newspaper, he wasn’t allowed to make inaccurate claims when suggesting that people were claiming to be black for their own advantage. Or something like that. If I’ve got that wrong, I’m sure that I’ll have the same people springing to my defence saying that any attempt to demand accuracy is a flagrant violation of my first amendment right. (OK, I know we don’t have a first amendment right – or indeed any specific rights – in this country, but if Abbott can tell listeners that he’s taking the fifth amendment on Ray Hadley the other day, then what’s a little Americanisation between friends?)
Wasn’t the basic concern with 18C? Something like, if people (even people with a Dutch heritage) had to be concerned about whether their comment was racist – or accurate – then we were shutting down free speech. And remember the eloquent George Brandis when he reminded us:
“People do have a right to be bigots you know, In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.”
Mm, so I guess that’s why George Christensen felt it prudent to address a Reclaim Australia rally a few months ago. To reassure them that, even though the Liberals have gone cold on the whole repeal 18C thing, they still support people’s rights to be bigots.
But not everyone has the right to be a bigot or racist it seems. According to Tony Abbott in August, Bill Shorten shouldn’t be silent where racism is apparently present.
“This Leader of the Opposition is silent in the face of racism,” Abbott told us.
And according to a leaked copy of the script we’ll be seeing this ad from the Liberals:
The couple are watching the union attack ads on TV with the man’s parents.
Father: They’re at it again
Father: A ratbag union in the building industry is running racist TV ads against the Chinese. Last year Bill Shorten was attacking the Japanese
Girlfriend: I thought Australia wasn’t like that?
Mother: Most Australians aren’t, love
Father: But some unions have been running racist campaigns for years
Son: Why doesn’t someone stop them?
Father: Bill Shorten should stop them.
Yep, that’s something that a lot of people agree on. Everything’s Bill’s fault… Although, I’m having trouble remembering Shorten attacking the Japanese. He did make reference to the fact that the last time we had Japs subs they were in Sydney Harbour which sounds more like one of his famous zingers than anything. I mean, it’s not as if he was actually critical of the Japanese for their attempted World War Two invasion, it was just an observation. He may have actually been praising them for their “skill and honour”, as the then PM, Tony Abbott did.
Ah, “as the then PM, Tony Abbott”. >Sigh< Can’t wait to write “ex-PM” a few more times. By the way, did you see where he got a standing ovation from the NSW Liberals and Turnbull was heckled. And they mocked Labor, who only had Rudd working for his reinstatement. The Liberals seem to have a whole group who think that Shorten would be preferable to Turnbull.
But I digress …
Maybe instead of running a $25 million ad campaign, they should just invoke good ole 18C. Or would that be just too much of an about face?
Or is that if you tried to pin an actual racism charge on the CFMEU, you might find that trying to ensure that there’s adequate testing to make sure that jobs just don’t simply go to overseas workers has nothing to do with the race of the workers, and that the CFMEU would be attempting to ensure that they’re members were the ones getting the work even if the suggestion was that it would go to other Australians.
Whatever, I’d like someone to ask Mr Brandis whether the CFMEU have the right to be bigots or is it only Reclaim Australia and newspaper columnists?