Violence and prejudice

By September 22, 2017Australian Politics

As Isaac Asimov said: ‘Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent’, and so it has proved to be with some dill head-butting Tony Abbott while he was in Hobart1. It was a head-butt aimed at Tony Abbott’s head so it couldn’t have done much damage that hadn’t been accomplished years ago in his boxing career.

Of course, Abbott and his rabid cabal of right wing nut-jobs have used this to imply that this is symptomatic of the people prosecuting the ‘yes’ case for same-sex marriage. Abbott stated that it had come to a “pretty sorry pass” when you could not oppose same-sex marriage without being head-butted. He also stated that “no doubt there has been some ugliness as part of this debate, but I regret to say that nearly all of it seems to be coming from one side and that is the people who tell us that love is love”1. He is seemingly unaware of the café in Burnie that was threatened with arson over its support of same-sex marriage2, nor the death threat received by a 14-year-old girl in Dubbo from the barely literate father of another student at her school3, nor the bashing of Sean Foster simply for voicing his objection to a man ripping down rainbow banners and hurling verbal abuse4, nor the apparent bomb threat to the AFL’s Melbourne headquarters5, nor the death threats against a prankster saying that he’d throw ‘no’ votes in the bin6. This is symptomatic of Abbott and his ilk. The truth means nothing to them, unless it is in the service of their aims. If the truth doesn’t fit their aims then any lie will suffice. I didn’t see any expressions of outrage or even sympathy for any of these people who were threatened or attacked. Abbott’s ‘no’ crowd probably thought they deserved it. As with most bigots, hypocrisy is in their DNA.

I have had ‘discussions’ online with people who in some cases simply assumed I was gay and that I was therefore a paedophile, or in their limited vocabulary, a ‘pedo’. This sort of abuse is common coming from the ‘no’ campaigners and is just a continuation by other means of the prejudiced bashing of my friends. The ‘yes’ campaign simply states the fact that a proportion of those prosecuting the ‘no’ campaign are bigots. They cannot stomach the thought that gay people should have the same rights as they do. Why this is so, I cannot understand. Has the fact that the Netherlands legalised same-sex marriage 16 years ago affected their marriages? I suspect it affected theirs just as it affected mine; i.e., not at all.

As that darling of the right in the United States, Clint Eastwood has said: “The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.” That seems to be rife among some of the ‘no’ campaigners.

Sources

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/22/eric-abetz-abbott-incident-foretaste-marriage-debate-violence
  2. http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/4931785/arson-threats-against-business-supporting-same-sex-marriage/
  3. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/gay-marriage/facebook-death-threat-against-girl-14-over-ssm-from-father-of-a-school-friend/news-story/482588b16dd991a849e5543ddab8f82a
  4. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/gay-marriage/facebook-death-threat-against-girl-14-over-ssm-from-father-of-a-school-friend/news-story/482588b16dd991a849e5543ddab8f82a
  5. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/09/21/same-sex-marriage-afl-headquarters-evacuated-after-hoax-threat-following-yes-sign
  6. http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/09/14/jokester-death-threats-same-sex-marriage-survey/

 

4 Comments

  • Arthur Baker says:

    The alleged head-butter has just been charged, and is innocent until proven guilty. Abbott will doubtless be called as a witness, and he has lied on so many previous occasions, about all sorts of things, that a smart barrister might attempt to show he made it all up, and the alleged head-butter didn’t do it. We will wait and see.

    But I agree it has all got very ugly. What’s frustrating is that it’s needlessly ugly. If the Australian government had done its job and got on with the legislation two-thirds of our population clearly favours, most of “the current unpleasantness” (Winston Churchill’s memorable euphemism for the second world war, if I recall correctly) wouldn’t have occurred, and the taxpayer would not have been billed $122,000,000 for a pointless and statistically-flawed survey.

    The Liberals seem to be dab-hands at bending public opinion surveys to their own ends, inconsistently. When the majority of the population say they want refugees to be incarcerated in mid-Pacific gulags, largely because they’ve been subjected to what Professor William Maley famously described as (years and years of) “the fog of half-truths and misinformation spread by ministers and officials”, they’re all over it like a rash, screeching “Look! Look! Majority! Majority!”.

    But when a clear majority, an even bigger majority, makes it clear same-sex marriage is what they want, apparently we can all disregard that and inflict a $122,000,000 waste of money on the taxpayer and a whole lot of heartache and ugliness on LGBTI people.

    I can’t wait for the next federal election. Last time Labor came out of opposition into government, when John Howard lost his seat in 2007, a group of people danced on our front balcony to the tune of (a very loud) Martha and the Vandellas singing “Dancing in the street”. A repeat may not be all that far away.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,

      One can only hope. It looks like the unintentionally Pythonesque Senator Malcolm Roberts might soon be Mr Roberts, and it may be just the beginning of major dramas for the government if some of the others prove to be ineligible. Abbott would love it if a snap election was called and Turnbull’s tenure was ended.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Yes indeed, Roberts said he “chose to believe” he was never a UK citizen. Well so much for that instance of freedom of choice, Malc. Now it turns out he might also have been an Indian. Sorry, buddy, if you can’t even do your elementary personal admin to conform with the requirements of the constitution, why should we continue to regard you as a Senator? Go back to where you came from. That might be Queensland.

  • Jon says:

    It was an odd act to say the least but frankly this character did far less than a very large number of the population would like to do to Abbott who has been rogering the Australian populus for years. A split lip is quickly healed but this country will take years to get past the nasty, negative, oppose everything politics Abbott was largely responsible for introducing.

    It’s rich for someone of Abbott’s ilk and history to call for a mature and respectful debate on anything. Gillard, who was the target of some disgraceful placards and comments by Abbott and his supporters – none of which the mad monk condemned – tagged him correctly in her famous speech to parliament. He’s a pathetic hypocrite who plays loose with the truth, which unfortunately makes him perfectly suited to contemporary Australian conservative politics.

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