The closer I get to E Day in September, the more I find myself sitting up and taking notice of what Opposition Leader Tony Abbot's cutthroat crew are saying, tweeting, or otherwise emitting.
Three recent items in particular are worth noting. Taken in isolation, they could perhaps be dismissed as aberrations. Put together, however, and it's a different matter. Read on and you can almost see the swagger, the glint in the eyes, and the flashing of knives in the moonlight:
1) What follows is a gobsmacking twitter exchange between South African-born, West Australian Liberal MP Dr Dennis Jensen and an indigenous Australian woman, in which the White Man tells the Black Woman to quit her whining and move on:
Jensen: Hell, how long ago was colonialism? Get over it... every country in the world has been successfully invaded in the past!
The Koori Woman: Do I snap my fingers and forget 213 years of oppression?
Jensen: It is time to unite Australia, not divide based on a victim mentality. What do you do when knocked down, just blame.
(Source: Tweet and sour: MP in spat with Aboriginal woman on colonialism, Dan Harrison, Sydney Morning Herald, 18/4/13)
(BTW, the title 'Dr' denotes not Jensen's bedside manner - he has none - but his PhD in Materials Science and Physics.)
Now, as you'd expect, this defender of colonialism is also an 'expert' on Palestine/Israel.
Did you know, for example, that those who say Ariel Sharon withdrew his thugs and maddies from the Gaza Strip in 2005 so that he could get the Americans off his back and focus on colonising the more strategic West Bank have got it all wrong?* Apparently, in a completely spontaneous (but in retrospect sadly misplaced) display of generosity and goodwill, this legendary White Man decided to give the sand niggers of Gaza the gift of self-determination! But, hey, were the buggers grateful for their tiny, walled Bantustan on the Med? Not on your nelly:
"Mr Forde, I was in Israel... in 2005 [when] Israel allowed Gaza self-determination. I would have thought that the way in which Palestinians at that stage would have shown goodwill was to try to make Gaza as much as possible a model state. Instead, what they did was that they started firing rockets into Israel."
How to account for the natives being so damn uppity? Dr Jensen, whose research skills are second to none, knows:
"If you look at at Palestinian Authority TV the stuff they put up is appalling... they are inciting children to jihad, which is basically doing a suicide action on behalf of Allah..."
His interlocutor, Mr Forde asks:
"Have you seen that TV... or are you relying on stuff you were given by... [Israel] lobby groups?"
And Jensen replies:
I have seen it on the internet.
(Source: Supporting the Recognition of Palestine as a Non-Member UN State, Standing Committee on Petitions, 12/4/13)
2) "An article published by a Liberal Party-aligned think tank that advocates killing off the poorest 20% of Australians as a way to get the budget back on track has been described as a 'disgraceful rant' by Treasurer Wayne Swan. A 'modest cull of the enormously poor' has been suggested by right-wing business lobbyist Toby Ralph in a tongue-in-cheek opinion piece written in reaction to the federal government's attack on the 'fabulously wealthy' through superannuation taxes. 'In contrast to the fabulously rich, the enormously poor make little useful contribution to society,' wrote Mr Ralph, a long-time Liberal Party campaign strategist." (Kill poor to fix budget, writes lobbyist with Liberal links, Heath Aston, Sydney Morning Herald, 17/3/13)
3) "Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has demoted a member of his staff for threatening the head of an indigenous education charity. Mr Abbott has announced his director of policy, Dr Mark Roberts, has been demoted following an investigation into his behaviour at a Sydney dinner on Thursday night. Political commentator Peter van Onselen has insisted several witnesses saw Dr Roberts make a throat slitting gesture to Andrew Penfold, the chief executive of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation... 'I heard him say slit the throat or cut the throat, I heard the cutting of funding as an exact quote...' Mr van Onselen said. Mr van Onselen said Dr Roberts had made a throat cutting gesture which was witnessed by his wife and other guests at the dinner... Mr van Onselen said Dr Roberts later approached him and offered to give him information from within Mr Abbott's office in return for keeping quiet about the incident..." (Abbott staffer demoted after incident at Sydney party, Dan Harrison, Sydney Morning Herald, 19/4/13)
[*See my 21/8/12 post Zionising the Draft Modern History Curriculum 6.]