AFTER last week I’m left thinking about Captain Abbott’s legislation to strip dual citizenship from those who have fought for ISIL, and was struck by the claim for urgency.
I can only put it down to a rumour buzzing around Parliament House about Abbott calling an early election, either in the form of a double dissolution or just for the House of Representatives.
What’s the connection?
Abbott is beating the drums of war, and as Samuel Johnson observed in 1775, “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” and electorally Abbott and Co are scoundrels – think of the socially unjust 2014 budget and so on. This mob are whipping us up into a frenzy of fear by claiming to “keep us safe”.
He is whipping up the electorate for a “khaki election” an expression first coined by Britain’s Lord Salisbury, who frightened the electorate into voting Conservative in 1900, his bogey man to frighten the electorate being the Boers in Southern Africa.
Our Government’s fear mongering attitude is also apparent in Captain Abbott’s reaction to Zaky Mallah’s appearance on last week’s Q&A.
The audiences on Q&A and the questions they ask are carefully balanced to allow for a broad range of viewpoints, and for this reason Mr Mallah’s question was valid, if not exactly palatable to most.
Presumably Captain Abbott doesn’t agree with the quotation usually mistakenly attributed to the eighteenth century philosopher Voltaire, “Though I may not agree with what you say, I'll defend to the death your right to say it”.
Mr Abbott should also remember that the ABC is a “public” broadcaster, not a “state” one, and so, thankfully, it is not answerable to him and his extreme right wing cohorts.
He also needs to remember that if the ABC is truly independent it shouldn’t be on anybody’s side, least of all his, so how can he with a clear conscience keep asking who’s side is it on?
Anyway, given that as coalition MPs left Canberra for the Winter Recess they were very vocal that there would not be an early election I’m reminded of another quotation, this time by Queen Gertrude in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”.
- Ray Goodlass
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