Passing Bull 61 – Trading insults and labels

 

The trouble with our politicians and political commentators is that this is all they do – they trade insults and labels.  Take Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian yesterday.  She refers to Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ – which I would think is a fair comment on Trump supporters.

But Mrs Clinton went on to give particulars – ‘racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it.’  I agree entirely that these terms are commonly abused in an endeavour to shut people up.  The grossest example is calling doubters of Israel anti-Semitic.  This is a cowardly smearing by labels.

How does Ms Albrechtsen respond?  By the same method – by hurling abuse that is over the top in an attempt to shut opposition up.

In one fell swoop the unplugged Democratic presidential candidate lifted the lid on the neo-fascist Left.

Clinton’s moment of ill-discipline reduced the fraud of so-called progressive politics to a simple illiberal equation: if you disagree with me on race matters, you are a racist…..Rather than engaging in debate, too many on the Left would rather portray disagreement on totemic issues as grounds for a mental disorder with the sole aim of shutting down any challenge to leftist orthodoxy.  [You do wonder what ‘rightist orthodoxy’ is, and who speaks for it apart from Andrew Bolt.]……

The end of Liberalism for many on the Left started more than 40 years ago when, by embracing identity politics, they untethered human rights from classical notions of freedom.  Sex, sexuality, race and other forms of personal identification trumped Enlightenment freedoms and the very notion of universal libertarian rights…..

We need more people like Baldwin who are honest about the Left’s conversion into loathers of freedom.

So there you have it.  Put to one side the usual labels, slogans, and bogeymen, if you call me racist, sexist or homophobe, I will call you a fraud, a fascist, and freedom-hater – and a traitor to the Enlightenment.  You have let down Spinoza and Kant!

The political commentators in The Australian fall into three categories – former staffers, mainly Liberals or defectors; people who subscribe to think tanks; and journalists who are close personal friends of Tony Abbott.   It is not just that we don’t get comment on issues.  We don’t even get comment on politicians.  All we get is commentators on commentators, disappearing up their own communal Platonic bum.  They commune with the faithful in their own bubble and in their own argot, and they pull faces at and trade insults with outsiders.  They are like warriors in paint-balling.  It is hard to imagine a more terminally useless bunch of bastards.

And of course s 18C gets wheeled out against the freedom-haters.  When people talk about ‘freedom of speech’ they are, I think, using the word ‘freedom’ in the dictionary sense of a ‘faculty or power to do as one likes’.  If therefore you can be arrested and jailed for making a certain statement, then to that extent your freedom of speech is limited, because you are prevented from doing what you like.

I could be arrested and jailed if I said to man walking with his wife in the street ‘That sheilah is a fucking slut and all the worse for being an abo.’  Does Ms Albrechtsen want to be free from our laws to say something like that?  If so, would she mind steering clear of Malmsbury?  If not, what is all the fuss about?

More than sixty years ago, when I was about six, I learned a saying: ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’  I commend the wisdom of children to our politicians and their awful press.  Thank heaven that all this bullshit is just nonsensical moonshine to ninety-nine out of one hundred Australians.  On this at least, they know better.

PS  Followers of this column or just connoisseurs of bullshit may get Numbers 1 to 50 on Amazon/Kindle.  I will publish them in batches of fifty.

Poet of the Month: Ibsen

 

Burnt Ships

 

To skies that were brighter

Turned he his prows;

To gods that were lighter

Made he his vows.

 

The snow-land’s mountains

Sank in the deep;

Sunnier fountains

Lulled him to sleep.

 

He burns his vessels,

The smoke flung forth

On blue cloud-trestles

A bridge to the north.

 

From the sun-warmed lowland

Each night that betides,

To the huts of the snow-land

A horseman rides.