If I had a dollar for every word I’ve read about the Australian Human Rights Commission complaint that the mysterious and rather elusive Melissa Dinnison has lodged under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act about Bill ‘Waki’ Leak’s (in my view) highly objectionable cartoon published in The Australian early last month I’d be a bloody millionaire by now.
In fact I reckon the collective outpourings of supposedly expert comment and opinion about the Wakileaks complaint have filled so many pages that the Malaysian woodcutters had to forcibly relocate another Papua New Guinean village just so they could chop down the surrounding trees and supply enough paper to print the cacophony of ill-informed crap that the cockatoos led by Doubting have been so madly squawking and shouting.
Now I don’t know about you sportsfans, but I’ve personally had it up to here (editors note: the author grabs hold of his bride’s brand new bigger and bolder boobs) with the whole damn freedom ride that Rupert’s temerarious typists have been taking us on these last six months or so, and the time’s come for me to say ENOUGH! because I have far larger mountains to climb than constantly having to rebut the fork-tongued words flung at newspaper readers by Rupert’s wolves who so perniciously pretend to be liberty’s lover and freedom’s friend (editor’s note: Archie bungs his mitts on the Bead Twirler’s tits again).
Old Eleanor Roosevelt once told the world that:
Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.
And ain’t that just the plain and honest goddamn truth punters?
Freedom comes with responsibility.
The responsibility to put the pros and cons of your position on the table so that it can be objectively analysed by any bugger who’s interested in what you have to say.
The responsibility to display the whole bloody fresco, not just roll out the parts of the painting that segue with what you’re trying to say and might impress the good folk whose opinion you’re so avidly attempting to sway.
The responsibility if you’re a journalist to employ balance in the stories you create, and put the whole trainload of truth before your readers, not just the carriages that tilt in your own right-leaning direction when they take the twists and turns along the track.
War ain’t Peace, Freedom’s not Slavery, and Ignorance has never been Strength. Orwell was just taking the piss, like I often do in my musings that under the influence of strong liquor, and a strong dose of over-enthusiastic editing, the boss occasionally deigns to print on this page.
The smart bastards who’ve been to university call my stuff Satire – the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues – and some people get it and others don’t, but at least my larrikin style, excessive use of vitriolic profanity, and over-the-top employment of hyperbole are a clear signal to all but the pig ignorant, the self-important, and.c*nts with their head stuck up their arses that my writing is what it is, and I never pretend that it’s anything else.
As a result you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you jump onto the most incisive free to all current affairs site written by a mad bloke from the Bung in the whole wide world don’t you dear reader? Just like you like you think you know what you’re getting when you shell out a couple of bucks and a bob each day to read The Australian, the perennial sole contender and proudly boasted national Newspaper of the Year, which it wins for the inescapably logical reason that it’s the only one.
But you don’t really know what Murdoch’s dishing out to you as well as you might think you do sportsfans, and neither Rupert nor redundancy-averse reporters are going to tell you why. This little black is though, ‘cos I still believe in the old-fashioned notion of truth in reporting and hate to see febrile half-facts fertilising Australia’s public policy garden with bulldust, which is exactly what’s been happening throughout the Murdoch-hyped hysterical national debate about vaporising the 21 year-old prohibitions on race inspired and driven offensive commentary and abuse contained in Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
The fact that no-one is telling you is that 18C was originally introduced into law way back in the year of nineteen-hundred and ninety-five in tandem with the passing of the Racial Hatred, and it had been ticking along nicely since that time until:
(a) Columnist Andrew Bolt, a firm favorite of Murdoch because he sells paper and thus makes him more money, got pinged under the law for an ill-considered column about skin colour;
(b) Tony Abbott when still Prime Minister decided to toady up to Murdoch and win if not his everlasting gratitude, at least Rupert’s ongoing political support by abolishing Section 18C (his strategy worked – see (d) – but the abolition didn’t);
(c) Abbott’s legislative amendment to eradicate 18C failed, and he soon after lost both the Liberal Party leadership and his honeymoon suite in the Lodge;
(d) Malcolm Turnbull p*ssed his long-time foe Murdoch off mightily by refusing his entreaties to amend media laws so that Rupert could get even richer than he already is by slapping patriotic Australian sportsfans with a hefty fee if they wanted to watch any live sporting event other than the New Zealand South Island Provincial Sheep Dog Qualify Rounds held in the scrub somewhere south-west of the bustling town of Invercargill; and
(d) Rupert decided on a square-up and selected the ‘Kill 18C’ campaign as the vehicle.
Them’s the simple facts, but you won’t be learning them from any media outlet owned by Murdoch any time soon, because to admit what Archie’s just alerted you to as the truth would mean that Rupert have to confess that he and his salary-men and women have been stringing you along and pulling your chain, and an admission of such a nature would in all probability not be taken too kindly by readers who rely on his newspapers to tell them what is and what isn’t in this big, bad, crazy world.
The upshot of course is that you have to turn to the pages of online publications like Its Not Normal to be set straight, which while not a bad thing for either you or the boss means that all of my writing time is spent railing against the craven anti-18C campaign and not on things I’d prefer to write about like the bodacious success of the bride’s boob job, or the chances of the runners in today’s big race The Oaks at Flemington, or the corruption and crime and all things grime that have been going on in the shadows of the sunshine state since Rupert Murdoch first stuck his head down in an Oxford 6th XV rugby team maul all those years ago when cold wars against commies were fought out in the open rather than the modern trend of fighting them from newspaper editorial rooms run out of Wapping, England or Jerry Hall’s boudoir in downtown Texas, USA.
This rot has to stop, and it has to stop soon, so I’m going to throw the first Truth-Bomb into the bullsh*tter’s tent by telling you a little true-life tale about a racial discrimination complaint made, heard and determined under 18C way back at the turn of the century in 2001, the year of the Space Odyssey.
The full name of the case is Nyungar Circle of Elders v West Australian Newspapers Ltd  HREOCA 1 (12 April 2001) and you can find it online at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HREOCA/2001/1.html or in the article published below.
As the name suggests it’s about a complaint made by a group of tribal elders in 1998 about an alleged deliberately racially offensive cartoon published in the WA daily newspaper The West Australian, and even though I can’t recall it being mentioned in any of the hundreds of ‘Abolish 18C’ articles published in Murdoch papers this year it’s not because Uncle Rupert isn’t aware of the case and the Commission’s decision because at one stage – although not at the time the complaint was made – his family company actually owned and operated the newspaper.
Think about that for a minute, and while you are doing see see if you can remember why the case sounds so familiar, even though you’ve almost certainly never heard it’s name before in your life.
Mmm – a case involving a complaint regarding a cartoon with the subject matter of Aborginal Australians that one of more of our aforesaid brown-skinned compatriots found racially offensive. That does sound familiar doesn’t it Archie.
“I’ve got it! The Bill Leak complaint! The one Doubting Thomas has been telling us signals the beginning of the end for Freedom of Speech! That’s the one! I bet the aboriginals won it too. That 18c is a sh*t of a law and stops us everyday average Australians from having our say on the public issues that matter and its simply gotta go!”.
Well, well, well; you’re not just a pretty face Wendy, because you’re dead right – this case is exactly like the Bill Leak complaint, almost it’s identical siamese twin in fact.
But you’re not beautiful either sweetheart, because the complainants lost after the Commissioner determined that 18c wasn’t introduced into law or intended to restrict the right of free speech enjoyed by Australian citizens under the Constitution of the Commonwealth since 1901; and it wasn’t their to put a gag on broad and free public discussion either.
It was simply there to stop being subjected to unwarranted and unwanted attacks based on the colour of their skin rather than the content of their character.
And the Murdoch press would have you believe that this is somehow a a terrible thing.
Take the time to read the judgement before you rush into believing the self-interested rants written by Murdoch’s salarymen and women and published in his newspapers.
And always remember – he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Even it does happen to be a dirge.