Oops, we forgot to be racist

Give Ken Wyatt a break you idiots.

What does it say about our country that the election of the first Aboriginal member of the House of Representatives is instantly condemned by both by his own voters and people of the same ethnic background?

There is little one can say directly to anyone so blatantly racist as to send hate mail. Racism is fundamentally irrational; those who subscribe to it are not motivated by careful reasoning or consideration of the facts. Nevertheless, I think it rather fitting that such people, who clearly pay so little attention to reality, find themselves accidentally voting against their own archaic, tribal view of the world. Not that the Labor Party necessarily represents any such thing (it has its own special brand of archaic tribalism that transcends any festering racial issues), but there were certainly other choices on offer.

I can only imagine, given all the rubbish about boat people, that they must have equated the Labor Party with tolerance of other cultures, and decided they wanted none of that. Only Chris Back could have convinced racists to vote for an Aborigine. I’ll give him that one.

To those asking why Wyatt signed up to a “racist” party, I think this criticism shows a lack of vision. The Liberal Party certainly hasn’t been looked upon as the party of reconciliation (however much it likes to trumpet the merits of the NT intervention). The newly-ex Liberal member for O’Connor, Wilson “Iron Bar” Tuckey, stands as a stark testament to that.

One answer is to elect the Labor Party, which is all fine and good from a voter’s perspective, but it would be a cop out from Wyatt’s point of view. If those entering politics treat the Liberal Party as the “racist party”, then that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Surely, if Wyatt is liberal-leaning, it would be best for him to work within the Liberal Party to help reform its culture than just throw up his arms and accept that one side of politics is inherently racist. We need both major parties to be open to reconciliation, not just one of them. Racism must be starved of oxygen, not allowed free reign in one half of the political sphere.

Of course, there is a risk that Wyatt might be used as a cover for continued intolerant attitudes in the Liberal Party and its base. I don’t expect miracles overnight.

Wilson Tuckey, supergenius

Kevin Rudd must secretly love Wilson Tuckey, in the way that one might value a psychopath who happens to inhabit the enemy bunker and can’t actually fire a weapon. In other words, Tuckey plays right into Rudd’s political message.

Perhaps feeling a little defensive over all the condemnation of his boat terrorist hypothesis, Tuckey latched onto a breadcrumb left by one Dr Victor Rajakulendran:

That is a probability, that is what I have been told, so out of 200 Tamil asylum seekers, there could be a Tiger. They are also fleeing the country like any other Tamils because their life is also in danger and I would say their life is in more danger than a common Tamil civilian. The common Tamil civilians are leaving the country because of fear of their lives – these people also will definitely flee the country so they could be in the boat.

There you go. Terrorists on boats – case closed. I won’t make too much of Tuckey himself supposedly using this as evidence to support his position. It doesn’t, of course, for reasons that I think are obvious given the above quote. Tuckey previously referred specifically to people coming to Australia with hostile intent, and I doubt that blowing things up in Australia is a terribly appealing strategy for someone fighting for a homeland in the north of Sri Lanka.

In this instance, all he had to say was: “Well, I think it authenticates it. It is quite interesting of course.” As silly as this is, it sounds like a throw-away response to a journalist’s question, which raises two points:

  1. It’s not clear what the question actually was (cue Douglas Adams); and
  2. Tuckey may not have heard the actual quote before he responded, but merely an interpretation of it.

If I had more time to dig up useless factoids, I might be able to figure that out. However, I don’t, and so I’m going with my own theory that someone was simply pushing Tuckey’s buttons, which I imagine isn’t a terribly hard thing to do.

Not to leave us too disappointed, however, Tuckey offers us this additional morsel of insight:

What is [the asylum seekers’] health status and what threat, unfortunately, might they represent to children and others within Australia.

To children, Wilson? Terrorism isn’t enough for you, eh? Now you’re sagely warning us that they might be terrorist paedophiles?

It’s teh boat terrorists!

The existence of Wilson Tuckey is truly an unnecessary contribution to the heat death of the universe. Quite predictably, he suggests that terrorists are lurking among asylum seekers arriving by boat.

Sayeth the Great Purveyor of Entropy, himself a convicted criminal:

If you wanted to get into Australia and you have bad intentions what do you do?

Board a plane, perhaps? No no, our illustrious former minister of the Howard Government has a much more efficient and sophisticated proposition:

You insert yourself in a crowd of 100 for which there is great sympathy for the other 99 and you go on a system where nobody brings their papers, you have no identity you have no address.

That’s right! No papers! I mean, how will we know who the terrorists are without the enormous, bright red “TERRORIST” stamp that magically appears in the passport of anyone intending to commit such an act in the future? And these evildoers could gain entry in a matter of months, while being subjected to nothing more than a thorough background check by the immigration authorities, a few headlines in major newspapers and a stint in the Christmas Island detention centre. Not like those terrible long-haul plane trips, where the meals are awful, the seating is cramped and the security is so tight that they x-ray your baggage.

This from a man who still inhabits the corridors of power.

Did you miss me?

Oh… I see. Well, same to you with extraneous attachments. Nevertheless, after a short and somewhat unintentional break, I’m now ready to inflict myself upon you once more, hapless reader.

I shall commence by drawing your attention to the fine specimen that is federal MP Wilson Tuckey. (A fine specimen of what shall be left unspecified for now.) Nobody really takes Wilson Tuckey seriously on anything, not even his own party, but the simple fact that he’s been elected (and continues to be re-elected) suggests that he does actually represent someone. This is rather a pity, in the general scheme of things.

Recently, of course, Tuckey has been piping up over the leadership of the Liberal Party, and Malcolm Turnbull’s unsuitability for the role. I can’t speak for anyone else, but the standing of the Liberal Party in my mind would be improved to a vastly greater extent by the removal of Tuckey than by the removal of Turnbull. Though Tuckey’s replacement would have to represent the same constituency, surely he or she couldn’t be quite so much of a callous, disreputable fruitcake.

By contrast, any replacement for Turnbull could easily be a lot worse. I find Turnbull to be a fairly un-objectionable leader, despite his poor polling. He’s a much easier person to listen to than Kevin Rudd. He does come off as a little smug at times, and perhaps a little politically inexperienced, but I can happily live with such minor inconveniences if it means we won’t be subjected to the Moral Crusades of Opposition Leader and Alternate Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The objectionable aspect of the Liberal Party is not (for the moment) its leader, but its policies and ideology. And people like Tuckey.