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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Katter campaign turns back the clock in Queensland

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To think last week I almost contemplated getting into bed with Bob Katter (Jnr). I mean that metaphorically of course, given that we’re not allowed to marry. And let’s face it, it isn’t that long ago I was contemplating the consequences of potentially sharing a bed with Alan Jones.

CSG has proven the old proverb ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’. But alas, not for long, especially in the case of Katter. By Monday our bromance was all over.

That was after a TV ad for Katter’s Australian Party attacking LNP leader Campbell Newman’s position of supporting gay marriage was aired.

In perhaps the most unsavoury piece of electioneering since the days of Pauline Hanson, the ad showed an image of a once-typical (read blond, blue-eyed) Aussie family, followed by pictures of Bob Brown, a shirtless gay couple and a loop of Newman in a safety vest reiterating his support for gay marriage.

This ad was wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin.

First, and perhaps most ludicrously, gay marriage is not the province of the state but of federal government – and we all know how they’re going to vote on the issue.

Secondly, Newman has said that despite his personal opinion he will vote to rescind Queensland’s recently passed gay relationship laws, which at least allow gay relationships to be registered, if not on a par with marriage.

Indeed, if Katter’s ad makes any positive contribution to the Australian body politic, it is to point out that Newman is a hypocrite. And there, as they say, is the rub.

Anyone to the left of Attila the Hun has been queuing up to condemn the ad and sink the boot into Katter, although it is a moot point whether his openly redneck campaign will be damaged by the trashy commercial.

His own half-brother Carl, a gay activist, said the ad was so bad that when he first saw it he thought it was a joke.

‘Let’s be honest here, this isn’t the first time Bob has done something dangerous and divisive,’ he told the ABC.

‘It’s also a great indication that this fledgling party are trying desperately to steal the conservative vote, but I think it’s going to backfire,’ he said.

‘I’m more concerned about the damage that they can facilitate in regional areas for predominantly gay and lesbian youth.’

Carl Katter has since made a TV commercial of his own, produced by GetUp! imploring people ‘don’t vote for hate’. http://youtu.be/NE9ZIyFgB_Q

Next on the attack was Franck Camhi, the photographer who produced the images of the two men hugging. He told smh.com.au the images, which were shot to illustrate the issue of gay adoption, had been taken out of context and used without his personal approval.

As reported on the James Newburrie blog Equal Love, the images were downloaded from the stock photo website 123RF, which specifically forbids the use of its images in political campaigns. Camhi told the paper he intended to contact the agency over the matter.

And then there is the ABC presenter who provided the voiceover for the ad without seeking permission from the broadcaster to undertake outside work. Newburrie again led the charge, naming WA-based ABC weekend presenter Suzanne McGill.

It is no secret the national broadcaster is extremely sensitive about any of its presenters undertaking commercial work, let alone political advertising of such a shabby and controversial nature.

The ABC reports that McGill has been stood down pending a full investigation, although Newburrie claims she is still working for the ABC off air.

So far the only obvious winner is Anna Bligh, who was struggling to get traction with her attack on Newman over the issue of dubious developer donations when he was lord mayor.

Meanwhile Newman, in defending his position (against the state relationship bill but supporting the federal marriage one), is exposed as a complete opportunist. His argument is as self-serving as it is cynical.

There should now be no doubt in anyone’s mind that a vote for Campbell Newman will do as much to undermine the human rights of gay Queenslanders as a vote for Bob Katter.

Bob Katter: http://youtu.be/wY8N2xSU3c0


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