NORPA’s Big Think welcomes The Chaser’s Mark Humphries to discuss everything that gets his and Mark Dapin’s goat. Chaired By Zachery Jane, this will be an IQ-raising event not to miss. Humphries spoke with Echonetdaily…
So, we have more access to information than ever before… is it making us more aware or dumbing us down? And how can you tell?
We also have more access to misinformation, so I think the two have cancelled each other out. I find the number of hoaxes and just outright lies that you see shared around on social media to be quite alarming.
Being able to Google things in an instant may well be making us less inclined to learning new things. We can just seek knowledge at the necessary time.
There has been a big reaction to having a Mosque in Currumbin (Gold Coast). No one wants it… why do you think the community has become so frightened of Muslims? Do you think there would be the same outcry if it was a Catholic Church… or an Aldi?
Well, I think some people see that there have been acts of terrorism committed ‘in the name of Islam’ and they make an assumption therefore that Muslims are to be feared. I think it can be quite hard to communicate the idea that the people who commit these acts do not in fact represent Muslims. Any more than the Ku Klux Klan represents white people in America.
Describe the world in three years’ time with Trump as the President of the US…
You know that scene in Star Wars when they try to reach Alderaan, but it’s been obliterated? That’s us.
Tell me what you think about the plebiscite and why we are having it on marriage equality and not for instance on parliamentary pay rises. What do you think we should or could have plebiscites on?
We’re having it on marriage equality because of the bind Turnbull got himself in trying to become Prime Minister. I’m generally opposed to it because of the expense and division it will cause. This is a decision that our politicians should be able to make. Plebiscites should really only be for things like changing the flag or the national anthem, you know, stuff that politicians aren’t likely to be able to discern what their electorate would want them to vote for. I’d rather see a plebiscite about whether Australians still want new episodes of ‘Millionaire Hot Seat’. I know where I stand.
If you had to choose a cricket team out of the current sitting Federal members, who would you choose, what positions would they play and why?
I don’t know enough about cricket to answer this question but I think Tony Smith is doing a fine job as Speaker of the House so he’d make a suitable umpire.
The other day I was thinking about our most impressive Australian leaders and they were all really tall. Can a height challenged man still make a good politician… who?
Some people aren’t going to like this response, but I find John Howard to be genuinely impressive despite his lack of height. I went to see him launch his Menzies book and from the moment he entered the room, he had a commanding presence. I was also taken aback by how affable and even funny he was.
When it comes to politics, what has happened to vision, integrity and a sense of planning for the future?
I’m sure that most of our politicians do have some of these qualities, but the nature of politics beats it out of you. Peter Garrett is a great example of someone who probably had the best intentions in the world, but just got chewed up by the machine. if we take Malcolm Turnbull as an example, I’d like to think he has these characteristics, but his ambition meant he had to compromise on them.
Is it possible do you think to be a party politician and still have a voice?
If George Christensen is anything to go by, absolutely.
How do you envisage Aussie politics a decade from now?
Just a group of former Big Brother contestants.
Can Penny Wong ever be PM?
Well, she’d have to leave the Senate for a start. But I think she’s given the best response to this already: ‘There’s too much sexism and homophobia and racism in our society for me to want to expose myself to that, and my family’.
If you could make your own party that had an assured leadership chance, who would you run as the top 3 and what would your platform be?
It’d be the Golden Oldies Party. Paul Keating, John Faulkner and Peter Costello. They’d run on a platform of ‘Make Australia the 1990s again’.
If you could use any way of selecting a government imaginable, what would you choose? (I wouldn’t mind a dance off)
A stand-up comedy competition. You can’t trust someone without a sense of humour. This is one of the many reasons Donald Trump would be a terrible President. He’s completely humourless. You’ve got to be able to see the absurdity in life and laugh at yourself. And some of our best politicians have been the wittiest.
Tuesday 11 October, 7pm, NORPA at Lismore City Hall. Tickets: $30. Bookings: www.norpa.org.au or 1300 066 772