In a bus near Alstonville. Tuesday, 3.10pm
Don’t you love it when a politician, like – say – the PM, tells you black is white. Or, at least, black should be white.
I love (not) the way a federal politician lies. He will puff himself up like a cane toad, furrow his brow and stare down the camera with all the sincerity of a five-year-old child with crumbs down his shirt, and tell you that, really, a bad man climbed in through the window and ate all the biscuits. Or that January 26 is for all Australians.
So, the puffed-up toad, all wart and toxin, suit and shave, constructs this convenient lie, using a tone in his voice which he believes is what a sincere person telling the truth would sound like but, working, as he does, in a place where honesty is the enemy, he has no idea what truth actually sounds like, so his put-on sincere tone rings fake to everyone but him. In reality, his speaking is a useful alarm that alerts the citizenry that what you are hearing is a fabrication, a concoction, bullshit. (Of course, if the newly minted truth suits you, you can choose to believe it. This is the modern way.)
The PM reckons that January 26 is a celebration for all Australians. Oh, come on. All Australians?
It’s a lovely thought, Scott. It’s a saleable dream. A one-nation fantasy. I can see it now through the wavy lines and overexposure… Happy people are gathered as one around the barby (Weber) in the suburban backyard, beautiful young people with really white teeth (dental plan), lamb chops sizzling, children laughing (not in detention), old people with sports socks (and superannuation), Aussie-flags flapping, beers clinking, and everyone singing, ‘We are young and free.’
Aw. (Sniff.) Lovely.
But wait, Scott. Aboriginal people don’t seem to want to join in. Aboriginal people don’t want to celebrate the anniversary of the invasion of their countries and the trashing of their cultures. But, being a master of fakery, you do ‘righteously indignant’ (a favourite in your repertoire), puffing up even further, the poison oozing from you: It’s unAustralian not to celebrate January 26.
But, I believe that, deep inside that grey suit of yours, Scott, between the Bible covers, under the juvenile hubris, is a heart. And heart recognises truth. You do understand that January 26 cannot be a celebratory date for all Australians.
However, as a federal politician, you have the ability to say anything – no matter how stupid – and still get paid well. And you will say anything – no matter how stupid – as long as there is a political advantage to be gained.
Only a man who, when asked about his values, answers, ‘…loving kindness, justice and righteousness on Earth,’ quoting the Bible (Jeremiah, chapter 9:24), but made the children suffer in detention, could say Australia Day on January 26 is for all Australians. It takes a certain skill: an ability to deny reality, to harden the heart, to put oneself above all others. It means you’re a bully.
Scott, PM and all powerful, seated on his golden throne (and entitlements) in the high tower of the elite, is now hurling down wrath upon the little people who don’t buy his lie; little people like Byron Shire Council people, who have decided that January 26 is not a suitable date to celebrate Australia.
That’s the thing about local governments: They still have some contact with reality. The federal government, though, doesn’t like reality – the reality of refugees, climate change or Aboriginal sovereignty. It prefers the lies of border protection, ‘coal is good’ and terra nullius.
So, good on you, Byron. You may be the flashy tart of the Northern Rivers, but you still got spunk.