Let it be known without question that the Coalition in Australia has spent the last decade running brutally divisive and racially charged campaigns to snatch up votes in elections they know they cannot win any other way. It is how Tony Abbott won in 2013, it is one of the reasons Turnbull won in 2016, and it is disgustingly possible that those filthy bastards will do so again this year with Morrison at the helm. Anning’s comments appeared to unite the Australian people against him – our politicians are not so easily agreeable.
While the Prime Minister had at least some shred of integrity when he called the events of last week a terrorist attack, his party has much to answer for regarding its role in fomenting this kind of hatred. Waleed Aly (whose Channel 10 hosts I usually disregard) made a terrific speech after what happened. Being a Muslim himself, he almost did not go in to talk about it but after the video had been shared over 12 million times, Australia is glad he did. He got straight to the point, calling out government members and the media for their part in riling up mistrust of the ever present but mysterious ‘other’.
Aly specifically called out Morrison, who he claimed had been the one, in 2011, to stir up anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric to win the election. The Prime Minister’s office has since lashed out, potentially threatening action against 10 for the segment. They did, however, admit that Morrison did indeed mention anti-Muslim rhetoric, but denied that he considered it for that purpose. No doubt that that is a lie; who would bring it up if not as a suggestion to garner votes?
But it is not only Morrison under fire for his past comments. Peter Dutton and Pauline Hanson have been instrumental in provoking hateful rhetoric towards minority groups, refugees, and specifically Muslims and African Australians. The Greens, namely Richard Di Natale and Mehreen Faruqi (a Muslim Senator), were also not afraid to make statements calling out the Coalition’s calculated and hateful actions, including how they have handled the refugee situations on Manus and Nauru. Dutton’s response was shocking, as he compared the Green’s completely justified accusations to the statement made by Fraser Anning in response to Christchurch.
Let me repeat that. Peter Dutton, one of the most powerful and authoritarian men in the country as Minister for Home Affairs, compared the Greens to an apologist for white supremacist terrorism. He passed them off as “extreme left” and in turn accused them of “politicising” what happened in New Zealand. So says the party that has politicised the asylum seeker debate literally to the death of refugees in our care. “I’m hardly going to take morals lectures from the extreme left”, says the man whose morals are so drenched in vile hatred, in response to the only party actually fighting for human rights. Penny Wong tweeted her support for the Greens’ statements, siding Labor with them on the debate, which is good to see.
Morrison later backed this up by saying he denounced “tribalism”, calling out those who try to create and “us vs them” scenario. So says a party that has thrived off decades of stimulating “us vs them” debates; so says a man who in a speech decrying such division proceeds to divide the perpetrators of this apparent chasm into opposing sides. The hypocrisy and shameless corruption and immorality is not lost on the people of Australia. Even commenters on 7 and 9 news channels, who usually soak up the “Australia first” message, were horrified by what took place in New Zealand, and they were equally disgusted by what Fraser Anning said. Perhaps some of them will now see Pauline Hanson for who she truly is, as she defended his right to speak his mind, seemingly ok with his apologist stance.
No, the Greens are in no way comparable to Anning, and to suggest such a thing is (to quote Faruqi’s response) simply vile. The Coalition play this repetitive tune of being against polarisation while instigating the very divisions they supposedly shun. They have normalised hate speech in this country, and it must end. They cannot be allowed a third term, or the inevitable wretched attacks against our security and safety will continue, and any blood spilled will be on their hands.