Turnbull deserves no praise for condemning Anning maiden speech

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One Nation Senator Fraser Anning gives maiden speech at Parliament House, citing the White Australia policy and the "final solution" (Screenshot via YouTube)

As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has fanned the flames of fear and racism himself, his condemnation of Senator Fraser Anning's maiden speech is hypocritical at best, writes Noely Neate.

THIS MORNING, Prime Minister Turnbull – among other MPs – has been praised on the morning breakfast shows for condemning the odious, racist maiden speech made by Senator Fraser Anning, yesterday (14 August).

Comments like, “the speech has received condemnation from all sides of politics” and so on have featured prominently. Criticism has been swift and widespread and, of course, bipartisan.

This nation has been going to hell in a racist handbasket for years now, particularly ramping up in recent years, led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and condoned, if not encouraged by, current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The below tweet by Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Tudge, piggybacked by the PM himself, is utter rubbish!

Malcolm Turnbull has not 'rejected or condemned racism in any form'!

In fact, I strongly suspect that if Anning had not gone that one step too far in mentioning the dreaded “final solution” – which has to be the worst phrase you could ever use, referring to the term used by Nazi Germany to describe the mass killing of Jewish (and other minorities) in concentration camps – than PM Turnbull would probably not have made comment at all.

Besides the fact that this term is beyond offensive to any decent human being, Mr Turnbull also has a very large number of Jewish people in his electorate, many of whom, I expect, are not only supporters but donors to the Liberal Party. Cynical, I know, but Mr Turnbull has shown no interest in harmony for this nation, nor in defending those of Muslim background, which was the main thrust of this speech. In fact, he has stoked racism prior to this point.

It was only last week that Mr Turnbull was trashing the Victorian State Government and its "priorities". Not Nazis, but priorities. Turnbull weighed in, suggesting the Victorian Government has its priorities wrong in banning Sky News from railway station TV screens.

The PM said:

“We are a party of free speech and that should be the template that we look at all of these debates through. We are a democracy, we are governed by the rule of law, and one of our great rights is of free speech and debate.”

Remember, the reason Sky was flicked at Victorian train stations by the Victorian Transport Minister was that it featured a Nazi – not a “far-right nationalist” as the "free speech" warriors like to claim – but a full-blown Nazi on the telly. But for PM Turnbull, the issue was "free speech" and trying to kick the Victorian Labor Government, not concern about Nazis being given a platform on our TV screens!

Let us also look at Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Tudge, the man whose words our PM is praising in that tweet. This tweet below was only two days ago, in reference to Tudge whining about "multiculturalism".

This Government, led by the supposedly sensible and intelligent Prime Minister Turnbull, has overseen a pattern of nasty, divisive behaviour in this nation. This mealy-mouthed tweet is pathetic, in my opinion. The fact that so many in media are praising this man for his sad little tweet is also pathetic. Racism is ramping up in this nation and it has been condoned in so many forms by this Government. In fact, has been stoked by this Government.

Homophobia, racism, bigotry, misogyny, you name it — this Government has not just "walked past it", they have revelled in it.

Here are a few examples:

Please feel free to add examples of divisive stoking by this Government in the comments section below, as the above list is clearly not conclusive.

It was only a few weeks ago that the PM himself was flogging the African gang issue. Victoria Police refuted Minister for Home Affairs Dutton's claims of black African gangs terrorising Melbourne streets (which followed his invitation to “white South African farmers” to come to Australia to escape the nasty “black Africans” persecuting them). But the facts did not deter the PM from stoking the fear and racism. The poor Sudanese community became a target, with disastrous consequences, all in the name of political games.

So no, this Prime Minister cannot now be praised for condemning Fraser Anning. This Prime Minister and his party have gone above and beyond to instil a fear of “others” in this nation.

Vulnerable people are being harmed daily, due to this divisive strategy. Pretty much the only sector of Australian society who has not been disrespected and trashed by this Government is the white, share-holding, property-owning wealthy and middle class. Vulnerable, on welfare, students, immigrants – actually any person of colour – LGBTIQ, women, non-Christian, Indigenous Australians, have all had their kicks in the guts by this Government. Some have been kicked more than others and the fact so many in the media and leadership in our Government can’t see this pattern and, instead, report each instance of nastiness as a one-off is failing the nation.

The only person who deserves big praise this morning is Member for Watson Tony Burke, who said, "Don't apologise for racism".

I have been critical of the limp ALP responses to many Government statements, initiatives and actions, but this response by Mr Burke not only called out Fraser Anning’s racism but called out the Governments pattern of racist behaviour as well. Kudos to him.

The Coalition Government's Australia is not my Australia. I also encourage it not to be yours.

Read more from Noely Neate on her blog YaThink?, or follow her on Twitter @YaThinkN.

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