Contributed by Joe Montero
Andrew Bolt’s current diatribe is against defenders of Aboriginal rights and advocates of marriage equality. He brands them as bullies and liars. This is not new. He has called others the same names.
Not that he is likely to really believe what he says. He is too smart to be so stupid and he is better explained as using his poison pen for reasons other than attempting to arrive at the truth. Driving the diatribe, is an ambition to create an Australia that fits in neatly with the vision of his paymaster, Rupert Murdoch, who uses his media empire to push a political direction that is repugnant to most people. One that has to be peddled through the back door of straw men and false accusations.
Foot soldiers are needed and NewsCrop is at the front line, working to break away a section of the disaffected population into a political movement looking for scapegoats, on which to blame all real or imagined ills. One just has to consider the ongoing themes of NewsCorps’ publications and other media outlets, which by the way, have been pivotal to the creation of One Nation, steering it in a particular direction, and by extension, transforming the Coalition towards NewsCorp’s view of the world.
The method used is to smear anyone who might have something different to say. There is no reasoned argument. Just reliance on name calling and branding what is not convenient, as fake news. Checking the facts does not come into it, for they cannot be allowed to get in the way of the story. Nor does this approach have any timer for a measure of humility. You see, Andrew Bolt and his people have set themselves up as the custodians of all that is true. Nobody knows better than them.
Yesterday, his regular column in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, led with the following heading. “Facts elude the statue haters”. The story begins with a tilt at those who those who want to move Australia Day from 26 January and challenge the concept that Captain Cook discovered Australia. He has no time for those who dare to suggest that those who first lived on this land were dispossessed and almost wiped out of existence. Nor does he admit that they knew the place was here, before Cook’s arrival.
So it is put that 26 January “signifies the amazing creation of a society that is rich and free,” without bothering to show the connection. Perhaps this is because there isn’t any. Any fool can see that all the good and bad that came to be Australian society after white settlement, was created by generations of those lived here. It was not created by Captain Cook on a certain day.
Cook is portrayed as a sailor and explorer, just out mapping the east coast. Ignored is the inconvenient reality that Cook performed the act of planting the flag and annexing the land for the British Crown and he did so, on the basis that no-one was living on it. It is all in his own personal log. Cook was obeying the order from the government to colonise the territory. Our purveyor of the truth leaves out this little inconvenience, because it easily demolishes his argument.
Andrew Bolt takes exception to the charge that the coming of the white man led to genocide of the original inhabitants of the land. This is a lie, he suggests. The evidence? Just that there are how more Aboriginals that there were before Cook, and that the white man’s government has since sought to protect them. What backs these assertions up? Nothing. Instead, there is a diversion concerning an alleged poisoning of waterholes, which he calls a falsehood peddled by Mary Gilmore.
He does not mention that the colonial administration classified the original inhabitants as vermin that could be exterminated legally, the deliberate handing out of smallpox infected blankets and the carrying out of what were called the frontier wars to clear the land for white farmers, and eventually, the herding of populations into virtual concentration camps, not to mention the removal of children, for the express purpose of destroying a culture. In Andrew Bolt’s world, none of this happened.
Having a go at those who suggest that the statue of Captain Cook, because it’s connection with a great injustice offends a section of Australian society, is considered far more important. The same applies to those who suggest the same for the statue of Lachlan Macquarie. How dare they suggest that he personally ordered massacres. Macquarie, Bolt insists, only “ordered soldiers to clear out Aborigines from some areas and shoot those who did not surrender,” implying that this was a matter of law and order and not an injustice.
Genocide is what happened to the Jewish population in Europe under Germany’s Third Reich, we are told. This was genocide, because, as Bolt explains, a large part of the population was deliberately wiped out. Guess what. A large part of the population of those who first occupied this land was deliberately wiped out to. By Bolt’s own definition, this is genocide.
The awkwardness is sidestepped, by suggesting that the real cause of the decimation of Aboriginal society was ongoing wars between Aboriginal tribes. The evidence? Only that Geoffrey Blainey said so. This is a man, well known for antipathy towards the first Australians, a dislike for Asians and a leading champion of the notion that British colonisation was a civilising force that was ultimately good for the first Australians. Few genuine historians give much credence to his views.
Andrew Bolt has also been bridling against what he suggests is the “disgusting and dangerous” campaign to allow same sex marriage. Activists pushing for this change are bullies he says. The evidence? Money is being spent of a yes campaign. Special attention is paid to “Greens dominated councils.” This is authoritarianism, aimed against the Christian lobby, he says.
No mention is made of the fact that the backers of the no campaign are also spending money and promoting their cause. Some are even suggesting that homosexuality leads to pedophilia and that same sex marriage pouts children at risk. Who is bullying who?
It is clear that if you are on Bolt’s side of an argument, anything goes. If you are on the other,you deserve nothing short of being despised.
The world of Bolt, is one firmly the hands of money and privilege and a very narrow view of what should be permissible in society. Should this ambition come to be realised, it’s imposition won’t be called an attack on democratic rights, but a necessity born out of the need to maintain law and order.
It is a very good reason for Andrew Bolt and others like him to be exposed for what they really stand for.