Friday, September 02, 2011

#notruckwits - a call for #CalmerDiscourse

Sent as a letter to the SMH, Friday September 2.

On Thursday, we yet again saw an angry crowd of anti-carbon tax protesters waving placards that depicted a dog with the words "Ditch Gillard" and another that said "Tolerance is our demise". Some of these protesters screamed "maggots" at Anthony Albanese who addressed the rally.

Marching in solidarity with these protesters was the Liberal Party MP, Sophie Mirabella. In her speech, she reportedly called on protesters "not to be intimidated". By what, it is not clear . Perhaps it was the crowd of smiling carbon tax supporters up the road who chose to avoid an angry confrontation by staying away from the protest rally.

I call on Sophie Mirabella, MP to publicly and strongly repudiate the uglier sections of the crowd that she chose to support yesterday.

I also call on supporters of the Liberal Party who oppose the carbon tax, but are appalled by the angry mobs who turn up at such rallies to urge their MPs to issue similar public repudiations. Liberal Party MPs should refuse to attend such rallies until the organisers do something concrete about defusing the heat from the crowds they attract.

Finally, the Liberal Party should be strongly repudiating its supporters in the media, such as Alan Jones, who repeatedly foster such disturbing, anti-democratic tendencies with incendiary rhetoric such as his call for elected politicians to be dragged out to sea in "chaff bags".

Updated 16:10, 2 September: On reflection, the call for Sophie Mirabella to repudiate the entire crowd is, of course, quite wrong so I have amended my call. However, she should be asked to repudiate the uglier elements of the crowd in the interests of encouraging calmer discourse.


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