There’s worse news every day.
Thursday, 15th of September: in her maiden speech to the Senate, Pauline Hanson declares that Australia is “in danger of being swamped by Muslims”.
Sunday, 18th of September: speaking to a forum of European conservatives, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott describes the influx of refugees to Europe from “Middle East and Africa” as a “peaceful invasion”.
Wednesday, 21st of September: an Essential poll of 1000 people suggests that 49% of Australians want to ban the migration of people of people of the Islamic faith to Australia. A further 11% aren’t sure either way. If the poll is accurate, those of us who oppose such a measure are in the minority.
It is closing time in the gardens of the West.
– Cyril Connolly
Yesterday’s news from Britain has bought the world to its knees. Europe’s most powerful institution has lost a crucial pillar and the hopes and dreams of millions dangle on the brink. It’s difficult to guess what brought us to this place – the path behind is tangled and dim, the path ahead is subsumed in darkness. As we stumble, blind, into the thicket of history, the only thing that’s certain is the stark reality of this uncanny severance – Harry Styles is leaving One Direction.
Things simply cannot go on as they were. Who would want to see Louis, Liam, and Niall in concert, a hair-gelled triumvirate of pure dead weight? 1D is finished. And, to add insult to injury, the United Kingdom is leaving the EU.
Jaundiced schlockmonger Donald Trump could be the next Emperor of Freedomland and everyone is all in a tizzy. But has anyone noticed that this racist demagogue has qualities in common with the only other racist demagogue anyone can be bothered remembering? Amazingly, nobody has ever thought to compare Trump with Hitler. Until now! These quotes are from either the Moustachioed Menace or Orange Boy – see if you can guess which belongs to whom!
As the icy lights of Sochi begin to thaw I think we can all agree that Russia deserves a pat on the back. Sure, there were a few teensy weensy human rights violations, but they were eclipsed by the glorious spectacles of human achievement, like people using pieces of fiberglass to slide down hills quite quickly. Unfortunately, the weedy misanthropes at Amnesty International disagree, saying that “the legacy of the Sochi Olympics will be tainted”. So to counter this cynical attempt to urinate all over the Olympic Spirit I’ve written this open letter, in the hope that the cooling winds of reason can freeze their hatred mid-stream and let it shatter like golden crystals on the soft snow of appreciation for peak athletics.
It’s sixteen hours before Anthony Abbott delivers his victory speech, leering like a blue-tied Caesar over the smouldering ruins of Gaul. I’m hunkered in my bunker staring at this screen, draped in a ratty grey dressing gown and struggling to think of a word to write. Maybe it would be easier if I thought that Labor had a chance, but that’s impossible outside the crumbling, ember-flecked Library of Alexandria that is Bob Ellis’ mind. Ellis, once a luminary activist, has lost the plot, vanished entirely inside himself, a bag of potatoes gone to seed – like he’s the jowly personification of the ALP itself.