Flat White

That dinner, that beat up, that … yawn

14 February 2017

5:11 PM

14 February 2017

5:11 PM

‘Notorious controversialists make controversial remarks at controversial fundraiser’ is the lamest news story in a year already chock full of lame news stories.

It may be well be true, as John Adams says,  that Jaqueline Maley placed ‘significant emphasis on a collection of the most outrageous, offensive and exotic comments made during the event, while providing a broad chronological overview’. But seriously, who gives a toss?

First of all, ‘The Sydney Morning Homosexual’ is hysterical. ‘Trigger warnings’ that ‘there are some heterosexuals in this room’ is hysterical. Don’t bother pretending otherwise because no one will believe you.

Second of all – and surely I’m not the only one who’s aware of this – the Liberal Party’s New South Wales division is a gay club. That’s not a slur. It’s barely even a joke. There’s Trent Zimmerman, Don Harwin, Christine Forster, Simon Berger (who’s fantastic) Shayne Mallard (who’s not)…

What’s more, in any other context, gay Libs would take this as a compliment. They’re always to be found brunching in some trendy cafe on the Rocks, bragging about how progressive the NSW branch is. They’ll tell you how wonderful it is they’re so over-represented in an erstwhile-conservative party. But now that a straight Tory says the exact same thing and they’re pretending it’s the worst thing since Donald Trump tried to intervene in the plot of Twilight.

Anyway, even if Ross was totally off base (which he’s not. He’s really not), what could they possibly find so offensive about it? Gays like the NSW Liberals; they like gay clubs. ¿Porque no los dos?

​As for Pickering’s comments, I didn’t care for them. However, he did give establishment Libs an opportunity​ to spruce up their multiculturalist credentials. Andrew Hastie, for instance, who wrote on Facebook:

At the heart of my politics is the principle of ‘imago dei’ –​the belief that every human being bears the image of God and therefore is endowed with worth and dignity. So if you’re a Muslim, or homosexual, or Hindu or atheist or whatever, you should be treated with dignity and respect.

​(Is that meant to be novel?)​ More:

We have ADF troops in the field working to defeat Islamic State. We don’t need people at home endorsing the actions of our enemy.

If anyone really thinks Pickering was supporting Isis’s practice of defenestrating gays, I’ve got a bridge in San Francisco I’m trying to unload for an outrageously reasonable price. Gorgeous location right on the bay, conveniently located right next door to the NSW Liberal Party headquarters.

But Hastie was himself an Army officer. If he’s anything like the bajillions of ADF troops I’ve met, he’d make much saucier​ comments in a crowded pub without a second thought… if he wasn’t an aspiring Prime Minister, of course.

​And this is what it comes down to. Whenever someone tries to articulate their outrage over this whole incident, it falls flat. They inevitably come across as being either grossly self-serving or totally incapable of taking a joke. ​It’s 100 per cent anti-humour virtue-signalling. We expect as much from the Left, but from our own? Come on, guys. Grow up.

The only people who have a right to complain are the donors. Why there were so many more gay jokes than Muslim ones at a meeting of the Q Society? That’s obviously not what the donors turned up for. Stick to the narrative, people.

Twitter @mwardav

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