Leading article Australia

Fake emu oil, real decline

19 June 2021

9:00 AM

19 June 2021

9:00 AM

Talkfests are rarely inspiring but the G7 summit last weekend was the final straw. Irritating, unmasked leaders tottered around the Cornish coast like characters at the Red Queen’s croquet party in Alice in Wonderland. Like the Red Queen, they expected us to believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast; that the seas are rising dangerously,  that the planet has a busted thermostat, that Covid is a threat to the young and the healthy, that it is necessary to remain under house arrest for years at time. It is infuriating. Could we have a C major summit to resolve the Sturm und Drang our hypocritical leaders have stirred in us.

Never has the chasm between the elected elite and ordinary citizens seemed so vast. Australians have been incarcerated inside our national borders for well over a year with the prospect of travel still not much more than a mirage on the horizon. Ordinary people feel as trapped as Cubans and each day the ABC sounds less like Aunty and more like Granma, the official voice of the Communist Party of Cuba.

When the taxpayer-funded anarchists collective isn’t busy serving up the fake crises manufactured by the Left, or indoctrinating its dwindling viewers in intersectionality and critical race theory, it pursues its favourite pastime, slinging mud  at the nation’s highest ranking conservative office-bearers. As a dog returns to its vomit, so the ABC returns to its muckraking. Having shamelessly defamed Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell and rejoiced in his wrongful imprisonment, it turned its sights on the nation’s First Law Officer, trawling through the private pain of a mentally ill woman in search of ordure to hurl at the Attorney-General.

This week, Aunty took a pot-shot at the Prime Minister, making the ridiculous assertion that in an apology he made on behalf of the nation in 2018 to  victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, he included the word ‘ritual’ only because he was told to by an old friend who is a member of a group called QAnon, whose adherents believe that a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles are running a global child sex trafficking ring and conspired against former President Donald Trump.

The notion that the Prime Minister is a puppet of QAnon is more outlandish than the tenets of QAnon ninnies. And like all of the other mad smears in which the ABC engages, it had no basis in fact. The ‘journalist’ advancing this nonsensical suggestion claimed there was no use of the word ‘ritual’ in the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In fact, it appeared several times including in the executive summary of the Final Report.

Facts, of course, are passé in the ABC’s post-modern, post-truth world. And never moreso  than in its eager embrace of Bruce Pascoe’s fictional account of Aboriginal history, as Piers Akerman brilliantly recounts in his article this week, The Fables of Dark Emu. With the power of the ABC behind it, Pascoe’s tall tales have become a best-seller. This week however two first rate scholars — Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe — have published an excellent academic book, Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate (MUP), exposing the preposterous fantasies that the book propagates; that Aboriginals lived in permanent dwellings in ancient villages with hundreds of inhabitants, baking the first loaf of bread,  ‘an idea far more important to humanity than the moon landing’.

As Akerman points out, Peter O’Brien in his book Bitter Harvest: The Illusion of Aboriginal Agriculture in Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu (Quadrant Books), did a brilliant job of debunking Pascoe’s claims. What is dispiriting is that it took so long for anyone from the academy to dare to set the record straight.  But why would they, when simply to point out that Pascoe is more Cornish than Koori attracts that slur of racism.

Yet facts do matter. Our governments have quarantined Australians in their homes, states and nation simply because our regulatory authorities refuse to acknowledge the truth about the minimal risk Covid poses to healthy people and the available medications to treat it.  Our national broadcaster refuses to abide by the principles of its profession that require its journalists to report the truth fairly and without bias, not hurl defamatory slander at anyone on the centre or the Right. There is a price to pay for this. When we abandon truth, we entrench ignorance and diminish our strength. At the G7 Summit, President Joe Biden’s repeated embarrassing  gaffes provided a painful metaphor for the decline of the West; as he descends into dementia he is manipulated by shadowy, woke power brokers with a frightening authoritarian agenda.

Yet, one should not give up hope. This week on the US Late Show, comedian Jon Stewart mocked the dogmas of the Left about the Wuhan lab leak theory. ‘How did that happen? Maybe a pangolin kissed a turtle. Maybe a bat flew into the cloaca of a turkey and then it sneezed into my chili and now we all have coronavirus’, he said. He compared the arrival of Covid to an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. ‘What do you think happened? Oh, I don’t know, maybe a steam shovel made it with a cocoa bean’ he said. ‘Or it’s the (expletive) chocolate factory. Maybe that’s it’. Until a month ago Facebook would have censored such comments but when the Left has lost the Late Show, they’ve lost control of the narrative. It’s a wonderful reminder that laughter is always the best way to topple a tyranny.

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