If you need any evidence of the influence of The Spectator Australia, you will find it in the humiliating capitulation by the ABC on its plans to bring the prying eyes of Big Brother into every household in Australia. As you will recall from the column where I exposed this threat, the ABC planned to make it compulsory for anyone who wants to receive its ‘iview’ programs to open an ABC account and hand over reams of private and personal information. It wanted ‘information about your race or ethnicity, political opinions or affiliations, religious beliefs or affiliations, physical or mental health and sexuality’, your ‘payment details’ and your use of the internet. (I am not making this up). It then gave itself the right to disclose this information about you to any company or country it liked, including ‘security services’ in some specified countries like Israel and the USA and expressly stated that it had no control over the privacy policies of these ‘third parties’. Once The Speccie exposed this appalling threat to our privacy, the old Fairfax papers gave it a good run and a few days later the ABC gave in and suspended its plan.
So we won. Yes, but it is only ‘suspended’ and they might try to revive it when the dust settles. So, get onto your MP and make sure the whole thing is permanently dumped where so much to do with the ABC should be, in the rubbish tin.
Like many of our readers, I am in favour of burning books that I find offensive, smashing statues of racist colonial exploiters and banning anything in print that promotes or endorses any opinion with which I disagree. So I was appalled this week to find that there are still some terrible things that are allowed to be seen in public and should be banned. This came about because there is now a ban at Brandeis University in the US on using the expression ‘rule of thumb’. Why should such a seemingly harmless use of the English language be banned? Well, because of the old law that said a man could beat his wife with a rod no wider than his thumb. This has now been replaced by the phrase ‘general rule’. But that is actually much worse and should also be banned, because a ‘general rule’ invokes military rank and, consequently, jingoistic nationalism, invasion, colonial oppression, racism and the repressive male-dominated hierarchical society that oppresses women and all dispossessed peoples, enforced by a long line of white, male generals. The word ‘rule’ is just as bad, and it should also be banned because it connotes the repressive laws and cruel punishments that are imposed by our masters to prop up this class-ridden capitalist society, not to mention the evil menace of the so called ‘rule-based order’. In any event, and in a world first, The Speccie’s research service has discovered that General Rule was a racist confederate general and, before that, a well-known slave-trader in the West Indies who had six black wives whom he kept in the kitchen making pancakes and singing ‘Old Black Joe’. Any statues of him must immediately be torn down.
APOLOGY. Some readers have expressed a mild criticism of our column last week for implying that there was only one strain of the COVID virus that has seen our whole world turned topsy-turvy. I deviate briefly to make it clear that I am not seeking, by using the word ‘topsy’, to invoke a racist sneer of the coloured races, as I have as much respect for them as the next man, I mean ‘person’, and I readily recognise that black lives matter and, as the Human Rights Commission never ceases to remind us, white lives do not. Anyway, we freely acknowledge that there are several strains of the virus, we apologise for this omission and will atone for our oversight by saying a little about one of them. So, we now put the spotlight on the John variant which, again, we do not mean as a slur on the non-binary or trans-oriented exclusively hetero-normal, patriarchal hierarchical male, ambulant bathroom; we are using the word solely because the name of this forgotten variant of the virus is the John Farnham or, to give it its correct name, the Virus Formerly Known as Johnny Farnham. The most devious and shifty subterfuge of this virus is that it changed its name from the Johnny Farnham to the John Farnham or, more colloquially, the John. This cunning little vixen is a real survivor in the virus stakes and, in fact, so much of a survivor that it was at its peak twenty years ago, until it apparently disappeared, leading most epidemiological colleagues to conclude that it was extinct. However, it was only lying low and had taken up a temporary residency at the Wuhan Peoples’ and Scholars’ Entertainment Co-operative where it became famous for its nightly performance of that toe-tapping old favourite The Red Detachment of Vaccinated Women. Moreover, leaked documents have now revealed that the former director of that renowned cultural centre had dismissed the Johnny, epidemiologically speaking, as ‘boring as bat shit‘, shortly before he himself was awarded a lifetime residency at the Outer Tibet Re-education and Loyalty Engendering Camp No 2. What has not changed, however, is the unremitting boredom it disseminates, leading to death by the most pernicious means, the sheer tedium of having to listen to him, which is even worse than listening to the most pompous and narcissistic state premier. Some researchers had discovered that even passing the John in a recording studio or hearing a single note of one of its songs through an air conditioning system can send the listener into a zombie-like trance. Not that we have anything against the trance community or its cousin the trans community, both of which are major sources for public good.
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