Following this marvellous response to Senator Cory Bernardi by Warren Entsch MLA, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and have written to both men this morning. My emails to them are below.
Dear Senator Bernardi, you might consider what you are doing leadership - but leadership of what, for whom, and to where. I particularly find objectionable your statements about single parent families. My mother-in-law was widowed twice by the time she was 38 and left with two children from each marriage. So she struck out twice in your book - single parent, and a step-parent family. My husband grew up in dire poverty. This was before there were government payments either for widows or single parents. The family lived in dire poverty. The children did not grow up to be criminals. They were/are a very close knit family. So where are you going with all this bigotry, hatred, and exclusion? Have you lived too narrow an existence? Is this the only way you can get your name iinto the MSM and draw attention to yourself? Do you have your eye on an international stage and attracting the attention of Fox News in the USA? I am a Christian - and this sort of behaviour was never exhibited by Him who I follow. Your statements seem to fit more with the man who built gas ovens for those he despised - so what coloured star are you suggesting for single parent families and step-parents? Are you going to lock up the kids just in case? Many people in this wealthy nation grow up in deprivation, poverty and exclusion. Many of them are Aboriginal people living out of sight and out of mind in communities where we won't even provide them the same local government services as suburban Australians take for granted. Your government is cutting services to people. It is favouring the rich against the poor - and you stand there sanctimoniously with exclusionist clap-trap. What do you expect the end result of all this to be? A blissfully happy and content society - or a society in which there are massive social controls. I thought the latter was contrary to the political philosophy of the Liberal Party of Australia. So what are you doing about resigning your membership? I wonder if you can answer my questions specifically - not form letter claptrap but specifically, genuinely, and personally.
Well, Warren Entsch, aren't you one of the wonders of the modern world. Thank you for speaking out and getting stuck into Cory Bernardi. It would be all very well if Senator Bernardi was a constituency of one or may be two if including his spouse. However, there is something very nasty abroad in the political discourse of this nation at this time. It seemed to me to begin with the Julia Gillard comments of the Liberal Party, Alan Jones, and the convoy who wanted to Ditch the Witch and has gone well past political sloganeering to infect the political policies and discourse of the nation. The sort of stuff that Cory Bernardi says is now OK. Because the Prime Minister has not altered his discourse or called out such people as Bernardi, it is now OK to be nasty to the people one doesn't like or of whom one disapproves. Will be see action at Cronulla once again? Your statement has come into the public arena in a very refreshing way. I welcome it and I hope I can see more of it - from others as well. My view is that Australia as a nation has lost or is losing its way. The national ethos of a fair go has all but gone - swamped by greed, consumerism, bigotry, racism, and xenophobia. Who or what are we to become unless our national and political leadership turns those selfish and exclusionist boats around. I hope to hear more of your refreshing public voice and I hope your voice and the voices of others like you can lead us out of the darkness now enveloping us.