The Australian of the Year awards have become such a farce. The revelation I found most extraordinary this week was that the Department of Defence has been forced to offer $25,000 of tax payer’s money to compensate an army major after upholding his complaints that he was mocked on social media by one the finalists, transgender military officer Cate McGregor. Wow, she’s a fine role model, isn’t she?
I’ve been writing in the Weekend Australian about joking to friends that there was no way they’d choose a white male. How funny that they came up with Morrison – white male but gender warrior par excellence. Yes, he was very impressive in his determination to tackle sexual harassment in the armed forces but it’s a bit of a worry that gender politics is fast becoming the main criterion for choosing our cultural heroes.
Of course it is not a major issue in determining how most people vote – the majority of our citizens have the good sense to realize there are more important issues when it comes to running the country. Yet you’d get quite a different impression watching Turnbull and Shorten try to outdo each other in scoring brownie points from gender activists. This week saw our Prime Minister effusively praising Rosie Batty, acknowledging her valiant efforts to protect women and girls from family violence. It seems to have escaped him that there’s something very odd about the fact that not only does domestic violence against men not matter but now boys don’t get a look in.
Yet the politicians are right, sadly, in trying to court the social activists because the wacky, underemployed fringe dwellers who spend their lives involved social media campaigns are precisely the sort of people short-sighted enough to vote on a single issue – like Tony Abbott’s so called ‘misogyny’, or Malcolm Turnbull’s $100 million domestic violence package. Their votes matter more than most and the apathy of the silent majority enables them to get away with it. That’s what makes social media campaigns very dangerous. Here’s my article on government by wacky cause.