Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

A wedge we must not tolerate

A wedge we must not tolerate
by Keith Warren

Tony Abbott must remove WA Liberal MP Don Randall. Mr. Abbott has stated that, “I just want to make it very clear that attacks on people based on their religion have no place in this election campaign and will not be made by me''.

Taking a firm stand on one's position with regards to their religious beliefs has, for the past generation or so, been an area where political attacks are generally considered to be a no go zone. This is a good thing. Australia has developed into a tolerant society, where people’s beliefs are respected.

Why then should atheism be any different? With the vast majority of Australians being very passive towards whichever faith they were by default, at birth, indoctrinated into - the weddings, christenings and funerals set - it is only a small step to accept the fact that they are not true devotees of any faith and if pressed to reflect on their true position, they would most likely have to accept that their beliefs are more closely linked to atheism than to any monotheistic doctrine. Julia Gillard has obviously at some point in her life considered her position on this matter and has come up with an honest and frank assessment of her true position.

Julia Gillard’s position on this should be applauded and protected from ridicule at all costs. If we are all expected to show tolerance for people of firm religious conviction, we must extend the same degree of tolerance for people honest enough to declare that whilst respecting the beliefs and faiths of others, they do not share those beliefs.

Don Randall’s recent attempts to drive a religious wedge into the political debate by publically reiterating anti atheistic views and concerns about Julia Gillard being a “godless Prime Minister” must not be allowed to be swept under the carpet. This is an attack on freedom of thought and expression. If Tony Abbott is to hold true to these values, values which he dare not speak against, he must remove Don Randall from this campaign


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Defending free speech

Surely, Keith, you're not saying that Don Randall doesn't have the right to have an opinion, and to persuade others to share that opinion?

Surely in deciding how to vote, I have the right to decide what values I think are important in a candidate? Doesn't one's belief system influence one's values?

Human trading

Morrison and Bishop met with Nauru this morning to discuss another round of human trading and all our frigging useless media can do is whine about policy.

Never mind the law hey?

You know, that little thing called the Refugee Convention that we helped to write that guarantees every person the right to seek asylum from persecution in other countries, allows "illegal" entry so long as they present to the authorities and forbids punishment.

Other side of the tracks

Re Marilyn  Shepherd's comment about Nauru, one wonders why opposition politicians must  constantly interfere and grandstand, regardless of the realities involved. They are really quite delinquent in their manner of dealing with serious issues.

And I do, deeply, agree with Marilyn's last couple of sentences.

We have indeed lost our sense of the "fair go" and that sense of the lot of the battler.

An unattractive candidate

Watching the candidate you speak of last night, Fiona Reynolds, I thought what an uninspiring individual on a couple of different levels.

Take it or leave it.

This is what the major parties dish up these days, people not chosen on merit but for their body and soul allegience to a faction or clique, along with an unquestioning accedence to whatever half baked ideology is de rigeur  for it.

Keith's comment reminds us that Gillard seems such a tempting target for sexist comments as well.  

Fiona Reynolds offered a little forbearance for Abbott, but when the one thing a party has to connect with the electorate is race hate, you have to gasp that a closet could be so bare, ideas wise.


Paul Walter (how formal we are these days), I sincerely hope that you were referring to Mr Barker's ideas (?) or perhaps more appropriately ideology and ideation rather than to his physical appearance.

Speaking as someone who is more than a trifle too broad in the beam myself, you understand.

As for Mr Abbott, please read this

"the rain in Spain falls mainly on the..."

Fiona, "we" are not "formal", merely polite. I can't call you "Mary Reynolds" or "Fiona Smith", so did the best I could with,

"Fiona Reynolds".

Now, this Barker coot. You jog my memory, not your David Cassidy or Paul McCartney, this fellow, was he?

But what broke the straw for me was the full-frontal attitude - "take  it or leave it".

Elsewhere it has been noted that the Murray-Darling authority postponed its scientific report on the basin 'til after the election.

Is this "ugly", too, or just a personal aesthetic?

Fiona: "Full frontal  - urkkkkk.... As for the "delay", ugly, in my book, Paul. There are a few other conveniently - if not postponed - then not yet quite due reports as well. BTW, in a former life I was Fiona Smith.

gloombus teev

"Btw, in a former life I was Fiona Smith".

Yes, but that was in a former life...

Now back to 4 Corners' Congo.

Lovely place, the Congo...

Where do they find them?

I couldn’t agree with you more, Keith. Meanwhile, what about this from today’s SMH?

The NSW Liberals appear to have had something of a road to Damascus conversion in the lightning-fast decision to dump the conservative Christian, David Barker, as their candidate for the western Sydney seat of Chifley.

Questioned about Barker's anti-Muslim Facebook comments by Laurie Oakes on Channel Nine on Sunday, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey condemned Barker for "trying to use religion as some sort of tool in the election campaign".

Which raises the question of just how a party that has previously been stung by a religious vilification scandal in western Sydney - recall the election-eve 2007 anti-Muslim flyer in Lindsay, anyone? - could think that pitting a radical Christian against a Muslim candidate in Chifley was a good idea in the first place.

At least Tony Abbott – gods [sic] mouth piece – had the sense to distance himself:

Mr Abbott said attacks on people, based on their religion, had no place ‘‘whatsoever’’ in the election campaign.

‘‘They will not made by me,’’ he told reporters in Canberra.

Shades of Ms Hanson…

PS, this will, with luck, be the only time I'm kind to Mr Abbott this election.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 4 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 2 days ago