The Worst Prejudice Of Them All


"How Do You Solve A Problem Like Bob Katter?" would, at this point in our nation’s history, be an appropriate song to sing if you’re the sort of person who finds the Wharf Revue clever.

But for the rest of us, the current situation is no cause for glibness — we are engaged in a battle for our country’s very soul, and the social, economic and moral destiny of Australia could depend on whether we choose to listen to Katter’s strident, heavily tanned message, or toss it aside like a small bag of toenail clippings.

A lot of the focus of late, of course, has been on Katter and his Australian Party’s attitude toward homosexuals, and rightly so. There are few issues more central to the wellbeing of a society than homosexuality. As Albert Schweitzer probably said, "You can judge a society by how hard it beats its gays", and these words are just as true now as they were when he drunkenly slurred them. There is no point in addressing the economy, the environment, defence or border protection, if your gay policy is in a muddle. As they say, the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the homos, and it’s from macro-homonomic policy that all else flows.

The reason for this is, principally, concentration. It is just very hard for a government to concentrate on the job at hand if it’s constantly having to worry about who’s doing what in which bedroom, or who’s inserting what into whose where. Without a clear, concise, fair-minded but well targeted policy on gay folk and their admittedly well intentioned but nevertheless anti-Biblical deviancy, we’ll never get anywhere in our struggle to transition to the Asian century and overcome the challenges of a two-speed economy without worrying if the waiter is winking at us.

Which is why the Katter Party (slogan: "A Vote For Katter Is A Vote For The Faint Odour Of Cows") released their recent ad raising some extremely pertinent questions about would-be Queensland premier Campbell Newman. And it is telling that Newman has not yet addressed those questions, preferring to keep voters in the dark about his intentions. Yet surely the voters of the Sunshine State deserve to know the answers to: 1) Whether he supports gay marriage, or is normal; 2) Whether he intends to govern from a position of authority, or spend all his time folding skirts; 3) What is his relationship with the disembodied floating head of Bob Brown, and just how much influence will this head have on LNP policy if Newman becomes premier?

Reasonable questions all, so why won’t Newman answer them?

Is it because once in government he plans to legalise gay marriage and criminalise straight marriage and flood the market with Filipino bananas? There seems no other reasonable conclusion. We must be grateful to Katter and his state lieutenant Aidan "which party am I in?" McLindon, for bringing this to our attention.

Now homophobia is a thorny issue, and not just because it’s an invention of the gay mafia. A lot of people will say that Bob Katter’s ferocious assaults and slurs on the same-sex attracted population stem from a place of great insecurity about his own sexuality.

But this would be leaping to conclusions.

Just because Katter has a deep-seated fear and mistrust of homosexuals doesn’t mean that he himself is constantly battling the urge to kiss a man. Just because he is in denial about the existence of homosexuals in north Queensland doesn’t mean that he lies awake at night yearning to feel, just once, the tender touch of a man’s tongue on his thighs. The mere fact that he wishes at every turn to smear and disparage those of a homosexual inclination is no indication that every day he has to restrain himself from seeking out a firm, smooth young buck to ride bareback.

This is a point that cannot be over-emphasised — there is no reason to assume that when Bob Katter makes an offensively anti-gay statement and emits that awkward laugh of his, his mind is filled with visions of himself, naked except for his hat, bathed in sweat and grunting like a camel as he writhes in carnal euphoria with another man, gasping with exertion and panting with joy as his body melds with his chosen Adonis, shuddering and squealing as he achieves the release that rural political mores dictate he can never experience.

This is a totally unwarranted assumption, and I would advise you to immediately banish it from your mind. The fact is that Bob Katter’s views on gays were forged in the furnace of rugged north Queensland country life, and shaped on the anvil of old-fashioned upright morality, and cooled in the water bucket of agricultural protectionism.

It’d be unfair to simply dismiss him as a mad bigot — he’s more the jolly old uncle who might cause a few awkward silences at Christmas, but at the end of the day, he’s passed out drunk so it doesn’t matter much. If Katter’s opinions seem quaint, or outdated, or prejudiced, or unbelievably annoying, maybe a bit of self-reflection is needed, huh? Could it be that you’re the bigoted one, that Katter’s views have struck a nerve because you realise that you have been living an immoral life, and it hurts to be called out on it? Could it be that anti-hatredism is the worst kind of prejudice at all?

Who is more hateful, the hater, or the hater who hates the hater for hating? The second one certainly has the word "hate" in it more often, so, you know, there you go. Do the maths, yeah?

So I urge you, at this vital juncture in Australian politics, not to dismiss Bob Katter out of hand. Beneath that enormous hat and that wheezy laugh and that strong sense that he’s about to walk into something lies a shrewd political mind and the heart of a true patriot. He may not be politically correct, but at least he’s passionate, and isn’t that more important than being reasonable or right about anything? His passion is overwhelming. Sure he might be a bit hard on the gays, but at least under Katter they’d know where they stand — probably at the bottom of a pit, having fruit thrown at them. And that’s all that a community of human beings can ask for isn’t it — certainty?

I’m not saying vote for Katter, but I am saying that if you like jobs for Australian farmers, bananas that don’t smell like satay sauce, and homosexual men in pregnancy prostheses being rounded up by wild-eyed cattle ranchers on buffalo back to be put to work on building a massive water pipe from Tasmania to Darwin, among other true-blue dinky-di fever dreams, give the KAP serious consideration.

In all likelihood, we could do worse.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.