In a Liberal Democracy, the freedom to criticise the country’s leader is our right, yet the blind hatred reserved for our current Prime Minister by some sectors of the community has removed any ounce of rationality and objectivity.
Tony Abbott, thus far, I believe, has been a mediocre Prime Minister at best. Whilst I agree with his government’s general aspiration of fixing the structural problems of our budget to ensure its long term sustainability, many of the attempted measures to tackle this issue have rightly been criticised, and some shelved altogether.
It’s fair enough to criticise and oppose Abbott on key aspects of policy. Yet too often, especially in social media circles, nasty, vitriolic venom is being hurled at our elected leader with no attempt at objectivity. There’s a vile hatred festering in facebook groups, on Twitter accounts, and in the blogosphere, that’s spitting bile at a man elected to do his bit for public life.
Take, for example, this YouTube clip –
– depicting Abbott and his family. Abbott is not only portrayed as a poor father and goofy buffoon, but as an incestuous creep.
Or take this particular spittle of filth, (http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/watch-gwar-decapitate-a-tony-abbott-effigy-at-soundwave/) courtesy of musicfeeds.com.au, that glorifies heavy metal band, Gwar, for decapitating an effigy of the Prime Minister during 2014’s Soundwave concert. The writer can hardly hide her glee and praise: ‘The universe’s mighty gods of gore and heavy metal, Virginian (by way of Antarctica) sons Gwar, have once and for all proven their status as the undisputed champions of carnage when they decapitated an effigy of Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott on stage at Soundwave. The gathered crowd of revellers then enjoyed an outpouring of the PM’s blood, sprouting from his exposed jugular veins.’
Disgraceful stuff. Ironic too, that the supposed political left in the country can harbour such hate, when much of their trade markets on moral superiority and human rights.
Even if we look to some of the more supposedly objective internet sites, there’s a complete lack of rationality when it comes to discussing our Prime Minister. Mamamia, the well known feminist blog space, yesterday posted this on their facebook page:
How incredibly bias and misleading. First of all, the post overlooks the many female members of the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade who were also present, and the post seemingly sort to demonise Abbott for representing ALL Australians. It’s commendable that Abbott, despite his position, still dedicates much time and money into the community as a volunteer, providing an admirable commitment to his rural firefighting brigade. Seriously, if Abbott rescued children from a burning building, the haters would still find some reason to criticise him, probably because he wasn’t spending his valuable time with pretentious female bloggers enjoying Sunday sippers at their spacious country club.
This photo was also doing the rounds on social media last night, and it was particularly amusing:
What did Abbott do wrong here? Well, for some, he was breathing air, but there were others who were attacking him for not offering his wife his umbrella when it was International Women’s Day. How incredibly disrespectful and selfish, they bellowed! They didn’t seem to look hard, because if they did, they would see that SHE’S HOLDING HER OWN BLOODY UMBRELLA!
Seriously, enough. If people wish to attack the PM on his policies, fine. I too have criticised Abbott on his performance. As recently as three weeks ago I called for Turnbull to replace him as leader. Yet unlike others in the blogosphere and other circles in social media, I don’t hate the Prime Minister for living. It’s unfortunate in Australia that respect for office is becoming a foreign concept. Former PM Julia Gillard endured her own barrage of smut and bile, and the spit and poison has evolved into something more dangerous since Tony’s election.
You don’t have to like Tony, and you certainly don’t need to give him your vote. But please, for the sake of our healthy democracy, demonstrate a degree of objectivity and rationality in our civic discourse. Thank you.