The extremely limited Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg has tweeted the following:
“I’m deeply concerned about the reports of children as young as 5 being attacked in schools because of their Jewishness. It’s completely unacceptable in our civilised society & State & Federal Govts must work together to educate our community about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”1
This coming from a member of the government shows an exceptional lack of awareness of the impact of one’s own actions. This government has used the dog whistle at almost every opportunity when it thought it could gain some electoral advantage among the knuckle-draggers. It has referred to African gangs, Muslim immigration and boat people whenever it suited their purposes2,3,4. The government’s readiness to use the dog whistle was made clear when the reports were leaked of Morrison’s suggestion, in a shadow cabinet meeting, that the government should use community fear of Muslims to political advantage5. As if to emphasise the point, now the government wants to legislate more bigotry with their ‘religious freedom’ act6,7.
What Frydenberg fails to understand is that once a government unleashes bigotry, it gives licence to ALL bigotry, and once this genie is out of the bottle, it cannot easily be put back in. Unlike Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison and Howard before them, Paul Keating understood this when he said: “I think it’s a Prime Minister’s duty; one of the primary duties of a Prime Minister is to protect the country from prejudice. Howard was happy to let the racism virus out. And it’s like a flu virus, you never get it back. You know, when someone at the top of the system … you see Bob before me, Malcolm Fraser before him, Gough Whitlam, John Gorton – none of us would play around with this issue. None. The only one to do it was a little guy from Bennelong.”8
Now, poor, vacant Frydenberg bemoans the fact that Jewish children are being ‘attacked’ in school because of who they are, just like African children and women were, and Muslim women and children were, and homosexuals were when the government gave the nod to racists and other bigots. Can Frydenberg actually be so stupid that he does not realise from where this bigotry against his coreligionists comes?