On the morning of the 15th of December, former Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist, who now works for the 9 Network, tweeted the following:
“Horrified to learn that the new language guide for the Victorian public service entreats people to say “Good morning folks”. Folk is derived from the German “volk” a term embraced by the Nazis. Shame.”
This was in response to a story in Murdoch’s Herald Sun (of course, who else would be concerned with such trivialities in a desperate attempt to shout abuse at the Victorian Labor government). The guide to which Uhlmann refers, is in fact entitled The LGBTIQ inclusive language guide. It explains how to use language respectfully and inclusively when working with and referring to LGBTIQ people. By using inclusive language, they demonstrate respect in both the workplace and in developing and delivering policies, programs and services for all Victorians1. However, such details were unimportant to Uhlmann, when he could latch onto a phrase and attempt to turn it around to try to ridicule the Victorian government.
While misleading people about the etymology of the word ‘folk’ in the ‘Nazi’ tweet above, he seems to have forgotten that some five months previously, he had tweeted the following:
“Note there is a story coming up on so-called ‘Ross River Virus’ on my own network. Shame! I hope the good folk of Ross River chuck a hissy fit over being vilified by having a nasty disease named after them.”
I presume these two efforts are what passes for witticisms in the febrile mind of Uhlmann. Presumably, he feels he has to bait people online to obtain some sort of bizarre validation out of the ridicule he receives from normal people. I think it is probably best to ignore him.
Dr Natasha Taylor replied to Uhlmann’s ‘Nazi’ tweet with the etymological facts:
“’Folk’ is not derived from the German ‘volk’, it’s derived from Old-English ‘folc’, which is either from Old High German ‘folc’ or directly from Proto-Germanic ‘fulka-‘”
There were numerous funny replies, including an assertion that Bugs Bunny may have been a Nazi (‘That’s all folks’). There was another which asked if Volkswagen advertised on the 9 Network (they do).
I opined that Uhlmann may have been afflicted with ‘relevance deficit disorder’, much like that suffered by Mark Latham, who busily tweets drivel designed to engender outrage. Uhlmann’s wife Gai Brodtmann was a reasonably ‘successful’ politician (whatever that means), and one wonders if he resents that, especially given that he was respected when at the ABC, but is now just a figure of ridicule. I thought there may have been something wrong with him when he maintained that the South Australian blackouts in 2016 were caused by wind turbines, and not the massive storm that knocked over transmission line pylons2. Sometimes, given the bizarre utterances of many people like Uhlmann, and in my wildest dreams, I do wonder if people like them are sacrificing their credibility as ‘under cover’ operatives, and spout such drivel with the aim of making the far-right wing of politics appear even more ridiculous than it already is. That is, as they say, ‘a big ask’, but, as I said, that was a wild dream.