Alex Hawke; hypocrite, theocrat

By July 30, 2022Australian Politics

Former PM Scott Morrison’s chief ally in the Coalition, Alex Hawke posted the following on Facebook:

“From day one the Albanese Labor Government has launched a major culture war to remove the Lords Prayer from being read in our parliament. For over 120 years a prayer has started every single day of Australia’s parliament. Given we are a majority Christian country and that ,regardless [sic] of your beliefs, our culture has been seasoned by christian values such as helping others, compassion to the vulnerable and fairness, how will Albanese and Labor removing these values from our Parliament make us stronger?”1

An article on this topic appeared in Murdoch’s budgie-cage liner, The Australian, under the heading “Atheist senate chief wants Lord’s Prayer gone”. I don’t know what this article said as I refuse to pay for Murdoch tripe. The strap line said “New Senate president Sue Lines says she does not want to say the prayer, which has been read at the start of each sitting day since 1901.”

Section 116 of the Australian Constitution states that: “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust under the Commonwealth”. While there is no legislation enforcing the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer before each sitting day, there is a ‘practice’ of doing so. This makes in ‘not justiciable’ (i.e. is not capable of being decided by legal principles or by a court of justice). However, if it was covered by legislation, it would be justiciable and likely invalid. Legal precedent has shown that Standing Orders of Parliament are actual laws and this is consistent with the use of the terminology in Section 116 of “any law”2. So reciting the Lord’s Prayer can be removed from parliament and any attempt to enforce its reintroduction would likely be invalid.

Hawke talking about culture wars1 is a hoot, as that has been one of the main tactics of the former government, to try to wedge the Labor Party over some perceived slight against who they like to refer to as the quiet Australians. Culture wars have been part of the strategy of the Coalition ever since John Howard preferred the white blindfold history of Australia to what he referred to as the black armband view. His attitude was that Australian history began in 1788 and it was all heroic struggles against the elements in a harsh continent3. This has led to a constant refrain from the conservatives over the ‘Marxism’ of the school curriculum4.

Culture wars were most prominently manifest in the same-sex marriage ‘debate’, whether there should be an apology to the stolen generation, whether climate change exists, and whether Aboriginals should have land rights, or whether it is acceptable to racially discriminate5. Indeed, there have even been fake culture wars such as the ‘war on christmas’6,7, the ‘nanny state’ and sundry other minor skirmishes. The most recent of these culture war skirmishes was the Katherine Deves affair. She was Morrison’s pick to run for the seat of Warringah, and her views on transgender people were repugnant8. Morrison apparently though that would garner him votes in places other than Warringah.

Hawke’s assertion that “we are a majority Christian country”1  is, if you go by the results of the 2021 census, a lie. In that census, 43.9% of the population identified as Christian9. People like Hawke have never let the facts get in the way of their story; lying is their stock in trade. Indeed, Hawke may have been even wider of the mark than he thought. There is evidence that the people with no religion actually outnumber those with any sort of religion, not just the Christian variety9.

Hawke further states that our “culture has been seasoned by Christian values”1. This is true, and as if to demonstrate it, several churches have now had to apologise for the numerous crimes perpetrated in the name of Christianity, whether it be the sexual abuse of children, the taking of children from their families, or the general mistreatment of Aboriginals10-12.

Following this came Hawke’s most egregious lie. He maintained that those Christian values includes “helping others, compassion to the vulnerable and fairness”1. The former government acted as if its value system was the antithesis of these. For Hawke to say that the removal of the Lord’s Prayer will remove these values from the Parliament is laughable. It is symptomatic of the current Liberal Party that they assert what matters is such performative piety, rather than how they behave.

What I would like to see removed from parliament is the hypocrisy that allows Christians like Hawke to endlessly profess their piety, and claim to be followers of Jesus, when their ethos is one of corruption, bigotry, lying, pork barrelling, petulance, shirking of responsibility, stealing of credit from the creditable, blaming the blameless, and hatred of expertise. Now can be added boundless hypocrisy to this list of appalling behaviours.




  • Jeremy gerrand says:

    Absolutely magnificent analysis

  • Russell says:

    Alex Hawke, the one with slitty eyes for any opportunity to advance his creepy self higher up the ladder of political fortune, is a buddy of our former Prime Munster, that duplicitous, repulsive phoney whose name it pains anyone decent to mention. Like seeks like, they say. Just as for so many of his so-called Christian ilk, religion is a disguise, a convenient ruse by which he attempts to look ethical. But our little pal Hawkey has a certain history which many others know is unsavoury. Even given that, rat cunning may well see this character rise further in the Liberal ranks. After all, Angus Taylor is a lowlife, yet see where he sits now! To watch the Taylor thing spouting his weak accusative nonsense against Labor is simultaneously sickening and hilarious. The unmitigated gall of these Liberal dregs!

    • admin says:

      The appalling thing about people like Morrison and Hawke is that they think they are god’s favoured people and that they can do no wrong. That is what makes them doubly disgusting.

  • Jon says:

    “Our culture has been seasoned by christian values such as helping others, compassion to the vulnerable and fairness”. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Both gobsmacking and Godsmacking. As I’ve suggested before – there is a special place reserved in Hell (or at least life in Purgatory) for “Christian” hypocrites like these. If you haven’t heard of Purgatory it’s like a prison farm, while Hell is solitary for life (or death in this case).

    Hawke, a Morrison toady, is just another typical conservative religious charlatan/pharisee. He is a rather cheap and poor copy of his adored former leader though, and has yet to hone his “Christian” hypocrisy to the level that Morrison has. I’m no christian scholar but I’ve read a few articles which point out that Jesus condemned precisely the sort of public piety Hawke, Morrison et al practise.

    Can’t remember who it was talking on ABC radio last week but she made the observation that after nearly a decade in the doldrums it was heartening to see the new government actually doing things. As she said: “because surely you enter politics to make a difference and get things done for the people.” Telling. Just one of many epitaphs which could be put on the putrid stain on decency, fairness and honesty the Morrison and his minions leave as their legacy.

    • admin says:

      The funny thing is that the Coalition government was emplaced precisely to do what they did, which was nothing. The plutocracy likes things just the way they are; to keep the public funds flowing to private industry.

      • Jon says:

        The conservatives’ abilities to distill and act on repairing the problems of the day know no bounds.
        Nationals MP Pat Conaghan:
        “Some may say that it’s [a lack of tie] a minor matter to not comply with the dress standard [the target of Conaghan’s bile was in fact complying with the “standard”] but what it says to many, including me, is that there is little respect for the tradition and history of our parliament.”

        Apparently not wearing a tie offends the [past] high standards of parliament but lying, corruption, abuse of power, abject laziness, abuse of staff, lack of morals and ethics do not. Onya Pattie, you’re a wonderful example of modern National political standards and quality. A credit to those who, no doubt blindly, voted for you.

        • admin says:

          They seem to forever have their eye upon the hole and not upon the doughnut. For them it is all about appearances not content.

          • Jon says:

            Not sure why most contemporary conservative politicians (both males and females, with few exceptions) are so lacking (as are quite a few on the left it must be said). Is it personal incompetence? Arrogance? Laziness? Lack of spine or personal standards? Party-induced feebleness? Or simply entitled smugness mixed with ideological blindness? Perhaps it was ever the case but the scrutiny they’re now under puts the spotlight on their inadequacies and hypocrisies? Nope, I think they’re FAR worse than their predecessors.

          • admin says:

            I try to remember some of the people in conservative politics from my younger years and I seem to remember them not being as venal or as incompetent as the current crop. Howard was a bastard who was only concerned with getting re-elected, and it was he who first started using the dog whistle to garner the votes of the racist bastards in the general populace. Abbott was a moron, who struggled to have a coherent thought, let alone enunciate one. Turnbull was hamstrung by his idiot right. Morrison was the worst PM I have ever seen, and I almost remember as far back as Menzies. Whether it is because modern politicians have never lived through hard times (Depression, WW2) and have simply had it too easy, or whether these days politics simply attracts the wrong sort of person because standards of probity have slipped, I wish I knew. I suspect it is the latter, but wouldn’t bet $5 on it. Hopefully, a decent ICAC will dissuade the lazy, vacuous, venal scum from seeing politics as a sinecure.

  • Russell says:

    We need to go back to basic honest analysis of ourselves in this country. Australia has NEVER been a very sophisticated political entity. It still hasn’t lost its former pre-1970’s, pre-Whitlam period smallness of mind and numbing regional parochiality that go way back. (Look at the nasty, petty verbal skirmishes among the various colonies, preceding the declaration of this Commonwealth in 1901). The joint was for so long a dozing backwater of the pompous, racist Anglo empire – an easily fooled lap-doggish backwater at that, as World War One showed.
    We here down under may confidently think that since 1960 we have become fabulously advanced and hip, but such modernity is rather confined to our wide-eyed, often mindless, adoption of superficial American cultural fads and to our industrial-technical advances. Yes, we had big business/industry successes such as the motor brands Ford and Holden for four decades, and the Snowy Mts Hydro-elecrtic scheme. However, just under the surface of prosperity, our human society remained pretty much as it has always been – stuffy, stolid, inward looking, and too concerned with local matters. Worse still, Aussies ran ever faster after money, that glistening magnetic lucre. Making good financially sat above other more humanitarian preoccupations; and still rules most families and institutions. As Donald Horne wrote in one title of a book, “MONEY MADE US”. We remained and to a big extent still are, wilfully blind to our cultural failings, our embedded racism toward the “alien”, and creeping corruption in our parliaments, especially after that brainless goob Howard took the reins. One of Australia’s notorious faiiings is its tendency to not follow world best practice by studying hard what is done on other continents. We still “resent” the faraway world in several ways, and are so often doggedly re-inventing the wheel in a bizarre, clumsy way. From social policy to prisons, to handling the ecological catastrophe, our so-called leaders are tragically tiny, anti-intellectual, anti-expertise men with no big vision. Politics does not attract ambitious people as regards social, civil, medical deep, lasting improvement, but it has certainly been severely compromised by powerful self-obsessed opportunist oafs such as have swarmed in corridors of influence under the last few foul Liberal-National federal mis-governments.
    This Australia we live in now is of incredibly poor calibre in many areas, It’s of far less quality than we should have been able to reach, but for the greed, the smugness of our trashy elites and the cynical media manipulation of Aussies by ugly, anti=progressive media. Who is it again? The big end of town, the narcissistic gross swine dominating our economy in banker cabals and business cliques under innocent sounding titles,, many of whom have absolutely no ethics if you look at the mess and poverty they’ve inflicted on the nation for thirty years.
    If ever the cry ‘Sleeping folks awake” was needed desperately, it is now, Labor and the teal Independents in Canberra do not represent a sort of final huge victory of our country’s decent morally sound people, but they are a starting hopeful sign. The human detritus who control the purse strings in this place are still there in thousands of cushy top-level pozzies, a pack of vampires sucking on our common wealth, undermining democracy in its truest sense. for mere venal ends. And so smallness of thinking, plus limited (-Oz first and last) cheap ‘oi-oi’ nonsense about how wonderful we are, still hobble our progression to national maturity. Australia doesn’t like force to its slow pace of progress,, but today’s global problems will be the fire under its bum forcing it to mature fully, like it or not.

    • admin says:

      We will never achieve anything like a progressive intelligent country while the stupid think their opinions are as valuable as others’ knowledge; while the religious believe they have the right to tell others what to believe and how to live; while Murdoch and other media use the dogwhistle to scare the stupid and the religious; while education is not valued but seen as a cost; while we have capitalism for the poor and socialism for the wealthy; while politicians make their own rules on the distribution of public funds; while politicians are beholden to big business and the wealthy because they provide money for election campaigns; and while lying in political advertising is allowed. I am sure there are lots of others which would bring us into the 21st century, but that is all I can think of, off the top of my head. As you say, I think the Teals are the beginning of the demonstrable dissatisfaction with politics as usual. However, there is a long way to go.

  • Russell says:

    Excellent set of statements, precise and true as can be Admin.
    I couldn’t not have done much better by not even trying, joke.

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