RODENTS may be plaguing the east of Australia where frost and cannibalism will eventually mollify their numbers, but it’s the real rats in our media and online doing more damage.
They have taken control of the narrative and they have crowned themselves a noble species and their diet is any who dare disagree.
We are at the eve of a federal election with our political best bowing out before preselection.
The cancel-culture rat is now the apex predator.
When Dawson MP George Christensen announced he would not contest his seat this week, ripples of disappointment ran far beyond the borders of his North Queensland electorate. We were told by Twitter and the ABC not to listen to him. He had to be sanitised or silenced.
While farmers deal with mice in their billions, what is eating away at our broader discourse requires only some big rats who have found the right wires to chew to turn off the picture. On the farm they destroy property, in politics they destroy people. It’s not enough to debate ideas and inform the commentariat, the political rat must destroy the person for not believing what it is told to, by them.
The media that mocked and belittled Hume MP Craig Kelly gave no thought to those who broke into his home, hanging ISIS flags in his window. The stalking, intimidation and harassment of Boothby MP Nicolle Flint, or death threats sent to the children of others via social media under the cowardice of a fake persona, never seem to be in the same order of concern as questioning climate gospel or the efficacy of a new vaccine. This big rat is quite expert at finding the right wire to chew through.
Senior people inside the Turnbull hierarchy dropped gross misinformation about Mr Christensen which a hungry ABC gobbled up and reported as fact.
When Ms Flint spoke of SA Police issuing a stalking order on a man who obsessively intimidated her in person and online, she was belittled on the ABC for apparently not being stalked and harassed enough to warrant trauma. The same ABC which smashes conservatives for any whiff of perceived sexism found fit to critique how she smiled and dressed in a piece by ABC Radio’s Peter Goers.
Double standards start in the media. It was not enough to fight Ms Flint’s ideas, she had to be dehumanised too.
Mr Christensen’s departure lies in his frustration that the broader conservative agenda has not gone forward since 2013 when the Coalition won government. He believes they act as the boy with his finger in the dam wall stopping up an onslaught of lunatic left ideas but unable to do much else.
“I have concluded there are actors in the system, the biggest being the mainstream media who should not be actors but are setting the agenda every single day and reporting in an utterly biased way, the ABC in particular,” Mr Christensen tells me.
“Circles are drawn and if you stray outside they come after you because you have gone outside the bounds. It’s now not arguing against your ideas, it’s ”let’s get this person and destroy them’. In politics, most of us realise this, either consciously or subconsciously, and there is a fear of putting our head above the parapet.”
This week Mr Kelly, determined to fight for Hughes as an independent, lost his huge Facebook following, the biggest of any Liberal backbencher, because a foreign company didn’t want us to be influenced by him. Cancel culture is bullying – nothing less.
Facebook encourages your politicians to spend the taxpayer-funded office support budget of about $250,000 each to boost mind-numbingly boring content to their constituency.
Now, the social media cancel culture reminds politicians who is boss by erasing their accounts at whim.
Mr Christensen realises politics is downstream of culture, and it can’t be fixed by the ballot box or legislation.
He’s been to party meetings where parliamentarians are so caught up in the Canberra bubble that they disparage their own branch members for their beliefs.
We get tangled in the weeds of the media, instead of focussing on the big issues – regional doctors, getting schools back to reading, writing and arithmetic, reducing the cost of living, fixing internet, roads and mobile black spots and getting the nation ready for the challenge of China.
We must rise above our “she’ll be right attitude”, the belief that politics is another’s problem. All must stand for freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the freedom to run our businesses and lives without fear of mob reprisal.
After a long slog of trying to beat the political rodents, both Mr Christensen and Ms Flint are tired – but post-politics, they will remain two of the most well-read and erudite conservatives in the country.
If you don’t hear their views in future, just be aware the rats have chewed through your wire.