The Nuts and Bolts of Contemporary Australian Political Discourse

Mr. Bolt,

In your article “Barbarians march in March”, 16 March 2014, I’m one of the creators and carriers of the “RESIGN, DICKHEAD” banner; one of the protesters whose “political discourse is conducted in the language of hatred and vilification”, in your words. I must say how flattered I am to have been insulted by the most vociferous, bigoted sycophant in the country.

First, I’d like to put my banner in perspective. Australia has a long cultural history of vulgarity in the appropriate context. The Australian Democrats campaigned to “keep the bastards honest” in 1980 and the word “dickhead” is surely no more offensive 34 years later. The TAC’s famous “bloody idiot” campaign, although not political in nature, is a reflection of Australian culture’s treatment of pertinent insults. While the context of the surrounding message is always more important than any subjectively vulgar sound-bite, the “RESIGN, DICKHEAD” banner is not a symptom of Australian culture so much as it is a result of a political landscape poisoned by the spiteful, ignorant rhetoric of the Andrew Bolts of our country.

You’re shocked and offended because someone had the audacity to insult your paragon PM but you’ve accomplished exactly what Master Murdoch intended for you: you’ve poisoned Australian politics with hate and spite. You seem to be upset simply because you’ve contributed to dragging political discourse in this country down so far that someone on the left-wing has finally stooped to a level you can actually understand.

I never personally chastised anyone for the “Ditch the Witch” fiasco or any of the rampant misogyny or ignorant vilification, as asinine as it all seemed. Just as I have and just as you do, all Australians are welcome to express their political views in whatever stupid way they want. For you to spew vapid, self-righteous indignation, however – when your own banal insults are thrown back in your direction – is a startling example of the hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance you personify. While most of the protesters were conveying much more eloquent messages than me, I was waving around a big banner that was 50% the word dickhead. I’m not pretending to be a model of infallible virtue, I joined you and Abbott in the proverbial cesspit you’re turning Australian politics into. You’re the journalistic equivalent of a protester with a vulgar banner, except you’re neck deep and venting vapid rage like I’ve dirtied your shiny shoes.

As your puppetmaster Murdoch intended, your malicious input into Australian politics has succeeded in filling Australian politics with hateful remarks and vacuous insults. On the left-right scale, you have contrived to pull political discourse down. Are you really shocked that people have started participating in the landscape you fomented, or are you shocked because only the Bolts and the Abbotts are supposed to communicate in the language of childish derision?

The “RESIGN, DICKHEAD” sign was not clever, but it had to convey a powerful and succinct message so that it could be read from any distance amidst a crowd of thousands. You, Mr. Bolt, have the opportunity to spread your hateful messages to all of your dozens of readers without any apparent restriction on their length. You can use analogies and examples, you can present your argument with subtlety and nuance, but instead, you spew vapid lists of insults as if you also expect your message to be read from any distance amidst a crowd of thousands.

I intend to write a separate piece on why Tony Abbott is a dickhead and why I felt it was appropriate to direct that message towards him but here’s the synopsis:

Murdoch Family Inc and their subsidiary the LNP have turned Australian politics into a no-holds-barred bogan battleground of insults and insolence. While the NewsCorpParty is broadcasting every hateful remark it can use to whip its audience into a frenzy, it’s also easier to get time on the other networks by screaming obscenities than it is by conveying political goals.

If Tony Abbott hadn’t cut the ribbon on the floodgates of senseless ridicule in Australian politics, maybe my sign could be considered distasteful. If the Liberal party had renounced rather than adopted mockery in Australian politics, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

In the garbage dump you’re trying to help turn Australian politics into, I obviously feel it was appropriate to call the Prime Minister a dickhead. I can’t speak for everyone who dislikes the Prime Minister, but I think he needs to know how strongly that sentiment is felt. You can’t just sell off parcels of our country without being told you’re a dickhead. You can’t dredge our reefs, chop down our world heritage listed forests and kill our animals without being told you’re a dickhead. You can’t abolish our important scientific and social institutions, oppress minorities or defund education, health and welfare without being told you’re a dickhead.

I think it’s fair to call him a dickhead. I hope that it sticks, and that for the rest of his life, Tony Abbott is known as Tony Abbott the Dickhead PM. I hope people who meet his daughters say “Oh, your dad is the famous dickhead!”, and I hope his Wikipedia page ends up with an entire chapter dedicated to the dickhead aptronym. I hope it stains his life in such a way that it makes every Australian politician worry about what they’ll be called.

My sign was dumb, but it was not competing for the cleverest sign in politics, it was competing for attention in a political climate of one-liner stupidity; a political climate you and your Murdoch overlord are massively responsible for. If you’re so upset that you’re living in a country where people who disagree with you are willing to act like you, maybe you shouldn’t be a professional stone thrower or live in a political ideology that is as shallow, fragile and transparent as glass.

The only reason people like you exist is because a vacuum of hatred, fear and anger exists where right-wing perspectives are being proven obsolete. You are a relic of bygone ideology; a museum exhibit of lamented values from recent history. Like my sign, the only notable thing about you individually is that you are the loudest and most obnoxious of your kind. Like all of your kind, you are a vestige of redundant politics and you’ll fade away as your ageing audience go senile or die due to health cuts you demanded.

You are the enemy of civil political discourse. You’re not a journalist. You’re a propagandist. You’re a hatemonger. You’re PR for the Murdoch family. But at least you can pat yourself on the back for having pulled political discourse in Australia down to this level. You’re a dickhead too.

26 thoughts on “The Nuts and Bolts of Contemporary Australian Political Discourse”

  1. Written abuse is not clever. Prime Minister Abbott has lowered the national IQ by stammering and blubbering his way through every press conference, television, general media event. A speech impediment is not the issue, he is truly dumb, stupid, and embarrassing. Imagine being Malcolm Turnbull, and how he must cower from his mates when they ask why he not he main man. The Australian public is to blame, we voted One Term Tony in, not me of course, but I should have made more effort to encourage my work mates to vote for someone else. We must take care not to blame the government of the day for every problem, it is a long train and will take a long time to stop. We can make a start, not what Greg Hunt did today, no Minister Hunt cranked the train up to full speed, now where are the opposing parties to challenge him on policy, the journos today were asleep at the wheel, typical pre-public holiday announcement. We want investment in solar, wind, low voltage studies, but Greg Hunt is going to clean up the coal. Hopeless.

  2. Mr Morley, I just randomly stumbled across this post, good to see you are writing with such passion, I do recall an article you wrote back in high school about the word ‘f*ck’, twas very amusing. Keep up the entertaining work.

  3. Thank you Lyndon
    your discourse lifted my spirits, and my hopes for the future
    I will never think of Abbott, Pyne, Bishop, Morrisonand that non speaker of the house (can’t think of her given name at the moment) without thinking ‘Dickhead’
    S G Bowler

  4. Bile and bigotry dressed up as political discourse is just that bile and bigotry – they talk about the abuse hurled at Gillard but ignore the same rubbish hurled at Abbott – I wonder why this is?????? – People with a modicum of intelligence see you for what you are – a person who believes that the more abuse you hurl the more that people will accept it as fact – As such it is a given that you fully support all the calls to shoot Abbott etc etc – Wake up and put your hand up for what you truly are you coward

  5. You write lots of words but all I can hear is whinge fucking whinge, moan, fucking moan. No one cares why you are an ignorant little pustule, only that you are an ignorant little pustule.

    Too bad the conservatives and your bogey man Abbott will be for at least 3 terms despite your pissing and moaning because the majority think you lot are the dickheads here.

    In summary, too bad, so sad. Go sob in your lefty mates ball sack and dry your tears on his scrotum, fuckwit.

    1. Wow, such depth! Such skilful forensic analysis. Such brilliant logic! Such impeccably constructed arguments. Such beautiful, elegant prose. Such insight! Such power!

      The contrast with Lyndon’s crude scribblings shows you as a true artist of the pen with a huge career as a mighty wordsmith beckoning. The world is already hanging out for your next pearls. I, for one, cannot wait.

    2. Thanks for providing the most telling evidence in support of Lyndon’s contention, you of the infantile, fake web address.

      And you’ve surely spelled your moniker wrongly. The ‘R’ should be an ‘O’, IQSOLOW.

  6. Thank you for this. It needed saying and the case has been eloquently put. I would take issue, however, with the use of ‘bogan”. The popularity of this term has increased alarmingly since I have been away from Australia and, like hillbilly and hispanics in the US, it is now manipulated by the right to encourage division and hatred. And Patrine (22/3,) may I gently remind you that one does not have to be university educated – or educated at all for that matter – to spot a dickhead, a liar, a racist, a misogynist or a xenophobe. I began full time work at 14 after years of non-achievement at school and even before Abbott rose to lead the current Priory of Fools I realised that he was the lot, in one unlikeable package and easy for anyone to identify. A lot of articulate, educated and erudite people must have voted for him or is he, like Howard, a prime minister that 60 per cent of Australians say they didn’t vote for?

  7. This says it all .
    The foul abuse hurled at Julia Gillard started going down to the lowest point in our history .
    Now with Abbott he seems to be able to get away with lies & of course is supported by the biased Murdoch press .which is read by the majority it all seems hopeless

  8. What a great response. Thank you for taking the time to craft this. The dickheads seem to think that none of us are educated, informed or articulate. Well done you for reminding them that their hopeful premise is incorrect

  9. This is the most sane, concise and relatively restrained comment I have heard in many months. In today’s political discourse, it could easily be labelled “civil”. I fear for this country and my grandchildren’s future when this insane asylum we live in is being run by it’s extremist residents. Dickheads, indeed. If I weren’t a lady, I could think of some even better ones.

  10. Thank you for your eloquent and pertinent explanation of why you held that sign and for doing so. Perhaps if all of us marching had held such signs, critics of the march would have sought us out and adequate and timely media coverage would have been guaranteed.

    1. I posted some of your article on the Support Andrew Bolt FB page. I credited you for it. I have this new approach. MiM was fabulous and works well when like minded people are talking to each other to share what is needed to be known etc. But we also need to call out the offenders and so I have liked the pages of Tony Abbott, Andrew Bolt and The Liberal Party. I post to these pages when I see an article or have a comment to make. I have received some hate back on the Liberal Party Page but surprisingly, I have had supporters respond as well.
      I stay cool and just make the point and give facts, You Tube videos are great cause they don’t lie (but Abbott can be found to do so) When responders call me filth or a lefty bludger, I remind them of how the are making sweeping generalisation not based on knowledge , just opinion. This shows them up for their lack of thought and intelligence.
      Anyway, such eloquent men as yourself an others to your pages, I urge you to do the same, but don’t give them any reason to criticize the way you post or how you make your point.
      Good luck and thanks again for your fantastic article Lyndon. How about an analysis of the “unspeak” used by this Government. (see Stephen Poole for unspeak).

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