Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Thorn in the side

Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie continues to fight unpopular battles.
In a report on a recent Parliamentary debate the steadfast Mr Wilkie aggressively criticised a couple of Liberal Opposition MPs Scott Morrision and SA Senator Cori Bernardi. Their recent faux pas have been much commented elsewhere. but obviously Wilkie gets up Bernardi's nose.
Bernardi, who a couple of weeks ago was alleged to have said "I, for one, don't want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth-century brutality and is an anathema to my own values", was accused by Wilkie of "Rants whipping up the fear of Islam" (see the full ABC report of what happened here)
Bernardi dismissed the comments saying
"criticism only hurts when you have high regard for the people who criticise you".
He obviously doesn't think Mr Wilkie should be allowed to criticise him.
But I actually think he has got it wrong there.
Criticism hurts, or perhaps sticks is a better word, when what is said is true.
I think I am not the only one who thinks Wilkie has got this right, and that Bernardi's comments were very inflammatory indeed. Indeed Sunday commentators on the ABC guffawed and asked "What wrong with Hallal meat?" and some other comment about 'Kosher' was being mumbled in the background.
But it should be noted that this is not a partisan matter and needs attention at all levels of public life. Those elected to our Parliaments should be the last to be making careless inflammatory comments. Oe might have thought that the good Senator had learnt that lesson. But alas no!

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