UPDATE: Bob Katter has come out this month (May, 2012) and admitted his party’s anti-same sex marriage ad was a mistake of ‘major proportions’. However, Katter appeared to only say it was a political mistake, resulting in a significant loss of votes at the Queensland election. He said it was the ‘crowning glory of mistakes’.
Here’s what we wrote when it was first released:
Bob Katter isn’t funny any more.
He might still wheeze-laugh at his own jokes, but so does Donald Trump. We all thought he was being, dare I say it, charmingly oddball for the past few years with the policy about campfires and a hat the size of Tasmania but really he was delivering a remarkable two-act play which culminates with the parting of the trench coat to reveal the bomb strapped to decency strapped to his chest.
He launched his first real salvo in the campaign to be awful yesterday with the homophobic Queensland campaign ad against the opposition LNP leader Campbell Newman who sort-of supports gay marriage (even though he’s promised to repeal civil unions should he win office).
The ad, which is now the subject of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau, featured homosexuals at their most dangerous. Cuddling, one being older than the other (like the predators Bob Katter is keen on hunting in North Queensland) and with pixellated bodies. It’s a little known fact that the most perverse homosexuals often come with blurry bodies and if you see one in the wild you should back away slowly without making eye contact.
It also featured Campbell Newman folding a skirt because, nudge nudge, he’s probably a ‘faggot’ too, right?
It’s called Dog Whistle Politics – when you hint at something without saying it directly in the full knowledge that those who share your views will understand what you’re saying and react accordingly. It’s a disgusting game of political charades, hinting that gay men are pedophiles and that Campbell Newman is not a ‘real’ man because he folds skirts and supports ‘the gays’.
Think the dog whistle doesn’t work? Check out the graffiti on Labor MP Curtis Pitt’s electorate office over night. Two thirds of his electorate vote in the Federal seat of Kennedy … yup, you guessed it, held by Bob Katter.
That bigotry can be heard from two galaxies away, Bob.
Remember, Bob Katter also said the very idea of gay marriage should be ‘laughed at and ridiculed’ last year.
It’s ironic that Campbell Newman is the target of this ad campaign because he’s far from supportive of same-sex rights himself (when pressed about civil unions, he said he’d rather focus on ‘normal’ families).
It’s tough not to caricature Katter as a villain in a 10-gallon hat. Because he does have some interesting, even remarkable, policies that stick up for regional Australia and indigenous Australians in a manner that the major parties often don’t. But excusing his reprehensible remarks on the basis of some other redeeming qualities is a bit like arguing in favour of drinking bleach because at least your intestines will be white.
Believe it or not, you can be pro-regional Australia and attend a same sex marriage. Sometimes even on the same day!
Bob Katter is Pauline Hanson in drag. A gun totin’, gay smotin’ cowboy on a mission to de-queer the world. And we should all be thankful. But the pair have more in common.