Well it was only a matter of time. But that horrific speech made by MP Fraser Anning in Federal Parliament last week has gone global.
British comedian John Oliver dissected the Queenslander’s maiden address for Sunday audiences of his American political program, Last Week Tonight. And it wasn’t pretty.
“Australian politics this week saw a debut speech in parliament that will live long in the memory,” Oliver said. “In a speech arguing in favour of a return to a White Australia policy, Anning suggested having a popular vote would be ‘the final solution to the immigration problem’.”
(Yes, in a move that drew condemnation from both sides of politics, the Katter’s Australian Party senator used the words ‘final solution’; a phrase adopted by the Nazis to describe the mass murder of the Jewish population.)
Oliver continued, “That is just not a phrase that you want to throw around for pretty obvious reasons. It’s the same reason we don’t name babies Adolf anymore, or have tiny moustaches, or call yoga retreats concentration camps.”
Fraser Anning says “the vast majority of Australians agree” with his call for an end to Muslim migration and he “didn’t even think about” the connection of his words ‘final solution’ to Hitler’s policy. #9Today pic.twitter.com/rxGhQsRiD5Advertisement
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) August 14, 2018
Anning wasn’t Oliver’s only target. He reserved much of his wrath for party boss, Bob Katter, who backed his colleague’s speech as “magnificent” and “solid gold”. The controversial Queenslander also blamed Anning’s use of the phrase ‘final solution’ on his lack of tertiary education: “He didn’t get to a university to know the significance of all these words”.
That didn’t quite cut it for Oliver; “First, the speech was not solid gold, and I really hope in Australia you don’t have to have gone to university to have heard about the Holocaust.”
He continued, “I’m not saying all Australians are racist — that would be racist, and I would never say something like that, because I’m not Australian,” said Oliver, prompting laughter from the audience.
“But in fairness to Katter, he’s not just racist, he’s also homophobic. In 2011, he said gay marriage should be ridiculed, and when Australia legalised it just last year, he tried to laugh it off before doing a hard emotional turn.”
Oliver then played the infamous clip of Katter’s response to Australia’s historic 2017 vote in favour of same-sex marriage. (You can watch it above).
“I mean, y’know, people are entitled to their sexual proclivities. Let there be a thousand blossoms bloom, as far as I’m concerned,” Katter said, chuckling.
“But I AIN’T spendin’ any time on it,” he continued, suddenly furious, “because in the mean time, every three months, a person is torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland.”
Hands up if your experiencing some serious secondhand embarrassment right about now?