20.12.19. Source: The Mocker, News Corp
The Mocker brings out the crystal ball to see what’s in store for poseurs, sneering social commentators and po-faced officials. It’s not pretty.
On Christmas Day please do the charitable thing and devote your thoughts to the truly unfortunate. I refer to those opportunists who exploit tragedies to malign others, whether it be to self-aggrandise or advance their ideology. While we instinctively detest such behaviour, we really should instead pity those so miserable they resort to it.
The Mocker is predicting a big 2020 for the likes of (clockwise, from top left) Jane Caro, Peter FitzSimons, Tracey Spicer, Mona Eltahawy, Bill Shorten, Kevin Rudd, Van Badham and Jackie Trad.
Which brings me to author, commentator and public education advocate Jane Caro, who, like many so-called progressives, mistakes social media for the zeitgeist. On Monday, emboldened by the shrill and deranged Twitterati who blame prime minister Scott Morrison for the bushfires, Caro created the hashtag #TheMorrisonFires.
Not only is this nonsensical, its eponymous reference is a low act. In no way can the fires be attributed to Morrison. Their management is a state and territory responsibility, not a Commonwealth one. To imply the prime minister is responsible because of the Coalition’s climate change policies is risible. Are people really that deluded they believe that maintaining former prime minister Julia Gillard’s carbon tax or making a grandiose declaration of a “climate emergency” would have reduced these fires in intensity or averted this crippling drought?
Naturally, her slur was complemented by a customary vanity lamentation. Responding the same day to a Guardian article that the Australian government was arguing at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid that it should be able to use carryover credits to achieve its 2030 emissions target, Caro invited the world to witness her woe. “My country has behaved despicably,” she tweeted. “I am ashamed”.
It is a sentiment that Caro has constantly tweeted throughout this decade.
It is also paradoxical. If she really is so ashamed to be Australian, why does she endlessly tell the world about it? In reality, the catalyst for this behaviour is an egotistical belief she is the nation’s moral barometer.
Caro is so ashamed to be an Australian that she added the abbreviation AM to herTwitter bio only hours after her admittance to the Order of Australia was announced in this year’s Queen’s birthday honours. Paradoxically, her perpetual shame for her country did not stop her from accepting such accolades, nor has it caused her in the months since to hand it back. If she is true to her principles, Caro should do just that. Of course, that would mean ditching the honorifics.
Anyway, the end of the year approaches, and with that here are my predictions for 2020:
Only two months after claiming that celebrating the win of an Australian-reared horse in the Melbourne Cup was proof of this nation’s entrenched xenophobia, ABC Life deputy editor Osman Faruqi writes of his disconcertment at hearing his local shopping centre play Bing Crosby songs. “Explain to me why Anglo-Australians used to the 35-degree heat would have a legitimate reason to play I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” he said.
Mass carbon residue discovered on rocks at Coffs Harbour not only shows Aboriginal people have been in Australia long before Homo Sapiens’ African diaspora, says indigenous anthropologist and historian Bruce Pascoe, “but also proves that First Nations people launched space rockets 500,000 years before NASA’s Project Mercury was in the planning stages.”
Sydney Morning Herald columnist and author Peter FitzSimons holds us a press conference to announce the release of volume one of his three-part autobiography “From Pirate to Polymath”. Acknowledging his obsession with first-person singular pronouns, he vows “Henceforth Peter FitzSimons will refer to himself only in the third person”. Later that month he announces he will step down as chair of the Australian Republic Movement. A petition signed by the entire membership of the Australian Monarchist League begs him to reconsider.
Queensland deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad announces she is “mortified” to discover her husband has purchased a derelict farm on land the government is considering rezoning for mining. “You wouldn’t believe it,” she said. “He did this over two months ago and but notified me via text message only this morning — in fact just two minutes before journalists contacted my office to inquire about the purchase.” Trad puts this lapse down to her being a “working mother” and the couple having “busy lives”, saying they need to work on their “communication”.
ABC commissions journalist and commentator Tracey Spicer to do a three-part series on Australia’s restrictive defamation laws and how they prevent people, especially women, from publicly raising concerns about celebrity wrongdoing. “I urge anyone who has a story about this to contact me, and I will treat your information in the strictest confidence, just as I promised today to Michelle Follingsworth of 3 Black Street, Kenmore, Brisbane,” said Spicer. “And if anyone so much as insinuates otherwise, my lawyer will take you to the cleaners.”
Appearing again on ABC Q&A, author and feminist Mona Eltahawy disembowels a member of the audience after he asks why fourth wave feminism has a public relations problem. “How many more men do we have to kill before they learn to treat women with respect?” she demands to know. Fellow co-panellist and former 2GB host Steve Price labels Eltahawy “hysterical”. The ABC quickly responds by announcing it will redact his sexist comment from the show’s website and ban him from appearing on further shows.
The Sydney Peace Foundation announces that Mona Eltahawy has been awarded the 2020 Sydney Peace Prize.
ABC The Drum hosts Ellen Fanning and Julia Baird announce that an Institute of Public Affairs representative will finally be allowed to sit on the show’s panel for the first time since April 23, 2018, but deny there was any boycott in place during the two-and-a-half years its members were absent.
“It’s just that we’re swamped from organisations offering a wide range of political perspectives, whether it be the Grattan Institute, GetUp!, change.org, the Diversity Council of Australia, The Australia Institute, the Organisation for World Peace, The Australian Council of Social Services, and Equity Economics,” said Fanning. “And in any event we’ve given the IPA representative plenty of notice to prepare, and we look forward to seeing him on March 29, 2027.”
Guardian columnist Van Badham announces her columns will no longer contain gratuitous personal anecdotes of marginal relevance. “From now on any such accounts will not expressly refer to me, and they will be strictly to the point,” she promised. “For example, my draft column tomorrow on the subject of traditional turtle-hunting in the Tiwi Islands reads ‘The University of Wollongong students who marched against John Howard in 1996 marvelled at the articulateness and intelligence of that fearless but nameless young visionary creative arts student and her burgeoning sense of social justice, a feminist leader who risked life and limb at the hands of oppressive police and fascist ASIO agents. Even in her juvenilia it was obvious she had the makings of a stateswoman, a great poet, a woman of letters – perhaps even a prime minister’.”
The Queensland election results in a resounding win for the LNP. As the scale of Labor’s loss becomes clear late in the evening, a tipsy Jane Caro tweets that she is mooning all Queenslanders who voted for LNP, saying they have “shit for brains”. She also says she is considering migrating to Venezuela. Writing two days later about the backlash she received, she concludes “This is an example of what happens when a strong and independent woman speaks truth to power.”
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd hotly denies that he is defensive about his government’s record. “Listen here, mate,” he told a reporter, “were I the type to self-justify I would be writing letters to the papers at least twice a week to highlight the many, many achievements of my government which you continually ignore or play down. I would also be angrily sniping on Twitter at my successors every second day. As you can see, I’ve been nothing but a happy little Vegemite since I retired.”
“Friends,” began shadow frontbencher Bill Shorten today, “when it comes to success in leadership, I’ve long been a big believer in the saying ‘third time lucky’.”