Anti-Greens ratf*ckers come out for Mardi Gras

Last night was the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. This year, 135 floats made their way through Sydney street, celebrating queerness in all its wonderful and outrageous manifestations. Highlights of the night for me were: the giant sequined whale from Taronga Zoo (because queer penguins need love too, apparently); the ’78ers (those amazing people who started out marching in protest and founded a tradition that has become part of Sydney life); the Rainbow Babies (celebrating the New South Wales Parliament finally passing laws to allow same-sex adoption); and a couple of mystery guests.

A surprise appearance from our fearless leader and her Opposition counterpart - or their stand-ins, at least.

It was a night for making statements, the strongest of which forcefully made the case for marriage equality. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who has repeatedly introduced bills calling for the Marriage Act to be amended to allow same-sex couples to marry, marched in the thick of the throng. Given such an atmosphere, it was probably inevitable that some slightly less positive sentiments would make an appearance.

So was anyone really surprised to see a slew of badly-printed anti-Greens posters suddenly appearing taped to telephone poles around Oxford Street? The Conscience Vote’s ‘fabulous informant’ snapped some pictures:

LOOK OVER HERE!

First, the scream sheet, following a time-honoured tabloid tradition. “DO THE NSW GREENS OPPOSE GAY RIGHTS?” Now that it’s got your attention, it gives you just a little more information: ‘By boycotting Israel, the NSW Greens are boycotting the only country in the Middle East where homosexuality is not a capital offence, or even a crime’. Finally, the admonition: ‘Choose freedom. Don’t vote Green on March 26’.

Cunning, eh? It’s even printed on green paper. That’ll get the message across to those ‘gays’.

For those who were more detail-oriented (or who perhaps just had a little more time to kill while waiting for a taxi), some considerate souls also posted the full text version:

Note the scattergun approach.

The cutaway quote from the scream sheet heads up the litany of Terrible Truths, but it doesn’t stop there. The Greens, it charges, also oppose democracy – because they’ve called for a boycott of Israel, and Israel is the ‘only’ democratic country in the Middle East. And they support ‘terror’ – because Hezbollah and Iran want to attack Israel, and by boycotting Israel, the Greens are on their side.

Seeing a theme here? And I don’t just mean the breathingtakingly, mindbogglingly hamfisted excuse for logic. It’s all about Israel. The Greens hate Israel – therefore the Greens must hate homosexuals and democracy. And support Evil Dictators and Terrorist Organisations. We must stop these terrible people gaining any sort of representation in ‘our’ government. The fate of Israel depends on it!

It’s barely worth ripping down the arguments used here – they are transparently spurious. Whoever wrote this piece of nonsense deliberately misstated facts and massacred logical thinking. Mind you, they also credit the Greens with an astonishing amount of influence – if they call for a boycott of Israel, gay people will be killed, Hezbollah and Iran will attack and the Last Bastion of Democracy (TM) in the region will fall.

So, it’s all about Israel. But who could be the Concerned Citizens behind this poster campaign? Who are these brave souls, who subjected themselves to driving rain, loud music and an onslaught of glitter and leather to bring their message of Imminent Disaster to the unsuspecting people of Oxford Street?

The crucial point is revealed in the last paragraph: “DO THE GREENS HATE CHRISTIANS?” The authors of this poster were already drawing a very long bow, but this is the point where the string snaps violently: ‘By boycotting Israel, the Greens are boycotting the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population’. Adopting a somewhat pleading tone, the authors cry plaintively, ‘Christians are people too’.

I smell a ratf*ck.

Remember the One Vote videos during the 2010 Federal campaign? Similar anti-Greens message, similar mixture of fabrication and a similar amount of scare-mongering mangled arguments. Similar production values, too – although in the ‘One Vote’ case, it was a failure of web design.

The Conscience Vote and The Notion Factory traced those ‘concerned citizens’ back to the Christian Democratic Party. This latest effort, however, is likely to prove much harder to track down. Not only is it (thus far) confined to photocopied posters on cheap paper, it’s devoid of any information as to who might be responsible.

But really, that’s the point. We’re supposed to think this doesn’t originate with a political party, or even a lobby group. We’re encouraged to believe that this really is some kind of grass-roots, spontaneous uprising of The People, forced to take to the streets because their voices are not heard in the corridors of power. It’s heartwarming, really.

And of course, it’s complete rubbish.

I’m not about to point the finger at anyone. It might not be the CDP behind this latest offering. After all, there’s a fine tradition of ratf*cking in Australian politics.

But it is very interesting how the same language, the same sentiments and the anonymity just keep turning up – all directed at one political party.

This time, however, it looks like the minds behind this strategy badly misread their target demographic – my fabulous informant tells me he witnessed people reading the posters and laughing.

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8 Responses to Anti-Greens ratf*ckers come out for Mardi Gras

  1. biohazard cleanup…

    […]Anti-Greens ratf*ckers come out for Mardi Gras « The Conscience Vote[…]…

  2. returnedman says:

    Israel’s former president has just been given a jail sentence for rape.

  3. There are a number of Jewish people in the Eastern Suburbs who object strongly to the Greens and their support for a blockade of Israel. It’s a sensitive issue amongst the Greens, some of whom cop a lot of flak for that policy. It is also possible the sheets are produced by Christians who have a strong connection to Israel, in that they lie their politics and hold out a hope that the Israelis will convert to Christianity.

  4. Ben McGinnes says:

    I believe I may have found the most likely culprit for these anti-Green (and ultimately anti-LGBTI) messages. That being CDP candidate Peter Madden, who is standing in the east of Sydney in this year’s election in New South Wales.

  5. Dan says:

    Bottom line: Would you rather be out and proud in Tel Aviv? Or in Gaza, Iran or Saudi Arabia?

    Unless you have a stoning-fetish, the answer is clear.

    • Citizen Cam says:

      It’s not that simple. That isn’t the bottom line at all. Israel is not the model of peace, freedom and democracy it’s made out to be by the Raving Right. Neither is it the evil menace to justice it’s made out to be by the Loony Left.
      Israel is NOT the only democracy in the middle east. Jordan is a constitution where standards of democracy are steadily increasing since the reformer King Abdullah came to power. Turkey has been a prosperous secular democracy for decades. While sectarian violence continues to plague it, Lebanon is slowly making inroads into democracy. Israel, however, has a dysfunctional Parliament with a political structure based on constantly shifting alliances, usually involving religious fanatics.
      Yes, Israel is more liberal when it comes to homosexuality than most of the middle east. But in Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Cyprus, homosexuality is not a crime. And even within Israel there are violent groups of fanatics who oppose LGBT rights. Sound familiar?
      It’s a lot more nuanced than “Israel Good, Others Bad” or “Israel Bad, Others Good.” The Green ‘boycott’ of Israel (which isn’t a boycott at all; they support a Palestinian state and want Israel to end violence, just as they want the same of the Palestinians) is based on the policies of the Netanyahu government. It has nothing to do with freedom or rights or oppression or any of those things. It’s the way foreign policy has been conducted for centuries – “if you do that, we will do this.”
      Whoever put those posters up is an idiot.

      • Rhiannon Saxon says:

        Thank you so much for making such a clear statement clarifying the situation for me and others.

    • Citizen Cam says:

      For “Jordan is a constitution” read “Jordan is a constitutional monarchy”. Stoopid compooter.

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