From Cottrell to Dutton: The August Rise of the Right

It is no coincidence that within the last month we have seen a stream of heightening racial attacks in the media and politics.

Beginning with Blair Cottrell appearing on Sky News, what followed his condemnation and “censorship” by Sky management was the rapid mobilisation of the political right, spurred on by an accelerated persecution complex.

Fraser Anning followed the appearance of a Neo-Nazi on Sky by channeling real Nazi rhetoric in attacking, and calling for a “final solution” against, Australian Muslims.

While this was roundly condemned the next day by his colleagues in parliament, he appeared unsurprisingly on a Sky News to defend his views.

Weeks later, the #LibSpill of 2018 began, with the Liberal Party’s right wing attempted coup against moderate Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Led by Peter Dutton, who has been channeling anti-African race-baiting for months to build his following, the right fought in two leadership ballots, and lost both of them.

While Peter Dutton may have been more overt in his racist dogwhistling against refugees, African and Lebanese Australians, his victorious rival Scott Morrison was among the prime architects of the Offshore Detention regime, making the spill motion hardly a victory for racial tolerance.

The repeated defeats did not quiet the Australian right, however, with their mouthpieces in the mainstream media still making noise against Australian Muslims and minorities.

Alan Jones found himself apologising for using the N-word live on air, at the time bravely declaring he saw no language off limits, himself having opposed Section 18C’s restrictions against public hate speech.

Andrew Bolt featured once again, leading a column by declaring Australia’s Jewish, Indian and Chinese communities, among others, were foreign tribes “colonising” Australia, the Dutch-born blogger apparently missing the irony. This much-condemned diatribe was followed by a fake news scandal involving Waleed Aly, who was falsely reported, by the Herald Sun, to have been specifically consulted by the AFL on sports rules changes. Bolt leapt upon this news, boldly asking, if he had converted to Islam, would the AFL have approached him?

This news story served only to attack and mock Waleed Aly and accuse him of preferential treatment for being Muslim by authorities, a popular racist trope that any perceived advancement by Muslims is due to an unfair bias towards Muslims by an anti-white conspiracy.

Sports commentator Sam Newman followed in the wake of two Muslim football players hugging in solidarity at the start of an AFL match. Newman, who has courted controversy for past sexist and racist remarks, and flashing nude on live television, slammed the silent gesture for ramming politics down the throats of football fans, and he responded by ramming his anti-immigrant politics down the throats of football fans.

Among his deluded claims was that Muslims were not integrating but “colonising”, yet another commentator ignoring the real legacy of European colonisation of a Australia which wiped out Australian languages, cultures and religions, and replaced them with a foreign, European language, culture and religion.

This was all within the month of August 2018, without even including the escapades of online trolls and fringe far-right figures and groups such as the neo-Nazi Antipodean Resistance.

All in the wake of Blair Cottrell appearing in front of 6000 Sky viewers, giving legitimacy and licence to a hateful movement bent on destroying Australian religious liberty.


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