Dear LL – I’m not sure what to do about Hanson 2.0. Of course, my go-to position would be that although I am a ferocious warrior for free speech I have no tolerance for hate speech. (By hate speech, I mean any opinion on multiculturalism, gay marriage or feminism unconventional enough to cause an audible intake of breath from a Q&A audience) However, that Queensland fishmonger provides such high-quality hate viewing that I’m tempted to make an exception. Do you remember how we all laughed till we cried two decades ago at her unschooled bewilderment over what xenophobia meant? Happy times! Can you imagine the priceless opportunities another Hanson media frenzy will present? Inner West progressives will be able to publicly demonstrate their solidarity with the vast number of besieged Indigenous Australians and Muslims residing in suburbs such as Annandale, Lilyfield and Stanmore. I can feel an ‘I’ll Ride With You’ (at least from Newtown to Central) social media campaign brewing! In the meantime, I’m heading to Istanbul on King to purchase a (vegan, gluten-free, organic) halal snack pack just to prove the Inner West won’t descend into genocidal ethnic cleansing on my watch!
LL replies: As a left-wing intellectual I am in near-mystical communion with the working class. And if there is one thing I know, it’s that the proletariat likes nothing better than having their social betters lecture them about why they are unutterably stupid to imagine there is any connection between Islam and terrorism, globalisation and blue-collar unemployment, or high levels of migration and strain on social services. Inexplicably, Ms Hanson seems impervious to reason. Nonetheless, I’m sure the half-million restive bogans who elected her will soon see the error of their ways once their tribune is eviscerated by some suitably condescending ABC TV presenters.