When I was growing up in Liverpool England, my dad’s favourite word for what he regarded as nonsense was ‘hooey’. I didn’t know where he got it from. Maybe from American gangster or western novels, which he devoured before television took over the household. It’s North American apparently, though its origin seems to be obscure. Possibly a euphemism for horseshit, is one suggestion I came across. It’s a great word which I might, at this late stage, introduce into my vocabulary. It has an almost onomatopoeic air about it. Clearly, hooey doesn’t sound complimentary. And it’s a perfect description of much of what’s happening today.
A good example is Powering Up by former chief scientist Alan Finkel, published in June this year. I will have a take on it in Quadrant Online this weekend, if you want to look it up. Sufficient to say here that it imagines a green energy utopia so removed from reality that it’s hard to believe that anyone could take it seriously; except, that is, Chris Bowen. It will definitely steel his maniacally obsessive resolve to rob Australia of reliable and affordable energy. Good job Mr Finkel!
Another is transgenderism. That on a whimsy, women and girls can be men and boys, and men and boys can be women and girls, is surely up there as hooey of the first order. Yet we have transgender activists who believe biology is a social construct. We have doctors willing to chemically stunt and distort the development of young bodies and even (hard to believe) sever body parts. You could make a horror movie out of it. I’m sure someone has. We have state governments making it a criminal offence to counsel troubled young people, confused about their sexual identity, on the wisdom of making life-changing decisions. And, apparently, to have a grounded commonsensical view on all of this is being transphobic and anti-LGBTQ(++) rights. Personally, I’m sick of LGBTQ rights. I’m sick of gay pride; of rainbow flags. Just keep it to your bedroom, thanks very much; and leave children alone. Then we’ll all get on.
Mind you, we will have to be careful saying this kind of stuff online, if the federal government’s proposed misinformation / disinformation legislation gets up. I’m pretty sure that questioning “gender” fluidity will draw the ire of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). It would be surprising, wouldn’t it, in this day and age, if those populating the ACMA were open-minded free-speech advocates. The Left’s ‘long march through institutions’ must now be close to completion, if not complete.
Misinformation-cum-disinformation is, of course, hooey at its very core. Galileo would no doubt have fallen foul of the proposed legislation. The idea that the earth was not the centre of the solar system is the very epitome of disinformation, calculated to cause serious harm to the scientific establishment advising the Vatican. Hot irons might get him to recant. Or, extremely heavy fines would possibly do the trick.
And, while we are at it, I’m not at all sure of the safety of criticising Finkel’s venture into Climate Wonderland. Questioning climate change; the climate emergency, the climate crisis, is tantamount to denialism; to heresy. As, equally, is any questioning of renewable energy. So we all better be careful in the brave new future.
Finally, let me come to the Voice – that ‘generous offer’ of reconciliation by the Uluru mob. Surely it’s not hooey? Well it is, isn’t it? What is it all about except giving more power and money to a group of activists; most of them well heeled. Most Aboriginal people – by whom I mean those claiming some Aboriginal ancestry – are doing okay. Like the rest of the Australian population, they have among their number people suffering some troubles and hardships. That’s life and without favouring one racial group or another, all deserve what help the community in general can reasonably afford to give them. Aside from that, there are clearly Aboriginal people in remote settings who are suffering particular and unusual hardships.
So far as I can see no one has been able enough to come up with an answer. An answer must be found. And what we shouldn’t do is to assume the problem is intractable by setting up a permanent body to oversee it. No, we want a cure not palliative care of a running sore. Linda Burney is charged with finding a cure. If she can’t; she should resign. The Prime Minister in-between his overseas trips should then endeavour to pick a replacement minister who is up to the job. For too long ministers in charge of Aboriginal affairs, on both sides of politics, have picked up their fat salaries, warmed their cushy seats, and then moved on leaving the people under their charge in exactly the same awful plight as before. To think that the Voice – an unelected committee of largely inner-city activists – is an answer is, as I said, hooey.