Diary

Gadfly
Kick in the Ed for systemic racism

First they came for Eddie McGuire, and I did not speak out…

because I was too busy drinking champagne and laughing.

Stunning everyone and overturning centuries of tradition, Eddie McGuire has now become the first white Australian ever forced from his job due to a prolonged commitment to racism. This has confused a country accustomed to the established method of dealing with racism in Australia, wherein the victim is pushed out of their job, hounded in the press and media, labelled a “sook” because our discourse is just barely above “I’m rubber and you’re glue, and what bounces off me sticks to you”, before it’s claimed that racism is a thing that happens only in America.

In the wake of McGuire’s announcement, News Corp journalists could be seen curled up in the foetal position, heads in their hands as they whimpered, “The horror, the horror…” But they soon bounced back and fired up the “find and replace” macro on their word processors to repurpose the columns they wrote last week in defence of Craig Kelly.

Getting fired is no easy experience – he said, speaking from experience – and McGuire does deserve a great deal of sympathy. In his defence, the former president of Collingwood did have only 22 years in which to address the club’s racism. He would’ve been far too busy to notice, having also been trying to focus on his careers as a journalist, radio presenter and TV host, proving you just can’t keep a mediocre talent down.

Eddie’s resignation began with him claiming: “I try my best, and I don’t always get it right. But I don’t stop trying.” One assumes this was in reference to all the racism he was trying. Maybe he should have stuck with, “It’s a proud day.” McGuire then took credit for the internal review that he was forced to reveal only once it was leaked to the press, and went on to remind people that the review was inspired by Black Lives Matter, somehow managing to commit yet another act of erasure against Héritier Lumumba, who was the actual reason it happened.

Eddie went on to describe how he has been the focus of “vitriol” for the past week, which is the closest a white guy has come to experiencing a lifetime of racism. It must have been a harrowing experience for him. Thoughts and prayers.

Now that racism has been solved in Australia, the whole country can move forward to a new utopian existence with no more internal reviews needed in any other AFL clubs, which apparently can be accomplished only by the subjects of racism first being gaslit for years by Peter Helliar.

The Project was not available for comment at this time.

Putting the ‘ow’ in Crown

Then they came for Crown Casino, and I did not speak out…

Because I was destitute from my gambling addiction and had become a drug mule.

If you live in Barangaroo and love bad sushi, losing your money and the kind of interior decoration that could only be created by the unholy union of Donald Trump and a Saudi prince, then you’ll have to go somewhere other than Crown Casino to get your fix.

A new report by the NSW gaming regulator has denied a licence to Australia’s top destination for people looking to cheat on their spouses in overpriced hotel rooms. The report was commissioned into the casino operator after investigations by The Age and 60 Minutes revealed the casino had links to drug trafficking syndicates, which came as a surprise to no one who has ever been in one of the casino’s faux-marble toilets.

Crown had previously denied the reports, taking out full-page advertisements in major newspapers to decry the claims made and thus guaranteeing people actually paid attention to journalism they may have otherwise ignored, because no one reads The Age or watches 60 Minutes anymore. James Packer is yet to be asked if he hates reports now more than Eddie McGuire hates reports, but either way it turns out reports are the Ultimate Nullifier to the Galactus that is rich and powerful men. That’s a great reference, shut up.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is yet to announce an investigation into Melbourne’s casino, perhaps being too busy scaring the ever-living shit out of Melburnians by calling a press conference at 10.30pm on a weeknight and then defending Eddie McGuire at exactly the wrong time.

Bolted report

Then they came for the elderly Australian men unfairly jailed for raping boys, and I did not speak out…

Because what the hell are you saying, Andrew Bolt?

Continuing his commitment to being the staunch defender of alleged paedophiles – a baton handed to him by Tony Abbott, which was handed to Tony by John Howard – Andrew Bolt took time out of enjoying the beachfront views at the far-flung monocultural enclave of the Mornington Peninsula to… defend men accused of rape?

The exact quote from his online column was: “How many elderly Australian men must be unfairly jailed for raping boys before we cool this hysteria?”

I haven’t changed a word there, or put the question mark in the wrong place. That’s exactly how it was written. If, however, you were able to make it through the brain haemorrhage caused by that sentence, you’d discover the article was about Trevor Spurritt, a former Camberwell Grammar teacher who had his indecent assault conviction quashed on appeal. Bolt’s point was that too many allegedly innocent men were being jailed for alleged crimes to then have those allegations allegedly overturned. By too many, he means four. Four men have had their alleged accusations overturned on appeal.

In case you’re wondering, there were about 4444 claims of child sexual abuse reported to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Which means those four men represent 0.09 per cent of the total cases and claims. One assumes elderly men accused of raping boys are a growth market of Herald Sun readers and subscribers.

Take my breath away

Then they came for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s PR manager…

and that’s fair. That needed to be done.

In a boon to hack journalists everywhere, Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week inducted Australia’s F-35A fighter jets at the BAE Systems Australia maintenance depot as Kenny Loggins’ 1980s smash hit “Danger Zone” blared in the background. “Everyone who’s involved in this project is a top gun in my view,” the prime minister said. After that, he took the rest of the year off because his work here is done. No one is topping that. Anthony Albanese tendered his resignation. Tom Cruise announced he was leaving the film industry to commit more time to Xenu. Kelly McGillis punched Val Kilmer. We all wished we were governed by adults.

The central part of Morrison’s announcement wasn’t the F-35A, which two air force chiefs decried in a statement in 2019 – describing it as inadequate for future strike operations and plagued with technical problems. Instead, the focus was on the maintenance depot, which the prime minister hopes will employ lots of people in the Hunter Valley to fix those technical problems that are bound to occur in poorly designed, redundant aircraft.

Poor Goose. 

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Feb 13, 2021 as "Gadfly: Kick in the Ed for systemic racism".

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Sami Shah is a multi-award-winning comedian, writer and journalist.