Opinion

Antisemitic graffiti exposes fragile state of our democracy

It is federal election time and we will approve of some candidates and disapprove of others.

That used to be the healthy outcome of democracy; but now we have the vulgar, ugly and nasty consequences of a society which, in relation to courtesy and decency, seems to have lost its way.

Josh Frydenberg is a highly intelligent Australian who offered himself in public service.

He doesn’t deserve to see, in his electorate, signs bearing his image being defaced with anti-semetic symbols.

Mr Frydenberg was born in Australia to Jewish parents.

Why does he have to suffer a campaign sign with a swastika drawn on his forehead?

Mr Frydenberg is right to say, “Swastikas are a reminder of a dark past and it is our collective duty to say ‘never again’.”

But it is not just swastikas.

Some of his campaign material has been smeared with dog faeces; another had a Hitler moustache painted on his face.

It is one thing to be sickened by this vandalism, organised vandalism.

Many of Mr Frydenberg’s posters have been defaced, not for the first time.

Mr Frydenberg is right to call out this “cowardly and criminal” behaviour.

But Joe Blow in the streets, going about his everyday work, trying to make a quid and put food on the table has no time for this rubbish and asks a simple question, what is being done about it?

It is all very well for the Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman (another useless statutory authority) to say that graffiti constituted a hate crime and a “direct attack on our democracy and our values”.

But who can answer the question, what are we doing about it?

People burn the Australian flag.

What are we doing about it?

As with all these things, those elected to lead are silent while the fabric of a once decent society is being ripped apart.

My advice to Josh Frydenberg is to make this a central pillar of his campaign.

Vote for me and I guarantee I will leave no stone unturned to rid a wonderful country of this disgraceful behaviour, he should say.

Tell the world these people will be hunted down and make the further point that they should understand that no punishment will be adequate.

Anyone who wants to put their freedom on the line, by behaving in this way, will find that freedom denied; and if they don’t understand what that means, put it even more simply.

You will have a long, long stretch in her Majesty’s hotel.

 

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