One thing that one can say about Australian politics is that although ‘characters’ aren’t all that common, when we come up with one we have the tendency to come up with some rippers – for good or bad.
On the States and Territories: Bob Katter believes the map should be redrawn to dramatically change the borders of the Northern Territory and Queensland – WA would lose the Kimberley and Broome, which would become part of the NT. Mr Katter suggested that the NT should be renamed the state of North-Western Australia. This idea prompted former WA Labor Attorney-General Jim McGinty to remark, “Bob Katter is as silly as a cut snake.”
On the Murray-Darling: “The Murray-Darling is 21 million megalitres of water. Just one of my rivers in north Queensland has 22 million megalitres of water. So heaven’s sake why are you trying to do the farming where there’s no water.”
On Australian citizenship: Infamously supported National Bob Burgess’s characterisation of the ceremony as “dewogging” by calling Burgess’s critics as “little slanty-eyed idealogues who persecute ordinary average Australians”.
On homosexuality and gay marriage: Katter claimed that he would “…walk to Bourke backwards if the poof population of Kennedy was more than 0.001 per cent”. Katter also voted against the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act, 1994, which decriminalised homosexuality in Tasmania.
“Truly this proposition (marriage equality) deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed. It doesn’t serve any serious treatment,” he said to cheers and thunderous applause.
As has been widely reported Katter’s half brother Carl Katter has offered his own opinions via an interview with George Negus.
Carl said whenever he saw his brother on the news he turned him off, but the comments he had made were “hurtfull.”
“It’s dangerous, it’s damaging and it’s really inappropriate,” Carl said, “[He] doesn’t give any support to his argument by perpetuating hate.”
“He doesn’t seem to represent the whole of his community and he denies the fact that there are a lot of gay people in his community.”
“People may assume that we’ve made some leaps and bounds in terms of equality really but we haven’t.”
“I don’t know how he can target a minority and persecute them in the way he has.”
“His gross generalisations are just inappropriate in today’s society. I can’t believe that I’m actually here in 2011 talking about this.”
When asked by Negus if he planned to get married one day himself, Carl said, “Pretty much like everyone, if the right person comes along and I want to spend the rest of my life with them, I would definitely like to marry them.”
Asked if he would invite Bob to the wedding, he said, “I don’t think he’d come and I have a lot more important people and valuable people in my life that I’d want to involve.”
One cannot help but ponder as to why Bob Katter having a gay brother has so little empathy, surely B. Katter must have seen the homophobia towards his brother while they were growing up. One despairs at people’s attitudes at times.
UPDATE: Link courtesy of Erin. Heathen scripture
If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering with trepidation what will happen when the Gaypocalypse finally strikes. Are fudge-packers, nancy-boys, and pillow-biters all names for the same thing, or do they signify a hierarchy of types and sizes, like orcs? Which are most dangerous? Do bull dykes breed with bull queers? That seems anti-intuitive. And where do the Poohole Pirates come in? Are they like the Men of Harad? What about elephants? Will there be elephants? Will they be pink? Will we be forced to toil in underground sequin mines while Freddy Mercury lashes us with moustachioed falsetto arpeggios? And dear God, why didn’t we listen to Fred Nile?