Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Updated: Restaurant owner's shameful fundraiser menu a symptom of politics of divide

Julia Gillard, menu, mysoginist, Malcolm Brough, Joe Hockey, Joe Richards, restaruant, brisbane
There were a number of attempts at humour on the 'mock menu' prepared by restaurant owner Joe Richards for a Liberal National Party fundraiser but the one at the expense of Prime Minister Julia Gillard was one of the most disgusting insults to find its way into public life.

Having admitted to being the author of the now infamous menu, Richards claims it was not distributed to Mal Brough, Joe Hockey, party members or supporters at the fundraising dinner and would not have seen the light of day, if not tweeted by a chef in the restaurant's kitchen.

'Rudd's a Goose Foie Gras' and 'We were going to serve Swan Foie Gras this evening, though it lost when we put it the vote' are slightly funny and '...The Dill Simon Crean Pollen and Grilled Kilroy Grass-fed Tenderloin' at least a play on words, we think.

And even 'Please ensure you eat all your greens before they take over completely' has some merit, which is all the more reason why the dissolution into personal, hateful and vulgar comments at the expense of the Prime Minister should be condemned.

Now another menu

But wait, there's more, another shameful menu has appeared, this time at the expense of Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Malcolm Turnbull. If it is authentic, then again we learn that there is no one left to cast the first menu...

It may well be as a nation we are learning that the willingness to cut to the bone with our language, whether in private or public, is not something that healthy and whole human beings do. Extreme provocation might be a mitigating circumstance, only slightly, but political opposition is not.

As Australia adds a restaurant owner to a 13-year-old girl, a radio announcer, swimming executive and soccer coach (and the list grows, daily) who have all been held to account for their racist, sexist or hateful words in the past few weeks, the message must be clear - live well, think well, speak well.

But there's another side to this shameful episode/s. It is the claim and counter-claim of politicians as to who is the most sexist or discriminatory or inappropriate in their language that prompted the 'chef' to tweet the menu. (And of course, the high and mighty 'chef' has been caught out with is own offensive tweet...)

Such are the politics of divide - in the long run no one wins, everyone is wary and we are all found out.

A wise book advises, 'Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.' Ephesians 5:4

Note: In our picture of the menu, the vulgar comments about Julia Gillard have been deleted.
Some details updated on June 14, 2013.

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