Saturday, November 23, 2002

A Little Spot of Me-Tooism

Saturday, 23 November 2002

Fred Nile's comments on islamic dress and our Prime Minister's response have been given a good going over in the blogosphere in the past day or so. Some of it is a little over the top: if, like me, Nile's detractors had seen the excellent film Rules of Engagement they would realise how terrifyingly easy it is for an apparently innocent Muslim woman to transform herself into an AK-47 wielding harridan with only a little assistance from creative montage. I thoroughly reccommend this film (which, along with A Time to Kill confirms Samuel Jackson as the finest blaxploitation actor of this generation) to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the present day realities of global politics.

There has been criticism too of the Prime Minister's customary diffidence when it comes to making statements of personal principle which might convey the unfortunate impression that he considers himself morally superior to the rest of us. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer shows none of Mr Howard's admirable tact, in making this statement:

I suppose people could hide all sorts of equipment in all sorts of clothing," Mr Downer said.

"You could hide things under a raincoat I suppose - I don't think we're going to ban raincoats.

"But look, at the end of the day I don't think banning clothing is going to be a path the Government would go down."

Of course, as Foreign Minister, Mr Downer is speaking entirely outside his portfolio when he comments on domestic matters, especially events in New South Wales. Treasurer Peter Costello has shown a much clearer appreciation of the political niceties of the situation and kept his head buried in the national accounts, where his portfolio obligations require him to keep it.

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