I’m not going to take issue with Andrew Bolt suggesting that the police receive too much harsh criticism when a high speed pursuit results in an accident – it’s a very tough issue and I think he has an arguable point. I’m also not going to take issue with his suggestion that the driver who caused the most recent accident, Justin Williams, deserves blame and scorn for what he has done.

But I do take issue with Andrew Bolt for suspending both logic and human decency to engage in the character assassination of the victims and their families, and for trying to tell us that we should direct the blame toward causes that include tattoos, divorce and the poor.

Debbie Webbe, the mother of the driver’s girlfriend, might well be wrong in directing her anger at the police instead of her daughter’s boyfriend. But does that mean she deserves to be mocked like this?

Oh, hear the poor mother’s sobs on radio or on TV, while interviewers murmur their pitying there-theres – even as she crucifies the cops.

Oh, you poor dear, Mrs Webbe.

Apparently Bolt believes she does deserve that treatment – and what’s more, that she should bear plenty of blame for what has happened to her daughter. And on what evidence does he comes to this conclusion?

she wore a sleeveless shirt to better show her tatt, a symbol of the new barbarianism that is actually behind this tragedy.

But not just that. There’s also the fact that she didn’t (somehow) control her 18 year old daughter’s every choice and movement:

So let’s not ask this tattooed lady in her moment of grief why she let her daughter go out with a twice-jailed 23-year-old father of three who’d been stealing cars since he was eight.

These are the reasons why we should stop treating this woman as the parent of a car crash victim and instead treat her as a symbol of society’s ills. And the scorn and blame can be shared around even further. The couple and baby who were also killed as they drove along in their own car? There’s grounds to suspend our sympathy there:

Friends of [Williams’s], actually, both with criminal records themselves for offences involving drugs, and with eight children from previous relationships.

But we don’t need to confine ourselves to the specific people involved and those with tattoos – whole classes of society can be sneered at:

the poor – many virtuous, yes, but others lazy, careless or unsocialised – outbreed the rich, and the mob’s values are pushed up

All of these elements feed into Andrew Bolt’s aim with this column:

let’s do that blame thing, but properly this time.

Apparently, that’s what the non-barbarians in our society do. But somehow, to me, it just seems nasty.

(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)