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By way of brief introduction, Bob Katter is a crazy politician in Queensland who used to be mildly amusing when he was a little fish, but now that he’s formed a party and got designs on the Premiership, it’s gone beyond a joke. Campbell Newman is another candidate in the upcoming State election. Up to speed? Okay, now brace yourself for a few seconds of madness, and watch this.

Now, I felt more than a little shocked, disgusted, embarrassed and angry after watching this (not to mention somewhat confused about just what cogent point the ad is meant to be making…) so I thought it was time to make myself heard. I vote, therefore I have a right to communicate with this person.

To Bob Katter,

Upon waking today, I found my Twitter feed clogged with derisory comments regarding the new advertisement for Bob Katter’s election campaign, and was compelled to find the ad on YouTube and watch it. Thankfully, I live on the other side of the country – as far as possible from this madness without actually leaving a country that I do love – and I don’t have to watch it on television, nor be affected by the hate that it will no doubt incite in some parts of Queensland (where, may I add, I was born and lived for twenty years).

The degeneration of Australian politics hit what I thought was a new low recently with the leadership spill, but this…this is beyond the pale. How is it acceptable, in the minds of KAP members and staff, to incite division, hatred and discrimination in some ill-aimed attempt to slander the competition?

If you are taking your example from the American three-ring circus and its list of questionable “platforms”, you’re not only desperately misguided, but downright offensive in your estimation of Australians. We are not Americans, and we do not want to be railroaded down the same puritanical, hysterical path that the US is following of late. Leave your hands off the rights of people to choose with whom to spend their lives, and don’t even think sideways about trying to control women’s reproductive choices.

Bob, if you have something to contribute, by all means speak up and offer it. But what you are doing is nothing more than shit-slinging, and this witch-hunt against the gay community smacks of insecurity born of your well-publicised relationship to Carl Katter (an honourable, articulate, intelligent man, in stark contrast to all evidence I’ve seen of yourself). This behaviour is offensive in the extreme and politicians like you do nothing to further Australia’s future, but only to bring the focus of the nation to negatives.

Find something positive to talk about, Bob. Stop haranguing people for being different from you. Do some unbiased research into the social phenomena and then tell us just how it is that gay unions of any kind actually, empirically, measurably damage the fabric of society. If you can present yourself as having more than one functioning brain cell, and a working vocabulary, perhaps then you have a place in politics. But until then, please get out from in front of people and television cameras, and stop embarrassing other Australians and making us all look like uneducated bigots.

Yours most earnestly,

Kat Sherwin

It frightens me that people like Bob Katter and Margaret Court are getting so much publicity, and that their bigoted points of view are influencing the tide of politics here. But what frightens me even more is that sensible people, people like me who realise that gay marriage and immigration and the mining superprofits tax are not going to threaten Australian values or our way of life, are so silent. We shake our heads and roll our eyes and laugh at the crazies, but then suddenly someone like Bob Katter is in a real position to make a whole lot of people’s lives a whole lot more miserable. And for what? Why is he so opposed to gay marriage?

Are you sensible? Are you silent? Please, if you care that people like this are taking our country backwards and perpetuating hate and bigotry, please write to them. Take a few minutes and tell them that it’s not acceptable and it’s not what you want. You can email Bob Katter’s party headquarters here:


and you can definitely write to your local member as well. And if you don’t live in Australia, that doesn’t mean that your opinion doesn’t count! Let them know that you despise this sort of electioneering and oppose the hate-mongering as well, that the international community holds us to account for our privileged position and expects us to move forward, not backwards.

Tell them what you think. Don’t be silent. Because they’re not silent – they’re hysterical, they’re shouting their messages over and over again and before we know it, those messages will become the mantras of tomorrow’s governing bodies. We have to tell them that we don’t want that sort of government, or that sort of tomorrow.