“OPEN THE FLOODGATES
Thousands of boat people to invade NSW.”
Strewth! How offensive are those headlines?
Right up there with singing “Eskimo Nell” in a beery voice at the Royal Dowagers Combined Knees-up and Garden Party?
Teaching kinders naughty limericks for the yearly concert?
Absolutely! No question.
Well, so claimed a 22 year old girl who is studying how to dance and sing and make the world a better place through song, or so she says in her blog.
She complained to the Australian Press Council – the APC.
And the APC were so horrified they demanded that the Sydney Telegraph cut it out. It’s downright offensive.
Apoplectic, the APC concluded that use of the word “invade” was gravely inaccurate and unfair.
“Inaccurate??” The word ‘invade’ is inaccurate?
“Why yes”, complained the 22year old student, Anna Krjatian, a refugee herself and expert in English idioms. The word portrays “asylum seekers and refugees as a threat to public and personal safety.”
“Too right,” harrumphed the Council, practically choking in pious indigation.
Obviously what we have here, as was said in ‘Cool Hand Luke’, is a failure to communicate. The failure in this case being to communicate the fact that it is now the 21st century and we often have headlines like:
Direction fans invade Martin Place for Sunrise interview
Children invade town hall for festival.
Spurs invade thunder alley
Hartlepool invades dressed as smurfs
Flower girls invade Dutch seaside resort.
and even in the 19th century National Geographic this:
… It’s a lovely little bakery that we’d invade every morning after our all-night…
There’s thousands of them
But the best bit of all is this – the APC frequently grow purple and chunder from time to time about the disgrace of invading someone’s privacy. Google Australian Press Council and Invasion of Privacy to get over 400,000 entries including this extract from a submission the APC made while grovelling to Finklestein:
Some members of the Council believe there should be a statutory cause of action for some invasions of privacy. They consider that this course is especially appropriate in the light of recent and likely advances in communication and surveillance technologies that provide greatly increased opportunities for such invasions.
Talk about holier than thou. And what a beaut way to get around the defamation laws. A statutory cause of action. No jury. Just a prosecution by the Government.
In this case it was “unfair and offensive” to whom?
Well, just possibly, they have a point there. The Post’s Immigration and Idiocy editor, Chauncey Pilgarlic interviewed Abdullah Bulbul Amir, from Afghanistan, just as he was preparing to slip overboard from the converted fishing boat “Heaven Ahoy” and showed him the copy of the Tele.
“Yes, I read it when I was in Indonesia, ” he said, “and I can tell you I was properly pissed off when I read it.”
But was he offended?
“Bloody oath. Offended and hurt like you would not believe. And so were my brothers. I mean, what kind of paper can say a thing like that? Oh yes, and gravely unfair, I forgot to add.”
And will you be seeking compensation?
“Yes, we will be bringing a class action. and suing for a million each. I’ve never been so insulted in my life.”
“Yes we will be asking Gillard to get the anti-discrimination laws extended to include anybody who is in a boat. And to ban the use of the words’illegal immigrant’ just like the APC recommends.
“I mean,” he finished, “who do they think we are?”