As Sydney’s southern suburbs were beset by mob violence for the second day, the leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, said the Prime Minister had “failed the nation”.
Brown accused John Howard of engaging in “dog-whistle politics”, an allegation first levelled at the Liberal leader over his attitude to Pauline Hanson in 1996 and asylum-seekers in 2001.
“Dog whistle politics” refers to the use of coded political language which allows a politician to express ideas regarded as divisive but which are nevertheless understood by the target audience.
Text of a media release from the leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown.
PM fails Australia as racist division continues: Brown
Prime Minister Howard has failed the nation as the racist thuggery continues in Sydney, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.
“His, ‘I would never condemn people for being proud of the Australian flag’ is dog-whistle politics. It clearly condones racists abusing the Australian flag.
“For individuals to wrap themselves in our flag and sing our anthem in the cause of racism deserves condemnation. It fractures the whole idea of a fair go.”
Senator Brown said the mix of racism, alcohol and testosterone fuelling aggression on both sides of the fracas needs to be recognised before it can be properly dealt with.