A bad week for fakewits

Opinion  |  Dean Johns
Published:  |  Modified:

Though there’s a long, long way to go before we can hope to defeat the dark forces of fake news and false views, at least we have had a few small wins against them this week.

In China, for example, the country that still fakes it as Communist despite having turned capitalist, remains a Party dictatorship despite claiming to be a “People’s’ Republic”, and continues as ever to control its people with a system of fake news and secrecy, the state censors have been forced to make fools of themselves by banning not just Facebook and Twitter as usual, but now also internet mentions and images of Winnie the Pooh.

According to Australia’s ABC News website, netizens in China have been poking fun at President Xi Jinping by drawing attention to his striking resemblance to the famous ‘bear of little brain’. This has not impressed the powers that be, apparently, especially with the 19th Party Congress approaching.

Of course the banning of Winnie the Pooh will not make the slightest difference to Xi Jinnie the Pooh’s regime, let alone bring it down, but at least it will render it a little more of a laughing-stock both at home and abroad.

Though not so much a laughing-stock, I grant you, as Trump and his fellow fakewits have been making of themselves, their supporters and by extension the US in general every week for their past six months in the White House.

And especially this past week, with the firing of foul-mouthed fakewit Anthony Scaramucci from his job as Trump’s communications director just 10 days after he was hired.

Then came the Australian connection, with the publication of the transcript of a phone conversation that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had with Donald Trump shortly after he was installed in the Oval Office.

At the time Trump was widely criticized, at least by the Australian media, for his reportedly hostile treatment of Turnbull, and for allegedly angrily and abruptly ending the conversation.

But, while the transcript reveals all this to be true to a considerable extent, it also reveals Turnbull as something of a fakewit for having previously falsely represented his side of the conversation about the terms of a refugee-exchange deal previously made with former President Obama.

Turnbull and his immigration minister, Senator Peter Dutton, have long claimed that the deal was not intended as some cynical, self-serving “people-swap”, and the transcript revealed that’s exactly what it was.

Both were cynical and self-serving, in that Turnbull and Dutton’s motives for making the deal clearly had everything to do with their political concerns, and little if any care for the well-being of the people who have so long languished in Australia’s dismal offshore detention centres.

If this revelation had been the only sign of fakewittedness in Australia’s Turnbull-led Liberal-National Coalition government lately, it probably would not have been terribly damaging to its prospects at the next election...

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