A fairly unflattering mural of Pauline Hanson appeared on the wall in Footscray.
The leader of One Nation was unfazed.
“From what I’ve been through, for what I’ve had thrown at me over the year, you think that would offend me? Not at all,” she said. “I consider what I want to do, and what I am doing for the Australian people is more important than worrying about rubbish like that.”
Most of the people interviewed on the ABC in Footscray thought it was pretty fair. But then, Pauline Hanson is probably not too popular Footscray
The mural was by Melbourne artist Van T Rudd who said he painted the mural on a shop wall on Donald Street in Footscray as a statement against “extreme right-wing” views. Mr Rudd is a nephew of the ex-Prime Minister.
The mural only lasted a day.
Mr Rudd appeared on television muttering vaguely about his right to free speech. But really, does he have the right to offend and insult like this. Because, regardless of what you might think of Pauline Hanson and her views, this is offensive and insulting.
It’s not offensive and insulting based on race, religion or gender which is forbidden under the act.
So is this kind of thing okay?
To start with the Footscray Football Club may wish to remain politically neutral and not wish to have its mascot politicised. But that’s too late now, even with Pauline Hanson’s face painted out, the image has been well and truly fixed in the public imagination.
And perhaps we should be saying that this is the kind of ridicule and humiliation that we should not subject anyone to in a civilised society regardless of how much we may despise their political views.
And in defending them from this kind of ridicule perhaps we can encourage them to treat other people with more respect.