I have been on holidays in the wilds of the Barrington Tops since Christmas Day, and I've been following what's happening in the world via Twitter and online articles and publications. I have seen no TV and heard no radio. I was wondering how I was going to fill this column when so little appeared to have been happening.
Yes, there was a kerfuffle over a possible $5 upfront payment for patients attending bulk-billing doctors, more sinister silence over what is actually going on in offshore processing centres (Destroying the Joint flooding Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's joint with tampons, apparently), and debate over why there is an apparent rise in random king hits (or should that be coward punches) ...
And then came Cory.
But it wasn't until Cory Bernardi came along with a new book to promote and had a good old, far-Right, misogynist rant that I was sure I could easily fill the required 700 words. Because, according to Bernardi
, I am pro-death. Mind you, his judgemental spray led to a friend confiding that her own grandmother had died at 30 from the consequences of a knitting needle, leaving four children under five. So we should never forget it's perhaps more a matter of whose death you are pro: the foetus, who neither knows nor cares, or the desperate woman?
Andrew P. Street pointed this out perfectly in The Guardian
along with a compelling statistic about what happened to maternal mortality rates in South Africa after abortion was legalised. Whatever your view, Twitter leapt on Bernardi's tirade like a half-starved pet left behind while its owner went on holidays, and my troubles were over. There was this lovely meme
, backing up my grandmother-less friend's point to the hilt.
But there were also many who responded to his dire (but spectacularly self-contradictory) warnings about single-parent families and the promiscuous girls and criminal boys they apparently raise (why not promiscuous boys and criminal girls, I couldn't help wondering). Setting aside the obvious point that many single parents are created because they don't choose abortion, the holes in this particular argument were large enough to drive a truck through, and so a few witty tweeps hit the accelerator and did exactly that. Here's one
that neatly revealed a further flaw in his argument: