Last week, Fairfax columnist Jonathan Holmes wrote an article about offshore processing of asylum seekers who arrive by boat, deploring “the brutal reality of Nauru and Manus Island” and” the practical evils and the moral bankruptcy of ‘off-shore processing’”. Except, he added, “I don’t believe one should pontificate about a policy unless one has some vaguely practical alternative to propose. I have never had one.”
For his carefully worded thoughts, Holmes was attacked as a racist by the left clickbait’n’mansplaining site New Matilda and assailed on social media. The irony of that abuse was that Holmes, during his stint at Media Watch, did more to expose the media’s lies about asylum seekers than all of his critics put together (he also once labelled me “ridiculous” for attacking News Corp’s campaign against Julia Gillard, so I have no particular brief to defend him). The casual labelling of Holmes as “racist” looks more like moral and intellectual laziness than any sort of considered judgement.