Liberal Senator Eric Abetz claimed on Tuesday night, in a very cosy interview on 2GB with far-right columnist Miranda Devine, that he had received lots of emails thanking him for complaining about the rainbow flag erected in the Department of Finance.

Devine, like Abetz, believes the rainbow flag is only about marriage equality (it isn’t) and complained about a rainbow pin Defence had allowed officers to wear.

“I would have thought Defence personnel might have been engaged in the genuine task of defending our nation rather than being heavily involved in trying to promote the Mardi Gras, which is a highly political — and might I add — a highly divisive and obnoxious event,” Abetz opined.

Abetz said “without trying to get the Governor-General involved” that he hoped “these things might not occur again”.

Abetz also complained that Finance was pressuring people into participating in Wear It Purple Day, which he said was a form of “reverse bullying”. Crikey understands Finance is not even the first agency to fly the flag, and that it was approved because it is a community flag.

It is worth pointing out that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Reserve Bank, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and (gasp) the Australian Human Rights Commission will also have floats in the “divisive and obnoxious” parade, not to mention members of Abetz’s own political party. The Liberal Party float has been positioned right behind one devoted to leather, so Ms Tips suspects Liberal members marching will face many arseless chaps as they walk up Oxford Street.

Peter Fray

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