Independent Senator Fraser Anning has again
taken the piss defended his decision to attend a far-right rally in Melbourne, taking to The Today Show to effectively gaslight the entire nation into believing he’s not racist, the people he palled around with in St Kilda aren’t Nazis, and that even if they were, it doesn’t even matter who he associated with.
The Queensland politician told host Lara Vella the rally, which was organised by right-wing extremists and convicted criminals Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson, wasn’t a racist event.
“There was no racist rally, there was decent Australian people,” Anning said, despite the considerable number of protesters on the scene who roamed around giving Nazi salutes.
Anning, who admitted taxpayers will be slogged for his travel expenses to the event, said he wasn’t associated with the extremists Seig Heil saluting.
“I can absolutely guarantee that nobody in the group I was with were doing anything like that,” Anning said.
The senator, who feigned ignorance after using the historically anti-Semitic phrase “final solution” in regards to immigration, said it didn’t matter that he stood alongside Cottrell – a man who has openly advocated for hanging a photo of Adolf Hitler in Australian classrooms.
“Obviously I don’t support any views like that – I’m a huge supporter of the Jewish community… so who was there at that meeting was irrelevant,” Anning said, implying it doesn’t matter that he deliberately spent time with the extremists who organised an extremist rally.
“The people I met were all decent Australian working people,” the senator added, referring to a man found guilty of stalking his ex-girlfriend’s new partner, arson, and inciting serious contempt for Muslims.
To cap it all off, he then called for a straight-up ban on new Muslim and Sudanese migrants – before claiming he isn’t racist.
“I would not bring any Muslims or Sudanese into the country, I would put a ban on that. And any of them that commit a crime I would be shipping them home to where they came from.” – Senator Fraser Anning. #9Today pic.twitter.com/L2fIhWbNn6
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) January 6, 2019
Anning’s statements came shortly after condemnation from Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who called his attendance at the event “absolutely revolting” and said the government should simply reject his vote when parliament resumes next month.
Earlier, Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the “ugly racial protests”, but did not explicitly criticise Anning for his attendance.
[1/2] I thank Vic police for their efforts dealing with the ugly racial protests we saw in St Kilda yesterday. Intolerance does not make Australia stronger.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) January 5, 2019
But, if you listen to Anning, it doesn’t matter that an elected member of the Australian parliament was there at all.