A Cluster of Contemptible Cowards

Yesterday the Australian senate voted to condemn Bettina Arndt for her comments about the murder of Brisbane mother, Hannah Clarke and her three children.

The vote was 55 to 2 in favour of the motion.

Bettina Arndt wrote an article in which she supported the comments of a police officer who said: ‘he might have been driven too far” (referring to the killer) as a possible finding once the investigation into the horrific murder took place.

Speaking on the motion she moved with Penny Wong, Kristina Keneally said “Bettina Arndt’s comments are not reflective of the values that underpin the Order of Australia”.

“There is nothing plain and simple about using your position with an Order of Australia to spread comments that could be seen to be inciting violence that could seem to be condoning violence,” Senator Keneally said.

The motion stated Arndt has the potential to bring the Order of Australia “into disrepute”, labels her comments “reckless and abhorrent”, and that “the values that underpin Ms Arndt’s views on this horrific family violence incident are not consistent with her retaining her Order of Australia”.

Liberal Senator James Paterson said he agreed with Senator Keneally that Arndt’s “comments are reprehensible, that they are abhorrent and they deserve to be condemned and criticized and I’m quite comfortable for politicians to do that.”

With the exception of two senators from the One Nation Party every other senator (from both the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties) voted to condemn Arndt’s words and demanded she be stripped of her Order of Australia honour.

So: Bettina’s comments are reckless and abhorrent and the values that underpin Ms. Arndt’s views on this horrific family violence are not consistent with her retaining her Order of Australia.

Arndt is also inciting and condoning violence.

Let’s journey back a few short years to 2017 and have a close look at the headline of an ABC article regarding the murder of eight children by their mother in Cairns and see whether they represent the values which meet the standard set by the Australian Senate when we talk or write about family violence

Cairns children killings: What drove Raina Thaiday to slay eight kids?

In the community she was known as a loving mother, but she reached a breaking point nobody saw coming.

Ongoing mental health issues had never been treated, and the financial and emotional pressure of being a single mum had become insurmountable.


Read it again.

The words written in this article and the words spoken by numerous media commentators when this incident took place did not simply question whether or not something or someone may have driven Raina to butcher her children. They told us emphatically that that is exactly what had happened. Even Tony Abbot, our Prime Minister at the time, when informed of the massacre by this mother, said:

We know that sometimes people break. We also know there are difficult circumstances people deal with. This is a social issue as well as a law enforcement issue, but I’ll be there in solidarity with them.”

Where were our outraged senators in 2017? Why wasn’t Tony Abbott censured and condemned for “condoning and excusing” violence? Why were there no demands for him to step down from his office? Why was the ABC not condemned by parliament for condoning and inciting violence?

Has there ever been a more blatant and stunning example of the sickening double standards our government and media demonstrate when it comes to violence perpetrated by men and women?

The mother who hacked her kids to death had reached breaking point. She had mental health issues which had never been treated. She faced the financial and emotional pressure of being a single mum.

Fuck me! And all of these explanations for her bloody butchery came in the first paragraph of the article!

But this was not in any way seen as excusing, condoning or encouraging violence against children. It was simply examining what may have led to this woman’s abhorrent behavior.

A man kills his wife and kids and anyone who dares to suggest there may have been factors other than his own innate evil, vile and toxic masculinity which led to his terrible action, is condemned as a victim blaming, murder condoning monster.

All anyone has to do is read out the headline and opening paragraph of the ABC article in the senate chambers and demand an explanation for the vastly different response to those comments as opposed to Bettina Arndt’s.

We all know the answer is a simple one.

The killer Arndt suggested may have reached breaking point had a penis.

Oh, I could provide endless examples of the “excuse making and honoring” of the murderous mother in Cairns.

One friend said:

She said she was changing her life. She wasn’t well but she loved those kids.”

Neighbours had described Warria as “proud” and “very protective” of her brood, adding “she loved her children dearly”.

Imagine if one of Rowan Baxter’s friends described him as a loving father or a good dad. Scary thought isn’t it?

But I have another rather shocking example of the double standards at play. Would you believe me if I told you Rosie Batty-yes-the Rosie Batty, broke every rule in the feminist book and many of her own sacred beliefs in the days following her son’s murder by her partner?

Read the words she spoke for yourselves.

Ms Batty says she had known Greg for 20 years, and over that time his mental health deteriorated.

“[He went] from someone who brushed off losing a job to someone that was unemployable,” she said.

“He was in a homelessness situation for many years. His life was failing. Everything was becoming worse in his life and Luke was the only bright light in his life.”

She says Greg had been offered help, but he failed to accept it, instead choosing to “believe he was OK”.

She had an AVO against Greg, but says he loved Luke and there were no signs he would ever hurt their son.

You’re dealing with someone who’s always had problems, and they start out small and over the years they get bigger, but he’s still the father,” she said.

“He loved his son. Everyone that’s involved with children would know that whatever action they take is not because they don’t love them.

“No-one loved Luke more than Greg, his father. No-one loved Luke more than me. We both loved him.”

Deep breath.

In truth, these were the most heartfelt and admirable words Batty ever uttered on the subject of her son’s death.

But if we are to judge them by the standards applied by our senate and media she should be lynched as a murder apologist, but only after she has her Australian of the Year Honour expunged.

Rosie actually seemed to believe there were a range of circumstances which contributed to her partner’s brutal act. Mental health, unemployment and homelessness.

Rosie said: He loved his son. Anyone that’s involved with children would know that whatever action they take is not because they don’t love them.

Of course, these words were spoken from the heart before Rosie had been pounced upon by the feminist fraternity. This is such an important point. When Rosie was in her most raw, vulnerable state she spoke from her gut. She said what she implicitly believed with every fibre of her being.

Then she was quickly re-educated.

She spoke with more polish and a cold aloofness which was absent on the day she spoke instinctively.

She renounced any suggestions that her partner Greg killed his only son for any reason other than his toxic masculinity. Today she attacks anyone who says a man who kills a child was “a good bloke” or “loved his kids”.

In Batty’s speech on the day she received her Australian of the Year honour she said:

I am on a path to expose family violence and to ensure that victims receive the respect, support and safety that they deserve.

That was a lie.

Just like the countless journalists and politicians who control the societal narrative — she has demonstrated nothing but contempt for male victims of family violence and children who are victims of women’s violence. In fact, she did and still does worse –she behaves as if they do not exist.

But let’s reflect for a moment on the spineless specimens who purportedly represent us in our parliament.

Look at Scott Morrison, our Prime Minister and Anthony Albanese, the leader of the opposition, attending a candlelight vigil and speaking in sombre tones.

 Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was important to remember their victims and who they were.

“All of that was taken from them in a murderous act of violence which none of us here can comprehend,” he said.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese hoped the brutal murder marked a turning point.

“We have all failed, particularly men have failed, the women and children of this country,” he said.

There we go. It isn’t the fault of Rowan Baxter for killing his family — all men have failed the women and children of this country.

I want to know whether or not Scott Morison and Albanese have ever attended a vigil for children murdered by their mum or of a man murdered by his female partner and said:

All women have failed our men and children.”

I know- a ridiculous question. Of course, they haven’t. I would suggest they have never attended a vigil for a male victim in their lives.

The truth has never been more apparent than in these past few days. Men are second class citizens in this nation. Men can be murdered, abused, denigrated, ignored and laughed at with impunity.

Men will never receive the compassion and empathy women are given regardless of how horrendously they have suffered.

I’m told it’s all to do with our evolutionary instincts. Well I’m a bloody human and I’m certain I’m a male.

Why do I feel empathy and compassion for men as well as women?

Why do I feel just as outraged and wounded when a boy or man is bullied, hurt or mocked as I do when it happens to a woman or girl?

Am I a biological freak of nature?

Both my son and daughter were brutally assaulted late at night and both bear scars which act as a constant reminder. Who would be so insane as to suggest my wife and I were more devastated by our daughter’s assault?


Yet this is exactly what the family violence industry sears into the minds of Australians every day. When was the last candle light vigil for a man murdered by a woman? As I stated in my previous article — three men were burned alive by their female partners last year. No vigils. Barely a reference in the media.

Male pain is of no consequence if it is a result of family violence.

Perhaps I have a modicum of intelligence and this has given me the capacity to understand that a man’s tears are every bit as hot and salty as a woman’s tears. A man’s blood is just as red and bleeds just as freely when our flesh is stabbed and cut. Our hearts break and ache just as painfully when our loved ones are harmed. Our minds snap just like a woman’s when we are subjected to relentless stress and injustice.

Why is this so difficult for so many human beings to comprehend?

“The nature of humanity, its essence, is to feel another’s pain as one’s own, and to act to take that pain away. There is nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.”

John Connolly

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