Michael Danby is the Federal MP for Melbourne Ports, an electorate that has sizeable Jewish and gay populations. He has taken a swing at ABC’s Q&A for hosting a show with Israeli content on the Jewish New Year, at a time when many in the Jewish community chose not to watch television due to religious observance.
Tony Jones, the host of Q&A, explained to that segment of Australia’s population that Q&A focusing half of its program on Monday night on Israel was because he could not get his guest Mr Pappe other than that night. Irving Wallach did a brave job on the program. But I question Mr Jones; the ABC managing director, Mark Scott; and indeed the new chairman, Jim Spigelman. This was a studied insult. Having an academically undistinguished extremist on Rosh Hashana is like having someone from Hizb ut-Tahrir advocate the abolition of Christianity and Australia on Christmas Eve.
At the same time Danby is a member of a political party that is led by the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who believes gay people should not have equal rights before the law. He also has colleagues, including the leader, who actively voted against the rights of gay people this week. Conveniently, Danby was absent during the vote.
I have yet to see a single word of support from Michael Danby for marriage equality, despite him being apparently supportive of it. Further, I have yet to see a statement showing Michael Danby’s outrage at the lack of support from his political colleagues for voting against their party platform.
Michael Danby. Put up or shut up, but don’t have it both ways.