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Fake news! The Senator Fraser Anning saga

By Spencer Gear - posted Wednesday, 3 October 2018


It was an unusual alliance of politicians joining with the mass media to create what has a striking resemblance to fake news.

Step 4: Fake news has been created

We've moved from:

  • A person making a statement about one issue, to
  • Other people placing another spin on the statement.
  • The new spin is spread by mass and social media.
  • So, the fake news has been generated.
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In the Aussie example, what was the original statement?

3. What did Senator Anning actually say?

Please analyse his speech. He outlined his immediate concerns and what he saw as critical problems for Australia. They were:

  • 'My most immediate concern is saving agriculture in this country'.
  • 'My next biggest concern is rural infrastructure development. First and foremost, my priority is water…. My first solution is to build the Bradfield scheme'.
  • 'The next critical problem that we need to address is immigration. Australia currently has the highest per capita immigration rate in the world'.
  • 'Finally, it should go without saying that, as a nation, we are entitled to require that those who come here not only have useful work skills and qualifications but also the commitment to work and pay taxes'.

It was in the last statement that Anning fired up those who took his comments out of context and beat up a story. Politicians and mass media generated fake news hype – in my opinion.

Part of what he stated was:

In the days of Menzies, immigrants arriving here were not allowed to apply for welfare and that attracted exactly the right sort of hard-working people this country needed. We should go back to that and ban all immigrants receiving welfare for the first five years after they arrive. The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don't need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy, end Australian-job-stealing 457 vis. What we do need a plebiscite for is to decide who comes here (emphasis added).

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In this 35.10 minute speech, he acknowledged he was a 'conservative Christian'. The sentence that got on the goat of politicians, the mass media, and led to fake news being perpetrated by them (in my view) was: 'The final solution to the immigration problem is a popular vote'

Bob Katter MP, leader of Katter's Australian Party (KAP), said he 'supports his colleague Fraser Anning "one thousand per cent"'.

The context of Anning's maiden speech in the Senate on 14 August 2018 was what to do about immigration policy in Australia's intake of migrants. He wants the Australian people to decide with a vote. He confirmed that his 'final solution' had nothing whatsoever to do with Hitler's 'final solution' in the Holocaust of World War 2.

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About the Author

Spencer Gear PhD is a retired counselling manager, independent researcher, Christian minister and freelance writer living in Brisbane Qld.

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