Monday, October 19, 2009

‘The bulls set us an example’: transcript of Lateline interview with controversial National Party Senator

I swear to God I saw this the other night on Lateline.

I had never heard of any Senator Ernest Smythe, but I was quite impressed with his ability to outdo in the logic stakes none less than Christian fundamnetalist Family First Senator Stephen Fielding. Senator Fielding, of course, is a a climate change sceptic who nonetheless mananged to blame divorce as a cause of global warming.

I believe the Dylaneqsue Mr Tony Jones handled him very well, as usual.


MR JONES: We have with us tonight Ernest Smythe, the National Party Senator for Queensland. He joins us via satellite from his cattle farm in Werethafukami, which is located about 600 kilometres north-west of Idunno. An outspoken MP, a loose cannon his enemies say, he is undeniably popular with the hardline wing of the Nationals, many of whom view current leader, Barnaby Joyce, as far too liberal. Thanks for speaking with us, Mr Smythe.

SENATOR SMYTHE: Always a pleasure, Tony.

MR JONES: You have built a reputation as being very outspoken on a number of controversial issues of the day...

SENATOR SMYTHE: Out here, in the bush, we speak our minds. We say what we mean, Tony, and we don't care who we offend. That's how it is out here, that's how this country was built. You find the salt of the earth out here.

MR JONES: And some people.

SENATOR SMYTHE: Some people, yeah. Not too many. It is a tough life out here, most young people prefer to get as far away as they can the minute they get their drivers licence. We breed 'em tough out here. For some reason they then leave.

MR JONES: You have been very outspoken in your opposition to the “hot-button” issue of same-sex marriage. What is your opposition to allowing two people of the same sex, who love each other, having their relationship granted equal legal standing with a marriage between a man and a woman?

SENATOR SMYTHE: Well, I'll tell you something you learn when you spend your life out here, on a farm. It's a tough life but it’s full of lessons. Tough lessons, lessons maybe those in the cities don't learn. I'll tell you a lesson you learn very early out here: that is ... what was the question?

MR JONES: Same-sex marriage.

SENATOR SMYTHE: Right, well you learn something about that on a farm. For instance, we breed cows. Now, if you want to breed a cow, you don't put two bulls together. That's one of the tough lessons you learn out here. You take the road of trying to mate two bulls, you're screwed. [Said off to one side] Isn't that right love? Two bulls wont get you a cow? Sorry, that's my wife, June. She agrees. Two bulls are useless.

MR JONES: Okay, well...

SENATOR SMYTHE: You don't see that sort of a thing on a farm. Growing up round these parts, you don't have a mardi gras. You just don't see it. You don't see two bulls asking to get married. You don't see two bulls play around about together. No, well, there was that time, [to the side] when was that love? Last month.

MR JONES: Two bulls...

SENATOR SMYTHE: Two bulls last month, yeah, it was ah, Jack and... [looks to the side questiongly] oh Jack, yeah that's right. We caught Jack and Jack. We call all our bulls Jack, much easier that way. They were up to, well you know.

MR JONES: Right, so..

SENATOR SMYTHE: It was unfortunate. But you know the thing is, Tony, they didn't then ask to get married.

MR JONES: They didn't?

SENATOR SMYTHE: No. I can't say I personally approve of their activities, but say what you will about Jack and Jack, at least they don't go around seeking to wreck the sacred institution of marriage. Jack and Jack are not trying to destroy the very pillar of family life, on which this nation was built.

MR JONES: Okay, well how about the times when your bulls do mate with your cows. It could be said with the same logic, surely, that this too is destroying the institution of the family if all of this mating occurs outside of marriage?

SENATOR SMYTHE: Absolutely Tony. We always marry our bulls and cows before mating. We like to do things properly out here. Maybe that’s old-fashioned, maybe we seem like hicks to the trendy inner-city set sipping lattes. Maybe they find that a bit strange...

MR JONES: Marrying your bulls and cows?

SENATOR SMYTHE: Quite possibly they do, I don't know. And frankly, Tony, I don't care. We don't apologise for standing by the values that built this country, for which the Anzacs died.

MR JONES: I assume you would expect the bulls and cows to follow their marriage vows. But presumably, in order to run an economically viable farm, you can't afford to allow one bull to only mate with one cow?

SENATOR SMYTHE: That is a problem and the bovine species are not that different in this sense from humans. They too are born in sin. It is in their nature. A bull has no desire to only mate with one cow and the cows don't seem bothered about what else a bull gets up to. This is not unlike many people these days, unfortunately, and, like in our society, this causes many social problems.

MR JONES: Such as?

SENATOR SMYTHE: The divorce rate is shocking. It is a tragedy, but we can't allow our stock to live in sin. So once the marriage has occurred and the mating done, we have no choice but to perform a divorce so a new marriage, and new mating, can take place. The bull has no thought for the sacred institution of marriage, unfortunately, so the process repeats itself many times.

It is a sad fact but true: the divorce rate out here is very high. It is a tough life.

MR JONES: So to summarise, Senator, this is why you oppose same-sex marriage?

SENATOR SMYTHE: Yes. I think the example of Jack and Jack is very instructive. Whatever their weaknesses, whatever their sins, they know that God made Adam and Eve not Jack and Jack and they respect that.

MR JONES: If I may more on, now, to another major issue in which you hold outspoken views. You have caused a lot of controversy with your repeated insistence that there is no such thing as global warming. How do you make such a claim in the face of overwhelming evidence from the scientific community?

SENATOR SMYTHE: Global warming is a conspiracy theory. That’s not a popular thing to say. It’s not politically correct. But out here we call things as we see them. It is a hoax. It has no basis whatsoever in science.

MR JONES: But, surely, as a farmer you would be well aware of the long-lasting drought rural areas have been suffering. How do you respond to those scientists that have linked this with climate change?

SENATOR SMYTHE: Homosexuality.

MR JONES: I'm sorry?

SENATOR SMYTHE: The one answer most of the scientific community refuse to investigate, in the middle of all their talk about “scientific evidence”, is that the drought is punishment from God for the rise in homosexual activity.

That’s a tough call, but is hard to blame Him. It is getting out of control.

MR JONES: Right, well...

SENATOR SMYTHE: I've tried to tell Jack and Jack. I tried to explain to them that they’re only hurting themselves. For whatever momentary pleasure they get out of their perverted activities, they’re only denying themselves the green grass they need to eat.

But like so many humans, they refuse to look at the reality, at the cold hard facts. Rather than face up to our sins, we prefer to invent fairytales about “global warming”. That is much easier for people to believe in.

MR JONES: People find it easier to believe in human-induced global warming than drought being a punishment from God for homosexuality?

SENATOR SMYTHE: Exactly. The scientific community are very closed-minded. They refuse to even consider the alternatives. I have not found a single so-called climate scientist willing to debate me on the topic of homosexuality versus human-induced global warming.

MR JONES: Well, unfortunately, I think that is all we have time for. Thanks, again Senator, for that illuminating conversation and we hope …

SEANTOR SMYTHE: [to the side] What’s that? Shit! [to camera, getting up] Sorry, Tony, I am going to have to … it’s Jack and Jack again. [to the side] Get the hose love — we can’t afford another year of drought, not with our bills. [Walks off]

MR JONES: That was Ernest Smyth, National Party Senator for Queensland, from his farm at Werethafukami.

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