ICB. Gina Rinehart – the world’s biggest troll?
Welcome to the latest edition of I Call Bullshit, where we look at hype, hyperbole and hogwash. Today we’re looking at our most unmunificent mining magnate.
Gina Rinehart’s outburst yesterday was charmingly described by Treasurer Wayne Swan as “pearl rattling”. In her incongruous voice (somewhat reminiscent of Little Britain’s Emily Howard) she lambasted the government for a sluggish economy, and Australians for their wanton socialising.
The heiress was rightly ridiculed for her reference to African wages:
Africans want to work and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.
The world’s media took her to task for that unfortunate comparison, and rightly in an environment where, in South Africa, police opened fire on protesting, pitifully-paid mine workers. Thirty-four were killed.
The Atlantic Wire put the boot in hard. Alexander Abad-Santos wrote:
“…Rinehart is that perfect mix of Bond villain, Marie Antoinette and Cruella de Vil – the kind of stinking rich and socially ham-fisted character that’s so easy to hate”.
This, under the headline ‘Meet Gina Rinehart: World’s Richest Woman (and World’s Biggest Troll)’.
Sure, it’s hard to listen to the world’s richest woman arguing for cuts to the minimum wage. And she may be just a little out of touch trying to argue that cutting down on smoking, drinking and socialising are the key to reducing poverty.
But the world’s biggest troll? I Call Bullshit.
Not just because the word ‘troll’ now gets thrown around hugger mugger by giddy ideologues incapable of understanding that people may hold different points of view.
More because calling her the ‘world’s biggest’ – assuming it’s not just a veiled jab at her weight – insinuates that she is worse than, well, everyone.
If you’re going to call voicing an unpopular opinion ‘trolling’, surely someone like Todd ‘legitimate rape’ Akin is more deserving for his woefully vile misunderstanding of rape and biology. Worldwide, take your pick of dictatorial mass murderers and crazed jihadists.
Abad-Santos calls it trolling because he says our politicians have been sucked into spending too much time responding to Rinehart’s claims. But you can’t doubt that she is an influential and successful Australian with genuinely held views.
Calling people a troll just because you disagree with them is, frankly, bullshit.
Troll me on Twitter: @ToryShepherd
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