Australian Politics – Andrew Hastie – There’s Hope For Us Yet

Posted on Sat 09/23/2017 by


By Andrew Bolt ~

A fine profile of rising Liberal star and former SAS captain Andrew Hastie. Strange that the hatred of Christianity, still the faith of most Australians, comes over as the biggest hurdle the very impressive and well-read man is having to face.

Andrew Hastie MP (Liberal – Canning)

It’s not the only one of the Left’s stereotypes he’s had to fight:

Hastie didn’t impress everyone, of course. Where some saw a man of conviction, others typecast him as a Bible-bashing young fogey with antiquated views on topics such as homosexuality. He was ripe for ridicule on social media, where he was also depicted as a warmonger or a brainless beefcake. “The first tweet I ever looked at about myself said, ‘Gee, Hastie looks as dumb as batshit’,” he smiles. He did, however, prove he had substance, quoting chunks of Edmund Burke and ­William Shakespeare to journalists, some of whom were taken aback at the thought that a military man might also be a deep thinker….

This curiosity about Hastie only intensified after Fairfax newspapers ran front-page stories during the ­by-election campaign about a soldier under his tactical command in Afghanistan who’d cut the hands off dead Taliban soldiers in the heat of battle in order that they might later be identified through biometric screening. The headline in The Sydney Morning Herald read: “Star Abbott recruit probed for chopping off hands of dead Taliban”. Hastie, who remains vexed that he was accused of being a “war criminal”, had been cleared of any wrong­doing and was elsewhere on the battlefield when the incident took place in 2013. The soldier who cut off the hands was cleared this month after a two-year investigation by the Australian Federal Police.

Captain Andrew Hastie in Afghanistan with the SAS Regiment

Speaking for the first time in detail about the incident, Hastie says his initial reaction to seeing the severed hands was to focus on the need to quickly return to base, given the fading light at the time and low fuel loads on the helicopters. “When I saw the hands, my intuition kicked in,” he says. “I thought, ‘That doesn’t seem right’. But the blokes told me that they had been trained to do it. I put it to one side and focused on the task of extraction. Once I got on the helicopter, a whole series of questions flooded my mind on the flight back and that’s when I decided to investigate further upon return. That led to me reporting the incident up the chain.”

The Fairfax story wasn’t the end of what Hastie regarded as unfair media treatment during the campaign. At a press conference a few days later he was grilled over revelations that his father, a Presbyterian pastor, was a Creationist who had dismissed evolutionary theory in his writings. When one reporter asked Hastie if he believed God made the world in six days, he could no longer contain himself: “You’re not hearing me, mate,” he responded, his eyes flashing. “People are sick of this crap. ­People are sick of trying to drag petty issues into public policy discussions.”

Two years later, Hastie remains touchy on the subject. He claims he has been depicted in the media as a “religious nut job” and he’d rather not discuss theology at length. “I don’t want to shy away from it, but in an era of identity politics and cultural Marxism people are looking for every reason to delegitimise someone. So every view I hold henceforth will be seen through the prism of, ‘Oh, he’s just whacking us with a Bible’.”

Read on. There is much in Hastie’s background that confounds those stereotypes and makes his critics look small – and the real bigots.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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