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Image for Now it's the other Katter's turn

Now it's the other Katter'sturn

Poised to begin his own political career, Bob’s outspoken gay half-brother Carl Katter remains flabbergasted by his MP sibling’s strange antics.

“I’ve watched the man gradually go mad,” he informs Same Same.

In our interview, Carl reveals what drives him politically as he responds to rumours of a secret pre-selection deal for a safe seat.

So is Australia ready for two competing Katters in politics?


Last week was tough for maverick Queensland MP Bob Katter – in a single day, he waved goodbye to two of his Australian Party candidates after they each made comments linking homosexuality with paedophilia.

A frustrating interview on Ten’s The Project followed, in which Bob refused to condemn the comments, and was clearly irritated about having to deal with questions about gay people. Catch up here.

Reacting to the veteran MP’s performance that day, his out gay half-brother Carl Katter does not mince words. “I’ve watched the man gradually go mad,” he tells us. “I felt sorry for him and a little scared as well. He has a lot of hate stored up in him.”

Carl believes Katter’s Australian Party’s continual attacks on the GLBTI community is a publicity stunt to help lift the profile the fledgling party – and that this behaviour is straight from his MP brother’s playbook. But the unfortunate situation is a warning to Bob that his party “can’t accept every man and his dog.”

“It is all politics with Bob – but he is a bit of a mess right now.”

It looks like the tension between the siblings will only escalate further. Carl has now stepped down from the Australian Marriage Equality campaign, freeing him to pursue his political ambitions in the Labor party, which he joined late last year.

The younger Katter sensationally entered the marriage equality debate in August 2011, disclosing his homosexuality to publicly rebuke Katter’s Australia Party’s homophobic advertisements to lure Queensland voters. Bob Katter soon cancelled the advertisements, but their legacy seems to be that they woke another Katter’s ambition in politics.

“I felt sorry for him and a little scared as well. He has a lot of hate stored up in him.”

Since his public coming out, Carl Katter’s public profile of campaigner and lobbyist has grown. In that time, he joined the AME executive, initially as a board member and then more recently as the convener of its Victorian Branch. In October 2011 he joined the Victorian branch of the Labor party, fuelling speculation that he may already have the endorsement of the ALP for a winnable seat.

Asked about his aspirations, his response could have come from the party script: “If I was to start in politics and my party wanted me and the public wanted me, it would be a privilege to represent any electorate.”

Labor was his first and only choice, he says, citing the party’s policies around social justice issues which he views as aiming to create a “level playing field,” and supporting efforts to reduce global warming.

“The Labor ideals on education, health, employment and supporting younger generations to drive the economy towards full-time employment,” he adds.

But Carl dismisses any suggestion he has now been endorsed by his branch for a particular seat, explaining “none of the electoral boundaries have been drawn,” and with the likely removal of one seat from the next Victoria parliament, there’s too much uncertainty.

But it’s not just Bob Katter’s potential candidates who are courting controversy on Twitter. In recent weeks, provocative tweets from Carl may have sullied certain alliances before they can properly begin.

One such skirmish was with out gay free market advocate and media commentator Tim Wilson. How could any gay person could associate themselves with the Liberal party, Carl questioned, also accusing Wilson of being a fake and harboring homophobic self-hatred. Digging in, he then sarcastically mocked the Liberals for being uncaring on certain political issues.

Defending himself, Wilson questioned if Katter had any political philosophy, asked if he was drunk and called him “princess”.

In appearing to justify the explain the argy bargy shortly afterwards, Katter tweeted that he was not afraid of speaking the “truth”.

Australian politics can be a brutal pit, so some friends on all sides of the chamber wouldn’t hurt him if he is successful in running for office. The combative traits he’s learned as an activist won’t translate easily to a parliamentarian, where diplomacy, political smarts and private negotiations are more the norm.

The feisty exchange shown above was quickly deleted, with Katter now telling us he’s discovered tweeting is “not very fruitful” and “not the best tool for political discourse.”

Like his half-brother, Carl is learning how quickly a few harsh words on Twitter can distract you from the bigger picture.

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Comments

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Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 1st Feb, 2013

I like Carl's passion. Good luck Mr. Katter!

Liberalcynic

Liberalcynic said on the 1st Feb, 2013

I am thinking next Victoria Election would be good.

Zepol23

Zepol23 said on the 1st Feb, 2013

something about this katter irks me too.

DigitalMediaBoy

DigitalMediaBoy said on the 1st Feb, 2013

It's disappointing that Carl has no understanding of other peoples passions and beliefs regardless of political affiliation. That he has to resort to accusations and name calling and grubbiness on twitter to garner support.

Tigerland

Tigerland said on the 1st Feb, 2013

Totally off topic here but how old is Carl?

lahclanr

lahclanr said on the 1st Feb, 2013

If Karl thinks that being a member of a political party that doesn't support marriage equality equates to self-denial and supporting paedophilia, then why did he join the ALP? Regardless, disgusting comments and grandstanding won't help anyone except maybe his pre-selection.

Leo Roberts

Leo Roberts said on the 1st Feb, 2013

Thanks for this interesting article.
Not to sure what all the attention to those tweets is about? We need people in government who speak the truth! Carl really has just stated the obvious, being why would anyone have an association with the Liberal party if they are LGBTI when the Libs have no interest in their rights and voted zero in Canberra when the vote for marriage equality was taken.

Liberalcynic

Liberalcynic said on the 1st Feb, 2013

We are all entitled to stir the pot. It's in fact the true mark of an intellectual. it get's people to think and challenge views. Carl does it, it would be rash to caste him to the side.
Moreover, it is not someone's name that matters or who is in their family. We in the LGBT community know we can't pick things like our name, family, sex, gender, sexuality, and when we're kids we learn we can't pick our height and skin colour. It is the ideas in politics, the willingness NOT to engage in self censorship and how they change the world that someone ought to be judged on. Not matters they cannot change by virtue of their birth.

RhiRhi

RhiRhi said on the 1st Feb, 2013

Carl is a beautiful person who is a member of a community who are being degraded. He would only be human to sometimes get defensive when he has been shown so much hate towards him. Remember guys, these men are politicians who you expect to be perfectly emotionless, but they are also humans who feel just as much as we all do. To be shown such disrespect by a family member would be heartbreaking. So forgive him for either getting defensive or wanting support. Carl is a wonderful man. He has class and wants only for him and his GLIBT friends to be treated no differently to us straights. GO CARL xx

Queenie77

Queenie77 said on the 1st Feb, 2013

Good luck Carl!!! I know you will be a success!!!!

Gregaus

Gregaus said on the 1st Feb, 2013

Carl has a right to say what he did. Anyone who has seen Tim Wilson's performances on TV would know he's quite a tool as well as a typical silver spoon in the mouth Liberal - yet he's gay and doesn't seem to get that the party he is passionately supporting, as Carl says - hates who he is. Tim's smugness is off the charts and Carl was simply saying what a lot of people (gay or not) were thinking. When you've grown up with the kind of homophobia that someone like Carl has had to put up with, it is no wonder that he shakes his head in disbelief watching the likes of intelligent people such as Tim Wilson completely ignore the truth and support a party that largely stands by their hatred of minority groups. I do think that this is a lesson to Carl on the effect of "letting loose" on social media, but that does not invalidate his message.

SarahDowling

SarahDowling said on the 1st Feb, 2013

Good to see Carl stepping up even further. I'm slightly disappointed to hear that he's joined Labor, but at the same time, I can understand why he did. I can only hope that, if Carl does end up being selected as a candidate, he doesn't end up in a situation like Peter Garrett did.

Nathan Sydney

Nathan Sydney said on the 1st Feb, 2013

I love both Carl Katter and Tim Wilson - they are both good friends of mine.

It would be great if Carl joined the ALP - itsd another good person at the decision table fighting for our rights.

Tim Wilson is a smart man - he is fiercely pro gay rights and its ok for two people to sit on opposite sides of politics.

Best wishes to them both - both great guys

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 6th Feb, 2013

everttime I see the pic I think its a story on K D Lang

no offence meant to Carl.

Good on him for speaking up . Shame about the troll brother.

Tigerland

Tigerland said on the 6th Feb, 2013

By the looks of this thread it appears the topic of Carl encourages new people to join SS! hmmmm.