‘No true Scotsman …’ Award: competition goes hyperbolic

Walking through town in recent weeks I’ve been assaulted – visually and intellectually – by a plethora of ‘street art’ placed randomly on otherwise plain walls by someone with a burning desire to win the Tony Abbott Award for 2015. I was so struck by the effort that I took a photograph of one of the signs – this one found me while I was walking near the University of Technology:


Now I’m not sure what the authors of the message are trying to say, nor who they are targeting. Would you say welcome to the local fruitcake if she showed up at your door with an axe? Would you say ‘welcome’ to ebola? And if not, does that disqualify you from being a real Australian?

My suspicion, relying on plausible reasoning, is that the authors of the messages are members of a left-wing social movement, who are encouraging Australians to say ‘welcome’ to people who turn up on our borders claiming asylum and demanding unrestricted admittance to our welfare state. The message ‘Real Australians Say Welcome’ is meant to shame Australians into supporting the social movement’s policy proposals – the implication of the message being, ‘If you don’t support our open-doors policy towards illegal immigrants, you aren’t a real Australian’.

Upon seeing the message for the first time, I thought immediately ‘We have a winner!’ This message surely must be the lay-down favourite for the Tony Abbott Award for this year. ‘You really can’t beat this message for sheer brazen ‘no true Scotsman …’ –ness’, I thought.

But then, on Monday, while walking through Ashfield on my way to work, I saw a car sticker which at least equals it, and may outdo it, for sheer egregious assertion, unabashed effrontery and brazen illogicality. I couldn’t take a photo of it, but I remember the four-word message:

Real Men Love Jesus

Yes. Seriously. Someone stuck that on a sticker, and another person stuck the sticker on their car.

Real Men Love Jesus

I don’t want to have to judge the Tony Abbott Award competition in December. It’s going to be tough.


About Stebbing Heuer

A person interested in exploring human perception, reasoning, judgement and deciding, and in promoting clear, effective thinking and the making of good decisions.
This entry was posted in 'No True Scotsman' Award, Informal fallacies in reasoning. Bookmark the permalink.

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