Senate debates

Tuesday, 16 June 2020


Political Discourse

8:18 pm

Photo of Eric AbetzEric Abetz (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

If an individual were to engage in self-loathing, relentlessly finding the fault with self and ridiculing and denigrating all their past endeavours, we would rightly conclude the individual had issues. Counselling might be in order. So too with a society. If a society is willing to engage and embrace those who relentlessly spread negativity and wallow in fault-finding, it will have an extremely bleak future. A mature reflection of self or of society recognises the good with the not so good. We should learn from past mistakes, not to tear down and destroy but to build an even better future. This is how our society has progressed and why we are where we are today as a nation the envy of the world.

Let's be clear: one of the great freedoms we have in Australia is the liberty to leave if we don't like it. I don't see any of the professionally and perpetually outraged leaving Australia for North Korea, Cuba or China. For all its alleged and real faults, Australia is the favoured destination of the peoples of the world seeking freedom and opportunity.

As Professor Allan so eloquently wrote:

You know you're living in George Orwell's world when speech is considered violence and actual violence is considered speech.

That is exactly what we are witnessing today—ugly double standards, courtesy of the anarchist Left. When conservatives speak they are accused of violence if they take a view contrary to the woke Left. But if the same language is used by the Left, it is an indication of empathy and wokeness—always excused.

Earlier this year Bettina Arndt's award was vehemently attacked by Labor's Senate leadership team. That same team of two women remains as silent as a rock over the more recent award to that purveyor of ugly, sexist violence against women and anti-Semitic tweets, Mike Carlton. The reason? He's from the tribe; he's from the Left. Similarly, there is the treatment of Cardinal George Pell and Paul Bongiorno, both in a seminary with that horrific paedophile Ridsdale. Pell should have been fully alert and known all that went on. Bongiorno, on the other hand, is fully excused; of course he couldn't have known. The difference in treatment? Pell is of a conservative disposition, while Bongiorno is from the Left.

We see the woke Left attacking statues of former coalition leaders and Captain Cook, possibly the world's greatest-ever navigator, for allegedly being racist. But a Labor leader who supported the White Australia policy and infamously said 'Two Wongs don't make a white' sits in the pantheon of Labor leaders, as does another Labor leader who referred to Vietnamese refugees as '[expletive deleted] Vietnamese Balts'. No, their names are not to be vilified or desecrated. Instead they are hallowed. Why? Because they are from the Left. Whereas the coalition leader who voluntarily dedicated a week per year to assisting Indigenous communities without media fanfare needs to be vilified for his alleged racism. Go figure.

Refusal to acknowledge any good in others and any possible failings in the tribe has become the mantra and justification to remove people from employment, and films and books from the public, for sportspeople to kneel for a cause and to close businesses. So much for the celebration of diversity. Everything is judged in terms of claimable victimhood, division and partisanship. The tribe excuses each other and accuses everyone else—the recipe for disharmony, anarchy and societal collapse. Facts, evidence and objective truths are junked in favour of bullying, sloganeering and emoting.

The time has come to stand firm, push back and advocate the cause of our wonderful heritage bequeathed to us by our forebears: heritage of civility; a system of democratic government; the rule of law; personal freedoms; and the standard of living—all of which make Australians the envy of the world. I for one will continue to be thankful and to defend and promote that heritage, because, for all its faults, I know no better country and I know no better people.