Front man for the far right conservatives, Cory Bernardi is a strong advocate for freedom of speech – for some.
On his questionably named blog “Common sense lives here”, Bernardi decried the “insidious” progress of debate around marriage equality and LGBTI issues, describing it as “Orwellian…a cynical manipulation of language for the purpose of oppression.”
Of course he is not talking about the victimisation and discrimination against gays – he is talking about the mean people who call him a homophobe.
“The advocates for change have determined that anyone opposed to changing the definition of one of our oldest social institutions is a ‘homophobe’. It is a term that has been levelled at me hundreds of times over the years and yet not one of my critics has been able to substantiate the slur with any factual evidence.
The demand for tolerance by leftists is nothing more than a thinly veiled insistence that you surrender your views, your values and your beliefs in favour of theirs. If you don’t, the name calling starts. You instantly become a ‘phobe’, a ‘bigot’ or worse.”
Bernardi spoke against the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws–Superannuation) Act 2008, which had bipartisan support. He opined in the senate that the bill would throw open the doors of “the marriage club” to people “whose relationships are uncharacteristic of the most basic elements of a marital union”.
Makes one wonder what Cory thinks marriage is all about.
Bernardi also gets terribly upset if you call him a ‘denier’ despite the fact that he was instrumental in destroying Rudd’s ETS and bringing down Malcolm Turnbull in 2009 using a Tea Party inspired orchestrated ‘grassroots’ campaign – CANdo.
In 2013 he clearly stated his views on Q&A.
“I don’t, and I have never bought the alarmist hysteria attached to carbon dioxide as driving climate change. There’s no consensus of scientists, I’m afraid. There’s literally tens of thousands of scientists who have a different view on this. Over the course of time, a lot of the alarmists’ predictions and forecasts have been proved wrong.”
But if you dare call him a denier, or even mention the word denial, it is a “perjorative slur” that will not be tolerated because its links to the holocaust are offensive.
Apparently that doesn’t apply to the word “appeaser” which Bernardi likes to use in various contexts, particularly when talking about Muslims.
Speaking about criticism of his meeting with Dutch far right leader Geert Wilders, Bernardi said “my meeting with him created national headlines here – and the inevitable calls for me to be sacked by Liberal and Labor colleagues, the media and an assortment of appeasers and apologists.”
Cory is not a racist or a bigot and it is wrong of anyone to say so.
“Even the name ‘Islamic State’ should provide the most clueless of apologists with some idea as to what underlies the greatest terror threat we face today.
Now here’s the disclaimer for all those who are leaping out of their skin to claim ‘racist bigot Bernardi is picking on the Muslims again’: I am not picking on anyone – most Muslims live peaceably – but I am merely stating the bleeding obvious for anyone who cares to see the truth.
We have a growing global problem and its origins lie within the Islamic community.
The big problem is that the West alone cannot fix it. Only the Muslim population can do what needs to be done: reject, refute and reform Islam.”
Cory frequently criticises the Grand Mufti.
“Personally, I found it somewhat bizarre that this particular religious leader spoke strongly about the need for community integration but insisted upon doing so in Arabic through an interpreter.
Whatever the language, as long as those in positions of influence refuse to discuss frankly and candidly the elements intent on undermining our values and way of life, they will be effectively sweeping the problems under the carpet.
That approach has been a disaster overseas and there is no reason to expect it would have a different result here.”
So Cory wants free speech provided you don’t call him names and you say what he wants you to say how he wants you to say it. Considering how sensitive Bernardi is to criticism, one would think he would understand the reasons why we need Section 18C to remain in the Racial Discrimination Act.
Sections 18C and 18D were introduced in response to recommendations of major inquiries including the National Inquiry into Racist Violence and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. These inquiries found that racial hatred and vilification can cause emotional and psychological harm to their targets, and reinforce other forms of discrimination and exclusion. They found that seemingly low-level behaviour can soften the environment for more severe acts of harassment, intimidation or violence by impliedly condoning such acts.
Echoing these inquiries, the Australian Law Reform Commission published the 1992 report, Multiculturalism and the Law, which recommended the introduction of legislation to deal with racial hatred.
Considering recent revelations of abuse in juvenile detention, a terrorist plot by a Reclaim Australia member, and violence between rival protest groups, now is not the time to be relaxing the laws that protect us from acts that are reasonably likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate.”
Malcolm Turnbull assures us that the debates about marriage equality, Indigenous recognition, immigration and religious freedom can be carried on in a civilised, mature fashion. That being the case there should be no worries about 18C. Consider it insurance to remind people to behave themselves.
As for Bernardi, I will leave the last word to one of his colleagues.
“He wants to be some sort of conservative warrior but he’s not up to it intellectually,” says a Liberal associate. “In reality he’s like the kid in the playground who pulls his pants down so everyone will look at him, but he has no idea how he’s embarrassing himself in the process. He’s basically kryptonite for any serious person in the party because he’s a complete embarrassment.”
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!