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Scott Morrison, Free Speech And Too Much Milo

When I hear people talking about Milo, I instinctively think of that chocolate beverage that my housemate used to drink because she believed coffee was sinful and dangerous, so when someone asked me if I thought that Milo should be let into the country, my first reaction was to ask why on earth would anybody object to such a harmless thing. But then I realised they were talking about Milo Yiannopoulos.

I guess we’ve got a pretty simplistic view of human rights in this country. A lot of that stems from having so many. No, I don’t mean that we’re perfect or that there aren’t people having their rights impinged. I just mean that compared to a place where people can be whisked off the streets and be questioned by the security forces and tortured for days on end without the need for them to lay charges, we’ve got it pretty good…

Actually, under the anti-terror laws passed by John Howard, we can be whisked off the streets and be questioned by the security forces for days on end without the need for them to lay charges, but I’m sure that they wouldn’t torture anyone in their custody because this is Australia. Mind you, if they did, a person wouldn’t be allowed to say because it’s illegal to reveal that you’ve been taken in and questioned, so telling people that you were tortured would be a little difficult when you’re not allowed to say who was questioning you or why.

Anyway, part of the problem when discussing human rights is that they sometimes overlap. I may assert that I have the right to sing, but according to the UN, cruel and unusual punishments are a breach of human rights and some would argue that my singing falls into that category. When it comes to free speech, it’s often said that people shouldn’t be allowed to scream “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, but I would argue that even this would be all right if a fire had actually broken out.

So when governments ban someone like David Icke there’s always two ways of looking at it. David Icke, in case you’re unaware, is one of those people who started hearing voices but instead of going onto medication and getting help, he developed a following. He believes that a race of inter-dimensional lizard people have hijacked the Earth. While this may sound like the ravings of a madman to most of you, to others it’s a perfectly valid theory. Of course, the election of Donald Trump, Tony Abbott and various other leaders does make me pause before I dismiss the idea of lizard people altogether. However, I remind myself that if there really were such a race, surely it would have developed a more appealing set of world leaders.

Of course, the point isn’t whether or not I agree with the person. The point is should they have the right to come to Australia and share their message because once a government starts banning people just because they don’t like their message we have the old slippery slope problem. How long is it before Craig Kelly is arguing that we should ban Al Gore? Oh wait, I think that might have already happened. Ok, for a better example, remember Kisch.

Generally speaking, I don’t think governments should be banning people just because they don’t personally like their views. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t sometimes good reasons to stop someone from entering the country. Someone, for example, who’s likely to promote violence. Or someone who ignored the laws on a previous visit.

So, I was right behind the decision to refuse Milo Yiannopoulos a visa, and not simply because his visit could “incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community”, Not only has Milo made offensive comments about Muslims, Indigenous Australians, African Americans and the LGBTIQ community, but he used PayPal to send a Jewish journalist $14.88 a number used by neo-nazis where the “14” represents a future for white children and the “88 “means “Heil Hilter”!

He was also issued with a bill for $50,000 from Victoria police over security which he failed to pay. If a music festival in NSW had to be cancelled because of the promoters’ inability to come up with enough money to pay for police security, I don’t see why a foreign speaker should feel that they have the ability to just ignore payment and go ahead with his tour. (The issue of whether people should have to pay for a police presence is another issue altogether, I’m just arguing for consistency)

However, I didn’t realise that the people in charge of this country were likely to overrule the decision on Milo’s visa. Yes, Andrew Bolt and Pauline Hanson quickly sprung into action with Pauline suggesting that government was “acting as an arm of AntiFa.” Outrageous! Government going along with an anti-fascist group. Which side are they on? 

Ok, free speech and all that. But given the Minister can ban anyone on “character grounds”, do we really need to import another offensive racist bigot when we’ve got more than enough of our own? Jobs for Australians first, I say, and I thought surely Pauline would support me, but no. Pauline called the decision “weak” and “gutless” and lobbied the Immigration Minister, David Whatshisname. who responded with a show of strength and reversed the decision. In fact, we were told that he’ll “personally approve” the visa – I’m trying to work out how one could impersonally approve something – which makes it sound like it’s practically a character reference.

Yes, nothing demonstrates the resolve of the Morrison government like their handling of Milo. Honestly, if they were a jockey they’d be up before the stewards to explain why they were running dead…

Actually, when I look at the betting odds on the election and their performance, I do have to wonder if a large number of them haven’t put their money on Labor.

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7 comments

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  1. Kronomex

    There’s an election looming and Scummo and Crony Co. Inc. simply don’t want to upset potential voters even though they might be right wing nationalist racist thugs and thick heads. I think they should be allowed to speak here even if they are unlikeable and spout nonsense. If I wanted to see anyone banned from speaking it would be Scummo and Crony Co. Inc. because they make Milo and Icke, just to name two, look like kindergarten kids with their lies, bile, overbearing smugness, corruption, and born to rule nature..

    Time go have some iced coffee and continue reading Stephen Baxter’s latest book Xeelee Redemption.

  2. Andrew J Smith

    Milo is now part of the (mostly Anglosphere) Nativist Conservative right’s essential political PR infrastructure whose views not only help to mainstream extremism, but have long been central to e.g. many in Australia including the LNP, but are not public about their views.

    There has been an increasing number of mostly US based ideologues, provocateurs et al. loosely linked, visiting and being enabled to shift Australian attitudes into more nasty Nativist, autocratic and hard right views (supposedly in reaction to the outside world, diverse humanity and the dangerous ‘left’).

    To be fair, there have been many others holding similar views whom have visited Australia, but have a more palatable public facade and plausibility, aka Jordan Peterson focusing upon PC, freedom of speech, (white) men’s rights etc.

    These include Jared Taylor*, Steve Bannon, John Tanton, Paul Ehrlich, Roy Beck, Lauren Southern, Brendan O’Neill, Lionel Shriver et al., alongside imported model legislation via IPA from e.g. ALEC, Heritage etc. with NewsCorp leading other MSM players including ABC’s Q&A, 4Corners etc. in doing the ‘PR and communications’.

    PS According to Jon Ronson in ‘The Secret Rulers of the World’, he managed to persuade ADL that Icke was not anti-semitic but actually does believe in lizards….

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Rulers_of_the_World

    Taylor’s ‘Report from Australia’ posted here on his website ‘American Renaissance’

    https://www.amren.com/features/2012/09/report-from-australia/

  3. Phil

    Milo should be heard in silence. No more needs to be said about this opportunist intellectual wanna be.

  4. Kronomex

    Finally, the US style of judicial appointments begins overtly to infect Australia.

    “Eyebrows have been raised in legal circles over Attorney-General Christian Porter’s decision to appoint a junior barrister he knew at law school to the Federal Court.
    Industrial relations specialist John Snaden was a prominent Liberal student politician whose time at the University of Western Australia’s law school overlapped with Mr Porter’s for several years.
    The decision to appoint someone so young, known to the Attorney-General and with past political links raised “genuine questions” about transparency, according to one law professor.
    Mr Snaden, 43, who has been named as a close friend by two other Liberal politicians, will be sworn in next month and eligible to sit on the bench until 2046.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/ag-christian-porter-appoints-junior-barrister-he-knew-at-uni-as-judge-20190308-p512r6.html

    “I…uh…er…really don’t know him that well. He’s a Liberal party member? Gosh, I didn’t know that.”

  5. Old Codger

    Just maybe Milo is being allowed in just in case there are no boats full of ‘illegal’ asylum seekers sailing over the horizon on a southwards trajectory. There could be violence and that would invoke her grace ‘Lauranorder’ to spring into action. Morrison needs something so he can appear ‘strong’, especially if the protesters are those unholy latte sippers from the inner city precincts.

  6. New England Cocky

    Bring on the election … It’s time ….. again!!

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