Liberal senator admits 18C changes are designed to win back PHON voters

22 Mar

Brandis bigotry cartoon for 25 3 14 by Cathy Wilcox
“Bigot Pride March”


In case you did not suspect that Malcolm Turnbull’s explosion of piss and wind on Section 18C yesterday was entirely self-serving, this morning on Radio National Breakfast news, Liberal Senator James Paterson confirmed that the exercise was part of a suite of measures designed to win back votes from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

Oh look! A Liberal can speak the truth!

It was as well another of Turnbull’s abject efforts to hold onto his rickety leadership by placating his simmeringly mutinous right-wing.  I hesitate to call them colleagues: that implies a co-operative relationship and this lot are snapping at their leader’s heels like a pack of rabid ferrets. Assuaging these furies is the motivation behind some 99.99% of Turnbull’s worryingly unhinged thought bubbles.

What yesterday’s exercise most certainly was not, is an expression of concern for the groups 18C is designed to protect, though Turnbull did his barrister best to spin it as such, declaring with silk-like arrogance that of course these changes would be of benefit, why else would his government so strongly support them?

The proposed change to the wording of 18C from insult, offend and humiliate to harass, is highly unlikely to pass the Senate, so Turnbull is on a hiding to nothing in that respect, however, he has silenced his critics’ savagery for a nano second (his nemesis, former PM Tony Abbott went so far as to congratulate him) and he has demonstrated to the pig ignorant that he won’t be enslaved by “political correctness.”

Aside: I have yet to fathom what political correctness actually is. Can anybody help me? Please be civil.

And so we have (on Harmony Day, nice touch lads) the spectacle of comfortably privileged white men demanding the right to insult, offend and humiliate others solely on the basis of difference. Comfortably privileged white men are inherently entitled to engage in these behaviours (we women know this all too well) and anyone attempting to interfere with their entitlement is guilty of “political correctness.”  Political Correctness is, apparently, a far greater crime than insulting, offending and humiliating others solely because they are different in some way from you.

The world is collapsing under the unsustainable weight of the entitlements of comfortably privileged white men and their female consorts. Like miserably greedy children who fear their parents don’t love them they must have control of everything, otherwise it’s not fair.

Section 18C is intended to curb speech that will cause harm on the very specific grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, and colour. I want Turnbull to explain why comfortably privileged white men and women need so desperately to be assured that they can legally insult, offend and humiliate others on the grounds of their race, ethnicity, nationality, or colour?

There is no upside to such commentary. It can only ever be derogatory, damaging and ill-intentioned. So why do the privileged need it? Why single out this particular aspect of free speech from the many others, including defamation law, that could more usefully be addressed?

Of course defamation law is what comfortably privileged white men use to destroy the freedom of others to speak about them in ways they find insulting, offensive and humiliating. Funny, that.

Changing the wording to harass almost certainly would have protected both Andrew Bolt and Bill Leak from complaints made against them to the Human Rights Commission. Harassment implies a sustained and personal attack, not a handful of cartoons or articles in a newspaper. A substantial body of work would need to be accrued before harassment could be alleged.

The bar would be set high so as to discourage complainants. The added recommendation that costs be awarded against complainants who lose their case is a powerful deterrent to making complaints in the first place.

The Murdoch press, on the other hand, has deep pockets and neither Bolt nor Leak would have faced personal financial distress, as would the majority of complainants. This does not, as Turnbull so deceitfully claimed, “strengthen the law” unless you are a perpetrator.

The proposed law is entirely political, and favours comfortably privileged white men over those they would insult, offend and humiliate, just because they can and by god, free speech!

One could almost claim that the LNP has struck (another) blow for Rupert.

What a happy Harmony Day we had in Australia. The day our government soothed the furrowed brows of ignorant bigots and promised to let them have all the freedoms they want, whenever they want.  Now all that remains is for Turnbull to name the proposed change “The Leak Amendment.”

As this piece by Jennifer Hewitt in the AFR proclaims, the spirit of Leak lives on in the 18C amendment. Oh yes, indeed it does, but not for the reasons Hewitt suggests.  It lives on in the cynical exploitation of difference for personal and political gain, normalised and legitimised by a very little, very frightened and very cowardly man, desperately clinging to his job and willing to exploit any circumstance that might help him stay in it for one more day.









33 Responses to “Liberal senator admits 18C changes are designed to win back PHON voters”

  1. Sam Jandwich March 22, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    Ugh, these white trash colonial skippos are so desperate to hold onto the last vestiges of high ground that their ancestors raped and pillaged for them that they just can’t help but continue to desecrate everything that sustains us, such is the Anglo way [ie life].

    I enjoyed Michelle Grattan’s take on this: “It has highlighted that Turnbull is, when it comes down to it, a transactional politician, one who these days will do whatever it takes in pursuit of his ends”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ambitious_Drifter March 22, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    Paterson wanted to sell Blue Poles. Is it racist to call him a phillistine?

    Liked by 4 people

    • samjandwich March 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

      It probably is, yes, if you understand “philistines” to mean anyone who lives in the area known as Palestine!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ambitious_Drifter March 22, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

        In this case it’s a mid-Victorian way of saying ‘bogan’…. Poor old Palestinian Philistines got a bad name.. bit like the Vandals, Huns and Goths. All race based epithets.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sam Jandwich March 22, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

          “Bogans” of course being Peter Dutton’s main constituency – and yet I’m sure he would misrepresent and infantilism them too if given half a chance.

          Me, well I tried to be a goth for a little while but found I didn’t have what it takes – though I still like to listen to Diorama when I’m cleaning the bathroom…

          Liked by 2 people

          • Ambitious_Drifter March 22, 2017 at 11:21 pm #

            Admire Goths, but too scruffy. These fascist eejits have finally raised me out of my torpor.. I thought we’d sorted all this nonsense.. but no. I wìll be free in my speech… and I can do proper grammar!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson March 23, 2017 at 6:25 am #

              Now that’s harsh, ambitious. I’ve seen very tidy goths.


              • Ambitious_Drifter March 23, 2017 at 11:50 am #

                Ah no…I’m too scruffy! Failed at being a Mod too. I dont do uniforms at all.. but some folk can pull off ‘The Look’ whatever it might me.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson March 23, 2017 at 6:28 am #

            I can see you doing Goth. It’s a look I quite like, but not for me. I like its “fuck you society” dark glamour. I find it impossible to live up to the demands of a style. I get up in the mornings & think, oh no, I can’t be doing that again today.


  3. townsvilleblog March 22, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    Reblogged this on Townsville Blog..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. townsvilleblog March 22, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

    The Liberal Party is in utter chaos when they need to reach for an instrument such as this to hopefully receive bigoted voters support. There has been a civil war inside the party for 18 months which normally leads to electoral death but somehow they narrowly avoided it last July. I did not expect the party to last this long, I thought the implosion may have arrived in February, however with every day that passes that implosion grows closer. The moderates will have had a gutfull of dancing to the extreme right factions tunes before too long and a complete meltdown will occur, long before the 2019 election. In my humble opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson March 22, 2017 at 3:23 pm #

      I’m hoping your predictions are spot on, Shaun. It’s hard to imagine them staggering along like this till the next election.


  5. Marilyn March 22, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

    Yesterday the culmination of part of the racist cartoon that caused Bleak a bit of upset because it was openly racist and he howled like bigots do was ended in part.

    4 Corners showed white men bashing, tear gassing and shackling children in Don Dale so Bleak blamed the aboriginal dads. The courts found that the white men in the Don Dale prison were in the wrong and ordered quite good sums of compensation for the 4 kids gassed while in an illegal lock down cage.

    Not one media outlet picked up on the double irony of yesterday as Truffles again praised the racist Bleak.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. allthumbs March 22, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    Bolt’s conceit is his belief that nobody can claim the heritage of their past because the individual stands alone isolated in time and space in the here and now. Therefore the wrongs of the past are just that, they too are isolated in time and place and if shit happened well, shit happened.

    Of course Bolt is also the first to claim the inviolability of the superiority of white culture going right back to the Mediterranean hued days of the founding of Greece. He interestingly puts aside his argument of not being able to claim contemporary affinity with the heritage of that past and readily marries it with his own identity politics as if the thread is pure and unbroken from that time till now whereby the glorious past, it’s somewhat shabby present and uncertain future reside in the likes of himself and Cory Bernardi.

    I always like to apply “the Jew” test to 18C. A good test would be for Bill Shorten in Question Time to address a question to the Honourable “kike” Minister Frydenburg on his views of being a member of the tribe of Christ Killers or the “boong” Ken Wyatt concerning his ability to prove his true paternity, or the “chink” Ian Goodenough as to whether any of his ancestors ran an Opium den and how often does he eat dog.

    Can we please get over wondering why Turnbull does what he does in the belief he will stop doing what he does and simply accept the fact he is just another Liberal prick that needs to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter. March 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

      Stubbornly adheres to the notion that expediency is only ever the solution.

      He is actually a lazy bastard if his thinking is the indication.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson March 23, 2017 at 6:30 am #

        He is a lazy bastard. Every one who clings to one idea for a lifetime is a lazy bastard.


    • samjandwich March 22, 2017 at 10:53 pm #

      Another test I’ve never heard a satisfactory answer to is, what is it exactly that they feel restricted from saying? How could it ever be acceptable to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate someone because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin? This is not a rhetorical question.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson March 23, 2017 at 6:26 am #

        I know, Sam I’ve been asking that for ages. They never answer because they can’t.


  7. Rais March 23, 2017 at 2:49 am #

    Jennifer, a good article. Just one point, the abuses covered by 18C don’t include abuse on the grounds of religious difference. As an Aussie Muslim I wish it did but that’s not likely to happen. Jews are covered not because of their religion but because they are concidered to be an ethnic group. Arabs, Asians, Africans, Indigenous Australians are covered if abused on racial grounds but not if the abuse is aimed at the religions they are sterotypically assumed to follow. Half the Lebanese in Australia, for example, are Christian like Marie Bashir and Eddie Obeid. So are many of the Egyptians and Indians.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 23, 2017 at 6:21 am #

      Thank you Rais, for pointing that out. It’s important, and apologies for the mistake.


    • Marilyn March 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

      I find the Jewish thing weird because Judaism is just another man invented cult, it is not an ethnic group and never has been.


      • allthumbs March 23, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

        A couple of things Marilyn, if Judaism is a man made construct then Muhammadanism is that in spades, and yet Judaism has for whatever reason developed closer affinities with Semitism which is now generally accepted to be racial characteristic.

        I think there have been efforts to establish “scientifically” that Semites are a distinct race, but that is neither here nor there.

        I kind of like this accelerating reductionism because in the end we are all twats and in our twatism we will find that which truly binds us.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson March 24, 2017 at 5:32 am #

          Nice point, all thumbs. We will be bound by our shared stupidity.


        • Marilyn March 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

          All religions are an invention of someone, usually a bunch of old men. If you doubt that Jews were invented then read Shlomo Sands “Who invented the Jews”.

          Liked by 1 person

          • doug quixote March 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

            I agree, but spare me the book (and the Book).

            Most religions derive from a nutter who wandered off into a cave or a mountain and took drugs/suffered hallucinations/nearly died of exposure.

            A pity about the “nearly”.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Wilbur March 23, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Here’s an interesting debate from Q & A from a past episode that explores and debates much of what you suggest here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. paul walter. March 24, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    Nonetheless, in the context of ownership of Palestine Marilyn has a point.

    Not to say allthumbs and JW haven’t added to a conversation, of course (still smirking).


  10. Arthur Baker March 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    On political correctness, here’s an opinion, a letter from the Sydney Morning Herald, published Monday 6 March. I’ve posted it in a few places, but I don’t think I’ve posted it here. For me, it’s a candidate for Letter Of The Year. Not only does it expound its subject well and expose the hypocrisy of the PC accusation, it’s also pleasingly alliterative.

    If its author Douglas Newton of Wollstonecraft is reading this, congratulations sir. I wish I had written this.

    begin quote

    Former Prime Minister Howard’s rant against ‘political correctness’ is laughable. He has for years promoted a stifling political correctness on the Right. Its elements are painfully familiar. Patriotic correctness: we live in an exceptional nation, the greatest on earth, and all critics are ‘on every side but Australia’s’. Plutocratic correctness: the rich are heroes, who have only themselves to thank, and all attempts to achieve greater fairness reflect the ‘politics of envy’. Punitive correctness: the poor are shameless shirkers, who have only themselves to blame, and they must be hunted back to work. Prudential correctness: the welfare state, and all public goods and services, must be residualised, so that people are forced back to self-help. Pugnacious correctness: we must prepare for infinite warfare, and arm ourselves to the teeth, and anyone with doubts is ‘soft on terror’. Primeval correctness: everything was better, long ago. It is Howard’s long-cherished hallucination that people are prevented from saying any of this by the iron heel of left-wing political correctness. He must be deaf and blind. You can hear right-wing political correctness spouted all day on trash radio, and read the same stuff churned out daily by the hireling scribes of one ultra-wealthy press baron.

    Douglas Newton, Wollstonecraft

    end quote


    • paul walter. March 25, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

      Yes. There has been some thought go into that.


    • doug quixote March 25, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

      Douglasses are clearly deep thinkers.

      Well said indeed.


  11. Stephanie Cornwallis March 25, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

    Leak. What an appropriate name for that foul-smelling piece of piss. And no, I don’t apologise for abusing the dead. Good riddance to the arsehole.


    • paul walter. March 25, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

      (sighs) perhaps his mum loved him?


  12. kristapet March 26, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

    An excellent article with sharp, incisive observations and ethical good sight, words badly needing to be said with, just, this kind of clarity
    This article really resonates with me.Thank You, Jennifer.
    And so do these words:
    No truer words than these were spoken than these – quote taken from John Lord’s “Day to Day Politics: A tale of two polls.”

    “An enlightened society is one in which the suggestion that we need to legislate ones right to hate another person is considered intellectually barren.”
    Shame on the LNP /Malcolm Turnbull and the rest of the Liberal wankers and cronies
    No truer words than these were spoken by Jennifer Wilson, and, John Lord, as well

    Shame on the LNP /Malcolm Turnbull and the rest of the Liberal wankers and cronies for their nasty “I wants”, and hang the rest; and let me be a bigot and a bully and say whatever vicious words I want, to whomever I want. They have NO shame!
    I hope this “burns” them this awful, law changing, atrocity

    This weakening of 18C is incomprehensible to any egalitarian intellect
    We need to be better than this, we need a better world

    A friend suggests that it would be better to start afresh, with Australia becoming a Republic
    Create a new beginning and a new world order, that is fair, just, ethical in it’s “bones”
    A chance to create a flourishing, enlightened society, a fair and just one, respecting equality and allowing difference
    I agree with my friend, we are older folks. and I think we need with riders ( And, I am not asking for much), and as idealistic as it sounds, this wish list, such as:
    An Ethical Constitution with, plus the Magna Carta embedded in it , combined with, and with strong Racial Discrimination Laws,
    Along side, a special Treaty with First Nations People, showing respect, by, granting some rivers, wilderness areas, and some iconic environments the same rights as a citizen
    An Inclusive Constitution which has special Elder Council ( chosen for wisdom, proven worthiness and exemplary, high moral character)
    its member representatives covering different sectors of the community and their interests (No Board stacking, here either)
    No lobbying by Corporations, no donations from Corporations or big business magnates, to influence (strong-arm) the government ,
    one with creating a fairer voting system, maybe ( MMP (mixed member proportional), or STV (single transferable vote) whatever, but, one without preferential voting, because it is open to gerrymandering and corruption
    A system with an Independent Federal ICAC, (no Board stacking), instead, of the cowboy shambles we have now
    A system which has structures embedded within it with provisions that takes care of the old, vulnerable, the poor, the young, a system which does not discriminate against different sexual genders, or, ethnicity, or, race or religion, and which safeguards, science, art and culture ( a nation with strong Arts and Culture and Science is an advanced culture of thinkers and innovators)

    A system which includes a structures providing legal justice, education and healthcare coverage and protections as a constitutional right
    Certainly not a system that can change laws on a whim, bigotry, prejudice and monetary interests e.g.,Native Title and 18C


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