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August 06th 2014 print

Christopher Carr

Shame, Abbott, Shame

The broken promise to fight for the repeal of this iniquitous law is far worse than a mere politician's imitation of a wind vane. Free speech is at the core of our democracy. If the Prime Minister doesn't recognise that simple and indisputable fact he is unfit to hold the office

18c-2That solemn promise by Tony Abbott before the last election to repeal the obnoxious Section 18c has now been abandoned. Now we know the awful truth. Tony Abbott cannot be believed. Any promise in the future should be treated with justifiable cynicism. And this is no mere addition to the already long list of broken promises. This is an abandonment of a core tenet of Liberal Party philosophy.

The Prime Minister’s “captain’s call” announcement was a mishmash of non sequiturs. We are invited to believe that unless we abandoned our commitment to traditional freedom of opinion, certain minority ethnic groups would not support the fight against terrorism. In other words, these minority groups will somehow be persuaded to join the team if the rest of us surrender to implied blackmail.

We might call Tony Abbott’s announcement anticipatory surrender. Team Australia will be little more than the tail wagging the dog. Indeed, we may conjure up all the technical surveillance methods for fighting terrorism, but our enemies will quickly take note of our loss of self-confidence in our civilisation. Given the determination of the West’s Islamist foes to destroy our civil culture, it is already clear that they have won this skirmish.

L. W. Maher: To Stomp on 18C, First You Need a Spine

Instead of confidently asserting our core values, which can act as a strong magnet to all, we have now advertised our vulnerability. Our government has now surrendered one of its core principles to the siren call of “community harmony”. Disgracefully, the Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland Liberal governments had already joined the campaign against the repeal of 18c. For all his brave words before the election, Tony Abbott folded in the face of pressure from minority groups and saboteurs within his own parliamentary party. Probably he did not have the numbers in the Senate. Clearly, he and Senator Brandis have lost an incompetently waged public relations battle. It was not an honourable defeat.

On the narrowest terms, Tony Abbott’s announcement fails even the most elementary test of logic. We are invited to believe that sundry minority groups will refuse to support measures against terrorists because they feel insulted by, for example, some opinion piece in a newspaper.   We might even conclude from the Prime Minister’s supine stance that supporters of Islamic terror were motivated by some insulting “racist” opinion. But really, can you seriously imagine supporters of ISIS in Iraq and Syria being persuaded to join Team Australia? Can you seriously imagine those members of the Jewish community who opposed the repeal of 18c refusing to support measures against Islamic terrorists unless 18c was retained?

The only people who will oppose action against Islamic terrorists are Islamic terrorists and their supporters — and, yes, idiots. The retention of 18c represents cultural surrender. And by the way, do not imagine for one minute that local Islamists will not use 18c in an attempt to silence opponents, just as their counterparts in Canada attempted to silence Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. As we have already seen, 18c is an open-ended weapon in the hands of freedom’s enemies. Islamic supremacists have already won a victory against our civil society without firing a shot.

Clearly none of our major parties can be relied upon to champion our traditional freedoms. Consider very carefully that betrayal when you next have the opportunity to vote.

Christopher Carr is a frequent contributor to Quadrant and Quadrant Online