In Victoria, where the burlesque of honest government continues apace, Opposition leader John Pesutto has today announced his intention to move for the expulsion from the Liberal Party of upper house member Moira Deeming, whom he accuses of cavorting with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, transphobic hatemongers and nasty “ethno-fascists”. This sort of thing is becoming a habit for the Garden State’s purported conservative party.
Last May the Liberals booted Bernie Finn, chiefly for the crime of stating that he prays for abortion to be banned. And in November, the Opposition’s then-leader, Matthew Guy, was adamant that a second conservative Liberal, Renee Heath, would not be allowed to take her seat in the party room.
Now it is Ms Deeming, another church-going conservative, who is facing the chop, this Pesutto initiative arising from ugly scenes on the weekend when three rival rallies produced a further example of Victoria Police’s legendary lack of nous and competence. It seems that if VicPol can’t find lockdown objectors to pelt with rubber bullets, old ladies in need of being thrown to the ground for a pepper-spray spritz or investigations of Premier Daniel Andrews’ allies and associates that require deep-sixing, they content themselves with setting up photo opportunities that frame the Premier’s political foes in the worst possible light.
That is exactly what happened on the steps of Parliament on Saturday, where a rally organised by women who don’t want biological men in their change rooms, prisons or sporting contests were opposed by a much larger counter demonstration of the usual Left suspects — Socialist Alternative and Antifa thugs prominent amongst them. To their credit, the police managed to place themselves between the ferals and the Let Women Speak rally, enduring a rain of spittle and obscenities that escalated to the point where three Left protesters were arrested for assault, one of them a 22-year-old man who allegedly wrestled a policewoman into a headlock.
Then things went very weird indeed.
Some dozen-or-so men in black T-shirts turned up and, instead of ordering them to leave, for some inexplicable reason VicPol ushered them into the open space between the rival camps, where they proceeded to perform the stiff-armed Nazi salute. The ones who weren’t masked sported broad smirks and smiles, Lebensraum for yellow teeth.
Click, click, click, whir, click! The cameras produced a white noise of clattering shutters.
The news, as reported by Melbourne’s reliably unreliable mainstream press, was that “anti-trans activists” were in league with the Austrian Corporal’s latter-day disciples and here were the photos to prove it. On the ABC’s 774 this morning (March 20), host Raf Epstein, whose own troubles with police haven’t crimped his career in the least, took to referring to the women’s rally as “people who want us to be cruel to trans”. The organisers, who held all the required permits to assemble and speak in public, included Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists and even the former senior Greens member and Left feminist Nina Vallins, who still dog-sits Adam Bandt’s pooch. None of that rated more than an incidental mention, if any at all, in news coverage.
But it was enough for Pesutto, who was on 3AW this morning and telling Neil Mitchell that the rally organisers were friends of the Third Reich and how he didn’t want to lead a party that tolerated the likes of Ms Deeming in its ranks. Andrews & Co have been making hay.
So what is Ms Deeming all about and what does Pesutto find so objectionable? Below is a lightly edited extract from her maiden speech to parliament in February. The full address, including her gratitude to the gay high school students she taught and her thoughts on the media, can be read here (do a CNTL+F on ‘Deeming’ to find her words).
It would be nice if Pesutto were to tell the Liberal faithful just what it is that makes the young woman pictured below so reprehensible. — roger franklin
AS A TEENAGER I witnessed firsthand the corruption and the brutal, coordinated bullying of anyone who does not think and act in unity with the left. There are many stories that I could tell, but one stands out. A woman that I loved and admired quietly refused to take part in the corrupt misuse of union funds. Enraged by this, the union leaders ruthlessly bullied her, blacklisted her from working in Victoria for over 20 years and destroyed her career. Even after these bullies were successfully sued for their behaviour, they kept their jobs and their fines were paid by the very same union whose money they had been siphoning off – for guess who? For years afterwards I would see them on TV being publicly praised as champions of the working class. Now of course we need unions. We have been hearing all week about the wonderful work that they have done, but they need to be apolitical. Our workers deserve better.
If you look up in this beautiful and historic chamber, you will see eight figures, all holding different items representing different ideals – truth, glory, justice, mercy, wisdom, architecture, abundance and unity. Unity is shown holding a circle of chains, but those chains were originally designed to appear broken in half. And what is more, ‘Unity’ is not her original name. Unity’s real name is in fact ‘Liberty’.
Liberty’s reforged chains of oppression are the best illustration I can think of for the dangers of left-wing ideology. That is why I turned away from it. Because individual rights and liberties must never be sacrificed for coerced unity. I believe that every individual is unique, endowed with human dignity and worthy of our care and respect. And those on every side of politics care in exactly the same way. We have all heard it this week, and I do not deny that. But too often they have been willing to sacrifice
individual human rights in the pursuit of collective goals. They argue that the end justifies the means, but as a Liberal, I believe that only by just means can we achieve a just outcome. That is why I believe in the freedom to worship, to think and, as my dear friend Abdullah put it, the right to disagree well forever.
I believe in freedom from compelled speech, the freedom to travel outside my own suburb, the freedom to meet and embrace my family members and the freedom to accept or refuse medical treatment. These freedoms are under threat today, and as these last few years have proven, if we do not cherish them, if we do not fight for them, they will be taken away. Rights and liberties must systematically constrain governments, not the other way around.
So that is why I am a Liberal, but politics was not my original plan. I had chosen a career in teaching, and I was loving it. I felt incredibly honoured that parents would entrust their children to me. But I began to be very concerned about the things that I was being told to teach. Lessons on tolerance were being replaced with lessons on inclusion. It was not enough anymore to just accept each other’s differences with respect. Now students were required to affirm and celebrate beliefs that they just did
not share. Perfectly reasonable moral and religious differences were being reframed as discriminatory and intolerant, and a new vocabulary was introduced categorising people as allies or enemies.
Instead of being inspired by history’s heroes, students were being chastised and even told to stand up in class and apologise for historical crimes that they had neither committed nor condoned. They were told that the physical world is on the brink of doom, but rather than being assigned research projects to find practical solutions, they were being assigned activism as work, including social media awareness-raising campaigns, ideological fundraisers and even attendance at protests during school hours.
Instead of being taught the life-changing value of grit and character, my most vulnerable and disadvantaged students were being weighed down and discouraged with spectres of insurmountable social forces all arrayed against them – capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy. I remember one boy sitting at the back of my class with no pencil case and no books. I did my rounds of the desks, and when I got to him, I smiled and said, ‘Would you like any help with your work?’ He just grinned at me cheekily and said he did not need to do his schoolwork because when he grew up, he was going to be a gangster.
I grinned right back and said, ‘Well, I’m not sure that Australia has much of a gangster industry. Do you have a plan B?’
And he laughed and enjoyed that and we got to chatting, but during that chat I learned that he wanted to be a gangster because he had escaped to Australia from a war-torn country only to be told repeatedly by his teachers that Australia and Australians were racist, and this poor boy of 13 or 14 actually believed them. Here he was, safe in Australia, welcomed, happy in the classroom, unable to concentrate on his work, though, because he was scared of systemic racial violence. No child should
be told that they are hated.
The final straw, which compelled me to challenge the government head on, was discovering that school policies and curriculums had been radically altered to remove almost every child safeguarding standard that we had had. Primary school children were being subjected to erotic sexual content. Female students no longer had the right to single-sex sports teams, toilets or change rooms, and teachers like me were being forced to lie to parents about their children, who were secretly living as one gender at school and another gender at home.
I realised then that my teaching career was over, because I simply would not ever do the things that I was being asked to do. I would never ask students to tell the class which sexual experiences they had had and which they were willing to do. I would never tell girls to bind their breasts. I would never accuse gay students of being transphobic. I would never tell my female students that they had to tolerate a male teacher supervising their change rooms, and I was never, ever going to lie to parents about what was going on with their own children at school.
But I also knew that if I spoke out I was going to be vilified and that I would never work in a public school again, and that is exactly what happened – but so be it.
I wrote articles. I did interviews. I gave talks all across Victoria. I worked with brave women and men from the left – women like Jasmine, Holly, Stassia and Kat. I worked with LGB organisations and free-speech organisations and with doctors, lawyers, brave journalists like Bernard Lane and amazing women like Claire Chandler and Kath Deves. I worked with people of all faiths and none. I worked with betrayed parents and shattered detransitioners. We put everything else aside and we worked together, and every single one of us was attacked for shining a light on these issues. Eventually I got myself elected as a local government councillor in Melton. Councils are responsible for providing change rooms, toilets and all sorts of domestic violence and women’s services.
So I asked whether it was legal to provide these single-sex services and facilities anymore because biological males could just identify as women. I asked the council officers; they did not know. I asked the lawyers; they did not know. I asked every single local government council in Victoria, and not a single one of them knew either, but almost all of them knew unequivocally that it was transphobic just to ask. I asked the gender equality commissioner and the LGBTIQ+ commissioner, and all that they could tell me was that some men are women, but you are not allowed to ask which ones are which because that would be discriminatory. They also told me that I should encourage any women who were unhappy about this, including religious women and victims of sexual assault, to ‘be more tolerant’. I tried to ask the human rights commissioner, but their office told me that I would never, ever – ever – get a meeting with them. So I asked the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, and they handballed my question to the Attorney-General of Victoria, who has to this day failed to answer.
So now here I am. Democracy in Victoria is almost 170 years old, and one of the reasons for its enduring success is that we are blessed with this Council, this house of review. So I am just going to get right to work by quickly reviewing three areas of the law, and I am going to focus on women and children because that is what the Governor’s speech focused on. First of all, sex-based rights. Women and girls are suffering in Victoria because this government cannot or will not define what a female is, and as a result every woman and every girl in Victoria has lost the right to enjoy female-only sports, female-only change rooms and countless other female-only activities. As a result, what most women would consider to be sexual harassment and indecent exposure is now legal in Victoria. As a result, there is right now at this very moment a twice-convicted male rapist housed with the female prisoners in my area in the Dame Phyllis Frost correctional facility. They are the most vulnerable women of all. Surely there must be ways to ensure the safety and dignity of trans people which do not trample on the rights of women and
I call upon this government to immediately reinstate sex-based rights in the law.
Secondly, children in brothels – I was very glad to hear that industry called ‘the adult industry’, because children do not belong anywhere near it. Yet this government has made it legal to have children inside brothels in Victoria. That is right – in commercial brothels newborn babies and children up to 18 months of age are allowed on the premises. In home-based brothels children of any age are allowed inside. Devastated police officer friends of mine have told me that Victoria will now inevitably become the child rape capital of Australia. So again I call on the government to amend that act as well so that no child can be taken inside brothels of any kind in Victoria.
Thirdly, transgender affirmation practices on minors – this government has made it illegal for parents and clinicians of gender-dysphoric children to seek out any treatments at all, no matter how reasonable, if they are designed to naturally alleviate the dysphoric feelings and leave the child’s body intact. In Victoria that is simply not allowed. In Victoria doctors will lose their medical licences and parents will lose their children unless they affirm and entrench that dysphoria via experimental conversion
therapies which try to socially, surgically and hormonally convert boys into an approximation of girls and girls into an approximation of boys. It has been all over the media for at least five years. And despite the fact that these interventions have now been proven to be medically unjustifiable, irreversible and devastatingly harmful, ideologues continue to vilify and incite hatred towards anyone sounding the alarm. They even blame these whistleblowers for trans youth suicides, which is the most
disgusting and cynical act of political exploitation I have ever seen. The devastated parents, the furious clinicians and most of all the heartbroken ex-trans youth whose health has vanished and whose bodies are scarred deserve justice.
I call on this government to reinstate common sense and compassion and to conduct an open inquiry into gender affirmation practices in Victoria.
UPDATE: Some lines from Pesutto’s own maiden speech:
“Personal initiative and responsibility, free enterprise, the rule of law and the family — in all its appearances — are the touchstones of a philosophy that is vital. They are as important to our future as they have been to our past. Liberalism possesses all the power to unite rather than divide, to include rather than exclude.”
Moira Deeming’s maiden speech can be watched in full via this link