Some columns are tougher to write than others. This is one of the more difficult ones because I am struggling to put into words how I feel after the massacre in Christchurch last week.
The act was barbarous, made all the more heinous because it was perpetrated on those in a place of worship. Sacred places have always been sanctuary for the faithful, a place of peace, contemplation, prayer and personal reflection. In this instance, and in others like it previously, I have little concern as to the specific beliefs of the worshippers. They were the innocent victims of a madman violently pursuing a dangerous ideology.
That such acts should be universally condemned goes without saying but I am staggered into my own quiet contemplation by the political and media response.
Let me get the mandatory caveat out of the way. Senator Fraser Anning’s comments immediately after the massacre were completely inappropriate and should never have been made. It was rank opportunism. He rightly wears the opprobrium that comes with their utterance. To blame the victims for being killed by a kook is a particularly despicable act and cannot be excused.
I lament the comments as another plunge into the cesspit that politics in Australia has become.
However, the lament is not reserved for Anning alone. Many of his critics have exposed themselves as hypocrites, craven opportunists and shameless political phonies.
Chief amongst them are the Greens and the political left.
For too long these disgracefully unprincipled people have excused and defended violent leftists seeking to disrupt our social mores. Thuggish groups from Antifa, the Rainbow mafia and green theology have been violently forcing their ideology into the public square backed by many on the left.
They have sought to shut down any counter view through threats, bullying, intimidation and direct assaults. They care nothing for the potential consequences of their actions, instead choosing to rationalise that their political objectives justify whatever means are necessary.
Perhaps this is best exemplified in a political sense by the Green-Labor open-border boat people policy. The thousands of lives that were lost at sea by this “compassionate” policy were dismissed by the Greens' Sarah Hanson-Young as, “tragedies happen. Accidents happen”.
No remorse, no guilt, no excuses… Let’s all just move on from an inconvenient truth.
The hypocrites will use freedom of speech when words are used by their own people to vilify Jews or the Christian religion but woe betide anyone who dares to make a comment warning of the dangers of Islamic ideology for Western civilisation. To them, questioning any of their pet causes creates another confected outrage and accusations of their latest manufactured “phobia” or “ism” as a weapon. In this twisted hypocrisy, a “ditch the witch” banner at a political rally is offensive but a Nazi symbol at a Greens protest is not. Christians praying against abortion is an abomination but families holding “death to infidels” signs are studiously ignored like a drunken relative at Christmas dinner.
Regrettably, the media is as culpable as the lefty politicians, happily jumping onto the opportunity to push false narratives to further their own political beliefs. Channel Seven’s morning presenter David Koch this week blamed virtually all mass killings on “right-wing white extremists” conveniently ignoring the daily slaughter of Christians, the bombing of Churches and the myriad acts of extremist and state-sponsored terror around the globe. He is either willfully misrepresenting the truth or a complete idiot. Neither is acceptable but he is hardly Robinson Crusoe.
The embarrassing level of craven opportunism by the media and politicians alike is what has really made me fear for the future of our nation.
In the face of such despicable acts as last week, the ruling class have decided that more government and less freedom is the order of the day. They will seek to regulate, stifle and to counter objectionable views. This will only drive the aggrieved deeper into the maddening darkness.
I have uttered similar warnings over the past decade. As community leaders, if we are unwilling to rationally discuss issues that matter to many, then an unhealthy response will eventually come. I made these observations in respect to the absence of a discussion on immigration in 2009 and was only condemned by colleagues and media in response. I only wish we could have had a sensible discussion then, rather than a reactive and emotional one now.
Politicians making emotive and reactive decisions are seldom good for the rest of us. That seems to be the case now.
The government and opposition have joined up to move a censure motion against Anning. Rather than stick to condemnation of his words they have written paragraphs about “attacks on religion” and “hate speech”.
At first blush it reads ok, until you realise that any comments critical of some religious ideologies have been condemned as “attacks” by groups like the Greens and Labor. These are the same groups that sought to regulate some news outlets for being “hate media” simply because they held the government of the day to account for their idiotic policy positions.
To these lefty activists, anything they disagree with is deemed an attack or hateful. They seek to condemn, mock and ridicule their opponents, aided by a largely sympathetic media elite. The fact that the Coalition has fallen for this political pea-and-thimble trick suggests how far their political conviction has fallen.
The hypocrisy and political opportunism is also evident in the mooted legislative response. Suddenly they are going to regulate big technology because they failed to take down a live video stream of the mad gunman on his rampage. I didn’t hear much from these same people as ISIS were using social media to spread their beheadings and preaching murder against “infedels”.
Nothing has been said on the censorship of mainstream conservative views that challenge the prevailing leftist zeitgeist in Silicon Valley. These same politicians have resolutely defended hate groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir and violence-endorsing preachers visiting Australia whilst banning social caricatures like Milo Yiannopoulos because left extremists protest his appearance.
I agree Facebook and Google need increased regulation. Not because of this most recent atrocity, but because we always have held media outlets accountable for the content they publish. It isn’t good enough for the billionaires at Facebook to claim they only present a platform and the actual content creators are the publishers. That doesn’t wash for any legitimate media group and Facebook and Google are arguably the largest, most powerful and influential media outlets on the planet.
The world is rapidly coming to a crossroads. The socialist economics and radical social experiment of decades past is failing us all. It is evident wherever one chooses to look.
The left will argue that we need more government, more welfare and even grander experimental policies to reach their unobtainable utopian dream. Those of us mindful of history and the lived human experience know that will only lead to even greater societal decay.
We need to throw off the enslavement of big government and defend our historical freedoms. We need to restore faith, family, personal responsibility, thrift, enterprise and charity as the focus of our lives and that of our communities. Not because this will prevent such horrific acts as happened in Christchurch last week but because it will help ensure we maintain our sanity as the world goes increasingly mad.
Things that make you go Hmm…
Their ABC talks about the AFP’s egging origins and warns of Balkan trolls, Tony keeps backtracking and common sense prevails in the West. Canberra is Harley funny, the Coalition’s Milo mix turns sour, climate alarm shifts to ‘geo-engineering’ and there’s a K-Pop implosion.
Malema can’t take a joke, the US college favours trigger dropouts and blushes, meet a new brand of drag queen while headscarves lose to crosses in Bavarian courts. Hamilton Ontario cringes before rabbit dumping season, a French minister’s catty about Brexit and this is one pricy pigeon.