The 45th Parliament has started with a bang.
Today I will introduce a Bill to reform section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act by removing the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from the list of offences. This hurt-feelings test has been misused and abused to shut down differing opinions in taxpayer-funded lawfare.
The Bill was signed by 20 Senators including seven crossbenchers and, with one exception, all the Liberal backbench. These modest and sensible reforms have been supported by a cross-section of political and social commentators including Warren Mundine, Julian Burnside QC, journalist David Marr, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott.
The numbers aren’t currently there to pass the amendments through the Parliament but I am hopeful the government and some more crossbenchers will see the merit of these very modest reforms.
I have also lodged a petition signed by over 15,000 Australians asking the government to support the Bill. If you haven’t already done so, you can add your name here. Such a show of strength illustrates the power of conservatives when brought together for a common cause.
The appetite for strengthening the Conservative voice in public life is only growing; the Australian Conservatives movement (which was launched in July) has now signed up over 60,000 people, with more adding their names every day.
The movement’s first steps have scared the left-wing Getup!, who have gone to their membership base seeking funds to counter our formative influence. Dr Jennifer Oriel recently had an extraordinary column in The Australian detailing the sinister funding model the political left utilise to pursue their aims.
In perhaps the biggest political scandal since WikiLeaks, a group of hackers has dumped hundreds of files exposing the influence of socialist billionaire George Soros on Western politics.
The files show Soros has established a transnational network that pressures governments to adopt high immigration targets and porous border policies that could pose a challenge to legitimate state sovereignty. His Open Society Foundations target individuals who criticise Islamism and seek to influence the outcome of national elections by undermining Right-leaning politicians. The Australian arm of the Soros network is GetUp!.
GetUp! was established by activists Jeremy Heimans and David Madden with funding from Soros…
…GetUp! has engaged in an effective reframing of politics by rebranding conservatives as the hard Right while recasting the Left as moderate or progressive. Many sections of the media have uncritically adopted GetUp!’s rhetoric, which effectively divides the Coalition by aligning conservatives falsely with a range of hard-Right views that they abhor.
…Documents uncovered by Soros leaks reveal a pattern of funding for programs that prosecute porous borders, mass immigration into the West nations from Islamist regions, and overt campaigns against dissenters.
Such a determined and well-funded effort to subvert mainstream values and national sovereignty by the agents of international billionaires should concern us all.
Quite clearly we need to make the Australian Conservative movement even stronger and better resourced than originally anticipated. We need your commitment, your ideas and your support if we are to effectively counter our well established opponents.
The Bill I’m introducing today shows how effective conservatives can be when we work together. We united those with many different views under the common bond of freedom of speech and common sense. Although we are just commencing our campaign to restore confidence in our body politic and conservatism as the foundation for progress, it is a good beginning.
The months ahead should see us complete the base we need to create future success but we should be under no illusion as to the battle we face. Our rivals are better funded and have institutional support. We will beat them through the actions and contributions of tens of thousands of people who see a better way forward for our country.
Your support has been critical to get us to where we are and will be critical to our future.