Adjournment – Political Correctness and Cancel Culture17 June 2020
I rise tonight to speak regarding the battle this country faces against a rising tide of political correctness and aggressive left-wing ideology and why everyday Australians should be alarmed. Australians are overwhelmingly respectful and tolerant people, but disappointingly, in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a small but vocal minority behaving badly and, in some cases, behaving unlawfully. Across the United States, protests which were initially related to the tragic death of George Floyd have descended into chaos. Left-wing agitators in this country didn’t waste much time using this as an opportunity to mobilise. While most Australians did the right thing during COVID-19 and refrained from attending gatherings such as Anzac Day, Mother’s Day and in some instances, sadly, even the funerals of loved ones, these protesters did as they pleased and marched in large numbers across the country, potentially even putting lives at risk.
Left-wing protesters then vandalised our historic statues and even forced monuments, including a statue of James Cook in Sydney, to be placed under police guard. This wave of spite continued, sending TV publishers into a meltdown as they searched through their back catalogues to sacrifice a few comedic lambs. Netflix decided to dump the iconic Chris Lilley TV series, prompting the ABC to conduct what they described as a ‘harm and offence’ audit to ensure they were meeting current community standards, which is ostensibly code for rewriting history. Today not even Aussie beer is safe anymore, with news that Australian owned craft brewer Colonial Beer Co is no longer being stocked by a Melbourne liquor store due to the word ‘colonial’. Alarmingly, the owners are reportedly considering changing the name rather than incurring the wrath of the PC brigade.
Frankly, this censorious behaviour has been indulged for too long. I understand sometimes it’s hard to call these things out. Most Australians have better things to do and better things to think about. Jobs, families and other commitments all make it difficult for people to find time to argue the point, and many Australians find it challenging to speak out, for fear of being screamed at by an angry mob. But, sadly, tacit endorsement for this woke culture is all around us. Many corporations have been seduced by these self-appointed moral guardians and continue to join campaigns on social issues and submit to the mob.
Many of these trends are, of course, simply laughable, but many are far more sinister. ‘Cancel culture’ is a new phrase for an old and familiar tactic of the far Left. It was a tactic used by Stalin, who would literally make his enemies disappear and then delete them from photographs. The far Left want to remove any views they disagree with on the grounds that they see them as offensive. They are incapable of existing in a world in which there are views which they don’t agree with. This trend threatens the very soul of this country. There are many Australians who understand what this is doing to the fabric of society, but we need all of them to call it out. We need Aussies to prove that these intolerant themes are a minority position in this country. We must all stand up to the imperious ambitions of the PC brigade, because every capitulation to the mob emboldens it.
The struggle by the far Left to undermine and ultimately overturn the traditional and respected institutions that have served our society so well is underway. It may seem trivial, but rest assured: the Australian way of life as we know it is under threat. If we don’t battle this insidious trend, free thought, reason and perhaps even our democracy are at risk. To paraphrase General George S Patton, no-one ever won a war by refusing to fight a battle.