One of my ambitions has been achieved….I finally have an article published in my favourite magazine – The Spectator – or at least I have one published in the online Australian edition. I wrote this on the plane back from Sydney. Please do feel free to click on the link and add to the discussion if you wish.
From a home of the enlightenment to one of its greatest products
There are few better places in the world for a Scotsman to spend to spend a three-month Sabbatical than Sydney. One of the things I expected to miss the most was The Spectator. But to my joy, I discovered that there is an Australian edition of the best magazine in the world – and it’s as good as, if not better than the UK version – being a UK plus edition. I write this wee column in gratitude for keeping me informed and sane while living here.
As a general observation Australia is in my view in a much healthier position than the UK…you are not trying to get yourself out of the undemocratic and bureaucratic EU and you are not as far down the progressive/regressive rabbit hole that we are fast disappearing into. But there are also warning signs.
Revolutionary Tribunals in Sydney.
Possibly the most chilling story I read was that of the Revolutionary Tribunals at the University of Technology Sydney. They have set up a four-person panel, including two students, who will act as an extrajudicial panel to deal with complaints of sexual harassment.
“A University Student Conduct Committee is not bound by the rules of evidence and may inform itself on any matter it thinks fit”
The most chilling aspect of this was the rules for the panel which state: “A University Student Conduct Committee is not bound by the rules of evidence and may inform itself on any matter it thinks fit”. Just stop and think. Here is a revolutionary tribunal (sorry – ‘extrajudicial panel’) that has the power to expel students and it ‘is not bound by the rules of evidence’.
This is the new liberal version of social justice – evidence is not essential, only feelings, perception and political correctness. Farewell justice and freedom.
The reaction in Sydney to the ANC refusal of the millions offered to set up a centre to study Western Civilisation was illuminating and depressing. It will be a cold day in Hell before the University of Sydney permits such a centre.
The university union leaders say that no money must be accepted until all academic staff have been consulted. I wonder if they apply the same criteria to Chinese and Muslim billionaires who offer large sums of money? Would ‘academic’ freedom include the right to have a course on the history of the nation of Taiwan? Or one on deconstructing the Koran (as so often happens with University courses on the Bible? Would a research proposal which wanted to look at the effects on those who have ‘transgendered’ and now want to return to their original gender, be accepted?
I loved sitting in the fantastic coffee shops in Newtown but felt a degree of sorrow as thousands of students walked past – like lambs to the cultural Marxist slaughter. Sydney University, like many others, should be renamed a monoversity because it, in practice, does not permit diversity of views.
The Australian press has quickly got over the Steven Smith cricketing debacle (although I loved the story about his autobiography being moved to the crime section) and have found themselves a new hate figure – the best rugby player in the world, Israel Folau. He had the temerity to say that he was against same-sex marriage and then was caught out saying that he believed homosexuals need to repent or they would go to hell.
Given that he believes, as do most of the Christian churches that everyone needs to repent this should hardly have been a shock. But Folau was treated as though he had committed blasphemy against the holy state – and were it not for Australian rugby’s desperate need of a decent player, he probably would have lost his job.
Australia has the same problem with intolerance in the name of tolerance that the UK has. I spoke to a senior lawyer who told me that while he was ok, any junior lawyer in his firm who expressed the view of 40 per cent of Australians that SSM was wrong would be finished with her career.
Anyone But Christians
Is ABC a euphemism for ‘Anyone But Christians’? I get the impression that the ABC is even worse than the BBC in its liberal bias.
One example was watching the panel show The Drum on which the four panellists and the presenter gave just one point of view on gay conversion therapy and counselling for trans people. Apparently, it would have been too ridiculous to allow any other point of view. ‘ Do we want a political party where everyone thinks the same?’ said the Liberal spokesperson – whilst appearing on a panel show agreeing that in reality, they do.
They mocked and caricatured the idea that children who have a psychological condition like gender identity disorder need psychological counselling. We were told it is not even modern thinking. It’s equivalent to ‘lets boil them in oil and chop of their heads’.
All of this was said without a hint of challenge – or evidence of any reasoned thought. Indeed there was no evidence at all. It was just emotive virtue signalling.
The Future Challenges
The influence of China in almost all areas of Australian life is fast becoming a major issue. The way things are going, with Chinese billionaires controlling major infrastructure like the ports of Darwin and Newcastle, China won’t need a naval base in Vanuatu – they can just buy Australia.
How do you have sensible immigration policies that benefit genuine refugees whilst protecting local workers from a cheap imported labour economy?
Who is going to speak up for and defend Western liberal democracy against the Progressive/Regressive authoritarians who through media, politics and academia are doing their very best to saw off the branch of the civilisation on which they sit?
The Scots once claimed to be the nation that saved Western civilisation. Our day has gone. Now it’s your turn. Let it be.