By Andrew Bolt ~
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plan for a public vote on same-sex marriage has indeed unleashed the haters — but they’re the thugs of the Left.
Worse, the Prime Minister may now give in to this pack and force on the public the same-sex marriage change they have not voted for.
Warning: a new fascism — a soft totalitarianism — is on foot, marching this time under the banner of same-sex marriage.
The latest example? It’s the mob that forced the cancellation of a meeting of Christians this week at the Mercure Sydney International Airport.
More than 100 people were expected to attend — Anglicans, Catholics and members of the Marriage Alliance and Australian Christian Lobby.
But then the haters got busy. Their calls to the hotel and posts on its Facebook page were so alarming that the owner told The Australian that staff were “rattled” and scared for their safety, and for their guests.
Who helped to whip up this hatred?
SameSame.com.au, a gay news website, had alerted readers to the event, which it said was hosted by the “notorious” ACL.
It quoted activist Pauline Pantsdown — actually university media lecturer Simon Hunt — who in a post urged followers to “stand up to the dangerous, predatory” ACL and get the event cancelled.
“No one won their rights peacefully,” advised one poster on SameSame, rejecting suggestions that Christians be left to talk in peace.
Panicked, Mercure and the church groups then cancelled the function, with ACL managing director Lyle Shelton blaming “threats of violence”.
Hunt seemed unashamed. Instead, he justified this harassment of the ACL and fellow Christians by accusing them of “cluster bomb attacks” that made them a “danger” to gays, lesbians, transsexuals and their children.
But stop. That is the classic defence of the totalitarian Left, excusing its own viciousness by claiming its enemies are even worse.
In other words, it is not the principle that counts, but the side.
While Hunt, himself, issued or condoned no threats, his excuse-making is the morality of the tribalist, which means a confrontation is ultimately decided not by reason but by force. Isn’t that the history of the brown shirts? Red shirts? And now the green shirts?
I wish we could just dismiss this totalitarianism as just the work of a few fringe-dwellers of the Left.
But it’s no coincidence that Shelton, in particular, was singled out here — because mainstream same-sex marriage activists have made him the particular target of their hate-speech.
He’s been demonised and dehumanised so relentlessly, it’s no surprise that fringe activists would think he deserves extreme reprisals.
Greens MP Adam Bandt, for instance, last week denounced Shelton as a “bigot”.
Bernard Keane, of Crikey, vilified him as a “creep” and “nauseating piece of filth” who was “obsessed with sex”. ABC commentator Paul Bongiorno called people like him “Neanderthals”.
Fairfax columnist John Birmingham, while not mentioning Shelton by name, accused opponents of same-sex marriage as “a sweating pig circus of morons and bigots”, and Labor leader Bill Shorten claimed they could hound young gays to suicide.
This ruthless attack on the character of people like Shelton — and attacks now on even their freedom to meet — is a warning of what will come once same-sex marriage becomes law.
Already a Greens candidate has dragged a Catholic archbishop to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission for defending traditional marriage.
What next? Will priests be punished for refusing to conduct gay marriage ceremonies? Will defending traditional marriage be made illegal?
Indeed, Channel 7 and Channel 9 have already refused to run a commercial defending traditional marriage, and now Labor and the Greens even insist the public must not be asked to voice its own opinion, either.
Both parties, along with Nick Xenophon’s, are fiercely opposed to the Turnbull Government’s plan to ask Australians in a plebiscite whether to allow same-sex marriage.
This means the plebiscite will not only be blocked by the Senate but will die to the cheers of most journalists, despite it being an election promise made by the government and supported in polls by most Australians.
Here we have the seeds of a soft tyranny — a soft fascism. Big Media, Big Politics, Big Government and Big Activism in a conspiracy to deny Australian citizens the right to decide themselves this critical issue.
And see how these neo-fascists put their case: not with sweet reason, but with threats and the law, backed with lies, false promises and parliamentary tricks.
Is this how this country is to be run? Well, yes — particularly if Turnbull now gives in to temptation.
Turnbull is a big supporter of same-sex marriage. He is also very proud, some say arrogant, and would hate being mocked as a puppet of his party’s conservatives.
He will want to assert himself against those conservatives — against people like Tony Abbott — and to be a hero again of the Left.
Now, here is his big chance.
Yes, he did promise to stick with Abbott’s plan to let the public, not the politicians, decide whether to allow same-sex marriage.
But note carefully: he now refuses to say what he’ll do once the Senate blocks that plebiscite.
Why does Turnbull keep refusing to say the choice is clear — that it’s a public vote on same-sex marriage or it’s nothing? No same-sex marriage for at least the next three years?
Surely, that would add to the pressure on Labor to give in?
Conservative MPs are finally waking up to the threat: Turnbull is clearly leaving himself room to cut a deal with Labor to have a vote on same-sex marriage.
In fact, Turnbull, cocky after cutting a compromise deal on his superannuation changes, on Friday let slip that he could now compromise on same-sex marriage changes, too. “We may have to negotiate on all of these matters,” he told 3AW.
And he could do this and triumph.
Here’s how. First, Turnbull would tell his Cabinet after his plebiscite is defeated that the Liberals must deliver this important social “reform” of same-sex marriage or risk looking weak.
Cabinet could then narrowly vote for same-sex marriage — a decision that will bind all the ministers.
With those votes locked in, Turnbull could then win a vote of his party room as well, and then a vote of parliament.
All this will be cheered ecstatically by the media, especially the ABC. Turnbull will forever be the hero of the Left, no matter what happens next.
What happens next, of course, could be the splitting of the Liberal Party, but would Turnbull care?
If he’s defeated, he’d still quit a happy man, lionised by the Left. If he survives, he’s even happier.
And his opponents? Well, let them complain — while it’s still legal.
Let them hold a rally — if the mobs will let them.
Let them meet — if any hotel dares take their booking.
And as for you, the voters, who cares what you think?
The new class rules, and Turnbull will be their hero.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.