Tim Wilson was a longstanding member of the Liberal Party, but his principal role in public affairs has been as a policy director of the IPA, Australia’s oldest and, in the view of many, most influential political think tank which earlier this year celebrated its 70th anniversary. It is, in a sense, Australia’s original human rights organisation, since its raison d’etre is to defend freedom – the most fundamental of all the human rights.
More often than not, Wilson has taken a position in opposition to that of the Liberal Party. The list is long, but it includes issues as various as industry assistance, public broadcasting, renewable energy targets, tobacco packaging, industrial relations policy, health insurance, bikie laws and gay marriage, to name but a few.
To describe a person who has been an articulate public opponent of the Liberal Party on so many of the issues which have defined the politics of recent years as a Liberal Party “partisan” seems to me, with all due respect to van Onselen, to be absurd.
George Brandis has come a long, long way in the past two years. To my mind the poor behaviour on the part of the left has played a huge role in Brandis’ evolution. As he writes today:
But some things never change, like the reaction of the claque of bilious pseudo-intellectuals who constitute what passes for a left-wing commentariat in this country. Mike Carlton, Catherine Deveney, Van Badham and their ilk were nothing if not boorishly predictable.
They and their followers unleashed a storm of hatred and bile against Wilson on social media, the like of which I have never seen. The irony that these people pose as the enemies of “hate speech” was lost on them, if not on others.
Hopefully he colleagues will come to the same realisation that Brandis has come to.