David Leyonhjelm on S18C and changing our culture

When Labor, the Greens and certain Liberals in western Sydney seats seek to explain their reasons for opposing changes to S18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, they mostly refer to the concerns of ethnic, religious and racial minority groups.

Representatives of Armenian, Hellenic, Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese groups have joined Jewish, Lebanese Muslim and Arab groups to oppose any changes apart from procedural, arguing that amending section 18C will unleash a torrent of ‘hate speech’.

While we occasionally hear half-hearted claims that minorities require special protection from hurt feelings, the main driver of opposition is the political clout of these groups. A dozen or so seats are held on margins smaller than the populations of these groups. And in the recent WA state election, certain Muslim leaders openly endorsed the Greens.

The debate over S18C is much greater than free speech. It is in fact a fight for the votes of people who have different values from those of traditional Australia. Instead of embracing the values of their adopted country, these ethnic, religious and immigrant representatives want Australia to become more like the countries they left behind.

Australia has a deeply rooted tradition of freedom in which free speech is central. Our legal and cultural origins lie in Britain, where the primacy of individuals over collectivism first took root. The same values led the United States to make free speech the first amendment in its Bill of Rights.

Australia has been a leading supporter of free speech internationally. It was a founding member of the United Nations under the leadership of former Labor Minister Dr Evatt, who became President of the UN General Assembly and was instrumental in drafting and having adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 19 of the Declaration states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Freedom of association, worship and movement, freedom from arbitrary arrest, equality before the law and free speech are generally regarded as the bedrock of a free society. On top of these, Australia has embraced equality and respect, irrespective of gender or personal attributes, and rejected claims of inherited status and class.

These values are not necessarily shared by those who come to Australia. Certain Armenians accuse Turkey of genocide but want to suppress its response; Greeks can have issues with Turks and Macedonians; Indians can be racist when it comes to West Indian cricketers but are sensitive to the same speech themselves; those from Arabic and Lebanese Muslim cultures can hold abhorrent views about women and gays and resolve matters of feelings and honour through violence; and many Jews want to suppress Holocaust denialism.

After the Second World War, immigrants who arrived in Australia either abandoned their historic grievances or chose not to share them with others. Millions of post-war immigrants from dozens of countries integrated, assimilated, and did their best to become true-blue Aussies. For their part, Australians welcomed these immigrants as “New Australians” and embraced their food, music and dance.

The fact that leaders of immigrant, ethnic and religious groups are now flexing their political muscle in pursuit of different values is a major concern. Not only does it threaten traditional liberal values, it fuels opposition to immigration among the general community and gives credence to demands to block certain types of immigrants.

Australia cannot afford this; its economic growth depends on a substantial flow of skilled immigrants. (Family reunion immigrants are less beneficial). It would cost us dearly if we were to close our borders to the talents and expertise that immigration delivers.

Other countries have addressed this problem by raising the bar on citizenship. Switzerland, for example, has a relatively relaxed attitude to immigrants provided they find a job. However, becoming a Swiss citizen and eligible to vote in elections requires ten years of residence, no criminal record, a solid employment history and endorsement by the applicant’s Canton (equivalent to state/local government). In practical terms, unless they have embraced “Swiss values”, they do not become citizens.

Opposition to changes to S18C is a wakeup call. Australia’s traditional liberal values are under siege like never before. With one side of politics already in full retreat, it is vital the other side steps up to protect those values before it is too late.

David Leyonhjelm is a Senator for the Liberal Democrats

This entry was posted in Australian Story, Freedom of speech, Guest Post. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to David Leyonhjelm on S18C and changing our culture

  1. TheDAwg

    This nonsense from the scumbag who wants to allow anyone into the country as long as they “buy” a visa.

    Pooooooo…leaaaaaase!

    You sanctimonious attention seeking non-entity!

  2. Pickles

    Sometimes you go on with a lot of rot Senator, but not this time. Keep poking about in this abscess and telling a few more idiots to fuck off. This is where it’s at not that gay marriage rubbish.

  3. You should start by actually talking to Australians in the ‘middle’, like Trump did, not just pontificating on blogs. Essays get one no where, action usually does.

  4. CameronH

    Change of heart from the old Libertarian open borders all welcome stance.

    It is good to see the understanding that politics is downstream of culture taking hold. Multiculturalism will end up with the destruction of our nation if it allowed to continue.

    We should also make sure only people who are culturally compatible should be allowed to settle here.

  5. .

    Well said.

    “Freedom of association, worship and movement, freedom from arbitrary arrest, equality before the law and free speech are generally regarded as the bedrock of a free society. On top of these, Australia has embraced equality and respect, irrespective of gender or personal attributes, and rejected claims of inherited status and class.”

    Pretty hard to have a whinge about that.

  6. A Lurker

    Divide and conquer.

  7. Stimpson J. Cat

    Australia cannot afford this; its economic growth depends on a substantial flow of skilled immigrants.

    Does it really?
    Economic growth cannot come without skilled immigration?
    Prove it to an uneducated mentally ill Australian like myself please.
    In your own time.

  8. jupes

    The debate over S18C is much greater than free speech. It is in fact a fight for the votes of people who have different values from those of traditional Australia. Instead of embracing the values of their adopted country, these ethnic, religious and immigrant representatives want Australia to become more like the countries they left behind.

    This is true. Yet PHON is the only party in parliament that would stop Muslim immigration.

    What is the point of complaining about “people who have different values from those of traditional Australia” when you want more of them to come here?

  9. Mark A

    Stimpson J. Cat
    #2344376, posted on April 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Australia cannot afford this; its economic growth depends on a substantial flow of skilled immigrants.

    Does it really?
    Economic growth cannot come without skilled immigration?
    Prove it to an uneducated mentally ill Australian like myself please.
    In your own time.

    Stimp spot on,
    spewing rubbish like that only reinforces my view of politicians.
    Like importing 200 000 ME with no proven skills or a job to go is going to improve our economic situation.

    And at the same time White European and English would be immigrants have to wait years if they ever get in.

    Something is not right.

  10. stackja

    ALP/Greens want a compliant Australia.

  11. Australia cannot afford this; its economic growth depends on a substantial flow of skilled immigrants. (Family reunion immigrants are less beneficial). It would cost us dearly if we were to close our borders to the talents and expertise that immigration delivers.

    And why are we importing vast voteherds? Because our fertility rates have been stuffed since the 70s due to gender equality policies.

    Addressing the real issue would be nice even if it takes 20 years to filter through, otherwise we are stuffed, Indians and Chinese will fight over what remains of Australia we once knew.

  12. Tel

    And why are we importing vast voteherds? Because our fertility rates have been stuffed since the 70s due to gender equality policies.

    The same Greens who demand a “sustainable” population in Australia (i.e. nett zero growth) also demand a large stream of third world immigrants who (for both religious and cultural reasons) tend to have large families as well as greater than average dependence on government. It’s a total scam, the only way to fulfill both requirements is for the existing Australian families to slowly die out…

    Which is what’s happening mainly because we are being taxed into oblivion if we do work, or those who can’t easily find work are held in perpetual poverty by unions and all sorts of industrial restrictions, minimum wage, regulation up the whazoo to ensure they never find work. It’s no wonder our fertility rates are stuffed when you need to people working full time up to age 50 before they can even afford a house.

  13. .

    Which is what’s happening mainly because we are being taxed into oblivion if we do work, or those who can’t easily find work are held in perpetual poverty by unions and all sorts of industrial restrictions, minimum wage, regulation up the whazoo to ensure they never find work. It’s no wonder our fertility rates are stuffed when you need to people working full time up to age 50 before they can even afford a house.

    I’m inclined to think Ehrlich and other Malthusians won by stealth. We’ve put a cap on human potential.

  14. Empire GTHO Phase III

    This nonsense from the scumbag who wants to allow anyone into the country as long as they “buy” a visa.

    Pooooooo…leaaaaaase!

    You sanctimonious attention seeking non-entity!

    Compelling argument. You should stand for office.

  15. rickw

    Australia cannot afford this; its economic growth depends on a substantial flow of skilled immigrants.

    Economic growth comes from the application of technology to the real world. Not a single fucking politician understands this. The industrial revolution and associated economic growth occurred without immigration.

    Besides, Australia specialises in the importation of unskilled goat fuckers, so the comment is also completely irrelevant to the Australian situation.

  16. Rev. Archibald

    unskilled goat fuckers,

    ..
    Surely fucking goats requires some skill?
    The height differential alone would require innovation and agility.
    Unless they are goat fucking midgets?

  17. Pyrmonter

    This thread epitomises the Cat since 2015. With the exception of Dot, are any of you remotely libertarian, or willing to describe yourselves as centre-right? Ever heard of classical liberalism or Old Whigs?

  18. Rev. Archibald

    I’m libertarian when it comes to me.
    I should be allowed to do whatever the hell I like.
    But everyone else needs strict control.

  19. Baldrick

    Excellent post by DL. Apart from him and Cory Bernardi, you could count the other defenders of free speech in parliament on one hand.

  20. Sally

    David Leyonhjelm is right and if he was fighting this battle for the hearts and minds of our young people in universities, secondary and primary schools his argument may have some value.

    But the Australia he is fighting for doesn’t exist anymore. It is gone with successive waves of migrants.

    Multiculturalism and historic values are oil and water.

    We live in a democracy that is built on majorities wedged for support by minorities.

    You can invite guests into your house as guests or you can invite them in saying “mi casa su casa”. Australia through its multicultural immigration policies has been saying the latter since the 1950s.

    If you believe in the Australian form of democracy, then like David your complaint is that the new “mi casa su casa” guest is treating Australian politics like Australians have always treated Australian politics. It is pointless to complain about our current freedom of speech laws; free speech as we knew it when I was a young girl is an anachronism in current multi-culti Australia.

    Who should we thank? Maybe Peter Cave (aka Jerzy Zubrzycki, aka father of multiculturalism) who in 1956 moved to Australia from Poland to take a place at the ANU. He later became adviser to the Whitlam, Fraser and then Howard governments to develop Australia’s multicultural policies. Some would put forward as an alternative Al Grassby. The difference between the two, Jerzy Zubrzycki a behind the scene bureaucrat and Al Grassby an elected member to parliament.

    No matter.

    While David’s post is full of pleasing arguments for free speech advocates, the reality seems, that David is fighting the result not the cause.

  21. .

    The intended result is the cause – and totally worthy to fight for.

  22. Baldrick

    While David’s post is full of pleasing arguments for free speech advocates, the reality seems, that David is fighting the result not the cause.

    What a load of tosh. DL is defending one of the primary principles of a democracy – freedom of speech.

  23. .

    Multiculturalism and historic values are oil and water.

    I bet you’ve read an obscure novel with a similar quote.

  24. Stimpson J. Cat

    As I thought.
    No response.
    Stick to dedicated flare zones at the soccer and singing Christmas carols in parliament if you can’t even prove
    ME wrong.

  25. Sally

    What a load of tosh. DL is defending one of the primary principles of a democracy – freedom of speech.

    Very amusing.

    Actually I like the load of tosh statement. I can see where you believe that democracy that agrees with you is democracy. Unfortunately democracy is, as it plays out.

    At the moment it plays out that free speech appears to be an anathema to minorities that our democracy gives power to. These people vote and have rights to vote, Baldrick, would you have their rights removed?

    While you read a supposedly conservative blog Baldrick, you do sound like an American democrat. lol

    I bet you’ve read an obscure novel with a similar quote.

    That is not an argument. Tending toward the ad hominem, in fact. Ahhhh! Another American democrat shows him/her self.

    If I ever did read it I cannot remember, no matter my democrat crybaby friend.

    The question is is it appropriate to the circumstance that the Australian democratic system along with multiculturalism leads to interesting and unpredictable outcomes.

    In the end, Peter Cave was fighting for equal opportunity for European immigrants at the time and probably never foresaw the variety of cultures that would make their home in Australia in the future.

    Perhaps he was short sighted, hmm maybe? Either way he is acknowledged by many as the father of multiculturalism.

    Many saw a different future: Enoch Powell’s speech to the Conservative Association Meeting in Birmingham on April 20 1968. Often referred to as the ‘Rivers of Blood ‘ speech.

    Enoch Powell, another elected representative was hounded out of parliament at the time.

    An interesting point of democracy Australian style is that too many laws and policies come into being from ‘good’ thinking bureaucrats who keep their jobs and elected politicians in disagreement lose their voters.

    An interesting bit of history is that Peter Cave was yet another intellectual elite (?) ECONOMIST.

    I can say it again David is right but he is fighting the wrong battle. If he decides to fight the right battle he will probably go the way of Enoch Powell.

  26. .

    That is not an argument. Tending toward the ad hominem, in fact. Ahhhh! Another American democrat shows him/her self.

    WTF are you banging on about imbecile?

    Many saw a different future: Enoch Powell’s speech to the Conservative Association Meeting in Birmingham on April 20 1968. Often referred to as the ‘Rivers of Blood ‘ speech.

    Enoch Powell, another elected representative was hounded out of parliament at the time.

    With good reason. He wasn’t hounded out, he was voted out.

    The loon reckoned the CIA killed Lord Mountbatten and consistently criticised the SAS for engagements with the IRA.

    Rivers of blood indeed.

  27. Procrustes

    Got your finger stuck on the bold button, Stimpson J Cat?

    Any other questions you want to demand answers to?

    What a self absorbed git.

  28. Sally

    WTF are you banging on about imbecile?

    At 30 June 2013, 27.7% of the estimated resident population (ERP) was born overseas (6.4 million people). This was an increase from 30 June 2012, when 27.3% of the ERP was born overseas (6.2 million people). In 2003, ten years earlier, 23.6% of the ERP were born overseas (4.7 million people).Dec 18, 2013

    Are you the free speecher that sets the standard of free speech?

    I think that free speech is the right to put an argument not the right to demonstrate your dearth of intelligence as you so aptly demonstrate.

    Continue on, you make the case for the curtailing of free speech so eloquently.

  29. Boambee John

    Zippy at 1930

    If it comes to a choice between the Muslims, Chinese and Indians, I vote Indians, then Chinese, but never Muslims.

    Stop Muslim immigration now.

  30. struth

    Australia cannot afford this; its economic growth depends on a substantial flow of skilled immigrants.

    Let’s be good world citizens and give our immigrants to Venezuela.
    If your statement is correct, it should fix their economy right up.

    Fool.

    About immigration and free speech.

    The number and type of immigrant we receive has never been a democratic situation.
    We have never voted on it.
    We were never asked about multiculturalism, yet we are expected to live by values much higher than those traitors undemocratically doing this to us (the elites) are prepared to adopt, when we get to deal with their mess.
    If you are against free speech, you deserve none of your own.
    It really is that simple.

    The second you advocate for a limit on free speech, you go against the very core values of this nation and freedom.
    Try to stop other people expressing an opinion and you cross a line.
    Many native born Australians are doing this, and we can’t toss them out, but we can through immigration, stop the groups that do not hold to this core value from coming here.
    Especially those groups willing to use violence for this purpose.
    Muslims fall into this category.
    ALL, because those that are peaceful are only peaceful because they do nothing for or against the violence UNTIL they are forced to make a choice, and history shows us they side with their overlords.
    They are just troops in waiting.
    Some of them maybe reluctant troops but troops they will be forced to be.

    People (cowards) see activism against free speech as “free speech” and that people have a right to it.
    They do not have a right to impose restrictions on others speech.
    Working against free speech is an action against another person.

    I have no problem with all the bullshit Muslims sprout.
    I have a problem when they try to stop my reply.
    Until they try to impose restrictions on me, I have no problems.

    Attempting to take free speech from others is not a free speech right.

  31. .

    Sally
    #2344850, posted on April 4, 2017 at 7:10 am
    WTF are you banging on about imbecile?

    At 30 June 2013, 27.7% of the estimated resident population (ERP) was born overseas (6.4 million people). This was an increase from 30 June 2012, when 27.3% of the ERP was born overseas (6.2 million people). In 2003, ten years earlier, 23.6% of the ERP were born overseas (4.7 million people).Dec 18, 2013

    Are you the free speecher that sets the standard of free speech?

    I think that free speech is the right to put an argument not the right to demonstrate your dearth of intelligence as you so aptly demonstrate.

    Continue on, you make the case for the curtailing of free speech so eloquently.

    You are the only person advocating for the restriction of free speech, you duplicitous clown.

  32. .

    Struth

    Federation in a way was an anti immigration movement. We voted in governments at different times to change immigration policies. We don’t have CIR so on tjose grounds, we’ve never voted for any policy, ever.

    You’re right about free speech. It is non-negotiable. It is sacred.

  33. struth

    Dot , I am always annoyed by those claiming that arguing against free speech is a free speech right.
    It is not, due to the simple fact that arguing for restrictions on other’s free speech is IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON OTHERS.

    It is the one thing you cannot do.
    You cannot argue against free speech as you are not arguing.
    The minute anyone in this country stands up against free speech, and especially if they intimidate or use violence, they should by convicted of a crime and sent to prison, in my view.

    This is NOT a denial of their free speech rights.
    It would punish their denial of others free speech rights.
    We put people in prison for traffic violations, but trying to silence free speech is OK?
    Warped, sick and dangerous.

  34. Tel

    Multiculturalism and historic values are oil and water.

    We have never really had multiculturalism in Australia, despite what you might have seen advertised.

    Go to Cabramatta, what you find there is NOT multicultural, it’s a Vietnamese community somewhat adapted to living in Australia, but mostly still Vietnamese.

    Go to Lakemba, what you find there is NOT multicultural, it’s a Lebanese Muslim community somewhat adapted to living in Australia, but mostly still Lebanese.

    Go to Chatswood, it’s not multicultural either, it’s almost all Chinese and if you can’t speak Mandarin you probably shouldn’t bother trying to get a job there.

    So what we actually have is a bunch of isolated enclaves of separate cultures under one government, with a little bit of mixing here and there at the edges, and we dishonestly call it “multiculturalism”. And the point here is that people do ENJOY living with other people who are culturally similar to themselves, and they DON’T WANT to be told to adopt someone else’s culture. It’s exactly this observation that proves the entire concept of multiculturalism has never worked, but you won’t find a politician willing to admit that openly, although I think most of them understand the situation quite well.

  35. Stimpson J. Cat

    Got your finger stuck on the bold button, Stimpson J Cat?
    Any other questions you want to demand answers to?
    What a self absorbed git.

    1. Yes.
    2. Just the one I asked will do. In your own time, Senator Leyonhjelm is obviously too busy.
    3. This is a statement and very true in regards to myself. I am constantly battling my innate grandiosity.
    🙂

  36. Procrustes

    Stimpson J Cat- “they’re” not “there”

  37. Paridell

    Go to Chatswood, it’s not multicultural either, it’s almost all Chinese and if you can’t speak Mandarin you probably shouldn’t bother trying to get a job there.

    Gosh, Tel, if Chatswood isn’t multicultural, nowhere is. The Chinese there are well integrated and generally speak native-level English (including my dentist, an honours graduate from the University of Sydney), or close to it. That is because most are from Hong Kong, and so speak English and Cantonese ahead of Mandarin. But I’ve never heard of anyone failing to get a job in Chatswood because they lacked either Cantonese or Mandarin!

  38. Sally

    Dot , I am always annoyed by those claiming that arguing against free speech is a free speech right.
    It is not, due to the simple fact that arguing for restrictions on other’s free speech is IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON OTHERS.

    Ah, but arguing for restricted free speech is a right.

    Enforcing it with or under coercion is wrong.

  39. Roger

    It would cost us dearly if we were to close our borders to the talents and expertise that immigration delivers.

    Who is suggesting that? Straw man alert!

    Migrants with talent and expertise that we lack will always be welcome, provided they are prepared to assimilate to the mainstream culture.

    What people object to is the mass importation of unskilled migrants or migrants with qualifications that are already well supplied here who do not wish to assimilate but simply add to the ethnic enclaves and strengthen the power base of ethnic community leaders and ALP politicians.

  40. Sally

    Migrants with talent and expertise that we lack will always be welcome, provided they are prepared to assimilate to the mainstream culture.

    Well said Roger.

    You are getting at the true issue.

  41. Barry 1963

    When Anglo Saxon Australians (mostly retirees) go and live in Indonesia, do they integrate?

  42. A Lurker

    When Anglo Saxon Australians (mostly retirees) go and live in Indonesia, do they integrate?

    I’ve not been to Indonesia (and plan never to go)but I’d guess probably not – but on the other hand they are bringing wealth into the Indonesian economy, and also do not go around blowing people up over there.

  43. Roger

    When Anglo Saxon Australians (mostly retirees) go and live in Indonesia, do they integrate?

    How Australians live in Bali has nothing to do with the failures of Australian multiculturalism.

  44. Helen

    “Millions of post-war immigrants from dozens of countries integrated, assimilated, and did their best to become true-blue Aussies. For their part, Australians welcomed these immigrants as “New Australians” and embraced their food, music and dance. ”

    Australians didn’t generally welcome post-war immigrants, calling them reffos, dagoes or wogs. I can remember seeing signs in shops saying ‘come here before the day goes’. The term ‘New Australian’ was introduced by a politician (Arthur Calwell) in an attempt to counter this. It took another generation and comedies such as ‘Wogs out of Work’ to undermine the negative attitudes against post-war immigrants.

    As for historic grievances, I can remember being woken in Canberra by an distant explosion in the early 70s. I thought, oh they’ve blown up Mihailovic’s statue again, and went back to sleep. It was in fact an earthquake, but an imported historic grievance was the first thing that came to mind.

  45. DM OF WA

    Another long-winded post by Leyonhelm? Automatically scroll past it!

    P.S.
    Barry 1963
    #2345172, posted on April 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    When Anglo Saxon Australians (mostly retirees) go and live in Indonesia, do they integrate?

    Do retirees even integrate in Australia? Answer: No. The old in this country are invisible.

  46. test pattern

    ‘Automatically scroll past it!’

    you mean quoll past it

  47. Stimpson J. Cat

    Stimpson J Cat- “they’re” not “there”

    What does this mean?
    So I answer your questions and you won’t answer mine?
    Getting a straight answer out of you is obviously a stretch.
    Funny that.

  48. Combine Dave

    Barry 1963
    #2345172, posted on April 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    When Anglo Saxon Australians (mostly retirees) go and live in Indonesia, do they integrate?

    Are you suggesting a moral equivalency to muslims migrating to oz?

    Given the Bali bombings are such acts now justified in Oz against muslims? #NADT

  49. Procrustes

    Stimpson J Cat, you’re a hijacker

    This thread is essentially about freedom of speech, while you’re down in the weeds about one line in Leyonhjelm’s article

    Plenty of other threads at the Cat have explored the benefits of migration

    Why do you assume anyone is at your service to answer your questions? Unless you have anything useful to say, all future correspondence from me to you will be through the medium of internet farts.

  50. Andrew

    Senator Blah

    Blah blah free speech blah blah human right blah

    TL;DR.

    Here’s the thing: Most of us agree the top 3 threats to Yuman Rites in this country is St Gillian the patron saint of disabled children.

    And when the govt got tired of her incompetence, lies, illiberal decisions, breach of her duties, conspiracy and generally insane and out of control behaviour, Brandis666 said they had lost confidence in her as Prez of the AHRC.

    They offered to find her suitable alternative employment. Which she accepted, and then conspired with the Opposition to create another political scene.

    What did our elected representative, the Sen8r for NSW, do?

    A) Adhered to the principle that public servants are required to comply with their statutory duty to act impartially, and be subject to parliamentary supervision; OR
    B) Deliver that frightful Wong chap the numbers to deliver a censure, entrench St Gillian as a protected species who could commit ANY atrocity, and set the scene for the QUT Debacle?

  51. Andrew

    Barry 1963
    #2345172, posted on April 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    When Anglo Saxon Australians (mostly retirees) go and live in Indonesia, do they integrate?

    My observation is that when Aussies retire to SE Asia, they do indeed attempt to assimilate culturally, linguistically and (often) genetically. I’ve never met a gweilo who said “I’ve lived in South Thirdworldia for 12 years, but can’t speak or read a word.”

  52. .

    Ah yes Andrew, good old censure. That would achieve what exactly?

    DL and Cory are the only people in Parliament pushing for genuine free speech. We should back them to the bloody hilt.

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