So this morning Chris Mitchell finally woke up to the intolerance on the left.
While intimidation of Australia’s politicians falls far short of anti-Trump hysteria, there is among students, artists, journalists and political activists an increasing intolerance here, too.
I particularly enjoyed this bit:
Julia Baird, part-time host of The Drum, used her column in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 28 to call out social media intimidation she was receiving for supposedly privileging panellists from the Institute of Public Affairs. Baird said the show had included only three IPA appearances this year, two by the same person.*
Now the IPA, even though supported by big businesses and Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, is not the Ku Klux Klan. It was founded in 1943 by Charles Denton Kemp, father of Howard government ministers Rod and David Kemp. Although associated with free-market economic policies in recent decades, it was very much a Keynesian institution until the early 70s.
Wrote Baird: “The art of persuasion has been thoroughly trounced by polemic in public debate. Online, in comments sections, in staccato bursts of hate and attack, in the citing of feelings over facts, we see people shoving pillows over divergent views and trying to stop them being aired at all.”
She complained about the Twitter campaign to silence the IPA on The Drum. Just exactly what are Twitter’s twits afraid of? On subjects from migration to power prices, climate change and taxation reform, many on the uneducated Twitter Left would benefit from hearing well-argued conservative views. They might even learn why voters around the world disagree with most social media pieties.
Mind you – it’s not just “the uneducated Twitter Left”. His own The Australian colleague James Jeffery had this to say on twitter about Chris and my book on the ABC:
Has… has the IPA put one of the Bananas in an oven pic.twitter.com/g7LLHZK2sO
— James Jeffrey (@James_Jeffrey) June 12, 2018
He then repeated that obscenity in the paper the next day:
We’re a bit late to this, but the Institute for Public Affairs has a fresh book out arguing for the privatisation of the ABC. Titled Against Public Broadcasting, its cover features an image of one of the Bananas in its distinctive pyjamas. In an oven. It’s a, ah, striking design choice.
Mind you – as we’ve been telling everyone – including The Australian, although they have refused to print our letter correcting the error – Chris and I are at RMIT and our book is not an IPA book.
In the interests of full disclosure I reproducing the letter we wrote in response to error on the part of Gerard Henderson:
It is most kind of Gerard Henderson to acknowledge that the ABC has been very concerned about our recent book Against Public Broadcasting: Why We Should Privatise the ABC and How to Do It. Not so kind to suggest that ours is a straw man argument – the ABC certainly doesn’t think so.
What is quite wrong, however, is Henderson’s statement that our book was published by the Institute of Public Affairs. If Henderson had bothered to read our book before dismissing it, he would know that it is published by Connor Court.
*Strictly speaking this isn’t quite true. Daniel Wild of the IPA appeared twice on The Drum and Dr Chris Berg of RMIT appeared once on The Drum.