Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Political correctness largely self-defeating
In this postmodern, politically correct, post-truth, post-Trump age, we are encouraged to forget facts, ideas and arguments, and just speculate on identity and motives. So I guess I’m the token white, middle-aged, heterosexual, right-of-centre, cisgendered male in this debate.
The question tonight is not whether I am politically correct or you support political correctness, but whether political correctness has failed itself.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and I contend the answer is unambiguously in the affirmative. Political correctness exists to shape our thoughts; as George Orwell explained in detail, control language and you control thought. But it is failing. Dissent is rudely breaking through.
The agenda of political correctness is that of the left — the green left, the socially progressive left, the virtue-signalling left. The politically correct pretend gender away, reducing heterosexuality to just one of a suite of options; they want us all to pretend we are saving the planet; they’d like to eliminate borders and nationality; and they decry organised religion — well, organised Christian religion.
But in all these areas the more the PC mob imposes strictures through universities, bureaucracies and the media-political class, the more the mainstream resists. The primacy of sovereignty is reclaimed by the masses through Brexit, European politics and the rise of Donald Trump. Climate gestures are under attack and the Paris Agreement seems increasingly likely to be ignored. It has been Trumped.
Intolerant anti-Muslim parties are on the march in Europe and Australia, and walls and bans figured prominently in Trump’s ascendancy. Not only is this happening despite a regime of political correctness in liberal democracies, it is largely a backlash against political correctness. “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct,” said candidate Trump — he was that blatant.
So, too, is resurrected renegade Australian politician Pauline Hanson, who runs anti-Muslim and anti-immigration lines. “The problem is,” Hanson says, “we have not had leaders with the foresight or intestinal fortitude to cast aside political correctness.”
If political correctness aided the rise of Trump and Hanson — or indeed the success of Brexit or Marine Le Pen — it has failed itself. It has provided a springboard for all that it despises.
The moral, ideological and political cowardice of centre-left and centre-right parties in the face of the politically correct thought police has created an extreme backlash. This happens because political correctness has become an absurdity; a perversity. Instead of railing against indigenous dysfunction and disadvantage, it attacks a cartoonist; instead of saving rivers, it attacks coal companies; it boycotts a beer to shut down debate on gay marriage. Political correctness has divorced the media-political class from the mainstream, creating a chasm between political posturing and common sense.
It is worse than you think. When a radicalised Muslim cleric pulled a gun, said he had a bomb and took 17 people hostage in a cafe near here — claiming allegiance to Islamic State — the politically correct started a social media campaign trumpeting care and solidarity, not for the hostages but for Muslims on public transport. The “I’ll ride with you” hashtag started when a former Greens candidate in Brisbane tweeted about a fabricated incident on a train — this was virtue-signalling to combat an anti-Muslim backlash that never happened. The media loved it; one ABC presenter said it was the only “bright spot” of the siege. Imagine that: a “bright spot” in a terror attack.
Real people held at gunpoint — two innocents were later killed — while the Twitter PC brigade pretended mainstream Australians and Islamophobia were the real threat. And it was all fake.
At the inquest we learned that while police waited, preferring not to launch an operation against the terrorist, they did launch Operation Hammerhead, which put police on the streets to protect Muslims from this imaginary backlash. This is political correctness gone mad.
Politicians often talk in riddles to avoid mention of Islamism; in response to jihadist terrorism Barack Obama held a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. People see this weakness and vote for the hardliners who at least recognise a serious threat. Political correctness fails itself.
Let’s look at feminism. Confronted by the subjugation of some Muslim women — sequestered under the burka or subjected to female genital mutilation and forced child marriages — the politically correct don’t protest but don scarfs to show solidarity. Again, that’s a fail.
On border protection the politically correct campaigned against tough laws and got their wish in Australia in 2008. This restarted the evil people-smuggling trade, saw at least 1200 drown, tens of thousands go into detention and left those who couldn’t afford a people-smuggler stranded in camps, sliding further back in the queue. Fail.
The politically correct want gay marriage but didn’t like Australian voters having a say, so they campaigned against a plebiscite; if not for the PC brigade gay marriage would be legal. Fail.
The politically correct believe it is more important to display moral superiority than confront reality and get things done. The evidence is all around us: political correctness has failed itself. But of course practitioners, such as our opponents, can’t admit that — because that would be politically incorrect.
Our teens are out of control. Why? Because parents are too weak
Among parents of teens, talk has been of nothing else this week. A 15-year-old boy allegedly filming another 15-year-old boy allegedly raping a girl who had passed out drunk. Apparently she wasn't aware of what had happened until video emerged of the attack.
Cranbrook student charged with aggravated sexual assault
The response has been predictable: shock, horror, revulsion, fear, incredulity and blame.
The fact is teenage girls are being sexually assaulted every weekend at parties, according to drug and alcohol campaigner Paul Dillon.
"It literally happens every single weekend and the saddest part is that girls very rarely report it because they think it's part of the alcohol experience," he told me this week.
"I can't tell you the number of girls who've told me they've blacked out and only found out there's been a guy on top of them or having sex with them when they've been shown a photograph."
Consent, alcohol, morality, social media - all are at the heart of this growing social problem but the issue none of us are willing to discuss is this: parental meekness.
Parents have become like mice, scurrying around trying to keep their children happy yet willing to disappear into a hole when their lion-like teens demand it. "Can I have a party?" inquires the teen. "There's 80 people coming. Some will sleepover. Don't worry about food. Oh, and can you and Dad stay upstairs all night?"
And what do parents say? "Well, OK, but make sure things don't get out of hand."
But things do get "out of hand" because, as Paul Dillon tells me, in teenage brains the desire for reward outweighs the sense of risk.
We talk about parental neglect in Aboriginal communities and yet in metropolitan suburbs all over the country parents - including the wealthiest - are turning a blind eye to what their kids are doing. Dillon tells me about the rise of the "mixed sleepover"; of parents hiring security guards for a party then thinking they can go out themselves; of a teenager being encouraged to drink by her parent even though she doesn't want to.
He tells me of an incident he couldn't believe "didn't make the papers". A 13-year-old girl had 20 friends to stay for a sleepover and the parents went out to the movies. Apparently they came home to find an ambulance in their driveway and other parents in uproar because one of the kids had slipped over and badly smashed her head on the concrete. Fortunately the girls had the wherewithal to contact emergency services.
Another mum contacted him, beside herself after her daughter had been sexually assaulted at a mixed 14th birthday sleepover.
"The mum had dutifully rung the parents to check they would be home, how many kids would be staying and to leave her contact number. The one question she'd neglected to ask was if boys would be staying. Her daughter had woken in the night to find herself being sexually assaulted. She was mortified so said nothing until she got home."
When I was a teen parents were a tribe. They'd call each other and if one said "no" they'd all say "no". Nobody gave their own teen alcohol let alone anyone else's. And no one let school-age boyfriends or girlfriends sleepover.
On one occasion when I wasn't home at 11pm, aged 16, my Dad drove over to my boyfriend's house where we were standing outside kissing. He shone the car lights on us, yelled at me to get home and told me I was grounded for a fortnight.
Now, as a mother of two girls aged 16 and 13, I - along with my friends - are dealing most weekends with parties, sleepovers, alcohol, and how to keep our kids safe. A friend who had a successful 15th party for her son - no alcohol, everyone checked off at the door, all bags locked in the spare bedroom, extra parents for security, and a finish time of 10.30pm, told me she recently agreed to a small "gatho" a year later.
Big mistake. There were only 15 kids but some brought alcohol, a couple disappeared into a bedroom and, monitoring alone, she spent the evening feeling as if she barely had control.
As Dillon, who heads up Drug and Alcohol Training Australia (DARTA) tells me: "A trained publican finds it difficult to effectively monitor a room full of drinkers so how can parents expect to control 40, 60 or 80 teens when alcohol is tolerated."
Dillon advises making it as "bloody difficult as humanly possible" for teens to drink. If you won't supply alcohol or let them drink at home and they threaten to go and drink in the park, don't cave. As he says, most won't.
Likewise, I believe parents need to lose our meekness and work together like the mafia. We have the mature brains so we make the rules. We need to monitor, to shine torches into the dark recesses of the garden, to tell groping teens to cut it out, to alert the parents if a teen we've collected from a party is drunk.
We need to be there as a deterrent and a sounding board. We need to have each other's backs as we strive to teach kids to protect their own.
Beware the barge of bullies trumpeting diversity
There is only one upside from the recent attacks and unprecedented abuse directed at an academic and the directors of Christian organisations: people are beginning to wake up and take notice. They are starting to understand that the campaign for same-sex marriage is not sailing on a raft of rainbows but on a barge of bullies.
Last week there was the IBM executive whose position was questioned because he was a director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute. He was the subject of attack in his previous employment as well.
Then there was the Christian academic who had not even entered the same-sex marriage debate, whose university was pressured over his employment which, it was claimed, conflicted with its membership in the so-called Pride in Diversity campaign. What kind of diversity is so monochrome that it does not allow differing expressions of opinion in the debate?
Not only has this minority view tried to swamp the public debate with its introspective, authoritarian denial of free speech, it has struck at the heart of Australian democracy and the freedoms that we all cherish.
This narrow-minded, freedom-restricting carping is what the same-sex marriage campaign has come to. At the beginning, the promise seemed to be innocent enough — change one word in the marriage legislation and there would be equality for all. Now, as people start to digest the magnitude of such a social change and the ramifications that would follow for families and the rest of the community when marriage is cut adrift from the significance of gender distinctiveness (the Safe Schools Coalition program is only one of these side effects), other voices are starting to speak up.
But, just as quickly, they are shut down in the name of diversity. I was one of the Christian leaders who convened a meeting of church leaders in Sydney last year, to be held at the Mercure Hotel. No sooner had we set the venue than staff were subjected to an ugly campaign of harassment and threats.
For the safety of staff and guests, the hotel cancelled the booking. Were we not harangued by political leaders opposed to a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, that such a debate would incite hate speech from those defending the traditional definition of marriage? Yet this has not happened. On the contrary, it is those who have been frustrated by the government’s determination to adhere to its election policy to allow the citizens to have their say who have taken the opportunity to harangue, marginalise and ostracise those who do not support a society where gender is interchangeable.
Catholic Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous was taken to the brink in Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal for espousing views on marriage that accord with Australian law, let alone being the view of his church, as well as all churches and that which civilisations have held for millennia. The avant-garde opponents of these time-honoured mores had hoped to silence him.
What kind of a society calls someone before a tribunal because they are defending the law of the land? What kind of state legislation allows such a travesty of justice to occur? Has our society been that deprived of common sense and love of freedom that a carefully articulated defence of commonwealth legislation can be deemed offensive merely because someone wants the law changed and is offended because their views are at odds with the current law?
It was revealed this week that the real fear on this issue is not “homophobia”, which has become a slur against those who hold a different view from this regressive minority, but “plebiphobia”, fear of the people: the fear that a popular vote may be lost.
Now the corporate world has been press-ganged into that same cause. It is a regrettable state of affairs that executives of some the large public companies have been too weak-kneed to resist the attacks of a strident minority via social media platforms. The way it has been presented is “diversity”.
Just a quick look through the diversity policies of the companies that wrote to the Prime Minister on same-sex marriage recently shows focus on gender, cultural background, disability and sexual orientation. Spot the gap: faith. Such a large part of the lives of millions in our multi-faith country is nowhere to be seen.
This contrasts sharply with the US. In a 2015 survey, 36 per cent of US workers reported experiencing or witnessing workplace religious discrimination. In response, many US companies have signed up to the Corporate Pledge in Support of Freedom of Religion or Belief.
In what kind of “diversity” do we as Australians really believe? I want to live in a land that respects the individual, that allows freedom of expression and freedom of faith. I want to be able to be free to convince my fellow Australians that Jesus Christ is Lord of all creation and that true freedom is only to be found in him. I also want to live in a land where others can contradict my views and espouse their own beliefs without fear of persecution or intimidation. That is true diversity. That is true freedom of speech and freedom of religion of which we ought to be justly proud and that I would happily defend with my life.
Greenies using paid protesters for anti-Adani campaign
THE Adani coal mine is already creating an employment boom – but for “professional protesters” based in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Stop Adani campaign is the latest green group to hire employees or contractors as part of a campaign to block the $21 billion central Queensland coal mine, which is expected to create thousands of jobs.
The group is advertising for a “digital ninja” and “basic-level meme-slinger” to be paid up to $65,000 for working fulltime on the campaign against “their dirty coal mine (which) is the fight of our times”, to be based in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, according to the ad.
It follows US-backed 350.org hiring professional protesters in Sydney and Melbourne.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan said “online inner-city activists” needed a reality check. “Here we go again, with professional protesters wanting to trample on jobs for regional Queenslanders,” he said.
“It’s a bit rich for a so-called ‘digital ninja’ to attempt to manufacture opposition to resources jobs in regional Queensland, all from the comfort of a Sydney office.”
He said eight regional mayors representing 500,000 people travelled to India last month to encourage the Adani board to sign off on the mine.
Despite the advertisement, Stop Adani Alliance spokesman Peter McCallum said the organisation had no paid fulltime or part-time employees. “This position is for a consultant, paid for by the Alliance,” he said.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here