Flashback – George Brandis, racism, hate speech, and my letter to Ken Wyatt MP

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Politics

Whilst many in the Liberal Party duck and dive for cover, George Brandis continues to push for his changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

There has been an outstanding lack of debate on this issue, it seems to be universally opposed. We have heard of those within the Federal Caucus wanting to distance themselves from Brandis’s talk of people having a right to be bigots.

Here in NSW even Premier Barry O’Farrell came out condemning Brandis’s grand plan.

I thought it may be appropriate with all of the seemingly universal condemnation being dumped at Brandis’s feet for a flashback to an open letter I sent to Liberal MP Ken Wyatt on the matter back on June 4th last year.

Despite sending this to Ken Wyatt’s electoral office I did not recieve any form of response.

However according to recent reports there have been suggestions that this is an issue that may see Ken Wyatt cross the floor. I would certainly hope so.

There has been talk of a watered down amendment with talk of Brandis getting the “balance right”.

If Brandis was that keen to get the balance right, he would leave the Racial Discrimination act alone as hate speech is wrong no matter who is putting it out there.

We cannot stop people being racists just as we cannot stop people from being murderers, however we can ensure that victims have justice available to them through the legal system and are protected through legislation. Any attempt to change this should be seen for what it is, an encouragement of criminal behaviour.

I hope Australia wakes up to itself before it’s too late.

Anyway, here is my letter to Ken Wyatt from last year.

 

4th June 2013

Dear Mr Wyatt,

Firstly Ken, I’d like to congratulate you on the wonderful example that you have set for other Indigenous Australians. You will go down in history as the first indigenous Australian to hold a seat Federal Parliament’s House Of Representatives.

You can hold your head high and join the elite club started by the country’s first Indigenous Australian MP the great Linda Burney, currently Deputy Leader of the Labor Party in NSW.

I would also like to congratulate you on having the good sense to not take a partisan approach, and having the decency and good judgement to thank the Labor Government and in particular Kevin Rudd for the apology to the stolen generation that your parties former leader, John Howard had refused to offer for the previous 13 years. I note Howard’s refusal to do the decent thing was backed by his front bench and caucus, many of whom are still there now, including your party’s leader Tony Abbott, Deputy Leader Julie Bishop, and your parties entire front bench.

It is that decency and good judgement I wish to appeal to now.

Ken Wyatt outside Parliament

Ken Wyatt outside Parliament

I can understand why you joined the Liberal Party back when they were a party with a bit of integrity, not the “Party of slogans aimed at bogans” that they have become now.

Back when you joined the Party I’m sure they were thought of as the financially responsible Party.

Currently they are financially crippled, starting with an estimated $70 Billion black hole before they even really start having to explain costings for policies they have yet to announce. In fact, such a good job is being done that the accounting firm that provided the Parties costings which were audited last election were charged and fined by the industry watchdog.

I believe that it was the first and only time in Australia’s history that someone has been charged and fines handed down for a major political party’s attempts to deceive the public with dodgy figures.

Damn those industry watchdogs...

Damn those industry watchdogs…

It could be you joined the Party because they were considered the Party who looks after small business. That is a distant memory as it is now all about supporting big business as those on the big end of town crush and absorb small business.

Maybe because you are from Western Australia you support the Party’s stand for the big miners. Not wanting to put a further tax burden on the mining industry.

I guess that would be fair enough, although your Party seems more than happy to up the royalty rates at state level. Add to that your Party’s parental leave policy which will also add 1.5% to the miners company tax rate, representing an increase in tax of 5% for them and it seems your party is intent on a mineral resource tax, just by a different name.

It is however your leader Tony Abbott’s attitudes towards discrimination that I find the most worrying, and I am sure it must have also been a concern for you from time to time.

Firstly I’m sure that when applying for the role of Parliamentary Secretary to a Party’s leader I’m sure there is quite a bit of scrutiny, a lot of questions asked, and a substantial amount of character assessment that goes into any appointment. I know that the Labor Party certainly view it that way.

This calls into question Tony Abbott’s judgement in appointing Cory Bernardi as his former Parliamentary Secretary. Cory Bernardi is a man who although best known for his comments on same-sex marriage leading to bestiality, is also well known as a promoter of racial and religious intolerance. This is the man who was to promote the Australian tour of the European politician Geert Wilders, promoter of hatred and an influential person in the life of Anders Breivik, who massacred 77 people, many of them children, in Norway in 2011.

The excuse that Geert Wilders is an elected politician is a lame one, Adolf Hitler was an elected politician. Would Bernardi and other Liberal Party members feel the same way if it were the leader of Hamas coming to town?

Geert Wilders not looking happy, maybe its the cold-sore...

Geert Wilders not looking happy, maybe its the cold-sore…

On its own I thought this would raise question marks on Abbott’s judgement and stance on racism. Evidently not…

Then at a Qantas function on 18th April a fellow by the name of Mark Roberts made the gesture of cutting his throat at Andrew Penfold , Chief Executive of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. Mark Roberts was Tony Abbott’s Policy Director, isn’t that heartening?

The man Tony Abbott hired as his lead policy advisor seems to have as much respect on racial matters as his former Parliamentary Secretary Bernardi.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to detect a pattern…

However what startles me the most is Tony Abbott’s promise to his cheerleader and hate-peddler pal Andrew Bolt to repeal a section of the Racial Discrimination Act should he win this September.

Andrew Bolt as I’m sure you would remember lost his case in Federal Court in September 2011, where it was found that he breached the racial discrimination act. This was due to two articles that he had written that were published in 2009 and caused widespread offense throughout indigenous communities around the country.

Andrew Bolt always treats racism seriously

Andrew Bolt always treats racism seriously

It is one thing to have racist friends and appoint them to senior positions within government, it is quite another to actually tamper with the Racial Discrimination Act.

My question to you is why in the light of this why you have not chosen to run as an Independent rather than an endorsed member of the party that looks to set racial harmony back 30 odd years?

Racial Discrimination Laws? Not for long...

Racial Discrimination Laws? Not for long…

If you are unwilling to become an independent, would you consider backing the Attorney General Mark Dreyfus in his call to Tony Abbott not to alter the Racial Discrimination Act?

I hope this much you would consider.

The vast majority of the country supported the apology made on the 13th Feb 2008 whole-heartedly.

My fear is that after an Abbott led government, the next Federal  Labor Government will have to make another one.

I know you wouldn’t want to be part of the Party responsible for that.

Yours Sincerely

Peter Wicks

Like Wixxyleaks on Facebook here

Like Wixxyleaks on Facebook here

Comments
  1. M-R says:

    Erhmm … Wixxy … I think I can maybe understand why Wyatt didn’t reply: he would’ve without doubt found himself in deep shit if he’d said anything other than “your letter has been received”. And where would that have got you?
    For all you know, it now lives in his breast pocket ! 🙂

  2. sue says:

    I doubt Wyatt would cross the floor he is a politician, a politician who stood beside Abbott in front of those Ditch the Witch signs. Never heard Wyatt offer an apology to Aus female PM.

  3. John Ward says:

    Another great contribution. These matters must be raised even if the message is sent to the waste bin.
    I want you to keep up the good fight. I am a big admirer of your talent and would like to see you in parliament at some stage.
    However, your contribution as a journalist in the true sense of keeping a journal, is making a focussed contribution that is politicizing a new generation.
    Lets hope there is a chance to have the mags like the monthly or an overseas newspaper will take up your contributions. Malaysian or Indonesian?

    Your letter reminded me of the reporting of Milton Mayer when he wrote the following, attempting to explain how the Fascists lulled the population into a state of accepting change by gradualism.

    An excerpt from They Thought They Were Free – The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer.

    The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?
    To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

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