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Guest Notes

Victorian notes

8 October 2016

9:00 AM

8 October 2016

9:00 AM

High farce and monstrous hypocrisy

Earlier this year, I wrote in these pages that ‘Victorians are suffering under the most ideologically left wing government in the country…’ I warned that ‘if Andrews’ first year is anything to go by Victorians need to buckle up and brace for another bumpy few years as this chaotic mess of an administration continues to erode the proud state that was once “on the move”.’

I haven’t been far off the mark.

There is no doubt that Bill Shorten would either be in the Lodge or a lot closer to it if not for Daniel Andrews’ bizarre handling of an enterprise bargaining dispute between the United Firefighters Union and the Country Fire Authority. Curiously, and for reasons for which we are still unaware, Andrews sided with the militant secretary of the UFU, Peter Marshall, against his own former Minister for Emergency Services. Her resignation, and the subsequent resignations of not only the CEO but also the Chief Fire Officer of the CFA, as well as the sacking of the entire CFA Board by Andrews, all happened during the federal election. The dispute has created enormous division within state Labor which shows no sign of abating. The Coalition held all its seats in Victoria as well as winning an extra seat in the House and was even able to add a new Senator to its ranks. As Liberal leader Matthew Guy said in the House to Daniel Andrews when state parliament resumed after the federal election ‘thanks mate, we couldn’t have done it without you!’ The dispute is now shifting to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, with its Chief Officer resigning recently because of bullying from the UFU, despite Labor lies suggesting it was because he was ‘gravely ill’.

Whilst the fire services are in disarray, crime is up by 13.4 per cent as well as an 80 per cent surge in car-jackings. Quite astonishingly, a man was recently car jacked in broad daylight at the famous Chadstone shopping complex; is this Melbourne or Mogadishu? Folk are scared, and as a consequence they are forming neighbourhood vigilante squads to patrol local streets. Meanwhile the Andrews Government has cut front line police and closed police stations.

Instead of doing its job of keeping the community safe, the government is pre-occupied with its extreme left social agenda that defies common sense. This has included amending the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act. The purpose? To enable citizens to self-select their own gender on their birth certificate as male, female, or a third category that can be anything really, as long as it’s not obscene – ‘a gender diverse or non-binary descriptor’, without the requirement of undergoing sex change surgery.

This proposal does say something very profound about the left more broadly in Australia and indeed specifically about what is wrong with the Andrews Government — a government that is completely obsessed by identity politics.

The once great Labor party of Hawke and Keating has become a party that is obsessed with bleeding heart romanticism and government by ‘feeling’, not facts, with a social agenda inspired by Marxist activists. It is a party infatuated with and influenced by a highly sinister post-modernism and all-pervasive relativism where to even assert a usually uncontroversial truth — that, for instance, gender is not fluid — is seen as at best retrograde and at worst bigoted.

Melanie Phillips, writing in The Speccie earlier this year, put it aptly:

Once upon a time, ‘binary’ was a mathematical term. Now it is an insult on a par with ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ or ‘homophobic’, to be deployed as a weapon in our culture wars. The enemy on this particular battleground is anyone who maintains that there are men and there are women, and that the difference between them is fundamental.

In giving citizens the right to self-identify their gender on their birth certificate, the Labor Party has managed to offend both the Christian lobby and radical feminists all at the one time! Tessa Anne from the Woman’s Liberation Front put out a media release entitled Liberal MPs stand up against Labor attack on Women’s Rights in Victoria, which read:

We have congratulated the Liberal Party for their efforts in opposing this regressive legislation for women… Under the law proposed by the Andrews government, male people who self-identify their sex as ‘female’, but are nonetheless entirely physically male, would become legally indistinguishable from actual female people. This would give them the right to access female-only spaces and services such as domestic violence shelters, sports teams, single-sex schools, changing rooms, jobs reserved for women and even female prisons – the implications for women’s privacy, safety and equality are stark.

This is a government of high farce and monstrous hypocrisy, where if you dare disagree with their at times deeply offensive agenda to mainstream Victorians you are labelled a bigot, a homophobe or worse. This goes for everything from the Safe Schools Coalition — Victoria will be the only jurisdiction in the country where it will be compulsory for children in state schools to be taught radical sexual identity studies, often against the will of their parents — to being a state where religious bodies cannot choose who they employ and the manner in which they employ them because the government seems to think it knows best, through its proposed changes to the Equal Opportunity Act.

John Howard recently spoke to the Liberal-National joint party room in the Victorian Parliament. He talked about how his government had stood up for mainstream values. He also emphasised that we had the one characteristic that our opponents didn’t have – unity. It was an inspiring address.

The custodians of liberalism and conservatism in Victoria will continue to stand up for the moderate mainstream of our society and oppose this type of minority fundamentalism that Labor and their Green allies are trying to foist on our country wherever they can.

Tim Smith is the Liberal State member for Kew and a regular contributor

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