Leading article Australia

Gay abandonment

13 October 2016

2:00 PM

13 October 2016

2:00 PM

The decision by the Labor party, in cahoots with the hypocritical Greens to vote against the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite is not only regrettable. It is a deeply cynical betrayal.

The arguments against the plebiscite simply don’t stack up, and are riddled with inconsistency and humbug. Decrying the cost of the plebiscite as unacceptable, around $200 million, is an argument that could only be credibly won by politicians who have shown a determination to be ruthlessly careful with all the rest of our money. At this point in time, no such politician appears to exist anywhere within a hundred miles of Canberra’s Capital Hill, and is certainly nowhere to be found hiding amongst the profligate Left. $200 million is, after all, casually frittered away by our spendthrift Liberal government every five days, simply on the interest we owe for our refusal to cut back on Labor’s gargantuan spending spree. In other words, the cost of the plebiscite is a drop in our ocean of debt. Dispensing with it on the grounds of cost-cutting is pure humbug. Picking up on the excellent suggestion made recently by Senator (and Speccie contributor) James Paterson, we could easily pay for a couple of plebiscites simply by flogging a certain Blue Poles. After all, it’s never been clear why the taxpayer should own this American masterpiece. As for paying for the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cases, this was never a deal-breaker.

Which leads us to the question of ‘hate speech’. As Kerryn Pholi points out in this week’s issue, the progressive elites in our national affairs, whether on the issue of same sex marriage or indigenous recognition, clearly have no faith in the average Australian citizen to democratically arrive at the ‘correct’ decision. The irony of this position is self-evident – it is the very same public they so distrust who were responsible for democratically electing these politicians to the office and positions of influence they enjoy.

Worse, as Kerryn colourfully explains, the elites within politics and much of the media gleefully peddle the myths of ‘hate speech’. Indeed, the plebiscite – a traditional process of democratic engagement going back to Greek and Roman times – would result in nothing less than a vomitorium of Aussie hate speech spewing forth from the ‘hard right’ on any given progressive subject.

This is nonsense. The gay marriage debate has been underway for several years now; the most divisive and repugnant language and actions have come from those advocating for, not against, it.

This magazine has long suspected that the Same Sex Marriage issue has the potential to do to Malcolm Turnbull what Brexit did to David Cameron. Clearly, this is also the thinking behind Labor’s cynical rejection of the plebiscite. The hope is that Mr Turnbull can be ‘wedged’ into following his own natural instincts and, with the plebiscite no longer viable, allow parliament to pass same sex marriage legislation without going to the people. Mr Turnbull would be unwise to fall into this trap. Should he do so, it is likely his Lodge days would soon be over. In the current political environment, when the silent majority are incensed at the way politicians and the media lord it over them, the backlash to such a move would make Mike Baird’s greyhound controversy look fairly tame (see below). After all, if the government, having won election promising a plebiscite, then decides it doesn’t trust the people after all, the resulting legislation will be viewed by many as against the will of the people. That would do no favours to same sex couples and their advocates at all.

Labor have in effect killed off the best chance this country had of enacting same sex marriage via a popular national vote. Labor, the Greens and gay extremists stand condemned for their cynical actions. Gay couples who wish to marry should never forget this spiteful and pointless betrayal.

Back on track

Full marks to Mike Baird for reversing the NSW greyhound racing ban. This was a classic example of government over-reach, and the opprobrium that it unleashed entirely justified. No Liberal government should ever put its own moral vanity ahead of the legitimate aspirations and livelihoods of law-abiding members of the public. Well done also to Jeff Collerson, Luke Foley and others who wrote so persuasively on the topic in these pages. Hats off also to the superb work of Sky News’s Paul Murray, Alan Jones and Ray Hadley.

This week, we’re delighted to have NSW minister Dominic Perrottet writing on his government’s smart reversal. Enjoy!

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