Like Cory Bernardi, I was once in the Liberal Party, which under Robert Menzies was the natural home for conservatives. But with the betrayal of our country by the Liberals, Nationals, Labor and the Greens, our natural home is now with the Conservatives.
The major parties are not championing freedom of expression in civil society. Whatever happened to the repeal of section 18C? Why are we not getting rid of Commissions which themselves oppress people? The failure to protect freedom of speech is a national disgrace.
The list of those who have been harmed by our oppressive laws is now long and includes Margaret Court, Israel Folau, Bernard Gaynor, Bill Leak, the QUT students, Andrew Bolt and Sonia Kruger. The flow-on effect on the rest of society is insidious. There are many who cannot risk losing their employment or a lawsuit – so they simply say nothing. In one of the world’s oldest continuing democracies, millions of Australians have now silenced themselves out of fear!
The major parties have failed to ensure our schools and universities foster appreciation of our history. Instead, they allow education programs to warp the minds of the young, making them reject the past and embrace revisionist versions of it. They introduced programs like the so-called Safe Schools which confuses children about their gender and saturates them in fringe adult sex concepts. This program has been cancelled in NSW – but if Labor is elected or the Coalition changes its position, it will soon be back.
The major parties are failing to respect parental rights over education – and yet we ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, committing Australia under Article 18(4) to ‘respect the liberty of parents to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions’. It seems treaties are only binding where it suits the agenda of the major parties, not when it would support Conservative aims.
On immigration, they don’t adequately vet the numbers or the character of immigrants to see if they’ll be a good fit – and they don’t control where they settle, with 80-90 per cent settling in Sydney and Melbourne! Instead of attending to these serious issues, they co-author some “UN Migration Pact” which could override our sovereignty. Yet we know that Europe has serious problems with social cohesion, crime and cultural issues. Orderly migration policies are the answer. Open Borders are not the way to run a country, they are the way to ruin a country. There is a reason why the flow of people is one-way: from messed-up countries to countries like ours which respect individual freedom.
On energy, they say they’ll “ensure that energy is reliable and affordable” – only to remain captive to dubious Greens theories which do nothing to reduce global temperatures but cost us billions. We have coal, we have gas, we have uranium. The United States is doing shale gas extraction. The French have a large reliance on nuclear. Ideology should not stop us from building High Energy, Low Emission, coal-fired power stations. We should be allowed to burn coal ourselves, not just sell it to other countries to burn!
Politicians from the major parties are also failing to adequately protect religious liberty. There are ongoing threats to the freedom to employ people who uphold the ethos of the religious institutions. Politicians are also unjustly using anti-discrimination legislation and government funding to try to force religious institutions to compromise their religious beliefs and conform to an extreme socialist agenda. Tax policies are also being used to undermine religious groups while supporting ideological or other “fake” charities.
None of the major parties is safeguarding the intellectual heritage, (nor the architectural beauty), that has been integral to Western Civilisation and its great legacy of Christianity, with thinkers like Augustine and Aquinas, and those in the Enlightenment. Philosophers such as John Locke understood that politicians are at the service of the people, and when they reject this they put themselves ‘at war’ with the people.
Where are we now on life issues? Euthanasia has been passed by Labor in Victoria and is being promoted throughout Australia by politicians from all the major parties. The overseas experience demonstrates that euthanasia can compromise the commitment of doctors and nurses to save life and make vulnerable people feel worthless and susceptible to coercion. The major parties have also committed to radical changes to our abortion laws and have created exclusion zones around abortion clinics prohibiting protests and even offers of assistance to women in need.
The major parties have allowed severe encroachment on our national sovereignty by the Chinese Communist government including saying next-to-nothing when the Chinese militarised islands in the South China Sea, permitting property purchases (including long-term leases over our ports) without demanding reciprocal buying rights in China, and allowing Chinese-government-backed businessmen to influence Australian businesses and even some of our politicians. Meanwhile, the Coalition has allowed the politicisation of our military – not caring whether it becomes emasculated, weak, and even ridiculous.
The Coalition permitted the legislation for same-sex “marriage” on its watch and in the process stealthily changed the definition of all Australian marriages, by removing all reference to man and woman (a significant alteration, which was not asked about in the postal survey). They also failed, and continue to fail, to protect the conscience rights of those supporting traditional marriage.
Both major parties dumped the duly elected leader that it presented to the voting public as the one who would lead the party. Both major parties! Putting their own personal ambitions and left-leaning, anti-democratic instincts before the good of the Australian people, causing our country to have five prime ministers in five years. Shame on them
The blame for the current situation may be laid at the feet of politicians who position themselves as conservative and invite voters to see them that way – but then in actuality steadily erode all the conservative features of society away. Among them are those who actively propagate the new fascism of ‘identity politics’, where you are no longer an individual, you’re only part of a collective.
I understand that Labor and the Greens are worse than the Coalition on the serious issues facing our country, but the Liberals and the Nationals cannot escape responsibility for the enormous harm that their policies and cowardice have inflicted on Australia.
These are the reasons why the Australian Conservatives was formed. We will fight against the politicians who have betrayed our country. We can do this.
I urge you to invite your family and friends to join the party and promote the Conservatives, and our policies, to everyone you meet.
With every one of us working our hearts out, if we strain every sinew to win – we can save our beautiful country!
This is an edited version of the speech delivered at the Australian Conservatives NSW State Conference on August 11.
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