Green Party Hypocrites
The Greens Party is filled with hypocrites. Despite being called out many times, nothing has changed.
Today, while calling a Greens Party Senator out for their hypocrisy, I was reminded of an extemporaneous speech I made to the Senate back in 2018.
From my perspective it rings as true today as it did then.
Senator BERNARDI (South Australia): I had intended to raise a matter of pressing public importance today, but something has trumped that. I feel very disturbed by some of the comments that were made in this chamber this morning in regard to a notable and obvious decline in standards in this chamber. It’s very hard and galling to be accused of falsehoods. It is very galling to listen to the pious words mouthed by the Leader of the Australian Greens party, Senator Di Natale, and want to gag, because they ring so falsely.
This morning, Senator Di Natale tried to turn his blatant and flagrant disregard for the authority of the President and the rules of the Senate into a virtue—into somehow his own strength and courage in levelling personal abuse at others.It was nothing less than an abject disgrace. He sought to blame the individual who withdrew their comments as soon as they were drawn to their attention as inappropriate. He sought to blame for dysfunction the individual who did the right thing by acknowledging that the wrong thing had been done. And then today he dresses it up, suggesting it is because there is rampant sexism and misogyny happening in this place.
Well, I’m calling that out as a load of baloney. I’ve had enough of it, because the identity politics that is being played out in this place is reducing the ability for us to do our jobs. Yesterday I heard a Labor senator say that it was sexist when an Independent senator denied leave for a procedural matter in here, because the tone he had used in saying no was somehow sexist. I’m tired of those in the Greens feeling free to level whatever personal abuse they like, whether it be about someone’s religion, their skin colour, their age, their sex or where they come from. They can level those sorts of abuses at will and there’s nothing wrong with it, but God forbid you actually call one of these people out for their failings, for their falsehoods, for their fictions!
They hide behind the mask of identity politics. Every time Senator Faruqi gets up, she’s calling everyone else a racist because some of us in this place are critical of radical Islam. Well, Islam isn’t a race, but apparently we’re all racists. Every time we say that Senator Hanson-Young has done the wrong thing by misusing taxpayers’ money and failing to repay it, or taking whale-watching trips with her family, she hides behind identity politics, saying, ‘You’re picking on me because I’m a mother; you’re picking on me because I’m a woman.’ When you ask Senator Hanson-Young to withdraw the vile homophobic slurs that she’s levelled at others in this place, she denies having made them until the evidence is produced, and then she goes, ‘I withdraw; I did say that.’ We’re calling these people out for their bad actions—not because of their gender but because of their own conduct. As I look around this place, I don’t see a man or a woman or a transgender or a this or a that; what I see is senators. Each senator needs to be held to account, but we’re getting to a point where all of a sudden you’re not allowed to criticise behaviour or conduct or ideas that you disagree with because pejorative slurs will get levelled at you.
We saw the sanctimonious hypocrisy of that in evidence this morning. Let’s understand exactly what happened yesterday. Senator Di Natale referred to another senator in an appalling manner, an unparliamentary manner. That’s not unheard of in this place, but when it is heard the request is made to withdraw the remark. Common courtesy dictates you withdraw the remark because of your breach of the standards we accept here. Senator Di Natale thought that, somehow, he’d be the new incarnation of former Senator Bob Brown and refuse to do it and take a stand on principle—except there is no principle. The President asked Senator Di Natale to withdraw multiple times, and he refused to do it. Somehow, he’s now trying to blame the rest of the Senate for his own conduct. He’s aided and abetted by those, most notably Senator Hanson-Young, who only seek to play every identity card of politics to protect themselves from criticism.
When Senator Hanson-Young cries in this chamber because she’s upset about how someone’s treated her, apparently that means she’s off limits to criticism. When Senator Hanson-Young says terrible things about other people in this chamber and you call her to account for it, apparently it’s being sexist. Senator Hanson-Young wrote in a book that somehow I’d sidled up to her and whispered in her ear. That’s a dangerous fantasy in itself. I’ve never sidled up to Senator Hanson-Young and never whispered anything in her ear. This is from the same person who believed that Sea Patrol was an actual documentary about Australia’s border protection. This is the same person who repeated the egregious mistake about Captain Cook and about Australia Day and its significance for Australia—on two occasions. This is a person who has had to enter into repayment systems with the Australian government, which she’s failed to fulfil until drawn out through publicity, and she’s meant to be above criticism.
We are reducing ourselves to little compartmentalised identities, and that’s not what we’re meant to be about. Sure, we can be identified by our politics, by our world view, but each and every one of us is open to criticism. It doesn’t matter whether you’re gay, straight, male or female or indeterminate; you’re a senator in the Australian Senate. We will be held to account for our words, we will be held to account for our actions—and we should be able to be held to account for our actions and our words. It’s not bullying. It’s not misogyny. It’s not misandry. It’s holding people up for examination. It is testing their participation in the democratic process, and no-one should be protected from that. No-one should be protected from it. Yet, shamefully, those who commit the most regular abuses of the standing orders, those who have very little respect for the customs or conventions that bind this place together, the ones that have diminished this place more than any others over the last decade or so that I’ve been here, are the ones that pretend they are now the victims. It is appalling and galling hypocrisy.
If we want this place to function as it should, which is as a battle of ideas, you cannot hide behind the fact that you’re wearing a suit or a skirt—or a burqa, for that matter. You should be held up to the same standards as everybody else. And, when someone wants to stand up, like Senator Hanson-Young did, and refer to ugly old white men or deny the existence of rampant sexism, misogyny, sexual abuse and allegations of rape within the Greens party, when they want to hide behind those things which we’ve talked about, and when Senator Hanson-Young wants to accuse ministers of being corrupt, unfit for office, on the take, a fool, whacky, a racist or a bigot, we’re meant to put up with all of that. A crazy old white man—we’re meant to put up with all of that. But, when you call Senator Hanson-Young someone whose ideas are completely out of touch and are based around fallacies, fictions and falsehoods, apparently you’re a sexist. Well, I’m over it. I’m over the victim game being played in this place at any cost. I’m tired of it. The fact that we are all subject to the same processes and procedures means that we should all be subject to the same potential outcomes. If I say something wrong in this place—and Lord knows that I have on occasions—I’ve either stood by what I’ve said or I’ve retracted it. Very few of us are without sin in this place, but I will not take a lecture from Senator Di Natale or Senator Hanson-Young, who are the most egregious exponents of the things they’ve condemned this morning.