The Disenfranchised

There’s never a dull moment in the business of politics. The big story of last week ended up being the Prime Minister’s decision to reintroduce knights and dames.

It’s fair to say this move wasn’t met with universal approval, but then again so little does in this day and age. What was perfectly regular and accepted wisdom only years ago now seems to be cause for bitter outrage by the chronically disgruntled.

The facts seldom matter in a society where everyone has the right to do and say what they want as long as it is politically correct. That’s why those rules of ‘liberating tolerance’ don’t apply to conservatives. We call things as they are and not in accordance with some leftist PC mantra.

If your reaction to last week’s email is any guide, it seems that many readers feel the same way. Among the hundreds of responses, there were a handful taking the government to task over its proposal to reform the Racial Discrimination Act.

Here are just a few of the comments that were sent my way.

Free speech should mean free speech for all. – Ray

Great to get some common sense about free speech… You are not going to make respect and courtesy occur by legislation. – Tim

There have been too many cases already where vexatious prosecutions have been made by people who allegedly have had their feelings hurt by others in the course of normal and fair comment, presentation or debate. – Leighton and Diana

That someone can silence people because of ‘hurt feelings’ is simply beyond belief. – Chris

As an ethnic Australian (that is non-Anglo Saxon) and a migrant and citizen of nearly 30 years, it may surprise you that I am in agreement to repeal this Act. If anyone insults me because of my race or colour, my reaction would be merely to laugh it off as utterings from uneducated person or persons. – Anand

Absolutely agree with proposed amendments to 18C of RDA. Fight on! – Steve

In matters like these, it never ceases to amaze me just how far removed from the Australian public some of our commentators have become. Many of these opiners – who manage to see racists and all manner of ‘phobes’ in every dissenting view – find an audience on Twitter and a broadcasting home on the ABC.

Neither reflects the lived reality of personal engagement with the broader Australian public.

Overwhelmingly, the feedback I receive in my every day dealings with a broad cross-section of people around the country is that they are heartily sick of their freedoms being curtailed, their innate common sense being ridiculed by self-appointed ‘elites’, their politicians patronising them and their money being wasted by irresponsible governments.

And it’s not just happening here either. Right across the world, major parties are losing credibility and electoral ground to those who dare to challenge the orthodox political agenda. Internationally, I believe we are seeing the early collapse of the unsustainable welfare state which will radically change the function of government for decades to come.

Naturally, those invested in business as usual will fight tooth and nail to preserve their power and entitlements, mostly by seeking more of your money to prop up their unsustainable policy agenda.

However, it is not too late for Australia to choose a different path. We should insist that our government cut spending, cut taxes and remove bureaucratic impediments to prosperity. Let it focus on the core functions of government – without running the rest of us into the ground.

The forthcoming national budget will be the big test. It will set the path for the future. If the government fail to address the major issues associated with spending, tax and freedom, then there is little hope of redressing the damage done over so many years until we, like many other nations, will have to confront a very painful reality.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

In a few days I’ll be leading a week long delegation to Vietnam. I have never been there before and look forward to sharing my experience with you in next week’s letter.

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