1 September 2022
Former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced to leave a lecture at Sydney University Law Society after he was besieged by shouty students identifying as ‘activists’.
Turnbull was set to appear as part of a series of alumni speakers, but fled with an escort of security after a brief exchange with the crowd, who seemed to be in no mood to learn anything.
Members from the Student Representative Council labelled Turnbull ‘ruling class scum’ who wouldn’t listen to ‘anyone below him’.
‘Can I just ask, how many of you would like me to speak today and how many of you would like me to leave?’ said Turnbull, as jeering overtook the room.
A male student grabbed hold of the lectern and shouted:
‘How many of you would like to pay $100,000 for university – because this man tried to make you do it!’
He then mumbled a few incoherencies about ‘F-ing off back to Mosman and Wentworth’ to which Turnbull replied, perhaps unwisely, ‘Our friend from the education office has a limited understanding of geography if he thinks Mosman is in Wentworth…’
Turnbull may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he was there at the invitation of The Law Society, and the shockingly bad behaviour of students is starting to paint the over-educated generation as a pack of emotionally insecure toddlers incapable of engaging in a conversation.
One of the protesters had a bit of fun with the hyperbole, saying:
‘The Law Society, which is a student group, is inviting someone on campus under the guise of free speech, when this man and his party have literally been one of the single most damaging forces to higher education, to climate change, to refugee policy.’
‘Guise of free speech’?
Clearly, they have no idea who they are talking about – but more concerning is their low opinion of free speech. If these students aren’t interested in listening to a former Prime Minister, why should anyone listen to them?
Malcolm Turnbull absolutely must be allowed to speak, even if you don’t like the man, his politics, or his views. Intimidating people into silence is not something civilised societies do, and shouting political figures down is not how you win an argument against them. More than likely, none of the activists had the knowledge required to engage in a discussion and so the megaphone was the next best thing.
These militant students have appointed themselves gatekeepers of speech and are preventing their fellow students from having the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not they agree. If anyone is damaging education in this country, it’s the kids who bring megaphones to a boring talk-fest.
The President of The Law Society called it a ‘peaceful protest’ – and sure, there were no buildings set on fire or knives thrown – but that doesn’t mean their ‘protest’ was appropriate or fair to the other students. Instead, it was an act of selfishness.
The University of Sydney has said that they apologised to Turnbull and hope to invite him back. Turnbull shouldn’t go. No one should go. Why reward poorly behaved students? If they don’t like speech, let them stew in their self-made silence and waste their student loans.
‘Attempts to shut down speakers who have been invited to participate in an exchange of views and ideas breaches core values of our university … [we will be] investigating the issue further.’
This sort of thing happens all the time, with universities becoming one of the most closed-minded places in Australia. If you want to speak, you don’t do it at a university. Indeed, if you want to learn something useful, you probably wouldn’t go to one.
Turnbull, who seemed a little stunned at the rejection, called it ‘fascism’ when speaking to the Herald.
‘It’s just complete fascism. Just extraordinary. One of the things they accused me of being was anti-queer, which didn’t seem to match the fact that I legalised same-sex marriage. It was literally a litany of objections.’
Didn’t anyone give Turnbull the memo? You can never be ‘Woke enough’ for the Left. You can never please the radicalised youth. This display perfectly encapsulates why the moderate Liberals will never win while ever they pander to baby socialists.
Blue-ribbon conservatives watching the exchange will not be surprised, but it might take the so-called ‘moderates’ some time to adjust to the reality that they are sitting on the outside of ‘culture’ with the rest of us.