In Defence of the Right to be a Conservative

Timothy Cootes

Ever since the events outside Victoria’s parliament last Saturday, I have seldom seen so many members of our political and media class quite so eager to parade their stupidity. I refer, as you may have guessed, to their apparent inability to count beyond two.

To recap, British activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull brought her Let Women Speak tour to Melbourne last weekend, where a diverse group of campaigners took to the microphone to vent their frustration at the most recent assaults on women’s rights. As the many social media clips of the rally attest, the unwanted intrusion of biological men into women’s change rooms, sporting codes and prison cells were just some of the points of discussion.

A second group of protestors, as expected, marched onto the scene and set themselves against their female opponents. These transgender activists and allies, many of whom were easily identifiable by their low growls and unladylike appearance, made their demands with perfect clarity: for example, they are very much for the rights of bearded blokes in ill-fitting dresses to share public bathrooms with young girls. In politer moments, they called their adversaries bigots and TERFs but would have much preferred that the Let Women Speak speechmakers shut up entirely.

This is where it got tricky for some of our innumerate journalists and MPs, as later in the day a third group of black-clad, Sieg Heil-ing neo-Nazis started their own rally. True to character, they annexed a good deal of space around the Parliament steps and beclowned themselves in front of all the attendees and media. Understandably, Keen-Minshull and her co-speakers — which included Liberal upper house MP Moira Deeming — were horrified by the arrival of these hijackers and felt physically intimidated by their presence, as they relayed in a video recorded after the event.

Let’s be clear: one would have to be laughably obtuse to see an equivalence between groups one and three. One would have to believe that a women’s rights group, which was explicitly founded to keep men out of women’s spaces, also welcomes neo-Nazis into those same spaces. Moreover, one would have to believe that the wonderfully fiery Let Women Speak organiser, Angie Jones, a left-wing Jewish feminist, is also chummy with Melbourne’s band of pathetic blackshirts. Finally, one would have to discard the obvious explanation, which is that a minuscule sect of Hitler fanboys like making a pest of themselves at public events, as they did during the CMFEU protests at the height of the COVID lockdowns in 2021.

Unfortunately, such stupidity must be part of the selection criteria for many of our current politicians and media figures, who have recited their party lines all week with very little backlash.

Greens leaders Adam Bandt and Samantha Ratnam made competitively fatuous statements, but both had a clear enough meaning: the rally-goers standing up for women’s rights were true allies of neo-Nazis and there was no real organisational or moral difference between the two. Daniel Andrews, contemptible as ever, implied that the protest had a Nazi-like quality before the gatecrashers even arrived. By the following Tuesday, when the Let Women Speak tour had arrived in Tasmania, the whole organisation had transmogrified into literal Nazis, according to local Hobart oaf and Greens representative Ben Lohberger. As he cheered on Keen-Minshull’s latest counter-protestors, Councillor Lohberger — while picturing himself as some kind of noble resistance fighter, no doubt — bravely tweeted: “This is how you treat nazis”.

The journalists, unsurprisingly, have been even worse. The ABC, to its usual discredit, has insisted on throwing around the dysphemism “anti-trans” in lieu of the more accurate “pro-women’s rights” at every opportunity, and just about every other media outlet has followed its lead. ABC editors, though, are rather well-adjusted compared to Amy Remeikis, one of the more embarrassing tantrum-throwers employed at The Guardian. On Twitter, Remeikis advanced a conspiracy theory alleging that the Nazis had provided some kind of ideological backbone to the gender-critical movement long before anyone even RSVP-ed to Saturday’s rally.

To be fair to Remeikis, she isn’t alone in her lunacy, as such wild imaginings have been part of the transgender rights movement in Australia for some time. As I have to keep pointing out, back in 2021, award-winning Aboriginal author Claire G. Coleman compared the emerging gender-critical feminist cohort with the Nazis in a rather striking way. She mused:

I disagree with killing anybody but when you think about it kill all TERFs” has the same energy as kill all Nazis””

From personal experience, I know that Coleman can get a bit grouchy when this line is repeated back to her. For that reason, let me hasten to notice the admirable restraint in that first clause of her Tweet, and I leave it entirely up to my fair-minded readers to detect any giddiness or enthusiasm in the rest of the sentence.

The point is that such a deranged worldview has plainly become a dominant one among a depressingly influential contingent of our media and politics. From now on, any person or organisation with the mildest criticism of the demands of the transgender movement is ipso facto in step with the most heinous genocidal movement of the 20th century. Armed with such an inane argument, any genuine concerns about the erosion of women’s rights can be unthinkingly invalidated.

What’s extra annoying is that the nominally conservative side of politics in Victoria has volunteered to take on some of the Left’s workload. John Pesutto, who identifies as the leader of the Victorian Liberals, has moved to expel from the party the newly elected MP Moira Deeming for her role in the Let Women Speak event.

Pesutto, like his co-thinkers among the Greens, makes his risible case for expulsion on the grounds that Deeming is Nazi-adjacent at best, so her position in the Liberal Party is untenable. He adds to the charge sheet Deeming’s association with Keen-Minshull, who once allegedly associated with someone else of bad character, so you get the idea. If anything of value comes out of this affair, it will be the way in which John Pesutto drew wider attention to his utter uselessness as a party leader.

Victorian conservatives, I know, are not in the habit of having politicians to celebrate, but Moira Deeming has been the most brilliant exception. Quadrant readers will be familiar with her masterly inaugural speech, in which she set out her personal story, her political awakening, and her vow to fight for sex-based rights.

Just as impassioned and timely is her statement in which she takes on her party’s accusers. One remark in particular stood out, where Deeming averred:

“I have done nothing wrong.”

That strikes me as a good line for all of us to have at the ready: whenever the mob comes after you, it’s never worth it to apologise or cower. It certainly won’t be the last time Moira Deeming reaches for such a line to defend herself, but I do hope that she’ll still be making her case from within the Liberal Party when the next fight comes around. Who knows? Perhaps her colleagues can even rally to her cause rather than continue to damn their own.

Show your support

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: