Features Australia

Bill, me and 18C

18 March 2017

9:00 AM

18 March 2017

9:00 AM

As a writer and raconteur Bill Leak was peerless. He had a larrikin wit of which Henry Lawson would be proud and could make you double over and laugh as loud as you would at Lennie Lower. Yet from all the weapons in his armoury, he chose the humble cartoon for his message. It was a medium through which he could combine all of his talents – and his message was as powerful, passionate and inspirational as any of Winston Churchill’s great speeches.

Bill possessed a raffish charm, but it was his passion and love for his country that made him so formidable. He was never more passionate than in his public stance against 18C, of which he became a victim, and the stifling threat the legislation still poses in a society drifting towards groupthink. In sharing these conversations, please consider my contributions as a conduit for Bill’s responses – which provide a wonderful insight into a great man.

Ratbags. Hi Bill, Forgive me for not contacting you earlier to offer my support in the madness that has descended upon you, the media and the nation. I genuinely fear for the future if we have a generation that has been so brainwashed it would acquiesce free speech for control by leftist groupthinkers. It goes to show that newspapers – with obvious exceptions – have failed in their job by not cracking down on this nonsense when it was first put forward. Think Fairfax and the ABC here.

God bless Whittaker in his support for you (and all of us) by fighting this insidious crap. Keep up the good work, Billy – and simply ignore the slings and arrows of the twitterati. Truth, and common sense ultimately will prevail. If Triggs is nailed in the process, all the better. To the barricades …. Best wishes, IM

Hi Ian, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to hear from you, the man who started it all. You might remember once telling me in a meeting with someone else (not sure who it was) at News that my cartoons revealed my ignorance of history. You probably didn’t realise at the time the extent to which I was going to take that to heart. But it was enormous, and I’ve been boning up on history and arriving at my own views by basing them on facts ever since. So, basically, you’re directly to blame for the fact I’m now in the shit and I’ll forever be grateful to you for it, mate.Thanks very much for what you did for me then and for supporting me in what I’m doing now. Cheers, Bill

Mate, I’ve been following the 18C and D issue closely, and written about it a number of times going back to the Bolt case. I also have been following your case, although I had not contacted you directly. As always, it is good to hear from you.


I remember that conversation well. I may have pointed you in a direction, but you travelled the path well. Who’d have thought all those years ago you would become a cause celebre of the right and a punching bag of the left. This case will leave its mark on the politically correct mob. I believe it will become the tipping point that forces our so-called politicians to act to protect freedom of speech and put these lunatics back in their box.

It must be reassuring for you that Boris is so supportive. By the way, I occasionally send Rupert your cartoons – so he is right across this one. IM

Mate, it’s incredibly reassuring for me to know just how supportive not only Boris, but the rest of News, including you, is of me in this case. I’ve suspected for a long time that we’re heading down the road to totalitarianism in this country and the fact the state itself has turned on me in an attempt to shut down my non-PC dissenting voice is conclusive proof that my suspicions are entirely justified. If we’ve been heading down the track before this, now we’re hurtling down it at breakneck speed. You only have to understand a bit of the history of Germany between the Wars to realise how easily a civilised democracy can be transformed into a totalitarian state to see all the warning signs. It all starts with political correctness. Once the boundaries of PC have been established everyone knows what’s acceptable to say and what’s not and God help anyone who ‘offends’ against its unwritten rules. Also, Mao Tse-Tung campaigned on compassion and fairness just as now the regressive left does, and it seemed to work perfectly well for him. We’re living in dangerous times, mate and we’re in for the fight of our lives. It’s just as well there are still a few of us left who don’t mind a blue. Cheers, Bill

All too true – and you have been studying your history. What you outlined is where we are headed unless we turn it around. It is made worse by apathy and a blind acceptance by the young of social media as a primary news source. Mate, you’ll find a few old troopers in the ring with you. Enjoy your weekend, and give ‘em hell. IM

An exchange after a young woman who had issued a complaint from overseas to the Human Rights Commission over Bill’s cartoon… then withdrew it

Well, blow me down. Unbelievable. First she is offended, now she is not. I’m offended that this can happen – which is solid reason to carry on the fight until this ridiculous law is overturned. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments in The Oz. By the way, I loved the cartoon this morning. IM

Thanks, Ian. And don’t worry, I intend to keep up this fight until this oppressive, obscene law is overturned. We’ve now seen how it can be misused by the authoritarians working at the Ministry of Truth (aka the AHRC), an arm of government so gangrenous it should be amputated and thrown out – along with 18C. Cheers Bill

Following an invitation to our leaving party when we moved to Melbourne

G’day Ian,Thanks very, very much for inviting me, mate. I really appreciate it and would love to be able to come but… unfortunately, I won’t be able to. When you do come back for a visit please come up to the central coast and pop in to our place for lunch or dinner. It would be just fantastic to see you, mate. I hope you have a great time amongst the communist Ls, Gs, Bs, T,s, Qs and Is in Melbourne and I hope, when you come back, you’ll still be of the same gender you were when you left. Cheers, Bill

We had planned a dinner in April, now which will have an empty seat. And Bill, rest assured no gender switches are in the pipeline. There is only so much Melbourne can take.

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