Leading article Australia

Cover girl

24 August 2019

9:00 AM

24 August 2019

9:00 AM

It was around three weeks ago that The Spectator Australia’s Mark Powell first broke the story on our online magazine Flat White that will long haunt NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian; namely, the shoddy deal done by her government to allow independent MLA Alex Greenwich to introduce his abortion bill. Although they are clearly very separate issues, comparisons to her predecessor Mike Baird’s numerous flights of moral superiority and arrogance, including the greyhounds fiasco and even the lock-out laws, could not be avoided. After all, it was only a few months ago that, in a foretaste of the ‘miracle’ that returned Scott Morrison and the Liberal party to federal government, a similar conservative-driven revolt by ‘quiet’ New South Welshmen and women returned Gladys to power against the common assumption that Labor would win. (Memo to the Libs: please remember that it is repeatedly those conservative, blue-collar, working-class, family-orientated, religious voters who keep you in power in spite of, rather than because of, your constant pandering to the trendy elitist ideologies so beloved of the inner-city elites and the ABC.)

Ms Berejiklian has now, having returned from her overseas trip, realised the need to delay the abortion legislation and allow for further scrutiny of its implications. We trust this process will tackle the very real and serious concerns surrounding sex-selection terminations, the widespread abhorrence at late term abortions of any kind and for any reason and other issues that were so lazily glossed over by not only Alex Greenwich but also by the now hopelessly-compromised Liberal health minister Brad Hazzard.

(Speaking of which, here’s a logic question for progressive ‘identity’ folk of the Left: if a white politician isn’t capable of legislating adequately on matters to do with indigenous Australia, or a man isn’t capable of fully comprehending matters to do with the travails of women, or non-Muslims simply can’t understand the issues that face Muslims, what gives an openly gay male politician the skills to legislate satisfactorily on matters to do with female biological reproduction?)

This magazine prides itself on its ability to cut through the virtue-signalling and confused moral-posturing favoured by so many of today’s mainstream media, and likewise to do so with our covers, which attempt to reduce complex issues down to the one critical and compelling factor. That we try to do this with a degree of humour, even black humour, comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the long history of The Spectator in the UK, the English-speaking world’s oldest continuously-published magazine.

Conceptualised by Sarah Dudley and illustrated by Ben Davis, the August 10 ‘Daughter slaughter’ cover showing a female baby in the womb threatened with termination suddenly identifying as male, along with the accompanying article by Dr David van Gend, quickly became both polarising and a touchpoint for debate. Whereas a handful of readers claimed they were cancelling their subscriptions in high dudgeon at the ‘vile’ image, others applauded the cover and some even saw fit to use the image on placards at demonstration outside the NSW parliament. Despite being lambasted by one irate inner-city doctor for our ‘disgusting abortion cover, [which] has flung you into the abyss of stinking gutter journalism’, we do not apologise for drawing voters’ attention to the issue of sex-selection. (Memo to the aforementioned spleen-venting doctor, which perhaps someone could pass on to him seeing as he won’t be reading the magazine anymore: despite your accusations of our ‘misogyny’, the cover was conceived of by a woman. How apt.)

Whose side?

The PM did himself no favours by joining in the confected, absurd attack on Alan Jones and his ‘sock’ retort to Jacinda Ardern, following her unctuous, malevolent hectoring about Aussie coal. That Malcolm Turnbull led the lynch mob should have been warning enough – the whole saga was a left-wing beat-up designed to damage our most important industry and one of our best conservative commentators. Whose side are you really on, Scott?


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