Leading article Australia

Bullies and trolls

4 December 2021

9:00 AM

4 December 2021

9:00 AM

‘I have a record of standing up to those who will seek to threaten Australia’s interests, whether they’re outside this country or inside this country, whether in the online world or whether in the real world, and that’s the strength that is required to lead this country,’ claimed Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this week. This is of course a debatable proposition, particularly when one considers that Mr Morrison is freshly returned from Glasgow, where, by paying lip service to ‘net zero’ and making speeches about fantasy new technologies, Mr Morrison was ultimately doing one thing and one thing only: jeopardising Australian interests. Every climate platitude uttered by our leading lights in the world of politics, business and the media is another layer built upon the fraudulent edifice of ‘global heating’ and merely reinforces the unshakeable belief of the woke and the brainwashed that they are correct about the urgent need to deindustrialise our economies. Hence, the other day a young activist proudly filmed herself sneaking into a coal port and switching off machinery, convinced she is saving the planet and future generations from an imagined climate inferno (whilst blithely ignoring the fact that her actions took place in the coldest New South Wales November on record).

Yes, Mr Morrison is correct that ‘strength’ is required to protect a nation’s interests. And certainly, standing up to the bullying leftist Big Tech giants is as good a place to start as any. And yes, the new legislation designed to force social media companies to expose those ‘trolls’ who hide behind fake identities to abuse and bully others is a welcome piece of legislation.

It is a shame, however, that Mr Morrison has yet to find the strength to tackle a media bully far closer to home, one that is itself nothing more than a great big abusive troll; namely, the ABC.

One only need look at the way the ABC persecuted and ‘trolled’ the likes of Cardinal Pell, Christian Porter, Andrew Laming and others – dragging their names and reputations through the mud on a vast national platform – to recognise that this organisation knows no shame and will use (and abuse) its power to cause maximum damage where possible to those it decides to attack. Funded to the tune of over a billion dollars a year by the taxpayer, the ABC has long ceased to be a responsible national broadcaster and instead spruiks its hardcore Green-Left political agenda that is almost invariably at odds with the broader economic and social interests of those who pay for it.

If Mr Morrison seriously wished to prove his credentials in standing up to bullies, the ABC would be a worthy place to begin, by introducing a scheme to slash government funding and switch the ABC and SBS to a subscription model as rapidly as possible.

Mr Morrison has felt emboldened to tackle the anonymous hate-spreaders of Twitter and elsewhere, yet by his own admission refuses to engage in the ‘culture wars’. This displays either staggering ignorance or duplicity. The culture of ‘wokeness’ now ubiquitous throughout our schools, universities and corporations is a form of tyrannical, bullying, intolerant political correctness – complete with its own creed of ‘cancel culture’ – that cripples individuals and their ability to think and reason for themselves. Holding the nasty anonymous grubs on Twitter or Facebook to account is a fairly futile activity if you allow those with genuine authority – such as teachers, HR managers and bosses – to bully individuals or destroy their careers simply for holding unorthodox beliefs and values.

Another mob of anonymous bullies and trolls that Mr Morrison should stand up to are those mysterious ‘international investors’ that both he and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg cited as the sole reason for the abrupt and unconscionable switch by the government – elected on an unambiguous platform of not increasing our emissions reductions targets – to the idiotic net zero mantra. How on earth can the Prime Minister claim a record of standing up to ‘those who threaten Australia’s interests’ when by his own admission, and by that of his Cabinet, his government overturned a key election commitment purely because a gang of unnamed and unidentified international money men were supposedly issuing threats against our national sovereignty?

And what of the bullying, trolling behaviour of the state premiers and their gang of health bureaucrats with their vile mandatory vaccination rules?

But credit where credit is due, on the other side of the ledger Mr Morrison and his government have done well in standing up to the bullies of Beijing. It goes without saying that the spine required for doing so was clearly supported and encouraged by the man whose actions brought an end to the ignominious Turnbull prime ministership, Peter Dutton. Mr Dutton, who in all likelihood will be in competition with Mr Frydenberg to succeed Mr Morrison as prime minister or Liberal party leader at some point further down the track, is to be praised for his forthright comments regarding Taiwan.

It is reassuring that Mr Morrison appreciates that strong leadership is what the public look for and like to reward. Sadly, there are still too many areas where it is absent.

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