Eric Abetz gave one of the most important short speeches in Australian political history this week. Yet few Australians would know he even spoke a word, let alone know who Abetz is or what he stands for.
Eric Abetz was born in Germany in 1958, and came with his family to Australia in 1961.
In the 1980s, Abetz worked his way through ‘University as a part-time taxi driver, and farmhand. Once completing his law degree, he went on to practice law in Hobart’s northern suburbs’. [i]
He joined the Liberal Party in 1976 and was appointed to the Senate in February, 1994.
During the Howard era, he worked in various ministerial departments, later becoming Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. After Malcolm Turnbull’s coup against Tony Abbott in 2015, Abetz took a back seat, where he remained a consistent voice for Western Civilisation and the healthy traditions built on a Biblical Christian foundation, such as classical liberalism and freedom, and its correlative individual rights and responsibilities. [ii]
Two years ago, the L.N.P Senator for Tasmania was among the few LNP politicians brave enough to give his “no”, to the then L.N.P Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnball’s, rush to push changes to the Marriage Act into law.
Abetz presented a well reasoned explanation of the problems associated with shredding up the traditional concept a marriage, by surrendering that concept to subjectivism and the insecure and ever-changing, progressive (and increasingly Marxist) understanding of gender, history, theology, society, ethnicity and culture. He publicly lamented the changes, stating with conviction, “it’s a change I regret for the sake of our children”. [iii]
In that same speech, Abetz was right to call out the ‘Safe Schools program’ as “Orwellian”. He was right to call out corporate overreach, as big business marched with contempt for those in their employ, who refused to raise the rainbow flag, or march under it, during the Same Sex marriage survey. He was right to warn Australians that the SSM bill “wasn’t a simple amendment”, accusing the bill of going “a lot further than that which was approved by the Australian people” [iv]. Abetz was right to concede, that the “challenge of parliament is (was) to deliver on both same-sex marriage and the full protection of our freedoms.”[v]
Two years on, with high profile cases such as the firing of Israel Folau, the bullying of Margaret Court, the car bombing of the ACL headquarters, and the public head butting of ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, we can say that the challenge to protect freedom, is now a challenge the Australian parliament has failed to meet.
Alongside his speech on the Same-Sex Marriage bill, the Senator’s words this week are a reminder to the Australian parliament of its dismal failure to uphold its determined commitment to preserve freedom, on balance with its corrosive placating of Leftism and LGBT ideology.
Once again Senator Abetz stood up for ALL Australians, stating,
“Today, our society is in grave danger of losing this rich heritage, together with its attendant benefits. That is why I have taken this, the first opportunity the 46th Parliament has afforded me, to make a plea to defend our freedoms. To fail to do so is to squander the legacy bequeathed to us…”
Once again, the Senator was right when saying that,
“In an exercise of Orwellian proportions, these sports stars were targeted for exclusion in the name of inclusion and discriminated against in the name of tolerance. You don’t have to agree with Izzy to agree with his right to express his religious views, or his wife’s right to back him.”
The Senator then outlined why the Folau precedent a threat the freedom.
“Today it’s Izzy’s religious views and his wife’s loyal support. Yesterday it was the Professor Ridd’s scientific views. Tomorrow it might be somebody’s political view. The next might be someone’s environmental view.”
This is a fight for freedom of speech which impacts us all. The government must, and I am confident will, respond to the expressions of the quiet Australians on 18 May and ensure our freedoms, which were bought with the highest of prices, are not sacrificed and squandered on the altar of political correctness. As Sir Robert Menzies so articulately encapsulated in ‘We believe’: ‘We believe in the great human freedoms: to worship, to think, to speak.’”
Senator Abetz’s words are a welcome change to the sleight of hand drivel that often keeps the “quiet Australian” at arm’s length from Australia’s bureaucratic caste.
The Senator’s speech is also in stark contrast to Greens politician, Adam Bandt, who yesterday posted a call to “fight for the Welfare State” on Twitter:
“This LNP gov wants to destroy the welfare state & we need to stop them. We need a big movement that fights for services, not tax cuts, and that won’t cave in to the Libs when it matters. Be part of the fight for a more equal world.”
Instead of advocating for more laws, less freedom and bigger government, Bandt, like many of Australia’s public servants need to get “woke” to what is unraveling freedom and address the corrosion of it.
In the words of Augusto Zimmerman, ‘we need a restoration of freedom’s bill, not a religious discrimination act, one that restores free speech and freedom of association for all, a law against the incitement of religious violence would also do more good than one against religious discrimination’. [vi]
We need less laws and more clarity on tried and true old ones, not more. Prime Minister Scott Morrison should begin by removing or reforming, the contentious 18C amendment to anti-discrimination law. Then insist that a basic understanding of civics, theology and history (without the biased Marxist lens) be essential to a holistic high school education.
In failing in their commitment to preserve freedom, politicians are showing Australians that the well-funded and resourceful relationship between public servants and Leftism comes first.
In failing in their commitment to preserve freedom, as was promised during the Same-Sex marriage survey, Australia’s public servants are showing the rest of us, that they would rather march under a different flag and culture, to that of the Anzacs, whose sacrifice handed us a mandate to preserve the healthy traditions that they so bravely laid down their lives to protect.
It’s this point of contact with history that gives Tasmanian Senator’s speech gravitas:
“Freedom is worth defending. Freedom is worth nurturing. Freedom is worth championing. As our national anthem extols, ‘Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free’. Let’s keep it that way.”
[i] Abetz, E. About Eric, Abetz.com.au Sourced 7th July, 2019.
[ii] ibid, 2019
[iii] Abetz, E. 2017. Speech to the Senate – Marriage Bill, 27th November, 2017. Sourced 7th July, 2019.
[iv] ibid, 2017
[v] ibid, 2017
[vi] Zimmerman, A. 2019. We need a restoration of freedom’s bill, not a religious discrimination act. The Spectator Australia, 3rd July, 2019. Sourced, 7th July, 2019.
Full transcript to Speech to the Senate in Support of Freedom of Speech.
Originally posted on The Caldron Pool, 8th July, 2019.
©Rod Lampard, 2019