Politics Opinion

ABC attacked by Christian right-wing Senator

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Liberal Senator Alex Antic has labelled the ABC as a left-wing activist group (Image by Dan Jensen)

A Liberal Party Senator has launched an attack on the ABC, branding it as a left-wing activist group undermining our society, writes Steve Bishop.

A SENATOR from the Christian Right wing of the Liberal Party is “fabricating outrage” to foment division, paint mainstream Australia as radicals and suggest his extreme views are actually representative of middle Australia.

ASIO has warned about extreme right-wing threats but Senator Alex Antic has identified a “taxpayer-funded left-wing activist group at war with mainstream Australian values”.

He says it’s also the most “virulent haven of taxpayer-funded identity politics in the country”.  

Alex has launched a petition to curb the excesses of this organisation which he accuses of undermining our society.

A clue: it purveys such subversive programs as The Religion and Ethics Report, Country Hour and Bananas in Pyjamas. Yes, it’s the ABC.

He has issued a rallying cry:

‘It’s time for a hostage rescue mission to return Aunty to middle Australia.’

He obviously believes he is a representative of “middle Australia”. But 77% of Australian adults believe they can rely on the ABC for accurate information.

However, on 1 May, Antic went on Sky News and asked why the ABC doesn’t report the threat posed by far-left extremism yet they push the narrative that far-right extremism is the “biggest threat”.

Could the answer possibly be that the topic under discussion, according to the strapline, was an ASIO report about right-wing terrorism which had then been reported by the ABC?

As an example of non-reporting of “the threat posed by far-left extremism” he complained:

“...when all we ever seem to see on our streets are Extinction Rebellion people gluing themselves to buildings.”

Antic does not enlarge on how he perceives a worldwide bid by young people of all political persuasions to save the planet, targeted at governments of all persuasions, as being left-wing, let alone being extremist.

Perhaps he imagines someone with a glue gun yelling at him, “stick ‘em up or we’ll stick you down”.

But wait — all is explained.

He believes the world’s scientists are from the radical Left, as explained in this rant:

‘The radical Left first told us we were dealing with “global warming” then they called it “climate change” and now we are told it’s about “climate justice”. In truth, it’s about fear-mongering.’

But while 60% of middle Australia believes ‘global warming is a serious and pressing problem’, Antic has voted against all motions proposing action to deal with climate change.

He also believes that middle Australia will join him in criticising Greta Thunberg for donating $155,000 to providing COVID-19 vaccines to third world countries, asking:

‘What will be the next “crisis” Greta will be told (by left-wing adults) to lecture us about?’

Where was the ABC when the Victorian Parliament passed the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 which Antic summarises as posing an attack on religious freedom in the most egregious form in Australian legislative history?

Does the Act forbid crucial practices such as the ritual warning that the end of the world is nigh? No, the one religious practice the Act makes illegal is trying to suppress or change a person’s sexual identity, including by an exorcism.

But the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, does not support Antic’s “middle Australian” views.

She said:

“The Church of England believes that all people are made in the image of God and must be cherished for who they are. The General Synod has voted overwhelmingly to reject coercive Conversion Therapies...”

Antic believes that giving people with terminal, pain-ridden illnesses the choice to die with dignity if they so choose has nothing to do with personal choice but is a degradation of values and the drift towards the radical Left.

Antic wants middle Australia to remember that moves to allow euthanasia are prioritising radical social policy reform which devalues the very essence of our humanity.

Middle Australia is likely to be shocked by Antic’s claim that:

‘New laws proposed for South Australia would allow abortion up until the moment of birth.’

He portrays the law as allowing two doctors to agree to kill a baby as it is about to be born.

But middle Australia might wonder how he reached this conclusion from the wording of the Act which stipulates that a termination after 22 weeks and six days can only take place if two doctors agree that:

  • the continuance of the pregnancy would involve significant risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant person; or
  • the termination is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person or save another foetus; or
  • there is a case, or significant risk, of serious foetal anomalies associated with the pregnancy.

The Act has been passed in order to decriminalise abortion in South Australia.

Before the Bill was passed, the Law Society of South Australia said:

‘There appears to be little reliable evidence to suggest that late-term abortions would increase under the proposed reforms. What the Bill does is ensure that all abortion procedures conducted in clinical settings are treated as medical issues and decisions are made based on medical evidence and patients’ rights.’

And middle Australia? In a Victorian Law Reform survey, 62% agreed women should have unrestricted access to abortion on demand, no matter what the circumstance.

With only 14 of the Liberals’ 77 MPs being female, even PM Scott Morrison has talked about quotas as a possible way of redressing the imbalance.

The imbalance in the Senate was actually made worse when Antic rolled sitting Senator Lucy Gichuhi to take her place on the Liberal ticket in 2019.

Antic has said:

‘I do not support quotas. Quotas dilute the democratic process. Our membership must be able to decide who is preselected for Parliamentary positions without artificial boundaries fettering that process.’

However, while not prepared to support quotas to secure more female candidates, Antic seems determined to ‘dilute the democratic process’ by aggressively recruiting hundreds of Pentecostal members to the Liberal Party. 

Pentecostalists do not seem to represent middle Australia, with just 216,000 (1.1%) being recorded in the 2016 Census, compared with atheists at 30% of the population. Middle Australia would seem to be the 52% who still identify as Christian — although only 16% of the population actually attends church regularly.

For anyone wondering on what Antic bases his diatribe about the ABC, the ABC apologised on 15 April for showing vision which suggested, wrongly, the Governor-General had been present at a dance display at a naval dockyard.

Shortly after, the Menzies Research Centre commissioned True North Strategy to conduct an opinion poll in which people were asked:

‘In light of this and other controversies, do you think the ABC is always accurate and impartial?’

The obvious and logical answer is: No, the ABC has admitted an inaccuracy.

Despite this blemish, more than a third of respondents said it was accurate and impartial.

True North reported its findings accurately.

However, Senator Alex Antic and the Menzies Research Centre misused the findings to report:

‘Just 37% of Australians believe the ABC to be accurate and impartial and those people largely vote Labor or Greens. More than two-thirds (72%) of Liberal voters believe the ABC’s coverage is biased and inaccurate. In my state of South Australia, 64% of people think the ABC is biased and in Queensland, the figure is higher at 72%.’

That, surely, is fabricated outrage.

Here are Antic’s own words from his maiden speech in the Senate:

“Happily, that Australia, the common sense Australia, is alive and well in the overwhelming majority of Australians, but we cannot allow it to be further hijacked by the destructive forces of fabricated outrage, lest it shall wither and die.”

Steve Bishop is a journalist and author. You can read more from Steve at stevebishop.net

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