Tim Wilson cries over plebiscite but backs it anyway

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Liberal Party LGBT ambassador Tim Wilson's admission that a marriage equality plebiscite is degrading to LGBT people and subsequent decision to support it anyway, proves he is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, says Andrew Olexander.

WHAT A FASCINATING insight into the psychology of Tim Wilson MP and the current crop of LGBT Liberals.

His Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) "op-ed" comment piece is not pretty. His position on a plebiscite evokes, in me, a profound sense of pity and sadness.

Time to unpack it.

Wilson reveals his "captive" mentality clearly in this article by acknowledging that a plebiscite is degrading and damages the dignity of LGBT people.

Further, he acknowledges that the plebiscite proposal was always a trap and delay tactic and that he privately grieved over it under Abbott.

But after only a few weeks where he claims he tried to overturn it – weeks in which we felt he was conspicuous by his absence and uncharacteristic silence – he quickly surrendered to the idea and adopted it! He was asking the hard right majority of his party to give him a seat in parliament after all. They had already given him a $350,000 sinecure at the Human Rights Commission, so why not?

Just at the point when the vast majority of the LGBT body politic (including former Liberals like me) consolidated and began to fight,
 Wilson surrendered to the opponents of marriage equality and adopted their position. Sometimes, captives do this when they have no alternative (see: Stockholm Syndrome).

Now in a massive exercise of self delusion, and self preservation, Wilson seeks to blame the victim, and justify his identity and existence with fantasy and misinformation — something that was evident when he and other LGBT Liberals campaigned for the hard right, whilst most of us campaigned against them in the Federal Election.

Wilson references the "fights" over decriminalisation which took place in the 1980s in Victoria and NSW. Newsflash — Wilson was not part of them. He was still a school kid, wearing shorts and a Melbourne High blazer, with a Knights "chess piece" emblem sewn on to his pocket. I was a part of those fights and others. The LGBT Liberals of the day, achieved reform without recourse to a plebiscite. We convinced the Liberal Party to have a vote in parliament (not conscience-binding), something the current crop of LGBT Liberals have dismally failed to do today.

The reality of politics is a hard reality for LGBT people. If a plebiscite is blocked, very soon there will be a parliamentary vote. Wilson and his gay conservative colleagues will be forced to cross the floor to support their human rights – and ours – or appear to be what they truly are: captives and traitors.

If a plebiscite is held, there will likely be no parliamentary vote or a failed one. As the hard right know, support for equality in the community is "soft" and will be sheared away in a brutal debate with misinformation, fear mongering, lies and creative electorate-by-electorate counting.

Wilson and his LGBT Liberal accomplices will have been complicit in a once in a generation opportunity for the death of a major human rights reform. He and others like him will then be labelled not as knights on a chessboard but rather as what they truly are — pawns in a game they lost by surrendering a long time ago.

Andrew Olexander is the director of Ukrainian World Network and former Victorian shadow minister for youth, the arts and consumer affairs. He is a member of the Australian Greens.


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