CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Mark Latham and the Future of Australia

May 12, 2019

In one week the Australian electorate goes to the polls. I may be in America at the moment for a brief period, but the importance of this election is certainly on my mind each and every day. Will the great values of faith, freedom and family be maintained and strengthened, or will they finally be snuffed out?

Yes I think this election is that serious. While the Liberals and Nationals are no panacea for what ails us, a Labor/Greens win will be disastrous for the nation. I have earlier written on just what is at stake in this election: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/04/30/what-a-labor-win-will-mean-for-freedom-religion-and-children-in-australia/

With all this in mind let me refer to a powerful speech delivered on May 8 by Mark Latham. The former Labor Party leader is now head of One Nation in NSW and was recently elected to the Legislative Council . Broadcaster Alan Jones called his inaugural speech “The most outstanding political speech I have ever read”.

Latham is an interesting character. He may have been part of a major leftist political party for many years, but he has long had conservative instincts. I have had brief contact with him over the years, and this has long been apparent. And he makes no claim to being a devout Christian, so his speech is all the more interesting.

His 5478-word address was a breath of fresh air in so many ways. Unlike most Australian politicians, he seems unashamed in promoting the Judeo-Christian worldview and values, and standing against so much of the leftist PC nonsense.

But enough talk from me – with so much good material to be found in his speech, let me finish this article by quoting heavily from it:

Among the Leftist elites, among the social engineers and cultural dietitians, sneering at our civilisation and its achievements has become their new pastime. They preach diversity but practice a suffocating cultural conformity, wanting everyone to be just like them. They argue for inclusion but as soon as a Christian, a conservative, a libertarian, a nationalist, a working class larrikin, an outsider from the vast suburbs and regions of our nation disagrees with them, they crank up their PC-outrage machine to exclude them from society.

They are tolerant of everything except dissenting values and opinions – meaning, of course, they are tolerant of nothing that matters, only themselves. This is the Leftist curse through the ages: the recurring history of those who so badly crave control over others, they lose control over themselves….

The Leftist project, then and now, is about control. Having, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, lost the struggle for economic control, the Left got smarter. It shifted from the Cold War to a culture war. It moved from pursuing economic Marxism to pushing cultural Marxism.

Instead of trying to socialise the means of production, it’s now trying to socialise the means of individual expression and belief – our language, our values, our behaviour. Instead of seeking revolution at the top of government, it has marched instead through our institutions – a tactic that’s harder to combat. The elites have been remarkably successful in this cultural invasion.

Our abiding national traditions of free speech, merit selection, resilience and love of country are being lost, not just in the public sector – in schools, universities, public broadcasters, major political parties and government agencies – but also in large parts of corporate Australia and the commercial media. The rest of us are the Resistance to this national takeover.

Our chief ally is evidence. Evidence and human nature. Through the power of reason and enlightenment, people want to have a say about the things that are important to them. They want free speech. They want freedom of religion and belief. Australians are also a tough yet fair-minded people.

It comes from our origins in colonial times, the things depicted in Talmage’s painting. The Australian story in settling a harsh and sometimes hostile continent on the other side of the world is one of the most remarkable in human history. Leaders like Arthur Phillip and Lachlan Macquarie, in little more than a generation, turned a penal colony into a civilisation – building what has now become the best nation on Earth.

It was achieved through resilience and mateship – the Australian habit of toughing it out and treating others as equals. Jack is as good as his master. It’s in our nature to treat people as we find them – to judge them on their individual merit, their work ethic, their community contribution. This is what makes identity politics – subdividing our people on the basis of race, gender and sexuality – so foreign to the Australian way.

Just as the old Soviet Union fell over because human nature wanted economic competition and individual wealth and excellence, I believe these new mutant strains of social control – post-modernism and identity politics – will also fail. They run contrary to the nature and evidence of our lives….

NSW needs freedom of speech laws, even for its own MPs. And also new laws for the protection of religious freedom. Mr President, as I’m sure you appreciate, many migrants came to Australia to escape religious persecution. Now they are saying the problems in their home country have followed them here. I’m not a Christian but I recognise the vital contribution of Christianity to our civilisation: its vast social and charitable work; its teaching of right and wrong in civil society.

Mr President, I stand with Israel Folau. In his own private time away from his job playing football, he’s a preacher at his community church and naturally, he quotes the Bible. He believes, as millions of people have believed for thousands of years, that sinners go to Hell.

As per his valid religious faith, he loves the sinner but condemns the sin. Yet for his beliefs, his Christianity, he is not allowed to play rugby, to chase the pigskin around the park. How did our State and our nation ever come to this? I was on Folau’s list of sinners, more than once actually. But as I don’t believe in Hell, there was no way I could take offence.

Those claiming outrage have fabricated their position solely for the purpose of censorship. This is not an argument about diversity. The Wallabies have no female players, no disabled, no elderly, no middle aged. They are selected from a tiny fraction of the young, fit, athletic male population. By excluding a committed Christian, they are making their game less inclusive.

And as for Folau being a role model for young gay men, one only needs to state this proposition to understand its absurdity. Footballers are not role models for anyone, other than in enjoying their sporting ability. I say to any young person: if you are looking for guidance and inspiration in life, study Churchill, Lincoln, Reagan and Roosevelt, not Todd Carney. By the way, that’s Ronald Reagan, not Reg Reagan.

Mr President, I believe that no Australian should live in fear of the words they utter. No Australian should be fearful of proclaiming four of the most glorious words of our civilisation: I Am A Christian. No one should be sacked by their employer for statements of genuine belief and faith that have got nothing to do with their job.

The Folau case exposes the new serfdom in the Australian workplace: how big companies, the corporate PC-elites are wanting to control all aspects of their employees’ lives – their religious and political views, how they speak and think, how they behave, even in their own time away from the workplace. This is a stunning intrusion on workers’ rights. Yet far from condemning the new serfdom, Labor and the trade unions have been cheering it on….

As per our One Nation election commitments, I will be moving legislation for the protection of free speech, religious freedom and the privacy rights of workers. Mr President, The fightback for freedom is long overdue. As is the fightback for fairness.

I mentioned earlier that for most people, identities of race, gender and sexuality are fixed. People are born a certain way and shouldn’t be judged by the things in life they can’t change. To do so is to practice the poison of identity politics. It’s become the great obsession of Leftists everywhere; even though for normal people, it’s not the way in which they live their lives.

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I’m male or female, I’m black or white, I’m straight or gay’. They start their day as workers, as parents, as family members, as community contributors. Not only is identity politics irrelevant to most people, it’s a betrayal of social justice and social democracy.

In the 80s and 90s we were told to look through a person’s race, gender and sexuality. Things like skin colour were irrelevant to a person’s true character – to their work ethic, to the way in which they care about others, to the individuality of their existence. There was no need to lump them into broad, unrepresentative categories based on the primitive notion of how they look….

Divisive identity politics subdivides our society, destroying its sense of common good. And it leaves the Rainbow Left impotent: they have no solution for the white welfare dependent man in a public housing estate. In fact, far from helping him, perversely and tragically, they define him as part of the problem. Imagine how he feels when he sees other identity categories gaining special treatment.

Mr President, I have studied these things all my adult life and I come to this chamber convinced there is only one way of running a fair society and that’s through merit. The best person for the job must get the job, regardless of race, gender and sexuality….

For the past 14 years I’ve had the greatest joy and responsibility of my life: as a home dad, as a primary carer, giving support and all my love to my wife Janine and our three children, Oliver, Isaac and Siena. When I left the Federal Parliament in 2005, the words of the former Member for Bass, Warwick Smith, echoed in my ears: “Every day you spend away from your children is a day you never get back.” The days and years with my children have been the best of my life but now they are so much older and, through them, having seen what the government school system has become, it was time to come here to do something about it….

Not bad for a non-Christian and a former Labor leader! Sure, I differ in some key areas with him, and I pray he one day comes to personally know Jesus Christ, forgiveness of sins and newness of life. But I am glad he is back in politics, and I wish more politicians were as bold, non-PC, and sensible as he is.

You can watch the entire 39-minute speech here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz-Nzs92X5s&app=desktop

And you can read it in full here: www.onenation.org.au/mandatory-reading-mark-lathams-maiden-speech/

[1818 words]

22 Responses to Mark Latham and the Future of Australia

  • G’day Bill
    Yes it was a terrific speech. I have seen about a 3rd of it but thanks for supplying the raw material here. It’s so refreshing to hear Mark speak and articulate how we have come to the place we have with suppression of Free Speech and identity politics. It’s choking our ability to say what we all really think and thankfully Mark can set off on an agenda to reign in those who want to censor our liberties. I too will be praying for him. Thanks for the article Bill.

  • He sounds very “Kiwi” – he must be a Kiwi! Its about time he comes home to take up his rightful position against the clowns running the NZ Government.

  • I sent him an email immediately that I watched his maiden speech – to congratulate him. I think Pauline has done herself a great favour in securing this man for her team.

  • It was a terrific speech, thanks Bill.

  • Where did Mark get such great wisdom? I’m sure Israel Folao would say, “It’s a gift from God”
    Israel has really been maligned for his Christian beliefs by those it would seem to support an opposite belief to the Bibles.
    One would ask those doubters if you don’t believe Gods word wheres your proof to disprove it. If you’re so sure that Israel misrepresented the word of God – prove it!
    I’m sure Israel’s heart was expressing his love ( 1Corinthians !6:14) for those who have rejected Jesus. His heart would cry out in sadness for folk who knowingly accept their lot in a lost eternity.
    A sticky point for me is this thing called The Code of Conduct, Does it condone drunkenness, violence, and violence towards women, drug taking, habitual gambling, public misbehavior and the like, perhaps it should be called the Code of Misconduct, if you’re prepared to accept the excuse that they are just naughty boys being boys.
    Those who have come against Israel plainly have no concept of biblical truths. What Israel posted is the inspired word of God and has been so in the Bible throughout the world for thousands of years.
    The Australian Rugby Commission think their only fighting Folau. Big mistake, they are disputing with Gods word and his wrath is not easily turned away.

  • There is a huge amount that you could comment on Mark Latham’s speech but I would like to just pick up on one point.

    With all the hysteria about climate change you would think there would be some consideration as to what we do should the dire predictions start to come true. Many people don’t realize that not only do wind turbines not produce power when there is little wind they also have to shut down when there is too much because it is simply impossible to create turbines (which are already hugely expensive because of the high technology required) that can sustain the force of strong winds.

    So if you imagine a world where we do have hothouse effects (bearing in mind Mark 13:24) and the Sun is cut off by huge amount of clouds the first thing to happen is that solar power generation will be drastically reduced. Then imagine the huge winds that are predicted by a hotter, more energetic atmosphere (bearing in mind Luke 21:25) that would mean wind power is shut down as well. Then imagine the huge heat waves and intense cold spells that are predicted and how people are going to cope with their normal power generation cut off and with no means of base-load power. You are talking about potentially millions of people dying just in Australia alone so never mind the stupidly of the huge losses in perishable goods etc. that we saw recently under Labor in South Australia. Image what happens when hospitals and essential services, public transport, public utilities, access to funds etc. are all shut down and we have no way of doing anything about it while we either attempt to burn everything in sight as we try to keep warm or try to get hold of the only cooling through water which, because of predicted drought and the shutting down of desalination plants and water distribution because of the loss of power, we just don’t have. Then imagine the high chance of fire breaking out under those circumstances.

    Now I believe those scriptures tell us clearly that God is in control because Jesus told us these things don’t happen until the stars start falling, so the prophecies don’t appear to be confirming anthropogenic predictions, but very clearly, if we want to protect ourselves, painting ourselves into a corner by using solar and wind generation is not the way to do it, especially given the lead time that would be required if we do need to remedy the situation and the fact that, because Australia is about 0.3% of the world population and is surrounded by oceans, the greatest carbon dioxide sink, it will have an undetectable effect on the world’s carbon dioxide levels anyway.

    If it was me taking responsibility for people’s lives in this situation, I would be sourcing possible nuclear power sites now. I would most certainly not be planning on placing reliance on the very things that are predicted to potentially change.

  • Mark’s well written, intelligent speech was a breath of fresh air and gives us hope. Never thought he had this in him from his old Labor days but I love how he has always been so genuine and honest from the start and hope he continues to stay that way.

  • Thanks Bill, I agree, “Not bad for a non-Christian and a former Labor leader!” It’s a great speech and well watching in it’s entirety.

  • Yes it was impressive. What clarity of thought and understanding of the current situation. What strength and conviction. Mr Latham for President. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Labor’s ‘kept-under-the-radar’ policies.

    How Labor Will Impose the Queer Revolution
    Elisabeth Taylor – Australian Christian Lobby

    These policies, if implemented, would grant extraordinary powers to the state to intervene in the family lives of Australians—a hallmark of totalitarianism. Rather than supporting “Aussie families”, these policies are intended to hasten the end of the Australian family as we have always known it. They envisage the exchange of fundamental democratic freedoms and human rights (freedom of speech, religion, thought, conscience and belief, the rights of parents to bring up their children in accordance with their own convictions, among others) for the dubious advantage of “liberation” from oppressive gender norms and expectations of heterosexuality proffered in their place by the queer revolution.

    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2019/04/how-labor-will-impose-the-queer-revolution/

  • I am so thrilled to have people like Mark Latham, Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, and a multitude of other commentators from Skynews really speaking up on these things. As far as i know, none of them profess to be Christian. What is really so disheartening though is to witness the overwhelming silence of so many of our Christian leaders. Even worse, if they do speak up, it is usually to go to great extremes to try to present all sides as equally valid and deserving.

    The election guide sent out to many churches by Eternity News was beyond devastating in this regard. Reading their guide, would hardly be dissimilar to listening to the Drum, or The Project or any other mainstream media commentary (bar Sky) and yet so many church leaders are recommending it to their congregations as a good voting guide. Among so many other errors on virtually every topic listed, this guide suggested that it is still a criminal offence for women to have abortions in NSW and that’s why labor and Greens want it to be decriminalised. They even went so far as to say, women can be jailed for abortion.

    Neither Labor or LNP are great but there is a clear difference and why are our Christians leaders so unwilling to actually lead their flocks and help them see beyond media propaganda?
    I’d love your thought on this Bill.
    And thank you again for being the fearless leader you are.
    Best regards,
    Roseanne

  • Agreed Bill, Mark L is one of the few politicians in Australia worth listening to. Di Natalie, Shorten(brains), even Scomo, barely worth the price of the ballot slip. Luckily I have a couple of conservative candidates to put ahead of the Libs as a protest vote. Not sure who to put last between greens and socialist alliance (lower case letters deliberate). At least socialist alliance have some honesty in their name. Rant over.

  • I agree with Alan Jones – The most outstanding political speech I have ever read.
    He was also one of the few public people defending Margaret Court.
    Well done Mark! God Bless you.
    Kyle

  • Amazing that an atheist is our great home for religious freedom!

    Mr Morrison, take note!

  • Thanks Bill.
    We certainly need more Mark Lathams in our parliaments across Australia.

    Love his word for the outrage industry: the offenderati…!

  • I didn’t respect Mark Latham until I watched this excellent speech.

  • I can remember when Mark Latham was campaigning against Howard. He appeared to be a crackpot then. What a huge difference now! His speech hit every target the Left offers. If only Pauline had his wisdom and incisiveness the ONP would be a force to be reckoned with.
    I’d have to agree with Roseanne- I am quite disappointed in the soft-left position of the Eternity newspaper. There are few of its articles that are at all hard hitting, most either inoffensive or “progressive”. A bit like the LNP, really.

  • As a proud Australian who loves his country mark and his party give me some hope we may survive the mass sell out and deterioration of our christian society, labour and greens agenda for this country is frightening vote Pauline and Mark.

  • If only we had more politicians like Mark Latham. What a breath of fresh air.

  • Roseanne Masters…I believe that some churches are more interested in keeping their tax free status than actually speaking up about the destruction of our culture, which exposes the complete irrelevance of many of these congregations, and it’s happening on our watch which implicates us all. As you have said we should be very grateful for the secular voices that do.
    At a time when Christians worldwide are being persecuted and killed in ever increasing numbers, they follow a middle path of appeasement.
    One hates to think of what may have to occur to cause the shake up that is coming to our fat, comfortable congregations, but the result will be authenticity.
    PS. Even though I can observe these things I in no way exclude myself from the malaise of the western church as a whole. The reckoning is coming.

  • A rant perhaps David Williams, but completely justified in the circumstances. I agree entirely with your comments.

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