Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

NE thing more and more Aus­tralians are cry­ing out for is for our elected lead­ers to just once make a stand against ac­tivists. In­stead of politi­cians with the guts to say “no”, they rou­tinely ig­nore con­ser­va­tive con­trib­u­tors while trip­ping over them­selves to ap­pease the Left.

The com­mon thread of ac­tivism by mi­nori­ties is that very rarely is com­pro­mise al­lowed. We ei­ther do it their way or be threat­ened or called ev­ery nasty name un­der the sun.

Whether it’s gay mar­riage, cli­mate change, the en­vi­ron­ment, im­mi­gra­tion, indige­nous is­sues, mil­i­tant fem­i­nism, smok­ing, drink­ing or eat­ing fatty foods, ac­tivists are like a two- year- old who will never lis­ten to calm rea­son­ing and just keep stamp­ing their feet un­til they win.

But for once, it would be great to see a gov­ern­ment put its hand up and just say “No”.

At the mo­ment, if some­thing is de­manded by the Left, gov­ern­ments take the easy route of giv­ing them the lol­lies they scream for in the hope they’ll be quiet for a bit. But they never go quiet. Take the snap ban on live ex­ports, or the knee­jerk in­quiry into youth de­ten­tion in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

Peo­ple who urged a more con­ser­va­tive ap­proach were ig­nored.

But the prob­lem with con­ser­va­tives is that they tend to be con­tent to whinge to each other rather than smash win­dows at a politi­cian’s of­fice or march in the streets burn­ing the Aussie flag.

But this tol­er­ance has re­sulted in ac­tivists for any cause go­ing feral un­til they get their way ... and gov­ern­ments al­low it to hap­pen.

Take gay mar­riage. The Aus­tralian peo­ple voted at the last elec­tion for the Coali­tion which ran on a plat­form of hav­ing a plebiscite, but La­bor, The Greens and a few cross­bench sen­a­tors gave the fin­ger to the Aussie pub­lic and knocked that on the head – twice. Now with a pub­lic postal vote pro­posed, SSM ad­vo­cates have threat­ened to chal­lenge it in the High Court.

When other com­pro­mises have been men­tioned such as al­low­ing re­li­gious ex­emp­tions to dis­crim­i­na­tion laws, the ac­tivists spit the dummy at those as well. They de­mand every­one do what they want with­out giv­ing an inch in re­turn. That’s not ne­go­ti­a­tion, it’s brow­beat­ing petu­lance.

Some op­po­nents of SSM fear chang­ing the def­i­ni­tion of mar­riage from “a man and a woman” will open the flood­gates for peo­ple to ag­i­tate for other def­i­ni­tions to be in­cluded, such as polygamy and mar­ry­ing an­i­mals.

This is scoffed at but ac­tivists have strong form for not sim­ply be­ing happy with a win. They must keep protest­ing for every­thing to change.

Take indige­nous ac­tivists. First there were land rights in the 1970s, fol­lowed by the Mabo na­tive ti­tle court de­ci­sion in 1992.

Then in 1995 they were given per­mis­sion to fly their own flag, and have been granted ac­cess to “Murri Courts”, ex­clu­sive rights to hunt pro­tected an­i­mals, and ex­tremely gen­er­ous wel­fare pro­grams.

We call many places their Abo­rig­i­nal names, we proudly laud our indige­nous achiev­ers and we de­liv­ered a na­tional apol­ogy for the so- called Stolen Gen­er­a­tion.

Surely that would be enough for the ac­tivists to stop burn­ing Aus­tralian flags, say thank you and get on with their lives, but now the talk is about chang­ing the date of Aus­tralia Day, con­sti­tu­tional recog­ni­tion and man­dat­ing an indige­nous voice in par­lia­ment.

It’s the same with en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. The gree­nies aren’t con­tent at al­ready lock­ing hu­mans out of huge swaths of na­ture, im­pos­ing ex­treme re­stric­tions on farm­ing, fish­ing and min­ing, and scar­ing gov­ern­ments into costly and in­ef­fec­tive cli­mate change poli­cies. They’ve killed the coun­try’s log­ging in­dus­try and have suc­ceeded in ban­ning dump­ing dredge spoil in the Bar­rier Reef lagoon. Now they want to stop any new mines, close down the Co­ral Sea, they de­mand we pay the world’s high­est power prices for re­new­ables, and they stop casi­nos and re­sorts be­ing built … any­where.

No com­pro­mises, no grat­i­tude for past con­ces­sions, just more bile.

The ac­tivists have had a good run for decades, but now we need politi­cians to do what any good par­ent does, and just say “Enough”.

If the ag­i­ta­tors don’t like it, they can aim for sen­si­ble com­pro­mise or ac­cept the um­pire’s de­ci­sion like ra­tio­nal and rea­son­able hu­man be­ings.

GO­ING FERAL: Ac­tivists never stop rant­ing and stamp­ing their feet un­til they get their way.

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