April 4th 2020

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The world has changed: Now for the new order

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Move to curtail underage online porn epidemic

CANBERRA OBSERVED ScoMo's delicate balancing act in extraordinary times

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Time and timing are crucial to Cardinal Pell's appeal by Peter Westmore

NEW ZEALAND Political divisions polarise across the Ditch

NEW ZEALAND Victorian Road Map smooths way of NZ anti-life clique to abortion 'reform'

FREE SPEECH Intolerance brigade at UQ attacks professor of Law

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Victoria lifts moratorium of gas exploration

CHINESE HISTORY The Soong Dynasty: Three sisters who rules China

LAW AND SOCIETY Guilt by accusation: The kangaroos are roaming freely through Australia's legal system

GENDER POLITICS Dr Quentin Van Meter's Australian talk is opening eyes in the U.S.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Australia is not safe in the borderless globalised world

SHOPPING AND SOCIETY The Ubermensch in the aisles

MUSIC We seem to have lost the point of counterpoint

CINEMA The Current War: Industrial miracle workers

BOOK REVIEW A dark trade that continues unabated worldwide

EBOOK READ THIS Both sides to this old story



NATIONAL AFFAIRS Use detention centres to help deal with covid19 epidemic

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Justice at last: Cardinal Pell set free

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Intolerance brigade at UQ attacks professor of Law

by Mei Ling

News Weekly, April 4, 2020

The T.C. Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland was established by a £20,000 donation from Thomas Charles Beirne, a devout Catholic businessman and Papal Knight who was warden of the University from 1928 to 1941. The vast tract of beautiful riverside land on which the university sits in St Lucia was donated by pioneering doctor and Catholic philanthropist James O’Neil Mayne.

Professor of Law Patrick Parkinson

One wonders what these two benefactors would think of the current push by students to remove the Dean of Law, Professor Patrick Parkinson, for making what they describe as “transphobic” remarks in The Australian, on February 14, 2020. Reporter Bernard Lane wrote: “University of Queensland Law Dean Patrick Parkinson, speaking in a personal capacity, conceded authorities would be worried and busy with the coronavirus but said the explosion in transgender-identifying teenagers, chiefly girls, was ‘another epidemic’ – one that had ‘so far escaped public attention’.”

In response to Professor Parkinson’s remarks, a petition was started at Change.org by student Nicola Tanks, aka “Johnny Valkyrie”, entitled “No transphobia at university. Condemn Prof Patrick Parkinson.” It reads in part: “The School of Law should not be figureheaded by an individual who does not uphold discrimination, vilification and human-rights protections.”

The facts are that Professor Parkinson actually hosted a religious freedom conference at the University of Queensland in April 2019 at which a diversity of views was expressed. The conference explored just those issues of discrimination, vilification and human-rights protections that Professor Parkinson is being accused of not upholding.

Professor Parkinson is not alone in being harassed or threatened for expressing views that are politically incorrect. Fifty-two-year-old transsexual Miranda Yardley, who was the first person in Britain to be sued for committing the “hate crime” of making “transphobic” remarks on Twitter, wrote: “There seems to me something uniquely cruel in telling children their bodies are wrong because they do not match the interests our culture deems appropriate for their sex.

“The adults who promote this lethally toxic culture should feel ashamed of themselves. Of course, they never will: they are fanatics.”

In Britain, University of Exeter economics lecturer Dr Eva Poen has been accused of transphobia by feminist and LGBT students for tweeting: “Only female people menstruate. Only female people go through menopause.” There is also a push for her to lose her job.

In 2018, the Bristol University student union backed proposals to ban any TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) speakers who questioned whether men who identified as women were actually women.

In 2017, 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan was beaten up at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park by young trans-identifying men, enraged that she was about to attend a feminist talk entitled, “What is gender”.

So much for inclusivity, not to mention common civility. Must the whole world conform to their perception? Do “trans rights” override the basic human right of free speech? It is even more concerning when this occurs in universities, which are supposed to be places of higher learning, where free inquiry and debate should be sine qua non or taken for granted.

This has been a worrying trend in Australian institutes of higher education. In August 2018, a talk by U.S. pediatric endocrinologist Dr Quentin van Meter entitled, “The transgender movement: its origins and how social theory is trumping science”, along with the launch of Patrick Byrne’s book, Transgender: The Implications for Law, Man & Woman, Schools, Sport, Politics & Democracy – organised by the Australian Family Association – was cancelled by the University of Western Australia.

Ironically, Pat Byrne predicted in his book that transgender ideology will “mark a return to the authoritarian form of state that a tolerant, neutral democracy is supposed to avoid”.

Just this year, Monash University’s student association, which runs a variety of Orientation Week events and stalls offering “a diverse introduction to Monash”, turned down an application from the Institute of Public Affairs’ tertiary student group, Generation Liberty, explaining: “Generation Liberty’s positions on issues such as climate change do not align with MSA’s.”

Victorian Minister for Education Dan Tehan was even moved to suggest in September 2018 that students and activists who protest at events on campus should pay for their own security. His remarks came after sex therapist Bettina Arndt was charged for security after speaking to the Sydney University Liberal Club on the myth of the “rape crisis” on Australian campuses. Riot police had to be called to manage the 40 students blocking access to the event.

Are people so incapable of rational argument that they must resort to deplatforming and vilification? This is sheer bullying.

Professor Parkinson is a specialist in family law and child protection. Instead of trying to quash his words, spoken from experience and a place of deep concern, he should be free to express his considered views in the interests of academic inquiry.

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm