The Winter of Discontent

by on 21 May, 2014

MugshotMitchell Cutting discusses the unacceptable tactics employed by the left in their protests against the Government across the last week, and examines the frightening pattern of brutish behaviour which is emerging:

The recent spate of attacks on women at University Campuses by a group of Left-wing activists has provided us all with a glimpse of their mindset. They mistakenly believe that these incidents are acceptable in our community. These actions are an unnerving indication of the willingness of a new generation of socialist activists to cross lines of common decency which had previously remained untraversed.

Scenes of the minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP, being assaulted by a group of students at the University of Sydney on the 16th May are concerning as an isolated event. More concerning is the assault of former Federal MP Sophie Mirabella at the University of Melbourne on the 19th May, indicating that a pattern of this type of brutish behaviour may be developing.

Most Australians do not consider this type of behaviour to be normal. It is as though these people never learned principles of common decency or courtesy. When in our history has it been acceptable to assault anyone, male or female, politician or otherwise? Everyday Australians do not identify with this behaviour.

The same left-wing activists who assaulted Julie Bishop have appeared in youtube footage, shot on the same day as the assault.  The footage shows a rally where several people address the crowd, one crying  ‘how dare they come on to this campus today!’ The argument that Government Ministers should avoid Universities because some students may be upset is absolutely absurd. Understandably, when the gravy train leaves the station, those left behind are going to be unhappy. This does not discount the act that regardless of their political views, citizens deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

While watching the vision of Julie Bishop and Sophie Mirabella being attacked, I was struck by one question: how would the left-wing activists feel if it had been their Mother or Sister or Wife under attack? I for one would be outraged if mine had been exposed to this type of behaviour. Both women were simply going about their business, doing their jobs. Sophie Mirabella isn’t even a Member of Parliament anymore, which makes the attacks on her even more absurd. We have a relaxed national outlook in this country, but there is a line, and it has been crossed.

As a student at the University of Sydney, I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed by the actions of those who I reluctantly refer to as my peers. Their disgusting behaviour has left a stain on our institution, which will take several washes and a good spray of Sard to remove.

The National Tertiary Education Union has organised a day of protest against ‘Changes to higher education in this year’s budget’ on Wednesday 21st May. I personally will be protesting the screeches of the left on Wednesday by going to work. As per usual, I will be a productive, tax-paying member of our society. I will conduct myself in a polite and courteous manner. I will then go home after a full day’s work to do several hours of study.

The nature of my day will be in direct contrast to those protesting. Those protesting will likely be loud and disruptive, and making no contribution to the nation. Though the message of these left-wing activists has become known, the means utilised to spread it will ultimately poison the message.


Mitchell is a Postgraduate student at the University of Sydney studying Commerce, and a member of the NSW Young Liberals.

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