Kevin Andrews and I agree on something

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

Department of Social Services

Has absolutely nothing to do with this

PRESS RELEASE

Like Kevin Andrews, I will not be opening the World Congress of Families.

Like Kevin, I have decided to issue a Press Release to explain my decision.

Like Kevin, I have decided nonetheless to publish the speech I would have given had I opened the conference because although I’m too cowardly to front the audience to whom it is ostensibly addressed I still want to use my position and the occasion I won’t be attending as an excuse to publish it.

Tolerance is a critical value in a western liberal democracy, especially in the southern hemisphere on a big island like Australia just underneath a lot of countries that aren’t.

Tolerance is actually quite important everywhere, but I just want to emphasise that we claim to have it to further emphasise that other people whom I don’t like don’t, and I can’t tolerate people like that.

Normally, you wouldn’t catch me in the same hemisphere as bigoted, intolerant, homophobic nut jobs, however to demonstrate how tolerant I am I was going to share a room with them, open their conference and accept an award, however two things have happened to prevent that.

The first thing is that some extremely intolerant people in the Senate suggested that there was a difference between tolerating an organisation and actually being a member, a distinction that I find frankly ridiculous and I don’t know how they tolerate people like that in the Senate.

The second thing is that I have discovered that there will be green fabric on the seats in the hall, and while I’m a tolerant man, I’m afraid there are some things that no reasonable liberal democratic western person should be asked to tolerate, and green fabric is an affront to the fabric of our society.

So, not because intolerant people have been intolerant of tolerant people like me, and not because I’m terrified of the public backlash, but because of the non-liberal non-western non-democratic green fabric, I shall not be opening the Congress.

Here is the speech I was going to give:

“You are extremely unpleasant, intolerant, bigoted people and your views are vile and abhorrent. We didn’t let Sri Lankan unionists into the country, and I’m amazed we let you in. I now declare this conference open, and look forward to declaring it closed. Thank you.”

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