In a highly impressive inaugural speech, newly elected NSW state MP Luke Foley has shown that while Laborâ€™s light on Rooty Hill is flickering in a storm of scandal and dissatisfaction, thereâ€™s always going to be hope.
I draw inspiration from one of the great radical documents in human history: the American Declaration of Independence. What was radical in 1776 was the notion that government arose from the people and was not a gift to them or an imposition on them. The American Declaration of Independence established the concept of human rights, for the first time in history, as the basis for a nation. I hold human rights to be universal. I do not believe that, in today’s world, human rights are the exclusive preserve of Westerners.
Anti-totalitarianism is at the heart of my politics. Today a totalitarian movement of the far Right is threatening pluralist democracies and the lives and freedoms of people in many societies, including our own. This global Islamist movement is misogynist, racist and homophobic. This movement’s extremist ideology is, of course, based on an utter perversion of the Islamic faith. Too many progressives are silent about this or deny this. Governments everywhere have a profound duty to protect their citizens from the threat of extremist Islamist terrorism. I intend to maintain an active interest in this over my time in this place.
These are startling and courageous words from a leader of Laborâ€™s Left.
For decades, from the time of solidarity with PLO terrorist hijackers to the making of excuses for the murder of 2000+ civilians on 9/11, the apologist Left have been very, very reluctant to confront the evil so accurately described by Luke Foley. Sadly a lot of this reluctance to criticise Islamists has stemmed from the view that any enemy of America is a friend of the Left.
Itâ€™s been a tremendous source of puzzlement that the Labor Left could profess enthusiasm for feminism, internationalism and egalitarianism while remaining very silent indeed about this far-right Islamist movement that hates women, enslaves whole peoples and is financed by vile kleptocracy. It has been an unprincipled silence, rooted in cynicism and disregard for first principles.
With their vicious anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, desire to exterminate the Jews, their contempt for democracy and loathing of individual liberty, Islamism has emerged as a successor to Nazism that enjoys more public support in more countries than Nazism ever did.
Weâ€™ve wondered when and where the Australian Left would wake up.
Theyâ€™ve been appeasing and accommodating and making lame excuses for Islamist villainy for so long it seemed the day would never come.
On the first day of September, 2010 in the NSW Legislative Council chamber, it arrived.
Foley is no bit-player or eccentric in the NSW Labor Left. Heâ€™s a big wheel and a big deal. Heâ€™s been their most prominent and influential Left faction operative for nearly ten years, working under the tutelage of Anthony Albanese, the federal minister and leader of the NSW Left faction. Indeed, Albanese and outgoing Defence Minister John Faulkner were both in the Gallery to hear his remarks.
If Laborâ€™s Left can get it after decades of struggling with it then that gives us tremendous hope.
While the focus of NSW politics will be on the trivia of which websites Fred Nile pops into between divisions or even whether Labor will be left with 20 or 10 seats in the Legislative Assembly after the election next year, politics will remain a war of ideas.
Luke Foleyâ€™s inaugural speech represents an important battle won for freedom and against those in Islamism who have long found allies among the apologetic left who should have always known better than make excuses for one of the great scourges of the world.