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Wednesday 24 May 2017

Opinion

Bill Leak - From Outrageous Lefty to Outrageous Conservative

Paul Zanetti Monday 13 March 2017



One of the great unsolved mysteries of baffled socialist elitists while Bill Leak was with us was, what happened to him?

He used to be one of ‘us’. Then he became one of…’them’.

On Insiders over the weekend, journalist Laura Tingle was asked for a final observation on Bill Leak.

Looking tortured and admittedly perplexed she replied, “Vale Bill. I worked with him in the 1990s (at Fairfax) and he was a funny, outrageous man. We laughed a lot and um…perplexed by where he headed in more recent years and I suppose I wonder often in our collective game about what happens to people when they’re constantly being told it’s good to be outrageous, good to be out there and what sort of impact that has on you over the years.”

Tingle confirms he was always funny and outrageous when she worked with him in the 1990s then says he was later constantly being told to be outrageous…out there. Basically, to be who he always was.

If Tingle really knew Bill, she’d have confirmed that nobody told Bill Leak what to think, or do - or who to be. Nor what to draw. Bill Leak was always Bill Leak.

Tingle would have been more honest had she wondered aloud why Bill had gone from a darling of the left to conservative hero.

Social media lefty trolls have tried to blame the conversion on just about everything, from high orders from Rupert Murdoch, to his ‘bump on the head’. Lefties don’t rationalise well, do they?

Bill wasn’t playing to a readership. He was too true to himself.

So rather than conjure up conspiracy theories or play the amateur psycho analyst or keyboard medico, I simply put it to him one day.

“Mate, you were once a mad lefty. Then you did a 180. Why?”

Bill replied (paraphrased), “I was always into art, culture, music, languages and literature. The people I mixed with in my early years were, too. So of course I was influenced by that whole scene which was predominantly of the left.

“I went to the dinner parties, the social functions, the art galleries, the book launches…I genuinely believed that was my scene and they all had the answers. They spoke to my anti-authoritarian, rebellious streak - or so I thought at the time. They were meant to be the tolerant justice warriors.

“But over time I realised THEY were the intolerant authoritarians. Many of the things they said, the ideas they espoused were quite uncomfortable….nasty, negative, abusive, often hateful in nature.

“They persecute anyone who doesn’t agree with them. You can only agree with them. If you don’t, they’ll start a witch hunt. Freedom of thought was core to everything I believed in. I began to realise maybe I was on the wrong side.

“When I took a look at the other mob, the conservatives, I found they cherished and fought for ideas, opinions, freedoms and the rights of individuals. There was no pack mentality where anybody who dissented was howled down, chased with pitchforks and abused until they pulled themselves into line with the mob.

“I naturally stopped identifying with the left, and found myself agreeing more with conservatives.

“I value Western freedoms. The hard left loathes Western values, undermining what I felt I stood for.”

“When my cartoons reflected conservative values, I became the target of the left. Out came the pitchforks, the persecution, which only confirmed what a bunch of intolerant authoritarian hypocrites they truly are.”

Bill and I spoke on many issues, finding common ground on most topics.

One day we discussed the push to change the Marriage Act to allow same sex couples to marry under that law.

It’s an issue on which I’d maintained an agnostic position. I had long held the view that all people should be treated equally under the law and I hadn’t seen the harm in allowing same sex couples to be married.

I couldn’t see the point in denying someone the right to marry based on their sexuality. For many homosexuals, being gay is a struggle until they accept and adapt to being outside the norm of what’s acceptable in society - more so 20 or 30 years ago. Denying them a basic right made no sense to me.

Bill was on the Gold Coast a couple of years ago and introduced me to ‘libertarian’ Liberal Democrats Senator, David Leyonhjelm. The topic of same sex marriage came up, and in particular changing the words in the Marriage Act.

Bill was opposed to any changes to the Marriage Act.

I supported same sex marriage on the basis of equality.

Lleyonhjelm supported it on the grounds that ”the government has no business in our private lives”, (can’t disagree with that).

Bill’s concern was based on the erosion of traditional Western values.

The conservative view of the natural family unit is a pillar of a strong society, bound by the marriage of a man and a woman. That unity creates the natural family.

Attacking the institution of marriage was, Bill argued, orchestrated by hard core activists, intent on changing the nature of marriage by attacking the law that underpins it.

He pointed out that the same proven activists who were spearheading the campaign to change the marriage law were also responsible for the Safe Schools programs promoting penis tucking, breast binding, cross dressing, gender fluidity and uni sex toilets, deliberately confusing kids and undermining social cohesion.  

In that sense, Bill was on the same page as Mark Latham.

Latham describes the Safe Schools programs as a ‘Neo-Marxist genderless programs in our schools through the Orwellian-named Safe Schools and Building Respectful Relationships (BRR) curriculum'.

Latham says, “Even though Australian students are falling down the international league tables in maths, science and English, teachers are devoting class-time to the mechanics of breast-binding and penis-tucking."

(You can read more of Latham here: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/from-reason-to-radicalism-gender-fluidity/news-story/832eb330f1e68c0af8ab37521dc402d7)

Bill’s concern was that eroding the Marriage Act as it stands, allows for activists and social engineering lawyers to peel away at the core of marriage, making it their play thing. He warned that history shows activists don’t stop. Give an inch and they’ll take a mile.

A look at how discrimination laws are opportunistically misused by activists for personal gain is a case in point.

When activists and lawyers get their hands into legislation they can play merry hell with other people’s lives. And Bill knew given his 18C experience.

This was the point being made in Bill’s misunderstood 'outrageous' cartoon (Waffen SSM, above).

Bill drew the cartoon straight from the heart - not for the superficial belief that people were telling him "...it's good to be outrageous."

We discussed the creation of a separate law giving gays the right to marry - a Same Sex Marriage Act, which mirrored the Marriage Act, giving gays marriage equality - without affecting or watering down the Marriage Act. Everyone would be happy.

This surely would be acceptable to the gay lobby demanding the right to marry.

Any rejection of their own law enabling same sex marriage while preserving the Marriage Act, would surely expose an alternative agenda.

Bill thought it was a workable solution. So might some of his gay friends.

Say it in a cartoon, though and some people may find it perplexing. Outrageous even.