'It's very difficult to find normal women who call themselves feminists': Milo Yiannopoulos
Right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has launched a scathing attack on modern feminism during his speech at Parliament House.
The controversial figure labelled the movement 'vindictive' and 'man-hating' as he addressed MPs and journalists in the Mural Hall in Canberra on Tuesday.
'Feminists like to say that feminism is about equality for women - about giving women equal standing with men. They have it,' Yiannopoulos said.
'What feminism has become - since it has run out of things to complain about - is a mean, vindictive, sociopathic, man-hating movement.
'You'd be hard pressed to find a journalist who doesn't describe themselves as a feminist these days. But it's very difficult to find a normal woman who does.'
Yiannopoulos said Western women should be 'enormously proud' of the advances they had made, but said there is 'no place left for an organised feminist movement'.
'[Women] now have equal access to education, equal access to the workplace - they get paid the same for the same work.
'A female Harvard economist attempted to establish the existence of a wage gap last year and failed to do so.
'When you take in women's different educational choices, different preferences and the fact they have to have children... the wage gap narrows to almost nothing.'
Yiannopoulos argued there is a divide in how modern-day feminists describe themselves and the way they behave.
'The horror of mainstream media companies employing people who tweet things like ''kill all white men'', ''I bathe in male tears'' and ''masculinity is so fragile''.
'People just don't want to be around that kind of thing... it has alienated an entire generation of women who realise the great victories that feminism fought for in previous generations have all been won.
'There is no place left for an organised feminist movement in society because, thankfully, we won.'
Greens leader Richard Di Natale launched an unsuccessful bid to have the British-born commentator banned from making the Parliament House speech.
Senator Di Natale last week wrote to the Presiding Officers of the House of Representatives and the Senate to revoke his invitation from Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm.
He wrote that Yiannopoulos is 'an individual who has become notorious for his racist, sexist and abusive behaviour'.
Though the request was unsuccessful, he did manage to have a Senate motion passed condemning the 33-year-old author.
'Good on the Senate for passing the Greens motion condemning Milo Yiannopolous,' Senator Di Natale tweeted. 'His desperate attempts to seek attention through vile and hateful rhetoric has no place in the Australian Parliament.'
Meanwhile, a police officer was hit by a rock and two protesters were arrested for 'discharging a missile' during violent clashes outside Yiannopoulos' Melbourne event on Monday.
Scores of protesters from left-aligned Campaign Against Racism and Fascism and two right-wing groups, Reclaim Australia and the True Blue Crew, rallied with a heavy police presence attempting to maintain order.
Dozens of officers worked to keep the groups separated, but still had to use pepper spray.
Protesters could be heard chanting 'Milo is a w**ker' before the clash, which lasted nearly five hours, turned physical.
Yiannopoulos spoke of the ugly scenes on Tuesday morning. 'There was a lot of kerfuffle out front,' he told Alan Jones on 2GB Radio.
'It was not as the newspapers reported ''a clash between the far left and far right'' it was the left, showing up, being violent to stop freedom of speech.
'The left really showed us who they are. They attack the police, they attacked other people, they attacked journalists - they showed us they are petulant babies.'
Violent protests outside Milo Yiannopoulos' Melbourne show
The founder of the controversial Safe Schools program was among those involved in a violent protest outside Milo Yiannopoulos' event in Melbourne yesterday.
Roz Ward stood side-by-side with Campaign Against Racism and Fascism supporters and starred down fans of the right-wing firebrand outside his event on Monday night.
During her time as leader of the Safe Schools program, Ms Ward was criticised over her political views and hardline Marxist opinions. She was sacked in December 2016.
But she wasn't the only big name to be brought out by Yiannopoulos' event, with top figures from both sides of the online political divide putting themselves right in the midst of the mayhem.
Violent scenes erupted about 6pm on Monday as opposing crowds gathered at the intersection outside the Melbourne Pavilion, in the inner-city suburb of Kensington.
The police riot squad was forced to keep the opposing sides at bay as mayhem broke out, with rocks, street signs, punches and verbal abuse being hurled.
Scores of protesters from left-aligned Campaign Against Racism and Fascism rallied with Ms Ward against Yiannopoulos, who they called 'racist', 'sexist' and a 'w**ker'.
Among those standing opposite and praising the political commentator were right-wing figures Blair Cottrell, Avi Yemini, Neil Erikson and the Soldiers of Odin group.
Footage shared online showed convicted stalker Erikson wrestling with protesters as the mayhem broke out.
The 'Patriots Blue' leader, who abused Sam Dastyari at a pub last month, was joined by his co-founder Ricky Turner.
Turner was involved in a skirmish with an opposing protester before being covered in pepper spray by police and later arrested.
Regarded as one of the original leaders of the alt-right movement, Cottrell appeared to be keeping his distance as the violence broke out.
Prominent Sydney-based martial arts expert Avi Yemini also made the trip down to Melbourne in support of Yiannopoulos, broadcasting live online from the event.
Among those standing alongside Ms Ward was rocker Ezekiel Ox, with the left-wing supporter hanging up on Neil Mitchell in a phone interview on Tuesday morning.
During the confrontations a police officer was hit by a rock and two protesters were arrested for 'discharging a missile'.
Speaking of the ugly scenes on Tuesday morning, Yiannopoulos accused 'the left' of inciting the violence.
Wide focus for foreign donations ban
Organisations which have spent more than $100,000 on political purposes over the past four years will be governed by proposed electoral spending laws.
Australia is to ban donations from foreign bank accounts, non-citizens and foreign entities to all types of political campaigning - such as GetUp! - not just political parties.
Political parties, independent candidates, trade unions, interest groups, advocacy groups and others spend millions of dollars each year to influence voters.
However, the Turnbull government is concerned about the growing influence of third-party campaign groups, which in the 2015/16 financial year spent almost $40 million on political advertising, polling and campaigning - some of which came from foreign sources.
There are also concerns foreign donations could influence political party activity and policy.
Organisations which have spent more than $100,000 on political purposes over the past four years, or $50,000 or more where it is at least half their annual budget, will be captured under the proposed new laws and defined as "political campaigners".
Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann said advocacy group GetUp!, which spent more than $10 million in the year leading up to the 2016 federal election (twice as much as the next biggest spender) would come under the new definition and would have to comply with the same transparency and disclosure requirements as political parties.
Senator Cormann said it was about shoring up the integrity of the electoral system
"To ensure that there is no inappropriate foreign interference in our democratic system, we are banning all foreign donations, not just for political parties, but also for candidates, Senate groups, and for political campaigning organisations," Senator Cormann told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
A GetUp! spokesman said over the organisation's 12-year history 99 per cent of its donations came from Australians. "Despite this, the far right is seemingly obsessed with mythical tides of foreign funding," he said.
The organisation received four foreign donations totalling $312,047 since 2013/14, with $95,633 spent during the 2013 election campaign, $99,985 on Great Barrier Reef campaigning and $116,000 on non-political activity.
Senator Cormann said the changes would not unduly impact on charities, he said. "Contrary to what has been asserted by some, this does not prevent charities from receiving and using the foreign donations for non-political activities in Australia," Senator Cormann said.
"Similarly, it does not prevent charities from engaging in political activities in Australia, as long as the political expenditure incurred to fund that political activity is raised from Australians."
Labor has yet to see the legislation but has previously expressed concern charities would be caught up in the new rules, despite the government's assertions.
Dual-citizenship debacle catches up with Shorten
Labor’s vaunted citizenship vetting process was under attack last night as Bill Shorten resisted moves to refer senior frontbencher Katy Gallagher to the High Court despite her admission to contesting last year’s election as a dual British citizen.
Senator Gallagher, manager of opposition business in the Senate, became the Opposition Leader’s first MP embroiled in the scandal, which is expected to capture more Labor politicians by the end of the week, following the publication of parliamentarians’ citizenship documents.
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce labelled Mr Shorten a “total and utter unrepentant hypocrite” over the dual-citizenship crisis after yesterday’s confirmation Senator Gallagher was British until two months after nominations closed for the 2016 election.
The New England MP-elect — who was kicked out of parliament by the High Court alongside his deputy Fiona Nash following revelations they were New Zealand and British citizens respectively — said Mr Shorten had been exposed over his earlier claims that no Labor MPs would be caught up in the citizenship scandal.
In August, Mr Shorten said Labor had “strict” vetting processes and there was “no cloud over any of our people”.
Mr Joyce, who won back his NSW seat on Saturday in a crucial by-election for the government, declared Senator Gallagher’s status was proof Mr Shorten was “shifty”.
“Watch this guy, he’s shifty, you can’t trust him,” Mr Joyce told The Australian after addressing the Nationals partyroom as an escorted visitor. “He wouldn’t let me speak in the parliament (while Mr Joyce was under a citizenship cloud) — it was a disgrace, I wasn’t allowed to speak.
“And Katy Gallagher has been speaking all the time. You total and utter unrepentant hypocrite.”
Documents tabled in the upper house yesterday showed that Senator Gallagher did not cease being a British citizen until August 16 last year.
Labor’s lower house MP Justine Keay and the Nick Xenophon Team’s Rebekha Sharkie are expected to provide documentation by 9am today showing they were British when they nominated for parliament despite taking steps to renounce, potentially setting up a round of by-elections early next year.
The government has singled out the MPs for referral and will target Labor’s Susan Lamb after she revealed last month her application to renounce British citizenship was refused by the UK Home Office because it could not determine her status from the documents provided.
Government sources said any referrals of lower or upper house MPs would likely happen on Thursday, the last scheduled sitting day of the year, but they did not confirm whether Senator Gallagher would be included.
The government ramped up pressure on Mr Shorten, saying Coalition MPs in doubt had resigned or been referred and he should follow suit with Senator Gallagher. The citizenship register for senators also revealed Labor’s Louise Pratt, Lisa Singh and Alex Gallacher, as well as Liberal Dean Smith and the Greens’ Nick McKim, had been dual citizens when they first nominated for parliament at previous elections. Only dual-citizenship cases relating to current Senate terms will be referred to the High Court.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan — who was deemed eligible to sit in parliament after the High Court said it was not satisfied he was an Italian citizen — launched an attack against Mr Shorten and Senator Gallagher, declaring the only body to finalise the matter was the High Court.
“Senator Gallagher’s position is much different than the other Labor MPs, Justine Keay and Susan Lamb,” Senator Canavan said. “Ms Gallagher was a senator when she became aware she was a British citizen and did nothing to tell the public or others about that position. She has sought to wilfully hide important details from the Australian public and then Bill Shorten is running a protection racket to try to stop her from going to the court just like others have who have been in similar situations.”
Mr Shorten has repeatedly talked up Labor’s vetting processes of candidates under section 44 of the Constitution, which prohibits dual citizens and entitlement to foreign citizenship, but last week he could not rule out his MPs being referred to the High Court.
Senator Gallagher began her renunciation process on April 20 but was informed on July 1, a day before the election, that the British government required more documents. Advice the senator obtained from immigration lawyer Adrian Berry, an expert in British nationality law, says “this request for specific forms of evidence was unnecessary” and she had already supplied what was needed when she sought renunciation in April.
A stamp of registration of her renunciation shows she ceased being British on August 16.
“I have acted, at all times, with the legal advice provided to me,” said Senator Gallagher, who was on leave yesterday.
“Based on all the advice I have available to me I do not believe that I should refer myself to the Court of Disputed Returns however ultimately that will be a matter for the Senate to determine.”
She argues she took “all reasonable steps” to renounce her British citizenship by beginning the renunciation process in April 2016 but constitutional lawyers are split over whether she could be disqualified by the High Court because this particular issue has not been tested.
Liberal frontbencher Arthur Sinodinos sought to clarify his status after he referred to formal legal advice from the Greek government on his citizenship form but failed to provide documentation. He tweeted a letter from the Greek government confirming he was not a citizen, as well as providing The Australian with a copy.
Labor sources said ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja was under a cloud after he said he did not gain citizenship from Croatia or the federal Republic of Yugoslavia but did not provide documentary proof. Senator Seselja said it was merely a distraction from Senator Gallagher’s status and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had confirmed to Malcolm Turnbull in August that he was not a dual citizen.
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