Guardian opinion writer Jeff Sparrow wrote a piece the other day urging leftists to band together and fight the awful extremism of Milo Yiannopoulos.
If you know who Jeff Sparrow is the piece is unintentionally hilarious.
In it Mr. Sparrow addresses those on the mainstream left who advocate ignoring Milo Yiannopoulos’ upcoming Australian tour on the rather accurate grounds that Milo wants leftists to come out in the street and go feral.
While he doesn’t describe it in as many words it seems Jeff understands that the aim of Milo’s speaking events is to show mainstream Australia through the medium of thousands of cameras and television screens what the left truly thinks of free speech.
Sparrow disagrees with such wishy washy naysayers. He opines that while Milo is not an overt extremist himself, his recently leaked emails showing he conversed with people across the nuttier fringe of American politics should:
“you would think, bar Milo from mainstream society.”
Remember this is Jeff Sparrow speaking.
This is the same Jeff Sparrow who back in the mid-nineties founded Socialist Alternative; the largest most violent and most extreme radical leftist group in Australia today. A group so beyond the fringe that even their allies sometimes try to distance themselves from their often cult-like behaviour.
The same Socialist Alternative that attacks church parishioners, Punches photographers, Blockades courts of law, gang bashes innocent bystanders and even boasted about attacking police and shutting down opposition political events.
In their statement of principles this group that Jeff founded calls for violent revolution to overthrow the Australian state. They call for the destruction of the Australian parliaments, courts, the armed forces and police. They wish to abolish freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, our constitution, our flag, our borders and the very concept of the nation state of Australia.
The man who helped found the extremist organisation most responsible for political violence and lawlessness in Australia today, an organisation he left but NEVER disavowed, thinks that Milo Yiannopoulos [a fairly standard Classical Liberal with edgy rhetorical flourishes] should be excluded from mainstream society because of his associations with extremists.
The Author of “Communism: A Love Story (Melbourne University Press, 2007)” a soft soaped tongue–bathing retch-inducing love letter of a biography of Guido Baracchi [the man who founded Australia’s first Communist Party] thinks Milo is beyond the pale.
This bloke works at Guardian Australia alongside self-proclaimed Anarcho-Communist Van Badham, who stalks and harasses the children of Greens Senators she considers insufficiently left-wing, and proudly boasted about helping to organise the violent mob attacks against Reclaim Australia protesters.
Another of his stablemates at Guardian Australia is Jason Wilson, a man who repeatedly promotes the work of American Anarchist extremists like Alexander Reid Ross, Shane Burley and Matthew Lyons while also appearing as a guest on the radio show of Australian Antifa organisers Cam Smith and Andy Fleming, the latter of whom he also uncritically promotes and quotes in Guardian articles.
Jeff works alongside such people yet thinks Milo sending emails to extremists in order to research a story is too close an association, and should disqualify him from polite society.
I think the increasingly elderly Mr. Sparrow should turn that hearing aid up; he’s sounding a little tone deaf.
Jeff thinks that a massive leftist protest against Milo would help to:
“highlight the obvious contradiction of his whole project: that, rather than being silenced, Yiannopoulos enjoys a far bigger platform than ordinary Australians, who have to take to the streets to make themselves heard simply because they’re not telling a wealthy demographic what it wants to hear.”
So the guy who finished a PHD in 2007 and then despite his past history of violent extremism walked straight into a taxpayer-funded Research Fellowship with Victoria University and a seven year tenure as editor of the taxpayer-funded Overland Journal, whilst having his articles printed in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Arena, Meanjin, Crikey, New Matilda and The Drum and was also gifted a co-hosting gig on taxpayer-supported Melbourne radio station 3RRR, thinks that leftist Australians have to take to the streets since they don’t have access to the same privileged media platform as Milo does.
Sure Jeff, Sure.
Jeff airily dismisses the “Ignore Milo” brigade as out of touch elitists:
“That’s why the call to ignore them generally comes from people casually confident that they won’t personally cop a beating from boot boys rallying in the area”.
“Boot boys”? I know Jeff is old and came of age quite some time ago but someone really should inform him that the 1980s have been over for a few decades now. Although approaching senility isn’t really an excuse, as even back then the political violence was overwhelmingly from people like Jeff, not towards them.
So Jeff calls for a “large, vibrant and diverse” protest by the left to show that Milo should not be given any attention. Sparrow declares that Milo is not really a “brave iconoclast standing up against a censorious left” but a fraud, so the left should organise a protest to attempt to censor him to show what a fraud he is.
Jeff Sparrow, the salaried member of academia, founder of extremist groups, taxpayer funded scribbler and all around comfortable middle class, middle aged, balding hipster writing for a major international newspaper, declares that Milo is only an “ersatz rebel” fooling people into thinking he’s against the status quo.
He’s not a real rebel after all.
Not like Jeff.
That’s why Jeff is going to help organise a protest to shut him down.
That’ll show everyone who the real rebel is.
Photo by Rod Waddington