After much faffing about by the Morrison government, hard-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos – along with his boy-band haircut – is definitely not coming to Australia for a speaking tour.
He was out, then back in … now he’s out for certain.
This time it doesn’t matter what various groups are saying. Scott Morrison isn’t listening to the more libertine members of his backbench, shock jocks, Cory Bernardi or free-speech advocates.
Mr Yiannopoulos has shot himself in the foot by describing Islam as “barbaric” in response to the Christchurch mass shootings at two mosques – and now he is formally banned from entering Australia.
These are the words, posted on his Facebook page, that did it: “Attacks like this happen because the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist Leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures.”
The bodies of 50 people, mostly men, were expected to be identified at the weekend and returned to their families for burial. Another 36 shooting victims, including 11 in a critical condition, remain in hospitals in Christchurch and Auckland.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, has been charged with one count of murder and was remanded in custody, without plea, to appear in the High Court on April 5.
Another Facebook post goes wrong
Yiannopoulos made the posting to denounce the suggestion that people like him in any way provoke violent attacks on Muslims. And he made the point that he has always been opposed to political violence – without addressing the fact that violence follows on wherever he goes.
His schtick is to verbally beat-up feminism, Islam, social justice and political correctness and groups he perceives to have a leftist-bent or support.
Just three weeks ago, the Department of Home Affairs planned to deny Mr Yiannopoulos a visa – and has said so in a letter to the British alt-right poseur, advising that the Migration Act gave it the power to refuse a visa application in the event the person would “incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community”.
He had plenty of form
In December 2017 – while on a speaking tour that included an event hosted by senator David Leyonhjelm at Parliament House – his appearance at the Melbourne Pavilion saw five police officers injured when rocks and bottles were thrown at them.
The police had been forced to intervene when tensions between 500 protestors and 50 right-wing supporters turned violent. Riot police made a charge into the melee, using capsicum spray. He left the country with a $50,000 bill from Victoria Police unpaid – and later mocked attempts to force him to pay up.
His promoters maintain the police had no right to charge for the protection and insist they have never been sent a bill.
Nevertheless, when the threat was made to refuse him entry this year, some Liberal MPs, conservative media figures and Senator Bernardi – all of whom are ordinarily supportive of police, and law and order – complained, causing the government to back down. Mr Yiannopoulos was on his way after all!
If only he’d held his tongue
But comedy – and his pronouncements are often clownish – is all about timing. Talking hate within hours of a mass shooting was bound to get him a red card.
And now the 35-year-old – who two years ago spoke in favour of sex between 13-year-old boys and adults – needs to make new travel plans elsewhere.
Perhaps he can meet up somewhere – on a beach with white sand one supposes – with Senator Fraser Anning, who is also under fire for bagging Muslim immigration, even as the bodies in Christchurch lay slumped on the mosque floors.