Government backs down on banning Milo Yiannopoulos

Provocative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos will be allowed to enter Australia after Immigration Minister David Coleman stepped in to personally approve his Visa application, overriding the Department of Immigration’s advice.

It is understood that the Minister was not satisfied with the reasons the department supplied for denying Yiannopoulos entry to Australia.

His last tour of Australia saw protests at each event around the country. In Victoria the police charged the organisers of his tour $50,000 for the cost of policing at the event, but the bill was never paid.

Last year Yiannopoulos confirmed that he had sent threats to several journalists stating: “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.” He defended his messages saying they were ‘trolling’.

He was also dropped by online website Breitbart after footage appeared when he appeared to be defending paedophilia.

Paypal banned Yiannopoulos from using their service after he sent a Jewish journalist $14.88. The payment is believed to be code, with the number 14 representing a 14 word statement from terrorist David Lane who said, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”  While the 88 is often used by neo-Nazi groups to refer to “Heil Hitler” – the letter H being the eighth letter of the alphabet.

The recommendation that Yiannopoulos not be allowed entry to Australia had been widely criticised by media commentators and members of the Morrison government.

On Thursday Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker voiced her support for Yiannopoulos being allowed to tour the country.

“Sure Milo is a provocateur, he likes to get people riled up, he likes to troll, but he’s entitled to those views as every other human being on the planet.  If people don’t like his ideas, the solution is other, better ideas, the solution isn’t denying him the opportunity to speak. ” Senator Stoker said.

“I’m really troubled by the prospect that this has become an issue, to the extent that its based on a claim that he hasn’t paid fines from the Victorian police, or bills.” Senator Stoker said.

“If it’s based on him having a bill from Victorias  police, he should never have had the bill. You can’t have a situation where a person who speaks is billed for the cost of those who misbehave in response to it.

“That means that the boundaries of acceptable debate are set by those who can throw the biggest tantrum – who can be the most violent. That is not the framework a framework for a healthy society, it’s wrong.”

Senator Stoker made her comment while appear on the Sky News program The Bolt Report. Earlier in the broadcast host Andrew Bolt defended Milo Yiannopoulos saying his threats to journalists were simply private jokes, and the public only know about them because the journalists had chosen to reveal the private communication. Bolt was a support act on the previous tour of Australia by Yiannopoulos.

Liberal MP Tim Wilson has also confirmed he approached the Immigration Minister in support of Yiannopoulos.

Milo is a boring, unimaginative, self-­absorbed attention-seeker of questionable charac­ter,” Wilson said. “But free speech is for everyone, hence I was surprised by the news and have raised it with the minister.”

Victorian Liberal senator James Patterson said that while he saw Yiannopoulos as “crude and anti-intellectual”, the government should not give in to the protesters at his events.

“The fact that a speaker might attract protests is not a good reason­ to deny them a visa,” Paterson said. “To do so would hand a right of veto over our freedom to hear ideas to protesters.”

OIP Staff




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