Milo’s Tour of Parliament left many wondering

Related Story: Protesters clash with Milo Yiannopoulos supporters in MelbourneRelated Story: Milo Yiannopoulos lost his book deal for these comments about child abuse

He swept in to Parliament House in a white charter bus, had three wardrobe changes, and left people on Capital Hill wondering how to deal with his presence.

His name is Milo Yiannopolous.

Speaker of the House Tony Smith describes Parliament as the "arena of ideas and ideals", and there are certainly many competing views echoing through the corridors of power.

That maxim was on show as the controversial right-wing commentator found himself the guest of outspoken Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm in an audience inside one of Parliament House's private dining rooms.

"I don't know his views totally … I think he's able to outrage people who I think are silly, the Greens, lefties in general," Senator Leyonhjelm told reporters earlier in the day.

"Causing outrage to those sort of people seems to me sufficient reason to hear from him."

There's the rub — people come to Parliament House to air their views all the time. It is, after all, the seat of the nation's democracy.

But from the outset, the man who invited Mr Yiannopolous suggested the situation was more about trouble-making than political discourse or a tournament of ideas.

Trouble-making mixed with a dose of theatre.

Front and centre in the friendly congregation was Pauline Hanson and her fellow One Nation senators, eagerly awaiting the conservative pin-up's sermon on the state of politics.

From left to right, One Nation's James Ashby, Peter Georgiou, Malcolm Roberts, Brian Burston and Pauline Hanson.

Rogue Queensland National MP George Christensen took a pew a few rows behind.

A question from ousted One Nation senator and failed Queensland state candidate Malcolm Roberts asked for reflection from the British-born conservative on the similarities between the Koran and Hitler's diatribe, Mein Kampf.

One of his party's staffers raised concern that Australian senators are not elected by a first-past-the-post system, and could find themselves in the red room with 100 votes or less.

The response from Mr Yiannopolous was quick and forthright — elect better people to fix the system.

Asking such a question was peculiar considering One Nation senator Fraser Anning received 19 first-preference votes at the July election, while his predecessor, Mr Roberts, got 77 votes.

External Link: Tweet from Pauline Hanson: "PAULINE HANSON & MILO YIANNOPOULOS | Today @PaulineHansonOz finally met someone who upsets Australian lefties more than she does. #auspol"

But then again, it was that sort of audience.

Two Fairfax media journalists asked questions of the British-born commentator. He not only took exception to the content of the questions, but to the people making the inquiries.

With one, Mr Yiannopolous suggested his comment about fashion was out of jealousy that the journalist could not afford to shop at Gucci.

With the other, he repeatedly shut down the journalist as she tried to pull him up on the misreporting of statistics.

Again, the bulk of the crowd were entertained. A lone female voice shouted, "bullshit".

But as quickly as Mr Yiannopolous arrived, he was gone. The building returned to a low hum of confected outrage and peacocking over citizenship and foreign interference.

Liberal senator Jane Hume made an interesting observation about the Milo hullabaloo.

She said it is best to simply "turn the volume down" on attention seekers.

"You know, young man swaggers into Canberra, attention seeking, saying outrageous things, and appeasing the far-right, and getting some media coverage," she said.

"Sounds like the Coalition party room."

A familiar drum beat in the 45th Parliament. A lot of ruckus, and not a lot of consequence.

Original Article

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *