Liberal Party Vice President says Milo Yiannopoulos is ‘an entertainer’


liberal party vice president teena mcqueen
Photo: ABC TV

Liberal Party Vice President Teena McQueen has dismissed right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos as an “entertainer” in a widely-panned appearance on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night.

Yiannopoulos was this month denied an Australian visa by the federal government over his history of inflammatory comments, including remarks he made about Islam after the Christchurch shooting.

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On Monday night, McQueen appeared alongside feminist author Roxane Gay, Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi, Labor frontbencher Tony Burke and Liberal MP Craig Laundy, and responded to a question about hate speech by alleging the worst examples she had heard recently were from Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

“I mean, he comes out with absolutely disgraceful things,” McQueen said, going on to allege that “incited violence against the likes of [News Corp columnist] Andrew Bolt”.

“And Milo Yiannopoulos… I class him as an entertainer. No one should take him seriously. Who takes him seriously?”

But US author Roxane Gay interrupted McQueen, reminding her that “hundreds of thousands of people in the United States take Milo seriously. They follow him. They pay him money to go see him speak.”

And Tony Burke hit back, “To imply that [Di Natale], somebody who is standing up against racism, is guilty of the same sort of hate speech as the people who have allowed the hatred that we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks to fester and to have a base and be legitimised by so many people — it just doesn’t add up.”

McQueen also defended US President Donald Trump’s infamous “grab her by the p—y” remarks and dismissed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern as “copying” Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s tightening of gun laws.

Later, Adelaide resident Latoya Rule asked the panel about examples of white supremacy she had seen in South Australia.

“As a resident of Adelaide, I’m worried about the rise of Neo-Nazism around our city,” she said.

“From swastikas, ‘It’s OK To Be White’ posters with razor blades behind them, and graffiti which stated ‘No n—–s, kill them,’ the terror of white supremacy and Neo-Nazism is very much alive here.”

But Ms McQueen said she “doesn’t see” the growth of white supremacy and the solution was policing.

“If things like that are happening in Adelaide, you call the police and you get these people dealt with and carted away,” she said.

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“I’ve been to Adelaide many times, and I’m not doubting the questioner there, but if you see evidence of something like that, there’s laws to protect people from that, and you get them carted off and deal with them.

“You know, perhaps I’m in a bubble — I don’t see the growth of white supremacists that I hear constantly. You can laugh if you like, but I just don’t.”

But Ms Faruqi replied that the Liberal Party “have not dealt with” the rise of Neo-Nazism and instead have “lined up and shook hands” with the likes of Senators Pauline Hanson and Fraser Anning after Islamophobic and racist speeches.


 

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