‘I’ve been cancelled again’ – this time by Libs

by BETTINA ARNDT – THE last time I spoke at Sydney University, the riot squad had to be called in to protect my audience from a baying mob of feminist activists trying to close the speech down. 

They didn’t like the fact I was speaking out about their efforts to force universities to set up kangaroo courts to adjudicate sexual assault claims. 

Earlier this month I was cancelled again – and this time by the Young Liberals, for Heaven’s sake. Its president suddenly announced to the female students running the event they weren’t permitted to include me.

Funnily enough, this kerfuffle led to the federal government calling an inquiry into free speech on campus, which ultimately led to laws that require universities to promote open discussion, rather than allow activists to determine the public discourse.

Obviously, those regulations haven’t had the intended impact because unruly students just go on their sweet way.


Earlier this month I was cancelled again – and this time by the Young Liberals, for Heaven’s sake.

What does that say about the future of the centre-Right Liberal Party when they are the ones shutting down proper debate?

The University of Sydney Conservative Club was hosting a discussion evening focussed on the Higgins rape case. I was approached three months earlier to appear on a panel, along with Chris Merritt, vice president of the Rule of Law Institute, and author Andrew Urban.

The young women organising the event did a terrific job putting together thoughtful discussion points including the use of the case for political ends, undermining of the presumption of innocence, concerns about unmeritorious cases being brought before the courts, damage to the credibility of the media, and the impact of #MeToo.

It was just perfect for setting the scene for civilised debate for a select audience – the event was promoted solely to the Conservative Club students.

Ironically, the previous event hosted by the club just two weeks earlier featured Tony Abbott and the famous UK commentator, Konstantin Kisin, who argued freedom of speech is the cornerstone of Western civilisation.

Clearly, Mr Kisin’s important message failed to impact on the blinkered views of the president of the Young Liberals who took it upon himself to cancel me.

The week before the event, the president suddenly announced to the female students running the event they weren’t permitted to include me – apparently Young Liberals NSW has final control over the club’s activities.


It is interesting to note the new NSW Liberal Senator Maria Kovacic applauded the decision to ban me – to think that this woman won the seat of the late, great Jim Molan.

The Young Liberals president actually suggested that hosting an event with me could ruin the career of the art/law student who was the major organiser.

It is quite bizarre and extremely alarming that this young man, who presumably has set his sights on a career in Liberal politics, should join the ranks of the thought police.

In fact, he preferred the event not to take place at all. But the organisers stuck to their guns and decided to go ahead with the event, with my two fellow panellists to handle the discussion.

But when it comes to marketing and promoting the event, the interference came again, with demands that Ms Higgins not be mentioned.

The promotion simply mentioned, “Lawfare in Australia”, a very bland and rather misleading presentation of the proposed discussion which was originally promoted as “Higgins Unpacked”.

In the end, the event ended up being cancelled after the other panellists decided to withdraw on-principle.

Apparently, the president was not acting off his own bat, but rather had been leant on by other senior members of the organisation. And there are many Young Libs who objected strenuously to my exclusion, so there’s dissension in the ranks, with factional issues at play.

Yet the fact remains that key Young Libs were determined that Higgins remains unpacked.

The head of the organisation failed to answer a series of questions asking him to explain the reasoning for his decision. These included my suggestion that he may subscribe to a preferred narrative regarding the Higgins case.

Heaven forbid that some of the student audience might open their minds to alternative perspectives on the issue. It just shows what a great job the Brittany Higgins cheer squad has done to shut down proper discussion around the facts of this case.

Given the biased media coverage, it will be interesting if Bruce Lehrmann wins his defamation action against the media – the outcome is to be announced on April 4.

The general public has been so misinformed about the holes in the Higgins case that many will be outraged if the judge finds the media was wrong to promote her very story.


It’s a very bad look for Young Liberals to be opposed to uncensored public discussion of the social and political implications of this critical legal case.

The conundrum faced by young conservatives was addressed by Konstantin Kisin, during his recent tour of Australia. At the end of his two-week tour, he warned that this country has been infected by the woke virus, with people afraid to speak out on any number of issues.

“While the centre Left displays its extremist fringe, many on the centre-Right hesitate to challenge the cultural vandalism they observe for fear of being described as ‘cultural warriors’,” he said.

Was that the fear that prompted this worrying move by the Young Liberals? They know that a thorough dissection of the Brittany Higgins saga would lead to the usual Twitter storm from the lunatic fringe who control so much of university culture.

If that was enough to lead our future Liberal leaders to cower in fear, the future of inspiring political leadership in this country looks very bleak indeed.

It’s a strange thing that this 74-year-old grandmother still has them quaking in their boots.PC

Bettina Arndt

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: Bettina Arndt.  (courtesy The Sydney Morning Herald)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Epoch Times on March 28, 2024. Re-used with the author’s permission.

13 thoughts on “‘I’ve been cancelled again’ – this time by Libs

  1. Same things has happened a couple of times up here in Brisbane where LNP members or candidates were at the last minute pulled from speaking at various conferences / forums because it may have looked bad on social media for a variety of reasons.

  2. What a travesty – this was shaping up to be a much-needed debate and of course you should have been included!

    Here’s hoping Justice Lee’s judgement (now likely to be deferred given TEN’s attempt to re-open the case) will add to the increasing judicial complaints about mob-rule/#metoo-driven prosecutions which objectively should never have been brought.

    Hopefully even Justice Lee will note that the dress that Higgins was wearing could not physically have been removed from her body and thrown on the floor if she was asleep on the couch as she claimed.
    The security guard’s evidence was unequivocal – she was found fast asleep stark naked wearing neither dress nor panties. Obviously she had to give some explanation for being found in the Minister’s office in that state. Lehrmann was the obvious fall guy.

    Was he silly to have told so many fibs to so many people? Yes, but that does not make him a rapist.

    1. Not really;


      Centre Left to Centre Right with some LINO leaning further left.


      Centre Left to Far Left and the latter now dominating factions in government.

  3. The real problem with the West and Australia is not the commie left who are obvious and not hiding their destructive agenda. The problem is the gutlessness of the conservatives. As well I believe conservatism has been infiltrated by the left. Little johnnie’s broad church is delusional. It has allowed lefties whose views are antithetical to conservatism to take over the libs with the nats not far behind.

    The traditional conservative is an anachronism. They still believe there are rules and that reason and evidence win the day. If that were the case all the pet, woke issues of the left would be as dead as doornails. Especially the monster of them all, man-made global warming, AGW, which is a failed theory. But not only will the libs not tell that to blackout bowen and 2 plane albo, they actually parrot all the AGW propaganda.

    The only pollie standing against this BS is Trump; and look what they are doing to him.

    1. Little Johnie didn’t do the Liberals any favour with his comment the Liberal Party was a broad church. All it has achieved is getting moderates and lefties into the party who have been indoctrinated into following a woke agenda which undermines commonsense and traditional values.
      Currently Australia is under the influence of socialist indoctrination through its long march through the institutions. Kids, the adults of tomorrow, are being taught all sorts of rubbish. Article ‘A non-exhaustive list of everything that’s woke according to The Australian’ gives an informative list of idiologies that are destroying society – see https://www.crikey.com.au/2023/06/19/the-australian-woke-list/ .
      The Liberal Party needs to stick to its traditional values and fight back against all forms wokeness that are overtaking society. This might help people understand what the party stands for because at the moment a party that stands for everything stands for nothing.

  4. I’m not at all surprised. One of my daughters joined the Young Libs several years ago following my advice. After her attendance at the second meeting, she said to me, “Sorry Dad – I’m interested in politics and support the Libs but these wankers in the Young Libs are only interested in self-advancement – they have no beliefs or goals aimed at improving people’s lives or Australia.”

  5. This is a truly disturbing story. Thank you for telling it. Sadly it reinforces my view of the moral morass that is today’s Liberal Party writ large.

  6. The University of Sydney Conservative Club was established by genuine conservatives but is now run by careerists who do what they are told by people from the Left faction of the NSW Liberal Party.

    1. I have no complaint about the Conservatives Club but I gather the Young Libs do officially have some authority over the group re use of the name etc. They had no choice.

  7. “What does that say about the future of the centre-Right Liberal Party […]”

    The “Liberals” are not a centre-right party, and it’s been clear for quite some time that they have no future at all.


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