These Australian Politicians Are Arguing On An All-Staff Email About Milo Yiannopoulos

Janet Rice chimed in to say she couldn't attend as she was "busy stabbing [herself] in the eye with a fork".

Milo Yiannopoulos

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Controversial right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopolous is heading to Australia later this month for a national speaking tour, and thanks to Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm he’ll be making a pitstop at Parliament House for “a conversation and an audience Q&A”.

Yiannopoulous is a former editor at the right-wing news website Breitbart. Earlier this year footage emerged of him defending paedophilia and criticising age of consent laws. A recent BuzzFeed investigation documented Yiannopoulous’ links to the far-right and white nationalist ideologies.

Despite the numerous controversies surrounding Yiannopoulous, Senator Leyonhjelm emailed all MPs, Senators and parliamentary staff this afternoon inviting them to a “special event” in Parliament’s Mural Hall.

“Senator David Leyonhjelm is hosting Milo Yiannopoulos for a conversation and an audience Q&A,” the email read. “Milo is a thought provoking commentator, author of The New York Times best-seller, Dangerous and self-described cultural libertarian. He is currently on a capital city tour around Australia.

“Secure your place at what will be a very interesting event that is unlikely to be repeated.”

The invitation wasn’t received well by some politicians, with Greens senator Janet Rice tweeting that she couldn’t attend because she would be busy “stabbing [herself] in the eye with a fork”.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young replied to Leyonhjelm’s invitation, CC’ing in all politicians and their staff, with a very blunt message:

Dear Senator Leyonhjelm,

Thanks but no thanks. To be honest I question how this man has secured a visa to Australia, let alone access to Parliament House. After all, aren’t we building a fence around the building to keep dangerous people who spread hate and promote harm to others out?

It astounds me that a member of our Parliament would roll out the red carpet to a white supremacist and paedophilia apologist. A man who travels the world spreading racist and sexist drivel, who believes there’s no such thing as rape culture is not welcome in our safe and respectful house of democracy.


Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Leyonhjelm didn’t take the criticism lying down, though. Keen to get the final word in, he hit back:

Dear Sarah,

This highlights the difference between you and me.  Even though you spout such nonsense, promoting division and seeking to enforce compliance with your way of thinking through censorship and exclusion, I will defend your right to speak.

Milo has the same right to speak as you. It’s not compulsory for you to listen or to agree. Get over it.


David Leyonhjelm

Definitely the best part of this exchange is the extremely passive aggressive use of “regards” by both politicians, who clearly do not hold each other in much regard at all.

It’s good to know that amidst the total disintegration of our federal political sphere due to a rolling citizenship crisis, some politicians are finding the time to organise speaking opportunities for people with ties to white supremacism. It’ll be interesting to see who, if anyone, rocks up to the event.