Milo Yiannopoulos, the Gucci-clad British commentator who formerly wrote for far-right “news” site Breitbart and has been linked, multiple times, to the neo-Nazi movement and white supremacists such as Richard Spencer, has been touring Australia over the past few weeks.
You’d think as a nation we’d do our best to condemn or at least ignore an opportunistic troll clearly out to make money by aligning himself with the alt-right (Yiannopoulos has also publicly labelled feminism “a cancer” and called for mass deportation of all Muslim people), but actually ol’ mate Milo has been embraced by the Australian media like a lost larrikin son—he was even invited to speak at Federal Parliament. Pauline Hanson absolutely loved it.
There is some justice in this life, however. Left wing protesters have been causing a ruckus at several of Yiannopoulos’ events (his speaking tour, by the way, is called “Troll Academy”—the guy clearly says offensive things for the sole purpose of being provocative, which isn’t to say his views aren’t dangerous) and he has subsequently been billed for the significant police presence required at his Melbourne talk in Kensington.
During the protest, which saw a violent clash between hundreds of right wing and left wing activists, five police officers were injured and two people arrested.
The bill comes to $50,000 “at least,” in the words of Police Minister Lisa Neville, speaking to radio station 3AW on Wednesday night.
Yiannopoulos and his promoters were reportedly prepared to cover the costs of a police presence over the course of the speaking tour, and Neville seems confident that they’ll cough up the money. It’s standard practice: the AFL and other major events that require crowd control are all billed by the Victorian Police for their time.
Another positive outcome of this shitshow is that much of what Yiannopoulos has preached during his time in Australia has proved so vile that even one of our most outspoken homegrown right wing commentators, Andrew Bolt, has spoken against him.
The best friends that Milo has made in Australia? The members of One Nation, who amusingly don’t seem to be in on the joke at all and are taking him entirely on face value. Gotta love this tragic country.
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