At the Sofitel hotel in Sydney this week some of Australia's best-known conservatives gathered to talk about political correctness - something the Conservative Party believes is a brake on free speech.
Specifically, how they felt it was destroying Australia.
Broadcaster Alan Jones described it as a crisis.
People should not be cowed into silence by the "outrage industry".
There is a "march of the left through our institutions".
The ABC reports the gathering was for the official launch of a new book by education expert and commentator Kevin Donnelly, titled: How Political Correctness Is Destroying Australia — Enemies Within and Without.
The book explores what Dr Donnelly calls the rise in political correctness, and it examines same-sex marriage, what it means to be Australian, and the way universities and schools are being influenced by left-leaning thinkers.
"You're talking about political correctness destroying Australia — not just in the classroom, but it begins in the classroom," Mr Jones told the crowd.
Dr Donnelly — a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University — says political correctness is destroying Australia's cultural heritage and it can be seen most acutely in our educational institutions.
So what is 'political correctness'?
Dr Donnelly describes it like this:
It's a term that's become acceptable now to talk about the cultural left, or The Left if you like, where they censor or change the way language is employed or impose group-think in terms of what's politically correct.
Areas like feminism, gender, the environment, even history, Western civilisation, literature.
When I use the expression … it's [to describe] a form of censorship as I said and imposing group-think.
Dr Donnelly is a former high school English teacher who has held positions on numerous state and national curriculum bodies.
He has written extensively on education matters and co-chaired the federal government's National Curriculum Review in 2014.
Dr Donnelly's book is a collection of more than 60 talking points, with titles including:
- Thought police screening schoolbooks
- Culture wars: the left's university loonies
- How the PC left is rewriting history
- We need to teach our kids that West is best
- Criticising safe schools does not make you homophobic
- All sides deserve a voice in same-sex marriage debate
- The glaring problems with same-sex marriage
- Nothing safe in ignoring basics in education
Dr Donnelly denied the book was simply a collection of things he didn't like.
And when it came to the "culture wars", he didn't believe there were zealots on both the left and right and that there was a balance of views being put forth.
"I don't believe they do cancel each other out," he said.
"If you look at history, literature, music, art, the curriculum from primary into year 10 secondary, there are literally hundreds of references to Indigenous, Torres Strait Islander culture," he said.
“And that's fine, but I could only find — and I reviewed the curriculum — three references to Judaeo-Christianity and originally things like Magna Carta, common law.”
Those Western liberal values and institutions that protect our freedom were not mentioned and if they were, it was very episodic and fragmented."
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