Blimey, this bloke just keeps popping up - a bit like... a bit like... oh, herpes will do:
"Australasian Union of Jewish Students political director Matthew Lesh said campus extremists were targeting individuals rather than engaging in debate... Mr Lesh said he had been 'aggressively' criticised for visiting Israel in a University of Melbourne student forum last year." (Pyne warns universities to act on campus racism, Christian Kerr, The Australian, 4/3/14)
"Matthew Lesh, the political affairs director of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students, described the alleged [anti-Semitic] incidents as 'vicious and worrying'." (Racism at unis not on, says Pyne, Christian Kerr, The Australian, 19/5/14)
"Matthew Lesh, Megan Saker and Nicki Jarrel... are something of a rarity within [Melbourne University's] walls - staunch defenders of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey's first budget... All three are Liberal Party members and signed up for the Australian Liberal Students Federation on their first day of university... Mr Lesh said the student Liberals were not planning a loud come-back to their counterparts' [Socialist Alternative Club] attack. He picked up his phone instead. 'I'm going to try and get on 3AW,' he said." (Three of a kind with a Liberal attitude towards a 'fair' budget, Tammy Mills, The Age, 20/5/14)
Uh Oh, I feel another Liberal MP coming on...
So just who is Matthew Lesh?
From the above, you will have deduced that he's:
a) a highly sensitive guy who deplores aggression
b) one with an inordinate fondness for the media limelight
Little surprise then when he popped up on ABC News 24, debating Deanna Taylor, President of the National Union of Students (NUS) on the subject of the government's decision to deregulate university fees and yesterday's resultant National Day of Action.
Lesh, of course, defended the former and lashed (leshed?) the latter as "extreme left" student protesters "violently confronting the police."
Intrigued by all this evidence of Lesh's aggro-phobia, but puzzled nonetheless by his devotion to the cause of Australia's most pugilistic PM, I thought I'd take a look at his twitter page, where he describes himself as a "commentator," an "opinionated classic liberal," and a "developer." Not, you'll notice, "Zionist." Interesting, these days, how those you'd expect to revel in the label are backing away from it. But I digress. Lesh's tweets.
Oh, how I wish I hadn't gone there. Just when I was beginning to think that maybe Australia had a budding Ghandi on its hands, my fond fantasy was banished in an instant by the following two tweets, from late November last year:
I seconded the Vic Young Libs motion at Liberal Victoria State Council to support jobs by bring UFC Australia to Vic!
UFC? Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Retweeted by Matthew Lesh: Young Libs@VicYoungLibs We just moved a successful motion at Liberal Victoria State Council to bring UFC Australia to Vic!
The retweet was accompanied by a photograph of the successful Motion 23, which read:
"That this State Council calls on the Victorian Coalition Government to legalise Mixed Martial Arts competition in a cage."
I'm shattered. Shattered.
PS (23/5/14): Kids cage-fighting on the rise in the US (Philippa Lees, au.news.yahoo.com, 23/5/14):
"It is banned in most US states but parents are finding a way to enter their kids, as young as 6, into junior cage-fighting tournaments. A story on Seven's Sunday Night, to air May 25, goes inside Harrah's Casino which can hold these junior mixed martial arts (MMA) events because it is situated on an Indian reservation and not subject to Californian law. David Bramlette, whose son Mason 'The Beast' has been fighting since he was diagnosed with ADHD, says he believes it is safer than most other sports... Contests are sanctioned and officiated by the US Fight League and follow the limited contact rules which prohibit kicking and punching above the collarbone. Strangling is allowed. Opponents are not determined by gender but weight range, which means boys can fight girls. Kids MMA has thrived off the Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) craze which has become a $3 billion dollar business."