Contrary to the impression conveyed by Sally Neighbour (‘All About Cory’, Dec/Jan), Cory Bernardi enjoys great respect in the community and among his colleagues. Bernardi was one of the first in the Liberal Party to strongly oppose Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. He had to persuade very many in his own party that he was right, and he did so. If he had not succeeded, the Coalition would be nowhere near government but rather two or three terms away. Many of the colleagues who opposed and derided Bernardi owe their political survival and future prospects to his advocacy and bravery. Long before Merkel, Sarkozy and Cameron pronounced multiculturalism dead, Bernardi had the courage to challenge the conventional wisdom. He is not a racist, but he is not a cultural relativist either. To the chagrin of the inner-city elites, he is dangerous not because he is an extremist but because he is mainstream.
Senator Brett Mason