The violent extremist behind Australia’s refugee movement, part 1


There are many organisations and individuals involved in Australia’s refugee advocacy industry. For various reasons it seems to be a fairly lucrative field. But none stand out as much as Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition.

Ian Rintoul.

Others may be better funded or have better connections within the legal or public service establishment, but nobody gets quoted as often or by as many different outlets in relation to the supposed evils of our border protection program as Ian Rintoul.

It’s a crowded field of potential spokespeople jostling for attention and the opportunity to virtue-signal; from David Manne [brother of the more famous Robert] to the creepy weirdo and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre founder Kon Karapanagiotidis. Yet nobody else comes close to getting the amount of favourable, even fawning press coverage that Mr. Rintoul enjoys.

A search of the ABC website brings up seventy mentions from this year alone and almost four hundred overall. SBS is similarly devoted to the promotion of the cult of Saint Ian, as are Fairfax.

The evil right wing Murdoch press is almost as kind, although some commentators have perhaps unfairly pointed out Mr. Rintoul’s rather unfortunate habit of defending Asylum applicants who also happen to be sexual predators or paedophiles.

But even these last, less than glowing items of news coverage don’t ever bother to go into who exactly Ian Rintoul is. I’ve seen the man interviewed on every television network in Australia and listened to him on many of the radio stations, yet the only time I ever heard mention of his political affiliations both past and present was in passing on The Bolt Report.

And he deserves so much better than that.

Asylum seeker resource centre photo
From a Refugee Action demonstration in 2013. Photo by John Englart (Takver)

Mr. Rintoul and those associated with him have been some of the main organisers of protests to open up our borders to anyone who might want to come. He is calling for Australia to give up any claim to decide who should or shouldn’t be allowed to come to this country. He believes the very concept of Australia is an illegitimate social construct which needs to be destroyed in the name of social justice.

So who is Ian Rintoul?

He was one of the founding members of the Australian branch of the International Socialist Organisation [ISO] in the 1970s; a revolutionary Marxist extremist group known for its violence. Mr. Rintoul himself boasts that he has been arrested in relation to his often thuggish political activity over sixty times.

I can sense your shock.

The ISO was the Australian arm of the “International Socialist Tendency” an umbrella group espousing the ideas of Marxist theorist Tony Cliff, founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Britain. Interestingly enough, much like some of their Australian cousins the SWP have problems with members sexually assaulting young female recruits. What a coincidence.

Gulag photo
Not real communism. Photo by Luca Serazzi

The IST are considered proponents of the “State Capitalism” theory. State Capitalism explains away all the piles of bodies left behind by the various Communist regimes and their failure to create magical happy-lands of wonderfulness, by claiming that they were never really socialist countries at all.

Clever hey?

Rintoul became more or less the centre of the ISO, growing it out into most areas of Australia but always suffering from being in the shadow of his main rivals the Democratic Socialist Party. The DSP were fellow Trotskyites who unlike the ISO weren’t willing to give up entirely on Fidel Castro or Kim Il-sung. Naturally the two groups viewed each other as vile heretics.

Lefties will be lefties after all.

The ISO lost some members to splits in the 80s but the biggest ruckus happened between 1993 and 1995 when some members started to question the authority of Dear Leader Ian. These perfidious rebels included members of the newly famous “Austudy Five” including deranged megalomaniacal lunatic Mick Armstrong, perpetual protester Sandra Bloodworth as well as current Guardian columnist and former Overland editor Jeff Sparrow.

Dear Leader Ian eventually had these few dozen ingrates kicked out of his club for not recognising his greatness, and the expellees went on to found Socialist Alternative. Avid XYZ fans would know that from that small kernel SAlt has grown to the point where it is now the largest, most violent and most radical extreme leftist group in Australia today.

So yeah thanks for helping to make that possible Ian.

But Rintoul and his club of cultish devotees bounced back. The Cold War was over and small Trotskyist groups needed to find a new reason to exist, beyond patiently explaining to everyone willing to listen why the Soviet Union would have been just fine if only Trotsky instead of Stalin had been the one in charge of the secret police.

Fortunately for Ian along came Pauline Hanson.

Part 2 of this article will be published tomorrow, Wednesday 11th of October at 3:30pm.

Photo by David Jackmanson