Hate speech laws are an unnecessary attack on free speech

Anti-hate laws across the world and in Australia are being used to restrict free speech. In Australia, LibertyWorks recently reported members of the United Patriots Front are facing charges under Victoria’s  Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001. Spiked-Online has reported that the European Union has unveiled a code of conduct for online platforms. Around the world contentious ideas are being driven underground right at the time when these issues need to be discussed the most.

In Britain, anti-hate group, ‘HOPE not hate’ is raising funds to sue Nigel Farage after he accused the widower of Jo Cox of having links with extremism because of his support of HOPE not hate. Now on their website HOPE not hate is requesting donations from its supporters saying, “Yesterday morning, on LBC radio, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage launched an outrageous attack on us, on Brendan Cox, husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, and by association on everyone who believes in HOPE not hate. Our lawyer has just sent Farage a letter demanding he retracts and publicly apologises or we will begin legal proceedings against him.”

The dispute between Nigel Farage started when Farage tweeted after the terrorist attack in Berlin, “Terrible news from Berlin but no surprise. Events like these will be the Merkel legacy.” Brendan Cox replied tweeting, “@Nigel_Farage blaming politicians for the actions of extremists? That’s a slippery slope Nigel”. Farage was then asked about the dispute on LBC radio and replied, “Well, of course, he would know more about extremists than me, Mr Cox, he backs organisations like HOPE not hate, who masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means.” Farage has previously claimed that the group has used violence to disrupt his rallies.

Further down on HOPE not hate’s fundraising page they also say, “If we manage to settle this dispute out of court, we will use all funds raised to continue our campaign against extremism and hatred of all kinds.” It’s hard to know if they are genuine or whether this ‘case’ is a blatant fundraising exercise targeting gullible idiots who ironically hate Farage. This case while being laughable, really shows what so called anti-hate activists are really about. Their worldview can be summed up as, “everything I don’t like is ‘hate speech’.”

Anti-hate groups such as HOPE not hate and their Australian equivalent the Online Hate Prevention Institute campaign against free speech rights and advocate for anti-hate speech laws. Such groups regularly claim that removing anti-hate laws will open the floodgates of racism. This implies a deep distrust of their fellow man and despite all their talk of community and society, it shows that they have no faith in civil society to self regulate. Instead, they opt for the heavy hand of the State. They ignore the fact that the United States, the world’s largest and most successful multi ethnic country, doesn’t have any anti-hate speech legislation due to the First Amendment. Yet, the United States is most likely the world’s least racist country. In the United States the community has set the standard and over time that standard has become extremely intolerant of any kind of racism.

Throughout the campaign to repeal 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act many have asked campaigners, ‘what are you so desperate to say that you can’t say under existing law?’ Well, actually a lot of things. Many people want to be able criticise the policies of Israel. Many other people want to question whether Islam is compatible with Western values. Other people want to raise uncomfortable questions about remote Aboriginal communities as Bill Leak did in his cartoon. There are many controversial ideas people want to discuss in a free society, it’s not for judges and Human Rights Commissions to decide which of these ideas are valid. The general community is perfectly capable of assessing the merits of ideas raised.

Anti-hate campaigners want us to only say nice things about each other, but, we aren’t children. Sometimes harsh and difficult things need to be said. In a free society people should be able to say whatever they like without fear of state sanction. By allowing the state to regulate what speech is and isn’t allowed it reduces the ability of society to have robust discussions that set the community standard.

Justin Campbell
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29 Comments on "Hate speech laws are an unnecessary attack on free speech"

  1. Free speech is a basic human right in a Western Democratic Society. It was not included in OUR Constitution because in 1900 it was considered a given in Australia.
    One thing the American Founding Fathers had the foresight to realise was the restriction or outright banning of free speech was a tool of tyrannical Governement and that it would not remain a given.
    Cultural Marxism at it’s finest with these groups. The most intolerant, ignorant and tyrannical segment of Society.

  2. Two year olds + Donald Trump say whatever they like and give no regard to the consequences. Adults moderate their speech so that they still express their views but in ways which don’t cause harm.
    Demanding unfettered “free” speech is a demand to still be able to throw tantrums like a two year old. Also, by having to consider what you say first and really listen to the other you might learn. And in learning you might change your views, grow and become a better, kinder person as a result.
    Happy Festivus!

  3. Lets get rid if 18C ASAP.

  4. free speech, be it good or bad is imperative. it is how we can tell what people are really thinking.

  5. Nigel speaking for the people who have no voice!

  6. Yes and cause is the famous “the climate change”!!!

  7. There’s a massive difference between hate speech and an uncomfortable truth. I can say that I think you should be smart enough to understand this without resorting to hate speech such as “you are are typical evil right wing Nazi”, which is obviously hate speech and obviously not even slightly accurate

  8. Yes, but there has to be guidelines conforming with acceptable moral standards observed in our legal system….Examples: name calling & bad language cannot be tolerated.

    • Actually no there doesnt. The government isn’t your mother

    • Sorry, I don’t believe in no controls, ie even in parenting there is such a an important thing as guidelines & tough love.

    • Correction. ..should read an important ..

    • Bad language laws can actually work against disadvantaged people and result in unnecessary arrests.

    • Interesting comment Nicolas & who exactly are the disadvantaged?. One again they the minority get special consideration & the victims are treated like second rate citizens?

    • Apology Nicolas may smart phone spelt your name incorrectly & should read once again.

    • Did it again Nicola…Bloody dumb phone!

    • Ken Betts no worries 🙂 I’m talking about laws against swearing in public being used disproportionately against indigenous Australians. You can argue that swearing is a victimless crime.

      Moral standards are OK, but it’s folly to say that name-calling and bad language is something that the government and the law should have anything to do with.

      Cheers, have a good Christmas.

  9. Well ken; this cuts both ways. If we disagree with an issue; we should not be called bigots; rascists; intolerant; etc; but we are because we do not agree with the narrative set by GOVTS and the media mates.

    Further; if I offend you; than take “me” to task; don’t go crying to the Govt; or make a law about a dispute we can hopefully resolve.
    Not all disputes can be settled; but that is human nature.
    Provided I do not deliberately and wilfully injure you or damage your property; most other disputes can be settled without GOVT interference.

  10. Mummy make them like me!…. NOW!

  11. And the people who use these laws to suppress the speech of others are usually the most hateful…..

  12. Its possible that the law cannot adequately deal with people who are inclined to spread hate. It might be a cultural expectation among peers that has more impact. People who want to reserve a right to spread hate might be better helped by the apparatus of mental health, rather than the justice system.

  13. With freedom comes responsibility..sadly there are those who seek to free themselves from that responsibility.

  14. It’s funny LibertyWorks, you spout your vile and expect it to be the final word, but as soon as someone challenges your views, you start crying your free speech is being feted. In Australia, you may say what you like but be prepared to argue your case as those who do not agree with you, will ask you to clarify your statement and offer a different point of view.

    • LibertyWorks, you can read can’t you? Say what you like as that is free speech, but I also have the right to free speech and I will challenge you if I think your statement is unwarranted and lacking in content.

    • Patrick Loverso you’re welcome to do so…go for it.

      Not sure we’ve ever complained that our free speech is being infringed upon because somebody disagrees with us. Can’t remember ever spouting ‘vile’ either.

    • Nicola Wright, this whole article is about how LibertyWorks thinks that free speech is under attack because of 18c. Once again, say what you like but be prepared to validate your comments. That is all I am saying………

  15. More ridiculous leftist dribble…

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