Free Speech


18C and the doctrine of emotional protectionism

Who gave you this authority?

Anytime authority is exercised over you a legitimate question to ask is, ‘who gave you this authority?’ As the discussion about 18C & D continues in Australia, a thought should come to mind whenever you turn your attention to the issue. When was this ever discussed at an election? When did my local MP ever bring this up in communication with me?

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce claimed that this was not an important issue among the electorate and was ‘a political distraction’. Well I suppose that view is a luxury a politician can afford to indulge, a university student not so much. He further espoused his view that the Turnbull government should not engage Labor in these philosophical debates’ and that ‘we should be talking about things where we have greater potency than the opposition, which is delivery. Power prices, Read the rest


18C is not protecting anybody

My name is Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, I am an Alice Springs Town Councillor and campaigner against family violence. Recently I addressed the National Press Club along with Marcia Langton and Josephine Cashman about the silencing of Aboriginal women victims of violence and the realities of life in remote communities. My traditional Warlpiri culture is governed by stringent rules regarding the sharing of knowledge and what women can and cannot say in public. I am of the thinking that my people need to implement cultural reform to allow for more open and honest discussion so that women and children victims of violence are no longer silenced.

The domestic violence epidemic has been played out in aboriginal communities for over several decades now and has steadily worsened. In our current political climate freedom of speech has been suppressed by political correctness. This has contributed to the domestic violence epidemic we are experiencing.

Read the rest

What you can learn from Twitter about 18c

 

There’s been plenty written about 18c in the past few months with many media organisations and personalities coming out strongly for repeal.  Some of those have personally been at the pointy end of the law and are acutely aware of its dangers. This article doesn’t seek to add to their important work but instead brings attention to the love affair the left has with 18c and their strategy for keeping it.

Normally the words “what you can learn” and “Twitter” aren’t found in the same sentence. Twitter is to learning and discourse what Married at First Sight is to relationship guidance. However, if you carefully watch the commentary and responses that takes place on social media platforms you can learn quite a bit about the established strategies and narratives the left intends to pursue on certain subject matters.  Discussion about 18c is a case in point. Invariably when an … Read the rest


Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolfe?

Fringe health and well-being guru David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe is coming to Australia and surprise, surprise there are two separate Change.org petitions going around calling for him to be banned. One of the petitions is addressed to the Hon. Peter Dutton and claims that Wolfe ‘represents a danger to the Australian community, and the health of children and adults alike, due to his extreme views…we request his visa be revoked on theses [sic] grounds under Public Interest Criteria 4001’. The other petition is addressed to the Rendezvous Hotel in Perth who are hosting a conference at which Wolfe is scheduled to appear, in an attempt to get the venue to cancel the event.

Of course the petitioners are well within their rights to circulate a petition and some argue that this sort of action is evidence of people exercising their own free speech in calling for Wolfe to be banned, Read the rest


Free speech gets shredded

Last Thursday Dr Anne Aly Member for Cowan shared a video of herself shredding the Institute of Public Affairs’ submission to the Free Speech in Australia inquiry and in doing so she demonstrated the attitudes that many have towards opinions that they don’t like: to shut them down by whatever means possible.

On her post Dr Aly asks “what kinds of racially motivated things do Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberals and the IPA want to say that they’re not allowed to right now?” I can’t speak for Mr Turnbull, the Liberal Party or the IPA but as an ordinary Australian I’ll have a go at answering. We want the freedom to be able discuss touchy subjects like Aboriginal disadvantage, immigration policies and freedom of religion without fear that somebody hearing what we have to say will feel offended enough to initiate an 18C complaint with the AHRC.

In 2002 WA Senator Read the rest


The problem with facts

In November the Oxford English Dictionary named, “post-truth” its word of year. Post-truth is defined as, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” The term post-truth along with the phrase ‘low information voter’ have gained popularity post Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential election. This has led many in the Twitterati to quote John Maynard Keynes stating, “when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?” Out of this has come the assumption that there are two types of people, those who believe in ‘facts’ and those who are led by the their emotions (low-information voters). However, few have asked, What are facts? How reliable are they? Or even, should facts be the primary basis of political decision making?

The simplest definition of a fact is: Read the rest


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, Read the rest


The Uniting Church’s Racial Vilification Problem

In April 2014, the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly made a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department opposing the repeal of 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act stating that, “The Uniting Church in Australia is committed to positively contributing to a nation that is inclusive and harmonious. We believe that diversity strengthens us: as individuals, in the life of our Church, and our society as a whole. We firmly reject the proposed amendments contained in the Bill as we believe they lessen the protections against racial vilification and have the potential to open the floodgates with regards to the production, dissemination and broadcast of materials that propagate racial hatred. When individuals are targets of racial vilification, their dignity is diminished; by our values, traditions and beliefs. We find this wholly unacceptable.”

So it must have come as quite a shock to discover that they themselves have had a complaint made against … Read the rest