Free Speech

Abortion clinics and the death of Liberalism

Everyone should be uncomfortable and upset in a liberal society.

Some will be upset when they proudly see two married men holding hands and kissing in public. Some will be upset when they need to choose another photographer when a strongly religious Christian or Muslim photographer refuses them service.

Some will be upset by speech that seems to promote Islamic fundamentalism. Some will be upset by speech that seems to promotion white nationalism.

Some will be upset by abortion being freely and legally available. Some will be upset by being shown medical images of the procedure they are about to undertake.

When we approach these difficult issues in our society, both sides should lose.

Liberalism not a utopian philosophy. It’s far from perfect. It’s messy, and no-one is entirely happy with it. And that’s the way it should be. You have to put up with people doing things you despise, … Read the rest


No offence: but you’re going to hell

Rugby union player and devout Christian Israel Folau views on homosexuality has caused a maelstrom of controversy. On Instagram Folau was asked, ‘What is God’s plan for gay people?’ His reply, ‘Hell. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.’ has been heavily criticised in both mainstream and social media.

Many commentators have called for Folau to be penalised by Rugby Australia and have called for major sponsors of the game to withdraw their sponsorship. In response to the controversy a Qantas spokesperson said ‘as a sponsor of Rugby Australia, we’re supportive of their approach towards tolerance and inclusion, which aligns with our own. We’ve made it clear to Rugby Australia that we find the comments very disappointing.’

There have been some claims in the media that Qantas is considering pulling its sponsorship of the sport, however there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of this apart from Read the rest


How we shirked our duty to offend

An axiom attributed to Leonardo da Vinci is that great artists steal. In that vein, I shamelessly steal from Spiked! editor Brendan O’Neill his phrase, a ‘duty to offend’. When I first heard this expression, I didn’t get it. A duty to offend? Surely not? The right to offend absolutely, but a duty? That’s going too far I thought. Since that time, I’ve seen people surrender territory in the marketplace of ideas. They abandoned the truth for fear of giving offence. It now matters less what is right, but what people feel is right.

It is inevitable that when we discuss issues of great consequence someone will be offended. In recent years we learned that there is no limit to what some will take offence to. Yet, despite this knowledge, we continue to kowtow to the perennially offended. In a shameful display of moral cowardice, we’ve shirked our duty to … Read the rest


No, you’re not transphobic

Whatever your views are on transgender issues, chances are, you’re not transphobic. Real transphobia involves irrational behaviour, and denies trans people a ‘fair go’ not at the expense of others. Real transphobia is physically hurting someone because they’re trans, or not hiring the best job candidate just because they’re trans. Transphobia can be real, but fake transphobia is also real, and throwing (or threatening to throw) fake transphobia accusations around, especially in public discourse, does not help the transgender cause.

As a transsexual woman, I am sick and tired of seeing people being subject to character assassination because apparently they’re transphobic. In many cases, these people are either absolutely not transphobic, or accusing them of transphobia is a stretch (or somewhere in between). Unfortunately the trans “community”, now run by the Regressive Left, does not call out on fake transphobia often enough, if at all. For this reason and … Read the rest


Too controversial to debate: IQ’s role in education

Deplatforming has again become an issue after Teach First a UK not-for-profit organisation that recruits teachers from other academic disciplines removed an article by Toby Young director of the New Schools Networks arguing IQ was the single biggest predictor of student outcome and there were limits to what schools can do to overcome IQ inequity.

Teach First initially published the article with a rebuttal from Sonia Blandford. They later removed the article stating on Twitter: “We made a mistake. We published 2 blogs with opposing views as part of a recent debate on education. One was wrong. We’ve removed it. Sorry.” They replaced Young’s post with a longer explanation for why the article was removed. Stating that, “The aim was to drive debate. But we shouldn’t have published his blog, even with the rebuttal: it was against what we believe is true and against our values and vision. We apologise. Read the rest


Campus censorship at UQ

The evidence is mounting that Australian universities are more concerned with protecting students from offence than upholding the free expression that once made campus life great.

Around a fortnight ago, a rally held by the no-vote campaign group ‘Our Vote, Our Voice’ at the University of Queensland made the national media when it erupted into an ugly standoff when same-sex marriage advocates crashed the event in an attempt to shut it down.

The rally started out as a fairly tame affair. The speaker stood atop a grassy knoll next overlooking a major thoroughfare and explained why he, as a gay man, did not support same sex marriage. His megaphone was loud enough to be audible, without blaring, and he was joined by a little over a dozen supporters.

Within minutes, the scene was stormed by protestors trying desperately to drown out the megaphone with their own chants.

I didn’t find … Read the rest


No winners with same-sex hate bill

This week has seen the further eroding of free speech in Australia with the passing of the Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Bill 2017. The Bill seeks to provide a “further safeguard against vilification, intimidation and threats to cause harm” based on “the religious conviction, sexual orientation or gender identity or intersex status of a particular person or group”. The new legislation is designed to apply to both sides of the debate and will be in effect only until mid November after the survey results have been announced. Possible fines of up to $12,600 apply for any breaches.

At first glance this bill seems fair. It targets campaigners on both sides equally. Vilification of LGBT people is off limits, but so is vilification of people based on their religious beliefs. All campaigning material including that posted on social media, must be clearly authorised. Even the ABC and SBS must Read the rest


Why anti-vaxxers shouldn’t be censored

A gentleman by the name of Kent Heckenlively has been denied entry to Australia by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton for his ‘dangerous’ views on vaccination. Never heard of him? Not many people had until this recent ABC news report. Apparently Mr Heckenlively is an anti-vaccination advocate on a world tour, who planned to drop by and tell Australian parents  that they should stop vaccinating their kids.

According to Peter Dutton, his views are ‘dangerous’ and are not in the national interest. No doubt Mr Heckenlively was planning to expound on all sorts debunked myths about how vaccinations cause autism or how measles is good for your immune system. As part of his tour, he would have visited a number of venues and spoken to groups of dyed-in-the-wool anti-vaxxers, as well as people who are just curious about vaccine dangers. He may very well have persuaded a few more people Read the rest


The first step in fighting barbarity is to speak out

So, some very well intentioned people had a march in Barcelona the day after the attack on the Ramblas,  it’s a city I know well from when I worked there as an English teacher. They wanted to let every one, especially the Jihadis, know they weren’t afraid. Well, congratulations, but it’s easy not to be afraid when there isn’t a van full of religious nutters trying to mow you down. If they had been walking there the day before, when the attack was occurring, they’d have been utterly terrified like any normal human would have been. If they had survived they’d be dealing with horrific injuries and traumatic mental scars. I’ve seen the disturbing images of dead people including children strewn along the Ramblas that the media will not allow us to see. I can’t even imagine the distress that will linger in the memories of the survivors.

Yet, turn … Read the rest