Thursday, February 13, 2014

You’re no John Stuart Mill » The Spectator

You’re no John Stuart Mill » The Spectator

Next is the government’s pre-election pledge to make
changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the
Labor-enacted hate speech law that was used (illiberally) to go after
Andrew Bolt… Recall that this section has four triggers that undercut
free speech. Those triggers are the words ‘insult’, ‘offend’,
‘humiliate’ and ‘intimidate’....

But rather than get rid of all four, and repeal the entirety of 18C (which analogously did happen in Canada federally), the talk now
is of how the government might keep the prohibitory words ‘humiliate’
and ‘intimidate’ and either repeal or replace ‘offend’ and ‘insult’. Let
me be blunt. Such a craven compromise is in no way at all the choice of
a government committed to free speech. It basically is window dressing,
leaving the Labor inroads into free speech pretty much where they are.

Try this test Mr Attorney-General. Tell us precisely what the difference
is between offending or insulting someone and humiliating someone. The
fact is our AG cannot differentiate them… So if this government opts for
this sort of half-hearted compromise, it cannot with a straight face
also pretend such cosmetic changes somehow meet its free speech pledge.
Same trial, same judge, same Andrew Bolt, and Bolt still loses if all
that is changed is that the focus is on ‘humiliate’ rather than ‘offend’
or ‘insult’.

I won’t even bother here to do more than mention that the
Attorney-General rather incredibly seems to be mooting adding, yes
adding, some brand new speech restricting criminal law provision
— the old one being for him too narrowly drawn or something. Why, you might wonder, are we hearing
these backtracking noises? Alas, I fear the government just can’t be bothered to take on the vested interests. 


Politicians of all parties are part of a power elite who are rulers for life, sponsored for life by taxes stolen from us.

They would no more remove big government from our lives than dogbark the chinese national anthem underwater.

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