Michael Danby on free speech.
Labor MP Michael Danby, who is Jewish, said Mr Abbott’s promise might give the green light to bigoted groups such as the far-right LaRouchites and Adelaide Institute.
The Jewish community and many others had fought for these laws because racial hatred from some elements in the community was getting out of hand in mid-1990. ”We don’t want to go back to that darkness,” he said
He said that some people had been left uncomfortable with the Andrew Bolt decision. ”I know Andrew Bolt and he may have been misguided, but he is not a racist.”
But ”will this be the kind of Australia we might expect under Tony Abbott where laws are varied to suit mates, whether they be Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart or Andrew Bolt?”
Mr Danby said Mr Abbott’s announcement was a mistake born of his listening ”too much to Sydney talkback radio. He should be listening to the rest of Australia too … Getting rid of those laws could again unleash bigotry on ethnic communities in this country”.
I’m disappointed that Michael, a friend, could not speak more clearly against these laws and for the freedom to speak, and that he reduces this to mates politics. He should be much, much better than that.
He is not your friend. No friend would allow, or could even tolerate, such an injustice to persist.
You either support free speech or you do not – Danby does not. No excuses.