There I was on the ABC’s Outsiders on Sunday morning. The issues were freedom of speech, the American election and the Australian economy. You can put this up on the website and listen in.
I will just make this observation. Freedom of speech, rather than being a merely reflex good as it ought to be in our society, is now a hot issue because of the threats to our ability to say in public what we like since the right to free speech has now been mixed up with the politics of religion and the Middle East. But we here should be defending our right to free speech to the fullest extent possible. If we wish to end up like the various religious tyrannies which are dime a dozen, mired in poverty and with nowhere to go, then now’s the time to cave in and fail to defend our right to say anything we wish while governments seal off our right to discourse on whatever we want whenever we please. Governments typically don’t like it, and religious bigots certainly don’t like it, but we citizens do like it. Our right to discourse on whatever we like and to debate and discuss whatever we please has been amongst the most important reasons, if not the single most important reason, for our wondrous freedoms – unknown to almost any other civilisation in history – and for our economic prosperity as well, which is the greatest this planet has ever been able to produce.
Interestingly about being on radio, it is free form so you don’t know exactly what you will be asked, when you are asked you don’t know what you’re going to say often till after you’ve said it, but most importantly, once it is said, you cannot bring it back. What is therefore an immense worry is that it felt potentially dangerous to be defending free speech because of the political overtones that now surround public discourse on so many topics. It should not be like this but it is.