John Roskam writes to Coalition MPs

I am writing to express my very great concern at the failure of the federal Coalition to announce their outright opposition to the government’s exposure draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012.

IPA research reveals that the draft legislation is an outrageous attack on the fundamental liberty of freedom of speech. The draft legislation proposes to make it unlawful to offend or insult another person on nearly twenty different grounds, including “political opinion”.

The proposed law is extraordinary and has no place in a free country.

The day after the draft legislation was released Simon Breheny, the Director of the Legal Rights Project at the Institute of Public Affairs, sent you and every member of parliament an email drawing your attention to the dangerous provisions in the legislation and urging you to reject it. I have enclosed a copy of his email with this letter.

It is alarming that the Coalition has to date failed to announce its opposition to the frightening restrictions on freedom of speech contained in the legislation.

The silence of the Coalition since the draft legislation was released stands in stark contrast to the strident defence of our liberties made yesterday by the former political staffer to Gough Whitlam and Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, James Spigelman. Even federal ALP backbencher Kelvin Thomson has been more vocal than the Coalition on the threat to freedom of speech posed by the draft legislation.

IPA members from around the country have inundated me with phone calls, emails, and letters about the draft legislation. Every one of them has asked the same question: where is the Coalition on this issue? I wish I had something positive to tell them.

IPA members tell me that they have been informed by Coalition MPs that the Coalition is waiting for the report of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee due in February next year before determining its position on the draft legislation. Frankly, that’s just not good enough.

Freedom of speech is core to the philosophies of liberalism and conservatism. Such attacks on freedom of speech must be opposed outright and immediately.


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17 Responses to John Roskam writes to Coalition MPs

  1. Infidel Tiger

    I’d imagine the majority of them actually support it. Keep in mind that most of them are only members of the LNP because they didn’t have the necessary union background to join the ALP or they weren’t lezzos.

  2. John Mc

    I don’t expect much from the Libs these days. Maybe a slightly slower journey towards a socialist state with the occasional passing reference to some classical liberal concept or something.

    Having said that, Campbell Newman has been mostly a breath of fresh air. Poorly crafted bikie gang laws and a blatant snub to Katter’s mob getting the conditions for a party perhaps being one exception.

  3. Alfonso

    Slow learner is Roskam.
    Our big govt welfare Statist Tony refuses to even pledge to repeal S18C in its entirety. Tone has quite an affection for the possibilities, he agrees with Julia : truth must be be no defence to State speech codes.
    Do you get an ASIO file these days for openly opposing 3rd world immigration? Soon. kiddies, soon.

  4. johno

    I don’t expect much from the Libs these days. Maybe a slightly slower journey towards a socialist state with the occasional passing reference to some classical liberal concept or something.

    Liberty quote.

  5. John Mc

    Do you get an ASIO file these days for openly opposing 3rd world immigration? Soon. kiddies, soon.

    No, that’s been around for a few years now. It’s under the ‘politically motivated violence’ section of their charter apparently.

  6. James Bauer

    The Liberal Party was always a big government party, but it’s got sort of funny with Tony Abbott. It’s clear he absolutely does not care about concepts such as freedom, liberty, small government, and such; the only thing he “believes” in is getting in power and perhaps some social conservatism.

  7. Poor Old Rafe

    Where are the varius Councils of Civil Liberties on all this, or have they disbanded? They used to be full of Labor lawyers so they picked up on things like prison reform and gay rights but never said a thing about compulsory trade unionism for example.

  8. samuelj1912

    even some Sitting ALP members have come out against the proposed legislation, But I haven’t heard from a single sitting Coalition MP

  9. James Bauer

    Samuel: Brandis has come out against it. I think we just have Abbott to blame here, he really is a pathetic, useless [yep and lets leave it at that. Sinc.

  10. Alfonso

    Yeah, it’s amazing…. little of the conservatism Tony alludes to in his book seems visible in his politics. The predictable ‘ask Pell’ social conservatism aside, what actually is Tony politically? He seems unable to look anyone in the eye and tell them to go to hell.

    Unless he confronts Indonesia to cease its visa free entry for illegal boat on-carriage, he won’t even fix the illegals.

    A one term PM, very much the Baillieu.

  11. the fundamental liberty of freedom of speech.

    Not as it stands in this country with media ownership in the hands of monopolies. We have freedom of corporate speech. What we need is freedom from corporate speech.

  12. Gab

    News Ltd enjoys 70 per cent circulation – that is not the same as media ownership. This is an old and tired lefty meme. Not sure what that site is all about 90210 but it’s crap on facts.

  13. Sinclair Davidson

    1735099 – we’ll make a libertarian out of you yet. 🙂

  14. .

    Not as it stands in this country with media ownership in the hands of monopolies.

    There are no monopolies. Rupert can shove his jackboot up his arse.

  15. DaveF

    News Limited have the bulk of the free local suburban rags. They hardly set a real agenda on anything but a local issue Numbers.

    Please leave the Talking Points at the door.

  16. Mundi

    This legislation is abhorrant. Here are some of the appalling things it includes:

    -They are including ‘Industrial history’ as something you cannot discriminate on. They do not seem to be limiting this to strikes etc. but to actual activity of economic purpose to do with labor.

    -defendant is more likly to have to pay own legal costs even if found innocent, putting more onus onto the accused to clear there name

    -the burden of proof shifts to the accused if they are in a better position to have the facts

    -all ‘reverse’ descrimination is legalised. They are making it so you cannot have been discriminated against if the act of the descrimination improves the overall ‘equality’ of society. So basically its impossible for a white man to ever be discriminated against.

    -natural law is completely thrown out, any thing that offends a person is now illegal unless it falls into one of their ‘exceptions’ which are quite limited (art, science, fair reporting of a real event). This is like a law from the dark ages.

    Very scary stuff.

  17. Greg James

    How is it that the Labor Party – the so-called party of the working man and woman – could so quickly descend to this utterly ridiculous inner-city green wankfest that it has become?

    Honestly, my old grandfather – God rest the smelly old bastard’s working class soul – would be turning in his grave at what his beloved party has turned into.

    Not in his wildest dreams could he ever have thought that a pathetic nonentity like Shorty Shorten could ever have risen to prominence is his party, or that ethically and morally corrupted scuzz buckets like Gillard and her fellow Emily Listers would take it over.

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