Well at last Senator Conroy has proved Clive Hamilton right. I think the book followed this 2004 Australia Institute paper.
From the foreword by Robert Manne
For over a decade, the Howard government has found ways to silence its critics, one by one. Like the proverbial frog in boiling water, Australians have become accustomed to repeated attacks on respected individuals and organisations. For a government which claims to support freedom of speech and freedom of choice, only certain kinds of speech and choices appear to be acceptable.
Silencing Dissent uncovers the tactics used by John Howard and his colleagues to undermine dissenting and independent opinion. Bullying, intimidation, public denigration, threats of withdrawal of funding, personal harassment, increased government red tape and manipulation of the rules are all tools of trade for a government that wants to keep a lid on public debate. The victims are charities, academics, researchers, journalists, judges, public sector organisations, even parliament itself.
Deeply disturbing, Silencing Dissent raises serious questions about the state of democracy in Australia.
I’ve carefully checked the internet for news and blog sites to see if Clive Hamilton, Sarah Maddison and Robert Manne have come out criticising Senator Conroy’s new legislation. To no avail. They must be fair weather defenders of free speech.
An extract from page 3:
Update: Robert Manne didn’t write the quote attributed to him above.