Young Labor is having a Darth Vader moment – the shock and horror when Vader tells young Luke who his father is.
In his crusade to ensure government regulation and oversight of media content, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is pursuing a regulatory act that would breach fundamentally the liberal ideal of a free press.
The democrat within me sympathises with the need to ensure that media agencies do not fall into the hands of an elite few, for a plurality and diversity of voices is important in any free society.
However, the introduction of a government-appointed Public Interest Media Advocate who can determine what constitutes the “public interest” in relation to approving the standards of self-regulatory bodies is where the true danger lies.
For the many members of the Labor Party at a youth level who are strong advocates of civil liberties, the abridgment of these freedoms should never be an election issue but protected by Labor governments.
It turns out that the ALP is not the party of civil liberties that it advertises itself to be. Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating – how many Young Labor types turn out to letter-box and hand out how-to-vote cards will be a better indication of their commitment to civil liberties.