George Brandis is up for re-election in 2016

Jim Allen reminds us that George Brandis hasn’t delivered:

Alas, Mr Brandis is now purportedly leaning away from a total repeal of section 18C. Recall that this section has four triggers that undercut free speech. Those triggers are the words ‘insult’, ‘offend’, ‘humiliate’ and ‘intimidate’. These give people prepared to go to court plenty of ammunition to silence others whose criticisms they dislike (think Andrew Bolt here or Mark Steyn in Canada, where similar laws existed).

Don’t want to peck or be horrible about this, but a promise is a promise.

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61 Responses to George Brandis is up for re-election in 2016

  1. Ed

    Name that quote! from Sep 6, 2013

    Bolt is right this morning. The HRC must be abolished.

    And did I mention that Brandis is not to be trusted?

  2. candy

    Try this test Mr Attorney-General. Tell us precisely what the difference is between offending or insulting someone and humiliating someone.

    There’s a big difference. If someone offends you by something or other they said, could be unintentional, no big deal, apology and be done.

    If someone tries to humiliate or intimidate you, they are using deliberate pressure to cause you pain, to make you act in ways you would rather not, but feel too afraid not to.

  3. Infidel Tiger

    He’s a horrible little lawyer. In a properly ordered society he’d be a conveyancer’s lunch boy.

    If he is ever invited to an IPA event I’ll cancel my membership

  4. feelthebern

    Chill the fuck out.
    Wait until the BDS action is done.
    Then get back to me.

  5. Andrew

    So does Allan actually provide any evidence of Brandis backing out of his promise? Clearly not.

    Just a gossip column based on very little substance

  6. Sinclair Davidson

    Bern – you’re being generous. But I suspect George’s heart hasn’t ever been in it. Happy to be wrong.

  7. Gab

    What the government intends to do is to reform the legislation so that it is more respectful of freedom of speech.

    I am going to a great deal of trouble to ensure that I do engage significant community leaders in discussing the best way of achieving the balances between the protection of racial minorities from unacceptable forms of conduct on the one hand and protecting the freedom of Australians to express opinions, including unpopular opinions or divisive opinions, which is part of the lifeblood of a healthy democracy.

    – Brandis, Hansard, 18 November 2013

    Backdowns do not come more humiliating than this. Throughout most of 2012 the former Attorney-General, Ms Nicola Roxon, described the anti-discrimination bill as one of the government’s signature pieces of human rights legislation. It was the centrepiece of her social engineering—her ambitions to turn Australia into a nanny state, governed by political correctness, in which the government would decide what it was appropriate for people to say. That is what Ms Roxon said again and again: ‘We will decide what is appropriate.’

    We in the opposition saw that for what it was: part of a front in the war that the Gillard government has waged against freedom of speech. The attack on freedom of speech can sometimes be frontal but sometimes, equally insidiously, it can be subtle.

    – Brandis, Hansard, 20 March 2013

  8. Empire Strikes Back

    Wait until the BDS action is done.

    Why? If a shit law is used to destroy BDS, the victory will have no moral standing.

    Repeal 18C without delay George.

  9. Rabz

    If he is ever invited to an IPA event I’ll cancel my membership

    Let’s just say, that as an IPA member, I’ve attended functions where not so gorgeous George has been present.

    He needs constant reminding of how tenuous his passage on the Gravy Train is.

    My only regret is that at the last meeting where I encountered him we didn’t have a full and frank exchange of views – and that was only because I was trying to impress various conservative cuties.

    They might have been more impressed if I’d just blasted him.

  10. Ripper

    Repeal 18C without delay George.

    +100. Ignore those lefties. As fisky said , most of big business are lefties.

  11. Empire Strikes Back

    They might have been more impressed if I’d just blasted him

    I bet if you’d smacked him in the chops you would’ve pulled the flange Rabz.

  12. Rabz

    ESB,

    I’m beginning to agree with you.

    Those li’l squirettes are hot to trot.

    However, life remains too short for regrets.

  13. Gab

    What George said:

    THE repeal of the “Andrew Bolt” provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act that make it unlawful to offend and insult people because of their race will be the subject of the first legislation Attorney-General George Brandis will introduce to parliament.

    The repeal, which will honour an election promise, will change the definition of racial vilification to eliminate at least two of the grounds that were used against the conservative columnist over articles about light-skinned Aboriginal people.

    Before the election, Senator Brandis had promised to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act so speech that is found to be offensive and insulting is no longer defined as racial vilification.

    “You cannot have a situation in a liberal democracy in which the expression of an opinion is rendered unlawful because somebody else . . . finds it offensive or insulting,” he said.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/attorney-general-george-brandiss-first-task-repeal-bolt-laws-in-name-of-free-speech/story-e6frg97x-1226755431421

  14. incoherent rambler

    “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”
    ― Thomas Jefferson

    Could it be that George does not fear the people.

  15. Rabz

    Could it be that George does not fear the people.

    Not so gorgeous George is riding the Gravy Train – hence his lack of fear of the peoples.

    Time for a long overdue derailment.

    :x

  16. Ed

    Could it be that George does not fear the people.

    He fears the QandA audience.

  17. Gab

    What Abbott said:

    Another threat to freedom of speech in Australia is the operation of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits statements that “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” another person or a group of people on grounds of race or ethnicity.

    At the time of its introduction, oblivious to its Orwellian overtones, the then minister, Nick Bolkus, said that it was designed to prohibit “speechcrime” over and above the traditional tort of defamation.

    Making the likelihood of causing offence to a group the test of acceptable behaviour is a much more onerous restriction than bringing a particular victim into hatred, ridicule or contempt.

    Let’s be clear: insulting, humiliating or intimidating others on any grounds, racial or otherwise, is deplorable but a “hurt feelings” test is impossible to comply with while maintaining the fearless pursuit of truth which should be the hallmark of a society such as ours.

    The Coalition will repeal section 18C in its present form.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/the-job-of-government-is-to-foster-free-speech-not-to-suppress-it/story-e6frgd0x-1226443377179

  18. Infidel Tiger

    He fears the QandA audience.

    So true. Abbott and his band of window lickers don’t give a fig about their supporters only the enemy.

  19. Ed

    On the other hand, he is totally on the right track with this:
    Attorney-General George Brandis considers copyright law changes to target internet piracy
    Piracy is not a free speech issue, it is a law and order and property rights issue. Regardless of your opinion about what copyright law should be, it is what it is and there are binding international agreements in place.

    Australians have become lawless and bold in regard to piracy. It has run rampant for the simple reason that the Commonwealth has decided not to pursue this particular kind of lawless behavior.

    It is time to stamp out lawlessness among the citizenry and enforce the law.

  20. Infidel Tiger

    No, copyright is the enemy of freedom.

  21. Steve D

    Or will he just get onto it in time for the new Senate?

  22. DrBeauGan

    I’ve written to Brandis to tell him that if he doesn’t repeal 18C he has lost my vote.

  23. John Mc

    The Libs never fail to disappoint. Starting with Campbell Newman’s government in 2015, there needs to be a message sent that Lib support isn’t as strong as you might expect when they don’t deliver. Or worse, when you deliver stuff that you shouldn’t have.

    I was talking to a guy at work today as he bagged out the Lib Dems. When questioned on single issues he opposed the Paid Parental Leave scheme vehemently, he didn’t think we needed to ‘have a discussion’ about changing the constitution, he wasn’t happy with Newman’s bikie laws , he was disappointed the Libs may fail to repeal 18C of the RDA.. The only thing he was particularly happy about was stopping the boats, and he thought the Libs had shown some good leadership on stopping subsidies to the car industry but overall weren’t sufficiently pro-business especially with regards to red tape. For him, that was enough to be a Liberal supporter. It’s no wonder Australians – and the western world generally – are jaded about what politics does for them.

  24. Baldrick

    Can’t help but wonder if TA’s government will go down in history as one of the most disappointing, particularly with people like Brandis.
    There are positives though … ie: Morrison.

  25. manalive

    The one great principle of the English law is to make business for itself …

    … Bleak House.

  26. Let’s be clear: insulting, humiliating or intimidating others on any grounds, racial or otherwise, is deplorable

    I don’t believe this to be the case. If six african youths had been intimidated, there may well not have been a rape the other night.

    There are clear cases where insult, humiliation and even intimidation are not only appropriate but necessary for the maintenance of healthy culture.

    I think that people here have stopped seeing the forest for the trees. If your only aim is to see 18C repealed, you have missed the point. The entire legislation is appropriate only for the government and government agents.

    Discrimination maintains culture. Anti-discrimination legislation is the primary tool being used for neutering Australian culture to ensure that other cultures are able to become established rather than integrated. It is an unmitigated wrong.

  27. Rabz

    Well said, Drifty.

    Shut. It. Down.

    Fire. Them. All.

  28. Alfonso

    Once the proscribers of thought were able to run their politics beyond defamation and ban “holocaust denial” speech anything was possible. The pathetic anti semites should have been continually demolished through derision and historical fact……..but we had to criminalise them. That led straight to S18.

  29. Paul

    “Wait until the BDS action is done.”

    Who benefits?

    Then that’s who has been in his ear.

  30. Adam D

    WTF is this?

    I am going to a great deal of trouble to ensure that I do engage significant community leaders in discussing the best way of achieving the balances between the protection of racial minorities from unacceptable forms of conduct on the one hand and protecting the freedom of Australians to express opinions

    Is it good politics or just a complete lack of conviction. The coalition will never remain in power, the right and conservative moment are bit players in the media, entertainment, schools, universities, welfare, social groups, lobby groups, the courts, the public service, in fact they have pretty much lost every culture war going. There is however one thing thing they can count on, the complete inability of the left to run anything remotely successfully partly because of complete incompetence and partly because their politics inevitably lead to shit outcomes.

    So Brandis, Abbott and co make your time count. Do the right thing, forget the votes, forget the inevatable media attacks and implement some real positive changes for the country. Napthine, O’Farrell and Newman are quickly becoming forgotten figures of history and when Labor get back into power there will be no evidence at all that they ever existed.

    P.S I think the first thing a coalition government should do when coming into power is remove any and all changes made by Labor.

  31. lem

    I know it is unwritten policy to bag everything the government of the day does on this site, but surely a feeling in Jim Allen’s waters about what Brandis may or may not do regarding the odious 18 c is not a good enough reason to have Brandis head on a pike just yet. The election was in September, people. Brandis has been involved in multiple things, including the legals behind stopping the boats, setting up a Royal commission into the ALP/union mafia ring etc. I reckon you might just hold your horses.

    But since he’s coming up for re-election, Rabz, why don’t you nominate for the senate?

  32. Megan

    I’d vote for Rabz in a heartbeat. Especially if I could wear a shirt with Shut. It. Down. Fire. Them. All On it.

  33. Rabz

    But since he’s coming up for re-election, Rabz, why don’t you nominate for the senate?

    lem – what would be the point?

    I’ve considered joining the Liberals (my father was a founding member) but they are simply too expedient for my liking. They don’t stand for anything. I also profoundly disagree with several of the LDP’s policies (if you could dignify them with that title).

    I’ll have to stick to giving not so gorgeous George a piece of my mind whenever I have the misfortune of encountering the odious li’l grub in person.

    :)

  34. Rabz

    Thanks Megs – I’ll have to do a run of those t-shirts and see if peoples on this blog are interested in purchasing some.

    You could have a different theme on various shirts, naming such trusted institutions as the AHRC, teh ALPBC, etc.

  35. candy

    Senator Rabz has a nice sound to it.
    :)

  36. tomix

    I bet if you’d smacked him in the chops you would’ve pulled the flange Rabz.

    Is George the no- neck unit with the pointy head? Or someone else?

    Beware the baldies.

  37. A Lurker

    The trouble is Australia doesn’t have a true Conservative party.

    Every other party seems to push a variant of Socialism – or straight out Communism when you consider the Greens.

    It’s why I’ve never joined a political party – none of them ever seem to really want to protect our culture, and even the ‘Clayton Conservatives’ in the L/NP are pretty half-hearted about putting Australia and Australians first in all matters.

    There are a few true Conservatives, but they seem to get squashed/sat on by their own parties when they have the temerity to speak out.

    I think that if a true Conservative party ever got going here in Australia they might find themselves surprised by the level of support they’d get from the wider ‘pissed-off-with-the-current-crop’ Aussie community.

  38. I’d vote for Rabz in a heartbeat. Especially if I could wear a shirt with Shut. It. Down. Fire. Them. All On it.

    +1.

    Do the shirts.


  39. “By their works shall ye know them.”


    -someone famous.

    Just more evidence to support the case for Socialist infiltration of the Liberal Party.

  40. lem

    I’m up for t shirts. I still you should make run.

  41. gabrianga

    Déjà vu!

    The 1976 Fraser Government promulgated the Whitlam/Coombes design of the NT Land Rights Act which legalised the division between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal “rights”.

    Under this Act, the NT became 50% Aboriginal Land or Land under claim with the right of veto over development on this land.

    I was sceptical of the Howard Government’s attempts to “unify” and futile attempts to amend the Act just as I am with the Abbott Government’s good intentions ever coming to fruition..

    As for Mr. Brandis I would suggest he is about one step ahead of and about as straight as the previous AG Doofus , who cut his teeth on the NT Land Rights Act.

  42. James Hargrave

    Gabrianga

    Sounds just like a reversed, ‘politically correct’ version of the dear old Land Apportionment Act in Southern Rhodesia.

  43. Fred Lenin

    i have been saying for years ,Ausrralia has been “governed” by the untidy nations loving Green National Laboral Party ,talk about Tweedle Dum and Tweerle Dee ,we have had Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber..Start a Real Conservative Party,which could eliminate paid politicians and political Aparatchiks eliminate the law trade only fund universities to teach real subjectsm,medicine,engineering and real science.retrai teachers and sack the political ones Totally Reform Migration ,wher we export moslems ,africans and left wingers,and cutthe number of governments and public servants,just for astart ,and of course alpbc and sbs gone farever.

  44. Fleeced

    He’s also bringing back an Internet filter – this one even worse than Conroy’s – requiring ISPs to block torrent sites, etc – and have a “graduated” system where people have their accounts suspended.

    The Abbott government is considering a major crackdown on online piracy, including forcing internet service providers to block websites that allow users to illegally stream or download movies, music and television shows.

    The federal government is also considering implementing a “graduated response scheme” that could lead to consumers’ internet accounts being temporarily suspended if they ignore notifications to stop downloading illegal content.

    He should go hang himself.

  45. Tel

    George Breandis and the Internet filter rebirth.

    Didn’t take long after getting rid of one government for the next to start up the same crap. Almost like there’s some vested interest pushing these guys.

  46. Ed

    The Abbott government is considering a major crackdown on online piracy, including forcing internet service providers to block websites that allow users to illegally stream or download movies, music and television shows.

    whatever happened to arresting people who break the law? I know it’s a novel concept.
    Rather than ‘blocking’ sites to remove the temptation of engaging in illegal activity, if people are pirating stuff illegally, go and arrest them!

  47. Ed

    Brandis could start doing that tomorrow. No need for new legislation or big-brother style internet filters; he could just start actually enforcing the law.
    Shut down all those piracy parties for example where people swap massive files. Those things are such blatant criminality.

  48. Fleeced

    Shut down all those piracy parties for example where people swap massive files.

    Is it still the 1980s?

  49. Ed

    It was going on in Sydney when I was living there 4 years ago.
    But whatever. IP Piracy is a crime.
    This whole thing about progressively closing the accounts and whatnot is bullshit.
    If you’ve got a law, enforce it.
    But they won’t because they’re scared of upsetting people.

  50. tomix

    If the governments ever do decide to enforce all the hundreds and thousands of laws on the books, it’ll need enforcement squads.
    Which could work out nicely for the armies of Africans it’s
    been bringing into the country from refugee camps for the last many years.

  51. Ed

    The piracy thing is rampant lawlessness.
    It’s like this. If I own a TV station and I have a business model – I’m going to pay shitloads of money to actors and directors and film makers to make TV shows and movies, and then charge people a fee to see those movies – then it totally fucks me up the arse when these wankers just put my hard-crafted product on some website in Scandinavia so everyone can download it all for free.

  52. pear_shaped

    Bolt and his type are no different to the city latte set they criticise. When I was growing up in the North you got snotted if you caused offence. Thereafter you showed some respect for people with whom you had nothing much in common but had to work with. If somebody racially insults me, by extension you insult my wife and kids. If Bolt wants the legal right to do this then fine, the Govt should give me back my right to snot him. That used to be the Australian way. Jeez i remember getting reefed just for insulting a petmeater’s blades. Good job I didn’t use my free speech and call his dog a mongrel, even though it was. Bolt wouldn’t last five ticks on a rig or mining camp.

  53. Ripper

    I’m going to pay shitloads of money to actors and directors and film makers to make TV shows and movies,

    Ever thought that it may be the closed shop of IP that allows the gouging?

  54. Tel

    No need for new legislation or big-brother style internet filters; he could just start actually enforcing the law.

    He could, but then the citizens would see the Copyright industry for what it is: a bunch of bullies, trying to forever extend their property: 50 years, 100 years, 1000 years, etc. Each time without Democratic approval.

    If I own a TV station and I have a business model …

    As they say in the trade, “That’s your business”.

  55. Empire Strikes Back

    “I firmly believe the fundamental principles of copyright law, the protection of rights of creators and owners did not change with the advent of the internet and they will not change with the invention of new technologies.”

    Fair.

    He described the Copyright Act as “overly long, unnecessarily complex, often comically outdated and all too often, in its administration, pointlessly bureaucratic”.

    So fix the legislation and make your fed coppers enforce it you indolent prick.

    For the last time, it is not the responsibility of an ISP to do your policing for you Brandish.

  56. Ed

    Copyright law as actually implemented has a lot of problems, but there is a role for copyright.

  57. Fleeced

    IP = Imaginary Property.

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