Some have argued that leaving Section 18C will make it easier for some people to join “Team Australia” in the fight against terrorism. Really? To suggest that somebody, anybody, would decline to co-operate in the fight against terrorism because they didn’t like the repeal of a section like this in the Racial Discrimination Act is truly frightening.
Does the Government believe there are community leaders whose commitment to their fellow citizens and the values of a civilised society is so weak they will not co-operate in preventing terror and murder if Section 18C is repealed? If that is the case we really do have a problem.
Peter Costello is a bit coy when he writes “Some have argued”.
Who could that someone be?
When it comes to counter-terrorism everyone needs to be part of ‘Team Australia’ and I have to say that the Government’s proposals to change 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act have become a complication in that respect. I don’t want to do anything that puts our national unity at risk at this time and so those proposals are now off the table. This is a call that I have made. It is, if you like, a leadership call that I have made after discussion with the Cabinet today. In the end leadership is about preserving national unity on the essentials and that is why I have taken this decision.
I remember now – that’s Tony Abbott.
I don’t believe that we as a society have a problem where people “will not co-operate in preventing terror and murder”. To be blunt, the problem is that we have a government that thinks that. At least a government that said it thinks that.
Peter Costello again:
I DON’T know about this “Team Australia” stuff. As far as I am concerned when it comes to stopping terrorism, it is not a matter of “getting on the team”. Stopping terrorism means protecting people — children, relatives, friends and neighbours and, yes, people of different ethnic backgrounds or different religions — from senseless random brutal killing. That’s a real human right: the right not to be murdered in the name of someone else’s political cause or twisted version of religion.