Archive for the ‘Sink the Fink’ Category
Join Senator Scott Ryan, Senator Mitch Fifield, MLC Bernie Finn and other freedom fighters for a Free Speech Rally outside Senator Stephen Conroy’s electorate office!
17 Mason St, Newport, Victoria
This Sunday at 1pm.
Christopher Pyne’s announcement that the Coalition will not ‘accept’ Craig Thomson’s vote to overturn Conroy’s new media control legislation seems rather odd.
I can understand the Coalition providing a pair for any positive action – eg a vote of no-confidence in the Government which Thomson (hypothetically) wanted to vote in favour. Or a private member’s bill by the Coalition for which Thomson would support.
This preserves the status quo.
But to pair when Thomson is voting against a bill is silly. The status quo would mean a vote against the Bill.
Conroy’s legislation is so egregious and so harmful that the Coalition should have all of its members going into the Chamber and voting a resounding NO. If Thomson happens to move over to the left side of the Speaker, so be it. That is preserving the status quo.
Which, after all, is the lesser evil? Supporting an outrageous attack on the national interest and an ourageous attack on personal liberty, or standing on the left hand side of the Speaker near Craig Thomson?
The ethical position is to marshal all Coalition votes to defeat the Bill.
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.
As shown in the video attached to Sinclair’s blog, Broderick claims that the Human Rights Commission
focusses on your right to a life free of violence
No, Broderick, the Police are there to protect people from violence. She goes on to say
we have 17000 calls a year of which 4 only relate to freedom of expression
But check out the Commission’s website. It says (under the section labelled complaints):
The Australian Human Rights Commission can investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a person’s:
- sex, including pregnancy, marital status, breastfeeding, family responsibilities and sexual harassment
- disability, including temporary and permanent disabilities; physical, intellectual, sensory, psychiatric disabilities, diseases or illnesses; medical conditions; work related injuries; past, present and future disabilities; and association with a person with a disability
- race, including colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, immigrant status and racial hatred
- age, covering young people and older people
- sexual preference, criminal record, trade union activity, political opinion, religion or social origin (in employment only)
It is against the law to be discriminated against in many areas of public life, including employment, education, the provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, sport and the administration of Commonwealth laws and services.
The Commission can also investigate and resolve complaints about alleged breaches of human rights against the Commonwealth and its agencies.
Not one mention of complaints being welcome re freedom of speech.
Imagine how many more complaints there would have been if the right to a life free from offense had been enacted.
In fact Broderick and her colleagues were behind Roxon’s legislation; my understanding is that the Human Rights Commission has been pushing for an extension of its charter into this field for some time. It would result in a bigger and more powerful Human Rights Commissi0n - no wonder the Commission wanted the new legislation. In fact, the thousands of responses to Roxon’s new law should be treated as complaints against the infringement of freedom of speech.
The Human Rights Commission is a farce – it is there to harm human rights, not protect them. When a threat to that most precious of human rights was in the offing, the Human Rights Commission was silent.
Broderick and her colleagues have shown their colours and no amount of dissembling can change that fact. They do not deserve to remain in their positions – they have failed utterly in protecting our human rights.
Further, the Commission claims that human rights
Human rights are about recognising and respecting the inherent value and dignity of all people. Human rights standards are contained in internationally agreed human rights instruments recognised in Australian law. The Australian Human Rights Commission has responsibilities for promoting and encouraging protection of human rights in Australia.
No, a thousand times no! Thomas Paine wrote on this very point
It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabit-ants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few… They… consequently are instruments of injustice … The fact, therefore, must be that the individuals, themselves, each, in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.
The Human Rights Commission should be abolished. It has been subverting human rights while promoting a culture of complaint.