Except for the right kind of speech
For my money probably the best political blogger in the world is Australia’s Andrew Bolt. He was one of the first journalists onto Climategate (he got there before me) and his takedown earlier this year on his radio show of an EU Climate Commissioner spouting nonsense was magisterial. But he’s by no means a single issue commentator: he has strength in depth. His war, like mine, is against those who would constrain our liberty by imposing on us more tax, more regulation, more control. He’s firm but fair: one of the good guys.
This is why we should all worry greatly about the latest bizarre ruling from the Australian federal court, which has found Bolt in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Newspaper columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt was today found guilty in the Federal Court of breaches of the Racial Discrimination Act. Justice Mordy Bromberg in his ruling, found two articles written by Bolt in 2009—claiming that self-proclaimed aborigines of caucasian descent and appearance were “political aborigines”, who used their legal “indigenous” status to intrigue themselves into lucrative positions open only to indigenous Australians and further their (predominantly activist) careers—left it
…reasonably likely that fair-skinned Aboriginal people (or some of them) were offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated…
What this precedent means, is that the legal test of vilification now turns on the degree of offence experienced in the mind of the claimed victim—an impossible legal criterion, one which is open to any imaginable distortion of meaning, and one which opens the way to the tyranny of the hypersensitive.
This sounds to me very much like our own Macpherson Report’s perfectly ludicrous definition of a “racist” incident as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”. That definition – I wonder if Sir William Macpherson will ever come round to recognising this – has done immeasurable damage to social cohesion in Britain, further encouraging a poisonous culture of victimhood, grievance and entitlement, as well as serving to increase the racial tension it was supposed to diminish. And now the Australians are following our idiot example.
“Nothing in the orders I make should suggest that it is unlawful for a publication to deal with racial identification, including by challenging the genuineness of the identification of a group of people,” Justice Bromberg said.
Oh well that’s all right then. Australians are still allowed freedom of speech. So long as it’s the right kind of speech, blandly expressed, offending no one, as decided by such perfect arbiters of truth as Mordy Bromberg. Presumably he’s never read Milton’s Areopagitica, which addressed these issues with an intelligence and subtlety and nice sense of judgement decidedly lacking in this culturally suicidal court ruling.
UPDATE: check out this brilliant Mark Steyn speech, sticking up for Bolt, Free Speech and our unalienable right to sing Kung Fu Fighting to whomsoever we choose – up to and including the extended disco mix.
- How Australia surrendered to the wowsers
- There was nothing ‘illiberal’ about David Cameron’s speech on multiculturalism
- Australia counts the cost of environmental lunacy – and plots its sweet revenge
- Press regulation only helps the bad guys
6 thoughts on “Freedom of speech is dead in Australia”
Comments are closed.