6 Sept 2013

Speech Freedom a little muddy and needs a wash according to Tony Abbott.

The Opposition Leader said that, if elected, he would work with his attorney-general, to require the commission to champion, instead of restrict, the right of free speech in Australia.
This would involve amending the Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits remarks that offend others on grounds of race or ethnicity only. This was the provision used to prosecute an unnamed newspaper columnist.
Signalling his belief that the current law is untenable, Mr Abbott said: "Any suggestion you can have free speech as long as it doesn't hurt people's feelings is ridiculous.

People should be allowed to think things that are unthinkable in polite company and take their chances in open public debate.
This is certain to provoke a fire storm of opposition from the various parties given their deep attachment to cultural and institutional change through the application of anti-discrimination law.
Tony says by limiting what people can say, the purpose is to limit what people think, hence the idea of "thought crime".(sorry I don't believe this mate, you can't stop people thinking)
It's about equal concern and respect.This has invested a privileged status for those claiming to be victims. Presently a person's freedom to express an opinion will always yield to another person's right not to be offended which has lifted the bar to high.
If someone has got something they really want to say then, subject to the ordinary laws of defamation and libel, they should be able to say it, hopefully with respectfully.

I tend to agree with the above:(shock horror)
Most of the suggestions of the Coalition would remove the insidious growth of political correctness that has taken over common sense, free speech has no meaning unless you have the freedom to say what you think and in turn take what people serve up to you in return.
Race or ethnicity should be used when commenting with care and common sense, we should not need laws.
If a comment is over the top it can be defamatory or libellous and should be treated as such.
Asked about the campaign to use anti-discrimination law to limit religious freedom and the ability of religious hospitals, charities and schools to uphold their own values, Mr Abbott said: "We think religious organisations ought to be able to maintain their ethos."

I am afraid I cannot agree with this suggestion because most of the above mentioned organisations are funded or part funded by the government.

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