Time to reform 18C

RDA.jpgEarly in my Senate career I wrote that I got into politics to do something, not to be someone. That intention hasn’t changed in the ten years since.

Sometimes, in politics and life, there are things so important that they need to be defended under any circumstances. For lovers of freedom and jousters in the battle of ideas, one of those principles is freedom of speech.

Be under no illusion, that freedom is under assault like never before in this country.

It is not just the odious and subjective nature of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, but the group think that is infecting almost every part of our lives, where citizens are socially bludgeoned into conformity.

Many in the political class, aided and abetted by sections of the media, harangue and condemn anyone who doesn’t fall into line with their PC agenda. We are now expected to accept unquestioningly that there are dozens of self-declared gender identities, supporting traditional marriage means you are a ‘phobe’ and that Hillary Clinton is a trustworthy person to be US President.

Next time you go to a dinner party, see how you fare disagreeing with any of those statements. My bet is at best you’ll be met with uncomfortable silence. If you dare stick up for Donald Trump you’ll probably receive much worse!

Now, some might conclude that this is just the normal course of events with supposedly objectionable ideas subject to the court of public opinion. In normal circumstances that may be correct but things are different now.

The social justice warriors (SJWs) believe that the ends justify the means to stop others from even voicing opinions that don’t comply with their agenda.

Cartoonist Bill Leak produced an image that captured perfectly one of the issues facing many Aboriginal communities. He was condemned as a racist and the SJWs called for his sacking. Kudos to The Australian for refusing to bow to their pressure. I have no doubt that had the skin colour of the cartoon characters been white, there would have been no public outrage.

The message is very clear: don’t criticise Aboriginal communities or risk losing your job. The refusal to confront the truth may help explain why over $30 billion of taxpayer funds has been spent on these communities over the past ten years with little visible improvement in conditions.

We saw a similar thing with the Four Corners program about juveniles in detention in the NT. The ABC report was biased, incomplete and a perfect example of why we can no longer trust sections of our ABC with impartial and factual reporting. The release of a letter written by the journalist involved praising the NT minister responsible in order to gain access to the facility demonstrates how dubious we should be of such ‘exposés’.

I have experienced similar duplicity and cherry-picking of information to suit a pre-determined agenda by some of those linked to the same Four Corners report. Put simply, I cannot regard some of those individuals as credible and unbiased. They have a political world view which they are seeking to pursue through our publicly-funded broadcaster.

But it doesn't end there. Section 18C of the RDA is now being used as a tool to stifle speech on the basis it may offend or insult someone – not necessarily the person complaining.

The students at a Queensland university excluded from a computer room on the basis of their skin colour are now subject to potential court action. Their crime was to mention the segregation they experienced on a Facebook page. As a result of these innocuous remarks, the complainant supposedly has been incapable of working for several years and wants $250,000 in compensation.

Amazingly, this disgraceful complaint is being considered for trial and these poor students are being subject to the most ghastly and expensive process because they offended someone with a different skin colour who discriminated against them on the basis of their skin colour! A perpetual circle of the grievance industry in action. 

My Senate colleague David Leyonhjelm has complained to the Human Rights Commission about being called an ‘angry white man’ by a journalist, not because he is actually offended (although that isn't a criteria under 18C) but to prove a point. I agree with him. If you simply changed the word white to black, brown or yellow the SJW would spring into a deafening chorus of complaint. Now, such is their silence, you can only hear the crickets chirping, because in their world, only white people can be racist.

I could go on.

We are now being subject to identity politics, pursued through publicly-funded institutions, that only seek to divide us and stifle our freedoms. It is a pervasive step toward Orwell’s totalitarian Newspeak, where words mean whatever the bureaucracy want them to mean.

So what can we do?

Fixing this problem begins with fixing Section 18C of the RDA. While some want to abolish it in its entirety, a good start would be to remove the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from the act. This has even drawn strong support from across the political divide. In the last parliament a Bill to this effect (which I co-sponsored) was introduced but was never voted upon.

It’s time for that to change. In the first week back in parliament I’ll be reintroducing the same Bill with the expectation that this parliament will finally get a vote and expose very clearly who among your elected representatives is interested in protecting our freedoms and way of life. It will also indicate those who have been captured by and surrendered to Orwell’s frightening vision characterised in his book Nineteen Eighty-Four.


PS. I will also be presenting a petition to the Senate encouraging reform of Section 18C. You can add your name HERE. Please encourage your friends and family to do the same.    


  • commented 2016-09-04 23:37:53 +0930
    The fact such a “law” re hurt feelings EVENS EXISTS … is a bigger question.

    As it stands Sharia AS WRITTEN is illegal.

    But allowing it the ability to side step the AU Constitution on the basis of claims to racism … which the reality is a religio doctrinal set

    I would be interested to know why “Sharia As Written” cannot be confronted for the illegal terrorism is promulgates ????

    The PC Globalist policing which pre protects the discussion from being had is the driver behind all of this.

    Being fearful of this pseudo and sub intellectualism is beneath sincere people with a scintilla of thought.

    I will seek to interview Cory from the HandleBullying perspective of being typecast as the cruel overlord of conservative thinking … perhaps when he gets back from overseas.

    He’s not alone. @hbchristo
  • commented 2016-08-19 22:07:57 +0930
    Goerge Orwelles ‘1984’, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and now we are falling into the same trap.
  • followed this page 2016-08-19 17:54:58 +0930
  • commented 2016-08-19 14:36:25 +0930
    It is amazing, in relation to the events in youth detention centres that what happens to the “poor children” is blown out of proportion, while no one seems to mention why the poor darlings are in there in the first place. Normal, well brought up young people don’t reside in youth detention centres. This is the privilege of thieves, muggers, home invaders and the like. The PC brigade including the Aboriginal elders who sweep the misdeeds under the carpet and make a drama out of a little muscle being used to pull those louts into line, are not doing them any favours. Defending their behaviour will only encourage further offences and lead to serious jail time in adult facilities. The PC brigade also doesn’t mention the physical aggression the little darling impose on staff in those facilities. Staff are not punching bags for juvenile delinquents and have every right to use whatever force is required to keep the peace. The ABC should be ashamed to show only one side of the story.
  • commented 2016-08-19 09:02:30 +0930
    I’m worried about attempts being made to change Islam, from a Religion, into a Race ! How is this possible and under which laws, if any exist, is this even plausible ? Only so that they can claim the race vilification card and get away with it ! Corruption runs high in our courts and the corridors of Parliament House !
  • commented 2016-08-19 08:51:05 +0930
    Well said Cory, I came across a shop manager recently and while I had a legitimate complaint about a sub standard product, he misconstrued my complaint.
    This person took my complaint about him as a manager out of context and turned it into a race issue. The manager turned to me in front of customers and staff and accused me of being racist. I was not happy with his comments and when I asked to talk about him accusing me of such a thing he became irrational and threatening me with escort out of the shop and calling of police? He was also trying to get a customer to be a witness?
    I was incensed by his actions so took the matter to the franchisee, the franchisee agreed he failed as a manager and should have handled the issue differently. Still not satisfied I then escalated the matter to senior franchisor management. The senior franchisor management is a nationwide electrical store. They refused to take action in the form of discipline.
    In my view I was not being racist, my comments were taken out of context and this man was clearly playing the race card for all it was worth. It’s sad that the pendulum has swung so far the other way that when I make a complaint about him not being a good manager he turns it into a race issue? Lastly he had all of my personal details but he and the franchisee were unwilling to even give me his surname, where are my rights as a customer?
    Things need to change because racism is not exclusively a white man’s disease as shown by the shop manager.
  • commented 2016-08-18 15:43:23 +0930
    I note your objection to 18C. 18C makes illegal racial vilification of, amongst others, Jews. I note that in your most recent newsletter you were righteously indignant about anti Semitism in Rio. Where, if anywhere, do you draw the line?
  • commented 2016-08-17 14:56:18 +0930
    Dear Senator, While we don’t know one another particularly well, I will take it on face value (based upon my observations) durng the past 4.7 years I have lived in Adelaide that you are indeed “in this” to do something versus to be some one!

    It is also very apparent to me that many of your colleagues are in it for the wrong reasons and those who are not, have become quite chary!
  • commented 2016-08-17 14:44:40 +0930
    This is the fundamental issue of our day. Without the basic freedoms, economic and national security agendas are futile. It is shocking to observe how ideological, intolerant and repressive Australian society has become in the space of the last decade. Once we took our freedoms for granted. We relied on the diversity of our social institutions (political, judicial, academic, media etc) to provide a counterbalance to extremism. Nowadays, these institutions are largely in lock-step, trashing common values and denying our freedoms. We are told we are unworthy of the right to free speech. Before we can be shipped to a ‘gulag’ for saying so, we must expose these fascist elitists – individually, publicly and continually.

    I would like to see the Australian Conservatives website publish the names of those politicians, journalists and others who are opposing freedom of speech: a ‘Liberty Watch’ page?
  • commented 2016-08-17 14:41:08 +0930
    Your article hits the nail squarely on the head. Take it from someone who has seen all this before – but the world self righteously found it convenient not to notice then – because of all the media warped “racial” bias you highlight today. The creep of 1984’s Orwellianism is real globally and particularly in Australia and horrifyingly through the early school process over the past 6 years, and presents to me as definitely having arrived – I have the MASSIVE sense of dreadful deja vu, having experienced all of this back in 1970-80s Zambia through Kaunda’s Humanism quasi East German Communist model of country management – we could say nothing but were blamed for everything – and the general population beaten into submission by double speak/newspeak and via manipulated food and information deprivation into virtual failed state status. The SJW would not exist without the very freedoms they wish to “socialise”. Keep up the good work along with the other principally like minded pollies and public – even this with a recognisably different presentation styles in delivering a same message.