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Chilling effect

Don’t know whether you have heard, but Andrew Bolt lost his court case under the Racial Discrimination Act here in Oz.

James has a biased description of what happened, and Andrew has his own take here and here.

There were some errors of fact in the articles Andrew wrote, which have been taken into account, but the situation is – discussion about Australia’s Race Classification Laws (yes, Australia has race classification laws. That’s not what they are called, but that’s what they are. Repugnant thought huh?) have effectively been shut down because some poor petals had their feelings hurt when Andrew asked if it were possible the laws were being scammed.

Seemingly, when people who appear to be European, but claim aboriginality on the basis of ancestry, take advantage of provisions designed to assist black aboriginals in recognition of past discrimination, they are entitled to sue if eyebrows are raised.

Anyway, I got onto a local progressive site, to see what was happening. I am pleased to see the commentator and some of the commentariat standing for principle, regardless of how much they may loath Andrew, but way too many of them are over the moon at the idea of him being shafted. They range from those who are happy to see it happen regardless of the principle of free speech, to those who reject the principle in the first place.

I come in at comment 49.


  1. Lynne says:

    Repress, Australia. Fear…

  2. Sam Duncan says:

    I wondered if you’d have anything to say about it, Cats. It’s pretty shocking. Sometimes in cases like this you can almost see the other point of view even when you disagree, but this really does seem to be a case of Bolt reporting facts which some people found uncomfortable. Nasty. I assume there’ll be an appeal?

  3. Bod says:

    Regarding your exchanges at larvusprodeo I’m reminded of the (ironically enough) GBS’ quote about wrestling with pigs.

  4. Paul Marks says:

    A right to not have one’s feelings hurt (to not to be offended) is a right to have the right to use force and fear (tyranny) over people one considers “offending”.

    It is evil – and must be openly described as evil.

    Sadly a “pragmatic” position (whether the formal “Pragmatism” of William James and co -with their opposition to objective truth), or the ordinary “pragmatism” of many so called “conservatives”) opens the door to this evil – and to much other evil.

    Only by standing on right PRINCIPLE (that much despised thing) can evil be faught.

  5. […] If you are scratching your head in puzzlement, try here, here, here, and […]

  6. […] 18c of the Race Discrimination Act is meant to shut down people I don’t like, like right wing journalists. It was never ever meant to apply to right on lefty academics like […]

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