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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'Freedom warriors' strike before new government sworn in

Gay Alcorn in Fairfax Media last week welcomed aspects of the incoming government's reform agenda but dreads the 'culture war' that may be part of what Senator Brandis has in mind:
Brandis wants his reforms, which include shifting the priorities of the Human Rights Commission towards traditional democratic freedoms, to be seen as a grand struggle against the intellectual left. The left, he says, has waged a ''deliberate, conscious and methodical attempt'' to marginalise freedom. It abandoned its ''language of liberty'' - for women and gays, for instance - to an insidious human rights agenda that privileges those who claim to be victims. Ah, bollocks. Brandis gave the game away when he spoke to the Sydney Institute in May in a speech entitled ''The Freedom Wars''. ''Who defends freedom of speech in Australia today?'' Brandis wondered. ''Is it really to be left to a few conservative commentators like Andrew Bolt and Janet Albrechtsen; a couple of think tanks like the Sydney Institute and the Institute of Public Affairs; and the Liberal Party?'' 
 The Australian however, says bollocks in reply. In an editorial on Saturday, The OZ suggested it's an ideal time not only for debate about free speech and cultural identity, but, pushing a couple of barrows of its own, about what our children are being taught and why the ABC should be accountable to the public who fund it.

 Meanwhile one of the Senator Brandis' champions Andrew Bolt thinks two immediate steps are for Parliament to abolish the Human Rights Commission entirely and for newspapers to sack the Australian Press Council. Another, the Institute of Public Affairs told a Senate committee earlier in the year, whether the press has a self regulatory body should be left entirely to them. Interesting times. 'Bollocks' certain to feature a lot.

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