Thursday, March 14, 2013

Free Speech Under Attack In Australia And Abroad


In Australia the Gillard government spearheaded by the odious Senator Conroy is attempting to force through legislation that will impose the most rigorous governmental regime over the press in peacetime in the history of the nation. They are determined  to to this in under a week.  It is a transparent attack on News Limited, the only reliable source of news and commentary left and which isn't under the heel of the progressive left  political classes and their pathological obsessions.  The government appears determined this will be its political legacy.

Some people are fighting back. This via blog friend Shirlee

URGENT! Help Stop The Latest Attack on Free Speech! 
Dear Shirlee,

Late yesterday afternoon, the Gillard Government announced new legislation to create an overarching media censorship and licensing regime, and bring “government sanctioned journalism”to Australia.

We are on the verge of having the Federal Government dictating what we can and cannot read, and what we can and cannot think. 

The brainchild of Senator Stephen Conroy,  the man who said he had the power to make telecom bosses wear red underpants on their headtried to ban the Bolt Report from being aired, said that the Federal Government should be “going to war” against News Limited, and  wanted to censor the internet, this proposal is an unprecedented and historic attack on freedom of speech in Australia.

Outside of wartime, no Australian Government has ever come even close to considering restrictions of this magnitude. Together with upcoming changes to our “anti-discrimination laws”, if passed, they represent an end to freedom of speech as we know it. This is not an exaggeration. This is just fact.

Freedom of speech is on life support. We can stop this. But we must act fast. We need to take action TODAY

There are three main parts to this proposal. Each of them is bad on its own, but together, they spell disaster.

First: It sets up a licensing scheme, granting basic journalistic rights and protections only to those who sign up to a “regulated press standards body”. Those who sign up will be rewarded by the government, through things such as “exemptions from privacy legislation”. Those who don’t will lose these same protections “vital to the capacity of journalists to do their job.

Second: These bodies will be overseen by a powerful taxpayer-funded super-regulator with a title straight out of Orwell: “The Public Interest Media Advocate”. Whose interest do you think this government-appointed super-regulator will really be advocating? (hint: it won’t be yours or mine!).

Third: A new “public interest” test will be applied for media ownership – and it’s pretty clear: “public interest test” means “political interest test and will be used by the government “to punish outlets they don't like.” This is a desire to punish outlets they don’t like, and prevent freedom-oriented media from flourishing.

But that’s not all.

In a further attack on democracy, Senator Conroy will be presenting the Bill to Parliament on Thursday – and is demanding it be passed next week. That’s right: no time for scrutiny, no time for debate, no time for MP’s to even thoroughly read or understand the bill. Sound familiar?

Former Press Council Head Professor Flint compared this to “Soviet regimes” saying “It is dangerous ... it will give the government a power it should never have, the power to determine the content of the press.”  News Limited Chief Executive Kim Williams said “This government will go down in history as the first Australian government outside of wartime to attack freedom of speech by seeking to introduce a regime which effectively institutes government sanctioned journalism”and that it “removes the capacity of journalists to do their job - it is a not-too-sophisticated endeavour to gag the media Even traditionally pro-Government Fairfax CEO Grey Hywood said "We can't see the purpose of further regulation of news publications."

Shirlee, we can stop this. The bill is not yet guaranteed passage through parliament. They do not have the votes – yet.

If enough Australians contact their MP’s and the cross-benchers, we WILL prevail.  

We have set up an easy-to-use online action portal at where you can contact not just your MP, not just your senator, but also all the cross-benchers and DEMAND they oppose this outrageous proposal.

Please, from the bottom of my heart I beg you: take action now – before it is too late. Every message sent WILL make a difference. 

Shirlee, I can not help but think about the legacy of the brave men and women who made the supreme sacrifice for us. They paid for our freedom in blood. Did they make the ultimate sacrifice to have a country where the government dictates what we can and can not read or think? Is this what they really bled for? Is this why they fought and died?

Freedom is not just a buzzword. It is not an empty slogan. It isn’t a word to be thrown around without meaning. It is something at the core of what we stand for – or used to.

Freedom was the reason we were so proud to call ourselves Australians. Freedom was the reason my grandparents fled the oppression of Soviet Union to move here. Freedom was who we were.

Don’t let them take it away from us.

Visit and fight back.

PS: We need to get this message out to as many people as possible. Every dollar is another 100 people. You can help this campaign here

Outside Australia the attack is also gaining momentum. Saudi Arabia, that's right Saudi Arabia, and tho OIC is once again demanding a world wide blasphemy law that will make it a criminal offence  to criticise Islam or offend Muslims as it already is in most Muslim countries and in many European countries.  Not women. Not "Zionists" of course. Muslims.

Here's Pat Condell latest video just up loaded. Listen to what he has to say before it is against the law.

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." - George Washington.

OIC coming back with another attempt to stamp out free speech

Saudi king demands global blasphemy law

Arab League demands global blasphemy law

Saudis call for internet censorship

Sec-General of Gulf Co-operation Council calls for blasphemy law

Islamic states to reopen quest for global blasphemy law

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