Monday, October 12, 2009

As Canadians have discovered, liberty is lost very quietly and quickly

As Canadians have discovered, liberty is lost very quietly and quickly. And trying to get it back is slow and painful – particularly at a time when artists, universities, publishers and others who congratulate themselves incessantly on their truth-telling courage find increasingly pre-emptive self-censorship the better part of valor.

The Europe of 2020 will have considerably less freedom of expression than today. American exceptionalism is going to have to be exceptionally exceptional to hold out against that trend.
My advice? In the words of a famed community organizer, get in their face, and punch back twice as hard.

And make no mistake, the proposed human rights bill or charter here in Australia will be used to the same ends and will have the same effect that similar measures have had in Canada and the United Kingdom, ie as a means by which the holders of elite opinion will seek to silence and punish those who they disagree with or find offencive, such as the lame doctors who performed their lame Michael Jackson skit on Hey, Hey, It's Saturday.
"The blacked faces on television prove it and pander to it; the proponents of a bill of rights hope the measure they support will help stamp it out - along with other forms of discrimination and unfairness."

Note The Age’s sensational misreading of the performers’ intentions, and its grotesque and defamatory accusation that the dancing doctors are racists who “pander to” racists.

But note also something even more troubling: that The Age sees in a bill of rights, now being considered by the Rudd Government, a weapon to use even against dumb but well-meaning skits by amateurs on television. A weapon to punish or otherwise silence even a group of medicos just having a dance in a tribute to the Jackson Five.

The Age has here demonstrated not the benefits of a bill of rights, but the grave threat to your liberties it represents.

The human rights debate is about politics: it is a device to achieve social, political and economic change opposed by a majority of the population by recourse to human rights law as interpreted by the courts. The Brennan report will further divide the country.
It’s like Rudd’s “fix” for global warming: here’s something that will cost us plenty, yet won’t work to fix a problem that doesn’t actually seem to exist.

This is a disaster of monumental proportions that is being considered for one of the fairest and open countries in the entire world.

Are we really going to accept the view held by the liberal (ie progressive) elites in this country within the Labor Party and the universities and professions that we ordinary Australians are just a bunch of racist rednecks?

Because that is the thinking that is driving the moves towards a bill or charter of rights, that is, that we cannot be trusted to act in a reasonable and civilised manner through our elected parliaments, but rather that our moral betters should be given the right to make these decisions for us by taking action in the courts and getting judges wiser than we are to make us, whether we like it or not, to be as "virtuous" as they are.

Now, unlike a lot of these people, I actually live in a working class area with a high percentage of immigrants, and they happen to be the kind of immigrants who really stand out - Africans and people from the Middle East.

And guess what? Everybody gets on just fine for the most part. The Nollamara shops these days may look like a cross between downtown Beirut and Dar as Salaam, but few people mind.

I'm not the only Anglo-Australian to get his hair cut by the Iraqi Shi'ites who took over a failing barbershop and turned it into a thriving business or who buys meat from the Halal butcher.

I reject this view that Australia is a seething hotbed of racism. I don't see it. What I do see is most people just getting on with their day-to-day lives and leaving everybody else to do the same.

I see people from Africa and the Middle East, (most of whom arrived here during the dark years of the neo-fascist, racist and xenophobic Howard "Brutopia" ), making new lives for themselves and their children and settling in to become fine citizens and by and large being accepted as such.

This country simply does not need such a bill or charter and if such a thing is introduced it will have effects and ramifications that we can only begin to imagine.

But as an example of what to expect if it is, look to the United Kingdom. the courts there, using human rights legislation introduced by Tony Blair, have recently prevented the elected government from deporting a number of people who were not citizens and who had been convicted of serious offences, (such as the sexual abuse of a six year old girl), on the basis that they had produced children while resident in the UK (in the case of one man to five different women) and that their deportation would deprive them of their human "right" to a family life.

It is also worth remembering that the people of Britain were told when these laws were first introduced that this kind of thing would never happen!

Don't say you haven't been warned.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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