Leading article Australia

Free speechless

13 May 2017

9:00 AM

13 May 2017

9:00 AM

The awarding of a ‘free speech’ award to the Human Rights Commission’s Gillian Triggs left many lost for words. It is as obscene as it is hypocritical. Clearly, the grotesquely mis-named ‘Voltaire’ award, along with its sponsors, a mob equally laughingly called Liberty Victoria, have shredded what little, if any, credibility they ever had, and it is to be hoped (but by no means assumed) that no taxpayers’ dollars go towards supporting such a clownish outfit.

Gillian Triggs, in the last twelve months, has done more to suppress free speech in this country than any single other individual. By encouraging and facilitating the persecution of the four QUT students in the Cindy Prior case, and of course in the repeated hounding of Bill Leak, she has presided over the rapid deterioration of every Australian’s right to freely express their point of view, and more insidiously, their confidence to do so. Indeed, the single most chilling aspect of President Triggs’ blighted term in office – where she has been paid extravagantly by the taxpayer to lord it over a $21 million per annum bloated bureaucracy – is the fear she has struck into the hearts and minds of so many Australians. No doubt, in her own warped view of the world, where Ms Triggs operates to a higher morality than the normal individual, she would view this fear of self-expression as a ‘good thing’, tempering the worst ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, or ‘misogynist’ excesses of the brutality of everyday Aussies (men, mainly). By all means, if she were to have been given an award for ‘making people think very, very carefully about what they say, which precise words they use, and in what context and to whom they use them to avoid authoritarian retribution’, arguably she would be a shoo-in. But tempered, politically-correct ‘approved’ speech is not free speech. It can be the very antithesis.

The telling moment came when Ms Triggs bemoaned – at a Greens function, natch – the fact that those freedoms our ancestors fought and died for still exist within the confines of the Aussie family home. ‘Sadly, you can still say what you want around the kitchen table,’ she complained, without a trace of irony.

Is it too much to hope from this increasingly Labor-lite government that they find the fortitude to replace Ms Triggs, whose term expires shortly, with somebody not beholden to leftist fantasies about race, sex and gender?

Unsurprisingly, this bizarre Carrollian perversion of reality comes to us from the Looking Glass world of socialist Victoria, where billions are spent to NOT build a road, where cheap, reliable energy is abandoned in favour of climate change voodoo, and where little girls and boys are encouraged to fiddle with each other’s genders in the sanctity of shared toilets.

Of course, it could all just be one huge joke, and Liberty Victoria will add to their deliciously ironic gag by awarding a Husband of the Year gong to Henry VIII, a Tourism Encouragement Award to Ivan Milat, a Feminism award to Sheikh Shady, etc. If only.

The Borrowers

So it’s official. Having teetered on the edge over the last decade, deciding whether to pursue the folly of a Euro-style Australia, or to stick with the more traditional approach of living within our means, we have finally taken the plunge and dived right into Euro-fiscal-madness. Higher taxes, higher spending, and massive debt all to prop up leftist ideological behemoths that will sap the productivity of the next generation of Australians, depriving them of incentive and opportunity.

Hats off to Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan. They won. They have transformed a nation of realists who survived on their own wits, thrift and hard work into a borrowers’ nation wallowing in phony compassion and socialist, collectivist welfare fantasies whilst borrowing over a billion dollars every month. Make no mistake; Malcolm Turnbull’s and Scott Morrison’s budget is the final nail in the coffin of conservative, sensible, free market philosophy for a generation. The surrender of the Liberal party to Labor’s socialist agenda is near total. The ill-defined NDIS, worthy in concept, is in all likelihood destined to become a bloated welfare sponge, to be rorted to the hilt, that drains our coffers, whilst depriving Medicare of necessary funding. Along with the Gonski spending, the pointless and out-dated NBN, the ridiculous Snowy scheme and Badgerys Foggy White Elephant, hard-working taxpayers can now look forward to years and years of struggling to repay a monstrous debt of over half a trillion dollars. Future generations will be as unimpressed as they are impoverished.

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