Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Defenders of Free Speech are Very Quite

I've previously written about Julian Burnside here, I noted how he received an award for free speech from an organisation called Free Speech Victoria. Not long after receiving this award Burnside called for Politicians who lie to be jailed. I thought that this was an odd view for someone devoted to free speech, and wrote to FSV asking that they withdraw their award.

Free Speech Victoria declined to withdraw the award their reasoning being that they thought that Burnside was just expressing  'wry humour, in the glorious tradition of ‘Rumpole of the Baily’ (sic). Since then FSV has disappeared from the internet, it won't be missed. There is another organisation called Liberty Victoria which at one time appeared to be associated with FSV as both organisations made a joint submission to the then Attorney General for Victoria Rob Hulls . Now Burnside has 'Twittered' an offensive tweet on Tony Abbot  his defence is that he was actually directing the tweet at Catholic Priests. What rubbish even if it was true it's just as offensive. Like many people on the left of politics at heart they are not pleasant people, if you are not on their 'side' they hate you.

Those who claim to support free speech have been noticeably quite during and after the Andrew Bolt trial. I didn't hear FSV or Burnside declaiming Bolts right to free speech. There is another organisation in Victoria, it's called Liberty Victoria their stated aims are 'To defend and extend human rights and freedoms in Victoria.'  

I don't recall hearing or seeing them support Bolt yet they had time to give a freedom of speech award to wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the San Remo ballroom, I don't know if Assange made it due to his personal problems. Funny how Assange loves to produce other peoples secrets but likes to keep his hidden from view.

Now the point of this rather rambling post is to highlight how the people who claim to impartially support the right to for free speech don't. They take sides. It's all about politics, if you have the same views as they have then they will support your right to free speech. If you have views of which they disapprove they will probably ignore you and let your right to free speech go undefended. At worst they may even call for you to be jailed a la the Burnside call.

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