Thursday 21st of August 2014

no need to worry...


Everyday, I worry that there won't be a subject to vent my spleen... What would be horrific for a toonist is that all issues would have been solved and the world is all nice and spice... No need to worry.


Attorney-General George Brandis has defended the Government's plan to amend a key part of the nation's racial discrimination laws, saying people have "a right to be bigots".

The Abbott Government has promised to amend the Racial Discrimination Act, in particular section 18c, which makes it unlawful for someone to publicly "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" a person or a group of people.

In 2011, conservative media figure Andrew Bolt was found to have broken the law over two articles he wrote in 2009 about light-skinned people who identified as Aboriginal.

A Federal Court judge found Bolt's articles would have offended a reasonable member of the Aboriginal community.

Senator Brandis says he will "very soon" bring an amendment to the act "which will ensure that can never happen in Australia again".

Asked about the plan by Labor's Senator Nova Peris, the first Indigenous woman in parliament, Senator Brandis said section 18c "goes about the problem of dealing with racial vilification in the wrong way".

"People do have a right to be bigots you know," he told the Senate.

"In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted."

I fell off my chair when I read the above... I don't have to write the lines, they write the comedy themselves...


enforcing an extreme and inflexible ideology...

from Mungo Wentworth MacCallum

If the Coalition follows through on its promise to dump "the Bolt clause" from the Racial Discrimination Act, it will be demonstrating its commitment to both its mates and its inflexible ideology, writes Mungo MacCallum.

One consequence of Tony Abbott's religious upbringing is that he actually appears to believe in his own crusades.

Thus when he inveighs against the Labor Party and Greens for failing to support his repeal of the carbon tax, it is not just that they are defying his mandate and blocking one of his key election promises; they are frustrating him in his sacred duty to remove the bane, the curse that is destroying the economic life of the country.

No matter that most businesses and indeed the populace in general have long since got used to the carbon tax as they did to John Howard's GST; they would probably rather it wasn't here - after all, a tax is a tax - but they have found they can live with it, and indeed some almost welcome its predictability, especially when contrasted with the vagaries of Abbott's own direct action policy.

Holden and Toyota both declared that the tax was irrelevant to their own impending demises as Australian manufacturers, and even Qantas said much the same thing before being hauled into line. And Kevin Rudd's proposal, that the tax should be replaced with an Emissions Trading Scheme based on the European price of carbon, currently around $6 per tonne as opposed to the arbitrary Australian price of $23 per tonne, would have been a very satisfactory outcome. But Abbott was having none of it: the Satan-begotten tax must be extirpated entirely and forever. You can't compromise on a crusade.

And so it is starting to appear with another holy war, this time on behalf of the more abstract cause of free speech. As the carbon tax must go, so too must section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, the provision that makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate a person on the basis of their race.

This has become known as the Andrew Bolt provision, after the right-wing demagogue fell foul of it in a piece accusing fair-skinned Australians with Aboriginal ancestry of indentifying as Aboriginal in order to claim benefits and status. Judge Mordecai Bromberg in the Federal Court found that not only were Bolt's words likely to offend, insult, humiliate and intimidate the people named but that they contained a number of factual inaccuracies and distortions of the truth.

Bolt was held to have breached the act and his publisher, the Herald-Sun, ordered to publish a correction. As a result there as a well-orchestrated outcry, led by the neo-Liberal Institute of Public Affairs and vociferously backed by like-minded media commentators, particularly in the Murdoch press, claiming that it was Bolt, not his victims, whose rights had been trampled and abused. Abbott and his now Attorney General, George Brandis, joined in, and Abbot promised that 18c would, like the carbon tax, be abolished.

It became another crusade. But once again, it was curiously lacking in any real public support. Apart from the right's cheer squads, few people either knew nor cared about the promise: there were no great public meetings, no street marches with enthusiastic demonstrators chanting: "What do we want? The right to offend, insult, humiliate and intimidate. When do we want it? As soon as the new government gets around to amending the Racial Discrimination Act."

And interestingly, as Abbott and Brandis came closer to enacting their election promise, dissenting voices were raised - not in opposition to the principle of free speech, but warning against the likelihood of opening the door to hate speech. It was pointed out that the act was very seldom invoked, and only in the most serious cases, those in which it could legitimately be inferred that the insults were intended to cause a public upsurge of ill-will towards their targets on the grounds of their race.

Aboriginal Australians, unsurprisingly, led the backlash; they had endured it for longest. Professor Marcia Langton hit out vigorously on the ABC's Q&A program, as a result of which Bolt claimed that she had hurt his feelings so badly that he needed a day off work - a somewhat wimpish reaction for a man seen as one of the media's leading attack dogs. Warren Mundine, Abbott's personally chosen adviser on Indigenous affairs, said bluntly that 18c was an important protection that should not be repealed.

And the revolt spread to Abbott's own party room: Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House of Representatives, warned that he might cross the floor if 18c was repealed or even watered down. Ewen Jones backed him up and others were murmuring along the same lines.

And a group of ethnic minorities also took the highly unusual step of forming a combined delegation to express their own misgivings. The communities involved included Greeks, Chinese, Koreans, Armenians, Arabs and Jews - the last particularly significant as the Australian Jewish community has generally supported Abbott and his government in return for their own uncompromising backing of Israel. Now some of its leading representatives, Peter Wertheim and Jeremy Jones, warned that changing the law just because Andrew Bolt was miffed by it was not the right thing for the country.

But Abbott appeared unmoved. Free speech, he insisted, was an essential foundation of democracy: "A threat to citizens' freedom of speech is more than an error of political judgement." But the point was that apart from Bolt, few if any citizens felt that 18c constituted a threat to their freedom of speech; they could still tell racially dubious jokes in their pubs and clubs, they could happily insult anyone they pleased, except that they couldn't make the insults part of a platform for racial intimidation.   

The drive for change was coming from the rich and powerful, the dominant forces in society who were permanently secure from the threat of humiliation and persecution. The potential victims, who actually knew what it was like, were the ones resisting. In the end, the legislation has been delayed, with the possibility of at least a compromise: even if it becomes lawful to insult, offend and humiliate, the ban on intimidation may be retained.

But the symbolism of dumping the Bolt clause, in whole or in part, sends the message that there are times when the government will be prepared to put aside the common sense precept of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" in favour of enforcing an extreme and inflexible ideology - and, of course, looking after its mates.

Mungo Wentworth MacCallum is a political journalist and commentator. View his full profile here.

same thing, two for one, different wrapper...

The Government wants to repeal four sections of the Act, including 18C, which makes it unlawful for someone to publicly "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" a person or a group of people.

"Those three words - offend, insult and humiliate - describe what has sometimes been called hurt feelings," Senator Brandis said.

"It is not, in the Government's view, the role of the State to ban conduct merely because it might hurt the feelings of others."

The Government wants to retain as an offence any action that would "intimidate another person" and create a new clause making it illegal to "vilify another person" on the basis of "race, colour or national or ethnic origin".

"To intimidate a person is to cause them to be fearful," Senator Brandis explained.

"That is an entirely different state of mind, it is an entirely different concept."


If someone hurts my feelings, shall I feel intimidated?... Of course, even if I have the ability, the will and time to retort back. Offence, insult and humiliation are not just forms of hurting the feelings of someone. They are forms of vilification and often are used as bait for provocation. We often say "the truth hurts"... But unfair shit, ignorance and untruth hurt far more, in most circumstances. So, is this new Brandis touted fiddle against "villification" only limited to race, colour or ethnic origins? I have no idea, but I know that he's calling his potato a potato, while I call mine a potato... "An entirely different state of mind?" Freud would be fascinated by the hair-splitting of nothing... You can believe Brandis is a great legal eagle who can spot one of those (hair splitting) from 10,000 metres up in the sky.

So, I believe Brandis is pushing shit uphill in a legalese paddy-wagon while promising freedom for all shit in the world. Brandis Maketh sense? Nupe to me... An entirely different concept? Same shit, different wording. A good chance that Bolt would still go to court.

Two clauses to replace one?... Useless paperwork.

a two finger salute from the attorney general...

The Federal Government has left open the possibility of changing its proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act, with Attorney-General George Brandis saying he is "very open to other suggestions".


Actually, Brandis is a cunning artist of the law. He is NOT very open to the suggestion of "not touching the act" (hence the qualifying terms used: "other" suggestions)... He has made a mess of the concept of ANTI-discrimination by bravely defending the right to be bigots and insulting (on race, colour, etc) and now he wants "suggestions"... That's a dorky attitude. He muck up things to please an Abbott regime's mate, Andrew Bolt, and now Brandis is waving either as if he was drowning or doing the two finger salute while farting in the ocean, as we watch from the beach of disbelief. Take your pick.

Meanwhile as far as cartoonist, satirists and pamphleteers are concerned, politicians are fair game as they insult our intelligence daily.

by someone who said, “im suprised racism stil exitsts.”[sic]


The man chosen by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to head his Indigenous Advisory Council has warned against changing Australia's racial discrimination laws.

Indigenous Advisory Council chairman Warren Mundine said Attorney-General George Brandis's recent comment about people "having the right to be bigots" was "quite bizarre".

And he said the Government's planned changes to the Racial Discrimination Act would make no difference to the racial abuse suffered by him and others on a regular basis.

The Government wants to remove provisions making it unlawful for someone to publicly "offend, insult, or humiliate" another person or group based on their race.

But it intends to retain the offence of intimidating another person, and insert a new clause banning racial vilification.

Mr Abbott says the goal is to remove restrictions on "free speech".

But Mr Mundine says the changes are not necessary.

"There has been no curtailing of public comment in regard to a wide range of interests, there's been no curtailing of abuse," Mr Mundine told AM.

"I get racial abuse every day. I get comments made every day about my heritage and everything like that and the whole country still flows forward.


see also:


bazza opposed to brandis' bigots...

New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell has taken a swipe at Federal Government changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

The Federal Government is proposing to remove key sections of the Act that it says make it illegal to publicly "hurt the feelings of others".

Provisions making it unlawful for someone to publicly "offend, insult, or humiliate" another person or group based on their race would be removed.

Instead a new clause would ban racial vilification.

The Opposition and others have criticised the changes, particularly in light of comments by Attorney-General George Brandis in Parliament earlier this week.

"People do have a right to be bigots you know," Senator Brandis said.

Mr O'Farrell has taken aim at those comments during an appearance at a Chinese photography exhibit in Sydney.

The Premier says his Coalition colleagues in the Federal Government should not lower defences against racial and religious intolerance.

"Bigotry should never be sanctioned, whether intentionally or unintentionally," Mr O'Farrell said.

I've been with Heckle and I've been with Jeckle...


Disgruntled Northern Territory backbencher Alison Anderson has labelled the Country Liberals (CLP) Government as "racist", after she was suspended from the parliamentary wing of the party.

Three of the Government's Indigenous members - Ms Anderson, Larisa Lee and Francis Xavier - had presented Chief Minister Adam Giles with a list of demands and on Thursday walked out of Parliament.

Mr Giles on Friday announced Ms Anderson, the Member for Namatjira, would be suspended and accused her of leading a rebellion within the Government.

Ms Anderson has told ABC News Radio she has been an MLA with the Labor Party too, but the Country Liberals have treated her worse.

"I've never seen anything like it. Like I said, I've been with Heckle and I've been with Jeckle. And I think we've always been sort of safe with Labor," she said.

"They've got that social conscience and they want to do things for Aboriginal people, but if ever I've met a racist group of people, I've met them in the Country Liberal Party."

Ms Anderson will now have to sit on the cross benches, and it is possible a meeting of the CLP executive may move to expel her from the party.



From Ed Butler/ the Guardian


When was the last time you called someone racist to their face? As someone who can only remember using the phrase “that’s pretty racist” at someone, and even then only to immediate family (in all likelihood after a few drinks), I can safely assume that doing so is something of a faux pas.

Uttered aloud, "racist" sucks the air out of any room. Perhaps it always has. The word is in itself quite new, according to Ngrams only coming into relatively common use during the 1960s civil rights movement.

But the chart's most interesting detail is that around the year 2000, use of the word began to tail off. Basically, racists learned that the best response to accusations of racism is the political one: ostentatiously feigned outrage, making the accuser the accused.

In other words, people growing up in an era of media management have unthinkingly co-opted the same mentality into their own lives. They have internalised the PR manual and now instinctively know that claiming victimhood is a stone winner in any argument.

Accompanying this has been an elevation of "racism" into a hyperbolic attack on par with "Nazi" or "communist", something so absurd that it can be disabused on its face. 

The word racism has become so powerful, so significant, that is has now been robbed of all its power and significance.

It is also a word that politicians can bandy about with scant regard for reality. Much like the government’s insistence that it accepts climate change, then dismisses it in practice, governments can shred legislation that the overwhelming majority of affected groups want retained, and then stand up and proclaim that "there is no place in society for racism".

That’s because racism is no longer actual racism. Racism is a boogey man - a cartoon character in a white hood with which we can scare our kids (and media networks), while spending our time complaining about swarthy Arab terrorists, awful Asian drivers and violent Sudanese youth.

Racism is for Nazis, slave owners and the French. We Australians just don’t do it.

It’s also a handy political weapon. NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, responding to George Brandis’s claim that people have a right to be bigoted, put out a statement saying that "racism is always wrong". Well of course it is, Barry, but when you say it like that, people are again thinking of pitchforks and death camps, not life expectancy and educational attainment.

Instead perhaps we can remember the underlying value that we’re on about when we talk about racism: fairness. Australians pride themselves on being fair. Indeed, much of the more nefarious racism tends to come in the form of "it’s unfair that Aborigines get extra welfare" and associated rubbish. Next time you’re confronted by such thoughts, rather than toss out an accusation of racism, perhaps ask the perpetrator about how fair it is that Indigenous Australians die younger and get sick more than the rest of us.

Ask them if it’s fair that your friend Muhammad is checked "randomly" at the airport for bomb-making residue every time he flies from Melbourne to Sydney for work. Ask them if it’s fair that minority groups are wildly over-represented among the unemployed, imprisoned and impoverished.

Then, if they still think it’s unfair that they don’t get treated as well as all these other people, ask if they’d like to trade places. 

As it is, the word racism is freighted with negative meaning, so narrowly and extremely defined, that it's no wonder Andrew Bolt, who was found guilty of breaching the racial discrimination act, was able to demand and receive an apology from the national broadcaster for being called a racist by a third party on air (after he had a big cry about how his feelings were hurt by such an accusation). So perhaps, seeing as to be racist has become so horrible, it's fair enough that poor Andrew felt slighted by being compared to something as awful as that.

Perhaps we could rethink how we talk about racism, call out racism, and stop racism. Perhaps we could start by establishing the fact that racism is not only putting on a white hood and burning crosses. It might be, say, assessing people's Aboriginality on a colour chart then accusing them of adopting an ethnic profile for personal gain.


my own observation has been to note 100 times more racism in the liberal (CONservative) ranks than in Labor... Not a scientific study but an empirical perception founded on talking to people and observing attitudes. 


The more intelligence I read, the more conservative I become


The more intelligence I read, the more conservative I become


By George Brandis

Despite the best efforts of some within the gullible self-loathing left and the anarcho-libertarian right to romanticise Edward Snowden, he's not a folk hero. He's a traitor.


As is true of every generation, today the threats to freedom come from many sources. And there is none more pervasive and insidious than terrorism. It has become commonplace to speak of the "war" on terrorism - a metaphor much used, although not invented, by the second president Bush. And while there are important commonalities between terrorism and conventional forms of war, there are obvious differences as well. The most important, particularly in the age of the Internet, is invisibility.

Terrorists marshal no armies. Their organisations are amorphous and mutable. Their warriors are lonely fanatics, not professional soldiers. And, for that very reason, the task of anticipating them is much more challenging. 

Don't read more:

Gus: the more intelligence he reads, the more conservative he becomes ... and the less intelligence most CONservatives have... It's the conundrum of "intelligence" gathering which for all intent and purposes is presently like moving thousands of tonnes of dirt to find one gram of fool's gold... It's idiotic when pushed to the way the NSA and the CIA do "intelligence" gathering. Most of the present "intelligence" is designed to spy on decent citizen, including Prime Ministers of other countries.

Don't tell me that hacking Angela Merkel's phone is to stop "terrorism". Don't tell me that many attempts to bug most of the car manufacturers in Germany is to prevent "terrorism". Hacking Angela's phone is designed to know what she thinks and thus work a smart plan to negotiate with a psychological advantage. Spying on manufacturing industries is INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE. Nothing more nothing less. Nothing to do with "terror"...

No. Please Mister Brandis do not insult our intelligence.

And yes contrary to what you say, Bush the minus was the one who started the present "war on Terror" though terrorism had developed way before this. Terrorism was already kicking during the Roman Empire... All along, terrorism has been a blight on humanity, but the worst form of terrorism has been STATE TERRORISM, especially that practised by the US to undermine legitimate democratic government. And much of what is deemed "terrorism potential" is often nothing more than genuine concerns by frustrated citizens.

The mention of the "terrorists" in Syria by George Brandis is smelling of sulphur since the US via the CIA and other means including the Saudis are supplying armament to the said "terrorists" which are then described as "rebels" in order to minimise the offending contradiction...

Do you really read what you write, George?:

I am not going to attempt to tackle the deep ethical and legal issues at stake concerning intelligence-gathering, let alone to comment on domestic American politics. As a lawyer, I have a bred-in-the-bone respect for due process and civil liberties. But I must confess frankly that, as the minister within the Australian system with responsibility for homeland security, the more intelligence I read, the more conservative I become. The more deeply I come to comprehend the capacity of terrorists to evade surveillance, the more I want to be assured that where our agencies are constrained, the threat to civil liberty is real and not merely theoretical.

NOT GOING TO ATTEMPT? Why not? because what you end up saying is hypocritical hogwash. And despite all this MASSIVE intelligence gathering that destroys our "civil liberties" most terrorists "end up with more capability to fly "under the radar"...

Go away, George, go and play in your sand pit...

See toon at top.



bad laws in little george's sand pit...


Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs has labelled the Federal Government's planned changes to the Racial Discrimination Act as "bad law".

Attorney-General George Brandis has released an exposure draft that would lift the ban on offence, insult or humiliation at the same time as creating a new protection against vilification.

Conservative commentator Andrew Bolt has been lobbying for action after he was found guilty of breaching the existing laws by implying light-skinned people who identified as Aboriginal did so for personal gain.

In a speech to the National Press Club, Ms Triggs reaffirmed her criticism of the process the Government has followed.


See toon at top...


what little george brandis does not understand...


'US Operating Without any Kind of Boundaries'

Interview Conducted By Jörg Schindler, Alfred Weinzierl and Peter Müller

In an interview, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, 60, warns that American spying has become "boundless" and expresses sorrow that approval ratings for the United States have plummeted in Germany.

The following is an excerpt from a longer interview conducted with German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.

SPIEGEL: Minister de Maizière, nine weeks ago at the Munich Security Conference you demanded that the United States provide detailed information about its spying activities in Germany. Have you received anything from them yet?

De Maizière: The information we have received thus far is insufficient. That remains my opinion. The US' surveillance measures are largely a result of its security needs, but they are being implemented in an excessive, boundless fashion.

SPIEGEL: How did you come to this conclusion?

De Maizière: If even two-thirds of what Edward Snowden has presented or what has been presented with his name cited as the source is true, then I would conclude that the USA is operating without any kind of boundaries.

SPIEGEL: Are you hopeful that anything will change in the near future -- perhaps when Chancellor Angela Merkel visits President Barack Obama in May?

De Maizière: I have low expectations that further talks will prove to be successful. But of course these talks are continuing.

SPIEGEL: So you don't expect a no-spy agreement to result from these discussions?

De Maizière: Going by everything that I've heard, that's the case.

SPIEGEL: If you'll allow us: We've been learning about the NSA's activities through Snowden for 10 months now and none of the pledges made by the Americans have been fulfilled. Why not just use Germany's own counterintelligence authority to uncover the extent of the Americans' activity?

De Maizière: Counterespionage work cannot be the subject of an interview with SPIEGEL. Please understand that. If all of our suspicions are correct, everything that we are discussing right now isn't even taking place on German soil. That also makes it difficult to assess. However, I do want state again that cooperation between the intelligence services of the United States, Great Britain and Germany is indispensable to us. It is in our national interest and it cannot be allowed to be harmed -- not even through the parliament's investigative committee.

SPIEGEL: Where is there a threat that damage will be done?

De Maizière: I am thinking of the foreign policy damage. Because the greater damage has actually been inflicted by the Americans and not the Germans. And I say this as a staunch trans-Atlanticist. Approval ratings for Americans in German polls are lower right now than they have been in a long time. The last time this was the case was during a certain phase of the policies of George W. Bush. It saddens me. Even if Obama's initial popularity may have been exaggerated, the US cannot be apathetic to the fact that approval ratings have shifted to such a degree within just one year. America should have an interest in improving them. Words alone will not suffice.

SPIEGEL: In internal documents, Britain's GCHQ intelligence service spoke of "mastering the Internet". Does that worry you?

De Maizière: Yes, it worries all of us. The Internet, and this is one of its true strengths, depends on freedom. But the explosive propagation of communication has led to problems of order and choice -- a situation that has been exacerbated by the market power of corporations. Because if a net provider and a content provider join forces, then they can steer the Internet and determine its content. So I don't even need to be talking about state censorship here.

SPIEGEL: You believe that private companies represent a greater threat than state institutions?

De Maizière: Yes. I find a country's unrestrained collection of information, even for the sake of exaggerated security need, to be less objectionable than the capture of all movement profiles, thoughts and emotions by people for the sake of business interests.

read more:


it's sad to see intelligent people like brandis being idiots.


George Brandis says it is “deplorable” deniers are being excluded from the climate change debate and people who say the science is settled are ignorant and medieval.

The attorney general called the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong, the “high priestess of political correctness” and said he did not regret his comment that everyone has the right to be a bigot in an interview with the online magazine Spiked.

He said one of the main motivators for his passionate defence of free speech has been the “deplorable” way climate change has been debated and he was “really shocked by the sheer authoritarianism of those who would have excluded from the debate the point of view of people who were climate-change deniers”.

“One side [has] the orthodoxy on its side and delegitimises the views of those who disagree, rather than engaging with them intellectually and showing them why they are wrong,” he said.

He referred to Wong as standing up in the Senate and saying the science is settled as an example of climate change believers trying to shut down the debate.

“In other words, ‘I am not even going to engage in a debate with you.’ It was ignorant, it was medieval, the approach of these true believers in climate change,” he said.


Brandis is an intelligent bigoted idiot... He is intelligent because he can think, but an idiot because he does not look. He is bigoted because HE DOES NOT WANT TO LOOK.

The science of global warming is supported by 97 per cent of serious scientists (and Gus) while the rest are mostly influenced by their allegiances to the carbon burning industry... And that's about as far as this debate can go, unless you want to read all my blogs on this site... Should ONE investigate THE EVIDENCE of global warming in good "faith" (no faith goes into understanding it, but that's the expression) ONE WOULD SEE THAT THE SCIENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING IS FRIGHTENINGLY CORRECT. People like Brandis and Abbott were born WAY WAY AFTER ME, and yet they never rose out the ditch of impotent religousness. They never grew up out of the fairy garden. They still are much more retarded than me in their "backwards" Antediluvian thinking. They make Pope Urban VIII, who stuffed up Galileo thinking, looking like a bleeding enlightened genius.

Please read one of my latest comments. Me thinks that Brandis is getting choleric because the more he goes on about his views, the more he feels he is going to land on the wrong side of history.

Go Wong.

Please also read:



Planned changes to race hate laws will embolden bigots...


Planned changes to race hate laws will embolden bigots, disempower the vulnerable and set back the cause of reconciliation and closing the gap, the indigenous leader most admired by Prime Minister Tony Abbott warns.

Branding the changes a "cruel blow" and "a seriously backward step", Noel Pearson has mounted a detailed and passionate defence of existing racial vilification laws and urged the government to leave them as they are.

Declaring that ordinary indigenous people still suffer much racism in their daily lives, Mr Pearson warns the changes will send the wrong message and make "lower-level racism lawful", leading to more serious offensive behaviour.

In a submission on behalf of the Cape York Institute, Mr Pearson and the institute's chief executive Fiona Jose describe the changes as "drastic and knee jerk" and assert they are already encouraging "a minority with bigoted views to amplify their prejudice".

Attorney-General George Brandis has strongly defended the plan to repeal a section of the Racial Discrimination Act that makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate on the grounds of race or ethnicity. He maintains a new draft strikes a better balance between promoting free speech and proscribing racial vilification.

Mr Abbott promised the changes before last year's election after the conservative columnist Andrew Bolt was prosecuted under section 18c of the act after casting aspersions on light-skinned Aborigines. Freedom of speech, Mr Abbott asserted, included the freedom to be obnoxious and objectionable.

But the changes are opposed by indigenous, Jewish and ethnic leaders and an increasing number of Coalition MPs, who say the changes represent a threat to social cohesion. Senator Brandis released the draft legislation late in March and invited public submissions until this week. He is expected to respond within weeks.

In their submission, Mr Pearson and Ms Jose argue the existing law has helped enforce social norms and reflects public expectations about the standard of public behaviour relating to race.

Read more:


brandis is a bigoted idiot...

More than 50 councils around the country have passed a motion calling on the attorney general, George Brandis, to drop his proposal to water down section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

The councils include city, rural and regional councils across the political spectrum. All have passed a motion which supports the importance of section 18C, which prohibits offensive behaviour based on racial hatred.

The motion also urges “all levels of government to combat bigotry at every opportunity” and “requests that the federal attorney general withdraw the draft exposure amendment to the RDA”.

Brandis’s draft legislation would repeal 18B, C, D and E and significantlywiden the exemptions under 18D, removing the provisions that require public debate to be conducted “reasonably” and in “good faith”.

Peter Blackmore is mayor of the Central Coast council of Maitland, which has passed the motion to support their multicultural and indigenous communities. Blackmore is a former state Liberal party MP and is also chair of the Hunter Regional Organisation of Councils.

Blackmore said he was deeply moved by the presentation of a Sudanese refugee, Butheina Kuku, who had experienced racism in Maitland. Kuku’s car and house had been vandalised and she was thinking about moving out of the area due to the threats.

brandis should be sacked...


Tony Abbott has dumped plans to water down the Racial Discrimination Act in an attempt to preserve “national unity” as he pursues a vast expansion of Australian anti-terrorism powers, including lowering the threshold for arrests and forcing people to prove they were not involved in hostile activities overseas.

The prime minister said the government would also begin discussions with telecommunications providers on a mandatory data retention scheme to require the storage of consumers’ metadata for a specified period of time.

He announced a package of significant changes to national security laws on Monday as part of the government’s response to the risks posed by Australians travelling to Syria and Iraq to engage in fighting and then returning home.

Abbott said the government would engage in “ever closer consultation” with communities, including the Muslim community, as everyone needed “to be part of team Australia”


Team Australia would be so much better without the Liar-in-Chief as captain... Meanwhile the "shelving" of this policy does not mean it has been destroyed in the mind of the CONservatives. Just delayed until such time as no-one is looking. Meanwhile, a suspicious package of laws to tighten national security was placed on Government House's door step... "Team Australia" private security contractor at ASIO is investigating. See toon at top.

Brandis should be sacked from his position of Attorney General... So far he has only been doing bloopers after bloopers...