All Speech Is Created Equal?

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All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby mothra » 24 Jan 2018, 13:59

All Speech Is Created Equal But Some Speech Is More Equal Than Others


If you think the right to free speech in Australia is equal, you’d be wrong. And if you think the people banging the free speech drum don’t know that, you’d still be wrong. Dominic Keenan explains.


In the past 18 months, there has been burgeoning debate surrounding free speech. It’s come in many forms – calls to reform 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, same-sex marriage legislation, and an increasing culture of political correctness.

Throughout these discussions notions of free speech are often invoked to argue against progressive politics. The reasoning is always the same: “don’t stop me discriminating, that’s against my free speech”.

There are two major problems with this view, and the first is rather large.

Freedom of speech does not strictly exist in Australia – our right to free speech is a longstanding misconception. What we actually have is an “implied freedom of political communication” – a more nebulous concept that protects speech and acts surrounding political participation.

This fact largely discredits any opposition by ‘free speech advocates’ to anti-discrimination legislation and progressive politics. If a comment or action falls within the scope of political participation, no law can restrict it. That would be unconstitutional and stuck down by the courts. Also susceptible to such restrictions are acts and speech intended primarily to hurt others, which don’t fall within the scope of legitimate political participation.

But even if we somehow manage to get over that hurdle, a second problem remains. Proponents of free speech are not talking about universal free speech, but their free speech. So should they be taken seriously? Are we okay with the promotion of free speech for some (an already privileged group) but not others?

A prime example of this problem are the offensive language laws found in each state and territory, which make it an offence to use “offensive language” in a public place.

In 2002, Lance Carr, a young Indigenous man, was arrested for saying “Fuck you, I didn’t fucken do it” to a police officer while being questioned for a crime he didn’t commit. This scenario is typical of offensive language charges.

Most commonly, offensive language offences occur during interactions with police who use the legislation to control uncooperative people. But these laws are not employed equally against all people.

Indigenous people are vastly over-represented in offensive language charges. In 1999, Indigenous Australians accounted for over 27% of those charged, despite making up just 3% of the population. In the Darling River Local Area Command, Indigenous women were 103 times more likely to be charged with offensive language than non-Indigenous women.

It’s easy to see how offensive language laws have varying impacts on free speech for different groups. These laws disproportionately restrict the free speech of Indigenous Australians and other vulnerable groups such as homeless people, who are more likely to interact with police.

Where is the outrage at the infringements on their rights? Where are the champions of free speech now?

Offensive language laws present a much more significant affront to free speech than say, section 18C of the RDA. Prosecutions under 18C are rare, but in 2016 there were 3,741 offensive language charges in NSW alone. For a variety of reasons, these charges are rarely challenged in court, effectively allowing police to be the arbiters of guilt and moral standards. But there has been no real challenge to these laws from conservatives.

It’s an obvious problem when politicians argue for free speech only when it suits their agenda. The virtues of free speech – the free exchange of ideas, democratic governance, protest, dissent, and social progress – don’t exist where free speech is not universal. “All speech is free but some speech is freer than others” simply does not work.

Anyone arguing for free speech knows this – it is not enough that some of us have free speech.

In this light, politicians who invoke free speech to protect their own rights, but remain silent when it comes to the freedom of others, appear disingenuous at best.


https://newmatilda.com/2018/01/23/all-speech-is-created-equal-but-some-speech-is-more-equal-than-others/
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby MilesAway » 24 Jan 2018, 14:07

Has a cop ever been charged for offensive language?
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby johnsmith » 24 Jan 2018, 14:47

look at ozpol for one example ... it's owner is always banging on about free speech, yet does all he can to limit the free speech of those with opposing views. :roll :roll
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby MilesAway » 24 Jan 2018, 15:23

johnsmith wrote:look at ozpol for one example ... it's owner is always banging on about free speech, yet does all he can to limit the free speech of those with opposing views. :roll :roll

I know, you can’t even swear/call lee a cock licking ant over there :beer

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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby mothra » 24 Jan 2018, 15:32

johnsmith wrote:look at ozpol for one example ... it's owner is always banging on about free speech, yet does all he can to limit the free speech of those with opposing views. :roll :roll



Oh yes indeed. The freedom to express bigotry yet no freedom to call someone on their bigotry. I never quite understood that one.

And we, of course, have the FOS of Pauline Hanson and the FOS of people wanting Yassmin raped, beaten and killed ... but none for her herself.

No matter how many times it's been pointed out to them, they still can't see it.
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby MilesAway » 24 Jan 2018, 17:23

mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:look at ozpol for one example ... it's owner is always banging on about free speech, yet does all he can to limit the free speech of those with opposing views. :roll :roll



Oh yes indeed. The freedom to express bigotry yet no freedom to call someone on their bigotry. I never quite understood that one.

And we, of course, have the FOS of Pauline Hanson and the FOS of people wanting Yassmin raped, beaten and killed ... but none for her herself.

No matter how many times it's been pointed out to them, they still can't see it.

Are not we all bigots?

:yak yak
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby johnsmith » 24 Jan 2018, 21:08

MilesAway wrote:
mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:look at ozpol for one example ... it's owner is always banging on about free speech, yet does all he can to limit the free speech of those with opposing views. :roll :roll



Oh yes indeed. The freedom to express bigotry yet no freedom to call someone on their bigotry. I never quite understood that one.

And we, of course, have the FOS of Pauline Hanson and the FOS of people wanting Yassmin raped, beaten and killed ... but none for her herself.

No matter how many times it's been pointed out to them, they still can't see it.

Are not we all bigots?

:yak yak



no :smack
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby mothra » 24 Jan 2018, 21:20

MilesAway wrote:Are not we all bigots?

:yak yak



Not me.
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby pinkeye » 25 Jan 2018, 00:49

MilesAway wrote:Has a cop ever been charged for offensive language?


You have the answer in that one wee question.
I don't know the answer BUT... I'd think it was NO.

So much for for equality and freedom of speech eh?

It depends on who you are..... and it exposes , to a small degree, the ingrained culture we ALL belong to.
Look at youth detention. How many times do you think those boys have been told to shut the fuck up.!?
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby BigOl64 » 26 Jan 2018, 21:01

There has never been any sort of basic human rights in this country, so why would anyone argue about 'free speech''?


The average fuckhead Australian loves to be told what to do, and when to do it by their political masters, especially fucking moronic socialists.


Luckily I hate socialist and on't really give a fuck about soft cocks and their feelings :clap :clap :clap :clap
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby pinkeye » 27 Jan 2018, 03:36

No we have no Bill of Rights as such.
All our freedoms are actually implied, not specified.
Our society , through government , has set limits on our social interaction.

AS YOU SAY,
BigOl64 wrote:The average fuckhead Australian loves to be told what to do, and when to do it by their political masters, especially fucking moronic socialists.


No need to single out a fave peeve, we're ALL like that, aren't we?

What this means is we need more people to speak out. However we do it.
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby BigOl64 » 28 Jan 2018, 18:02

pinkeye wrote:No we have no Bill of Rights as such.
All our freedoms are actually implied, not specified.
Our society , through government , has set limits on our social interaction.

AS YOU SAY,
BigOl64 wrote:The average fuckhead Australian loves to be told what to do, and when to do it by their political masters, especially fucking moronic socialists.


No need to single out a fave peeve, we're ALL like that, aren't we?

What this means is we need more people to speak out. However we do it.



Actually I really hate being micro managed by the government, Im fine with running my life as I see fit.


You will not have any sort of majority speaking out against our massive level of government interference on our lives, we have long passed the point of being the free thinking Australians we once were.

A sad and despicable situation we are in for sure.
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby Lefty » 28 Jan 2018, 19:55

BigOl64 wrote:
pinkeye wrote:No we have no Bill of Rights as such.
All our freedoms are actually implied, not specified.
Our society , through government , has set limits on our social interaction.

AS YOU SAY,
BigOl64 wrote:The average fuckhead Australian loves to be told what to do, and when to do it by their political masters, especially fucking moronic socialists.


No need to single out a fave peeve, we're ALL like that, aren't we?

What this means is we need more people to speak out. However we do it.



Actually I really hate being micro managed by the government, Im fine with running my life as I see fit.


You will not have any sort of majority speaking out against our massive level of government interference on our lives, we have long passed the point of being the free thinking Australians we once were.

A sad and despicable situation we are in for sure.


In what way are you being prevented from running your life as you see fit? I don't feel any particularly large weight of oppression.
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby johnsmith » 28 Jan 2018, 20:06

I'm of the mind that anyone who goes on and on about socialists and communists has no fucking idea about Australian politics.
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby johnsmith » 28 Jan 2018, 20:07

Lefty wrote:In what way are you being prevented from running your life as you see fit?


it's the voices in his head
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Re: All Speech Is Created Equal?

Postby Lefty » 31 Jan 2018, 07:04

johnsmith wrote:
Lefty wrote:In what way are you being prevented from running your life as you see fit?


it's the voices in his head


Quite likely :bgrin

He probably gets the uncontrollable urge to punch a socialist every time his freedom of mobility is violated by being forced to stop at a red light.
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