The Herald Sun‘s editorial today argues for the repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. It concludes with this important point about the importance of defending free speech for all:
Former Labor acting leader and now Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen is aware of the rules of Parliament, which allow debate that many MPs might find offensive.
Being an experienced politician, he knows just how far he can go, telling the Q&A audience that if he were to say the Speaker of the House was “biased” he would be in contempt of Parliament. No one in the Q&A audience would have been in any doubt as to what Mr Bowen’s opinion of the Speaker might be.
Australians unskilled in such verbal finesse need to have their freedom of speech protected, not diminished. Whatever you might think of Andrew Bolt’s opinions, an ill-conceived law that protects people from being offended merely stifles debate.
Technology continues to provide numerous platforms on which people are free to state their opinions, so let the conversation continue. Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is the offence. It is a gag that must be removed.
I’ve also posted a link to The Australian‘s editorial today on the same topic.