Ahead of further debate in the Senate tomorrow on Senator Bob Day’s Racial Discrimination Amendment Bill 2014, the Family First Senator for South Australia delivered an important speech on free speech this afternoon:
A plague of political correctness seems to be sweeping this country, seeking to push out of the public arena those who the ruling elites don’t agree with. When in opposition, those who are now in government spoke powerfully about the need to halt the growing threats to free speech. However, in office they seem to have gone quiet. Yes, the Human Rights Commission is reviewing rights and responsibilities focussing on religious freedom. That begins next month. However, the central and specific commitment to reform 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act was abandoned until Senators Leyonhjelm, Smith, Bernardi and I picked it up again. I look forward to further debate on that tomorrow.
Language is very powerful. The framing of these debates is powerful. Opponents of free speech like to talk about ‘hate speech’. They say that certain things should be censored because they might offend or insult someone. Simply calling words ‘hate speech’ is an affront to free speech.
You can watch Senator Day’s whole speech here: