Email: Mark Steyn touring Australia with the IPA

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Mark Steyn is one of the world’s strongest advocates for liberty, free speech and the values of our democracy, and his site – SteynOnline – is an oasis in a desert of political correctness.

It has never been more important to stand up for freedom and the values of free society than it is today. That is why the IPA is so delighted to be bringing Mark, one of the world’s most eloquent defenders of liberty, to Australia in February 2016.

You can book your place at one of the events at http://rsvp.ipa.org.au/marksteyn/events.

Head of the Australian Press Council joins forces with GetUp!

Professor David Weisbrot, the chair of the Australian Press Council, has agreed to be a board member of an activist litigation fund established by left-wing advocacy group GetUp!

How can the head of an organisation dedicated to “freedom of expression through the media” join an organisation which regularly campaigns against free speech?

The IPA’s Simon Breheny listed here the various censorious positions GetUp! has taken in the past, and why it is so inappropriate for the Press Council to be involved with it.

The government is going after Apple and Google for doing in other countries exactly what Malcolm Turnbull wants them to do here

The IPA’s Chris Berg in The Drum yesterday:

[I]t takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to ignore the fact that while the Government is trying to create Apple-like and Google-like companies in Australia, it is at the same time trying to target the real Apple and Google for what is alleged to be corporate tax avoidance.

One of the big reasons these firms have apparently low tax profiles is because they take advantage of the research and development tax credits successive governments have introduced to boost innovation.

Read the whole article here.

Uber illegal in Victoria

On Friday, the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court decided that Nathan Brenner, an Uber driver, was guilty of driving a hire car without a commercial licence or registration.

To highlight the confusing nature of the laws, Uber itself is still operating. The court just confirmed that the drivers are in breach of the law, as it is in so many jurisdictions around the world.

As the IPA’s Darcy Allen wrote on FreedomWatch on Friday, these rules are hopelessly “outdated and desperately in need of change.”

Ridesharing is not only a voluntary exchange between adults, it is also safer, cheaper and more convenient than taxis. Victoria should follow the lead of New South Wales and the ACT and commit to legalising ridesharing.

Three recent articles you must read

  • Wall Street Journal ($) – 30 November 2015: Bret Stephens on liberalism’s imaginary enemies, such as climate change
  • Boston Globe – 30 November 2015: Niall Ferguson on modern student activists – they’re not as progressive as they think they are
  • New York Times Magazine – 24 November 2015: Wes Enzinna describes the noble efforts to create a secular utopia in the backyard of the Islamic State.

Some other recent highlights from FreedomWatch

Kind regards,

Morgan Begg
Editor of FreedomWatch – Institute of Public Affairs

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