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Price of Freedom

Sydney LMI talk: “to argue freely according to conscience”

Great group of Lachlan Macquarie Interns and other young politically smart people in Sydney last Thursday (some pictured above) where I was asked to discuss what is involved in a private citizen weighing into public debate.

My message was that there is no point weighing in unless you have a compelling conviction about some matter, and that it is worth taking as long as you need to “get to the heart of the matter” before expressing a view. Then, once you are convinced about what needs saying, say it in the clearest way you can so that it is useable to others. Give them a form of words, a shape of the argument, that they can make their own. Conviction and clarity.

Roots of Jihadism in Europe: STRATFOR

Note: STRATFOR is a leading source of international security analysis; a subscription is required for full access but the authors are happy for the ‘Security Weekly’ to be reproduced with acknowledgement. Link below. This update today is an excellent overview of (accelerating) Islamist activity in Europe, with obvious lessons for Australia – although our situation is closer to that of the US. Note the passage from ‘The Roots of the Problem’:

Though a large portion of Muslims in Europe come from families who have lived there for four or five generations, many have not become integrated into European society and frequently live in isolated, Muslim-dominated areas. Moreover, while Europe as a whole is suffering from the economic crisis, the Muslim population has been hit particularly hard and the unemployment rate for young Muslims is alarmingly high in many parts of Europe. This, in addition to the frequent discrimination against Muslims in the job market, leaves many Muslims feeling alienated, disenfranchised and resentful. When this resentment is combined with the European welfare state, in which working is not necessary to survival, many of these Muslims have the opportunity to be exposed to radical discourse and to become involved in radical political or even militant activity.

Jihad 2012: Christmas killings update

The figures are in for the Christmas killing season of Nigerian and Egyptian Christians. My lament last year in the ‘Price of Freedom’ section read:

Jihad and the plight of Christians

Jihadism may not be able to do much more to western countries than murder a dozen here and a thousand there, but its impact is catastrophic on residual Christian communities in certain Muslim lands. Why is this not the focus of far more international diplomacy, and why does it hardly rate a mention in the international news?

Reaction to Roxon’s “Debasing of Human Rights & Anti-Free-Speech Bill 2012?

It is worth reading in full the typically pithy article by barrister Janet Albrechtsen in the Aus yesterday: “Nanny Roxon won’t let you spit the dummy” (plus the cartoon above):

EXCERPT… Throwing even less caution to the wind, the Gillard government has also drafted a new anti-discrimination bill. We now enter truly uncharted and unfree territory. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon may look demure but she is a social engineer on legal steroids. She appears intent on Australia breaking new illiberal ground.

Note to the Senate Enquiry into Nanny Roxon’s new Anti-Free-Speech Bill

Note to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
Re: Exposure Draft, Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012

December 21, 2012

Dear Senators,

The signs in this Bill that point to an underlying sickness in the once robust and rational body of human rights law include:

– enshrining a fake and sickly new “right” not to be offended, and using this fraudulent thing to infringe on the true and fundamental rights of free expression, free conscience, freedom of religious practice.

– enshrining subjective, highly questionable new “attributes” like political opinion and sexual proclivity to be protected alongside the objective, unquestioned attributes of race, sex, age etc, and so debasing the objective attributes.

Chill out, children: the world has not warmed in your lifetime

Very quietly on the weekend, the UK Met office released the official world surface temperature data for the last 15 years. As I suggested to my Year 10 son last night, “Tell your teachers – you know, the ones who have hammered into you since kindergarten that we are cooking the world with our CO2 emissions – that there has not been any, repeat ANY, global warming since before you were born”.

Big government means small citizens… Will we go the way of Europe?

Substitute ‘Australia’ for ‘Europe’ in this paragraph from the former CEO of the Commonwelath Bank and former Chair of the Future Fund, David Murray, writing in today’s Australian – and see how it feels:

Other features of (Europe’s) malaise stem from a socialist system, which attracts votes by offering debt-funded entitlements or adopting causes which infer protection from myriad future threats and open the way to more interventionist, unproductive uses of public money. This interventionist approach seeks to centralise decision making and legislate for everything.

Abbott on Free Speech and a free society

Posted today by the IPA, the next PM’s defence of the freedom by which we argue for all our other freedoms. Watch from about 20mins on for the best bits.

Mr Abbott declares that the Coalition will repeal section 18C of the racial discrimination act ‘in its current form’… I only hope that is not code for a mere amending of the section. We do not need, as he put it, a “hurt feelings test” enshrined in our laws. Speech, when passionately made about values passionately held, will inevitably be offensive at times, and we have to cop that as the cost of an open public forum.

Motion to de-fang the Greens-Labor “National Curriculum”

A unanimous vote of support from the 900 delegates at the LNP Convention this morning, with the invaluable input of Senator Brett Mason (pictured). The issue was the culture-changing juggernaut of the Left, the ‘national curriculum’, and how a benign plan under the Coalition to standardise ‘standards’ across the country became an insidious means of inculcating “approved attitudes” in students, once the scheme was in the hands of the left – in particular, under then-education Minister Julia Gillard in 2010.

This was the motion, more or less:

Free Speech: Warriors, and Worriers

Mark Steyn gets a photo-op with my son Robert, at the IPA ‘Free Speech’ gig last night in Sydney. This greatest of culture warriors is booked out at other cities around the country, but don’t miss him on Q&A next Monday, and other appearances – updates at http://www.steynonline.com/  Regrettably, on the subject of free speech, there is not the same forthright approach even by our best leaders; it is more the approach of worriers than warriors.

My very own ‘vilification’ case…

Thanks to that loyal comrade, Ron Boswell, for weighing in on my behalf today with a speech in the Senate – concerning the contemptible ‘vilification’ complaint I had to deal with today.

Andrew Bolt cannot question racial politics, Christian pastors cannot criticise Islam, and family doctors may not assert a child’s birthright to be raised by both a mother and father without the law coming down on them! I will be moving at the upcoming State Council of the Queensland LNP that the offending section 124A of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 be repealed, or massively amended, to prevent it being used as a truncheon for the thought police, as plain political harassment.

All Science is Skeptical: Skewering the CO2 tax

A great special with Prof Garth Paltridge, Prof Bob Carter, and an expert on the Barrier Reef who should be able to blowtorch the delusions of a generation of school kids who believe the Reef’s all Runed… Except the brain-armour of kids today is impenetrable.

There must be a classical quote somewhere about the feebleness of reason against mass superstition; how troubling now that the steel of scientific skepticism – the rigorous interrogation of objective reality – has gone so limp.

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