Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Conservative Australian senator Dean Smith backs renewed free-speech push

Senator Dean Smith, who has broken government ranks to support a renewed push to remove the shackles on free speech, says he refuses to be lectured by [Leftist leader] Bill Shorten on racism and xenophobia.

Adopting the language used by former prime minister Julia Gillard in her misogyny speech, Senator Smith said the Opposition Leader had accused him of wanting to "give the green light to racist hate speech".

"I will not be lectured on racism and xenophobia by this man, I will not," he said.

"I will not be lectured to about racism and xenophobia by a man who less than one month ago stood before a crowd of unionists on a flatbed truck in Adelaide and gave the most disgraceful, racist, xenophobic speech any Australian political leader has given in ­decades."

Mr Shorten last month came under fire for attacking the ­mooted purchase of Japanese ­submarines.

Senator Smith’s comments came during spirited debate on Family First senator Bob Day’s ­attempts to rework section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to remove the words "offend and ­insult".

{Prime minister] Tony Abbott abandoned plans to scrap 18C in August while announcing plans to enhance Australia’s counter-terrorism powers.

Senator Day said his amendment, which is yet to be voted on, was "very minor".  "It simply removes the words offend and insult. Those other words humiliate and intimidate remain."

"Reasonable people do not support racial discrimination. However, reasonable people do support and defend their very precious freedom of speech, expression and opinion," Senator Day told the Senate.



Bird of Paradise said...

Screw Big Brother, Screw Liberals

Anonymous said...

It's a start. The previous government and the Greens wanted to censor the press, no wonder they oppose any improvement in freedom of speech laws. No one has the right not to be insulted or offended by censoring the speech of others. Only those who tolerate speech they disagree in order to enjoy free speech themselves truly support freedom of speech for all.