What’s the opinion worth?November 7th, 2005
As an opinionated Australian who is very vocal about her dislike of the Prime Minister, the government, many of it’s policies and even more of it’s Ministers I am wondering just how must freedom of speech I actually have.
Crimes act 1914
4. At the end of section 30 A
(3) In this section:
seditious intention means an intention to effect any of the following purposes:
(a) to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt;
(b) to urge disaffection against the following:
(i) the Constitution;
(ii) The Government of the Commonwealth;
(iii) Either house of Parliament;
(c ) to urge another person to attempt , otherwise than by lawful means, to procure a change to any matter established by law in the Commonwealth;
(d) to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.
Under this government’s proposed sedition clause in the anti-terrorism legislation I am not the only Australian to ask this question. Comedians, satirists and commentators are seeking advice and clarity with regard to their rights which might include urging others to feel disaffection with the Government, the constitution or parliament.
Professor George Williams an expert in constitutional law at the University of NSW has stated,
"But the possibility that you could be jailed is enough that people will question whether they want to make the comment in the first place…why would you risk it? It is a very risky thing to play with free speech…it should not come down to trust."
I guess I’ll have to be careful and avoid saying things like HoWARd is a terrorist.
- Manipulating Australia’s fear of being overrun by queue-jumpers and the assertion that children were thrown overboard.
- Manipulating Australia’s fear of an attack on the west by Saddam and the WMD falsehood.
- And now the fear of a specific homegrown attack somewhere in Australia (or its territories) by extremists that hate our way of life.
"Whatever will happen, will happen at an appropriate time, if at all" – Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock.
The A terrorist manipulates the a population by using fear.
Image from here