There has been a fair bit in the media over the last few days about Wallabies player Israel Folau and his faith based comments on his personal Instagram account about Homosexuals. Qantas who sponsors the Wallabies have made noises that they will pull their sponsorship if the Australian Rugby Union can’t get Folau to curtail his comments.
I was asked to blog my thoughts on this controversy and so here is my blog.
I want to make it super clear that this blog is not about anything to do with actually what Folau said. But more about his right to say what he believes.
I have lamented the death of Free Speech in Australia for the last few years. Now as a point of clarification, Australia does not have Free Speech enshrined in their constitution like the Americans do. In fact, the only social freedom that’s guaranteed in our constitution is religion. (Which I have to say in under extreme threat right now). Australia doesn’t have a bill of rights, which is where free speech usually gets defined and protected in most Western Democracies. It’s also not incorporated in any Federal legislation. Instead Free Speech is only a common law, which was adopted from the Westminster System from the UK, which means it’s a pretty loosely defined concept. However, having said all that, Australia has operated under what I would term ‘assumed Free Speech’ due to it being a Western Democracy, free from tyranny and Dictatorships.
But the Folau furore is illustrative of a deeper cancer that has developed under the surface of our current leftist leaning societal context that we now find ourselves living in. This is how Free Speech is now defined in Australia…..You can say anything you want as long as you agree with what we say. Folau made the mistake of having an opinion, (and stating that opinion), that is contrary to what the current definers of society deem to be acceptable. See these current definers of society only will accept people who are in complete agreement with their ideology and to be counter to their ideology makes you an enemy of the state…..Oh darn, I have just realised that my comment earlier that we as a Western Democracy are free from tyranny and Dictatorships is wrong…..Its just that Australia doesn’t have a named Dictator but rather an Ideology is now firmly running our country.
And in true Dictator style, this Ideology demands complete compliance without exception. Let’s talk about Margaret Court for a moment. A champion of Australian Tennis. A pioneer for women in Australia and women in leadership. Thus a Sports Arena in Melbourne was named after her….But then she committed a Speech Crime. She had an opinion that was contrary to the Dictatorship that is running our nation and so she was vilified, bullied, received death threats and there was a push to remove her name from the Arena…..Wait what……Was she a rapist, a serial murder, did she hurt children????? No she offended our Dictator and his minions called for her blood.
As in Court’s case, Folau has offended Australia’s Dictator and so the minions have been vying for blood, with Qantas Chairman Alan Joyce being a puppet and voice for our Dictator.
George Orwell wrote a classic novel in 1948 in which he wrote of a bleak and controlling future. The book was titled and set in 1984. Here is a summary of the book from Wikipedia. (I have to smile at the setting being Oceania: Orwell knew of Australia’s future issues).
In the year 1984, the government of Oceania, dominated by the Inner Party, use the Newspeak language to control the speech, actions, and thought of the population, by defining “unapproved thoughts” as thoughtcrime and crimethink; for such actions, the Thinkpol arrest Winston Smith, the protagonist of the story, and Julia, his girlfriend, as enemies of the state.
In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell, the Thought Police (Thinkpol) are the secret police of the superstate Oceania, who discover and punish thoughtcrime, personal and political thoughts unapproved by the Party. The Thinkpol use criminal psychology and omnipresent surveillance (telescreens, microphones, informers) to search for and find, monitor and arrest all citizens of Oceania who would commit thoughtcrime in challenge to the status quo authority of the Party and the regime of Big Brother.
Now we could mention Corey Benardi, Lyle Shelton, Pauline Hanson and indeed the list goes on of people who have committed a Thought Crime or Speech Code Violation against Australia’s Dictator.
The assumed Free Speech that we once lived under is now well and truly gone. Speech is only allowed if you say what the Dictator agrees with.
An example of this is the Dictator’s Doctrine of Tolerance. Under this concept, we are all told to be tolerant of other people, their beliefs and their religion. However you are only tolerated if you are deemed to be tolerant. The minute you hold a counter opinion to what the Dictator says is ok, then you are deemed to be intolerant and then the preachers of tolerance will be viciously and vilely intolerant of you and everything you stand for. So this Ideological Dictator preaches tolerance but practices brutal intolerance.
The problem is we need free speech in Australia.
I will say that again. The problem is we need free speech in Australia.
A healthy democracy needs an environment where robust debate can take place. Indeed society itself needs robust discussion of ideas and philosophies. What we are creating in Australia right now…..is an environment where we all must think the same and how dare you have an opinion outside of that.
So let me recap. Australia is being run by a Ideology that has set itself up as a Dictator. This Dictator has minions. The media for example. This Dictator will not tolerate any opinion outside of the approved opinion. It is only a matter of time until we have uniformed Speech Police enforcing legislated Speech Codes and courts where people are tried for Thought Crimes.
I imagine a scenario in the not too distant future when the Dictator will call for the burning of certain books, the proactive arresting of deemed Thought Radicals and Social Media censoring and digitally assassinating people due to violation of Speech Codes.
Really Peter….Do you really think this is where we are headed?
Let’s ask Israel Folau…who just expressed an opinion….
Anyway, that’s what I think,
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