Censorship comes from Left
OF THE many deep ironies and hypocrisies swirling in the nuclearlevel fallout of what we now might as well call # qandagate, one stands above all others: the Left has been eaten by a monster of its own making.
The Left cries “freedom of speech” for Zaky Mallah — whose free speech includes threatening to kill law enforcement officers and “gang bang” female journalists — yet less than a year ago was slaughtering Attorney- General George Brandis for merely observing that “people have the right to be bigots”.
The Left condemns as overreaction the outcry over a former terror suspect giving primetime legitimacy to disaffected youths joining a murderous terrorist army, yet has mobilised armies of its own to boycott, ban or banish everyone from Alan Jones to Barry Spurr to Andrew Bolt to Kyle Sandilands to Eddie McGuire for crude but hardly dangerous comments.
The Left decries any perceived interference in the ABC yet in 2013 was frothing at the mouth for a government- appointed regulator to oversee all media organisations and “investigate” them at will, even when no complaint had been received.
So when Tony Abbott declared that “heads should roll” over Q& A’s recent clusters – speaking of censorship – he was singing directly from the Left’s own songsheet.
As usual, the lesson is contained within the great political documentary Independence Day: “They’re using our own satellites against us!”
The word “us” is telling here, not just because it is an entirely accurate quote — cc: Media Watch — but because I myself am a product of the Left.
Yet of course I too have been hounded out because of a joke I made or an opinion I expressed that wasn’t in keeping with the Moscow party line.
For here we get to the crux of the problem: When the Left encounters something or someone it disagrees with, its default position is not to argue the point but to silence it.
Dissenting views are not to be contested but prohibited. Anyone who says something “wrong” shouldn’t be debated, they should be sacked.
Consider the catchcry of the politically correct: “You can’t say that!” As benign as it might sound, the undertone is deeply sinister. It is in fact the first unremarkable step towards book burning.
But despite all that, free speech is actually not what’s at stake in this current outrage. No one is suggesting Mallah should be imprisoned for his comments on Q& A, merely that justifying the most brutal terrorism the world has yet seen is hardly a position that should be given legitimacy in what is supposed to be a forum for intelligent debate.
Moreover, threatening to kill or cause physical harm to people is not, and has never been, a protected form of expression in any civilised society. And those who make such threats should rightly be considered dangerous and unwelcome in any public environment, let alone one that’s as high profile and politically charged as Q& A.
In the days after the show, Mallah tweeted “Throat slit!” about the MP on the panel. Is that free speech or just a threat to murder?
Yet here is what the Left has now been suckered into defending.
Please tell me there are better causes than this.