Cen­sor­ship comes from Left

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION - Joe Hilde­brand joe.hilde­brand@news.com.au

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.

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