Gag put on free speech

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

THE re­cent in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Dawn Fraser high­lights a se­ri­ous un­der­ly­ing prob­lem we are fac­ing in Aus­tralia to­day.

By all ac­counts, Dawn was forced to apol­o­gise for her com­ments, yet the mes­sage I am re­ceiv­ing is loud and clear – most peo­ple agree with Dawn’s crit­i­cism.

Think back to Pauline Han­son and the time she was jailed for some ap­par­ent mis­de­meanour. If all our politi­cians were held to this ac­count, the ma­jor­ity of them would be lan­guish­ing in jail.

Han­son was only say­ing what most Aus­tralians think any­way, yet she was pun­ished for it.

The sim­i­lar­ity be­tween the two in­ci­dents is this: both are public fig­ures, both are out­spo­ken, yet both have been at­tacked for what should be a fun­da­men­tal right in this coun­try, the right to free­dom of speech, a right that has been hard- fought for with the many sac­ri­fices from our ser­vice per­son­nel. This is be­ing eroded at an alarm­ing pace.

When we vote our politi­cians and gov­ern­ments into of­fice, they are sup­posed to rep­re­sent this coun­try and its peo­ple, yet it is be­com­ing painfully ob­vi­ous to many of us that this is not the case, in fact it ap­pears to be ex­actly the op­po­site.

Our politi­cians are not serv­ing the best in­ter­ests of our coun­try.

To quote the words of a man who had es­caped from a Com­mu­nist regime: “I es­cape from Com­mu­nist coun­try. Coun­try very bad, peo­ple op­pressed. I come to Aus- tralia and find stupid peo­ple over here, try to turn this coun­try into same I just left.”

At this time in our history, crim­i­nals, long- term wel­fare re­cip­i­ents, illegal refugees and im­mi­grants who openly de­spise our way of life are given far more rights than the very peo­ple who pay to sup­port them, yet there is an im­me­di­ate back­lash against any­one who tries to speak out against this.

Per­haps Zim­babwe or Syria is a bet­ter op­tion for some peo­ple.

If we don’t stand up for our own coun­try, then we de­serve ev­ery­thing we get. R. GLED­HILL,

Townsville.

HON­EST VIEWS: Olympic swimming great Dawn Fraser ( left) and politi­cian Pauline Han­son ( right).

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