The Bolt Case

Rita makes a very valid point. Thanks for sending this in.

The Bolt case in a nutshell:

“…none of the 9 plaintiffs disagreed that they received professional benefit from identifying as Aboriginal.  They were offended because Andrew Bolt pointed it out.”


Andrew keeps the heat up.   Tim Blair is back and holds a hypocrite’s feet to the fire…..

More reaction


I  should hastily point out that Wesley Aird is Aboriginal, which should give him more social licence to argue the same case, and to point out some hypocrisy:

In my experience politically active Aboriginal people are experts when it comes to dishing out abuse. Fighting hard and dirty has been turned into quite an art form by indigenous people across the country trying to protect their slice of the $3.5 billion that the government spends each year on indigenous affairs.

Instead of actually overcoming disadvantage, indigenous affairs has sunk to a transactional arrangement in which the government hands over billions of dollars each year for “dismally poor returns”, to quote the federal Department of Finance.

Yet try to threaten a person’s funding and you will experience firsthand what it feels like to be offended, insulted, humiliated and intimidated; and unlike the Bolt case, this will be the desired intent. The real professionals in race-based intimidation are Aboriginal people whose vocation is to divest the commonwealth of funds.

I know of communities where the government directly finances invented tribes, fabricated history, waste, petty corruption and the occasional threat of violence or death. There are no lawyers to contrive affront; there is no judge; just more government money going to the usual suspects for no benefit.

In court last week, Bolt’s loss was unfortunately a victory for indigenous exceptionalism. The result sends a message to the rest of Australia that any non-indigenous person who dares to comment on the indigenous industry had better watch out.

I can’t help but form the view that the court case was intended to use the Racial Discrimination Act to intimidate non-indigenous Australians.

The result in court (for now at least) has most likely severely damaged Australian race relations for some time to come.

Tim Blair reminds the gloating David Marr what a real mistake looks like in writing about race:

So Bolt was out by one generation. Not exactly spectacular. Probably not even as spectacular as Marr’s own identification blunder, back in the days when he was opposed to the same sort of anti-vilification laws that have ensnared his ideological rival.

“Anti-vilification laws aren’t the answer,” Marr wrote in 2005.

“In Victoria, two hellfire Christian preachers, Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot, are facing jail after preaching against Islam in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Ever since, they’ve been fighting an action brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria under the state’s new Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

“That’s the pesky thing about these laws that show almost zero tolerance for religious and racial intolerance: they can be turned against decent white folk.”

One small problem with Marr’s piece: he assumed that because Nalliah and Scot were “hellfire Christians”, they were also white. Nope. Wrong. They’re black. The ABC’s Media Watch characterised this as a mere “stumble”, but perhaps they weren’t reading hard enough between the lines, which is the approach advocated by Justice Bromberg.

In his findings against Bolt, Bromberg took issue with words Bolt didn’t actually use: “It is language which invites the readers not only to read the lines, but to read between the lines.” This is remarkable.

Reading between the lines of Bromberg’s ruling, Bolt seems to have been condemned for a form of thought crime.

We’ve now witnessed a legal procedure about race involving racial differences nobody could see and words nobody could read.


Marr also defended freedom of speech with the ‘piss christ’ issue claiming that freedom of speech meant the right to offend. Well, it does if you’re an artist type offending christians, just not if you’re a conservative journalist commenting on indigenous issues.  Now, when it comes to Islam…….

Chris Kenny:

On the matter of free speech it is worth noting that, at least, Judge Mordecai Bromberg conceded the issues raised by Bolt were matters of public interest. But Bromberg said some of Bolt’s words meant more than their literal meaning and that while he accepted the literal meaning of some of Bolt’s mitigating phrases, he found Bolt did not believe them.

So now when airing opinions on matters of public interest, Australians are subject to sanction by a court according to a judge ascribing extra meaning to the words we use, or denying our sincerity in the use of other words.

If that is not frighteningly Orwellian, nothing is. And, may it please the court, that is exactly what I meant to write. No more, no less.

Many left-liberals in the love media have welcomed the decision as revenge against Bolt, rather than railing against it as an illiberal blow against free speech. Much has been made of the findings about errors of fact. Errors are always unfortunate and sometimes egregious but in this case they are hardly the central point. Some of what Bromberg cites as factual error is more a matter of emphasis. It is a canard to suggest the case was about disputed facts: it was about apparent offence caused by Bolt’s controversial and strongly worded opinion.

Kenny mentions my “errors of fact”, as found by the judge, Purely by way of illustration, here is one of the errors identified by the judge:

Mr Bolt wrote that Ms Cole was raised by her “English-Jewish” or “English” mother (1A-2; 2A-24). That statement is factually inaccurate because Ms Cole’s Aboriginal grandmother also raised Ms Coleand was highly influential in Ms Cole’s identification as an Aboriginal.

Here is Ms Cole’s Aboriginal grandmother.

In my interview wth Nick Leys I may have given some the impression that I big-headedly think I am the only one in this case fighting free speech. That wasn’t my meaning, and as I pointed out to Nick.  many other people have so kindly given me offered support – and then there are articles such as the above today. As I also said to Nick, I am grateful to News Ltd, which cops so much criticism from the Left, but is far and away the organisation which fights harder for free speech than any other in this country, including civil “liberties” organisations.  I am also so grateful to you.

PS: Our moderators have been naturally unable to obtain the legal advice or to find the extra time it now takes to carefully vet a couple of thousands comments submitted so far on threads like this on my case, so I’ll close comments to save readers from wasting their time in replying. Another example of the way the judgment, in practice, chills the abilty of many Australians to publicly express their opinion.


The Age continues its series of articles imputing views to me that I do not hold, the better to damn me. Yesterday, I read that I believe in a “master race” and oppose interbreeding. The day before I read that I don’t like and don’t celebrate Australia. Today’s allegation:

After more than 100 years of disadvantaging Aboriginal people with ‘’mixed blood’’, conservative commentators like Andrew Bolt now claim there is too much support for mixed-blood Aboriginal

For a paper that cheerfully supported the verdict againist me on the grounds of my allegedly nasty tone and inaccuracies… Really, this is not reporting but the crudest of propagandising. It is a shameful get-square against an ideological bogeyman.



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