On September 11, 2001, 19 middle-class
IslamistsÂ Muslims financed by a multi-millionaireÂ murderedÂ nearly 3000 men, women and children in the United States. Leftists have spent the subsequent 13 years complaining about climate change, Israel, sexism, racism, homophobia and the gap between rich and poor.
Free speech is not negotiable:
“In a free country people have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.”
CONSIDER the following two quotations. “At least one basic teaching of true liberalism is that the essential right of free people is the right to offend, and an essential responsibility of free people is to learn how to cope with being offended … No consequential idea ever failed to offend someone; no consequential person was ever spared great offence.” (Bret ÂStephens, Wall Street Journal, May 19.)
“People have a right to be bigots you know … In a free country people have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.” (George Brandis, Senate, March 24.)
As readers will well know, the latter words caused all sorts of uproar among opposition politicians, among most of the Human Rights Commission (that body that ought to be wound up tomorrow for its reekingly partisan agenda), among whole swathes of the bien pensants in “our” ABC, and with some members of “Team Australia” who don’t seem to have received the memo that they are part of the team.
But notice that both quotes are actually saying pretty much exactÂly the same thing. Isn’t it embarrassing to live in a country where Brandis’s words are seen as an own goal; where stating the blunt truth about free speech â€” that it’s a concept about protecting people to say things that others don’t want to hear â€” is one of the grounds on which a government caves in, on what is in fact a modest repeal of an awful piece of legislation.