Our God-Emperor beat me to it.
The Australian Government’s Finkelstein Report, released last Friday, is the stuff of all freedom-loving people’s nightmares. It proposes the establishment of a new bureaucracy, the News Media Council, to “regulate” all forms of print media, including online blogs like this one, with as little as 15,000 hits per year. They can force retractions, edits, dissenting opinions and rights of reply at whim. Strewth, I’ll have to put Izen on a retainer! The new statutory authority will not be required to give reasons for its rulings, to which there will be no right of appeal. Orwellian madness.
But they have not thought this through, and their plan over-reaches their aims. As I wrote earlier today on James’ blog here,
Some time ago I decided to get active on this one, as these buffoons want to shut down all dissenting voices, even backwater blogs like LibertyGibbert. They claim to want to establish jurisdiction over every site with “even a tenuous connection with Australia”, although how they propose to do that, and how many international agreements they would have to sign (including somehow convincing the United States to abrogate its own Constitution’s First Amendment) is beyond me. Actually, they haven’t thought it through.
James is spot on when he writes, “If Australia is to get the government it needs (and deserves) it must first experience the full horror of the government it doesn’t deserve”. But it runs deeper than that. As I keep telling political progressives, this move may appear to serve your purposes today, but it will come back to bite you tomorrow. I don’t trust conservative politicians much more than you do, and when they come to power in Australia this year or next, they will find this little bit of totalitarianism you’ve so thoughtfully left for them far too tempting to resist. Today’s Climate Change Act will be tomorrow’s Patriot Act, or something similar, and it will be your voices that are silenced. As a Libertarian, I don’t want that either.
I’m too worn out to write much more today. Unless to add that I’m active behind the scenes in efforts to stop this madness. Meantime, you can read the thoughts of Australians Gerard Henderson (Executive Director of conservative think-tank The Sydney Institute), Melbourne Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, and Simon at Australian Climate Madness.