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John Passant

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July 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Election 2010:Equal love and free speech under attack

I have no truck with constraining debate on the big questions. I am for frank, open, honest national conversations…

Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her Lowy Institute speech arguing for the racists and xenophobes to join the discussion about immigration and population.

So why then, Prime Minister, is the Canberra Labor Party Government threatening activists with fines for putting up posters advertising the equal love rally on 14 August – one week before the election?

The idea that we are all equal is rubbish. When it comes to free speech and its exercise this is doubly so.

If, like Rupert Murdoch, you own a multinational media empire, you control the mechanisms for the distribution of information and opinion and the way it is distributed. You can create or slant the ‘news’.

So it was no accident for example that during the invasion of Iraq 174 of Murdoch’s 175 newspapers editorialised in favour of the invasion and ran stories justifying it.

Ordinary working class people don’t have that sort of sway. We have very little say in how society is run.

Every 3 years we get to tick a box choosing which capitalist party will manage capitalism for the bosses. In between times – zilch, zero, nothing.

And at work democracy and free speech are suppressed.  Almost every workplace is a dictatorship – a place where voting for your bosses and debating what to do are banned and quashed.

Before the election, Julia Gillard, like John Howard before her, said she wanted an open debate free from the constraints of political correctness.

Yet here in Canberra activists have been threatened with fines under the Litter Act for putting up posters advertising the Equal Love rallies on 14 August. It is in my view no accident that these threats have come during the Federal election from a Labor Party Territory Government.

Opposing same sex marriage is one of those many many issues on which Julia Gillard’s Labor Party and Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party agree. The ‘left-wing ‘ Stanhope Labor Government here in Canberra introduced civil union laws last year but watered them down under the treat from Rudd Labor to overturn them because they looked too much like gay marriage.

The campaign for equal love is one of the few vibrant mass campaigns in Australia. It has seen tens of thousands demonstrate this year around Australia for equality.

There will be demonstrations across the country on 14 August for same sex marriage. These were organised well before the election but serve just to highlight Labor’s hypocrisy on equality and its support for systemic homophobia.

Labor wants to do everything it can to minimise any disruption to its ‘vote for us we’re not Liberals campaign’. Equal Love demonstrations threaten that illusion of Labor difference.

So how does the Canberra Labor Government respond? It threatens activists with fines for littering for putting up posters advertising the Equal Love rally. 

At the time the new litter laws were introduced I said in an article on this blog on the 22 February last year called Labor cans free speech

$50,000 fines for postering.  That’s what Labor’s A.C.T. Chief Minister and civil libertarian Jon Stanhope is proposing in a new Bill. The Bill is an attack on free speech.

In a class divided society it is an attack on the free speech of those who don’t own or control the means of communication; those who don’t have the money to pay for advertising in the media.

Free speech, Gillard’s commitment to open discussions with the Australian people, Stanhope’s commitment to human rights – all are thrown out the door if our nominal rights allow any sign of opposition to the ALP to emerge and threaten in a minuscule way Labor’s re-election chances.

So much for free speech. So much for human rights.

Show your support for equality for all and for free speech by attending the Equal Love rallies on 14 August. The Canberra rally is at 1 pm in Petrie Plaza near the merry-go-round in Civic. For details of demonstrations in other cities visit the Equal Love site.



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Comment from Andrew
Time July 24, 2010 at 11:00 am

I agree that freedom of speech is suppressed, but it works both ways. Anti-gay material is censored from, and pro-gay material is promoted in publications such as “The Age”, and the media in general. Try googling “anti-gay” for example, and only pro-gay sites will show up. Despite what publications such as “The Age” etc tell us, outside of the trendy city bars there is not wide support for homosexual marriage or homosexuality. Homosexuals attempt to label anyone who disagrees with them as either uneducated or some kind of right-wing religious nut. Most people I know are well-educated left-leaning atheists, but they do not agree with homosexual marriage. Particularly disturbing is the attempt by the gay community to label anyone who doesn’t completely agree with the gay agenda as a “homophobe”, as if there is a psychological problem with those who reject the gay lifestyle. I consider this the worst form of brainwashing, worse than censorship. As a heterosexual, it is extremely offensive to be told that my deepest instincts are wrong, or even that because I am repulsed by homosexuality, that means I’m actually a closet gay? Where’s the equality in that? Does that mean that because a lesbian is repulsed by the idea of having sex with a male, that she is in fact a closet heterosexual? I’m getting a strong sense that that the gay community is attempting to twist truth and logic, which may eventually backfire when the wider heterosexual community finally wakes up to what is being foisted upon them. I’m not saying that gays can’t have an opinion, but I should be allowed to express myself without being censored or shouted down with personal attacks.

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