Wrong question, wrong answer

By Andrew L. Urban.

Not quite right, Nicola Wright: in The Spectator Australia (April 8, 2017) you write:

“Opponents of 18C reform …. Bill Shorten and Anne Aly … asked the Coalition the fatuous question: ‘what insult do they want people to be able to say that they cannot say now?’ …. Of course the answer to the question of ‘what is it you want to be able to say?’ is: ‘whatever we want’.

With respect, no. The answer to that disingenuous question is “what offence do you wish to take.” That’s the whole point of what is wrong with the legislation. It is the taking of offence not the giving it that is the trigger, and offence can be taken at will. (One person took offence at a Bill Leak cartoon; many thousands didn’t.)

Saying ‘whatever we want’ simply opens the door to the argument that what ‘we want’ is probably racist, bigoted, etc.

The fact that ‘racist’ has become a catch all insult against virtually anyone doing almost anything the left doesn’t like, gives the rest of us an opportunity to ridicule them into the dunce’s corner. They might be able to spell ‘racist’, but judging by their reaction to the famous Bill Leak cartoon, they couldn’t accurately define it. Likewise the thoughtless ‘Islamophobe’ label applied to anyone who is critical of Islam’s ideological violence. Or the accusation of racism against anyone critical of Islam, as if Islam were a race.

The defeat of the amendment to 18c in the Senate is a damnation of Nick Xenophon and his team. We expected it from the Green dullards and those on the opposition benches who groupthink their way through every social issue; and now we have proof that Xenophon stands not on the side of liberal democracy but confused ideology.

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