Scary night

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

 A long, long time ago, in a suburb far away, I used to walk my dog. One night I noticed a new sign on a neighbours’ mailbox – “Only for government approved mail”. For a second or two I though it could be a sick joke, but soon realised the joke is on me. On us. Those people knew that a normal, “No Junk Mail” sticker, if taken literally, would stop delivery of all that increasingly frequent demands and warnings from the government. That they would not like; in fact they preferred the government to censor their communication. The night somehow got scary and I went home.

In a due course we evolved from conformists to Stalinists. Something, which people who used to live in totalitarian countries( and only a few of them) warned about, is happening. From Mr Tim Andrews:

 Late Tuesday afternoon, the Gillard Government announced new legislation to create an overarching media censorship and licensing regime, and bring “government sanctioned journalism” to Australia.

We are on the verge of having the Federal Government dictating what we can and cannot read, and what we can and cannot think.

Comrade Conroy in his favourite uniform

The brainchild of Senator Stephen Conroy,  the man who said he had the power to make telecom bosses wear red underpants on their head, tried to ban the Bolt Report from being aired, said that the Federal Government should be “going to war” against News Limited, and  wanted to censor the internet, this proposal is an unprecedented and historic attack on freedom of speech in Australia.

Outside of wartime, no Australian Government has ever come even close to considering restrictions of this magnitude. Together with upcoming changes to our “anti-discrimination laws”, if passed, they represent an end to freedom of speech as we know it. This is not an exaggeration. This is just fact.

Freedom of speech is on life support. We can stop this. But we must act fast. We need to take action TODAY.

There are three main parts to this proposal. Each of them is bad on its own, but together, they spell disaster.

First: It sets up a licensing scheme, granting basic journalistic rights and protections only to those who sign up to a “regulated press standards body”. Those who sign up will be rewarded by the government, through things such as “exemptions from privacy legislation”. Those who don’t will lose these same protections “vital to the capacity of journalists to do their job.

Second: These bodies will be overseen by a powerful taxpayer-funded super-regulator with a title straight out of Orwell: “The Public Interest Media Advocate”. Whose interest do you think this government-appointed super-regulator will really be advocating? (hint: it won’t be yours or mine!).

Third: A new “public interest” test will be applied for media ownership – and it’s pretty clear: “public interest test” means “political interest test” and will be used by the government “to punish outlets they don’t like.” This is a desire to punish outlets they don’t like, and prevent freedom-oriented media from flourishing.

But that’s not all.

In a further attack on democracy, Senator Conroy will be presenting the Bill to Parliament on Thursday – and is demanding it be passed next week. That’s right: no time for scrutiny, no time for debate, no time for MP’s to even thoroughly read or understand the bill. Sound familiar?

Former Press Council Head Professor Flint compared this to “Soviet regimes” saying “It is dangerous … it will give the government a power it should never have, the power to determine the content of the press.”  News Limited Chief Executive Kim Williams said “This government will go down in history as the first Australian government outside of wartime to attack freedom of speech by seeking to introduce a regime which effectively institutes government sanctioned journalism” and that it “removes the capacity of journalists to do their job – it is a not-too-sophisticated endeavour to gag the media Even traditionally pro-Government Fairfax CEO Grey Hywood said We can’t see the purpose of further regulation of news publications.”

 We can stop this. The bill is not yet guaranteed passage through parliament. They do not have the votes – yet. If enough Australians contact their MP’s and the cross-benchers, we WILL prevail.  

We have set up an easy-to-use online action portal at where you can contact not just your MP, not just your senator, but also all the cross-benchers and DEMAND they oppose this outrageous proposal.

Please, from the bottom of my heart I beg you: take action now – before it is too late. Every message sent WILL make a difference. 

I can not help but think about the legacy of the brave men and women who made the supreme sacrifice for us. They paid for our freedom in blood. Did they make the ultimate sacrifice to have a country where the government dictates what we can and can not read or think? Is this what they really bled for? Is this why they fought and died?

Freedom is not just a buzzword. It is not an empty slogan. It isn’t a word to be thrown around without meaning. It is something at the core of what we stand for – or used to.

Freedom was the reason we were so proud to call ourselves Australians. Freedom was the reason my grandparents fled the oppression of Soviet Union to move here. Freedom was who we were.

Don’t let them take it away from us.

Visit and fight back.

About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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3 Responses to Scary night

  1. padre Dimitry says:

    “Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” It fits perfectly to Conroy and his Speech Muzzle Bill, but it was actually said by the future Pope Francis about something else – homosexual marriages. Well, close enough.

  2. S. Koralei says:

    That Conroy belongs to North Korea, but don’t forget Finkelstein and his academic bullies. They get away with this because of the apathy of uneducated and miseducated public.

  3. karen miller says:

    How long before the people realise that elections can’t change anything?

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