from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
I’m afraid that Mr Akerman was too optimistic when he wrote in Message to Kim il-Gillard in March 2012 that Finkelstein’s report might be forgotten. That’s not how socialists work.
“With proposed threats to Australian media freedom making international press watchdogs register their deep concerns, the Gillard government has so far refused to comment when asked about the harsh recommendations contained in the Finkelstein inquiry into the media.
Former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein delivered his 467-page tome to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy last month – not a peep out of Conroy, nor anyone else in the Cabinet.
Nor, surprisingly, given the report’s extraordinary call for a government-funded News Media Council with punitive powers, including jailing, have we heard from any of those who so bitterly claimed (in uncensored books and articles) that they were being silenced during the years of the Howard government.
Make no mistake – this is a political weapon.
The Finkelstein inquiry’s genesis was in complaints from the Greens leader Bob Brown, Labor’s principal partner in its minority government.
Brown, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and many of her ministers are extremely sensitive to criticism.
Finkelstein, advised by several campuses of academics, has provided the government with a blunt instrument which, if used, would set the notion of an Australian free press back several centuries.”
Of course, at the moment the Federal Labor is out of the office, so that great danger has been postponed for at least three years. There is no doubt that Roxon/Dreyfuss Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill would be revived, slightly amended, under a different name, should the Australian Labor Party get to the power again.
However, nobody should make a mistake believing the LibNats’s promises. Their political survival is more important to them than freedom of speech for the citizens and the restrictions always favour the ruling classes.
The following is the news from the formerly ‘great’ Britain concerning the public speech muzzle law, similar to that which we narrowly missed here in Australia. The Royal Charter Press Regulation of October 2013 is the first state regulation of the British press since 1695, when the press regulations were abolished. Just in case you missed it; since May 2010 United Kingdom is ruled by a coalition of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, as misleading names as Dr Goebbels could wish for…
Today, in the United Kingdom, only those who wish to destroy it are united:
Would-be MP Clive Lewis has urged union bosses to use Press law to silence critical newspapers. A Labour candidate has urged union bosses to use new Press regulations to launch class action complaints against newspapers who criticise them. Clive Lewis – who is a member of three unions – criticised the Daily Mail’s exposure of bullying by Unite thugs.
In a chilling insight into the way Left-wingers plan to use the Royal Charter, the would-be MP said unions should get together to file complaints to combat ‘scurrilous’ reporting.
He told a new trade union think tank that in the past, only people specifically affected by a news story have been able to launch a grievance against a newspaper. But under the terms of the Royal Charter – approved by the Privy Council last month to the delight of the Hacked Off pressure group – third party groups will be able to complain en masse in so-called class action cases. The measure has been opposed by newspaper industry groups, who say it is likely to be used by activists to deter legitimate investigative journalism.
The Mail revealed how Unite thugs targeted the families and neighbours of staff at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant in Scotland during strike action last month. Terrorised by union bullies: How Labour’s Unite paymasters intimidated managers and their children in bitter oil refinery battle
The paper has also led the way in covering the scandal in Falkirk, where Unite was accused of seeking to rig a Labour candidate selection. Stephen Deans, the Unite boss in Scotland who was also chairman of Falkirk West Labour Party, has now lost his job at Grangemouth and the local party has been taken into special measures.
However, Labour candidate Mr Lewis has sought to paint Mr Deans – whose fight with the owners of Grangemouth nearly led to the plant closing – as a wronged man.
In a speech to the Unite-sponsored Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class), he said: ‘Let’s take for example the case of the chap who has had his life ruined by scurrilous accusations and innuendo in the Daily Mail. Under the new Royal Charter, his trade union, as an interested third party, could say actually, “We now have an interest in this.“
Unite boss Stephen Deans, who was also chairman of Falkirk West Labour Party, has now lost his job at Grangemouth, while Ed Miliband, is refusing to open his party’s inquiry into the Falkirk scandal …
Mr Lewis, the candidate for Norwich South, describes himself on his Twitter account as a ‘proud socialist’ and former BBC reporter.
He is a member of three unions – Unite, the GMB and the National Union of Journalists.
Shipley MP Philip Davies, one of 15 Conservatives who voted against the Charter earlier this year, said the unions will use their financial muscle to ‘bully hard-pressed newspapers’. ‘All that will happen is that newspapers will be afraid to publish things that are in the public interest,’ he said.
Mr Davies also praised the Mail’s reporting of Unite’s activities, adding: ‘Not only are they intimidating people in industrial disputes they’re now trying to intimidate people who write about it.’
Kent MP Tracey Crouch, another Charter Tory rebel, said: ‘It is just the sort of behaviour that newspapers have warned about.’
Yesterday Ed Miliband again refused to re-open his party’s inquiry into Falkirk, calling for people to ‘move on’ – despite the evidence that his officials never got to the bottom of what happened.