I really don’t know the answer to this question but if it was in the hope he might learn something – that is a lost cause. Today on the ABC’s Insiders program Dan Tehan, Member for Wannon, and current incumbent of the ministerial position responsible for education announced he had spoken with Australian vice-chancellors about the need to ensure freedom of speech on university campuses. He expressed concern that people who wanted to hire a venue on university campuses had to pay security costs.
This little arch-fascist reckons that demonstrators who want to disrupt “peaceful events” should have to pay the security costs for disrupting the proceedings. Examples of a “peaceful event” is when an internationally recognised war criminal wants to address a crowd of black-shirts. Another example is when misogynist wants to justify why women should be kept in their place. A further example is where corrupt financial advisors want to hold seminars to attract suckers to their pooncey ponzi schemes. The final example is when a celebrity racist wants to explain that Australia was settled not invaded. There is some doubt, in Tehan’s mind, about whether warmongers promoting invasion of others countries is a “peaceful event”.
What is it about university campuses which makes them the most important location for freedom of speech? This year the Morrison/Abbott/Turnbull/Dutton moppet government has charged a lawyer and his client for breaching official secrets by revealing that Australia bugged the cabinet rooms of the East Timor Government during negotiations on the oil royalties in the Timor sea. This crowd of miscreants frequently interferes in the free expression of ideas in workplaces, public places and anywhere where non-fascist ideas are being advocated.
Tehan was Minister for Social security who introduced robo debts. Now the Morrison Government is intending issuing stop-travel notices to citizens leaving the country when they believe that the person has a debt to the Commonwealth. We now live in a Surveillance State, where we have stopped asylum seekers gaining sanctuary, where we have multiplied the range of offences which are termed terrorist offences, we are jailing for longer periods more poor people than ever before and yet still can’t keep needles from infiltrating strawberries.
Could it be we have some things to learn about decent treatment of workers, least powerful people and asylum seekers? If that is the case then we would be foolish if we trusted the likes of Tehan to come up with a way forward.
Copyright © 2020 John Tomlinson