Finally! @YaThinkN’s inner #bigot has a chance to fly free with the repeal of 18C

Noely Neate

Noely Neate

Columnist at No Fibs

Female, Mother, Partner. Day job: small business owner, co-founder and community site co-ordinator on a regional portal. Doonan (the land of the dam and franken–spiders), Queensland.

Noely Neate

@YaThinkN

Memo to self: Remember Democracy rules; Don’t swear on Twitter, even during #SOO; Just a Punter; #NBN; #MyBroadbandvReality

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Noely Neate
I am not a journalist, nor am I a writer. I don’t belong to any political party, though I will admit that back in the day I was a paid-up Democrat until Meg Lees screwed us over. Now, I don’t believe in political parties at all; I find them terribly UN-Democratic. In my preferred world I would have actual elected representatives whose primary responsibility was to accurately represent their electorates – not the party, not men in grey suits – the punters, then get together with all the other reps to compromise and work together to run this country/state/council. I know, I know … but a girl can dream!

just-a-punter1

By Noely Neate  @YaThinkN

Alrighty, I am all for free speech; hell, even ripe speech. You should hear me when a neighbour uses his chainsaw or dreaded leaf-blower on an early Sunday morning; my speech flows very freely. As an aside, the neighbour has red hair too, just saying. However, I was raised to be a polite member of society and whilst my rage and colourful language may be directed at my neighbour as I fume over an early morning coffee on the back deck, no way in hell would he ever actually hear my words. That would be rude, impolite and damn near cause World War III in the neighbourhood.

It seems, though, dear friends, those polite neighbourly days could be gone, thanks to our very own freedom of speech stalwart, Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, who informed me just as recently as yesterday that I have a “right to be a bigot”, yes I do!

Now, as I am just Jill Dill out in the ‘burbs, I thought I’d better look up what this great new freedom the most powerful lawmaker in the land was bestowing on me. So, I hit Google, as you do. Normally all these free dictionaries come up when I put in a word, but, low and behold, quite a few George Brandis news pieces came up in the first search. Gee, Senator Brandis is obviously a serious expert in bigotry, according to Google, so I knew I was on the right track. Anyhow, back to the boring old Merriam-Webster online dictionary, it tells me:

Bigot: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.: a bigoted person; especially: a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group).

Just to be sure, I looked up a few other dictionaries. I mean, it’s not like I have access to any legal minds, like the esteemed Mr Brandis, to explain this stuff to me; and you never know nowadays, words are always changing, and it’s not like we get a memo to let us know – damn those kids and their new fangled texting and interwebz making up new words. So when you are a punter like myself, it’s best to cover all bases.

Words like offensive, intolerant, prejudice, opinionated, unreasonable beliefs, and more, came up. My personal favourite was: “A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”.

Wow! How cool is that? My Government and Senator Brandis, who some nasty suspicious people rudely felt wanted a change to the Racial Discrimination Act, repealing section 18C at the urging of the well known freedom of speech advocate, Andrew Bolt, are now giving me licence to be as prejudiced as l like.

Now, sadly, some of those annoyingly uptight lefty types on Twitter, you know, the overly politically correct ones, are bringing to my attention that I should read the actual Freedom of Speech (Repeal OF S. 18C) Bill 2014 before I get too excited and let my inner bigot out to roam freely, so I put my goggles on and had a bit of a look-see.

From my limited knowledge, it pretty much looks like as long as I don’t give my intended victim fear of physical harm, or of course take on any powerful group that could crush me like a bug, seeing as I can’t afford to defend defamation action (you know, groups like the government, religious groups, big media organisations, etcetera), then it’s all good.

Think of the freedom we all have. It is staggering.

As long as I stay on my side of the fence, I can abuse the hell out of my neighbour. I did mention he was a ranga didn’t I? Oh, he is overweight too, plus wears a towelling cap with old stubbies with a Tradies’ crack often on display. I reckon he probably has BO too. Ah, the insults are forming in my mind now.

Better yet, think of our children, free as birds, the creative insults flying around the school ground.  The P&C meeting, geez, I am already coming up with the zingers for a few of those helicopter mums that have always driven me insane. Don’t worry though, I will sit at the end of the table and not raise my voice to loud, I don’t want to get pinged for potential physical intimidation. Of course the little core group of mums who are part of the big Christian church I will leave alone, ‘cos, you know, they have money, power and lots of staunch mates; so I don’t want to go there, not a smart victim choice, they could hurt me in return.

Ah Straya, you gotta love it. We will be so free soon that our speech can be as bigoted as we want, as long as we are cunning as sewer rats about it.

Sadly for me there is a problem with my new found inner prejudice release. My daughter is now a young adult and I brought her up under those stupid old fashioned rules about politeness, courtesy, ‘treat others as you would wish to be treated’ blah-blah. I know, what was I thinking? I could cause some arguments there when I let my bigotry fly.

My mum also visits, and she started the whole ignorant ‘decent human being’ upbringing business, never comprehending that one day it would be redundant. But she is set in her ways and often visits unannounced, so it could make life stressful being on guard against getting sprung in full offensive flight when she makes a stealth visit. I may be in my mid-forties, but hey, mum is still scary.

I am sure there will be a few other losers like myself who have been brainwashed into that polite, courteous, indoctrinated state, so I won’t be all alone, I hope.

So dear friends, maybe Mr Brandis’ gift of the freedom of bigotry may not be my pleasure to have; though you, of course, please enjoy the release of your inner bigot with other fine bigots in our nation, be proud.

Then again, I am just a punter, what the hell would I know? Don’t be taking any legal advice from me. I am sure though that our friends in the media, particularly those lovely people, the voice of Australia at News Corp, will soon give us a guide as to how we can use this repeal of 18C to the best of our abilities ;-)

Comments


  1. Applause! Brilliant! Love it! :)


  2. Ripper of a piece, Noely!! Love it!!


  3. Apparently you don’t let loose at your neighbour because of 18C. Apparently your mother raised you (and you raised your daughter) to be polite, to ensure they were on the right side of the law.

    No? Then what the hell is your point? How sad that you give the human race so little credit that you think we need some wise bureaucrat or politician in Canberra to dictate what behaviours are forbidden and what are ok, lest us immature little bigots would be running around abusing people left right and centre.


    • Are you saying there has never a successful prosecution under this law? If there has then that argues for its need surely.


      • That has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. A law is necessary because someone was successfully prosecuted by it once? Really?

        Let’s bring back all those sodomy laws then! We prosecuted people on those plenty of times………..


    • My point is more Senator Brandis advising the public at large that it is OK for us all to be Bigots. In any civilized society, it isn’t! We already have an issue in all our communities where civic discourse & respect for others is degrading, on our roads, in our schools, hell have you looked at Question Time in recent years?

      Telling the nation you have a ‘right’ to be a Bigot is an irresponsible move backwards in our society in my opinion, hence the mockery above. But hey, we all have free speech (or sorts), just thought I would explain to you where I was coming from :)


      • But he didn’t say that it is ok to be bigoted. He said that people have a right to be bigoted. People have the right to be a lot of things that you and I might not necessarily.like. You’re just displaying a lack of understanding of classical liberal theory, which is where his comment derives from. I understand where you are coming from, but I think you need to understand that allowing something to be legal is not the same as licencing it.

        You seem to want society’s interactions designed exactly to your liking and then have the law limit anything that steps over the line. Sure, people like Bolt are abrasive. But I don’t want to live in a society where it is illegal to discuss whether certain parts of society should or shouldn’t get additional legal privileges based on race.


        • Semantics must be your strong point…yes, he’s not saying we ‘can’ be bigoted, he’s saying we have ‘the right’ to be bigoted; apart from yourself, the author and myself, do you think that most of the rest of the country has the same level of discrimination with words as we do? Let me ask that flag-wearing bogan on Cronulla beach that left high school because he ‘just can’t think good enough’ what his opinion on the difference would be, hmm?


  4. Great bit of satire,
    However we should “always look on the bright side of life” as the Monty Python mob once sang.
    We will soon be able to say what we really think about the f…wits who have hit the accelerator, without realising (or caring) that they are stuck in reverse gear.
    The Abbott and company store may be open for business, but there is not much stock on the shelves.


  5. Hilarious. :-) Cackled out loud Noely. Funny, witty and has your usual unerring eye that focuses tight and hard on the nub of an issue whilst all the while pretending you’re just an innocent punter (but WE know better :-).). Well done on your first official outing for NoFibs Dame Noely!


  6. Unfortunately in legal interpretation the law doesn’t mean the same as what we Jack and Jill Dill’s take it to mean. That clause about it leading to fear for safety. So if the law was repealed and something replaced that did encourage civility I’d be all for it.

    Unfortunately this repeal seems to be just rewarding Andrew Bolt and such like.


  7. Its just as well the Senate stymied that one, at least for the time being. I just hope that with a lot more discussion out here in the ‘burbs’, we can make sure that us little people will be a little better informed as to what repeal of the 18C part of the act would really mean for the democracy in this country.


  8. I’m still laughing :) Very clever, love it!


  9. No fibs, hey? My disagreeable comment sits in moderation but later agreeable comments are approved.

    Yep, just another lefty circle jerk. No interest in actually debating a point.

    Feel free to moderate this as I can understand the term circle jerk is offensive. But I see nothing in my previous comment that indicates it should not be accepted, apart from the fact I disagree.


    • And you only disagree. You don’t actually debate the point.

    • john921fraser says:

      <

      O ! poor little "Jimmy" thinks that us "bigots" have moderated him out of the conversation.

      I guess little "Jimmy" really does have a gutful of Brandis and wants to see him thrown out of parliament.


  10. Very good article :)

  11. Eva Makowiecki says:

    We change law for Andrew Bolt! How powerful is this guy that he can make the Abbott Government change the law!

    We need to label these laws appropriately. This one is Bolt’s Freedom to Practise Racial Vilification Law. Heaven help us when we get Gina’s Freedom to Practise Slavery Law, and Rupert’s Freedom from Answering to Anyone Law (he already seems to have the Freedom to Actively Mislead the Public Law sewn up).

    Well done Noely! Beautifully put.

    • john921fraser says:

      <

      @Eva

      The Murdoch Idiot is reasonably powerful thanks to the American citizens "newspapers", but the real power is at the IPA and its backers.


  12. So this now mean that I can call Arthur Sinodinos a sleezy, greasy Greek? Remember what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Maybe the right words just might send Bolt off on stress leave again.


  13. Thank you. Even with the eventual ok from the moderators though, I think my point still stands. If you don’t publish comments that disagree with your POV as quickly as you publish those that agree, you aren’t standing aside from the biased MSM fray like you want to think you are. You’re just another information source with a different bias (or even worse, just the same bias as parts of the MSM).


    • Disagreement and moderation for civility are quite different things.

    • john921fraser says:

      <

      @"Jimmy"

      Perhaps you could reflect on why you're being moderated.

      Would make a nice change, because you certainly haven't reflected on the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.


  14. Sadly, Jimmy, there are people who need to be told what they can/can’t do or say because it might turn out that the aggrieved person(s) might want to make it a legal matter. If there is no law to apply to their case, how can they pursue their claim? And do not say they just have to put up with it.

    So with the Bolt case. It was not about freedom of speech; it was about untruths made by Bolt against specific people. He wrongly accused them of deciding for themselves that they were Aboriginal for purposes of gain, whereas in fact they had been raised as Aboriginal from birth. Bolt was wrong; it was sloppy journalism; he had no right to say it; people were offended by the false accusation.

    The current hoo-ha about “freedom of speech” is a furphy, a distraction from the real problems at play in our society – the lies, the misinformation, the backflips, the dud policies… Real free and open discussion is being stifled by ideology of the worst kind.

  15. orSomethingLikeThat says:

    A simple question – Are they also repealing the anti-defamation laws? Without that any discussion of ‘free speech’ is moot. Reason being that as soon as any of the rich and powerful are mentioned, ‘free’ speech suddenly becomes a rather expensive lawsuit.

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