The liberties of George Brandis by @awelder

By Andrew Elder May 22, 2013 Margo: After the recent George ‘free speech’ Brandis speech  I asked (begged) @awelder to write me a piece on the civil liberties credentials of the man who would be Attorney General under an Abbott Government. This is Andrew’s first piece for @NoFibs. Thank you. There is a story of a Queensland shearing team and a cook who was especially sensitive to their rough-and-ready ways. One day the shearers came for their meal break to find the cook refusing to serve them. Someone was sent in to find out the problem: the peacemaker returned to the shearers and asked “All right, which one of you […]

Brandis free speech fudge: @MediaActive reviews the @albericie interview

ABC Lateline Interview May 7, 2013 By Peter Clarke May 11, 2013 Media regulation reform was never going to be easy in Australia. As it turned out, the legislation proposed by the Labor government foundered midst roiling misinformation and hyperbolic claims of draconian state intrusion into media freedoms. It was also not helped by the ham-fisted presentation, timing and advocacy by the minister responsible for its passage through the parliament, Senator Stephen Conroy. The irony of a news media reporting with dubious accuracy and fairness on the details of both the Finklestein Independent Media Inquiry and The Convergence Review processes and outcomes was lost on most but not all citizens and informed […]

The Liberal Party’s war on freedoms: My reply to Brandis

By Margo Kingston May 10, 2013 ‘But at least the debates about freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which we have seen in the past couple of years, have been a sharp reminder to the Liberal Party of its historic mission. For in the freedom wars, there has been only one party which has stood steadfastly on the side of freedom.’ – Freedom Wars: The George Brandis speech I used to be quite close to George. We were both small-l liberals, not surprising because we grew up under Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and studied law at Queensland University at the same time, a time of the right-to-march protests. For Queenslanders of our era, […]

The Skull Beneath the Skin

By Margo Kingston 10 May 2013 In his Cry, Freedom speech this week, Shadow Attorney General George Brandis said this: ‘But at least the debates about freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which we have seen in the past couple of years, have been a sharp reminder to the Liberal Party of its historic mission. For in the freedom wars, there has been only one party which has stood steadfastly on the side of freedom.’ @NoFibs has disproved this claim – indefensible given the Howard Government’s record – in several pieces which detail just some of the relentless assaults on free speech and political freedom by the Howard Government. At […]

Freedom Wars: The George Brandis speech

ABC Lateline Interview May 7, 2013 Margo: Well here it is, the Brandis speech on free speech he calls the Freedom Wars. It is not online, so Barry Tucker rang the Brandis office and obtained a copy. Thank you @btckr. I have a feeling I’ll want to write a response soon – my boiling anger at his @Lateline interview on the speech has just about subsided enough to safely have a go. (UPDATE: My reply to Brandis.) Thursday 21 March – the last sitting day before Parliament rose for the Easter recess – will long be remembered as one of those days of frenzy and madness which infrequently, but memorably, punctuate the pages of our political […]

The Forgotten People

By Margo Kingston May 9, 2013 The day after Howard, Abbott and Brandis, among other Liberals, pulverised our freedoms for George Bush, they did it again for Chinese President Hu. This chapter of my book is Part 5 in our series of memory joggers for shadow Attorney General George Brandis, in the hope that he revises his recent speech this week proclaiming his Party a champion of free speech. Senator Brandis has rather oddly chosen not to publish the speech online so it can be freely read by voters, so for now check out the transcript of the @alberichi interview after he delivered it. In our time, we must decide our own belief. Either […]

A day in the life of Our House under siege

By Margo Kingston May 8, 2013 Margo: In this chapter from my book, I detail the unprecedented mauling of press, parliamentary and citizen’s freedom in Parliament by Howard when George Bush came to Canberra in 2003. Brandis was in the thick of it, and made no protest. My contemporaneous report of the events is Parliament meets Bush: A day in the life of our faltering democracy Political systems have much more frequently been overthrown by their own corruption and decay than by external forces Robert Menzies, ‘The Sickness of Democracy’, from The Forgotten People radio broadcasts, 1942 The anti-democratic hustle On 8 October 2003 John Howard’s government lied to the Australian people to obtain their Parliament’s consent […]

Brandis: Enemy of free speech, friend of false speech, on children overboard

By Margo Kingston Wednesday, 1 September, 2004 Source: Webdiary The intense strain on the two people in Senate Committee room 2S1 today was palpable. The two had by very difficult choice propped up the credibility of a cowardly and bullying Prime Minister for nearly three years. Yet Howard’s point man on children overboard – George Brandis, whose own credibility has been questioned this week – put the boot into the truth-teller, Mike Scrafton. Yesterday’s resumed children overboard inquiry produced the most dramatic, and painful, human drama I have seen in Parliament or on the stage. Consider this: Mike Scrafton has turned his life upside down to have his very belated say. His […]

George Brandis, free speech charlatan

MARGO: I am so disgusted with the Brandis free speech interview on @Lateline I don’t trust myself to write about it. It brought back memories of the Howard Government’s relentless assaults on free speech, egregiously denied by Brandis last night, and of his nasty record. So @NoFibs will try to drag truth back on the public record with a Brandis archive. We begin with the transcript of his intellectual dismemberment by Emma Alberici on last night’s Lateline. EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The Shadow Attorney General George Brandis has tonight delivered a swingeing attack on the Gillard Government for what he calls a war on free speech. In an address to the Sydney […]

Nazi Greens an enemy of democracy, government decrees

By Margo Kingston October 29, 2003 Source: Webdiary “I intend to continue to call to the attention of the Australian people the extremely alarming, frightening similarities between the methods employed by contemporary green politics and the methods and the values of the Nazis.” Liberal Senator George Brandis launches a government campaign to destroy the Greens as a political force. George Brandis is a Queensland Liberal Senator. The Government chose him to conduct the tactics for and lead a front-on Parliamentary attack on the Greens which asserted that the party was an enemy of the State. The speech responds to a Greens’ motion for an inquiry into procedures for joint sittings of […]