You will be silenced & you will be happy

by PAUL COLLITS – AUSTRALIANS are being told they should only ever get their information from government. 

According to our political elites, it’s only “the people” who lie. Hence, government agencies and universities (!) will be exempt from Australia’s coming misinformation legislation. 

In Australia, deceptive politicians seek to protect themselves against the “lies” the rest of us tell – about them. In other words, politicians want to shut down any form of “dissent”.

The assumption here, it seems, is not that politicians routinely lie, but that they never lie.

UK Free Speech Union founder Toby Young has written in The Spectator magazine: “This week the Welsh parliament has been debating a law that would ban politicians from lying.

DECEPTION

“Assuming it ends up on the statute books, any member of the Senedd, or candidate standing to be a member, found guilty of the new criminal offence of ‘deception’ will have to give up being a politician for at least four years.”

The Guardian notes: “Their lips are moving. Members of the Senedd, the Welsh parliament, are intent on tackling this age-old problem by bringing in legislation that bans politicians from telling untruths. If the law comes into force, Wales would be the first country in the world to make lying by politicians a criminal offence.”

I assume they are serious. It appears not to be a joke.

Toby Young sought to take the proposal seriously, and to analyse it seriously. Since the law would exclude “opinions”, the obvious question becomes, who decides?

Perhaps the question should be recast – how would we ever know when a politician was not lying?

Down under, we take a different approach. We say, you should only ever get your information from the Government.

The Department of Infrastructure notes: “Content authorised by the government of the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or a local government area will be exempt from the powers. For example, this could be social media post from a State’s transport department about an upcoming road project or health campaign.”

Brilliant! You could not make this up. The Department’s “guidance note” runs to 29 pages.

The Welsh know that politicians lie, and want to stamp it out.

Meanwhile, we want to protect politicians (who never lie) against the lies the rest of us tell.  About them. Or, in other words, “dissent”.

DISSENT

Legal, non-violent dissent is the mark of a liberal democracy and the right to dissent has been at the heart of our system of government. Well, not any more.

The Welsh proposal, on its face ludicrous and merely a cause of mirth, actually makes a mockery of the thinking behind the Australian Governments misinformation bill and of the attempts by our very own Yankee born Censor in Chief, Julie Inman Grant, to slay Elon Musk, then slay the rest of us.

Or at least those who don’t tow the line, or who don’t parrot their narrative.

It reminds us of the immortal words of NZ’s Jacinda Ardern, spoken in 2022: “You can trust us as a source of information. You can also trust the Director General of Health and the Ministry of Health. For that information, do feel free to visit – at any time – to clarify any rumour you may hear.

“Otherwise, dismiss anything else. We will continue to be your single source of truth.”

The Spectator Australia reported: “Unless you hear it from us, it is not the truth,” declared New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in a chilling speech related to COVID health advice.

It’s not a pretty sight. The hubris, delusional self-importance and elevation of government to a position of ‘absolute unquestioned truth’ is a sign that New Zealand’s leadership had gone beyond its charter and waded into a China-style system of absolutism.

The same day that the Welsh idea came to our attention, the American journalist for vaccine dissidence, Alex Berenson, reminded his readers of what he went through, and who did it to him. It was the government!

Mr Berenson is currently in a legal battle with the Biden Administration over its (successful) attempt to ban him from social media platform X.

PARANOIA

“This isn’t paranoia. Hard evidence shows the White House and media targeted my right to speak – and support my family. If not for all of you, they would have succeeded. Yeah, I’m still angry,” he said.

“I haven’t forgotten. Or forgiven.

“Last week, a Congressional committee released an massive report detailing how the Biden Administration stampeded the First Amendment in 2021 during its doomed quest to force mRNA vaccines on every American adult.

“By July, with the mRNAs failing and COVID deaths rising, the White House privately and publicly attacked Facebook, trying to make the world’s biggest social media company censor jab critics.

“Facebook executives were furious – and worried about the Constitutional implications of the pressure they faced.

“Yes, a private company proved far more concerned about the First Amendment than the government officials sworn to uphold it.”

So, the truth owners who lie through their teeth destroy the lives of those who dare to … tell the truth.

There is a global war on the truth, in a post-truth age ruled by a ruling idea that there is only “your truth” and “my truth”.

Except that tyrannical Western governments only allow “their truth”. They are seeking to make “my truth” illegal. The emperor is, indeed, naked.

The Welsh proposal reminds me a little of the debate over the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption and its sister organisations in other Australian jurisdictions.

CORRUPT

Despite widely aired concerns about ICAC by legal figures like Chris Merritt (of the Rule of Law Education Centre) and Margaret Cunneen, I always come back to the position – if the politicians weren’t routinely and provably corrupt, we wouldn’t need an ICAC, would we?

The Welsh proposal is one thing. It turns out that we already have numerous safeguards against political lies. In theory, at any rate. 

  • Think of the media. Isn’t it their job to speak truth to power? I know, hilarious.
  • Now we have social media, however, a blight on life in so many ways but at least a source of alternate news and views. Social media platforms must be working against the political class. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be trying everywhere to punish those outfits that don’t shut dissidents down.
  • We have parliamentary committees. These are a source, potentially, of alternate voices of truth. Except that the major Parties largely control them, and so make them largely impotent.
  • What about grassroots members of the major Parties? Just ask the likes of John Ruddick about the NSW Liberal Party. Party members are the eunuchs of the modern polity.
  • Royal Commissions can work. Except that it is the political class that sets their terms of reference. The old political adage is, never establish an inquiry without first establishing its conclusions yourself.
  • We have the academy, the paid truth-seekers. Well, now they are “fact checkers”. Err, next point.
  • We have Freedom of Information. And thank God we do. Governments, those sources of truth, inevitably delay, obfuscate, hinder, find excuses and, well, cover up, in order to thwart FOI requests.
  • We have whistleblowers. We know where they normally end up. See under Daniel Ellsberg, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.
  • Lastly, we have elections. Don’t they bring accountability, and its close relation, truth? Well, they don’t any more. The major function of elections these days is to allow the major Parties to claim false mandates. There is that political lying again. We could always just throw the liars out. Except we seem awfully bad at doing that. We always just swap one set of liars for another.

Safeguards of truth in practice? Not so much.

Perhaps we need something along the lines of the proposed Welsh model, after all.

Only extend it to include coverups as well. Lies of omission. Policy lies, too. Like the climate “emergency”. And the “pandemic”. And lies about pork barrelling.

Just imagine a truth commission where, in the spirit of recall elections, members of the public could call ministers, MPs, bureaucrats and others protected by misinformation legislation before a formal legal proceeding. And call witnesses. And put them under oath. Accountability 101, right there.

Such a system might just be needed, unless we can figure out ways of making the existing safeguards work a hell of a lot better.

Dramatically ratcheting up the status of government truth claims surely requires a commensurate upping of the standard of proof, n’est-ce pas?

Make them prove they are telling the truth.PC

Paul Collits

Albanese lying is ‘a daily occurrence’

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Julie Inman Grant. (courtesy ABC)

3 thoughts on “You will be silenced & you will be happy

  1. Our Australian, Turnbull appointed censorship Czaress is not the only one running protection for our deceitful politicians the main stream media narrative is in on the racket to their eyeballs.
    This comment I submitted to the Australian Mon May 13 was rejected:

    REJECTED
    20 hours ago

    Our eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant’s time would be better spent concerning herself with the misinformation emanating from this extreme left Government and their un-elected bureaucracy.
    The government lies surrounding the COVID 19 lock downs, the mandate of an experimental “vaccine”, that didn’t perform as promised and the banning of the miracle anti viral ivermectin would keep “our” eSafety Commission busy for years.
    The concept of working in the voters interest rather than Government’s is an alien concept.

    One Nation and UAP are the only organizations not on this rort.

    17
  2. And the only politicians speaking against censorship are One Nation and UAP. But, that won’t stop idiots from voting Coalition/Labor/Green/Teals. They deserve everything they get. It’s just too bad for the rest of us.

    14

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