I’d tell Bill Shorten what the law bans us saying, but I’d be sued

I’d tell Bill Shorten what the law bans us saying, but I’d be sued, by Andrew Bolt.

Labor leader Bill Shorten attacks Malcolm Turnbull’s free speech reforms with a question: “What insult do they want people to be able to say that they cannot say now?”

As defamation lawyer Justin Quill and I tried to explain last night without getting sued, the law now makes it dangerous to question the racism and identity politics of the Left.

Listen here to our discussion and note particularly how Quill must stop me repeatedly from saying what he fears could be legally dangerous. It includes questioning whether “race” is just a social construct, whether someone holding a job or winning a prize for one race is really entitled to do so, whether identifying as a member of one race exclusively is a choice when your ancestors clearly include people of other “races” and so on. As we repeatedly say in our discussion, we are mentioning these examples for illustrative purposes only so please don’t sue us.

But this is how the law stifles a critical debate, making it absurdly dangerous even to answer Shorten’s jeering question.

The only safe answer to Shorten’s question, then, is: “I’d tell you but will you promise to pay my legal bills if I do?” …

Shorten’s question also reverses the onus of proof. He is in effect asking us to apply for a licence to speak, as if that freedom to open your mouth is a gift from the state and not a right.

We demand to be able to speak freely, without being persecuted by the politically correct backed by state power. If you don’t like what we say, you are equally entitled to say what you think.

WA Liberal Senator breaches Racial Discrimination Act, by AAP, from 2002.

The Federal Court has found that Liberal senator Ross Lightfoot breached the Racial Discrimination Act with comments he made about Aborigines five years ago.

Justice Christopher Carr found the Western Australian senator breached the act on or about May 2, 1997, when in an interview with a journalist he described Aborigines as primitive.

“Aboriginal people in their native state are the most primitive people on Earth,” Senator Lightfoot told a journalist from the Australian Financial Review.

Justice Carr also found the senator breached the act by suggesting to the journalist that some aspects of Aboriginal culture were abhorrent.