Finally, parliament can act on restoring the right to free speech

Finally, parliament can act on restoring the right to free speech, by Simon Breheny at the IPA.

There is no right not to be ­offended. Yet dozens of provisions on the commonwealth statute books make it unlawful or illegal to ­offend.

There is a right to freedom of speech, and each of these laws is an attack on that right. …

As a minimum, from the perspective of the restoration of free speech, every one of these laws should be repealed. And as luck would have it, a bill that does just that was introduced by NSW Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm just last month. …

David Leyonhjelm

The Leyonhjelm bill demonstrates that section 18C is not alone. … Did you know it’s unlawful to register a name in respect of a plant variety if the government deems it to be offensive? Better yet, did you know about the Plant Breeder’s Act 1994? It’s not clear how society functioned before 1994.

Under the present Criminal Code Act 1995 you could also find yourself in jail if you use the postal service to “cause offence”.

Cause offence? Until recently I lived in a local government area where the council used the postal service to send me a five-times-a-year magazine called Divercity, which helpfully recorded all the left-wing, virtue-signalling garbage the council was engaged in.

That was pretty offensive. And why five times a year? Surely that’s enough to make it an aggravated offence.