Friday, April 13, 2007

"Public Safety overrides the issue of Free Speech"

Reading through the news I came across this BBC report "Australia Censors Terrorism Books":

"Present laws restrict the publication or dissemination of materials which promote, incite or instruct people to carry out terrorist acts.

The amended law would mark a significant extension of censorship powers, outlawing books and films deemed to speak out in favour of terrorist violence.

The new law would be targeted at removing the material from publication, rather than punishing its authors, and customs officers would be given much broader powers to confiscate books and films being imported into the country".

It is very scary to have a government that bans books and media from their public. It makes me feel much less secure and much more like I am in some 1984-esque world.

When I went to the ABC to see if this is big news in Australia, I didn't see anything about it, but headlining was:

"Howard Calls for HIV Immigration Ban"

Prime Minister John Howard says people who are HIV positive should not be allowed to migrate to Australia.

I hope that both of these things are a sure sign that John Howard is on his way out. I hope that his views and policies are becoming so ridiculously dated that he is inadvertently un-electing himself. Lets hope so...

"As the Australian Society of Authors put it: "We can't refute what we can't read".

But the government has dismissed these concerns, saying public safety overrides the issue of free speech. "

Scary stuff...


Blogger bulanjdjan said...

On the 'Howard banning immigrants with HIV' story, I heard an excellent retort on Radio National's PM program last night, where an academic who follows the epidemiology of HIV (serious omission of source here... sorry) reported that of the 70 HIV positive immigrants to Victoria in 2006 (the release of these figures gave rise to Howard's comments), 50 were from interstate (NOT OS!!), 11 were born in Australia or NZ and the majority of the remainder were from low-risk countries such as the UK.

And even *if* there were thousands of HIV positive people trying to get into Aus, their mere presence here would not equate to a rise in the number of infections occurring in Aus.

Though, Howard has never been known to let the truth get in the way of opportunities for political fear-mongering to support his own agenda.

11:39 am  

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