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Wednesday 26 April 2017

Opinion

Petition In Support Of Bill Leak - In Response To A Petition Condemning Bill Leak

Paul Zanetti Sunday 6 November 2016




A group of elitist academics and media activists opposed to freedom of opinion have signed a petition calling for The Australian to apologise for publishing the now very famous Bill Leak cartoon shining a light on the tragedy of remote indigenous children.

So incredibly stupid on so many levels, not least their howls to deny a cartoonist the right to practice his trade in a free exchange of words and artistic creations upon which they themselves rely. Speech is only free if you agree with them.

Similar howls and petitions have called for Leak to be sacked, shut down, shunned and condemned. None of the condemnations explain how or why Leak’s cartoon is wrong. Impossible, because the cartoon is spot on.

Instead, the lynch mob shouts ‘racist’. There is no attempt to engage in any intelligent counter argument, just a shut down of all discussion or opinions of a serious national issue - the endemic abuse of kids in remote communities.

At a guess, the racism seems to be in how Leak had drawn one of the aborigines, a deadbeat dad (cartoon above) while ignoring the aboriginal policeman, a figure of authority and responsibility.

Isn’t it racist to not believe that an aborigine could be a responsible person, too?  A truth that the perennially offended conveniently ignore.

Productivity Commission reports on Indigenous Disadvantage over a decade highlight alarming statistics showing aboriginal kids are as high as 11 times more likely to be physically and sexually abused compared to non-indigenous kids. That abuse primarily comes from family members, usually the male. Leak's depiction of family dysfunction was quite tame, given what we know.

For his truth telling, Leak is now dragged in front of a government body, the Australian Human Rights Commission, via the now contentious Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to explain himself.

The complainant, a pale-skinned female by the name of Melissa Dinnison, claims the cartoon has caused her ‘race hatred’.

It will be interesting to watch Ms Dinnison explain how she identifies not with the responsible character in the cartoon, but rather the dark-skinned, drunken male.

Dinnison's complaint was submitted the day the cartoon was published on 4 August but held for 2 months by the AHRC.

Leak has been given just 2 weeks by the Australian Human Rights Commission to justify the cartoon.

To add to this comical farce, last week the AHRC notified The Australian and Leak, two more complaints have been received.

The recent applicants, two Kimberley aboriginal males, admit they were visited by a couple of white lawyers from the WA Aboriginal Legal Service who asked them to sign complaint forms. Neither of these official complainants initiated the cartoon complaint nor sought money, but the white lawyers have decided to include a financial claim (shakedown) as part of the complaint.

Easy money if you can get it, except the men who signed the complaint still say they don't want money. The lawyers couldn't even get the complaint right, stating one of the men is a father of five. He has no kids.

One of the men was not even aware a complaint had been lodged in his name, let alone a claim for financial compensation, until a newspaper reporter told him.

Which brings us to the last high profile shakedown attempt, thrown out of court last Friday after Queensland University of Technology staffer, Cindy Prior, lodged a complaint and a financial civil compo claim of $250,000 against 3 students who walked into an indigenous-only computer room, only to be told to get out because they weren’t aboriginal.

One of the students posted on Facebook, “Just got kicked out of the unsigned Indigenous computer room. QUT stopping segregation with segregation?".

That spawned a few harmless online replies, such as one asking where the white supremacist computer room was.

The Federal Circuit Court judge threw the claim out on the grounds Ms Prior was not targeted or named, the QUT was, and the comments were not intended to be racially malicious.

But anybody could see that. 

Ms Prior now faces costs in the six figure zone for the students’ legal fees. Although their lawyers acted pro bono, a win ensures their lawyers are awarded their fees.

After the hearing, Tony Morris QC acting for the students, lashed out at the Australian Human Rights Commission, singling out Commissioner Gillian Triggs, rightly noting the students lives were ruined since the claim was lodged three years ago, as well as the applicant’s life who the AHRC allowed to believe her claim had a chance of getting up, when in fact it had none.

Morris points out that the AHRC could have stopped the frivolous case from proceeding by advising Ms Prior her case was hopeless.

After the all-too-easy online complaint lodgement gets through to the AHRC, mediation is attempted between the two parties.

The law allows the applicant to ask for whatever they want, to assuage their ‘hurt feelings’.

If the applicant wants a house and the target of the complaint can’t or  won’t deliver, the case gets flicked to the Federal Circuit Court where legal bills mount, and mount and mount over a period of months or years.

Anyone who has a Facebook or twitter account or a blog is vulnerable to this heinous, quick ’n’ easy online AHRC complaint form. 

To justify their overpaid publicly funded jobs, Human Rights Commissioners encourage, not discourage complaints.

The Bill Leak case is a glaring case in point.

This lethal cocktail of 18C mixed with the AHRC online complaint form is a ticking bomb for anyone who thinks, or writes or has an opinion on social media, or draws or creates anything that may hurt feelings.

All Australians are at risk.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act reads:

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 - SECT 18C
Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin
             (1)  It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
                     (a)  the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and
                     (b)  the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

The following Section of the Act, 18D, has an exemption which, in Leak’s case exempts him from 18C.

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 - SECT 18D
Exemptions
                   Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:
                     (a)  in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or
                     (b)  in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or
                     (c)  in making or publishing:
                              (i)  a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or
                             (ii)  a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.

Leak says he won't explain himself to the Commission, wondering why the AHRC is investigating him, but not the human rights abuse of indigenous kids.

In this case, one of the Commissioners, the Racial Discrimination Commissioner, Thinethavone Soutphommasane touted for complaints on social media the day the cartoon was published.

The answer to why he would do so, of course, is that Bill Leak is a high profile trophy for the Commission.

Leak’s hard hitting, biting cartoons prick the silliness of political correctness; a thorn in the side of wannabe social engineers, leftist social commentators, writers, academics, columnists and political philosophers.

A quick check of Thinethavone Soutphommasane Wikipedia entry describes him as an Australian academic, political philosopher, social commentator, writer, and columnist.

He has also been a member of the Labor Party since the age of 15 and has worked for NSW Labor Premier, Bob Carr, and as a researcher for Labor PM Kevin Rudd.  

You can see why
Soutphommasane wants the free thinking libertarian cartoonist Bill Leak’s head on a platter, courtesy of the hard-earned taxpayer's dollar. A personal agenda that costs Soutphommasane nothing.

Leak’s cartoon ticks all the 18C exemptions allowed under 18D. The cartoon is an artistic work done reasonably in good faith, in the public interest, is a fair and accurate report of a mater of public interest and is a genuine and fair comment as an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.

Still, knowing that, the Racial Discrimination Commissioner publicly solicited for complaints and the AHRC should have, but has not, stopped the complaint at the first hurdle.

The idea is to punish Leak via the process of the complaint, to make him publicly explain himself.

If I know Bill, he’s more likely to go to the Commission in 2 weeks with an oversized single digit fingered glove on his drawing hand and a F*ck U t-shirt, all in the name of free speech, of course.

Note, Bill. A legal judgement just 2 weeks ago found the 'F-word' is not offensive.

It’s too easy to lodge a complaint against an individual and make someone’s life a financial and legal living hell.

Anybody can google 'Human Rights Commission complaint form' on their phone, then fill it out while sitting on a bus, at the pub, between ads on the telly, or on holiday in Germany where complainant Melissa Dinnison happens to be.

The form is a short list of quick and easy tick-able boxes and a few very simple questions to fill, such as ‘How do you think the complaint could be resolved?’ to which Ms Dinnison answered ‘yes’, which shows how much of her mind she  actually applied to the application.

It takes just a few minutes to lodge a clickable online complaint to destroy someone's life and reputation.

There’s no penalty for frivolous or vexatious complaints, unless as Ms Cindy Prior discovered at the end of the process, you get hit with a lifetime’s worth of legal bills when your obviously frivolous claim fails (thanks to the incompetent AHRC).

Why isn’t the AHRC policing these ambit claims? Why indeed are they encouraging, or worse, soliciting for them, as the Racial Discrimination Commissioner, Thinethavone Soutphommasane did, resulting in an online complaint that day, and more since?

There are simply no checks and balances in this flawed process. It’s all upside for overpaid Human Rights Commissioners and all downside for unlucky flies caught in their nasty spider web.

Even nasty spiders have their admirers, and in this case its a group of largely unknown academics and media undergraduates determined to reign in one of our greatest ever cartoonists, not unlike the wowsers did in Norman Lindsay's day. I don't like what you drew so I'll fight to the death to ensure you never draw again.  

The campaign to condemn Leak commenced on 9 August, 2016, five days after the cartoon was published. Since then, their campaign of signatories has gathered just 231 signatures of unrepresentative free speech opponents.

The hoi polloi don’t appear to have been invited. 

So I started a petition for other Australians to have their say. I reckon we can get 10 times more signatures in less than a week.

You can click on the link to sign.

We Support Bill Leak and all Freedom Of Thought, Opinion and Speech

We are everyday Australians from all walks of life in every Australian community.

We are tradespeople, blue collar workers, office workers, shop assistants, cartoonists, community volunteers, life savers, fire fighters, charity workers, sales people, IT workers, accountants, writers, students, journalists, photographers, retirees, teachers and educators, nurses, doctors, shop assistants, transport workers, hospitality workers, artists, carers...we are everybody.

We, the majority of Australians, support Bill Leak's right to honestly, accurately and fairly depict issues of national importance.

Simultaneously, we condemn a recent petition by a minority of extreme, elitist professional activists from academia and media, who have condemned The Australian's publication of Bill Leak's courageous cartoon highlighting the plight of indigenous Australian children in remote communities.

These misguided self-appointed moralists do not speak for us nor do they represent the view of the overwhelming majority of Australians.

Click here -> https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/we-support-bill-leak-and-all-freedom-of-thought-opinion-and-speech.html