Freedom of speech is fine … as long as you don’t do it in public

Andrew Guild exposes how the so-called “Human Rights” industry has yet again attacked the right of Australians to have freedom of speech, by using misguided government legislation, and aided by a legal system that refuses to allow people the right to a trial by jury.

Yet another so-called “Human Rights” organisation has struck again, attacking the rights of Australians to express their opinion.

As freedom of speech is the foundation stone of Australia’s democracy, this is a direct attack upon our democratic way of life, something that is becoming all too common in countries under the rule of “politically correct” regimes.

Ron Owen, victim of Political Correctness

Ron Owen, a former (now retired) councilor in the Cooloola Shire (now the Gympie Regional Council) in Queensland, has been accused of having a vehicle with an anti-homosexual sticker on its bumper bar.

The bumper sticker in question said “Gay rights? Under God’s law the only “rights” gays have is the right to die (Lev. 20:13)”, based upon an Old Testament passage from the Bible which states:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus, chapter 20, verse 13).

Some lesbians took a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, claiming that they were “offended” by the sticker, although only one of them had actually seen it – despite which, two of the lesbians were awarded $5000 by the tribunal, and a third lesbian was awarded $2500.

It was also ruled that Mr. Owen should take out an advertisement in the Gympie Times newspaper acknowledging that he caused “offence”, which in itself is equivalent to imposing a further fine of several thousand dollars.

According to Mr. Owen, he did not own the vehicle, did not drive the vehicle, and was not even a passenger in the vehicle (he traveled to the council offices in a different vehicle on the day of the so-called “offence”) and, at that point in time, had not even been driving for six months due to a medical incapacity. The vehicle with the sticker on it was one that merely looked like a vehicle used by Mr. Owen.

Mr. Owen has appealed the decision, taking it to the Supreme Court. At the time of writing, the case is yet to be heard.

It should be noted that the case heard before the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal was not actually held before a tribunal (a panel of three judges), but was heard only by one tribunal member, one Darryl Rangiah, who has never been a judge in a proper court of law.

Mr Rangiah is a lawyer of Asian heritage who was previously in the public eye for representing the Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef (detained on suspicion of terror-related activities, but released), Labor Party politician Steve Kilburn (defending his election from a legal challenge), and the Al-Saadi family (refugees from Iraq who are suing the Australian government for injuries received in their home country).

Interviewed for this article, Ron Owen made several complaints against Rangiah and the sub-standard way that the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal operated: that Rangiah accepted a newspaper report as evidence that Mr. Owen had use of the vehicle (that is, there were no actual eyewitnesses to substantiate such a charge), and that the ADT did not have rules of discovery like a proper court – so an accused could have no way of knowing what accusations would be made against him (which means that an accused cannot bring along documentation in order to reply to unforeseen claims being made against him, unlike in a proper court).

Ron Owen stated that “They want to have a one-sided debate, to only have comments from their side – and they have the law enforcing that”.

Mr. Owen says that the “offended” lesbians took him to the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal three times; when their complaint failed the first time because they had their facts wrong, (claiming he said certain things in council, which was proven wrong), they complained a second time which failed (because this complaint was put in by them as a group but was thrown out because their organization was not formed until after the event), and so they laid a third complaint, which worked in having the ADT rule in their favour.

So apparently activists can take cases to government “anti-discrimination” bodies and lay charges against unsuspecting Australians as many times as they like. Such a tactic is against the basic notions of justice and is more like something to be expected whilst living under a totalitarian regime.

Ron Owen has made the point that, unlike proper judges, the people that run the “anti-discrimination” bodies are not permanent but only temporary political appointments made by Cabinet, who can dispense with their services when they decide. Unlike judges with security of tenure, concerns can be readily raised as to whether there may be political pressures brought to bear upon appointees to anti-discrimination bodies.

It is a reasonable inference to draw from the ideological basis underlying the “human rights” industry that its adjudicators are likely to be biased against the traditional views of ordinary Australians, especially considering that most of the people employed there are multiculturalists, migrants and leftists.

Therefore it is a major concern that the Multiculturalism Laws give such people direct power over their ideological opponents, in a situation where they are clearly unlikely to be neutral, raising a reasonable expectation that traditional Australians will acted against in a biased manner.

Mr. Owen said that “Government power is increasing all the time over the individual, we will have a different country living in to what we expected. If people can’t speak out, then the government can cover anything up. People are becoming too scared to say or do anything.”

The ruling of Darryl Rangiah for the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal is that Mr. Owen should be fined because it was determined (with little or no evidence) that he was a passenger in the vehicle which carried the sticker.

Putting aside that in this particular case Mr. Owen had never used the vehicle, this means that anyone is legally liable for any signage on any vehicle in which they are a passenger.

So, under a Politically Correct regime, if a citizen gets a lift in a car from someone who has a sticker or sign on it that someone from a “politically protected minority” finds “offensive”, that passenger can be taken to court, without a jury being present, and be fined tens of thousands of dollars.

If this story was in a novel, it would be laughed at for being so ridiculously improbable, yet this is an actual legal ruling in modern Australia, under the new world order of political correctness.

It is obvious that, with the advent of the “human rights industry”, the taint of communist-style laws and kangaroo courts has permeated our land and assaulted our democratic traditions.

Political laws against free speech

“Anti Discrimination” laws were originally introduced with communist rule in the Soviet Union. This distasteful origin is compounded by the fact that so-called “human rights” and “anti-discrimination” bodies are actually organisations full of government-paid activists who are pushing a left-wing social agenda.

The ordering of “public self-criticism” is a feature of how communist parties operate; therefore it is not surprising to see this tactic being used as a standard punishment in the rulings of “human rights” judgments, where they rule – in true communist style – that “offenders” must pay for newspaper advertisements to publicly acknowledge their “guilt”. [See “Quotes of note — forced self-criticism” in this issue.]

The view expressed on the sticker may be viewed as distasteful by some people – but that is what freedom of speech is all about, the ability to express opinions even if they are opposed by others. Unlike some other bumper stickers, this one does not contain swear words – this sticker was deemed effectively illegal because it offended the sensibilities of the establishment’s culture of political correctness.

Bumper stickers

Many people in society are able to be offended by various bumper stickers (some of which have sexual references), especially people who are socially conservative or even prudish. However, these people are not given a government tribunal to complain to if they see a sticker that offends them. Why not? Because they are not part of a leftist social agenda.

There are people in society who are vilified or discriminated against because they are short, tall, blonde, red-headed, fat, skinny, bald, long-haired, bearded, or mothers-in-law, amongst other things.

However, these people do not get access to government-funded legal bodies like homosexuals, Muslims and various racial minorities do. Why not? Because they are not a “politically protected species” – they are not part of a leftist social agenda.

No jury trials

A major factor in these “anti-discrimination” cases is that they are conducted without a jury being present. Juries are the cornerstone of a fair and equitable legal system, and thus form an integral part of a proper democracy, yet they are barred from Multiculturalist political trials being held in these “anti-discrimination” star chambers.

Under Multiculturalist regimes, such as in Australia, a new class of laws has been made up, to enforce a culture of fear upon the common people of publicly speaking their mind against aspects of Multiculturalism and Third World immigration and the resulting street-level realities and social problems caused by them. These laws are used to bully ordinary Australians into silence and to delegitimise views of traditional Australian society.

A spin-off of these Multiculturalism Laws has been to include other leftist causes within their scope. However, as the common people do not share the political ideology of the Multiculturalist regime, juries are excluded from these “anti-discrimination” political trials as they would be likely to recognize the anti-Australian nature of the trials and thus acquit the poor victims of Multiculturalist persecution.

Whilst the lack of juries is a problem in everyday court cases (in New South Wales, less than 0.5% of criminal proceedings involve a jury), it is especially problematic when it comes to politically-motivated prosecutions, where people are prosecuted under the new breed of Multiculturalism Laws.

The use of “anti-discrimination” bodies to enforce political ideology (in this case, Political Correctness) is a totalitarian nightmare that could just as easily have come out of a George Orwell novel.

The advocates of Political Correctness write their own laws to suit themselves, enforce those laws in their own manner, and then pass judgment according to those laws. At least one so-called “human rights” body has described itself as a “law enforcement agency”, heralding an ominous anti-democratic trend in Australia.

Politically Correct fascism has little regard for democracy, free speech, and the traditions of Western justice. The advent of Political Correctness is part of the decline of Western Civilisation and is assisting in the destruction of a way of life that our forebears took centuries to build.

The fact is that so-called “anti-discrimination” laws are bogus political laws designed to impose the rule of a “do-gooder” ideology over traditional Australian society and to victimise any Australians who voice “politically incorrect” opinions or who speak out against the problems caused by Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, and the Cultural War being waged against traditional values.

The case of Ron Owen demonstrates that Australia needs to enable a wider right to jury trials for all citizens and to properly enshrine freedom of speech into our nation’s Constitution.

To send a message of support to Ron Owen, or to offer assistance, he can be contacted at P.O. Box 872, Gympie, Qld. 4570 or by phone (work hours) on (07) 5482-4099 or (07) 5482-5070.

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