Andrew Bolt ... Free speech goes down.

We can't say anything that upsets anyone now?

Well, we can only hope that this latest injustice will act as a stimulus for Australians to get their own 'Freedom of Speech' legislation passed, can't we.

Oops, I hope I didn't upset anyone by saying that! ;)
 
We can't say anything that upsets anyone now?


Not surprisingly, the most gay and left wing judge of all, former Justice Michael Kirby jumped right into the fray supporting the decision.


Did anyone honestly expect any of these Federal Court or High Court judges to ever agree with Andrew Bolt's view on anything.


If you speak up at all, they've set the legal system up themselves to gag anything they don't like.


Fear of litigation - it pervades all of society - even this forum is crippled by it.
 
One thing I thought was a bit funny. Geoff Clark is whiter than me, and theres nothing wrong with that of course, but it looked like he'd put some colouring on his face to make it darker on the news I saw.


See ya's.
 
You're not expecting this forum to have free speech, why should you have it out in public?
I for one am glad that we don't have free speech in Australia. It leads to legalised hate speech in the US as well as protecting propaganda.
To me Bolt is certainly no messiah, but an opinionated **** (censored).
 
To me Bolt is certainly no messiah, but an opinionated **** (censored).
And I think you're wrong. Critics are absolutely essential to our system and no area deserves more scrutiny than aboriginal quangos. They waste enormous amounts of money. The HSU would blush at the waste in their housing and medical institutions.
 
This decision will be appealed and be tested in the High Court imo. For the matters being discussed, that will be a good thing, irrespective of your view in this case

However, my only comment about his articles written in 2009, to simply reduce the issue of Aboriginal identity to skin colour is overly simplistic and symptomatic of some parts of the media to reduce complex matters to nice, easy, bite size opinions.

Anyway for those who want to read the judgement it is here.

For those, bemoaning and accusing the judges of a certain agenda, the relevant amendments to this legislation which are relevant was introduced in 1995 by the Federal Parliament. The courts are simply interpreting those provisions.
 
Last edited:
We can't say anything that upsets anyone now?

Well, we can only hope that this latest injustice will act as a stimulus for Australians to get their own 'Freedom of Speech' legislation passed, can't we.

Where does it stop though? What if he (or someone else) used a racial slur in their article? Or perpetuated lies?

Free speech legislation in the US allows hate groups to get away with all sorts of horrible actions against other groups. Like the group of 'Christians' who picket the funerals of gays, with anti gay banners and slurs.

Free speech in Australia doesn't mean freedom from consequences. I'm sure if someone slandered Bolt, he would take the offender to court, as would be his right. He wouldn't be the great defender of free speech then.
 
AB may have lost the case, but I think this Behrendt has lost a hell of a lot of credibility. She can be ever so precious about comments about herself, yet dishes out whatever highly offensive comments she likes.
 
We can have all the free speech we like. But thats not the same as defaming, hating, vilification etc....anyone for any reason in the free media.

The article(s) were nasty, mean and downright hostile.

I'm sure the right wing whingers on here would be the first to sue if they were defamed in the media.

Here's the facts and this is why they lost the case:

Bolt was wrong. Spectacularly wrong. In two famous columns in 2009 he took a swipe at "political" or "professional" or "official" Aborigines who could pass for white but chose to identify as black for personal or political gain, to win prizes and places reserved for real, black Aborigines and to borrow "other people's glories".

But Bolt's lawyers had to concede even before this case began in the Federal Court that nine of these named "white Aborigines" had identified as black from childhood. All nine came to court to say they didn't choose this down the track but were raised as Aborigines. Their evidence was not contested by Bolt or his paper.



Among the problems here are that Behrendt's father was a black Australian, not a white German. And like all the others, Behrendt was raised black. Judge Bromberg wrote: "She denies Mr Bolt's suggestion that she chose to be Aboriginal and says that she never had a choice, she has always been Aboriginal and has 'identified as Aboriginal since before I can remember'." Bolt didn't contest her evidence.



http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/polit...lt-trifled-with-the-facts-20110928-1kxba.html

Bolt admits he didnt interview any of the nine, his research was limited to Goggle. :rolleyes: He is a complete shock jock loser. Nothing else.

As an edit, from the Daily Tele: Th e following is a quote from the judge which encapsulates the judgement. He says we can debate race all we like as long as its done in good faith and fair comment. Not nasty, mean, vilification as Bolt specialises in.

Justice Bromberg said his judgment did not ban debate on racial identity issues if it was done "reasonably and in good faith in the making or publishing of a fair comment". "Nothing in the orders I make should suggest that it is unlawful for a publication to deal with racial identification, including by challenging the genuineness of the identification of a group of people," he said.

AND:

Justice Bromberg said the articles contained "errors in fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language", which voided the freedom of expression exemption in the racial discrimination laws.
 
Last edited:

Sim

Administrator
Fear of litigation - it pervades all of society - even this forum is crippled by it.

It's not so much the fear of litigation - it's that we really can't be bothered to have to defend ourselves over something that someone else says on a discussion forum. Forum posts are, after all, not that important in the grand scheme of things - I'd rather spend my time (and money!) on something more constructive.

We are quite happy for other people to go and say what they like about whomever they like in their own backyards, but by posting it in ours, unfortunately (as publishers), we get dragged into any legal stoush - and we have very little interest in fighting other people's battles for them.

Our caution is about pragmatism really.

We do regularly tell people who threaten us with legal action (politely) where they can stick their threats (if we think they are baseless) ... but we also regularly remove content which we agree steps over the line, especially where it breaks our own rules. It's all swings and roundabouts.
 
Bolt was wrong. Spectacularly wrong. In two famous columns in 2009 he took a swipe at "political" or "professional" or "official" Aborigines who could pass for white but chose to identify as black for personal or political gain, to win prizes and places reserved for real, black Aborigines and to borrow "other people's glories".

But Bolt's lawyers had to concede even before this case began in the Federal Court that nine of these named "white Aborigines" had identified as black from childhood. All nine came to court to say they didn't choose this down the track but were raised as Aborigines. Their evidence was not contested by Bolt or his paper.



Among the problems here are that Behrendt's father was a black Australian, not a white German. And like all the others, Behrendt was raised black. Judge Bromberg wrote: "She denies Mr Bolt's suggestion that she chose to be Aboriginal and says that she never had a choice, she has always been Aboriginal and has 'identified as Aboriginal since before I can remember'." Bolt didn't contest her evidence.



That's exactly right. The 'freedom of speech' argument is a smokescreen by Bolt and his employer, to try and avoid the fact that Bolt's article was grossly factually incorrect.

If his employer had any cojones, they would admonish him for his slack journalism.
 
I am 1/8 Danish, but I don't think of myself as a Dane.
So I obviously think Bolt is correct.

If someone is <50% Aboriginal, and was not raised primarily with Aboriginal customs, then one's motive for identifying oneself as 'primarily' Aboriginal is ambiguous, at best.
 
All 9 said they were raised as aborigines from childhood. Bolt and his paper did not challenge this.

Just because you're 1/8 danish, Bolt is correct. Riiiiiigghht!!!

I am 1/8 Danish, but I don't think of myself as a Dane.
So I obviously think Bolt is correct.

If someone is <50% Aboriginal, and was not raised primarily with Aboriginal customs, then one's motive for identifying oneself as 'primarily' Aboriginal is ambiguous, at best.
 
All 9 said they were raised as aborigines from childhood. Bolt and his paper did not challenge this.

Just because you're 1/8 danish, Bolt is correct. Riiiiiigghht!!!


Thats funny. Raised as aborigines for 95% of aborigines, and 100% of white skinned aborigines means that you are raised living in a house, going to school, eating meat and milk and veges bought from a shop, driving a car, playing sport, etc etc.

How is it any different from being raised as anyone non aborigine?


See ya's.
 
In the ATSIC days they needed aboriginal commissioners from Tasmania. None of them were black, to the best of my knowledge they had not been raised as aborigines (are there any aborigine "settlements" in Tas?) and they had to invent their tenuous links. Why not? The pay and perks were considerable.

So there ARE "white" aborigines out there on the gravy train. Bolt seems to have been careless in choosing his target.
 
I think they were referring to their culture. I'm sure they don't eat grubs and go spear hunting for Wallabies in the neighborhood.

Thats funny. Raised as aborigines for 95% of aborigines, and 100% of white skinned aborigines means that you are raised living in a house, going to school, eating meat and milk and veges bought from a shop, driving a car, playing sport, etc etc.

How is it any different from being raised as anyone non aborigine?


See ya's.
 
If someone is <50% Aboriginal, and was not raised primarily with Aboriginal customs, then one's motive for identifying oneself as 'primarily' Aboriginal is ambiguous, at best.

That's fair enough. Problem is, Bolt got his facts wrong. Of the 9 who testified, all said they WERE raised as Aboriginal from childhood. One pointed out by Bolt as having a German father, in fact had an Aboriginal father.
 
But if you're "nearly white" and raised in a middle class white suburban household you can still claim to be black. Someone named Yvonne springs to mind. After she became a world famous millionaire she remembered she was a "stolen child".

I think her life was better than the alternative. Half whites were routinely neglected and died in the hard times.
 
Top