Archive for August 6th, 2012

Twitter Updates for 2012-08-06

  • Departing for Sydney! #
  • A sure fire sign you're in Sydney. Some guy waving a "$29 cheap parking" sign nearly hits you in the head with it and doesn't notice. #
  • I've finally figured out where I need to be in Sydney. Now to fill time by figuring out if @glennwheeler is in Martin Place today. #
  • An extract of the speech which Tony Abbott will deliver in about an hour #
  • The only Kerr that springs to mind is 2UE's John. I hope it's not. RT @theheraldsun: Kerr nude shots leak onto the web #
  • I might be wrong, but I think former radio host Michael Smith is two rows in front of me. #
  • There's a good turnout to see @TonyAbbottMHR, and plenty of media too, which is impressive considering so much of our press is in London. #
  • Hooray for sanity! RT @PRIME7CanNews: The ACT Opposition says they'll scrap the plastic bag ban.. if elected in October. #prime7news #
  • Could this mean Palin is VP candidate? RT @toddstarnes: RNC speakers: Haley, Huckabee, Kasich, Martinez, Scott, Rice, McCain. No Palin. #
  • To whomever it was that called me from a blocked number a few minutes ago. Please try again as I received no audio. #
  • @STU_GBP or someone who looks just like him is sitting a few metres from me. Alas, as I'm in Sydney, I suspect the latter. #
  • Why is Colin Lane's cooking game show called "Ready Steady Cook"? I'd go with "Colinary Cuisine" or "Cooking In The Fast Lane". #
  • @therealsteavis Good luck! I'd offer you a lift but I'm in the CBD and my knowledge of Sydney is tenuous at best…just like some cabbies… in reply to therealsteavis #
  • @therealsteavis haha, now that's what I call looking at the bright side of things 🙂 in reply to therealsteavis #
  • 7 vehicle accident Hume Hwy southbound at Narellan Rd. Very heavy delays. The traffic really hates me this week. #
  • Back home, at last. I haven't slept for 30 hours so it's probably a good time for a nap. #

4 comments August 6th, 2012 at 09:00pm

Tony Abbott vows to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

Tony Abbott delivered a rousing and encouraging speech on the subject of freedom of speech today. He made a number of important points, but in my view the most important thing he said is that he will repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, if elected as Prime Minister. Section 18C is, of course, the section which Andrew Bolt was deemed to have breached for daring to suggest that some people with tenuous links to Aboriginal heritage might not really be entitled to claim governments benefits afforded to Aboriginal people.

Tony Abbott addressing the Institute of Public Affairs today

The Coalition will repeal section 18C in its present form.
Expression or advocacy should never be unlawful merely because it is offensive. It ought to be inconceivable that a commentator offering an opinion should fall foul of the law just because offence was taken or might be expected to be taken. This is not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with Bolt. It’s a matter of an expansive or a repressive view of the right to free speech.

–Tony Abbott

An edited, but lengthy, extract from Tony Abbott’s speech was published in The Australian this morning, and can be read online on The Australian’s website (subscription required, and personally recommended by me).

As I write this, I see that the full speech has appeared on Tony Abbott’s website at

If you have the time to spare, I would strongly suggest reading it as it outlines why Tony Abbott believes in, and will defend, freedom of speech.

Now, to be clear, I would go further than Mr. Abbott insofar as I would push for a level of freedom of speech akin to that bestowed upon Americans by the United States of America’s constitution, but I applaud Tony Abbott for taking significant steps in the right direction.

On a personal note, it was a great pleasure to meet exiled radio broadcaster Michael Smith. We had a brief exchange, but I made my support for his plight quite clear, and he assured me that he will return to the airwaves eventually. The sooner the better in my view.

It was also wonderful to briefly greet both Tony Abbott and Phillip Ruddock. It is not the first time I have met either of them as I met Tony Abbott at the Convoy Of No Confidence rally against the Gillard government’s appalling carbon dioxide tax, and met Phillip Ruddock at his brief media interview for the swearing in of Justice Susan Kiefel to the High Court. Even so, it was wonderful to share a moment with them again.

Samuel with Tony Abbott

Samuel with Phillip Ruddock

Thanks must go to the wonderful people at the Institute Of Public Affairs for providing the forum and support for this wonderful event (and yes, I am aware that as a member of the IPA I am, in effect, thanking myself to a small extent…but really this is aimed at the staff) and also the staff of the Amora Jamison Hotel for setting up the venue and being so welcoming…and for the lovely coffee!

Freedom of speech is in trouble in this country, so it is good to know that those of us who believe in it are not alone in our beliefs, and we have the backing of some people in or near positions which can make a significant difference.

Update Thursday August 9: Video of the full speech is now available. Tony Abbott starts speaking at the seven minute mark.

End Update


2 comments August 6th, 2012 at 01:06pm

Glenn Wheeler

In case you don’t already know, I’m up in Sydney today to see Tony Abbott deliver an address to the Institute of Public Affairs on the topic of freedom of speech. I’m led to believe he has an announcement to make.

As I have a bit of time while I’m up here, I decided to drop by the Seven Network studios at Martin Place and do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time…say hello to Glenn Wheeler in person as it has been far too long since I last did that.

Glenn was kind enough to spare a moment of his busy schedule…so I’m pleased to be able to present the one, the only, the great, and the incredibly psychic (or psycho, depending on which promo you listen to) (drum roll….) Glenn Wheeler! (I couldn’t afford his studio audience, so you’ll just have to imagine the applause).


Thanks Glenn! Good to see you again.


August 6th, 2012 at 09:17am


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