“George Brandis appoints IPA’s Tim Wilson to Human Rights Commission”
For those of you who don’t know who Tim Wilson is, here’s a quick summary from the IPA website.
Director of Climate Change Policy and the Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit
Tim Wilson has worked with the Institute of Public Affairs since 2007.
Tim also serves on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s IP industry consultative group as well
being a Senior Fellow at New York’s Center for
Medicine in the Public Interest.
He can be seen and heard being outspoken, challenging and thought provoking on 3AW, Sky News and the ABC and pens columns in the The Australian and Australian Financial Review.
And here’s some quotes from recent articles by Tim Wilson
From “Free speech does not discriminate”
“But the solution is more speech, not less. We should preserve the right to speak out, mock them and ridicule them for the stupidity of their comments or the hate in their heart. And that also applies for incorrect statements. Free speech isn’t limited to factual accuracy. If it were, we’d never have a contest of ideas where ideas are proposed, exposed and corrected. The argument behind 18C is to afford some people higher legal standing than others for factors outside their control. It’s the antithesis of equality before the law.”
(Word Cloud of this Article)
From “Paternalism An Unhealthy Threat To Freedom”
“But public policy is not driven by evidence, it is informed by evidence. Public policy is driven by the political values of those elected to govern. Those values determine what issues the government believes needs to be tackled, how they then approach it, how they weigh evidence, and the policy solutions ultimately proposed.
An “evidence-based approach” amounts to discarding the choice of democracy for government by technocratic bureaucracy, particularly when much of the evidence is financed by government to justify their decisions.”
Now, the IPA you may recall frequently endorses free speech, while calling for the ABC to be privatised. The ABC, it seems, is biased. And while as Tim says, free speech doesn’t have to include “factual accuracy” apparently “bias” is a no-no.
Early in John Howard’s reign, there was an interesting article in the Australia Financial Review. (Chomsky is right – if you want to know what’s really going on read the Business Section) It basically suggested that Howard’s aim was to set things up so that future Liberal governments would have less trouble. This meant removing various “watchdogs” or, if removing them was constitutionally or politically impossible, then appoint as many sympathetic people as possible.
Perhaps this explains the reluctance to do anything to help Holden and the PM’s recent insistence that there’s no more money for Toyota. If we just get rid of unions then we’ll be able to knock off a few more watchdogs like Fair Work Australia, and Labor will have less money. But surely that couldn’t be it, could it? Surely our PM couldn’t be hoping that unemployment goes through the roof so we have an excuse to introduce Workchoices and Gina can get her workers for the $2 a day she aspires to!
Ok, that may going too far. But it certainly explains reducing the advisory group on asylum seekers from twelve to one, the removal of the Climate Commission and one or two other things.
So, how does Brandis reconcile appointing Tim Wilson to the Human Rights Commission?
‘He was at the forefront in thwarting recent attempts to erode freedom of speech, freedom of the press and artistic freedom – rights and freedoms Australians have always held precious,” Senator Brandis said.
”The appointment of Mr Wilson to this important position will help to restore balance to the Australian Human Rights Commission which, during the period of the Labor government, had become increasingly narrow and selective in its view of human rights.”
Restore the balance? To human rights? Surely things that are “rights” are just that. Sure sometimes they have to be balanced against each other. How do you balance a gay person’s right to marry against someone who thinks this will destroy society? (Quite easily, i’d argue)
So, exactly what was “narrow” about the Labor Government’s view? I’d like that one drawn out.
PS And for those who think I’m quoting him out of context.