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  • Peter Francis Fenwick

It’s a sad society that bans jokes

Why is the Human Rights Commission not defending Bill Leak’s right to free speech? Does the government wish to ban jokes? Is satire no longer acceptable?

Why is the Human Rights Commission not defending the QUT students’ right to criticize authority? Does the government wish its Universities to dissuade dissent and to stifle debate?

Why are Human Rights Commissioners encouraged to tout for business? Does the government wish to ignore the conflict of interest that this creates?

Why is the head of the Human Rights Commission allowed to lie to senate committees? Does the government grant itself and its institutions special immunities? Does it hold them to lesser standards?

Through its laws, its delegations, and the people it appoints to positions of authority, the government is responsible for its institutions. The government is responsible for the Human Rights Commission.

It is time for the government to act before it becomes the joke.

[For more on this theme, see the excellent article in The Australian, 25th October, 2016 by Ramesh Thakur, professor at the Australian National University's Crawford School of Public Policy.

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