Christchurch, Anning and the Egg-boy

By March 19, 2019Other

When I learned of the massacre at Christchurch, a city of which I am fond, I had an immediate sick feeling. Somehow I had expected something like this for a long time — a sort of retaliation for the senseless ISIS bombings in Europe and Bali. Sooner or later it was going to happen. Then came a second even sicker feeling when I learned that the perpetrator was an Australian. That’s all we need. There will be a response before long, and probably in our country. I’m not sure that I can be usefully alert; I am certainly alarmed.

I guess that there would have been hundreds of thousands of Australians who felt as I did that morning. And with those feelings have come an additional feeling of helplessness: there’s nothing I can do, I am a pawn on somebody else’s chess board, what will happen next ? And so on. 

Enter Senator Fraser Anning, once a One Nation member before he was kicked out, then a member of Bob Katter’s group before he was kicked out, and now an Independent. He spoke about the Christchurch massacre in a way that seemed to have offended almost everybody, so it’s worth setting down what he actually said or wrote. While there is ample coverage of the reaction to Anning, it is hard to find out his exact words. I take it that the Sydney Morning Herald is accurate with its account. The first paragraph seems to have been an Annings tweet, while the rest is as the Herald set it out. I’ve separated it out into numbered paragraphs.

1. ‘”Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?”

2. “I wonder if there will be as much outrage from the left wing when the next Muslim terrorist attack occurs? Most likely silence and talk about lone wolf attacks, mental illness and no connection to Islam”, he added.

3. In a media release, he said, “whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence.”

4. “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”

Given the outrage that has followed these statements I must say I had expected something more striking. If there had been something of that kind I would have expected the paper to publish it. Let’s look at each of the paragraphs.

1. ‘The link between Muslim immigration and violence’ is not clear to me, and the Senator didn’t say what he thought the link actually was. I can’t see an obvious one.

2. ‘Outrage from the left wing’. Actually, the Coalition Prime Minister appeared as outraged as anyone on the left, I think. There is a tendency in the media and among commentators to diminish any link between ISIS violence and Islam. Though the Koran does have a few bloodthirsty passages in it, Australian and New Zealand Muslims seem intent on building a new life in our countries. And some at least of the ISIS attacks seem indeed to have been lone-wolf endeavours.

3. Here Senator Anning plainly condemns the attack in Christchurch, and says, correctly, I think, that there is a growing fear of the numbers and immigration of Muslims. I wish it weren’t so, but I think he’s right.

4. ‘The real cause’ of the massacre can’t be the immigration program in New Zealand, and there is no evidence that New Zealand harbours any Muslim fanatics. His assertion and argument to me are just plainly wrong.

What are to make of these four statements? I think that freedom of speech is the basic freedom that supports any democracy, and to me none of these numbered paragraphs is a plain threat to anyone, something that would bring in the law. So Senator Anning was entitled to say what he wrote, just as others were entitled to object to it. That he doesn’t seem either well-briefed or able to argue a case properly does not in any way make him unique in our Parliament. 

The collective fury against him seems to me a sign of ‘virtue signalling’, a sort of distancing between the objector and the Senator, understandable enough in the case of Australian parliamentarians, but the tone of the fury is surely rather over the top. Much nastier things have been said by MPs and Senators about each other and about members of the public and their organisations. What is special here is the sheer scale of the massacre, the fact that the villain is an Australian, and the felt need to show our sympathy to our New Zealand friends and relatives. Senator Anning was not joining in the common feeling, and was writing something that went against the common feeling. So he is to be ostracised in Parliament. I think he’ll just shrug. Enough of Senator Anning. Now to Egg-boy.

Once again, we are seeing virtue-signalling in the way this 17-year-old has been made a hero. What occurred was plainly an assault, and from behind, which makes it worse. The boy may have been unaware that any unexpected blow to the scalp or skull brings out an anger/fight response on the part of the victim, which should be familiar to anyone who has delivered the blow to himself or herself — in my recent case the sharp edge of an open cupboard door. 

Senator  Anning’s response was a swing at his attacker. The boy then struck back, and was wrestled to the ground by one man with the assistance of another, not ‘the 30 bogans’ the boy referred to in a later comment. In my view he should have been charged with assault. He appears not to have been. Why not? Ask yourself what you would feel like if someone did that to you. The fact that the boy was objecting to what Senator Anning had written, or perhaps just to the Senator himself, does not excuse his behaviour. 

The parents of the Grafton perpetrator went into seclusion, not even members of their close family allowed to speak to them on the telephone. My heart goes out to them. They will be asking themselves what they did wrong, yet the evidence so far is that he was ‘normal’ until his father died and he went overseas. I think that what has happened is even worse than to have to see your own child die. So far no one has unearthed a close confidant, though the police here and in New Zealand will do a good forensic job of exploring how, when and where he became ‘radicalised’. To repeat, someone was going to do this ‘payback’ massacre sooner or later. I just hope that we don’t experience copycat killings or more attacks on Christian churches, though I sometimes fear the worst.

To my New Zealand readers and friends, and I have quite a few, my deep sympathies are with you. The massacre has brought Australians and New Zealanders together in a positive way, and I hope that continues forever.

Join the discussion 70 Comments

  • Neville says:

    A good summary Don and the gunman should be given his day in court and hopefully given a life sentence, and with hard labour if I had my way.
    But what sort of person wants to provide a live video feed to the rest of the world in real time? My Mum used to say “what’s happening to the world” when she was exasperated with a sad news story on TV.
    I think she wouldn’t understand this shooting at all and would have shaken her head in disbelief. As many are doing now.
    Certainly we know most terrorists are Muslim and most terrorist acts still involve one Muslim sect against another. Let’s hope this will not lead to more copycat killing from another idiot or a revenge from some ISIS inspired fanatics.
    Let’s face it they have plenty supporters around the world.
    Senator Anning was not sympathetic enough in his response to this tragedy but his comments were not any worse than many comments over the years.
    I agree the egg boy should be charged, unless we want to send the message that it’s okay to physically attack members of parliament. Senator Anning was only trying to protect himself from a cowardly attack and his response was just an attempt to defend himself. No more than that and I would have done the same.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Thank you Don, you are such a breath of fresh air, notwithstanding the gravity of this event. You are truly an unbiased political and social commentator using your precious gift of free speech responsibly and bravely. I have my own thoughts about why this happened and they revolve around the insidious use of the term ‘hate speech’ which just about every politician is using in their response to this event. But you have not raised that term I your piece so I will not introduce it here and now. All I’ll say about that is that combatants, whether in uniform or not (eg saboteurs), do not hate each other, irrespective of the nature of the conflict. Just my own thoughts.

  • Ironically, Senator Anning may have a point. Perhaps NZ should reconsider letting those violent extremists from across the Tasman have free access to the country.

  • Doug Hurst says:

    Thanks Don – good to have you back. I too am concerned that so many see this as a chance to curtail public debate on the grounds – quite false in this case – that all the ‘hate’ speech on the web incites nut cases like this. In fact, if not for the current freedoms, we would not know that the killer got most of his motivation from Europe and the Middle East, none from Australia and he is very mixed up ideologically, claiming to be a white supremacist, a communist, anarchist and much more – when in fact, he is probably just a mentally disturbed nasty piece of work.

    The same applies to Fraser Anning, who neither endorsed or promoted violence, but demonstrated some very doubtful logic to explain what happened and what we should do in the future. Most will disagree with him, but at least we all know where he stands on key issues. As for ‘Egg Boy’, assault is assault and should be deal with as such.

    My other concern is for who does the judging of what is acceptable for distribution into the public domain and what isn’t? ‘Hate speech’ is not confined to any particular political affiliation and is often in the eye of the beholder – so who decides what is hateful and what isn’t. Except in cases urging criminal activity, especially violence – which are usually quite obvious – I think this is best left to the reader, not to some group of ‘thought police’.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Doug, I think it is far too easy to dismiss this as the work of a ‘nutjob’. A different, and quite thoughtful, analysis can be seen here.

      • Doug Hurst says:

        Bryan,

        She uses the term ‘existential angst’ to describe Tarrant’s state of mind. In other words, he is very angry at the world and like a rebellious teenager is looking for other people and things to blame instead of sorting himself out. Then he has let his mind-set get worst without applying any civilised checks to possible actions, which he obviously sees as including mass violence.

        I think that makes him a nut-job. Civilised, sane people don’t think and act like that. Australian society made no contribution to his twisted mind-set and should feel no guilt.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Yes, this is thoughtful, but I feel that I don’t know enough about the situation in the USA to be confident that she is right. And I hadn’t read the manifesto (indeed, I didn’t see a Google link to it when I was preparing the essay). And a lot of it is confused. I dunno.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          I don’t know either, but on one issue, she is absolutely correct. The predictable response of politicians and the media. Like Ardern donning a headscarf to speak to the families of the victims. That’s not a mark of respect, it’s showing solidarity with the Muslims.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Yes. Shouldn’t there be some reciprocity? If I’m in your country, it is respectful of me to observe some of your customs, and when you’re in mine you should the same. The head-scarf is fine if Muslim women will shake hands, which is our custom. But not one without the other.

          • JimboR says:

            Not one without the other? What happened to freedom?

            I reckon Adern should wear whatever headgear she wants to wear. And people should shake hands with whomever they want. Don, if you want to base your headgear choice on who’ll shake your hand, great, but why prescribe for others? Can’t they make their own choices? Given you’re unlikely to ever wear a headscarf, I’m assuming the “not one without the other” is a prescription for others rather than a summary of your own fashion rules.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Yes, the headscarf thing is odd.

            Wearing headscarfs for some is made compulsory in some regimes. Even if you want to exercise some “freedom” to go scarf-less – you cannot do this.

            Particular clothing can be a sign of savage oppression and denial of freedom across many cultures.

            I would not exercise my freedom to seek handshakes in Moslem countries because I seek to act morally. However I would encourage all Australian citizens to shake hands in Australia irrespective of other influences because we want an “united”, “fraternal” multicultural society.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            “I reckon Adern should wear whatever headgear she wants to wear“
            I agree, but the point is, she would not ordinarily wear a hijab. There was absolutely no need for a female Head of State to adopt a cultural practice of a minority group in order to be ‘respectful’, and she only did under this circumstance to convey a specific message, to a specific group.

          • JimboR says:

            Well for that matter, she didn’t even need to rock up; she could have stayed behind a podium in Wellington. She did (and wore) as she saw fit. Don’s suggestion that she shouldn’t have worn a headscarf without first checking if they’d shake her hand is absurd.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            You miss Don’s point. Muslim women will not shake hands with men. Since this is somewhat of a civilisational ritual in Australia and other Western countries, a refusal is at best a snub, at worst, an insult. We have to bend to their proprieties in their countries; why are they so resistant to conforming to ours?

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, I wasn’t prescribing for others, really, but expressing a point of view. As a V-C I had to welcome the first group of Bangladeshi students to our university, and moved to shake hands with the first student, a young woman. She moved away to avoid the hand, and said, ‘We do not shake hands with men.’ So I desisted, but the incident stayed in my mind. She was wearing a headscarf, which I had no objection to, but to refuse a handshake? She needed to understand our customs, just was we needed to understand hers. In Bangladesh I would not have moved to shake her hand, knowing that was not the custom, but in Australia, where it is a sign of friendly greeting? Hmm.

          • JimboR says:

            I’m struggling to see the significance of which country you happen to be standing in at the time. If a Muslim woman isn’t comfortable shaking hands with me, I’m fine with that whether I’m in Jakarta or Sydney.

            To quote all those freedom-of-speech warriors… offence is taken, not given. Her choosing not to shake my hand is an expression of her freedom of “speech” (or faith, or however you want to categorise it). I’m not the least bit offended by it, I accept it for what it is. I certainly don’t think her migrating to Australia should be conditional on her giving up her beliefs. It just seems so easy to accommodate it, why sweat such trivial things?

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Jimbo, you simply don’t understand. Civil society depends on civil interactions. A refusal to shake hands is rude. When it happened to me in Malaysia, as an invited guest, I was offended and embarrassed. All the usual excuses were paraded, but overall, they don’t want to interact with foreigners.

          • JimboR says:

            Offence is taken, not given, learn to live with it. Who knew I’d end up channeling David Leyonhjelm?

          • Chris Warren says:

            Bryan Roberts

            If you choose to travel to Malaysia – you should respect their social conventions.

            Your statement:

            “they don’t want to interact with foreigners.”

            is false.

          • Boambee John says:

            Chris

            If people choose to choose to travel to Australia, either to study or to live here – they should respect our social conventions?

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            “If you choose to travel to Malaysia – you should respect their social conventions” and if they choose to live here? We should obey their’s?

          • margaret says:

            Bryan, Don, and others who have commented on Blonde in the Belly of the Beast’s YouTube video – I watched about 1 minute of this but it’s 15 minutes long and I stopped as it hadn’t engaged me.
            I forgot the rule that a link should be accompanied by a comment otherwise it will go into moderation. Hopefully that link will appear shortly.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, you say ‘Don’s suggestion that she shouldn’t have worn a headscarf without first checking if they’d shake her hand is absurd.’ Well it would be if he’d suggested it! But of course he didn’t — he thought there ought to be some reciprocity in these gestures, that’s all. There are some who take these things more seriously than do others, while others don’t even seem to notice..

          • margaret says:

            Ardern wearing a headscarf was definitely a mark of respect. Had the NZ PM been a man he would not have had to consider this.
            Refusal to shake hands is different. It’s not respectful to expect a woman of Muslim faith to shake hands. Just as there are many cultural practices in parts of Asia that we ought to understand such as not touching the head which for us is inoffensive when we affectionately tousle the head of an Australian child. As a teacher who worked for a time with ESL children we were made aware of these differences.
            The wearing of cultural apparel as a mark of respect, and the invasion of personal space through handshake are completely different.

          • JimboR says:

            Well said Margaret. I think Don’s perspective on this is pretty warped, and backpedal as he may, he at least started with a rather strident “not one without the other”. I think it could be paraphrased as:

            I’ll approve of non-Muslim women wearing a headscarf if you let me invade your personal space.

            If I were a Muslim woman I think I’d respond…

            Thanks, but no thanks. I’d like to preserve my personal space, and I’d like to do that whether I’m in Jakarta or Sydney. And BTW, my non-Muslim sisters don’t need your approval to wear a headscarf, they can wear whatever they damn well please.

        • Peter Kemmis says:

          The video content is indeed thoughtful; I’ve summarised a number of points she makes, with particular focus on her suggestions for a way ahead. My comments are within brackets {}.

          Blonde speaks of:

          Predictable reactions– {yes; but they will not suddenly change.}

          Tarrant’s objective – to hasten a cultural collapse; {yes, but to what end? And with what consequences? I don’t get the impression that Tarrant’s manifesto deals with these questions at all.}

          She criticises the (predictable) polarisation of views that occurs – {yes, but again, there are many subtle as well as more overt reasons for polarisation.}

          At 11.30 mins in the video, she speaks of both ends of the political spectrum “are trying to bring a societal collapse, and then rebuild the world in their image”. {I don’t think either “side’ is trying to produce societal collapse, but certainly a rebuild of the world is clear in Agenda 21. From what I have gleaned from his manifesto Tarrant, like many before him, thinks that all restructure through political means has proven to be pusillanimous, and therefore through violence is the way to achieve such radical restructure. He follows many – nothing unique here. Nor less tragic.}

          How do we prevent violence like this, she asks (11.40 mins)? Then she suggests the following (pardon my rough notes):
          1. Stop reacting emotionally;
          2. Look honestly at the real causes;
          3. We must look beyond simply blaming the individual, if we are to avert recurrence;
          4. We can’t simply blame guns and gun laws;
          5. Clearly supports the right to carry arms for self defence;
          6. Need to consider immigration policies; sees there is no multicultural solution; sees multiculturalism as a failure;
          7. Review our economic future; how are tomorrow’s families to thrive?
          8. Build personal satisfaction, trust in one’s community and government;
          9. Stop demonising and emasculating men;
          10. We need to fight nihilism, create a culture that is worth fighting for;
          11. Considers we indoctrinate our weakest members, have government-driven incentives to “destroy families”
          {I don’t disagree with much of the above (but I don’t think lax gun laws help, and in fact may contribute to a sense of righteousness that one can use them as one chooses – this is a subtle temptation; if I have a right to carry a gun, I have a right to use it; and I have a right to decide when to use it . . see what I mean?) Bit of a slippery slope.) How can one argue with 1,2,3 7,8? I think 9 and 10 are very sound, and I can support quite a few examples of point 11.
          A final thought; very interesting that Tarrant had written a manifesto. He may be a nutter, but a nutter with causes. She is right to point out that we need to understand what is going on around us, and not dismiss this as a nut job with absolutely disastrous personal and tragic consequences for so many. This is not just a Martin Bryant case.}

          • BB says:

            Thanks Peter for that. She talks about Peterson but I think Peterson is far more aware than her about those that perpetrate these sorts of things. Nihilism is very much a factor and in the main people like Tarrant are by no means unintelligent. She thinks that the gun laws in New Zealand are the same as Australia’s when they are not. What is the most worthwhile about any of this is being able to freely discuss it without being classified as racist or some other.

            By the way you know me as Mike of the Kingston group.

      • margaret says:

        I cannot wait for the moderator so here is the link which is pertinent to the thoughtful video.

        https://angrywhitemen.org/category/people/blonde-in-the-belly-of-the-beast/

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Douglas Murray in the Spectator pursued a similar line to that taken by blonde in the above video.

          https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/03/who-should-we-blame-for-the-christchurch-atrocity/

        • Peter Kemmis says:

          Hi Margaret,

          I read the reference you posted from “angrywhitemen” , and do not think its commentary presents a correct analysis of what the girl said. In my post above, I have tried to present a fair summary of key points she made. I don’t think there is anything supremacist there – her message is more that we should rediscover and celebrate the best of our social development. In some ways, I thought she came across as a bit idealistic, but I would prefer to see that than the negative and false argument that our Western society has been terribly bad. Sure, much of its history is littered with evil and tragedy, but also with much that is good. And the same could be said of Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, South American heritages.

          A site like “angrywhitemen”, with a name like that, appears to me to be immediately polarising; she specifically states that polarising is one of the serious social problems we have, and I do agree with her on that point.

          • margaret says:

            Peter
            Rebecca Hargraves does not make any sense to me on the video (4mins) that accompanies the article on the site of Angry White Men.
            I dislike YouTubers – the way they read from an autocue – usually a diatribe of faux philosophical comment that makes it appear they are saying things from deep knowledge as if maybe they read a lot of books on the subject that concerns them so much.
            So I don’t go to YouTube for my take on world issues.
            Your comprehensive précis of Bryan’s post I can’t comment on because I couldn’t watch 15 mins of someone (Rebecca), trying to explain why the Christchurch massacre occurred.
            As for a blog that is titled Angry White Men – angry white men exist. Rebecca Hargraves taps into their fears it seems, and presents both an image and words that soothe their preconceived notions and cement their prejudices.
            I think the blog is written by a man.

          • Peter Kemmis says:

            Margaret,
            I have just watched that 4 mins of Rebecca Hargreaves on the “angrywhitemen” site; I do think she makes some valid points there as well as the longer 15 mins I had summarised. I try to distinguish between my reaction to someone who is presenting some views, and the views themselves. Sometimes in discussion when I explain what I think about an issue, the other person might say “but that’s what person-xyz says! And he/she is dreadful!” Now I might agree about the dreadfulness, but that doesn’t of itself diminish the views. I’m not responsible for the character of others who might agree with me. Let’s talk about the views, not the speaker; that should be a different discussion.

            Yes, there are angry white men. There are angry black men also. Should we therefore have an “angryblackmen” site? I would hope not, for it surely would contribute to further conflict.

          • JimboR says:

            Here’s a much better explanation, from a sad young white man. Maybe the angry white guys could learn a thing or two.

            https://iview.abc.net.au/show/sammy-j/series/2/video/LE1806V007S00

            (Series 2 Monsters)

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Margaret, if you spent more than a minute on YouTube, listened to her, and checked the authenticity of this ‘Angry White Men’, you find it is a far left viewpoint dedicated to “… to tracking the adherents of the new white supremacy: the Alt-Right movement, neo-reactionaries, Red Pillers, Identitarians, and Dark Enlightenment thinkers.” ‘Blonde’ does not fit into any of these categories. She is admittedly a conservative, but that’s as far as it goes.

          • margaret says:

            I was unable to open the Sammy J link but if it was the episode aired last night on ABC I agree with JimboR.

          • JimboR says:

            That’s the one!

  • spangled drongo says:

    This culture that was westernising a few decades ago and looked like it was going to become part of the modern world until the Imams thought better of it and reverted to religious control and traditional anti-western practice.

    Since then it has hijacked planes and flown them into skyscrapers, killing thousands, because of the western world’s sympathy with Israel.

    Leading to all sorts of very involved further confrontation and terrorism.

    I would have thought the growing fear of the endless immigration of Muslims was a no brainer.

    And Anning was only stating fact.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    There was a very pointed harbinger of this event in the intolerance and hatred directed at Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux during their (attempted) speaking tour of NZ. Even the PM piled on, although neither, to my knowledge, has ever advocated violence in any form. She just didn’t like what they might have said. Douglas Murray has pointed out that even if you suppress the speech, the emotions do not disappear, and are bound to erupt at some point.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don

    You have missed the point. Everyone should have free speech, but not to cheat customers and clients, lie about crimes, or order bank tellers around during bank robberies. You are not free to shout obscenities against those with different identities in public spaces. You do not have free speech during company AGM’s. You are not free to paint murals employing anti-semetic memes.

    Anning should have the right to free speech but the reaction to his “free speech” cannot be tagged “virtue signaling” in your derogatory sense.

    Anning represents evil politics and his statements spread propaganda underpinning evil politics.

    Statement 1 – suggests that Muslims cause violence

    Statement 2 – suggests Left is not outraged by Muslim terrorist attacks

    Statement 3 – Tarrant’s attack results from Muslim presence

    Statement 4 – Bloodshed is caused by Muslim migrants.

    Multicultural society needs to use its collective freedom of speech to reject such evil anti-social politics whether from Anning, Hanson, Trump or Milo Yiannopoulos without being attacked as “virtue signaling”.

    This is a misunderstanding.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Chris, I think you are confusing what you would like with what is the case. Whether or not Anning represents evil politics, whatever that is, your statements about what people are free or not free to do seem to me quite wrong. We are free to do anything (that is what ‘free will’ means), but we ought to understand that what we do may have consequences, and that we may pay dearly for them. The shooter in Christchurch was free to do what he did — as we have seen — and he will pay for it.

      I think Confused Old Misfit actually nails it. You have missed the point, by confusing what you would like to be the case with what is actually the case — or you didn’t think clearly before you wrote.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Don

        If you “suffer consequences” or “pay dearly” for exercising ‘free speech’ then you do not have free speech.

        No one has freedom to do what Tarrant (or Martin Bryant at Port Arthur or Monis at Lindt Cafe) did.

        Should you have free speech to rouse-up a mob as at Cronulla? Why is some free speech tagged as “virtue signaling” and “collective fury”?

        And we have finally come to realise that no one should have freedom to own military capable firearms.

        I do not like free speech that is directed against the legitimate freedom of others.

        But this militancy against free acts of Muslims is the thrust of Anning’s usage of free speech. The free speech that is being vented against him is not “virtue signaling”. It is the consequences he reaps and he probably will pay dearly through censure in Parliament and loss of seat at the next election.

        In practice you can only have freedom to the extent that everyone has the same freedom, although some can benefit if this right is denied to some others. This leads to strife.

        Anning and Tarrant both illustrate such strife and both attack the freedom of others.

        Parliament should react.

        • Boambee John says:

          “And we have finally come to realise that no one should have freedom to own military capable firearms”

          That’s it! No more Brown Bess muskets in private hands!

          “Military capable” seems to mean whatever the writer wants it to mean.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          You’re never wrong, are you? No. Sorry. Once again, you are just wrong.

          You, Chris Warren, are free to do anything you want to do which is within your capacity to do it. Whether or not you do it will be affected by your sense of the consequences. We are brought up to be aware of the consequences of our actions both through instruction and through learning. If you decide not to do something you are exercising free will, just as much as you do when you decide to do that something.

          I accept that ‘free’ and ”free will’ and ‘freedom’ are tricky concepts, and I used to lecture on them, as with ‘rights’ and similar words that are thrown about in the world of politics. There’s a lot written about it. Worth reading, I think, for you.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Don

            The freedom you have to do anything you want to do which is within your capacity to do, is limited by its impact on others capacity to do what is within your capacity.

            A lot has been written about this which you may find worth reading.

            Most moral philosophy boils down to the Golden Rule. When you lectured about it you would have dealt with Hobbes “Leviathan” wherein it was proposed:

            “”Do not that to another, which thou wouldst not have done to thyself.”

            Kant also has a similar maxim – categorical imperative:

            “”Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.”

            So in a moral society – you can only have the freedom that ensures all have to same freedom.

            This is civilisation.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Chris, there’s no need to lecture down to me as though you were an authority on this subject, which you simply aren’t. Just leave the subject.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Don

            I have done a lot of work on moral philosophy, democracy, social conflict and freedom.

            The phrases were your own.

            Ensuring freedom into a changing society, in the midst of new conflicts, is a critical concern.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “I have done a lot of work on moral philosophy, democracy, social conflict and freedom.”

            Particularly with your pseudo cli-sci, hey blith?

      • spangled drongo says:

        I think that the very name of Christchurch must be an affront to these migrants not to mention the double whammy of the Christchurch Crusaders.

        But I’m sure those names will be changed now:

        https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/rugby-union/crusaders-carry-weight-of-distant-and-recent-history-on-their-shoulders/news-story/4e2693cf09b51cc38d5cd724eb07f997?login=1

  • Confused Old Misfit says:

    Hmmm…. ” collective freedom of speech”
    Just think where that concept will end up.

    “Everyone should have free speech,NOT to cheat customers and clients, lie about crimes, or order bank tellers around during bank robberies.”

    Absolutely. You must be free to engage in any of these calumnies. Hopefully you will be smart enough not too as there are dire consequences and you should be held responsible. Our judicial system lets us down in this area.

    You are NOT free to shout obscenities against those with different identities in public spaces.
    You should have been taught at an early age what your cultures norms are. This is not an uncommon occurrence.

    You do not have free speech during company AGM’s.
    The company AGM’s are not public property. The content thereof is the property of the the shareholders/partners. However, you are always free to speak your mind and you should be ever mindfull of the consequences of doing so.

    You are not free to paint murals employing anti-semetic memes. Sure you are! Just get your cultural balance right and show a respect for diversity. You may run into some resistance from the owner of the palette you chose to paint on and the plod will have you up for property damage.

  • Ian MacCulloch says:

    The sun is shining,

    On ABC this Tuesday I heard a 15 yo from Castlemaine talking most articulately about climate change to the presenter, Nicole a NZer. The child in question did not have a clue what she was talking about. That did not stop here from expressing her views in a respectful and charming manner. Just imagine how effective she would have been had she known what she was talking about.

    On Fox this pm Alan Jones had in a group of 15 yo’s from Katoomba Grammar. This group ably led by another 15 year old was the head of a team involved in applied STEM projects. Under her leadership, this group of design engineers etc of the same age all males) had built a model car that had beaten all comers in Oz. They were heading off to Abu Dhabi to compete in the world games for designing model racers. And the team manager – her aim is to be a doctor. We could be that lucky in this country.

    I take heart from these two teenagers for totally different reasons.

    With them the world is a great place.

    On something completely different

    It never ends though the free loading. The bloody left wing koalas in SA are hitching rides in air conditioned cars. When asked to pay a fare all they can manage to do is to trash the joint. About on a par with those bloody right wing Australian possums now migrated across ‘the ditch’ to find a better life. A little bit of time at the finishing school would be time well spent.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-19/koala-enters-mans-car-at-vineyard-in-south-australia/10916092

    And another thing – the interesting thing about this blog site is most bloggers are prepared to stand by their ID, as a group they are most respectful to their fellow man; may it long continue

  • Chris Warren says:

    Should media outlets have “freedom” to publicly broadcast utter garbage such as this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr1WnL070hc&feature=youtu.be&t=68

    [Warning – mute your audio. The text is sufficient – Yankee Jock speak]

  • spangled drongo says:

    A special for our blith.

    The Guardian dredges new depths. Climate Denial and Linked to the Christchurch Mosque Massacre.

    Why not?

    “It was a shocking pairing and also a perfectly coherent one, a clash of opposing ideologies. Behind the urgency of climate action is the understanding that everything is connected; behind white supremacy is an ideology of separation”:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/19/the-guardian-climate-denial-linked-to-the-christchurch-mosque-massacre/

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    I think people (including Don) should take a deep breath. This was a despicable, but not unprecedented, action. It does not require unprecedented, panic responses. Gun deaths in NZ were (and still are) comparable to those in other countries, as were those in Australia. Compare Switzerland, where almost every household as a gun. When was the last mass shooting? People, not guns, are the main problem.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Email I received today – Tuesday (sourced from an online activist group “GetUp”).

    Maybe of interest to those concerned, at the level of causes, over the massacres in New Zealand and Port Arthur not so long ago.

    **********************
    One Nation’s bigoted rhetoric fans the flames of extremism. Now, a new undercover report exposes a hidden agenda that would help put more powerful weapons in the hands of extremists.1

    One Nation was soliciting tens of millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun lobbyists in the U.S., with the promise of weakening Australia’s gun laws.2

    This shocking news comes in the wake of the Christchurch mosques attack, where 50 Muslim men, women and children were gunned down at prayer by a white supremacist.

    Put simply, One Nation’s politics represent a clear and present danger to community safety. But what is Prime Minister Scott Morrison doing about it?

    Since the Christchurch attack, Morrison has repeatedly refused to put One Nation last in Liberal Party preferences.3 Not doing so will help them win seats and power — fanning the flames of hatred and weakening our gun laws.

    But all week Morrison has been feeling the pressure from the media and within his own party to put One Nation last. Now — just weeks out from a pivotal Federal election — he needs to feel it from voters too.

    Can you email your Coalition MP and Senator to put hate and violence last on their how-to-vote cards?

    A three year undercover investigation called “How to Sell a Massacre” will air on the ABC tonight at 8pm AEST (be sure to watch it!). It reveals One Nation’s plan for US gun lobby and corporate interests to help them win power in Australia and weaken our gun laws.

    In secret footage, a senior One Nation representative left no doubt what they would do with that power:

    “We get the balance of power, very simply that means that we have the testicles of the Government in our hand at every given stage…and guns, in the scheme of things, are still going to be the be-all and end-all.”4

    The most important step Prime Minister Morrison can take now to shut down One Nation’s plans is to deny them a greater platform in our Parliament.

    Yet he will not commit to putting One Nation last in the Liberal Party’s preferences this election, as Labor and the Greens have done.5 If he did, it would seriously undermine One Nation’s chances of election and limit their toxic influence on our politics.

    Can you email your Coalition MP and Senator to put extremism last this election?

    Thankfully, some members of Morrison’s party understand the threat One Nation poses to our social fabric and community safety.

    On the ABC’s Insiders program last Sunday, Liberal Party Senator Arthur Sinodinos said, “We will repudiate…the sorts of racism or Islamophobia that some parties, including One Nation, have been out there talking about.”6

    And Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has called on the party to put “extremists” at the bottom of Liberal Party preferencing.7 Just this morning he called One Nation “a risk to our national harmony and integrity.”8

    Even Sky News presenter Kieran Gilbert has called One Nation an “extremist, fringe party”.9 We have to add to the pressure with a simple message to Liberal MPs and Senators: Put One Nation last — or face a backlash at the ballot box.

    Click here to demand your local Coalition MP or Senator puts One Nation at the bottom of their how-to-vote cards.

    Thanks for speaking out,
    Daney, for the GetUp team

    PS – Don’t miss the full screening of the explosive undercover report “How to Sell a Massacre” on ABC tonight at 8pm AEST.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “One Nation’s politics represent a clear and present danger to community safety.”

    There are many things that are a much bigger danger to community safety than One Nation, blith:

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/nation/jihadist-inmate-threatened-in-letter-to-behead-prisons-chief/news-story/7904bd80242578db415f0be63d5fbbe3

  • spangled drongo says:

    In all his excitement, blith is too confused to get that this was a set-up by Al-Jazeera [the media arm of the Qatari pro-Muslim Brotherhood regime] to politically hurt a party that is calling for less middle east immigration, which they then edited for their own purposes.

    His mates, Getup, don’t even mention the large part Al-Jazeera played in this.

    The fact that he is also being willingly led down the garden path by Getup, ices the cake for lefties like our blith and Aunty, and shows how “genuine” it all is.

  • Chris Warren says:

    I cannot see Australian gun laws being reversed. Mark Latham came out strongly in support of Howard’s laws and it would take a successful challenge in the High Court for a State or Territory to overturn them in their jurisdiction.

    However the program to point to other means sought by some to drive stakes into Australian democracy.

    How can we stop foreign interests funding Australian politics?

    How did Ashby plan to hide the million or so dollars he drooled-for within public disclosure laws?

    Are our parliamentary seats available for purchase as Ashby intimated and Palmer expects?

    Does Pauline have gun-powder on her hands?

    David Oldfield described One Nation as a fraud – which is pretty close to the truth.

  • BB says:

    I find it very concerning the expansion of the Muslim faith within our society. Their Shari a law reveals much about the way they operate. It is a very efficient design that preserves their faith but deadly to those outside of it.

    http://www.billionbibles.org/sharia/sharia-law.html

    Yes Christianity was the same but it is now weak and not able to compete with the very strong religion of Islam. I am a nonbeliever but have been raised in the culture of a Judaeo-Christian ethic. Islam is ascendant and will destroy that by using our ethics against us.

  • spangled drongo says:

    It all needs much thinking about and discussing but Jacinda Ardern has foolishly banned this sort of analysis in NZ:

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/opinion-post/the-anti-humanist-ideology-of-the-christchurch-killer/

  • spangled drongo says:

    What Fraser Anning was plainly pointing out, recent history supports, and what the West are doing with muslim migration is suicidal.

    But what’s new:

    Over 1.5 million Christians were slaughtered by Muslims in Turkey during 1915. Additionally, 750,000 Assyrian Christians and 950,000 Greek Orthodox Christians were murdered in the Ottoman Turkish Empire between 1915 and 1922. That amounts to over 3.5 million Christian victims of the Turkish Empire over just 7 years.

    http://campconstitution.net/the-turkish-genocide-of-armenian-assyrian-and-greek-christians-by-dr-peter-hammond/

  • spangled drongo says:

    More double standard stupidity of the West:

    “In disturbing contrast to the aftermath of the mosque massacres in Christchurch last month, the response to the horrors in Sri Lanka has been muted, cagey, sheepish even.

    The Christchurch atrocity provoked an angry and distinctly political response. We must stand as a human family against this vile Islamophobia, world leaders and commentators insisted.

    The Sri Lanka atrocity has generated no such sense of global resolve. And this shocking disparity needs to be explained.

    To get a sense of the depth of the double standard, consider this: US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Twittersphere’s favourite socialist, tweeted about the Christchurch mas­sacre 14 times; she tweeted about the Sri Lanka atrocity not once.”

    After Christchurch, Barack Obama said he was grieving with “the Muslim family”.

    In contrast, the former US president described the terrorism in Sri Lanka as an attack on “tourists and Easter worshippers”. As many tweeters said in response: “It’s okay to say ‘Christian’.”

    Only it seems it isn’t.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/christchurch-sri-lanka-hierarchy-of-victimhood/news-story/04a053cf33441f82e7d72464fb5bebf5

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