Barry O'Farrell's speech laws
You might recall on Monday 14 January I was shocked to read that Barry O'Farrell's government was considering tightening racial discrimination laws to make it easier to secure convictions for racial vilification - the link is here. It struck me then as the last thing a state conservative government ought be concerning itself with.
Well the Premier of NSW is back in the news today with this nonsensical reasoning.
Failure to prosecute rioters means laws need closer look - O'Farrell
- January 28, 2013
Some conservative commentators have criticised Mr O'Farrell for asking a parliamentary committee to examine if laws dealing with complaints about serious racial vilification constitute ''a realistic test'' and have kept up with public expectations. On Sunday, Mr O'Farrell said he was concerned there was no attempt to prosecute those who held up ''offensive'' signs during violent protests sparked by an anti-Islamic film in September.
''That blackened the city; that blackened my state. That's why there is an upper house inquiry … into [the] effectiveness of this legislation,'' he said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/failure-to-prosecute-rioters-means-laws-need-closer-look--ofarrell-20130127-2dey4.html#ixzz2JCQ8n3EV
It's hard to imagine that those signs do not breach existing laws. At the very least I would have thought it was offensive behaviour to hold placard up like that. It surprises me that no one has been charged, but I doubt it's to do with ineffective laws at present. It sounds to me that Barry is looking for an excuse for a dumb and needless enquiry. Heaven help us if Barry gets into the business of restricting speech even further than Nicola Roxon.