Oh, ho, yessss, I’m the great compromiser.
Pretending that I’m doing well…
So sang Malcolm last night after he leaked his 18C ‘compromise’.
Y’see, it’s now ok to “offend” certain protected and favoured people because Mr. TongueTwister is going to delete it from S18C.
BUT he is going to keep “humiliate” in his amendment.
No lawyer me, but what difference would that make to the Cindy Prior case? Could she not claim she was “humiliated”?
How about, “Mr. Smith alleges he was so humiliated by references to poofters by the compere at the party that he was forced to leave.”
Mr. Smith does not have to be queer himself – he can claim he was humiliated because he has a queer best friend.
We must find out from Bernard Gaynor what difference the change would make to his 40+ complaints against him
Listen you bloody galah – when the test is how the ‘victim’ feels it doesn’t matter what synonym you use for “offend.”.
Instead of the easily offended we now get the easily humiliated. Not a difference that makes a difference.
From The Australian
Malcolm Turnbull has struck a compromise deal for historic changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act that is expected to retain the offences of humiliate and intimidate on the grounds of race, but abolish “insult” and “offend” in favour of a new higher test of “harass”.
The move to rewrite the race-hate speech laws introduced in 1995 by the Keating government as amendments to the 1975 act, will be taken to the Coalition partyroom today as a special Newspoll reveals that more Australians support reform of the laws to defend free speech than are opposed.
The Australian has learned that a major sticking point was the offence of “humiliate” within the act, which several senior MPs who are backing change argued would be politically difficult to remove.
There has also been a push by some inside the Turnbull ministry for “process changes” to how complaints are handled, with some MPs expressing resistance to an overhaul of racial discrimination laws.
The Prime Minister has spent the past week sounding out colleagues over the issue, including recommendations for structural reforms of the Australian Human Rights Commission and a “reasonable person” test.
Cabinet landed on a final position last night before a broader ministerial meeting. The position was due to be passed to a meeting of the legal and constitutional affairs committee last night for vetting. However, it will need partyroom endorsement today before a bill can be drafted to amend the laws.
The new offence of harass was originally argued as an alternative and higher test to replace “insult”, “offend” and “humiliate” on racial grounds. However, several senior ministers argued that the removal of “offend” and “insult” would be an easier position to present publicly, if “humiliate” were retained, despite it still being a subjective test.
The Coalition partyroom meeting today comes as voters show they are ready to support sweeping change to race-hate laws that lifts the bar on complaints against insulting or offensive behaviour. Newspoll found 47 per cent of voters backed this option, while 39 per cent opposed it and 14 per cent were undecided. The tougher standard for complaints was backed by 54 per cent of Coalition voters.
While Labor and the Greens escalate their warnings against any change to 18C, the survey shows that 45 per cent of Labor supporters and 37 per cent of Greens voters are in favour of replacing “offend” and “insult” with “harass” to set a higher benchmark.
The death of cartoonist Bill Leak has heightened the debate over reforms to the system, given the way a complaint against his work in The Australian triggered months of dispute at the HRC even though publishers have an exemption under the law.
The Prime Minister concluded a meeting of the full ministry late yesterday with broad agreement to overhaul the way the commission rules on complaints, but the wider reforms are to be decided by the full meeting of Liberal and Nationals MPs in Parliament House this morning. Seeking to avoid a perception he will present backbenchers with a fait accompli, Mr Turnbull sought the views of ministers during yesterday’s meeting without imposing a blueprint.
The plan to change the wording of 18C is being described as a “sensible” reform that should gain enough support from community groups to persuade the Senate to back the change, given it leaves all Australians with an avenue to seek redress against racism.
While conservatives within the partyroom have called for “humiliate” to be removed from the act, this option has failed to win enough support in the ministry and appears likely to be ruled out today. Today’s meeting will also consider a “reasonable person test” to be inserted into the law to ensure any complaint of discrimination is measured against the standards of the whole community rather than a specific ethnic group, a change urged by International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
As a key member of the Liberal Party’s conservative wing and the daughter of Italian immigrants, Senator Fierravanti-Wells has argued for the “pub test” as a way to halt groundless complaints without changing 18C itself.
Assistant Industry Minister Craig Laundy said he would oppose changing 18C in favour of changes to the process for how the HRC handled complaints under the act. The process changes are gaining support across the parliament, with Labor MPs backing these in a parliamentary inquiry while Nick Xenophon and his colleagues want reforms that can speed up decisions and weed out vexatious complaints.
These changes are being drafted after an outcry at the way the HRC works, such as not telling students at the Queensland University of Technology about a complaint about their behaviour. The case was dismissed by the Federal Court after years of dispute, sparking a scathing rebuke of HRC president Gillian Triggs.