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The Murder of Free Speech

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One of the most famous lines of historical literature, and of life, was spoken by Shakespeare’s Hamlet as he sought to avenge the murder of his father by his uncle. Claudius wanted power and what better way to get it than to dispose of his brother and marry his widow.  It is an age-old proposition for those seeking power. The...

No, Men are not OK

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As a society, we generally do not like to talk about suicide. And when we do, we tend to avoid a key issue – why do so many men take their own lives, and why are so many of them middle-aged? The statistics are stark: of 3,249 Australians who took their own lives in 2022, 2,455 were males. That’s more...

Granny Basher’s Discharge Sends the Right Message

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One year ago I made a young man famous. The video footage of the horrific political violence he perpetrated against a 71 year-old lady at a Women’s Rights rally shocked the world, leading to international condemnation of New Zealand.  Two weeks ago I was in court to witness his sentencing: he received a discharge without conviction and his name was...

Assange’s Last Appeal

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Last week, Australian journalist Julian Assange's legal team sought permission from the High Court of the United Kingdom to appeal his extradition to the United States, where he could potentially face severe penalties. This appeal represents Assange's final opportunity to challenge his extradition within the UK's legal system.  Assange has become a symbol of injustice, political persecution, and the fight...

Who will watch the Watchers?

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The Inspection House Principle Curiosity for a deeper understanding of how Jeremy Bentham’s Inspection House principle relates to our current world has got the better of me. There is so much to dissect in the Panopticon that I thought it fitting to follow on from last month’s contribution. At the end of his treatise, Bentham stresses that his principle of inspection...

Brave New World Wide Web

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The reverse correlation between the internet’s growing accessibility and its diminishing freedom can only be arrested by changes in user habits Much has been made of the ACMA ‘misinformation bill’ and its potential impact on free speech online in Australia. But the internet hasn’t been a bastion of free expression for quite some time now, and like always, it ultimately...

Utilitarianism and the Omnipotence of Government

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Welcome to the Inspection House, known as the Panopticon. Jeremy Bentham, eighteenth century political thinker, was one of the earliest exponents of the principle of Utilitarianism – the greatest happiness for the greatest number, which he considered to be a fundamental principle of morality. Managing societies is no easy task, hence, as first principles go, it seems reasonable. But what of...

Racial Friction in New Zealand

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For every government in New Zealand, the year commences with a focus on Maori affairs. For historical reasons most political parties undertake a pilgrimage to the Ratana Church on the 25th of January to commemorate the birthday of the congregation’s prophet, Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana. It is a reserved affair: politicians are discouraged from grandstanding and expected to listen to...

Is “Freedom” a Non-Word?

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The past few years have prompted a more focused view upon the word Freedom and all that it entails. Covid lockdowns along with coercive directives to take a new and warp-speed developed vaccine to “save Grandma” have been at the core of it.  When I ran as a candidate in Australia’s federal election in 2022 for the United Australia Party,...

China’s Dystopia II: The Digital Panopticon

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During my recent one-month stay in China's bustling metropolises, the omnipresence of technology, particularly WeChat (a “Super App” Elon Musk wants X to be for the West), was starkly evident. QR codes adorned nearly every surface, from restaurant menus to market stalls, making WeChat an indispensable part of daily life. The 'everything app' seamlessly integrates functions akin to WhatsApp,...

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INTERVIEW: Former Chinese Diplomat Embraces Liberty

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Since a new Labor government in Australia was elected in 2022, there has been a warming trend in Australia-China relations. Our ministers are back...