About Me

My photo
Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

John Birmingham on Conroy

A nice take down over here by John Birmingham.


What's that? You're unaware of Senator Conroy's latest outrage? Oh, well, allow me to elucidate.The communications minister has been openly sulking because, as he says, Google filters "an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Chinese government", but they are resisting his attempts to do the same thing for Canberra. This is the same communications minister whose major achievement so far, besides enraging thousands of angry internet users with his wretched filter scheme, and drawing the somewhat comical wrath of the self-styled cyber-hero collective Anonymous down on the government's websites, has been to hand a massive earner to a disgraced Labor Party apparatchik, Mike Kaiser, when he thought nobody was looking.

The Kaiser embarrassment should have been enough to have any reasonable minister reaching for his resignation letter, but of course the thought never crossed Conroy's mind, because he was too busy figuring out how to turn a mature and prosperous democracy into the digital equivalent of a vicious totalitarian one-party state. Nice work, Steve.

See here for Conroy's complaint that Google is prepared to help China's government censor the internet, so it should do the same for him.

"What we're saying is, well in Australia, these are our laws and we'd like you to apply our laws," he said. "Google at the moment filters an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Chinese government; they filter an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Thai government."

Good for Google for refusing, so far, to cooperate in Conroy's attack on freedom of speech.


Joel said...

It's as though he doesn't even recognise the possibility that China may not be the best role model for a democratic society.

David said...

There is a new development in the line of Conroy controversies. The latest is an apparent skii trip in Colorado with Kerry Stokes, just a short time prior to essentially handing the free-to-air networks $250 million gift bag of discounted license fees. While updating his list of potential conflicts of interest in February Conroy did not mention Kerry Stokes or his rendeveauz while on holiday.


Mark_57 said...

Ahh...the light becomes a glow..i should have know that Conroy models his policies about free speech on the Chinese model..

Anonymous said...

Great story you got here. I'd like to read a bit more about that matter. Thank you for sharing that data.

Tony Smith said...

If only 98.5% of people weren't so lazy that they vote "above the line", letting their Senate preferences flow according to their chosen party's selection without bothering to investigate further,* it might be worth spreading a "put Conroy last" meme because the Senate voting system, used conscientiously, would allow even ALP supporters to do that without putting at risk the party outcome, the parties invariably nominating at least one more candidate than could possibly be elected.

*Last time Conroy got elected his unallocated preferences played the major part in getting Family First a senator with less than 2% of the vote. At the time I created a web page with far more than you could ever want to know about that sordid affair.

Sean Og said...

I've got to agree with Tony Smith & think that in the current climate, and with social networking tools at our disposal that a decenet effort would probably have some chance of bearing fruit before election time. Particularly amongst Gen Y uni students & networkers on facebook etc.
What's the general feeling about the David Clarke vs Alex Hawke stoush that is going on in the NSW LIbs? Are the Libs, feeling assured of victory in March 2011, perpard to "publish and be damned" the fact that they're beholden to a group of extreme moralists? It seems at odds with the founding values of Australian Liberals, but will it be a factor for the wider electorate?