I speak to you today about your own self “interest, and mine, and how we live our lives in these dangerous times.
I speak to you not of the threat made against our lives, but of the threat imminent to our freedoms, our way of life.
Sedition! Parfum Pour Fasciste.
In 1777, Edmund Burke wrote that the true danger to freedom arose when liberty was nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. We should wish that 1777 was now, and that Burke was writing to our Prime Minister. Perhaps then John Howard would be less reckless in his pursuit of sedition powers and more scrupulous in protecting our traditions of free association and free speech.
I therefore declare I speak the following with open, seditious intention.
It is to be a seven year crime to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt.
Adulterous, inbred and foreign, the Sovereign, and her heirs and successors, remind us that, by them, we are made no democratic people. Appointed by bloodline accomplishment and merit enter not into the question of the prominence accorded to them. They therefore prove that our self “government is degraded by the powerful in service of their own interests.
As such, they deserve our democratic hatred and contempt.
It is to be a seven year crime to urge disaffection with the Constitution.
Overwhelmingly concerned with matters of commerce, and gerrymandered to protect States instead of individuals, the Australian Constitution serves a reduced purpose poorly. Under this Constitution, the High Court has ruled that a man, charged with and guilty of no crime, can be locked up indefinitely. Under this Constitution, our fundamental rights are left to the mercy of predators like John Howard and windbags like Kim Beazley.
As such, the Constitution deserves the disaffection of a democratic people.
This Government wants to make it a seven year crime to urge disaffection with the government itself.
Remember, this is a government that behaves incompetently and cruelly. Its leaders adhere to a cruel gangster code. They abandon law when it suits them. Our Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, once opined that David Hicks, if returned from Guantanamo Bay, would sit next to decent Australians in cinemas and that this should be a matter of concern.
Imagine this. You are a decent Australian. You find yourself in a cinema. The lights are off. It is dark. A shadow looms huge next to you. You cannot see, so at first you sweat but then you scream for it is Alexander Downer.
And he says he wants to protect you.
This gang is shameless in its pursuit of power. To maintain its strangler’s grip to champion the virtues of the salt mine, the workplace of master and slave it looted the Australian Treasury our treasury of $55 million that belonged to us.
The good health of a democracy needs the engagement of informed citizens. A citizenry itself is made informed by public debate and by the free voicing of opposing views. John Stuart Mill, once precious to Liberals, made it clear that diversity of opinion was not an evil, but a good. This gang, however, choses to argue laws that bear on our freedoms behind closed doors, and then ambush a compliant parliament.
As such, they deserve the disaffection of democratic people.
It is to be a seven year crime to urge disaffection with Parliament.
Well, the Houses of the Parliament have become imperial. They tend to their own affairs before and above all else. They need cleaning, and cleansing, and they deserve our disaffection.
In these proposed laws, reference is made to sayings and acts done in good faith. Let it be clear there is no good faith here. Instead, I am prompted by a sense of malice and ill “will and seek to create a maximum level of public discontent, disorder and disturbance.
Because I do not want to see liberty nibbled away, I urge you to act with unlawful seditious intention against the Sovereign and against the Government.
You deserve much better than this.
Reject these laws.
And later tonight and tomorrow, repeat this to yourself, to your friends, and to your enemies.
These laws not in my name.
Not in this country.
Not at this time.
Not in my name. Not in this country. Not at this time. Not now. Not ever.
This is an edited version of a speech delivered at ‘SEDITION!’ at the Sydney Theatre, on 13 November 2005. An earlier version was published by The Age, on 24 October.
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