Category Archives: Free Speech

‘Manners cost nothing’

…My mother used to say, when she reminded my siblings and me to keep still tongues in our heads. As a general rule, it is a bit discomforting to reach one’s mid-thirties and discover that one’s dear old ma was right more often than not, but there it is. I’ve been put in mind of […]

Alan Jones, feminism and Australian politics

Radio personality Alan Jones has been in trouble again, this time because he made some insensitive comments about the recent death of the father of Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Sydney University’s Liberal Club President’s Dinner. Jones suggested Gillard’s father ‘died of shame’ as a result of the lies his daughter had told the […]

Delusions of Relevance

  About 200 Muslims have staged a protest outside the Scottish Parliament. The group were demonstrating against the anti-Islam film, Innocence Of Muslims, made in the US, which has caused offence across the Muslim world. The rally was attended by Muslims from across Edinburgh who were demanding action to curb religious hatred. Demonstrators waved banners […]

Mendacks

Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK. It cited fears that Mr Assange’s human rights might be violated. Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK would not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the country. But […]

A chicken in the sex class

Apologies for the distinctly pomo headline, but it actually goes some way to highlighting the salient points in the latest gay rights stushie to engulf the United States. Yes, the chicken in the sex class stushie started simply enough… with (and in) a fast food chain. Playing chicken The fast food chain in question is […]

One doesn’t or, jam and ‘Jerusalem’ all round, I think…

Not in Britain you don’t, no: It was the moment that conservative Christian groups’ growing stridency in the British political arena went too far, at least for Boris Johnson. On Thursday evening the London mayor gave the clearest sign yet that radical religion and politics still do not mix in the UK when he slapped an almost instant ban on […]

I always feel like, somebody’s watching me…

The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon. Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time. The Home Office says the move is key to tackling […]

Advice, please…

We try to avoid meta around these parts, but the trainwreck on the #equalmarriage thread has prompted some necessary thinking on all our parts, and an admission from me. First, the thinking. This blog — in having four writers with differing politics — is a risky venture. Going by other blogs around the traps, a […]

Review of ‘Freedom of Religion & The Secular State’

On 2 February 2012, I attended the launch of Russell Blackford’s new book, Freedom of Religion and the Secular State. I’ve finished the book so I thought I’d write a brief review as well as some comments on the visible move to secularism in one of my areas of study, trusts law. Blackford’s central thesis […]

Some food for thought: Reist v Wilson

Various people wrote thoughtful responses to my piece on the distinction between principled and means-end limits to law in the context of the ongoing Melinda Tankard Reist v Jennifer Wilson dust-up. I was rather busy last week and so didn’t respond; I figured I ought to respond, so here are some comments and thoughts (still, […]