As Tim Blair says, “Read it while it’s legal”:
If It Can Happen Down Under
by Hal G.P. Colebatch
Australia is a nation where freedom of speech has appeared as solidly established as anywhere in the world.
Today, however, it is under a massive threat. This is all the more shocking because it is as head-on assault on Australia’s entire political culture of liberty and democracy.
In the latest development, the governing alliance of the leftist Australian Labor Party and the extreme leftist Greens have received an official report into media regulation recommending draconian controls.
The 470-page report, commissioned as part of the government’s vendetta against the Murdoch press, demands that the media be made more "accountable," and that the government have the power to impose "professional standards." The chairman of the inquiry that made the report, retired Federal Court Judge Roy Finkelstein, recommends a News Media Council be set up to license the press and to censor news reporting and political commentary.
Licensing the media has always been abhorrent in the English-speaking world. It was not contemplated even in Australia’s first days as a penal colony.
It is recommended that the council — presumably to be called the Ministry of Truth — should have a judge or lawyer as its chairman, appointed by the government, and 20 members, a large portion of whom would be nominated by the Labor-affiliated journalists’ union.
Read on at American Spectator
See also: Tim Blair’s “Read It While It’s Legal”