Fun and instructive times in the latest instalments on the freedom -- sorry ferrdom! -- agenda, with day eight of the Oz's war against Yassmin Abdel-Magied, the ABC youf presenter who appeared on Q&A. The paper is now contradicting itself not only on its own editorial pages, but within its own editorials. The conjunction and contradiction, irrelevant to the wider course of events, is nevertheless instructive about the tangles the right has got itself into.
Top of the left page today is Planet Janet, tying Abdel-Magied's appearance on Q&A -- Abdel-Magied said that sharia law meant "obeying the law of the land you're in" -- with 18C. Huhhhhh? Well, as Planet explains, Abdel-Magied walked out of a speech given by novelist Lionel Shriver, at which Shriver put on a sombrero to protest at all them people arguing against cultural appropriation, etc. She's free -- ferrdom! -- to say so; Abdel-Magied is free to walk out, and then write about it, as she did for the Grauniad. That's how ferrdom works. Not for Planet. Apparently, Abdel-Magied's action is akin to 18C, as part of a new hypersensitivity, etc. But you have a right to be huffy, hypersensitive, absurdly overreactive, etc (look at the poor-me act Bill Leak puts on these days). You certainly have a right to walk out on something as a way of expressing your fundamental disagreement with it. The right to free speech is not the right to an audience (bad news for the weekday edition of the Oz, given its sales).