Our hope for any public good produced by debate on 18C was presaged this week by Senator Jacqui Lambie. This politician, in the occasional habit of offering a true antidote to bullshit, said that her constituents did not care: “Tasmanians are worried about how they are going to afford to eat, they are worried about the price of electricity.” She reminded voters of the provisions in 18D and that proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act were a self-serving “distraction” by those with no plans to address the escalating pain of real survival.
This is our single hope, then: the Australian people will acquire the difficult skill of sorting policy wheat from the chaff of ideology. It occurs to Lambie, as it does very plainly to others in this era of income inequality, that the “right to be a bigot” cannot be exercised if one is unable to meet the costs demanded by an internet provider. It is not a “right” and should not be a right and should not even be a luxury afforded to a comfortable few.