The modus vivendi of this blog is plainly self explanatory. Pathetically,'progressives' regularly promote implausable, impractical or plainly asinine ideas. Who but socialists could for decades abuse the term 'economic rationalism' - without humiliation? THIS GOES TO THE VERY HEART OF ECONOMIC POLICY AND RATIONAL GOVERNMENT: TO WIT TO NOT CRITICIZE THE CONSERVATIVES AS BEING 'RATIONAL'!
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IN accusing me of hypocrisy for appointing Tim Wilson as human rights commissioner, having recently said "appointees must be people who can command the confidence of the entire community that they will discharge their responsibilities in the human rights field in a non-partisan manner", Peter van Onselen misses the point ("Brandis and Dreyfus take hypocrisy to a new level", 21-22/12).
Tim Wilson may have been a longstanding member of the Liberal Party (that is where people with a strong philosophical commitment to personal freedom are usually found), however, in his contributions to public debate, he has been anything but a Liberal Party partisan.
Since the announcement of his appointment, he has again shown a willingness to take issue with my side of politics, in his criticism of the Newman government's anti-bikie laws.
While I do not agree with everything Tim Wilson says, I do see in him a person of strong philosophical integrity. That quality, no less than his powerful defence of individual freedom over many years, was among the reasons the government was confident that he would be an excellent advocate for freedom within the AHRC.
We were not looking for a partisan, and we have not appointed one.
George Brandis QC, Attorney-General, Brisbane, Qld
THE best way to achieve some sense of proportion in the workings of the Human Rights Commission is to rename it as the Human Rights and Responsibilities Commission.
A change of name must surely lead to a considered debate about where rights end and responsibilities begin.
This seems to me to be a necessary debate in a mature social context.
Thanks for publishing the tweet reactions to Tim Wilson's appointment. It's good to know that Catherine Deveny regards the height of free speech is having herself quoted calling someone a c--- in The Australian.
Martin Fitzgerald, Chatswood, NSW
With the exception of Tim Wilson's tweet, the rest confirm that the twitters are twits. If Nicola Roxon's changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act had been successful, these twits would have contravened the act.