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Deplatforming Craig Kelly – The politicians must act


Everywhere the enemy seems to be gaining advantages against our democracy, and our civilisation. Both the federal government and opposition are failing to maintain and defend the very essence of parliamentary democracy against Leftist encroachments. Notwithstanding the clear provisions of the Constitution and of the Parliamentary Privileges Act, 1987, improper interference with the free performance by two MPs of their duties as members have gone unpunished and worse, unrestrained. (Defamation, incidentally, cannot in itself now constitute a breach of privilege.)

Acting in relation to what the Privileges Committee found in 1955 was a serious breach of privilege against Labor MP Charles Morgan by Raymond Fitzpatrick and Frank Browne, owner and editor of the Bankstown Observer, Prime Minister Robert Menzies said the degree to which the House preserved the freedom of its members to speak and to think was ‘the measure of its service to democracy’.On the preservation of the freedom of Nicolle Flint and Craig Kelly to speak, the House has failed dismally to perform that service. Is it that both MPs are among the most independent and the most willing to exercise what the great Edmund Burke insisted (before the advent of the rigid two-party system) was the very reason we should choose our members, their judgement?

But because of flagrant breaches of privilege allegedly by GetUp!, Ms. Flint has decided not to stand again. Craig Kelly may well stand but not as a Liberal. Despite having more than 80,000 followers, Craig Kelly’s Facebook page has been removed for sharing ‘misinformation about Covid-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm or Covid-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts. But in all cases Mr Kelly repeated no more than eminent scientific opinion. For that he has been ‘deplatformed’. Surely in both cases the House should require urgent hearings before the Privileges Committee with Mark Elliot Zuckerberg a potential key witness, at least on screen.

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Professor David Flint AM is an emeritus professor of law and was chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Press Council, president of the National Federation of the English Speaking Union, Associate Commissioner with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and convenor of the Committee of Australian Law Deans. He has been National Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy since the 1999 referendum campaign. He has authored books on topics such as the media, international economic law and on the Constitution. At Barcelona in 1991 he received a World Jurist Association award as World Outstanding Legal Scholar. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1995. His Good Sauce show,Take Back Your Country, discusses the problems and solutions to the decay of federalism and democracy.

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