Don’t roll over for Facebook
Facebook has gagged Craig Kelly’s ability to communicate with over 100,000 people merely because he dared repeat respectable medical opinion concerning the treatment of the Wuhan virus, opinion which was being suppressed by the corrupt US mainstream media in its anti-Trump campaign.
Following an opinion expressed here that this was a flagrant breach of privilege, Craig Kelly raised this in Parliament. Interrupted by the Speaker who indicated he would consider the matter, Mr. Speaker’s eventual ruling was that there was not even a prima facie case.
Speaker Lenthall would be saddened. He is immortalised at every state opening of Parliament for his defence of the rights of the House of Commons in relation to the attempt by King Charles I attempt to arrest five members opposing him.
At the state opening, when the Usher of the Black Rod takes the order to the House of Commons to join the Queen in the House of Lords, the door to the House is slammed shut as he approaches. He must knock to ask permission to enter. This is followed throughout the Commonwealth. This demonstrates the independence of the House from the Crown.
So why is there not outrage today at what is being imposed on the House by this juggernaut from afar?
In any event, Mr. Speaker does not have the last say.
A speedy and final trial before the Privileges Committee and the House could attract world-wide attention turning point: the beginning of the end of an out-of-control social media.
It would encourage a review of American law and practice, including section 230 of the Communication Decency Act which excuses them from editorial liability, the forcible breaking up of their monopolies under the Sherman Act and a review of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment to the Constitution allowing a ‘public figure defence’ . This is so difficult for the defamed to rely on it effectively licences the media to libel with impunity any public figure, widely defined. (That was probably what Prince Harry meant as ‘bonkers’, not the First Amendment as such.)
Meanwhile the much-maligned Clive Palmer seems to be offering a solution to Craig Kelly’s funding problems in relation to an action for defamation (slower, far more expensive and limited than a claim in privilege).
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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.