December 14, 2005

Horse 459 - Super Sedition

I have a question that I think requires a serious answer. Now that we have our new sedition laws, could we please arrest Alan Jones without trial for breaking same?

"Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday, every Aussie in the Shire get down to north Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day." The now famous SMS, read on Sydney's 2GB by Alan Jones, seems dangerously close to inciting violence. So is it sufficiently provocative to rouse the sedition provisions of the new anti-terror legislation?

Given that some commentators have been reluctant to conclude that the attacks are racially motivated – and by this logic, the acts might not fall under the jurisdiction of racial discrimination laws – could sedition be the best way to prosecute wrongdoers?

Here's that provision again:

80.2 Sedition. Urging violence within the community
(5) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person urges a group or groups (whether distinguished by race, religion, nationality or political opinion) to use force or violence against another group or other groups (as so distinguished); and
(b) the use of the force or violence would threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 7 years.

(6) Recklessness applies to the element of the offence under subsection-5 that it is a group or groups that are distinguished by race, religion, nationality or political opinion that the first-mentioned person urges the other person to use force or violence against.

Now by that logic, Alan Jones who has been openly racist on his radio program before, now should be arrested by Federal Police, because certainly the propogation of the SMS in question and broadcasting it on national radio constitues an incitement to violence. Please can we? Or is the Federal Goverment too scared to apply the laws to its own?

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