Institute of Public Affairs

Now we know where Kevin Hague got his McCarthyist ideas from

Kevin Hague has been pursuing and victimising Katherine Rich in a rather creepy stalking and hounding campaign against her for daring to have a different point of view to him.

He has shown that he isis intolerant of opposing views and like all good Stalinists for McCarthyists he wants to shut anyone down who differed in politics to him.

Perhaps he has been seeking advice on pursing a witch-hunt like this from his fellow travellers in the Greens in Australia.

THE notorious US anti-communism campaigner Joe McCarthy would be proud — the Australian Senate has adopted his tactics in pursuit of independent think tanks.

Instead of “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?”, a Senate estimates committee is asking whether particular academics and specialists are “connected” with the Institute of Public ­Affairs or the Centre for Independent Studies.

The federal Education Department has emailed a dozen or more subject specialists who contributed to the national curriculum review.

The correspondence begins: “The department has received a number of questions from Senate estimates. The specific question is: ‘If any of the reviewers who were appointed are connected with the Institute of Public ­Affairs or the Centre for Independent Studies?’ ”

Exactly the same modus operandi as Kevin Hague.

“This is outright McCarthyism,” IPA deputy director James Paterson said. “It is pretty much ‘Are you now or have you even been a member of the IPA?’ ”

University of Wollongong historian Greg Melleuish said he was happy to answer the question because he had “nothing to hide”.

The issue was the “motives of the people asking the questions” rather than the department following up. The person who asked the question was South Australian Greens senator Penny Wright, who raised it at an October hearing.

“I am interested to know if any of the reviewers who were appointed are connected with the Institute of Public Affairs or the Centre for Independent Studies?” she asked.

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An important freedom

As the government in Australia moves to amend their draconian anti-free speech laws the howls of outrage from those which to keep the draconian laws in place is reaching weapons grade proportions.

The NZ Herald reports.

During last year’s election campaign, Tony Abbott pledged to change the law under which one of his staunchest supporters, the right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt, was convicted of racial discrimination for accusing nine fair-skinned prominent Australians of claiming to be Aborigines to secure jobs, awards and grants.

Now, under pressure from both sides of the political spectrum, Abbott may be ruing that promise to repeal or water down a piece of legislation that even his mentor and predecessor, John Howard, chose to leave intact.

Conservative Coalition MPs – backed by the right-wing Institute of Public Affairs and commentators including Bolt himself – want the Attorney-General, George Brandis, to scrap a section of the Racial Discrimination Act that makes it illegal to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person on grounds of race.

However, ethnic community groups are horrified by that prospect, as are some Coalition politicians. The Liberal MP Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House of Representatives, has threatened to cross the floor, and Warren Mundine, who heads Abbott’s Indigenous Advisory Council, has warned him he is “heading down the wrong track”.

Bolt, meanwhile, is fuming over fresh claims of racism, aired by one of Australia’s most respected indigenous figures, Marcia Langton. Langton, who spoke out on the ABC TV discussion programme Q&A last week, subsequently apologised to the News Corp columnist for offending him, but added that “his obsessive writing about the colour of the skin of particular Aboriginal people is malicious and cowardly”.    Read more »