, 56 tweets, 21 min read Read on Twitter
[1] A conspiratorial campaign is being led against the Australian people. You are being SILENCED. #FreeSpeech

It seems as though every day there's an "oh shit how can this get any worse moment". But it's exactly what #Folau wants. It's exactly whet they want. Let me explain >
[2] #FreeSpeech is a concept as old as time. At his trial in 399BC Socrates stated "If you offered to let me off on condition I am not to speak my mind, I should say to you Men of Athens, I shall obey the Gods rather than you" >
[3] In 1644, poet John Milton published Areopagitica, stating "He who destroys a good book, kills reason itself". In 1689, the UK Bill of Rights granted '#FreedomOfSpeech in Parliament' - a concept that to this day is enshrined, allowing mp's to speak freely in Parliament >
[4] In 1770, Voltaire wrote in response to someone with who he disagreed "I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write". In 1789, after the French Revolution, The Declaration of the Rights of Man provided #FreeSpeech >
[5] In 1791, the USA enshrined #FreeSpeech in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution >
[6] #FreeSpeech is also broadly provided in 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is then tempered by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which says speech carries "special duties, responsibilities, and may be subject to restrictions" >
[8] The ICCPR recognized that unfettered speech is not in fact #FreeSpeech and can be dangerous. During WW2 the US used laws to restrict anti-war and un-American speech. The Nazi's used law to burn books, but used speech a means of legitimizing its platform >
[9] This shows that the very notion of #FreeSpeech is something that is at the behest of the empowered class of the time. It is used both as an excuse to crush people, and also as a means to justify such actions. It's oh so convenient, until it's not >
[10] The courts in the US have grappled with exactly how far the 1st Amendment right can and should go and have given considerable leeway to individual rights. What sort of things exactly has this resulted in? >
[11] In 1998 a 21 year old named Matthew was abducted, tortured, murdered and strung up on a post in a field for being gay.

At his funeral, a group of Christians exercising their #FreeSpeech stood outside, signs emblazoned with quotes like "God hates Fags" and "Matt in Hell" >
[12] A year or so ago, @IzzyFolau posted on Instagram words to the effect that gays are going to hell unless they repent >
[13] At the time of this post, @RugbyAU suspended Folau, before signing him to a new 4 years 4 million dollar contract based on the guarantee that he did not again post statements that were contrary to his contract, the players code, the organisation and sponsors ethos' ?
[14] Folau signed the contract. He took the money. Like he did when he went from NRL to AFL to Union. Ever the acute businessman, he followed the green to the bank as masterfully as he tore it up on the field >
[15] Unlike the US, Australia doesn't have an express right to #FreeSpeech. We are indeed signatory to the UDHR and ICCCPR. The High Court has also implied a freedom of political communication into the Constitution >
[16] What the High Court has clearly stated, is that #FreeSpeech in Australia is subject to the Rule of Law. Those laws that are constituted by the will of the people through the Parliament >
[17] As such, our Parliaments have passed a number of laws that both work to allow and disallow certain speech in respect to race, sex, gender, sexuality etc. And also, advertising, film, television. And also that good ol'chestnut DEFAMATION >
[18] What sort of things do these laws achieve though? and if we had #FreeSpeech how might it have differed? >
[19] In 2010 Andrew Bolt wrote words to the effect of "It's so hip to be black", "White is the New Black" and "White Fellas in the Black". He was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act. Bolt described the decision as a "terrible day for free speech" >
[20] Mr Bolt didn't lose his job. His speech was not hindered. He said what he did and he was found to have contravened the law. And he has gone on to say a many number of equally contentious things since >
[21] Should Mr Bolt have lost his job though? This is where it get's a bit more interesting. Mr Bolt is a columnist, known for being controversial. That is why his employer employs him. In a way, it is an implied understanding of his contract >
[22] This becomes a question of contract. @GillianTriggs posed this question in 2015: Does an employer have the right to sack, demote or sanction an employee for speech that breaches its code of conduct and may be substantially inaccurate, in bad faith and deeply hurtful? >
[23] A 2013 case before the Federal Court dealt with the Department of Immigration's action against its employee after she had tweeted criticism of facets of the immigration detention regime. She argued her #FreeSpeech was being trodden on. The Court found otherwise >
[24] The woman's right to #FreeSpeech were tempered by her contractual agreement and the reasonable expectations of her employer >
[25] A 2010 case before the Fair Work Commission dealt with an employee who was terminated for disseminating Islamophobic material. It was found that "although he was entitled to his views" the express terms of his contract and employer policies imposed reasonable constraints >
[26] A 2017 case before the Federal Court dealt with the Defence Force' termination of an employees role after he published a blog that was critical of gay, Islam, ADF and Government policy. His termination was lawful due to breaches of his contract >
[27] In 2014 a University of Sydney distributed vile comments about Aboriginals, Asians and women. He was subsequently sacked by the university, stirring yet another #FreeSpeech debate >
[28] The then Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, @TimWilsonMP (now a Liberal MP) stated: "Spurr is free to repeat these terms, but he had not been silenced or censored. The uni has simply disassociated itself from his conduct. He still has #FreeSpeech" >
[29] @TimWilsonMP also went on to defend SBS against critisicm for it's sacking of an employee who made 'anti-Anzac' comments. Wilson stated: "If people want to keep their jobs, they need to be mindful of their conduct and the impact it can have on others" >
[30] About one year after Folau's first #gayhell post, after signing a new 4 year 4 million dollar deal, he repeated the very same claim, but in an even bolder and direct way >
[31] Almost immediately, @RugbyAU and @raelenecastle did what they had to. They sacked him. Not only because his comments were VILE. But because they were a breach of his contract, the players code, and the organisation and sponsors interests >
[32] Further, had @RugbyAU and @raelenecastle not acted so appropritaely, they themselves would have been as risk of suits from other employees for a failure to prevent discrimination and a safe workplace >
[33] If @RugbyAU and @raelenecastle had not acted, they could have lost millions in sponsorship money. This is because we have something also much loved by #FreeSpeech proponents - a FREE MARKET >
[34] Interestingly however, if an employee for example is striking against unsafe working conditions, or inadequate pay, under the very same government pushing for #FreeSpeech, these emmployees, under the virtues of the free market SHOULD be sacked >
[35] So, Folau was sacked. Seems fair. Let's just ask @TimWilsonMP who as Human Rights Commissioner was kosher with employers sacking people for saying things >
[36] Headline: "Liberal MP Tim Wilson defends Folau".

"There is a need for people to be able to express their views on something like religion without censorship"... #FreeSpeech >
[37] Oh shit, I didn't realise. Sorry @TimWilsonMP Sorry, but um what about...

@yassmin_a who posted "Lest we forget. Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine". Where was her #FreeSpeech? >
[38] What about Adam Goodes, who used his Australian of the Year Speech to call out injustices suffered by Aboriginal Australians? #FreeSpeech >
[39] What about the Aboriginal @NRL State of Origin players who protest by not singing the national anthem? Why is it everyone who is calling for Folau to have not being sacked are also calling on these players to be sacked? #FreeSpeech >
[40] What in 1999, when Bob Ellis wrote his booked titled Goodbye Jerusalem... and was sued by @HonTonyAbbott and Peter Costello for defamation? Where was Ellis' #FreeSpeech >
[41] Just last year the government proposed that students on campus who protest should pay for police presence. Where is their #FreeSpeech or is it only free is you can afford it?
[42] After WW2, Hitler's book was banned in Germany. Where was his #FreeSpeech.
[43] We are seeing a bit of a pattern here... #FreeSpeech is free if you can afford it. It's free if your speech suits the empowered. If you're white. Unless you're Christian, but not "too black". >
[44] So Folau did the second post a year later. Most would like to have you believe he is just an idiot football player. This is lazy and arguably falls into racist and gendered tropes. He is a successful multi-millionaire business man. Educated and yes, bloody good at football >
[45] Now, Folau was sacked - as he was told he would be, as Australia was told he would be if he posted such shit again. Out of the woodwork comes @AlanJones and Chris Kenny and a swathe of other illustrious conservative allumni >
[46] Folau's motley crew of troupadores were the very same people who called for the destruction of @yassmin_a and of Waleed Aly and of the Aboriginal @NRL players and of Yumi Stynes and of Adam Goodes >
[47] So logically, the next step for a multimillionaire like @IzzyFolau and his multimillionaire backers is to set up a @gofundme campaign. After all, it is the 'fight of his life' >
[48] Now, @gofundme is known as being an LGBTIQ friendly platform. It has clear terms. Nevertheless, Izzy and his merry crew pressed on with a goal of raising 3 million to fight for his #FreeSpeech >
[49] After raising a chunk'a cash, @gofundme shut it down, as per its TERMS. Whoa nelly - this was unexpected wasn't it? And lo and behold, here you have another example of Folau's #FreeSpeech being trampled on >
[50] Enter right stage, @LyleShelton and the Christian lobby who, almost through divine intervention, set up their own funding page and fast eclipse the earlier funding >
[51] Now, lets think about this all. Folau signed his deal. He's 30. After his next deal he'd likely be near retirement age. Then the money stops. What's a footballer to do? Now Izzy isn't the type to crack titty jokes on the Footy Show with the boys >
[52] Izzy certainly doesn't bond with many of the guys on the team. He hold's most of them in contempt. Fornicators. Adulterers. Drunks. He needs a retirement plan. Izzy has an idea. Or maybe Alan had it. Or maybe Andrew. Or Tony >
[53] The second post was no accident. It was all part of a twofold plan of mutual satisfaction between Folau and his right wing 'teammates'. In return for getting Alan and co what they wanted so badly, they would turn @IzzyFolau into a Modern Martyr >
[54] You see, without this supposed unfettered notion of #FreeSpeech Alan can go around and call people murderers without getting sued for millions. Bolt say whatever he wants about Aboriginals >
[55] And hey... you know what @IzzyFolau could do with his beloved #FreeSpeech - one day, after someone calls me a faggot, or bashes me, or rapes me, or just destroys my will and I kill myself - he will be right there, at my funeral, a "fags go to hell" sign in his hand >
[56] Open your eyes people. This is a conspiracy of the right wing zealots and a greedy, malicious, selfish millionaire. Unhappy with the rule of law. Unhappy with equality. But most surprisingly, unhappy with the free market.

Kudos @RugbyAU and @raelenecastle
[57] Somehow, I don't think that Socrates had this sort of thing in mind. Nor the French Revolutionaries. Nor the Founding Fathers. Nor our Forefathers.
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