Janet Albrechtsen has a strange idea of free speech if she thinks it is infringed by defamation suits, including those brought by Larissa Behrendt, or by private confidentiality agreements, even within Wikileaks, or by a crowd jeering John Howard, or by one’s favorite author not being invited to such-and-such a writers’ festival (“It’s a serious debate about free speech”, The Australian, 1/6). These things are all part of the hurly-burly of free speech.

Even stranger is her lecture on progress (“Behind every advance, there is a dissident voice, a radical idea, a genuinely curious, bravely independent mind”), which nicely encapsulates the fundamental project of the Left, but turns history on its head by ascribing it to the Right.

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