Sydney Art Censorship Debate Clive Hamilton

There is no censorship worth noting in Australia.‘ The words of former Australia Institute Executive Director, Clive Hamilton, at last nights Art Censorship debate in Sydney (video here).

Clive must be losing his memory. Did he forget that recent case where those nasty chaps at David Jones tried to silence The Australia Institute’s criticism of their advertising practices? Some might tag that corporate censorship. The ABC even reported Clive saying it was affront to free speech.

And that book he co-wrote, Silencing Dissent: how the Australian government is controlling public opinion and stifling debate. I take it that was merely an exercise in printing 279 blank pages? Nothing worth noting? Odd considering what Clive said in this interview around the time of the book’s launch:

‘Some of the laws restricting free speech that have been introduced recently go too far and represent a significant threat to our civil liberty.’

And this one:

‘Australia runs the risk of losing international standing and gaining a reputation for being intolerant and undemocratic. The most worrying long-term outcome is that Australia will become a democracy in name only. An uninformed citizenry trotting off to the ballot box every three or four years is not really democratic. If we don?t stop the erosion of our democratic institutions then the creeping authoritarianism we have witnessed over the past decade will inevitably escalate.

Maybe it’s time Clive Hamilton was not worth noting.