Archive for the 'Clive Hamilton' Category

Clive Hamilton lies about Net censorship on national TV

Clive Hamilton at Save Solar Systems public meeting at Fitzroy Town Hall, 091203

Clive Hamilton, liar.

Australia’s Internet censorship plans featured on tonight’s episode of Four Corners. The delightful Clive Hamilton, proud father of Australia’s Internet censorship scheme, was there bravely guarding the morals of our country.

Hamilton kindly let the nation know he is definitely opposed to bestiality and coprophilia, but he’s not quite so big on the virtue of telling the truth.

Hamilton said on Four Corners:

We commissioned a poll which showed that parents of teenage children are extremely concerned about their children’s access to porn on the Internet and when we asked them explicitly whether they would support a mandatory filter on Internet service providers to prevent extreme and violent pornography coming into the home an astonishing 93 per cent said yes they would support that.

Wow. 93% support compulsory Internet censorship. Hamilton did the numbers, so it must be true, right?

Well, no.

According to the Australia Institute, Hamilton’s own think tank that carried out the poll he mentioned, respondents to the poll weren’t asked about “mandatory filters” at all. The Australia Institute 2003 poll on net censorship (pdf file) says (p23) :

Finally, parents were asked about their support for the two new strategies proposed in this paper to protect children from Internet pornography, that is, mandatory blocking of pornography by ISPs and educating children on the risks of pornography. They were first asked the following:

Would you support a system which automatically filtered out Internet pornography going into homes unless adult users asked otherwise?

So parents weren’t asked if they supported compulsory censorship at all! They were asked if they supported optional censorship. Hamilton has been caught out in a pure and simple lie.

How can we take anything else he says about Internet censorship seriously?

Note the slippery wording of the report. It says parents were asked about “mandatory blocking”, but the question quoted in the poll only talks about optional censorship.

The other fascinating thing about the program was the “town hall” meetings about how to get around Internet censorship, apparently linked in some way to Exit International, the pro-voluntary-euthanasia organisation. This seems like an excellent way to take opposition to Government Internet censorship plans off the Net and into broader society.

Australian Government moves closer to Internet censorship – what to do? #nocensorship #nocleanfeed

Via ZDNet News Editor Renai LeMay comes news that the Australian Government has received a report of its trial of systems to censor the Internet. Amusingly, as I type, the Government’s website announcing the report is down, presumably because of the amount of people visiting

The crucial finding is:

Filtering Refused Classification (RC) content

The pilot demonstrated that ISPs can effectively filter a list of URLs such as the ACMA blacklist with a very high degree of accuracy and a negligible impact on internet speed.

While it’s possible for technical people to argue about whether this is true or not, the political reality is that it will give the Government a good technical argument to go ahead with its plans to censor the internet. Therefore the plan will need to be defeated on political grounds.

At the moment, the Australian Greens and the Liberal/National Coalition still oppose the censorship plan, despite the Greens recently choosing to run Clive Hamilton, the moral architect of the censorship plan, as their candidate in the recent Higgins by-election. If this remains the same, it is likely that the plan will fail in the Senate as the Government is unlikely to ever have enough votes to pass the censorship plan without the support of one of those groups.

After the discussions we had here a year or so ago about this issue, I think we need to spread the idea that Australians need to take responsibility for their own viewing habits and not expect the Government to nanny them, and we need “maximum freedom for the maximum amount of people”. There was also a good discussion about laying a political cost on the Government by painting THEM as the creepy weird ones who are obsessed with people looking at nude pictures of children.

Thoughts?

Greens really think they’re Left – we’ve a long way to go

Ben Raue, a fairly senior New South Wales Greens member, has a post on his blog discussing the Higgins and Bradfield by-elections and the Greens results there. It’s a fairly standard sort of post, spinning the results as good for the Greens and not so good for the Liberals, but the interesting thing is that Raue labels the Greens as the “left-wing” party in those seats.

The Greens achieved a strong result in a right-wing heartland seat while running an explicitly left-wing campaign.

Raue is of course not being merely dishonest, even though calling Clive Hamilton, (the Greens’ candidate in Higgins), a left-winger is utterly laughable. Rather, left-wing politics has degenerated to such a degree that people who are suspicious of modern industrial civilisation and want to slow it down are considered Left, merely because they dislike capitalism.

This article in The Spectator attacks that idea, pointing out that many Green ideas come from the right-wing position of Thomas Malthus, whose arguments Marx and Engels rejected.

However the Greens are the only even semi-major political force talking about things like the rights of unions, freedom from internet censorship (even despite Hamilton’s appalling position) and the right to gay marriage, it’s easy for them to be seen as left-wing, and to attract support from many who could be won over to a real left-wing position. Such a left-wing position would include confidence in modernism and humanity, a belief that humans are more important than the Earth for it’s own sake, and a belief that people shouldn’t just demand a “fair day’s pay” but should take over society and run it themselves. Clearly there’s a lot of agitation to be done to spread these ideas.

Yes, Clive, “all that is solid melts into air”, you just don’t get it…

People coming here in response to David’s article in the Australian today (Green Wowser is no Leftie), may also be interested in an article about Hamilton that I wrote for Spiked last year : “Liberal Tyranny on the World Wide Web

Also,   few months ago it was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock so the media was full of articles about it.   Hamilton wrote one which he entitled  “From Free Love to Narcicissm”.  I began drafting a response to it, but as is fairly usual for me, I became  distracted by other stuff before I finished it.   However it seems appropriate to publish what I had written up to the time I stopped, rather than leave it languishing on my hard drive.  It’s not really finished, and should really be edited a bit …. but better to just put it here than wait till I  have the time and inclination to do any more work on it .   So here it is:

________________

The recent anniversary of Woodstock has prompted various public intellectuals to whip up  media pieces on the legacy of the ’60’s era. I was particularly irritated by Clive Hamilton’s piece “From Free Love to Narcissism“, published in Crikey. But I’ve since noticed the similarity between his and several other articles. On some levels they could have been woven from the same cloth.

It’s especially irritating that these people are so ready to describe  Woodstock as a (or even the) defining event of the worldwide upsurge of the  1960s. It clearly wasn’t. Throughout this period, young people around the world fought real battles which actually changed things. The counter-culture which emerged alongside these struggles most certainly had its rebellious side, but it was also heavily influenced by  the ‘turn off, tune in, drop out… ‘all you need is love’  mentality. And that aspect of it was struggled against by the leadership of those groups fighting for serious change. The idea that a mass stone-in at a rock n roll concert could be a world-changing event was not one that was widely embraced.  At best, Woodstock reflected (rather than drove) the general rebellious spirit of the times. It may have been a demonstration that the youth were no longer prepared to accept the old social conventions, but it was not a centre-piece of any particular struggle.

However, 40 years later, it suits both the overt Right and the pseudo-left to look back  on Woodstock as some sort of pivotal event.   The pseudo-left is quite comfortable redefining  the ’60s era as having been all about  peace, love, harmony, tolerance,  while  the Right has fun lampooning the idea that a muddy gathering of half a million drug addled, group-thinky, tie-dyed, incense burning kids, should be viewed as having been of positive significance.

Ayn Rand wrote:

“The hippies are the living demonstration of what it means to give up reason and to rely on one’s primeval “instincts,” “urges,” “intuitions” – and whims. With such tools, they are unable to grasp even what is needed to satisfy their wishes – for example, the wish to have a festival. Where would they be without the charity of the local “squares” who fed them? Where would they be without the fifty doctors, rushed from New York to save their lives – without the automobiles that brought them to the festival – without the soda pop and beer they substituted for water – without the helicopter that brought the entertainers – without all the achievements of the technological civilization they denounce? Left to their own devices, they literally didn’t know enough to come in out of the rain. “

I actually have some sympathy with Rand’s view, although her contempt is far too extreme for me.

Poor old Clive Hamilton wants to have it both ways. In his Crikey article he wrote: “The original  Woodstock festival was imbued with a sense of harmony and  tolerance and was everywhere seen as a ‘victory of peace and love’ “. The rest of his article is a sermon about  the sixties movement more generally in which he explains that it’s time we woke up and realised that in reality  the “rebellion [which] shook the foundations of conservatism in the sixties and seventies  [ has resulted in]  the most materialistic, egocentric and decadent societies the world has ever seen”.



Apparently we were conned, instead of winning we really lost because the main impact of winning more freedom and greater personal autonomy was the unleashing of … da Market Monster!!

Continue reading ‘Yes, Clive, “all that is solid melts into air”, you just don’t get it…’

Save Solar Systems public meeting – photos and recorded speeches

Some Strange Timers went to a public meeting last night about Victorian solar energy company Solar Systems, which may go into receivership after failing to attract investment for a planned solar electricity plant in Mildura, Victoria.

The meeting featured several speakers including the Greens candidate for tomorrow’s by-election in the seat of Higgins, Clive Hamilton, who distinguished himself by calling me a “prick” after he demanded (and I refused) that I stop taking photos of him, a public figure at a public meeting. This photo shows Hamilton just before he confronted me.

Clive Hamilton at Save Solar Systems public meeting, Fitzroy Town Hall, Napier St, Fitzroy Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 091203-19

Continue reading ‘Save Solar Systems public meeting — photos and recorded speeches’

Why Clive Hamilton isn’t a leftist – article in The Australian @australian

I’ve got an article published today in The Australian attacking Clive Hamilton, the Green candidate for the by-election in the seat of Higgins that is happening tomorrow.

My article says that left-wingers should reject Hamilton’s politics as they are further to the right than the Liberal Party is:

It’s a sign of the decline of Left politics that a reactionary, pro-censorship sexual moraliser who hates the idea of working people enjoying a higher material standard of living could ever be considered left-wing.

If you find this article interesting, you might also want to have a look at this article published about Hamilton in forth magazine, a new Irish current affairs website. It talks about Hamilton’s pseudo-left politics:

Until now, the voice of Australian opposition to global-warming moralism and scaremongering by the likes of Hamilton has only come to the political right, such as the rather nasty populist Andrew Bolt, writing in Melbourne’s Herald-Sun. (10) It is crucial that more leftists move into the global warming debate and defend the vision of a left that supports the modern world, including industrial development. If we don’t, the argument for a modern world will be left to the capitalists.