In 1988 the Hawke government put a constitutional amendment to a referendum. On the recommendation of the government’s Constitution Commission, we were invited to vote to enshrine guarantees of trial by jury, property rights, and freedom of religion. The proposition was rejected by all states. There is nothing surprising in that. We almost always do vote against constitutional amendment because the politicians of the right have always succeeded in persuading us that the original document (a free trade agreement between the federating colonies) is perfect and, in any case, any proposal for change is a left-wing plot to deprive her majesty’s loyal subjects of their common law freedoms.

Additional Info

  • Free Article No
  • Custom Article Title Terry Lane reviews 'Liberty: A History of Civil Liberties in Australia' by James Waghorne and Stuart Macintyre
  • Contents Category Society
  • Book Title Liberty: A History of Civil Liberties in Australia
  • Book Author James Waghorne and Stuart Macintyre
  • Biblio UNSW Press, $59.95 hb, 240 pp, 9781742232652

Australians quite like the idea of freedom of speech, except in almost any situation you can think of. We hold that speaking freely is acceptable and commendable except when it is rude, upsetting, unpatriotic, in poor taste, or blocks the traffic.

Additional Info

  • Free Article No
  • Custom Article Title Terry Lane reviews 'Speech Matters: Getting Free Speech Right' by Katharine Gelber
  • Contents Category Features
  • Book Title Speech Matters: Getting Free Speech Right
  • Book Author Katharine Gelber
  • Biblio UQP, $34.95 pb, 224 pp, 9780702238734