I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. - Voltaire
In the Middle Ages they would have burned him. In the 1930’s they would be content with burning his books. Today they are content withdrawing their venues preventing him from speaking.
What wonderful progress we are making.
This is in fact what happened yesterday to Christopher Monckton. You see, the Brisbane Bronco’s Leagues Club decided yesterday to withdraw their venue from his nationwide speaking tour. The General Manager, Geoff Kuehner, told me he had “never received more complaints in his 15 years as GM from club members” about Christopher Monckton.
Maybe, and maybe it was just another vocal group of others who are doing their darnedest to silence Monckton? I guess I’ll never know.
Since this news broke, I have had numerous Broncos’ club members call and tell me that they are extremely disappointed that the club withdrew the venue.
There are no winners from this and certainly the Australian spirit of a fair go hasn’t been extended to Christopher Monckton. Yes he made an absolute jerk of himself with those comments about Prof. Garnaut, but he has unreservedly apologised and I fear the real victim is now free speech.
It also seems when the going gets tough, the Broncos Leagues club goes to water. If only they had the fortitude of the Brisbane Broncos NRL team who would never back off from an adversary.
Wayne Bennett instilled a culture of courage and integrity at the Broncos. Now they buckle to this.
Not surprisingly, the GetUp! link referred to in my post has mysteriously been removed.
But we made a screen copy just in case. Click on the image to enlarge and see for yourself.
I have been threaten with legal action by the Broncos Leagues Club General Manager, Geoff Kuehner. After a very heated telephone call on Friday afternoon, he accused me among other things, of lying about the reason the function venue was withdrawn.
So let me put the record straight.
I signed a function room hire contract with the Broncos Leagues Club on May 4, 2011. I disclosed who the speaker was and the nature of his presentation. The speaker and our money were gladly accepted by the club. We also paid for additional security as we held concerns the likes of GetUp! will do their darnedest to disrupt Christopher’s presentation. Again, the club gladly accepted this risk.
So around 11am on Thursday (30 June 2011), I received a telephone call from Mr. Kuehner. He informs me that the club had received about “50 telephone calls” from “club members” that Monckton should not be allowed to speak at their venue. These “Members” brought up the recent unfortunate comment Christopher Monckton made about Prof. Garnuat.
Mr. Kuehner said he would need to speak to the directors of the club board but it looked like the club would cancel our room hire contract. He said he would call me back later in the afternoon to let me know about their decision.
I pleaded with him not to cancel our function room contract as it was important that Christopher be allowed to freely speak and that the people who had prepaid to hear him speak were allowed to hear him.
As of yesterday afternoon, we had 157 people prepaid $25 via Ticketek to listen to Christopher’s presentation.
Around 2pm, Mr. Kuehner informs me that the Broncos Leagues club board has decided to cancel our room hire contract and the reason given was they (the Club) could not “risk” Christopher Monckton repeating such remarks again at their venue.
Notwithstanding the fact that Christopher Monckton has already provided an unreserved apology to Prof Garnaut, it seems the Broncos would rather not accept his apology, not be prepared to extend him a fair go and instead take the easy road out and just cancel our contract because of an imaginary fear that Christopher might call someone else a nasty name.
The Broncos’ didn’t just censor Christopher Monckton; they also censored at least 157 people who wanted to hear what he had to say.
As I have already said, there are no winners here and the biggest loser is free speech in Queensland. It’s a sad day.
More proof that GetUp! had a hand in this. Click to enlarge.
Special thanks to Anne and Jeanette for providing me with these screen shots.
Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt
We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still. - John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. - John F. Kennedy