Freedom Of Speech Australia – Writers Festival Boss Is A Censor

By Andrew Bolt ~

Marieke Hardy, artistic director of the Melbourne Writers Festival, is only a step from being a book-burner. She approves of attempts to stop the sale of books she doesn’t like.

Yesterday she made clear on ABC radio that she is opposed to having debate in her festival as well – or anything that might distress festival goers with set opinions.

Hardy (pictured) said she wouldn’t want Germaine Greer at her own festival, and would spare her audience “distress”.

It was all too much even for host Virginia Trioli. Listen to the tension (from five minutes in, and particularly after 9.30) when Trioli took her on.

HARDY: I wouldn’t program Germaine Greer but I am also not interested in placing things in the world that hurt people right now…

TRIOLI: It is a worrying time we’re getting into if ideas that aren’t outside the law are hurtful and if we can’t handle ideas and if they become hurt. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Imagine what would have been said about the great writers working in the big social-liberation movements in America at the time and if whites had decided that those words hurt me, hurt me.

HARDY: When you put on a hurt-feelings voice is just makes it unkind, I think. Talking a hurt-feelings voice is in the same realm as calling someone a bleeding heart liberal.

TRIOLI: I thought we were more robust than that.

Bravo, Virginia.

But when the shut-uppery of the Left is now offending even Trioli and the likes of Richard Flanagan, we really do have a problem. A world like that is where mediocre opinions are protected from debate, and where mediocrities like Hardy run our writers festivals, using your money.



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