Just in from Tina:
It’s a rare good news week!
We have finally learnt that Maddy Ward, the key organiser of the Sydney University protest against me, has actually been given a one semester suspension from her studies next year for misconduct in relation to the protest. She has written about this for an online “progressive” journal, Overland.org, where she whines about left-wing students being targeted, having codes of conduct used against them by sinister “external figures and organisations”.
Back in June we discovered Ward had been charged with misconduct – she posted on Facebook that she was outraged that I had “weaponised” the bullying and harassment laws against her. Pretty funny, really, because it’s her tribe, the authoritarian left, which was responsible for persuading universities to regulate this type of behaviour.
So now it turns out she’s facing a real publishment, not just a slap on the wrist – mainly because she was subject to a previous suspended misconduct charge over her harassment of an anti-abortion group on campus, where she flashed her tits at the Christian protesters. Ward was also in trouble earlier this year for endorsing violence against Israeli soldiers in the form of a “martyred” female suicide bomber on the front page of the student magazine.
The Australian wrote about the decision today – https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/arndt-student-protester-suspended/news-story/9ff49b49f46c7f180f9ca43b4da93a5f
The reporter, Rebecca Urban, noted that the University has previously declined to provide details of findings against individual students for privacy reasons, but Maddy Ward told The Australian that she had been found guilty of breaching the student code of conduct by “unreasonably impeding access to a lecture theatre” and failing to treat members of the public with “respect, dignity, impartiality courtesy and sensitivity”.
The paper quotes Associate Professor Peter McCallum commenting on the decision: “Any findings made in this case are not in any way intended to discourage free speech or protest.”
Yet the fact that the University has imposed a suspension on Ward sends an important signal that expression of free speech does not include screaming students bullying and harassing audiences for campus events and preventing them from accessing the venue.
This serious action puts a lie to Vice Chancellor Michael Spence’s persistent claim that the protest was no big deal. If, as Spence has claimed many times, the fuss about the protest was simply a circus, why would his University derail the young activist’s studies for half a year?
Ms Ward said she would appeal against her suspension. “I know I’m controversial and have quite left-wing views, but there’s a real hypocrisy occurring,” she said. “I do worry about the impact on other students because the code of conduct is impeding on students’ freedom of speech in an invasive and punitive way.”
Another #MeToo case crashes and burns.
The other recent good news was the non-guilty verdict in actor John Jarratt’s #MeToo case. This followed successful defamation action by another actor, Geoffrey Rush, whose career had also been derailed by a #MeToo accusation. Both men are actors who had been around for years but happened to be hitting a peak in their careers when they found themselves publicly named and shamed following efforts by feminist activists to elicit accusations about high profile men. In both cases, unproven accusations were published in lurid newspaper stories before any proper investigation or trial.
Ultimately Geoffrey Rush won big – over $850,000 in defamation costs against the newspaper which defamed him as “King Leer” and probably more to come – and his accuser was found to be unreliable witness.
John Jarratt was accused of raping a housemate over 40 years ago but his accuser’s story was full of holes and the case was dismissed by a unanimous jury after 15 minutes deliberation. Jarratt is now calling for withholding of names in rape cases until proven guilty.
I was interviewed about all this by Andrew Bolt on Sky News and we thought you might enjoy seeing our discussion. Here’s the link to the video – https://bit.ly/2XXS0q2
UK Men’s Rights Action, our official supporters’ Facebook page, is here.
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