30th May 2021
This post is getting a lot of flak from libertarians.
Some further thoughts:
Someone had concerns about my TOI article (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/seeing-the-invisible/time-for-big-tech-to-respect-liberty-or-be-forced-to-do-so/).
Social media is not like a private club. It must be regulated as a utility because of the sheer size of reduction in public welfare involved when people with certain views are stopped from speaking.
Just like a bus company can’t reject a person’s entry because the person disagrees with the political or scientific views of the owner, so also for utilities like social media companies – they can’t have terms and conditions that reduce (or eliminate) the free speech rights people have under the law.
Note that one is not reducing the right of the bus company to own the bus. All one is saying such companies can’t stop people from entering the bus for reasons related to their views.
Also, well said by Pankaj Das, the President of SBP:
[shared on Facebook]
SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES ARE A UTILITY (PLATFORM) AND CAN NEVER BE A PUBLISHER.
Some important points made by Pankaj Das, Swarna Bharat Party’s President, in relation to breach of trust by social media companies which has motivated even those like me and him – who otherwise want the minimum possible government intervention – to demand regulation to compel social media companies to defend the freedom of speech which is available to citizens under the ordinary law.
Consider a scenario, two terrorists are planning a crime over phone. The phone carrier company will not be held responsible as they have no control over what gets discussed over their network. Whereas a publisher exercises control over their content and are consequently responsible for it.
The social media companies wanted similar designation as phone carriers claiming that they don’t/can’t exercise control over content.
They got this status and were not held responsible for content.
However, having said they were platforms just like phone carriers, and advertising as such, proceeded to behave like publishers abusing the law; and confidence and terms of contract with users.
When you are a carrier you do not have a choice, unless what is mandated by a court of law. It is like a letter dropped in a post box for the postal department to deliver it to the address. The postal agency is paid to deliver. They receive money to deliver the letter, not to play a gatekeeper role as to the contents of the letter. This is the difference between a publisher and a platform.
The social media companies solicit us as their customers to provide this service, and we buy their service for them to provide us platform service. Nothing more nothing less. If they want to sell the services of a publisher then they must let the customer be told first. One cannot pack chicken when we had done the transaction for fish.
[And in this case the question of being a publisher does not arise.]
As the owner of social media company, you are not publishing. Individuals are publishing. You, as the social media company, are merely carrying that post just at the phone carrier is not talking. It is merely carrying the voice. Imagine, Vodafone inserting itself into the conversation you and I are conducting.
30th May 2021
Someone shared this video yesterday. I flicked through it – seems worth sharing. He says clearly that never has a vaccine that has caused so many direct deaths ever been allowed in human history. Vaccines are pulled from the market for far fewer deaths.
And someone sent this email, which I’m also sharing. Note that my view remains simple: people ought to consider any risks and benefits and decide for themselves. I’ve provided some analysis at:
20th May 2021
Over the past few months, I have formed a truly positive impression of Michael O’Neill, President of IMOP.
But a few days ago someone has raised concerns with me about Barbara O’Neill.
I will need to look at this issue carefully before reviewing my current position re: Michael. I have seen too many corrupt regulators and government officials in my life to believe only their side of the story. For instance, there is unequivocal proof of Narendra Modi’s involvement in the riots that killed over 1000 innocent Muslims in India – and his connivance with the lynchings of Muslims in India is also equally unequivocally proven. Yet the “regulators” of India, one of the most corrupt group of people in that country, have given him a clean chit by ignoring the facts that were staring at them in the face. There are MANY other such incidents I know of across the world. Regulatory capture and corruption is just too chronic a problem to ignore.
I would therefore like to understand Barbara’s story properly before forming a view. I will soon get a copy of Michael’s book, The Assassination of Barbara O’Neill. [See YouTube video here]. But I will only be able to consider this issue after I have finished lodging ARP’s registration application with the AEC. That means I can’t examine this for a few more weeks.
In the meanwhile I invite those who have actually (and thoroughly – please!) studied this matter to write their findings either on this blog or to send me an email at email@example.com.
At this moment I maintain a fact-finding stance.
===ALLEGATION RECEIVED ===
Mr O’Neill is a co-director with his wife, Barbara, in a health retreat venture in NSW. I attach a copy of the findings against Mrs O’Neill from the Health Care Complaints Commission, together with articles below regarding the findings against Mr and Mrs O’Neill’s venture at Misty Mountains and the revocation of charity status by the Charities Commission.
I think you will agree that most reasonable people would have ethical concerns about the activities described.
14th May 2021
Nevertheless, I kept sharing info on the new party (now called Australia’s Representatives) at the earliest opportunity, so I could persuade her to get involved in this massive effort.
You will all recall that a few weeks ago – left with no option after talking to the small parties but to think about creating a new party – I called Peter Harris to find out how a party is created in Australia.
It turns out he was going to call me that same day to discuss a thought that had come to his mind after weeks of feedback from the grassroots.
Over the past few weeks, Peter and Ruby have been running the Standup program across WA (they intend to run 300 workshops across Australia by the end of the year) and in each of these they have found a massive rate of participation from people disgusted with what is going on. People are desperate for a political alternative, but they want something bigger than a one-issue party. Polls conducted by them (and associates) show a very high likely demand for a third centrist party.
One of the key messages coming through was that people were disappointed with their representatives who were unapproachable and unresponsive, even as these MPs happily vote on draconian measures – and the threat of vaccine passports is being taken very badly by such people. They want a system in which their MPs are accountable to them and talk to them.
As you’re aware, Peter has been watching the (rather limited) progress of my attempt to form a coalition. I’ve had him in our coalition strategy group on Telegram because of his prior expertise in politics. He was founder of the Family First party and did the main work to set it up. In 2006 he had decided to stop all future political work but now, given the grassroots pressure – and his own view that the situation in Australia is dire, he told me that day on the phone (around 2 weeks ago, that he would be willing to set up a new party again, as its Federal Director – to both fulfil the demand of his constituents (their newsletter goes to over 7000 people and Ruby has a good following on social media + the views coming from the Standup seminars) and to help me achieve my goal of fighting these big parties in the lower house.
Peter has been true to his word: he has prepared key draft documents. The only problem with this party formation process is that he and Ruby are constantly on the road, so the feedback I’m providing has not been incorporated yet. Second, he is trying to get key people onboard as the main office bearers but one of the most significant persons for us has not been able to be connected – this person is likely driving across WA to NSW. Office bearer roles have to be filled by credible people. Further, credible spokespersons have to be found in a number of areas before the party is declared.
This party plank will be mainly to fight public health terrorism and human right violations but it will also have a broad set of principles and values that are universal and liberal. Its elected members will have the freedom to vote as per their conscience on almost everything – but they will need to explain their votes publicly in those situations where their vote differs from the party’s preferred position (the party will have preferred positions, based on principles and consultation). They will need to undertake continuous consultation with their electorate as well.
The name of the party has been finalised, logos are being designed and tested, the domain com.au was purchased but an org.com.au domain will need to be purchased and a website started, membership form has been created and is being finalised, a donation process is being created, etc. A lot of IT work is in needed, so volunteers are being sought.
As this work goes into multi-faceted details, it is becoming clear this is going to take longer than earlier anticipated.
I would hope (wherever possible – knowing that Monica and Morgan have currently a strategy to support good candidates and not necessarily of any party) that people on this team will take key roles in this party as spokespersons/ candidates. I’ve had a chat with Robert – who’s been prompting me to enter politics for over 5 months now – he has agreed to be the initial Queensland coordinator (we have another person in Queensland in the proposed party – she has major experience of running campaigns for the Liberal Party and will resign from the Liberal Party next week). He will also be a health ethics spokesperson and will contest a lower house seat. As the only government doctor to step out to fight the CHOs, he will become a major figure of this party. He’s working on writings/ videos to launch his message.
Since Peter is very supportive of the third front concept, we’ll not oppose any good candidate. We’ll also collaborate closely not only with IMOP but with any other party that wishes to participate in the lower house contest.
(Btw, Craig Kelly is fully aware of this effort – I’ve been providing him brief updates – but not sent in the detailed documents yet. I’ve also alerted Pete Evens broadly to this effort.)
As you know I’ve had extensive chats with Tim Flynn who wants to form his party. I will be talking to him about this party as soon as I have some concrete materials to share with him, and will hope that he will come on board in some capacity – along with his thousands of followers. Tim is a highly competent person – a former senior Treasury executive, and he could become our finance spokesperson (I might be the economic spokesperson).
Please keep all this completely secret at this stage – we want this to be known only once a well-considered public announcement is made.