September 4th 2010

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Labor's federal election debacle

EDITORIAL: A new deal for rural Australia?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Can the independents agree on a policy agenda?

QUARANTINE: WTO rules in favour of NZ apples

NATIONAL SECURITY: Significance of Abu Bakar Bashir's arrest

CHINA I: Beijing's bid to turn the South China Sea into a Chinese lake

CHINA II: Do China's upheavals herald liberalisation?

ISLAM: What the West must demand of Muslims

NATIONAL MARRIAGE DAY: Why we need a renewed culture of natural marriage

OPINION: Choosing sex, the next great leap in selfish parenting

CHILDHOOD: Children at risk from internet pornography

EDUCATION: Seeking truth in the electronic age

POLITICAL FUNDING: Secular left's cynical use of religion

Population debate (letter)

Annual abortion tally (letter)

Why handicap language with political correctness? (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Financial recovery falters / Digital device over-use may cause brain fatigue / Young people not maturing to adulthood / US withdrawal from Iraq

BOOK REVIEW: BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas

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Why handicap language with political correctness? (letter)

by Greg O'Regan

News Weekly, September 4, 2010

By what right may people like David Brant from a disability organisation or federal Labor's disability spokesman Bill Shorten MP restrict free speech by objecting to words in common use?

Andrew Peacock's metaphor that those who could not see the faults of the Labor government must be "handicapped" (see The Australian, August 10), may have been influenced by his well-known predilection for horse-racing.

The context of his comment shows there was no intention to belittle persons with disabilities.

Anyway, Peacock is perfectly entitled to use the word "handicapped", just as other people should be entitled to express their views in debate to describe opponents as unintelligent or blind or short-sighted or deaf to their arguments.

Reactions like Brant's and Shorten's are precious and negative. Their objections are a kind of censorship and smack of an oppression which I am sure that Brant, for one, would not wish to impose upon the free thinking and expression of his fellow citizens.

Should the RSPCA react when reference is made to the donkey vote?

Greg O'Regan,
Farrer, ACT

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