Subversion #1312

Dr Richard Kidd is co-founder of Doctors for Refugees, He spoke at Stand Up for Refugees rally which was held in Brisbane as part of a National Day of Action.

As a doctor who works with refugees in Australia, because of the Border Force Act he is risking 2 years jail by speaking out.

I interviewed him during the Rally. He speaks to me about the effect the Border Force Act has had on Doctors, the difficulties doctors have treating patients in detention, children in detention and the work of Doctors for Refugees.

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  1. Paul Dudman

    Thank you so much

    I am deeply concerned about the implications of the Border Force Act and measures to silence dissent reportability and accountability. This has wide implications for vulnerable groups and the community at large.

    Would you bear with me whilst I prune my own notes to make relevant inputs. I have recently responded to a number of articles published by Fairfax media and The Guardian that are relevant

    Madeleine Kingston, Victoria Australia

  2. Follow-up on Post No.1

    However in the meantime perhaps you will accept some more general commentary.

    May I refer to a relevant 2007 publication since so little has changed before and after?

    Clive Hamilton and Sarah Maddison “Silencing Dissent: How the Australian government is controlling public opinion and stifling debate. Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest 20675 NSW Australia ISBN 978 174175

    National Library of Victoria cataloging entry 323-44994

    The backcover contained commentary by Robert Manne extracted from he foreword:

    “For over a decade, the Howard government has found ways to silence its critics. one by one. Like the proverbial frog in boiling water, Australians have become accustomed to repeated attacks on respected individuals and organizations.”

    “For a government which claims to support freedom of speech and freedom of choice, only certain kinds of speech and choices appear to be acceptable.”

    “Silencing Dissent uncovers the facts used by John Howard and his colleagues to undermine dissenting and independent opinion. Bullying, intimidation, public denigration, threats of withdrawal of funding, personal harassment, increased government red tape and manipulation of the rules are all tools of trade for a government that wants to keep a lid on public debate. The victims are charities, academics, researchers, journalists, judges, public sector organisations, even parliament itself.

    “Deeply disturbing., Silencing Dissent raises serious questions about the state of democracy in Australia.

    Sadly very little has change. Both major parties appear to support unconscionable policies and legislation.

    What is more those who used to speak out including those with a Left-Right-Left-Right philosophical orientation, don’t seem to be saying what they previously said.

    Madeleine Kingston Victoria Australia

    • Dear Madeleine,

      Thank you so much for following up these initial posts with your very useful and timely responses. These are very important points that you have highlighted in your replies and I hope these will lead to further discussions on these topics.

      Thank you for taking the time to include these here.

      Best regards,


  3. Thanks so much Paul for your prompt response to my inputs. I am so hesitant to make posts recognizing my own frailties with regard to brevity. I have more commentary to provide than wordpress could possibly cope with.

    Perhaps it would be be easier if I simply listed the articles against which I have made recent commentary. On the other hand this would take time and effort to cull.

    I am very deeply concerned about these issues and have always admired your work.


    Madeleine Kingston Victoria Australia

    PS I post under my own name Madeleine Kingston, though by user name can be Madeleine Kingston or Madeleine KingstonAU. I also have a Twitter account under skylarkAU1, though 140 characters is very limiting and I do not use this account as often as I might.

    I am never afraid to use my own name. However I also have the advantage of not being in receipt of government funding of any description or accountable to any government authority.

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