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“…The explosion of vitriol triggered by the Bill Leak case demands a psychological explanation. For stating a truth that should not be stated, according to a sizeable minority of the population, a cartoonist — for whom there is conventionally broad ­licence — is pilloried as a racist, deluged in hate mail and dragged before the Human Rights Commission.

In the present case, “racial ­hatred” is invented in order to persecute it. This allows the pious accusers to vent their own hatred with a good conscience. The accusers’ self-image is that of peace-loving compassion, of a good person committed to social equality and harmony, yet the psychic reality is one of simmering ­resentment. Irritability and free-floating rage are then projected on to the perpetrator, in this instance Leak.

Any crusade needs a faith. Since the 1960s, it has mainly been a neo-Marxist ideology of domination and oppression that has prevailed. According to it, modern Western capitalist societies are ­Satanic oppres­sors of the weak and the disadvantaged. Bill Leak’s caricature of a dysfunctional indigenous family hit the nerve with unintended forensic precision. What is new in this history of intolerance is the role of the state. The civic order representing the citizenry — the state — should be defending the primary democratic principle of free speech. A society that limits free speech, limits the freedom of the press and interferes in the untrammelled capacity for free association — citizens gathering together voluntarily to form clubs, unions, interest groups, charities, indeed for any kind of mutual enjoyment. Hereby are compromised two out of three of the key conditions for democracy as a successful and flourishing political form, a free press and voluntary associations

The Coalition government could in the past, with some ­cogency, decide that the repealing of section 18C was not worth the expenditure of political capital that would be required. Events have now taken over. The government, via its own Human Rights Commission, is complicit in promoting a new order of blasphemy law. It is complicit in giving legal clout and status to those offended, for whatever dark psychological reasons, by what someone else, for instance Leak, might say. This situation is no longer tenable in a self-respecting liberal democracy…” Government complicit in promoting 18C moral crusaders