What is sedition? According to Google, it is ‘the conduct of speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of the state or monarchy.’ Cambridge Dictionary says it is ‘language or behaviour that is intended to persuade other people to oppose their government.’ The meaning of sedition in the trusted, Oxford Dictionary is similar to the others we’ve looked at. So now that we are clear on what the simple meaning of sedition is, what do you think we should do? Repeal the act? Which means getting rid of it altogether. Or Amending the Sedition Act? Which means refining it to be relevant to today’s world. Which do you feel would serve our country better?
The entire racket over ‘sedition’ reared its head again recently with the arrest of Watson Duke for a seditious statement he allegedly made some time ago. We’re guessing that Duke was mouthing off as he always does and said things that, according to our ancient laws, could be considered seditious. While that’s a matter for the courts to decide, we ask, which politician today hasn’t made a statement in his or her lifetime, or even recently, that could be considered seditious under the existing law? Who’s checking the tapes to see? We hope it’s not just the police but the media, which holds a vast majority of recordings of all sorts, could shed light on this matter.
Let’s face it, Duke has never been accused of being brilliant and we are in no way advocating on his behalf. But an accusation of sedition is serious and Duke, being the pseudo politician/union leader that he is, is hardly likely a threat to the state. More so, he is not taken seriously by anyone other than himself. Of greater concern should be the individuals with greater influence making statements daily on social media that could be deemed more threatening to the state or national security than any trade unionist or politician. There are individuals preaching hate and divisiveness under the guise of religion while others are perpetuating racial intolerance and hatred.
Laws against sedition are important in our view. The existing ones that allowed the 1990 insurrectionists to walk free and to jail Duke are utterly useless. But, we need laws that are relevant to today’s world. Laws that would nail cyber criminals and insurrectionists to the proverbial cross. We need laws that would prevent terrorists from taking hold of our country again or from returning with the necessary training to wage war against the state. In fact, we urgently need to review of all legislation, to become relevant in this millennium, not just peace-meal, quick fixes. It’s only after our outdated laws are taken seriously, can the public place real credibility behind a charge of sedition against any individual.