Watch this ten-year-old boy defend freedom of speech 245



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The communications minister may have been banned from last’s night’s Q&A but that doesn’t mean the discussion on free speech and the role of the ABC didn’t happen.

Instead, a 10-year-old stole the spotlight when he asked the panel about free speech and the Federal Government’s stance on the ABC.

Ashton Platt directed his question to the panel, which included former Liberal leader John Hewson and war correspondent Michael Ware.

The plucky school-kid asked his question via video from his home in Highbury, South Australia.

“Recently in the school holidays I’ve been watching World War II films such as The Book Thief and Woman In Gold,”  Ashton said.

“What I’ve learned from these films is that attacking freedom of speech becomes one way in which dictators try to control public debate and thoughts. I know I’m only 10, but Tony Abbott scares me when he attacks the ABC and tries to control what we see on it.

“Should we all be afraid of his attacks on Q&A and the ABC — both things I love?”

Watch the video below, which includes the panel members’ answers and tell us – how would you have answered this young lad’s question?



How would you answer Ashton’s question: should we all be afraid of the Prime Minister’s attacks on Q&A and the ABC?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. very cool kid, I hope he keeps his ideals & is not poisoned by others

    4 REPLY
    • what if he said unionists are corrupt or urged us to embrace islam would you be so keen him or not kids that age should not be on tv abusing our pm .what if my 10yo was on next week calling the opposition leader a rapist .is that free speach???

    • but he didn’t, and the way he spoke & what he said, i don’t think he would ever say those things….he did not abuse mr abbott…man, take a chill pill you are right out the window with those comments…why so much hate?

    • and the only way your 10 year old would be so vile, is if you told him to say it!! rape is not something 10 year old think about…but the way people are treated is, in most civilized places

    • He is Tony Jones’s nephew. I think Uncle Tony might have had something to do with question.
      The kids 10yo. 10yo’s don’t think of these things unless someone has coached them.

      2 REPLY
      • I beg to differ. My kids are grown now but when they were that kids age they used to be waiting to grab the newspaper from their dad when he brought it home from work. They were quite capable of forming their own opinions.

        1 REPLY
        • Free speech on Q&A ??? That will be the day.
          This young man has been brain washed.

      • I beg to differ!
        I was around that age 10-11 yrs when I first read Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring and from then on, lectured absolutely everyone about the dangers of using organochlorines (DDT etc) to the extent my father’s farm became organic (not overnight but it did happen).
        Please give credit to these intelligent well-spoken youngsters, they are entitled to their well-thought out opinions and instead of being nasty try to accept & embrace the next generation.. otherwise feel free to leave if you’re not making the world a better place by your presence

  2. Watched Q&A last night. Liked this question. Good to see that we have bright, intelligent, questioning young people. Good that the young lad was able to ask his question. I also think the response was balanced and appropriate.

  3. Watch that young man. He is the voice of the future. Interestingly enough, no one addressed his question “should we be afraid of Tony Abbott?”. Yes, young man, be afraid.

    13 REPLY
    • my god he is 10 who coached him ..what if he said shorten was a crook or islam is good ??? almost child abuse

      1 REPLY
      • Formulating a question is not coaching.
        Listen to this kids preamble. What he’s watching & what he is learning etc.
        You think he’s too young to be this smart?
        In 1974 My neighbors & us took our kids to a fireworks display at the showground.
        When it was over, my mates wife randomly said “Well, what did you think of that?”
        My 8 year old said “It was very colourful but the pollution is a worry”
        It stunned all of us.
        People underestimate what kids think & discuss.
        Check this kid out.

    • again, why can’t a 10 year old have an opinion? i know lots of children who have & do at that age….they care about others & are genuine with what they say….and what he said was true, not some far fetched controversional issue

    • Graeme Condely His Uncle Tony prep’d him for his minute of fame. Yes he’s Tony Jones’ nephew

    • Thank you Janice you are correct, the question was not clearly answered, I believe the answer is no we are not afraid of Tony Abbott simply vote him out at the next election. can he do any real damage between now and then no more than what Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard had done previously. The sooner all politicians look at our country as a future and not as a next election the better off we will be

    • Typical Jones & Producer’s setup. Anything to get at the Libs & Tony Abbot. Why don’t you bring in Rudd & Gillard facing each other ( before the Producers get to them to b nice to each other & adjudicated by Andrew Bolt) the rest of the bench all Libs, & the audience all Libs… Of course… Nothing wrong with that idea. Thank God for the invention of the Remote Control. Bye bye ABC..!

    • Ridiculous J K M. Enough of this disingenuous confected non-sense from parents using a child to get on TV! The kid ought to be playing with his peers, not being a muppet, belatedly justifying Dad & Mum’s failed live’s! Leave the kid be!

  4. Abbott scares many of us young man and yes be very afraid but only till the next election.. then we can get rid of him

    6 REPLY
    • Thank you Leanna, we can vote Abbott out at the next election our problem is as bad as he is is there anyone better on the other side to replace him I am not a Tony Abbott fan don’t get me wrong I am not a fan of labour don’t get me wrong I am neither a green voter or either, my question is each party is it bad as each other who, who do we replace them with.

    • And what chance does Bull Shitten have?? A cheat a rapist and a crook. Great candidate labor! ! Ha ha ha

    • Thank you Leanna for your vote of confidence, however, I am already on the aged pension, is that reduced enough, I think I would be assasinated after the first week. Lol.

  5. This child has already been” poisoned” by others. 10 year olds do not speak naturally about current politics, unless they have been coached by others. He also should learn some respect for others and not abuse them by saying things like ” watch your back”

    22 REPLY
    • Never underestimate children, they have more access to information than we ever had, and are using technology that we never even dreamt of, our kids are intelligent. Don’t dumb them down to your own standards

    • Speak to any 10yr old these days & they are so much more aware of what’s going on than we ever were..this young man has more going for him than a lot adults.

    • I’m sure his politics are influenced by his elders. I am sure he is listening to others while watching Q&A. Why is he staying up so late to watch TV?

    • Gail !! Q&A is repeated the next day and it is also on iview, you can access ivew at any time in the tell you people don’t watch not only Q&A but ABC much. That is your choice but it is obviously this young mans choice to watch it !!

    • Helen Hardman: When did he say “watch your back”? Not during that clip (or on the full show – just watched it again on iview). I did not hear any abuse or lack of respect from the young man – so not quite sure where you are coming from. I was in fact very impressed by him. Wish more people were so clear.

    • My grandchildren (from 20 to 5 years old 8 of them) are very aware of the politics around them. Their mines are their own and they are very clear with their opinions and their views . This young mans question is very similar to questions I have had put to me in my own home by my grandchildren.

    • Helen get with the times , you are thinking 50 yrs ago the children of today run circles around us the information they get off social media , school teachers and our very open society enables these children to be very I informed, please just give the child credit for using his own brain instead of being negative

    • here is a direct quote from his mother and she does not mention this boy being a fan of abbotts Speaking to Fairfax Media on Tuesday, Ashton’s mother Suzi said the Platt family – including her 14-year-old daughter – were involved in writing the question. She and her daughter had been in the Q&A studio audience a few weeks before Zaky Mallah’s appearance sparked the ongoing controversy, and the family regularly watched the program, she said.
      “We’re a very politically aware family and we like debates. That’s something that we encourage with our children – to have independent minds and think for themselves,” Ms Platt said.

    • Q&A discussions of politics with gran are always the best. Jenny Hawthorne I think I started to have opinions and views ever since I started talking haha. If I never knew anything that was going on around me I would always source it from family or friends or by researching. ‘Poisoned’ ? At age 10?? Kids these days have great knowledge on the world around them through media, technology and appropriate education. Good on the kid last night on Q&A, he had the same intuition as what I would have had at that age. Freedom of speech came from my debating and public speaking at that age. It’s great to see that kids are concerned with common society around them and not just video games etc

    • if 10 yo have the pollitical savy why cant they vote///??..his dad has admitted he wrote the question for him

    • I’m pretty sure 10 year olds are way to young to vote. It’s great to see that the boy within his family environment can debate and discuss issues within society, (I.e at such a young age) but most 10 year olds would not have the intellectual intelligence to make an informed vote like that. Our family always discusses what is going on around us, even my younger cousins are inquisitive, and I believe that’s how he gathered information for his question last night on Q&A. He is not being brainwashed or poisoned. If he didn’t want to voice then he obviously wouldn’t have spoke and sent in his question !?! I think it’s great that his family helped him and supported him. He’s only 10 years old, good on him

    • He is Tony Jones’s nephew. I think Uncle Tony might have had something to do with question.
      The kids 10yo. 10yo’s don’t think of these things unless someone has coached them.

    • At what point did he say watch your back or was rude?..he came across as a very intelligent well spoken young man, thank god kids today are being able to think for themselves & voice their opinion, unlike the olden days of kids being seen and not heard, hopefully they will make this world a better place than generations before them.

    • A lot of people I’ve spoken to also agree with you Helen…I don’t agree with everything on either side of politics but I have noticed that the haters seen to have the bigger voice on social media…and most moderate Australians so not engage in unhelpful rhetoric …these haters should travel overseas more and they would quickly realise how lucky we are…we have nothing to complain about

    • Pretty sad that 10 year old kids these days get to involved in politics , if the politicians that are trying to run our country are setting an example for that generation , god help us when they are adults !!!! Let 10 year old kids be 10 year old kids and do what normal 10 year olds do !!!!

    • The question was ‘fixed’ by the idiots at q&a. Went through it and suggested changes!! Let the kid be a kid and not the idiot parents mouthpiece!

  6. Abbott has many of us fearful young fella, it good to see the young are thinking of their future

  7. Couldn’t be said better. There’s hope for his generation. Yes, we should all worry about Abbott. What next, burning of books.

    1 REPLY
    • we should teach the kid union tactics and how to play both sides in to stab your boss [twice ]and to deny it ..a bit of i forget could go in there or the obvious one I WAS YOUNG AND IMMATURE

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