Last night was the first public event of my Oz tour - an evening in support of free speech in Melbourne. The IPA said it was the biggest event they've ever had, a capacity crowd of over 600 people. I treated them, if that's the word, to a full version of "Kung Fu Fighting", the Australian Number One record of 1974 and Isle of Wight Number One hate crime of 2011, which two distinctions tell you a lot about how things have gone in the last 40 years. As I said of my performance, I like to think of it as putting the F-U in "Kung Fu Fighting". It was a great speech, according to Ozzie Saffa, and the best speech ever, according to Andrew Bond. I don't know about that, but it was more fun than the Kevin Rudd victory rally. We closed with a vote of thanks from fellow freespeecher Andrew Bolt on the link between free speech and laughter, and a long, long line of patient readers with books for signing.
Today (Tuesday) I'll be on The Drum, live from Sydney at 6pm on ABC News 24, and making a return appearance to the legendary Alan Jones' Breakfast Show on 2GB tomorrow morning at 7am. Afterwards, I'll check in with Steve Price on MTR 1377 in Melbourne.
Tomorrow evening, I'll be speaking at the big free speech gala in Sydney put together by my old pals at The Spectator. Lots more to come in the days ahead, including Q&A with King's Speecher Geoffrey Rush and Bond villain Jonathan Pryce. "Oh, great," says Giovanni Torre. "Mark f***ing Steyn."
By the way, aside from their simple 27-stage "automated" bag checking system, I'm greatly enjoying my flights on Qantas. To those of us used to US carriers, the food and the stewardesses (yes, yes, I know) are excellent.