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More freedom of expression madness

I have been commenting on Kiwiblog since 2005.  That’s 13 years.  I generally have similar views on life to the blog host.  After following his writings, I can say we appear to have the same parents. Except I’m 6’5″ and he’s about 4’10”.  I digress.

Recently, I have begun to think the blog doesn’t represent what it historically has.  The deranged, sycophants who support Trump like lovesick schoolgirls, through to bigoted, hateful rants against Muslims and immigration in general.  Of course, most of these commenters are either migrants, or children of migrants.  But that’s conveniently overlooked.  A lot of commenters seem to support Winston First, if you logically follow through their beliefs to the voting booth.  But in the next post, they’re off criticising him and showing their general displeasure of him.  None of it makes sense.

Of course making sense and the Internet, particularly blogs, can be mutually exclusive.  That is
illustrated nicely with this post from David, called “Siggi strikes again”:

Siggi Henry is a Hamilton city councillor.  She seems quite crazy.  She appears to be rabid anti-fluoridation and anti-vaccination.  From a personal choice perspective, I get both arguments.  Both are mass-medications by the State.  But both have completely overwhelming medical support. Despite her craziness, she managed to wheel herself along to an event raising awareness of autism. Attending with her was her T shirt that promoted anti-vaccinations.  I mean let’s give this woman some credit: That’s ballsy, right?  It’s like David Seymour turning up to a Che Guevera supporters club meeting wearing an “I love capitalism” T shirt.  Henry was doing nothing more than exercising her freedom of expression.  It was quite an offensive way to do it, but as I explained in this post, causing offence is essential in a democracy.

Anyhow, near the start of Farrar’s post is this comment from regular commenter, Harriet:

What exactly does one have to do to be charged with public nuisance these days?
And how does one go about getting people charged for it?
From memory the only cases I can recall over the years are where the police laid the charges. As you know I’m no lawyer. Thanks.
Thinking about it, do you just keep ringing the police up and telling them that someone is continually being a nuisance?

I questioned whether she believed someone who turned up to an event expressing a view contrary to the one being promoted should be arrested.

I got 7 downticks and 1 uptick.

I’ll just leave it here.

Actually, no.  One last comment.  Harriet and I continued our “dialogue”.

Harriet:

Having an ‘eventual pattern of behaviour’ that goes against all reasonable public healthcare directions given by the health authorities, and publicly expressing them one way or another, would warrant some concern, I would tend to believe. But I wouldn’t know.

Me:

Harriet, do you think having an eventual pattern of behaviour that denounces climate change, which goes against all reasonable evidence from scientists, and publicly expressing those concerns one way or another would also warrant concern?

I hope I have made my point. 

Kiwiblog commenters really can cause head-scratching at times.

Written by Nick K

April 1, 2019 at 5:49 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

Little illustrating clearly why the Left despise free thought and expression

Warning: this may have tl;dr tendencies.

The headline is sufficient.  We shouldn’t be fooled by the notion that it’s only a “review” or that it’s time to “have a discussion”.  If you think that, then you will believe that Michael Cullen was asked to lead the Tax Working Group because he had no pre-determined views on taxes and redistribution.

A review is simply the starting point for what Labour and the Greens have wanted for years and years: Blocking (through criminal restrictions) dissenting views and opinions as much as possible to enable their ideology to be promoted more easily.

I am not joking.

Think back to 1999.  Then, Labour was elected and Margaret Wilson came to prominence.  What did she start promoting?  Criminal defamation.  Helen Clark eventually dropped it after much outrage, using “the spirit of Christmas” as her reason.  How noble of her.

But it wasn’t too long after when Labour started promoting something even more draconian: The Electoral Finance Act.  I was party secretary of the Act Party at the time, and can confidently state the initial proposals were so bad, I was about to step down, not wanting to go to jail simply to advance a political party’s ideology.  If you think I am being extreme, consider the fact the Human Rights Commission, left wing academics and most media outlets were outraged with it.

Once that wore off, it was time for the media, and particularly Fairfax, to grow its own campaign for banning opinions it doesn’t like when they decided to block any opposing views on climate change.

In one regard, Fairfax has every right to, because their websites are their own property, and they set the rules.  But they are the media, and the media should promote the dissemination of views, even opposing ones, rather than quash them.  Just like Fairfax-owned, the Dominion Post, did with the Electoral Finance Act.

In conjunction with the Fairfax ban, the National Party joined the fray with the passing of the Harmful Digital Communications Act.  Only the Act Party voted against this, as it should have.

The National Party, or rather some of its MPs, (cabinet ministers actually, which makes it even worse) should not escape further scrutiny.  They were active in promoting the banning of Wicked Campervans.  Shane Reti thought one slogan, was “too offensive to print”.  That’s his view of course.  The public was not allowed to judge for itself, because he decided it should be banned.  Fascist, moi?

So both sides of the main political spectrum are really as bad as each other it seems.

And now Little continues the trend with a “review” of hate speech laws.

A review is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, and I am not sure why we even need a review.

Freedom of expression is already subject to many restrictions in New Zealand.  Off the top of my head, I can list (I am sure there are others), defamation, many criminal offences of threatening to kill or threatening or offensive language in the Crimes Act and/or Summary Offences Act, the prohibitions in section 21 of the Human Rights Act (which prohibit discrimination on many grounds including race and religion) and then also the aforesaid Harmful Digital Communications Act.

But somehow those are not enough.  We need more.  That’s Labour’s thinking in a lot of areas: “There are 124 laws banning hate speech, but if someone says something “hateful” that isn’t captured, then we need at least 150″.

Because more laws is the answer, just like spending more money is after it’s taken off the “rich”.  More = better.  That’s a very simple argument, and politically palatable to its supporters.

The incredible irony with all of this is that it comes (mostly) from the Left of politics.  Yet it is the Left that calls itself “progressive”.

Let’s take a historical look at how progressive thought has enabled the free society we have today.

Seven hundred years ago, if a peasant in England had argued that even peasants or servants should have the bible, he/she would have been shouted at or dismissed as a fool  In 1382, leading philosopher, John Wycliffe, was banished from Oxford University for, amongst other “crimes” translating the bible into English.  His work was described as “an offence against the ecclesiastical order”.  Progressive thought has quashed this like it should have.

In 1810, someone in Oxford wrote that they were an atheist and didn’t believe in God. That person was ridiculed and banished and her works described as offensive and hateful.  Students opposed to her views “swept up copies of her writings and burnt them”.  Much like those people today, including the Chief Censor, who ordered the destruction of Tarrant’s manifesto.

Even 100 years ago, if someone argued that a man should be allowed to copulate with another man, he (or she) would be arrested and described as hateful and offensive.  Indeed, the law protected these anti-views.  The Chameleon was an openly gay magazine promoted throughout Oxford at the time, which was banned after one publication, because it was “offensive”.  Oscar Wilde published a poem in it, and faced criminal prosecution as a result.

This issue from 1894 contains Oscar Wilde‘s Phrases and Philosophies for Use of the Young and the poem ‘Two Loves’ by Alfred Lord Douglas, which was used in the trial against Wilde for ‘acts of gross indecency’. The poem’s last line, ‘I am the love that dare not speak its name’, was regarded as an allusion to homosexual love.

All of these prohibitions were explained as making Oxford a “safer” place for students.  Sound familiar?

Yet offending against the elite, or political or religious thought has allowed the world to progress to where it is at today.  And indeed, that is a much better place than it was hundreds of years ago.  In other words, liberal progressives, or those on the Left, have generally tried to restrict, or prohibit, the very progress they purport to campaign for and desire.

Anyone who studied European history or philosophy of the 17th and 18th century will understand the Enlightenment, which was led by progressive academics and progressive liberals of the day.

Today’s New Zealand progressives and liberals wish to discard all of that and for all intents and purposes behave like the very fascists they purport to oppose.

The Left really need to be careful what they wish for, because eventually one of their own will be hurt by this, if it hasn’t happened already.

The only carrot Labour and the Greens have thrown out is the banning of blasphemous libel.  They did that for entirely the proper reasons.  These very reasons still exist that should illustrate to Little, and indeed to all of us, that the “hate speech” hysteria should be burned in the same inferno that Tarrant’s manifesto was.  This is what Little said at the time when he removed blasphemous libel from the Crimes Act:

The offence of blasphemous libel…raises potential Bill of Rights Act concerns. This obsolete provision has no place in a modern society which protects freedom of expression,” says Andrew Little.

“This is a law that simply does not apply in the modern context. The last time a blasphemous libel case was considered, in 1998, the Solicitor-General rejected a call to commence a criminal prosecution under the law. The view was expressed that it would be inconsistent with the freedom of expression as protected by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

“The continued existence of this offence on the statute books was out of place with New Zealand’s position as a bastion of human rights, including recognising freedom of expression and religious tolerance for all faiths.

If we want to be a progressive country, the liberal left should remind Little of his words.

Written by Nick K

March 31, 2019 at 12:10 am

Trump’s Wall

I see Donald Trump is threatening to close down the government because Congress won’t pay for wall.

Weird.  I thought Mexico was paying for the wall.

Written by Nick K

December 22, 2018 at 10:14 pm

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with

Ardern and her poodles give major speech on absolutely nothing

From Granny:

In a show of unity, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been joined by Government coalition partners New Zealand First and the Green Party for a major speech in Auckland in which she has outlined the next steps in the Government’s plans for the country.

I read about this on Friday.  I really sat up and thought, “whoa, this could be big”.  Even the introductory paragraph to the Herald article says it’s a “major speech in which [she] has outlined the next steps in the Government’s plans for the country”.  I couldn’t wait to see the major policy announcements – the socialist path they were taking us down. 

Instead we get a bunch of bullet points that a twelve year old could put together for a school assignment on “What does it mean for you to be  New Zealander”.  Here are some examples:

Build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy
• Grow & share New Zealand’s prosperity
• Deliver responsible governance with a broader measure of success
• Support thriving & sustainable regions
• Transition to a clean, green and carbon-neutral New Zealand
Improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families
• Ensure everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering
• Support healthier, safer, & more connected communities
• Ensure everyone has a warm, dry home
• Make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child
Providing new leadership by Government
• Deliver transparent, transformative and compassionate Government
• Build closer partnerships with Māori
• Value who we are as a country
• Create an international reputation we can be proud of

My favourites are, “Ensure everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering”, and “Value who we are as a country”.  Followed closely by “Deliver responsible governnace with a broader measure of success”.

I’ve never read such drivel from a government.  It’s unmitigated trash, and is fit only for a year 9 social studies school assignment.

I’m embarrassed for the government, and I don’t even support it.

Written by Nick K

September 16, 2018 at 2:01 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with

Labour is cranking into it now

From the classic playbook of Helen Clark, the government is squashing dissent.

Get rid of the next possible police commissioner so your guy (or girl?) can get the job.

Stop the government being held to account in parliament.

I said it here first: The next Commissioner of Police will be Tusha Penny.

Written by Nick K

May 23, 2018 at 8:15 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with

Budget uber irony

Winston Peters, who rallied against tax breaks for the bloodstock industry during the Winebox inquiry in the late 1990’s, asking for and getting tax write-offs for the bloodstock industry in 2018.

Won’t he just retire already.

Written by Nick K

May 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with

Trump’s trying to refill the swamp

Donald Trump has done such a good job draining the swamp, that it’s completely empty and needs to be filled up.

“Follow the money.” That Watergate meme is now poised to dominate the Donald Trump-Michael Cohen investigation for this news cycle — and beyond. The impetus is a document released by lawyer Michael Avenatti, confirmed by the New York Times, that revealed that a shell company Cohen created and used to pay off the porn star Stormy Daniels received $500,000 from a company linked to a Russian oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin.

That’s not all. Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, received a total of $4.4 million in payments from a range of sources with an interest in influencing Trump, including the pharma giant Novartis AG, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. and AT&T Inc., seeking to pull off its merger with Time Warner Inc.

The giant question that follows from the payments to Cohen is what they were for — and whether any of the money in the shell company made its way into any entities owned or controlled by Trump himself.

The tremendous irony in all of this, and there are many, is that on the very day this article appeared on Bloomberg, Trump had a rally in Indiana where he led a chant of “Drain the Swamp” (I’ve tried to embed the video, but clearly my time away from Blogger has made me rusty).

I know, I know.  Trump rejected the money just like Sarah Huckabee-Sanders stated at the press conference, which proves he’s draining the swamp.

If you believe that, then the alligators that have come from the swamp that Trump just drained have just flown past your window wearing pink tutus.

Written by Nick K

May 17, 2018 at 9:40 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

Kiwibloggers rejoice….oh hang on

Over here we have an entire thread of criticism of the Labour budget by supposed right-wing “fiscal conservatives”, with their furious writings based on the fact Labour didn’t spend as much as National did last year.

Weird.

Written by Nick K

May 17, 2018 at 9:26 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with

Phil Twyford, BA

Phil Twyford’s profile page on the Labour Party website contains this:

After studying politics at Auckland University, Phil worked as a journalist and union organiser before becoming the founding Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.

I presume, although I cannot find confirmation anywhere, that he graduated from Auckland University with a BA.

So going forward, I will address him as Phil Twyford, BA.

The BA stands for Bullshit Artist.

Written by Nick K

May 12, 2018 at 3:16 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

National’s biggest challenge

For a while now I’ve been pondering whether the Nats understand their greatest challenge over the next two years or so.  It’s not to find gaps in Labour’s spending plans and criticise them.  Neither is it to try to claim the scalp of Clare Curran or any other minister.

National’s biggest challenge is finding a coalition partner to form a government with after the 2020 election. 

The best way to assess risk and plan the mitigation is to set out the options available and choose the best one.  Hence, I’ll do that here for the Nats greatest challenge.  These are in no particular order.

Option one – do nothing

This is always an option.  It is possible (but not to any great degree) that the Nats just keep doing what they’re doing and expect they could govern alone or just wing it after the the next polling day.  They could gamble on Act getting 3-4% and Winston or the Greens disappearing.  Under this option, the Nats make no concerted effort to do anything about forming a MMP government and just let fate take care of itself. 

Option two – talk to Winston First, now

The Nats could start warming themselves to Winston or Shane Jones or whoever is in charge of that motley crew.  And they need to do it now, rather than look at the polls a few months out from 2020 polling day and realise there’s a panic.  The person chosen to do this needs to have a good relationship with Jones, because Winston’s a liar and a fraud.

Option three – throw Act a few more electorate seats

This option suggests Act won’t get 3-4% next time, and there’s nothing to suggest that is wrong.  After all, after Rodney Hide’s excellent performance in 2008, where he got Act back to over 4% after that election, it’s been all downhill since.  Indeed, ever since Hide was deposed as leader, Act has struggled  to get 1% consistently.  Throwing Act some more candidate seats will only produce an overhang and so the maths don’t work here, unless to everyone’s great surprise, Act does manage to gain 3-4%.

Option four – look for a new party

Under this option, the Nats would hope for a Colin Craig resurrection (almost impossible) or cross their fingers that a new party on the right will be formed between now and 2020 and gain enough votes to get the Nats their required 61 votes.  MMP has proven that the 5% threshold is extremely difficult to break for a new party, and so any new party would have to be formed from within National by a well-respected electorate candidate and leader who will win his or her seat and be good enough to get 5-10% from mainly the Greens or NZ First.  The centre ground is quite crowded between Labour and National, with them getting a combined 90% of the votes on recent polls (or close to it).  Any new party must takes votes from Labour’s friends, the Greens or Winston.  It’s not impossible that a new green party is formed from the Blue-Green faction within the Nats that is actually Green, not Red as is the case with the current “Green” party.

Option five – talk to the Greens, now

For the same reasons, if the Nats were considering a coalition with the Greens next time, they need to start working with them now.  James Shaw seems a decent bloke, if not very weak and dominated by bossy women, so an approach to him might work.  But with their new co-leader taking the party to the hard left, this option is about as realistic as Phil Twyford building 10,000 houses this year.  In other words, no chance.

Option six – talk to Labour about a grand coalition

No words needed.

Feel free to throw out any other options you see.  There’s probably a couple more, but none that stick out to me.  Whatever happens, this is National’s greatest challenge and one I trust they are planning for.

Written by Nick K

April 29, 2018 at 7:37 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with , ,