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Free Speech Coalition – defending their right to hide

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, November 20th, 2007 - 94 comments
Categories: dpf, election funding - Tags: ,

The reason for National Party Kiwiblogger David Farrar’s obsession with megaphones is now clear. It’s about electioneering speech, and the logic goes like this. The Electoral Finance Bill prohibits election advertising “in any form of words” unless published with a name and address. So if you are on the other end of a megaphone, you have to say who is speaking. That sounds reasonable enough to me.

But according to Farrar and the noddies at Kiwiblog and the other National Party front, the Free Speech Coalition, speech is not free if you have to say who is speaking. They want to be able to say “Don’t vote for Helen Clark” without telling anybody who is saying it. For them, democracy is under threat if you can’t shout from the rooftops without attribution.

Not that anyone should be surprised at this Kiwiblog-blaggery. That’s exactly what the National Party and their hanky-wearing friends in the Exclusive Brethren tried to do in the last election – hide their $1.2million connection.

94 comments on “Free Speech Coalition – defending their right to hide”

  1. r0b 1

    Hi John A

    I think this post gives too much credibility to the nonsense that every expressed political opinion must be tagged with an address. I know DPF is mischievously pushing this line, but he doesn’t even belief it himself. His post last night on KB, “Oh for all those claiming I am wrong”, shows that he was fully aware that what he was pushing, while technically not incorrect (due to poor drafting), was in no way the intention of the bill. The Greens will fix the wording, and that’s that.

    Annette King confirmed on National radio this morning that DPF’s mischievous interpretation is in no way the intention of the bill, and it will be fixed.

    So I don’t think we should go around giving any further credence to this scare-mongering by taking it seriously.

  2. i actually think they should be encouraged and promoted. they will become another millstone around National’s neck in the same way Family Fist did over s59.

  3. provided of course their duplicity and false hysteria is exposed at every turn, which isn’t that hard considering they aren’t all that clever or subtle. would make for a nice little Natprop innoculation.

  4. Billy 4

    OK. I’m confused. Are you saying that it is reasonable that a person with a megaphone should disclose who he or she is (as the law presently requires) or that that is silly and unintended and will be changed (as Annette King claims)?

  5. r0b 5

    “OK. I’m confused. Are you saying that it is reasonable that a person with a megaphone should disclose who he or she is (as the law presently requires)”

    I’m not sure what John A thinks. Speaking for myself I find that suggestion very silly indeed.

    “or that that is silly and unintended and will be changed (as Annette King claims)?”

    That’s more like it.

  6. Billy 6

    Luckily, we know what JohnA thinks. He was kind enough to tell us:

    “So if you are on the other end of a megaphone, you have to say who is speaking. That sounds reasonable enough to me.”

    I’m with you, R0b.

  7. milo 7

    We govern by legislation, not politicians intention. Also, the report I read on Radio NZ had Annete King saying people would be able to express their views on legislation. She didn’t say anything on expressing your views on who to vote for.

    I also find this post and thread hilarious, frothing on about how it’s no trouble to state your name and address – when the post and every comment is anonymous !

    For god’s sake, being required to state your name and address is not free speech. It is, for example, one of the key powers of the police, often used, to demand this information. Now we have to provide it gratis.

    So all those with silent Telecom listings – give them up if you want to engage in political advocacy.

  8. r0b 8

    Milo, you are perpetuating the incorrect interpretation. I realise that it’s a slow process to back down from pronouncing “the death of free speech”, but please, a little honesty here.

  9. Zed 9

    Can someone clear up, please, whether anonymous posters on a blog like this – clearly attacking one side and promoing another – will have to identify themselves? I’m not taking a position here, but it would be good to know the answer.

  10. r0b 10

    Hi Zed, no anonymous blog posters do not need to identify themselves.

  11. Graeme Edgeler 11

    “Annette King confirmed on National radio this morning that DPF’s mischievous interpretation is in no way the intention of the bill, and it will be fixed.”

    She also said that it wasn’t what the bill did. It does. It shouldn’t, but it does. I think you’ve actually got a reasonable argument for it to do that, but passing laws that will be broken routinely by over half the population probably ain’t the best idea – least of all electoral laws.

  12. it would be unenforcable anyway.

  13. dave 13

    Graeme, you are right, but gee, this government dont know how to write bills – its been through the Justice Ministry, advisors, Cabinet, Select Committee, Human Rights Commission TWICE, Law Commission, Attorney General ( well, on his desk anyway, he didnt look at it), and the bill still has laws that are not intended, are unenforceable, and will be broken if nothing changes – but with no consequences.

    No wonder the Human Rights Commission doesnt like it….

  14. pete 14

    Graeme;

    Even though a literal interpretation of the bill seems to cover, e.g., blog comments and public conversations, isn’t such an interpretation

    a) absurd (e.g. blog postings aren’t covered but blog comments are);

    b) contrary to the Bill of Rights Act;

    and therefore won’t clause 5 be likely to be interpreted narrowly (i.e. 5(2)(c)–(g) define the borderline cases, and anything this side of the border isn’t covered)?

  15. Sam Dixon 15

    Graeme, I think that the interpretation that anyone speaking over a megaphone would have to give their name and address is true on a mere literal reading of the Bill but we know that the law seems to say all kinds of extreme things if you take a bare literal reading eg.
    touching anyone without licence is a crime,
    its an offence to swear using religious words or use derogatory words when talking about God,
    its illegal (if there are 3 or more of you together) to look scary, so that people might think you’re going to do something violent.

    that’s just a few instances from the Crimes Act of law written more broadly than it is intended to be enforced. As you know, we look to legislative intent, especially when a law is breached in a minor or trival way so that a prosecution would seem absurd, and the legislative intent is clearly on record here.

  16. Nih 16

    Monday: Peter Davis roundly attacked by pretty much everyone from the right for expressing his personal views. Doesn’t try to hide.

    Tuesday: Farrar specifically attacked by Annette King for his baseless propaganda, calling him out at the highest level. Farrar dog-whistles for a defence without actually answering her. Instead whines that she has no proof.

    I don’t know if farrar has ever been called out before like that, but he certainly did react like a big fucking pussy. No doubt when the adrenaline wears off he’ll come out from under his desk and respond point by point from the safety of his heavily moderated blog.

  17. yep that’s sounds about right, and probably reinforced via a pseudonym or 12.

  18. insider 18

    But of course no actual apology that he might have been right as shown by Graeme, who is seen as an expert and part of COG which you lauded. Just a “oh but it will be unenforceable”.

    Shouldn’t you be a bit more cautious in your analysis before shifting into attack mode?

  19. If a literal interpretation of the law is absurd, then the law is absurd.

    We should not have to guess at what parliament was trying to achieve, they should legislation that says what they meant. Any other approach renders the legislation process itself absurd.

  20. MikeE 20

    JohnA – seeing as anonymous commentary is so evil, would you mind please stating, for the record, your name and address.

    Please note that a PO Box will not be sufficient.

  21. ben 21

    John A: name and address please. I mean if its good enough six weeks from now, and if its such a good idea anyway, then tell us.

  22. Billy 22

    I really am trying to ignore you, Nih but it really is very hard when you say such stupid things.

    Why the insistence on calling people you disagree with “pussies”? Are you a misogynist? Have you an impossibly small penis? Are you really short? There must be something you’re compensating for with all this big manly talk.

    And FFS, Davis wasn’t attacked for who he is, but for what he said.

  23. r0b 23

    “And FFS, Davis wasn’t attacked for who he is, but for what he said.”

    Yeah right.

  24. Muzza 24

    Come on JohnA post your full name and address and I will show you the courtesy of doing likewise.

  25. the sprout 25

    they love to dish it out, but do they squeal when they get they own medicine!
    the more mock outrage, bile and misinformation from the right, the more confidence i have in the bill.

  26. Muzza 26

    JohnA you are an anonymous gutless wonder.

  27. Robinsod 27

    I see Farrar has sent his poodles over to demand John A out himself! I don’t know what’s funnier – your absurd logic or the fact that wee davey whistles you up like the lapdogs you are. Oh and if we want to talk hypocrisy then perhaps David would like to demonstrate where I did the repeated “lying” that got me banned from the bog. Hint: he can’t. Fuck off back to the bog lapdogs. Go, fly my pretties…

  28. the sprout 28

    why don’t you show us your valour first muzzy?
    thought not.

  29. Graeme Edgeler 29

    I think blog comments are exempted by the blog exemption. The sort of Bill of Rights analysis you suggest will ensure a broad approach to matters like that is taken.

    But other things, not so much – the definitions are all incredibly broad, and obviously intended as such. The unfortunate thing about the regulating of loud-hailers is that they’re specifically mentioned as covered in the commentary. Moreover there really is no reason for things like that and chants against the government at political rallies to be covered. They must have known that this was what would be technically covered, and I think the fact they let it through is a reasonable basis on which to challenge them.

    Of course no-one will be charged let alone convicted, and will hopefully be fixed in Committee of the Whole, but still, what on Earth were they thinking?

  30. Muzza 30

    Because I have called him/her out first that’s fucking why. He/she can ever rise to the challenge or be a spineless little wimp. What it’s going to be JohnA?

  31. Robinsod 31

    Muz – down boy, you sound like a psycho. Take your impotent rage back to the bog. You can come back when you lean to talk civilly.

  32. Muzza 32

    That’s rich coming from you Robbo. You’re right I won’t come back to this piece of shit blog. It’s obvious to anyone with a job that it is full of useless beneficiaries who will stand by this coalition Govt regardless. JohnA you are a coward. Robbo, Sonic, et al, get a job you might gain some self respect (assuming a private sector employer is stupid enough to employ you).

  33. Robinsod 33

    Muz – I’ve got manners and standards bro. You’ve got an anger problem and by the sounds of it a job you hate. What’s the matter Muz, your supervisor picks on you? I bet you’d teach the bitch a thing or two if you got the chance. Eh Muz? Eh? You psycho.

  34. the sprout 34

    cheers muzza, i hope are at least someone who sticks to their word. bye mate.

  35. Matthew Pilott 35

    Muzza you first asked John A for full disclosure at 4:18, and tehn launched into an offensive tirade at 4:41.

    That really is pathetic, can I suggest you leave the adults to discuss this rationally.

    Have you considered that John A has a job, and isn’t on this thread continuously, waiting for frothy twits like you to make demands of him (that no doubt he will tell you where to shove 😉 )?

    FYI I’m at work… And this is my name. Given your propensity to get angry, you’ll forgive me for not publishing my address! Kids like you are liable to toilet paper houses or put sparkler bombs in letterboxes…

  36. Tane 36

    Robinsod, let’s try to keep it civil. We keep a pretty long leash here – don’t abuse it.

  37. pete 37

    Graeme; thanks for the response.

    Given that you think 5(2)(g) will be interpreted broadly, do you think it would extend to Usenet and YouTube?

  38. Nih 38

    Robinsod is probably just battleweary from having to automatically assume a new, offensive poster is the same troll, back for more. If you want to cure the symptoms, treat the disease.

  39. Crikey, Tane. This post seems to have turned to custard.

    Here’s a question for you: I posted a comment yesterday referring to your employment at the EPMU, and the degree of hypocrisy around you referring to DPF as a paid National Party blogger, when you could just as justifiably be called a paid EPMU blogger. Was there a reason why you deleted it?

  40. Nih 40

    Insolent Punk: Give me the thread name and a phrase and I’ll tell you if a post was deleted.

    If you can’t be bothered then the usual “you failed the captcha’s humanity test” applies, although I must admit I’m seeing a trend of far righties failing to prove they’re human more often than anyone else.

  41. Tane 41

    I haven’t deleted anything, you probably mistyped the captcha. And as I’ve said in the past, you don’t know who I am or where I work, and your obsession with my identity is frankly a little creepy.

  42. Robinsod 42

    IP – I suspect you couldn’t work the captcha properly. If Tane works for the EPMU why don’t you come out and prove it? I’m sick of you losers trying to figure out where people are from, it’s trivial and bullying and speaks badly of you as human beings.

    So far I’ve had people accuse me of being from the greens, the EPMU, the 9th floor, the labour party research unit, finsec and for a while there was a rumour I was DPF himself.

    What you losers have to face is that there are a lot of people out in the world who disagree with your vile philosophies and pretending they’re all paid for to say so or they’re all the same person posting under different names ain’t gonna change that fact.

    Prick, you’re a loser – I’ve read your stupid dull blog and I’ve engaged with your comments – you have nothing to say. Frankly? When I read your words I often feel embarrassed and sad for you and for those who have to deal with you in any private life you have.

  43. milo 43

    IP – I think Tane runs a pretty fair ship. The Rhetoric might be robust, but the website management seems impeccable to me so far. So I suggest you give him the benefit of the doubt.

    But the interesting thing is Matthew Pilott saying he would prefer not to give his address because of the violence of the rhetoric. That is exactly the point – the requirement for publication of names and addresses is a form of political intimidation, and thus erodes free speech.

    So the bill has a problem, which needs to be fixed. One way of fixing it is to add more exemptions; addressing public gatherings, or door-to-door canvassing (which nobody seems to have thought about yet), and so forth.

    But the broader problem is that the bill starts from the premise that the only people allowed unfettered political speech are MPs and Parties already in parliament. Everybody else is initially prohibited, and then given some exemptions on sufferance. This so infuses the bill that I don’t think it can be fixed. Fix one problem, another will appear later.

    So more public consultation please. And fix the free speech problem.

  44. Billy 44

    “What you losers have to face is that there are a lot of people out in the world who disagree with your vile philosophies and pretending they’re all paid for to say so or they’re all the same person posting under different names ain’t gonna change that fact.”

    That’s exactly what you guys do. All that “Santa is DPF” was amusing, but it doesn’t alter the fact that you are doing exactly what you accuse IP of doing. Ditto the obsession with DPF being in the pay of the National Party.

    And you have to face that there are alot of people who disagree with your philosophy. This is not, as you continually claim, because they are stupid or nasty. It is just that they place different value on different principles.

    Oh and ‘sod, if you are trying to grab the moral high ground, it pays not to start by calling people who disagree with you losers. (Cue Nih calling me a gay pussy. He is such a homophobe).

  45. Tane,

    Given that the line that the Standard constantly runs is that anonymous contributions to political debate are wrong, and that DPF has a vested interest and is paid by the National Party to blog, it is telling that you categorically refuse to disclose your name, and refuse to deny that you are a union employee.

    I don’t have an issue with people making anonymous contributions to political debate. But when you make it an issue, you are likely to be called out on it.

    I really do think that if you’ve got the courage of your convictions, Tane, you will disclose that you are a union employee. Let union members know that they are paying for you to blog.

  46. Nih 46

    Is there an automatic hold on a post with the word gay in it? It’s telling me my comment has already been posted, but no sign of it.

  47. Nih 47

    I never called you gay. That truly would be offensive to some of my friends..

    I accused you of acting sensitive, which I still insist you stop being.

  48. betterman 48

    It is impossible for the owner of this blog to have any credibility in general when he does not declare who he/she is.

    The irony is more profound when framed in the context of next years electioneering laws.

    More simpering and unsupported ‘convenience’ morality.

    Yawn

  49. r0b 49

    Billy – “It is just that they place different value on different principles.”

    That’s a very interesting discussion that I hope we can have one day. Not in this thread, it is irretrievably munted.

    IP – “Given that the line that the Standard constantly runs is that anonymous contributions to political debate are wrong”

    I’m a bit confused as to where you are getting that from. Genuine request for several examples of The Standard taking this position please?

  50. Billy 50

    Nih, you said:

    “Have you come out of the closet in public yet?”

    You said it here:

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=728#comments

    Now explain how that is not calling me gay.

    I do not mind being called gay, but I do find it amusing that you consider it a term of abuse.

    PS Captcha is the very gay “duet rehearsals”.

  51. Billy 51

    Oh and Nih, that “some of my best friends are gay” thing was just embarrassing.

  52. Nih 52

    Hey, you’re right. Since I don’t call people gay as an insult, that means I actually meant it. Did you ever answer me, or were you embarrassed? Are you possibly homophobic? You certainly seem very offended by people assuming you’re gay. I still think you are by the way.

    I’m certainly not embarrassing to have gay friends.

  53. Kent 53

    I know DPF is mischievously pushing this line, but he doesn’t even belief it himself.

    I think that DPF seriously believes what he is saying, as Dr Phil would confer.

    As for blogging and speaking through megaphones in election year, you are only controlled if money is involved. The idea that the EFB somehow gags all political opinion is a complete and utter over-reaction which DPF has promulgated and which is getting kinda’ out of hand.

  54. Nih 54

    It’s*

    There is the possibility I’m embarrassing for my gay friends. I’ve never mastered the whole metrosexual thing.

  55. The Double Standard 55

    Speaking of hypocrisy, looks like Robbo got outed being a naughty boy over at KB, and banned, again. Oh Dear. How Sad. Never Mind.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/11/hilarious_hypocrisy-2.html#comment-369968

  56. burt 56

    John A

    You must admit that DPF makes a very valid point about you hypocrisy saying it’s OK that people must identify themselves (including their residential address) when you and all the other blog owners here use aliases.

    Do you all plan to switch to using your full names and having your residential addresses published as of January 1 2008. If not then your support of this bill is just laughable.

  57. “For them, democracy is under threat if you can’t shout from the rooftops without attribution.”

    Er, democracy is under threat if you can’t shout from the rooftops without attribution. Even if it wasn’t, in what sense is democracy actually improved by us being prevented from expressing an anonymous political opinion?

  58. burt 58

    Psycho Milt

    If that political opinion isn’t “Labour good” then it must be stopped at all costs. It’s just not fair when people are allowed to express their views in ways that undermine the millions of tax payers dollars that are used to push the “Labour party good” message.

  59. r0b 59

    “If that political opinion isn’t “Labour good” then it must be stopped at all costs.”

    Burt, I do get sick of playing whack-a-mole with your foolishness some times. The intent of the EFB is to provide a level playing field. Combined with other factors there is an advantage to incumbent MPs (of all parties), but it was ever (and will ever be) thus. To say that the intent is to suppress all anti Labour opinion is just partisan ranting. Grow up for goodness sake.

  60. The Double Standard 60

    “They must have known that this was what would be technically covered, and I think the fact they let it through is a reasonable basis on which to challenge them.”

    I wonder if it was a deliberate ploy – leave something in that is a bit OTT then play the nice guy by amending it in the house?

    And Kent, the requirement for names and addresses if you are promoting a party through words and graphics is absolute – it doesn’t have a financial exemption limit.

  61. the sprout 61

    burt
    you fighting galantly for the right of the wealthy few to manipulate elections at the expense of the many.
    he’s very concerned about democracy you know.

    billy
    nih never called you gay dumb-arse, re-read your own quoted example, this time with a grown-up to help explain it for you. and even if he did it’s a little homophobic of you to assume that saying someone is gay is somehow insulting.

  62. burt 62

    rOb

    Whack a mole indeed. If the intent was to create a level playing field then why wasn’t the legislation drafted in an inclusive way? Why wasn’t there considered public consultation, multi party input and a general consensus on what was fair and “level”.

    Why – because the Labour party don’t do level playing field – but they do great retrospective validation and Deny, Delay Denigrate when ever they are caught out being self serving.

    Just like now.

    the sprout

    Given Labour used the tax payers credit card to fund their election in 2005 (well possibly for the last 14 years as covered by the retrospective legislation) I don’t think it’s a good idea to remind people how big money manipulates elections.

  63. robert owen 63

    Firstly I would like to sincerely to apologie to everyone if I have bought the name of “The Standard” into disrepute.
    You are all very fine people
    I have been naughty, very very naughty.
    And David/Santaclaws/Double Standard I want to say that from the very bottom of my heart that I love you one and all
    And any time the three of you are in Nelson my couch is available for you. (it’s a big couch) My final words before I disappear from the blogasphere altogether are for you David/Santa/Double Standard.
    I am glad you don’t objectify women as much as you used to its good to grow .I am sorry that you have to face the heartache of perpetual opposition it most be tough for you but chin up at least you have each other
    adieu R.O

  64. Robinsod 64

    Robert Owen – don’t go. We all love you too!!!!!!

  65. burt 65

    Attn: Anon owners of the standard.

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2007/4247/

    I know from reading previous posts on this blog that you guys think the morgan poll is pretty accurate.

  66. r0b 66

    “Whack a mole indeed. If the intent was to create a level playing field then why wasn’t the legislation drafted in an inclusive way?”

    Criticise the process all you like Burt, but the outcome of the process is a reasonable (not yet perfect, but reasonable) bill.

    “Why – because the Labour party don’t do level playing field – but they do great retrospective validation”

    That mole got whacked long ago Burt, you need to find a new angle.

  67. burt 67

    rOb

    Valid angles don’t actually date like you wish they would. the sprout reminds us that Labour said their $800K of extra spending didn’t effect the outcome yet they claim we need to ensure big money isn’t used to manipulate elections. Something kinda rings hollow in the position that $1m of EB spending distorted the election when National didn’t win yet Labour $800K had no effect when they did win.

    It’s a little confusing to ordinary folk that on the one hand it’s a disaster for democracy and on the other it makes no difference. Retrospective validation just confirms there was something to hide. Just as Labour allowing the continuation of anon donations up to the limit they want to use shows there is something to hide.

    Level playing field… sorry rOb, that went out the window with democracy possibly as long as 14 years ago but because of retrospective validation we will never know just what “unlevel” devices NZ’s first retrospectively validated PM used in 1999, 2002 & 2005.

  68. Robinsod 68

    Burt – we get it you know how to use basic HTML. You’ll get your punctuation right soon and then who knows? You may even stop debating like a drunken middle aged bigot. Here’s hoping…

  69. burt 69

    Robinsod

    Hey one day you might try to debate the message rather than shoot the messenger. I’m not holing my breath. You are a looser – never seen you once address the message before shooting the messenger.

    I’m not holding my breath for you to say F-Off… it’s surely the next line of defence to subject material that you just can’t cope with reading.

  70. burt 70

    John A

    Tane has claimed over on Kiwiblog that this thread was a joke – makes all the defenders of the indefensible look doubly stupid if it was.

  71. The Double Standard 71

    So, when is Teh Party going to disclose the source of the $800,000 they had to pay back after being found to have nicked from the taxpayer?

    Surely we won’t have to wait until April 2008 for this important information?

  72. Billy 72

    1. I do not know how to use basic HTML. I do not care.

    2. FFS, Sprout. Nih said: “You’re either a simpering bitch or you’re perceiving far too much emotion from simple text. I would say both. You’re projecting your own emotional scale onto the written words of Robinsod. Have you come out of the closet in public yet?”. So according to him, homosexuals are “simpering bitch[es]”. I think everyone should be able to be denigrated. But that’s because I am an equal opportunity righty. I just understood that attributing unflattering characteristics to people on the basis of their sexuality was frowned upon in “right-on” circles. No skin off my nose, but maybe you need to consider the possibility that Nih is a closet homophobe.

  73. r0b 73

    OK Burt, fine, we’ll do this the hard way. I have no problem with the retrospective validation of government spending following the 2005 election because :

    (1) It is standard practice for NZ governments to retrospectively validate their spending – this happens most years. (Did you know, Burt, that a National government once retrospectively validated $50 million in illegal spending?).

    (2) It was an issue that needed to be addressed for the functioning of government. Treasury had advised that on the basis of the Auditor-General’s report all party spending since 1989 had probably been unlawful, which therefore left the Government’s books for that period unlawful. Legitimate accounts, which were nothing to do with election spending, were being refused for payment. This situation had to be resolved.

    (3) The moral imperative against retrospective legislation is that it has the ability to impose penalties on people who did not know that what they were doing at the time was wrong. This imperative in no way applies here, so there is no in principle objection.

    The rest is politics.

  74. burt 74

    rOb

    (Did you know, Burt, that a National government once retrospectively validated $50 million in illegal spending?).

    A 4 year old with chocolate all over his face pointing at his brother saying “he stole chocolate too” springs to mind. I know the Labour line well “we weren’t the only ones doing it so it’s OK”.

    Hey tell me, if I file 14 years worth of illegal tax returns can I just pass laws to validate it? Can I wipe out any court cases that are in progress because of it ? Furthermore if I use tax money to finance an advertising campaign can I get as long as I like to pay it back without penalties or UOMI interest.

    The points you make and are comfortable with under the banner of “such is politics” is why people like you get called Labour apologists.

  75. r0b 75

    Well Burt, I wasn’t expecting a substantive reply, but I was hoping for something a bit better than that.

  76. burt 76

    Shoot the messenger again – the best you can do eh.

  77. The Prophet 77

    Billy – Nih also likes to call people ‘cocksucker’…..

    now, if my name was The Prophetess I wouldn’t mind but…..

    A homophobe – I agree.

    Robert Owen – So who are you coming back as next time? Wait. We’ll know, won’t we?

    I have to say – little Standard boys – you arse’s have been well whipped today, in all medium’s. Very nice to watch after a hard day at the beach.

    (captcha is just this place – ‘hearing children’s’

  78. Gadget 78

    I’m not brethren. I’m not big business. I’m not a U.S. backed tobacco company executive. I’m not a secret foreign power trying to manipulate NZ via National. But Labour, I have a right to oppose you or any other government despite your efforts to silence opposition. Free speech is not for negotiation by Labour and its back room deals. Helen Clark you are a corrupt disgrace to democracy and free speech.

  79. r0b 79

    ” Helen Clark you are a corrupt disgrace to democracy and free speech.”

    Hi Gadget. Welcome to The Standard. If you have any specific substantive problem that you’d like to discuss, we’ll see if we can help. If you want to just let off steam then that’s fine too of course. No censorship here.

  80. Kent 80

    Double Standard,

    And Kent, the requirement for names and addresses if you are promoting a party through words and graphics is absolute – it doesn’t have a financial exemption limit.

    It is not absolute. That is part of the confusion in the drafting of this bill. It is apparent from the way the bill has been drafted that it applies to paid advertising only, or advertising that has a marketable value. Essentially this applies already, but his bill simply widens the scope of advertising media to cover non-specific pamphlets from third parties and a great many other forms of paid promotion, such as hired megaphone vans.

    Anybody or group who is prepared to fork out $50 to $500 dollars or more to promote their political views during election year would obviously have a certain level of political organization and zeal. To make it fair, they are going to be required to inform us who they are, so we can then search ’em out on google and make informed choices about them.

  81. the sprout 81

    RO
    stick around, don’t leave.

  82. JamesK 82

    Profit- I’ve been looking around the traps today and I’d say the Standard guys have cut your lot to pieces both here and at the bog. The thread about “hilarious hypocrisy” is funny- every accusation they threw at Tane was hurled back in their faces and DPF’s sniping went silent at exactly the point he started having to face the fact he’d being lying through his teeth. As far as free entertainment goes you can’t beat the bog.

    Was John A taking the piss? I don’t know. Was Tane taking the piss in telling Farrar John A was taking the piss? I don’t know. Either way Farrar’s a laughing stock with an anger management problem, and it cracks me up.

  83. Nih 83

    Billy – Nih also likes to call people ‘cocksucker’…

    Not “people”, just you. I like to come up with a different response for each of your logins, but when I respond I also cut away the pretense of a political discussion. I notice that you never bothered to pick it up again. It’s easy to see why you’re really here. You just love the abuse.

  84. Nih 84

    By the way, here’s where the whole cocksucker thing started:

    Nih will call you a cocksucker or some other complement

    That’s you, saying that. Right there. You’re like a slave telling his dom what he wants. You were lucky I was nice enough to play along for a bit.

    My captcha was “memory hijackers”. You love to twist the past, don’t you prophetypoo.

  85. The Double Standard 85

    Kent sez

    “It is not absolute. That is part of the confusion in the drafting of this bill. It is apparent from the way the bill has been drafted that it applies to paid advertising only, or advertising that has a marketable value.”

    I’m real glad you are not my lawyer, because you are wrong. Perhaps you should defer to those who are better accustomed to reading legislation, like Graeme E or Steven Price.

  86. Draco TB 86

    Quoting Milo:
    “But the broader problem is that the bill starts from the premise that the only people allowed unfettered political speech are MPs and Parties already in parliament. ”

    Actually – it doesn’t. It starts from the premise that the only ones that are restricted are MPs and political parties because they fall under the electoral act 1993. It then adds similar restrictions to everyone else.

    “Everybody else is initially prohibited, and then given some exemptions on sufferance.”

    This is actually the best way to write law. If you tried it the other way you would have to detail each and every instance that it applies to resulting in a large, ungainly and essentially unworkable bill as there would still be more exclusions than applications – ie, enough loopholes to drive a carrier battle group through and not touch the sides.

  87. Billy 87

    None of my business Sprout and ‘sod, but do you think you should be imploring Robert Owen to come back? He has proved himself to be an underhanded, duplicitous guttersnipe. Your support of him rather reinforces the impression that anything at all is defensible so long as it has been done by a left winger. It’s that sort of Trotter line that corruption is permissable if we do it. It kind of makes it harder to believe that Labour are not teaking electoral law for their own benefit, despite protestations to the contrary.

  88. Kent 88

    Double Standard

    You keep making absolute statements. None of this is absolute. It all has to be tested in law. You cannot claim to state that I am wrong. Neither Steven nor Graeme would back up your absolutist position and Steven has blogged at public address in reasonably positive terms about the intent of the bill and how it is as it stands:

    http://www.publicaddress.net/default,4625.sm#post

  89. THE Weybridge Digger 89

    Billy One last thing
    He has proved himself to be an underhanded, duplicitous guttersnipe
    Yes you are indeed right, I am.
    However have you ever heard the expression
    “it takes a thief to catch a thief”
    Well the same thing applies it takes a
    underhanded, duplicitous guttersnipe to catch a underhanded, duplicitous guttersnipe. and
    Billy boy I caught one David denies he posts under other names. But I have proved otherwise. I know it and he knows it.
    oh and David I have never called you a Cunt
    There is a thread here somewhere which explained what happened
    If you do a search for fat ugly bald cunt you will probably find it
    cheers one and all

  90. The Double Standard 90

    Kent, from your link

    “And the bill should be tweaked to make it clear that people with loudhailers and placards don’t have to put their names and addresses on them (the government has announced it will fix this).”

    I don’t see anything here about it needing to be paid?

    Still, I expect Teh Party to fix this, because it provides a convenient hook for objections to this dodgy bill.

  91. Billy 91

    Yesterday Robert Owen was making much of his departure from the Standard on the basis that he had let the side down and it was the only honourable thing to do.

    Apparently, all that his honour required him to do was to change his nick to THE Weybridge Digger.

  92. The Double Standard 92

    Billy – I guess you know by know that honourable and socialist are mutually exclusive.

    Looks like the law society is still down on the EFB too:

    However, the Society remains concerned about the effect of the bill as a whole on freedom of speech and the participation by ordinary people in the democratic process.

    “The limits on electoral advertising spending, covering individuals and third parties as well as political parties, taken with the proposal to increase the regulated period to cover the whole of the last year in the three-year election cycle, do amount to serious restrictions on people’s existing rights to support candidates and parties, and to participate (through advertising and pamphlets, for example) in public debate in an election year.

    “Another continuing concern is the sheer complexity of this legislation.

    “While all legislation should be drafted in clear and simple language so that it is understandable by the general public, this is especially important when the legislation is regulating our electoral process.

    “As amended, this bill now runs to 113 pages and is even more complex than the original. For example, a new part that establishes a comprehensive regime for anonymous donations takes five pages to describe and covers all anonymous donations over $1,000.

    “We are not sure if the select committee intended it to be an offence for the donor to tell the recipient of the donation, but we believe that is one effect of these provisions.”

    “If the bill is not to be withdrawn, then, given these sort of substantial changes, we hold to the view that, after passing through the committee stages of the House, this bill should go back to the select committee so that those who made submissions on the original bill have the opportunity to make submissions on the amended bill.

    “Our electoral law exists for the benefit of the people of New Zealand and they have the right to be heard on this substantially-amended bill.

    “Finally, the Society is concerned at the haste with which this legislation is being pushed through the House. In our experience, hasty legislation is usually ill considered and contains defects. As we understand it, the reason for the rush is so that the regulated period for the next election can start on 1 January 2008. If the regulated period was three months, as it is at present and as we believe it should remain, there would be no need for such haste,” John Marshall said.

  93. Kent 93

    Double Standard,

    And the bill should be tweaked to make it clear that people with loudhailers and placards don’t have to put their names and addresses on them (the government has announced it will fix this).

    Steven threw that clause in there to placate people like you who need it to be spelt out in black and white, which is fair enough, but he says it is not really needed.

  94. thomas 94

    Billy – I guess you know by know that honorable and socialist are mutually exclusive
    I think a lot od people who fought and died in the Spanish civil war were Honorable socialists as a quick example

    And you lying abott you not being DPF is not very honorable

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