Free Speech Coalition’s litigation strikes a major snag

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, July 17th, 2018 - 138 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Left, Media, phil goff, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

The free speech coalition’s desire to get the High Court to insist on the perfect system of the freedom of expression, where ideas can escape and soar and come into contact with other ideas and then be subject to civilised battle which will ensure that only the best and most meritorious of ideas will succeed, has struck a potential snag. A rather major snag.

The problem could be that the decision to prevent Auckland from being exposed to Lauren Southern’s ideas may have been motivated by bureaucratic rather than political considerations.

From Todd Niall at Stuff:

The Free Speech Coalition says it wants to “clarify” the role of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff in the banning of two controversial speakers from a council venue, before it launches legal action.

The coalition was formed days after the booking by Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux was cancelled, and has raised $90,000 to seek a judicial review.

Members of the group have publicly questioned the right of the mayor to make a politically-based decision.

The group is now seeking clarity, after Goff told TVNZ’s Q and A programme, his comments had followed the advice of the council agency that had already taken the move to cancel the pair’s booking at the Bruce Mason Centre next month.

“Today the group’s lawyers are writing to the council to clarify the mayor’s conflicting statements to media about whose decision it was to ban the speakers, and the reasons for the ban,” the coalition said in a statement.

I have no idea what was the timing of the matter or who actually made the decision. The lawyers can sort this out. But this could cause a rather large problem for the Free Speech protagonists. An officer wanting to prevent damage to a public building is entirely different to the Mayor deciding to stop people using the facility, even if they are fascists.

Meanwhile there continues to be an intense debate on the left amongst those who think that the right to freedom of speech should be sacrosanct and those who thinks that punching a fascist can occasionally be justified.

Sure the contest of ideas is important. But it appears that Southern and Molyneux were not that interested in there being an open informed debate when you consider the terms on which they expected you to agree before letting you into listen to them.

And dang it but this leftie thinks that we should not have to allow publicly provided facilities to be used for the propagation of monetised hate speech with strict entry requirements.  Especially if they have in the past deliberately picked fights with muslims and acted to disrupt the efforts of others to save refugees from drowning.

138 comments on “Free Speech Coalition’s litigation strikes a major snag”

  1. tc 1

    This whole situation is engineered outrage by the msm and enablers. Shows how desperate they are to bring the hate mongers to town.

    Wuperts news Corp have been taking up her ‘cause’ across the ditch as southern and her backers f’d up the inbound visa/entry red tape to prevent her access.

    Didn’t stop news Corp banging the free speech bucket as a distraction from southerns own failure to complete Australian immigration requirements.

    • Gosman 1.1

      Even if you are correct then people like Goff are idiots for allowing themselves to be played.

      • arkie 1.1.1

        I guess he comes across a bit better than those defending nazi apologists though

        • Gosman 1.1.1.1

          I see few, if any, people defending the views of Nazi apologists. Who are the people you think defend their views?

          • arkie 1.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t say defending their views Gosman. I mean defending their ‘free speech’.

            As for nazi apologia;

            There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech

            In this post, the commentator makes the claim of a Clean Wehrmacht. This is an old and disproven claim made by those seeking to minimise responsibility for the atrocities of the second world war.

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.1.1

              + 1 sunlight destroys germs

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.2

              That is right. They are defending the rights to free speech. Something it seems you don’t support.

              • arkie

                Their ‘free speech’ has not been infringed, and conflating their lack of a council-provided venue with their speech being censored is disingenuous at best.

                I don’t support fascists Gosman, why do you think they need defending?

                • Gosman

                  First of all how do you define Fascist? As far as I was aware the views of the two people involved are not specifically fascist. Thewy might share some ideas but that is not the same.

                  Second of all what is the purpose of free speech if not to allow unpleasant (to some) opinions to be aired?

                  • arkie

                    Puckish Rogue has kindly provided you a link to the wikipedia definition of fascism below. That’s probably a good place for you to start.

                    As to your second point (and a little louder this time as you keep missing the pertinent part); Southern and Molyneux HAVE NOT had their free speech infringed, their videos and radio shows continue have a global audience.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Thats right , their style of wedding cake hate speech continues everywhere, just their first choice of venue wasnt available.

                      baking a hate speech cake… now there is something you cant just order from your first choice of bakery either

                    • Old Girl

                      George Orwell’s comment on the word Fascism is not long and worth reading. He concludes:
                      ‘But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.’

                      http://orwell.ru/library/articles/As_I_Please/english/efasc

                      One may not care for the opinions of Molyneaux or Southern but blocking or banning public expression of opinions is a slippery slope. There are those who would like to banish internet sites which publish alternative analysis and information.
                      There are also those who fund both sides of a conflict or potential divide in order to control both sides. A link to one of the discovered examples of this is below.
                      Something about this whole Molyneaux/ Southern farrago smells a bit iffy. Did they genuinely intend speaking here ?

                      https://www.commondreams.org/hambaconeggs

                    • MikeS

                      You’re a complete idiot. Throwing around terms like fascist when the people you’re calling fascist are not even close. Same as the lying author of this article.

                      Throwing out terms like fascist to anyone who has a differing viewpoint to your own is not only despicable it is also completely disrespectful to those who have fought (and some died) fighting against real fascists.

                      The author of this article seems to support Islam rather than those opposed to it, which would make the author anti gay, anti women and anti western values of freedom and democracy.

                      This place is becoming a joke, it certainly doesn’t seem to represent the views of the working class anymore. It’s not left wing, it’s an echo chamber for delusional idiots who believe things such as…

                      -Someone who is against the ideology of Islam is a fascist (when Islam itself is a obviously and unashamedly a fascist ideology)
                      – Islam (the ideology) and feminism are compatible…(sigh)
                      – Gender is a social construct. (Not according to actual real science)
                      – Anybody who tells the truth, if it might be uncomfortable to hear, is a fascist or racist or bigot or nazi.
                      – Equality of outcome should be striven for and is as worthy a goal as equality of opportunity
                      – Only white people can be racist
                      – multiculturalism leads to inclusiveness and harmony in society.
                      – Globalism is good, borders are bad.
                      – Think that Uber’s 79% gender pay gap is due to discrimination against women
                      etc
                      etc
                      etc

                      No wonder #walkaway is building such momentum.

              • spikeyboy

                Absolute rights dont exist anywhere. Rights are always tempered by societies. This site doesnt allow absolute free speech because of all the harm it would cause to it functioning in the way intended. It is better for it too. Internet bullies also have their rights curtailed because of the suicide and self harm they can cause. Only God has absolute rights. And since he/she isnt actually real…

              • lprent

                Gosman: There are no “rights to free speech” – you’d have to be an idiot to claim that exists.

                Show me the NZ legislation or even constitutional convention that supports that.

                The Bill of Rights Act supports “freedom of expression”, which I suppose you could view as being a super clause. However also doesn’t state that there is ANY requirement to support further than you bitching in a corner at home.

                Basically I think that you are just being a fool by trying to invent ‘right’ when it is simply a slogan lifted from a foreign constitution for a ‘right that simply doesn’t exist inside NZ law

                • MikeS

                  “Freedom of speech and expression are really important human rights.”
                  – The Human Rights Commission of NZ.

                  Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (to which NZ is a signatory) states

                  “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”.

                  You’d have to be a bit dim or have your head in the sand to read that and say that it doesn’t include freedom of speech.

                  Human rights don’t have to “exist inside NZ law” to exist.

                  Freedom of speech / expression are not absolute but they are still human rights.

                  The right to freedom of speech is not just a “slogan” taken from some foreign constitution, you’d have to be a fool to believe that.

              • simbit

                Fuck I hear more from fucken wanna-be Nazi’s (they’d never handle the early starts) than any other group. I blame Youtube and my clicks on hockey fights…

              • Tricledrown

                Goadboy Dogmaticly dog whistling on behalf of the ruling class.
                Fascists deliberately cause divisiness
                Gosman sailing close to the wind.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Nowhere did I make the claim the Wehrmacht was clean. What is clear is that Nazi party members in the Wehrmacht were very much in the minority.

              • arkie

                That’s irrelevant to the issue. Those fighting for NAZI Germany were fighting to defend the NAZI regime. To say that they are equivalent to those fighting AGAINST NAZISM is to say you support nazis.

                • Gosman

                  I explained my reasoning at the time. Go back and read what it was and stop misrepresenting my view.

                  • marty mars

                    arkie is correct and you are splitting hairs as anyone who followed or re-reads that thread knows. We aren’t as stupid as you think bub.

              • Bastables

                Bullshit the Wehrmacht was utterly created by the NAZI led government to expunge links to the old government.
                German staff officers and the minister of defence Bloomberg went ahead and drafted a personal oath to Hitler and had the entire Wehrmacht swear it. Never mind the inclusion of the NAZI swastika on every field and dress uniform as part of the German eagle badge. Quibbling about who’s a party member in order to ignore the Wehrmacht inherent nazism and it subsequent atrocities is such dribbling piffle.

        • Ross 1.1.1.2

          Arkie

          If you believe everything Goff says, more fool you. And free speech isnt a popularity contest. 🙂

          • marty mars 1.1.1.2.1

            And if you believe nothing he says then morer fooler youer.
            Is a popularity contest true free speech? Think about it…

          • lprent 1.1.1.2.2

            You’d be the fool.

            “free speech” simply doesn’t exist in NZ law.

            • Ross 1.1.1.2.2.1

              Freedom of expression is included in the NZ Bill of Rights Act. So, yes, free speech is legislated for here.

              http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM225513.html

              • McFlock

                check out section 4.

              • Dennis Frank

                Doesn’t actually use the expression free speech specifically, but I agree that the actual wording of the law means that. Or, more to the point, a court would be very likely to specify that it means that, were anyone to test the specificity of what it actually means via prosecution! The clause gives everyone the right to express “opinions of any kind in any form”.

                The question is whether the High Court decides the council breached this right, right? Since the clause does not limit the right of expression in any way, I suspect it will decide that the council had no right to limit someone’s right to express their opinion in a council venue.

                If so, the council ought to take the case to the Supreme Court. The other part of the situation that intrigues me is whether either court will find in favour of the council due to the two foreigners not being kiwi citizens. Don’t we routinely assume that our law only applies to our citizens?

                • McFlock

                  Even if they were cancelled because of their views, if the venue decided that a riot or even violent extraction (I’d be concerned about jerks thuming protestors as the protestors are kicked out) was a hazard that could not be isolated, eliminated or minimised in some way, then BoR is overruled.

                  Unless Goff wrote the venue an email saying “I don’t like their opinions, so even though you’ve already said there’s no real risk, find some pretext to cancel on them”, then the case is weak. Even then, it might be toothless.

                • solkta

                  Since the clause does not limit the right of expression in any way,

                  That clause doesn’t but section five puts limits on everything in the Act:

                  5 Justified limitations

                  Subject to section 4, the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights may be subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

                  If it weren’t for this section then school uniforms would be illegal. Any one of us could take a school to judicial review to force them to demonstrably justify their bylaw.

                  Can’t say that the Council situation is in any way similar. They have not stopped them from expressing themselves.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Yes, I agree the court could decide that clause 5 applies and the council decision is justified as a reasonable limit on the Bill of Rights. Effectively, that would mean all those who have argued that the right of free speech is limited by social sanctions have their view supported by the court’s decision.

                    Again, it would be better to appeal to the Supreme Court, otherwise we accept the principle of limits but we don’t know where to draw the line in practice: the law may have to be tested in a multitude of cases of varying circumstances in order to discern any consistent pattern of court rulings. Which would make the law an ass (as usual).

                    • McFlock

                      Well, if you pop down to a law library at your nearest university, or maybe a public library, I’m sure you could find a book detailing the Bill of Rights Act and the NZ case law history of its clauses since it was passed (that’s the free way rather than paying $000s on lawyers to write it up for you).

                      The thing is that this is a liminal case, close enough to the edge for the racists and hypocrites (oh, and Trotter) to try to push the line a bit more towards empowering bigotry.

                      Most people, in their normal course of action, are nowhere close to the line, either one way or another. The people who drop an occasional f-bomb in regular conversation are well on the acceptable side, whereas most fuckwits I’ve known go well into the realm of other acts (often the Crimes Act) so nobody dealing with them has to give a shit about the subtleties of BoRA.

                      The only people for whom this case will change anything (if it succeeds) are the people who want to dogwhistle to racists and neofascists but are too smart or cowardly to say so explicitly.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I think if any court had tested clause 5’s applicability to hate speech someone would have already cited it here or in other media coverage of the issue.

                      However I just posted a query to Andrew Geddis on his Pundit column, so hopefully he will throw some light on that. He noted that Winston Peters & Simon Bridges had different views on whether council broke the law: both of them lawyers!

                      The law professor’s opinion: “the council’s actions when hiring out its venues to speakers are captured by both the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993. Those enactments prevent the council from making venue hiring decisions (including cancellations) that “unjustifiably limit” freedom of expression, or that discriminate on the basis of political opinion. Auckland Live – the council’s company that manages the venues – can’t then contract out of those legal obligations. Consequently, Mayor Goff’s decision (put into practice by Auckland Live) most likely will be found to be unlawful unless there is some sort of “demonstrably justified” reason for preventing Southern and Molyneux from speaking at the council’s venue.”

                      So looks like we’ll get to find out if the High Court decides the reason given by the council is sufficiently justified (unless the council asks it to dismiss the case because NZ law cannot be made to apply to absent foreigners and it agrees).

      • SPC 1.1.2

        No the FSC are the idiots, coz they did not get their ducks aligned before they raised money for a court action – as this was not a decision made by Goff their action has no legal merit.

        • dukeofurl 1.1.2.1

          They deliberately dont care about the legal niceties, its just a general fundraiser for … TPU/FSC

          I understand any claims of a breach of the human rights act have to go through the HRC…. who arent likely to prioritize this style of wedding cake hate speech – white on the outside but fruitcake inside

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.1.2.1.1

            Must be appalling having organisations that want to uphold basic rights and have better oversight of taxpayers money in our society.

            I find penny bright dim and repugnant, but I don’t deny her a platform nor would I want too. I also find whatever John Minto and Annette Sykes organisation is called these days completely repugnant, but they’re allowed a say. No matter that fox news is more balanced than them and the kardashians has more intelligent things to say.

      • paul andersen 1.1.3

        you’ve been on here repeatedly being played as well.

  2. Paul Campbell 2

    So are there any members of this “Free Speech Coalition” who aren’t from Auckland?

    • lprent 2.1

      As far as I could tell many of the names I recognized were mainly known from Wellington.

      It’d probably be better to ask which ones are from Auckland.

  3. Chris 3

    Here is why Lauren Southern was banned from entering the UK. Not because her views are extreme, dangerous, and right wing. But because she is an agent provocateur trying to provoke and incite violence with Muslims in order to build a far right movement.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/422336-southern-racist-banned-gay/

    Wake up naive free speech supporters: this is classic pre-Fascist tactics from the 1930’s.

    • You_Fool 3.1

      No, she and Molyneux are worse… they are provoking violence and hate among those with far-right/racist/anti-muslim view points to drive hits on their website, youtube videos and attendance at these events for their own financial gain.

      These so called great defenders of free-speech are not actually interested in free-speech, but people paying them for speech. If they were about free speech they could come and speak in Aotea Square if they wanted. They would get more people listening to their ideas in that case… if it was about the ideas and public debate that is…

    • Stuart Munro 3.2

      She’s got free speech to rant on youtube or her own website if she wants. Global platforms. But she wants a mob and hecklers. They’re not a right.

      • Wayne 3.2.1

        You also have free speech to say what you want to say in person in a public space.
        They are limits to free speech. You can’t threaten violence, at least not to specific people or groups. But you are able to say things that will seriously offend people. A lot of comment about religion falls into this category.
        An interesting case in the US was the religious group protesting at the funerals of soldiers. In the US that was protected free speech. I am not sure we would be so liberal here, and in any event should we be?
        I also think hate speech is a slippery slope, well illustrated by the Massey Vice Chancellor’s column in the Herald today. The way she defined hate speech it seemed to cover a lot of things that would certainly be offensive, but would also seriously restrict what people can say. The insulting criticism of religion for instance.

    • OctusSpherus 3.3

      So we should watch our speech in case others are violent? Charlie Hebdo?

      Swallowing insults, especially to a God many think imaginary, is a part of living in a democratic nation.

      She said, “Allah is gay”. What part of that is racist?

      It comes dangerously close to enforcing blasphemy laws.

      • McFlock 3.3.1

        Don’t be a dick.

        The key question was whether she was trying to express an opinion, or merely trying to provoke a confrontation.

        The British decided she was doing the latter.

        That doesn’t excuse people who are provoked, because provocation is not a moral defence (might still be legal in the UK, but we got rid of it). But if violence were to result, to paraphrase the Orange One, there would be jerks on both sides. If violence doesn’t result, there’s only a jerk on one side.

        • OctusSpherus 3.3.1.1

          Provocation and actual violence aren’t the same. Whoever commits violence is the much, much bigger jerk.

          • McFlock 3.3.1.1.1

            Never said they were the same.

            But someone else being a bigger jerk does not mean that some random person is not a jerk. In fact, it definitely means that the random person is also a jerk, because “bigger” is a relative term.

            So people who commit violence without a defensible legal argument maybe go to jail, while professional aggravators simply get turned away. Not because of their beliefs, but because they’re jerks who make life difficult for everyone.

      • Tricledrown 3.3.2

        Charlie Hedbo also criticised Judaism all the journalists and cartoonists who published were sacked.

    • Ed 3.4

      Totally agree.

    • Chris T 3.5

      How is handing out pamphlets with a dumb Allah slogan inciting violence?

    • MikeS 3.6

      I think she was simply trying to show that Islam is an anti gay, homophobic ideology. How could calling Allah (or God) gay possibly be offensive? Unless you believe that homosexuality is offensive… Islam dictates that homosexuality is an abomination, is illegal and punishable by death.

      Calling God gay isn’t anywhere close to inciting violence you idiot. It;s nothing like your so-called “pre-Fascist” tactics from the 1930’s. Do you not understand that Islam (the ideology) is Fascist??

      Also, there isn’t a murmur if someone suggests for example that Jesus was gay like in this article.. (One of plenty of examples)

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/apr/20/was-jesus-gay-probably

      For some reason it’s perfectly OK in minds like yours to ‘offend’ any beliefs except Islam

  4. cleangreen 4

    Hey Micky ; good point there below.

    But we then have another problem; I saw/heard Phil Goff say clearly on TV last weekend Quote;

    “I want Auckland to be a fully inclussive society”

    Phil Goff c;early cannot claim this now in his defence of stopping the pair using the Public venue,

    “The problem could be that the decision to prevent Auckland from being exposed to Lauren Southern’s ideas may have been motivated by bureaucratic rather than political considerations.”

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      There’s the paradox then; can people who act to make a community exclusive of some people be included/tolerated in a fully inclusive community? Their intention is to exclude; should they be treated as everyone else is treated, if inclusiveness is your stated aim?

    • mickysavage 4.2

      I don’t see them as being contradictory. Goff can want a fully inclusive society and an official may have pulled the pin on the booking.

    • Molly 4.3

      Having had a look at the Council venues T&C, it strikes me that Auckland Council is perhaps missing an opportunity here to tighten up their processes.

      Venue hire could be in a two tier system:
      1. Existing system and lower rates for community, family and non-profit groups,
      2. Higher standard T&C for private profit events – which take into account the suitability of event in a public community venue. The charge should be higher, and the duty of care to the wider public could be outlined.

      What has also been missed is the opportunity to effectively gauge the support of the speakers in an unpublicised event. A high level of paid tickets would indicate a need for addressing the situation.

      As it is, the publicity has been a dream ride, and the recruitment level of that focus may have been substantial.

      Yes, a private venue may have been booked. But a robust T&C for Auckland Council venue hire, would have allowed the reason for declining the booking to specifically state where it did not meet the duty of care requirement, and that would have been the end of it.

      • McFlock 4.3.1

        I’d be surprised if they didn’t have some sort of mechanism for that exact situation – e.g. a commercial speaker paying full rate vs a volunteer-driven fundraiser simply getting a “don’t worry about it” from the venue manager.

        In all venues I’ve worked with or for they’ve either had a discount rate under the purview of the facility manager for charitable events, or they’ve got a little internally-managed fund to in effect pay the commercial rate on behalf of the event.

    • SPC 4.4

      No, Goff was just adding icing to a cake that had already been baked by bureaucrats.

      Can’t use my councils venues, and I am not sad but delighted coz …

    • lprent 4.5

      “I want Auckland to be a fully inclussive society”

      Yeah, and I want to never pay rates. That is what is known as a inspirational or aspiration statement.

      It doesn’t constitute any kind of legal statement or even a statement of intent.

  5. Kevin 5

    Punching the fascists in the face occasionally is ok in my books.
    They need to realise we will not just roll over as in the past.
    Learning the lessons of history.

    • Puckish Rogue 5.1

      The problem is, of course, what is a fascist and is fascism always “bad” given you can have both left-wing and right-wing fascism

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

      • arkie 5.1.1

        From your link;

        Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

        Please inform us of this ‘left-wing’ fascism you talk about.

          • adam 5.1.1.1.1

            Your mixing up authoritarianism, of which there are both left and right, and yes the left wing version of authoritarianism is bat shit crazy. The point about fascism, and why you should not throw it around is that it includes a few salient points which sorry pucky don’t fit the left. One is hyper masculinity coupled with nationalism with a big N. The other is whilst it rejects liberal capitalism, it embraces a type of monopoly capitalism as it’s economic base. It also violently anti socialist in any of it’s forms. So fascism is right wing, you lot have to own it. Like we are stuck with Mao, Stalin and the other collection of nut bars.

            • Tuppence Shrewsbury 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Socialism isn’t explicitly left wing. It’s right wing Big C conversatism that rejects all forms of capitalism, while displaying outstanding intolerance to dissenters. SO you can’t claim it’s all yours while rejecting facism as having nothing to do with the left and is all right.

              • adam

                Show me a conservative who is a socialist, and I’ll show you a room full of kiwi poo.

                • Planet Earth

                  I show you the body of Rob Muldoon, but I don’t want to see your kiwi poo thanks.

                  • arkie

                    As a long-time National Party activist, Muldoon rejected Communism as an ‘alien’ collectivist philosophy.

                    Seems your comment is so much kiwi poo

                  • Bill

                    Rob Muldoon – a conservative in a political environment dominated by social democratic priorities. Winston Peters is the closest we have to a Muldoon in today’s liberal environment.

                    Buggered if I can see how you think “socialist” shoehorns into that.

                    • lprent

                      Being in Singapore a lot over this year is an exercise in nostalgia for me.

                      It reminds me of life in the socialist state of Muldoon. Paternalistic, safe, boring, and lacking real opportunities to expand past the tired old formulas of the past.

                      The kind of society that thought that the “Think Big” projects that worked in other countries in the 1950s would work in the 1980s – they just wasted a lot of capital and gave me the most boring jobs I have ever had. Or that supporting sheep product prices with taxpayers money would somehow magically create the bonanza of the early 1950s Korean War.

                      Personally I’m not into nostalgia, especially when it comes to work. I very much want to use socialist processes to improve the lot of people and their kids. But I also want to make damn sure that it isn’t done by becoming the kind of nostalgic conservative socialist that Muldoon and many of the people who comment here seem to be like. I like to leave the nostalgia to my parents in their collecting the antique furniture of the past, and to keep working on the bleeding edge for as long as my brain and body will sustain …

                    • Bill

                      Oh dear. A “socialist state” you say?

                      I’m sure you’ve read my views on that piece of brainless terminology often enough, but anyway.

                      I can’t have any nostalgia for Muldoon, not being here at the time. Seems to me, that as in other countries, it was a complete lack of imagination on the part of formerly social democratic politicians (not to mention various extra-parliamentary types) that led to the TINA mantra of liberalism’s resurgence.

                      I’d more than welcome a reverse in direction towards social democracy as a weigh station on the road before we depart and strike out in the direction of a socialist society/socialist societies. I’ve as much hankering for stultifying bureaucracy stretching off into the future as I have for endless market tyranny – none.

                      Just to say. On the way, I’d far rather pass through a Scandinavian set-up than some others I could mention

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The kind of society that thought that the “Think Big” projects that worked in other countries in the 1950s would work in the 1980s – they just wasted a lot of capital and gave me the most boring jobs I have ever had.

                      The thing about Think Big is that it seemed to be trying to create the success of the US Federal funding of research, development and even infrastructure. As Mariana Mazzucato points out in The Entrepreneurial State many nations have tried to do the same thing but has never been able to hit upon the success that the US has.

                      IMO, a large part is because other nations have simply tried to do more of the same whereas the US has actually used that massive, long term government funding to develop the economy. That funding comes with specific directions as well – it most definitely is picking winners and not leaving it to the free-market.

                      And then, of course, the other governments are borrowing from banks to get the money rather than simply printing it putting a massive drag on the economy as the rich drag in their unearned income.

                    • KJT

                      If oil prices had continued to rise Muldoon would have been a hero.

                      As a conservative he continued with the welfare State that was already successful.

                      Though, social welfare for sheep was taking it too far. Shades of today’s Canterbury irrigation schemes.

                      Many of the think big projects continued on to make good profits for private ownership, after later Governments sold them off at fire sale prices. Some of the worst examples of insider trading and ideological bumbling in our history.

                      I didn’t like him at the time, but the old bugger did have a vision for the future of New Zealand. Unlike many of today’s MP’s, who have a vision of how much they can make out of their retirement Directorships.

                      Didn’t find the country boring. We could afford to go ski-ing on an apprentices wage. The fields were even uncrowded, so long as you avoided the children of the rich on university holidays

                • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                  I can show lots of socialists who are big c conservative.

                  • Tricledrown

                    L prent summed up what works and what doesn’t work.
                    A balance between the Dogmas!

                • Old Girl

                  Are you certain that a socialist thinker or voter can not be conservative?
                  Is globalised privatisation running rampant on fiat finance conservative?
                  Rather, it is a mad pig’s party of faux dionysian derangement.
                  Attending Labour Party meetings in the seventies made one aware of the inherent conservatism entrenched within rigid socialist dogma at that time. To mention that you were self employed with a small business (as were many people in those days) meant that you were told ‘you should belong ‘to the other lot.’ Neither the right nor the left ever had any interest in small business.
                  Times change but in these days of tumult and deception one can appreciate the economic conservatism of David Stockman while shying away from the proposal that no one in business has the right to refuse an order. Does this mean that a working girl may not, on a dark night, refuse a customer because she does not like the cut of his jib? Or a Marxist screen printer decline an order for an evangelical rally?
                  Nature is awash with tone and colour but the dogmatist of any stripe knows only two.

                  • KJT

                    I am a conservative democratic socialist. Mostly through my job.

                    New ideas, which are usually recycled old ideas, from those who did not learn the last time, cause accidents.

                    We had a welfare State, which was working. The lack of poverty and extreme wealth did not suit the greedy, so they had to fuck with it.

                    “If it isn’t broken don’t fix it”.

                    Too many of our politicians remind me of the person who comes into the room and fiddles with the TV tuning. Even when that channel is working fine.

                  • KJT

                    And nothing has changed in regard to support for small business.

                    The right want to replace us with huge corporate monopolies, while the left don’t seem to know where they stand, in regard to corner stores and tradespeople.

              • McFlock

                How does conservativism reject “all forms of capitalism”?

                The Nazis were quite cosy with Krupp, Hugo Boss, and a real pack of bankers.

                • Tricledrown

                  Mc Flock he had friends in high places
                  His factories came from Ford GM accounting systems IBM poisonous gas etc.
                  The US profited out of WW2 seeing as a way to unsettle the old empires leaving the New World empire of The US on top of the pile.
                  But supporting fascist states to keep socialist states from sharing wealth.

            • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1.1.1.2

              ‘Historians, political scientists and other scholars have long debated the exact nature of fascism. Each interpretation of fascism is distinct, leaving many definitions too wide or narrow.’

              ‘One common definition of the term focuses on three concepts:

              the fascist negations (anti-liberalism, anti-communism and anti-conservatism);

              nationalist authoritarian goals of creating a regulated economic structure to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture;

              and a political aesthetic of romantic symbolism, mass mobilization, a positive view of violence and promotion of masculinity, youth and charismatic leadership.’

              Sorry Adam but theres more than enough in there to include the left in Fascism, I mean anti-conservatism, a regulated economic structure and a positive view of violence are all hallmarks of the left wouldn’t you say

              • adam

                Not at all Puckish Rough, you just excluded the whole anti-authoritarian left in one quick stroke.

                I’d question if you know what communism is, or why the classical fascists hated it so much.

                You get there is a difference between ideological rhetoric, which you seem to be relying on for this debate, and what actually happened in fascist states. The reality is all fascist states stayed capitalist, and whilst I agree they were deeply anti-liberalism (more over the social aspects of liberalism) and anti-communism, the reality was, they attached themselves to the traditional conservative class rather quickly. Spain is a good example of this, as is Italy.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Theres left wing fascism and right wing fascism, maybe fascism tends to swing towards the right but it doesn’t alter the issue of there being left wing fascism

                  Sorry about that 🙂

                  • arkie

                    There is not ‘left-wing’ fascism. There are left-wing authoritarians.

                    maybe fascism tends to swing towards the right

                    You want to hedge any more there? The ‘issue’ is you doing a both-sides argument in defence of fascism.

                  • Bill

                    From a decidedly left perspective, I’ve wondered what term would have been used to describe the political reality of the USSR in 1921/22 if Mussolini wasn’t still a few years away from coining the phrase “fascism”?

                    When looking at what the Bolsheviks put in place, there’s an argument to be made that Mussolini basically just teased that monolithic nonsense apart to give ideological and actual space to the church and the market.

                    And yes, the priorities and justifications of Mussolini were not the same as those promoted by the Bolsheviks – just as they were not the same as those promoted by Hitler, or Franco or Salazar – but there were also rather large areas of commonality.

                    • adam

                      But the reality is fascism had a anti-communist bent, it also was hyper masculine, and it Nationalism of the big N kind.

                      Look I agree the state of Soviet Russia under Stalin was a total cluster. But there were differences, maybe to degree. Many on the left will own that Stalinism and Maoism are fubar without measure. Both are bad, evil, and down right rotten systems. Which screwed with people.

                      The problem I have is very few on the right are willing to own fascism grew out of their ideology. That their ideology grew a system which unlike the authoritarian left states even at their worst. Adopted the idea that killing people because of disability, skin colour, religion or sexuality was a very good idea.

                    • McFlock

                      The most apt description would be “recently almost completely occupied by foreign invaders, still fighting a civil war, and in a state of martial law”.

                      Whereas the Italians had been on the winning side in WW1.

                    • Bill

                      Bugger! Entire comment lost to the ether. Short version…

                      The Bolsheviks had a pretty clear cut anti-communist bent too, no?

                      It isn’t cut and dried. There are numerous examples of liberalism supporting and borrowing from authoritarianism as well as opposing it. And there are examples of the different ideological hues of authoritarianism supporting, borrowing and opposing one another too.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, the main difference between left and right authoritarians seems (to me) to be that while the nazis and fascists started left wing and populist, they decided to gain the favour and support of existing power structures while preserving their populist approach. And the existing power structures (capitalists, church, royalty) accepted or even embraced them against the left (which of any flavour or extremity endangers minority power structures).

                      Whereas the authoritarian “left” tended to create its own power structures.

                    • Bill

                      Pinochet, Suharto, Franco et al…yeah well, not much evidence of a “populist” platform.

                      The Bolsheviks usurped all existent structures of power – assimilated them into authority of ‘The Party’.

                      Mussolini usurped some centres of power and gained the approval or acquiescence of others.

                      Hitler was a bit of an odd-ball among his fellow European fascist leaders, what with the whole weird fabricated mythology borrowing elements from here, there and everywhere, when the Catholic church was just “sitting there” and able enough to provide “spiritual” authority.

                      All positioned themselves in opposition to socialist or left thought/action, and crushed it when and where they could (with not a little helping hand from their liberal mates on occasion).

                    • McFlock

                      Fair call on pinochet, franco etc.

                      But both hitler and mussolini initially joined worker-oriented (and explicitly socialist) parties and worked through the electoral system, then acquired sponsorship from the existing power structures after embracing an anti-socialist platform (in the nazis’ case with the exception of the Catholic church, both because of Nazi mythology and also because the protestant/catholic divide made the Catholic church less desirable as an ally).

                  • adam

                    Now you’re completely delusional on this on Puckish Rogue. Do you think the taxpayers union is some workers rights outfit as well?

                    There are idiots on the left and right, but the reality is fascism is born out of the right ideology. There is no hyper masculinity on the left, there is no desire to kill communism/communists on the left, and there is no nationalism with a big N. Three key parts which makeup fascism, a hard right ideology.

                    You need to own it puck.

                    We own their are authoritarian scumbag leninist f^%$&&^$%$s, ect on our side, time to face reality buddy. The fascist idiots are all yours.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Did you note notice the parts that also mentioned:

                      anti-conservatism

                      nationalist authoritarian goals of creating a regulated economic structure to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture

                      a positive view of violence

                      I absolutely agree there are plenty of people, and leaders, that could be described as both right wing and fascist (no arguments there) there are also left wing fascists no matter how much you want to try to twist and turn it 🙂

                    • adam

                      Not arguing with that their are idiots on the left puck, just pointing out the points of difference which make fascists, fascists. Left wing authoritarian thugs and nut bars I own. I get there are leftist who love violence and hate conservatism, idiots fools and despicable scum they may be. But, and it’s a but – they are not fascists, precisely becasue they are not running around promoting anti-communism, nor hyper masculine, and Nationalism with the big N.

                      Your lack of logic on this is kinda frustrating. The right created and has to own fascism, like we have to own the nasty horrible mess that was leninism and Maoism. Otherwise you lot are passing the buck. Or are you going to say your lot created Mao, and Lenin now?

                    • Pat

                      Its entirely debatable what or who ‘created’ fascism….there is little doubt however that for it to flourish it requires economic failure and political polarisation.

                    • In Vino

                      Good comment, Pat. I would add that Fascism so often involves also a heavy dose of Racism to equal the Nationalism.

                    • KJT

                      To get to the point. Authoritarian Governments can pretend to be either right or left wing.

                      But, their point of confluence, is the centralisation of power.

                      Usually by greedy scumbags at the top.

                      Neither work. Neither a capitalist oligarchy ruled by accumulated wealth, a “communist” dictatorship ruled by accumulation of power, nor pretend democracies, where those in power work for the same people.

                      The most successful States, have heavily regulated mixed economies, with a high level of “populist” Democracy and local control, with State intervention to ensure the cost of market “externalities are evenly distributed, and the wealthy and powerfuls influence is limited.

                      Attempt’s to limit speech that we don’t like is a sign of budding Authoritarianism.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Fascism becomes fashionable when good people let a vocal minority dictate to the majority.
                    Would we let someone from the Taliban, IsIs into the country to speak.

          • arkie 5.1.1.1.2

            Ah yes, thanks, so it’s theoretical. I don’t subscribe to horseshoe theory.

            The point about Molyneux et al is that they represent this part of fascism;

            Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete

            Liberal democracy got us to the more representative society that we live in, it made advances for many people previously on the fringes. Liberal democracy has forgotten that these people who oppose liberalism are the same people appealing to the liberals to defend their ‘free speech’ while they bash liberal democracy.

  6. Cemetery Jones 6

    More to the point, does this mean that after all his grandstanding about what he will or won’t allow to happen in council venues, he was actually just putting on a Walter Mitty act?

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Its called Right Side of History

      John Key deflected when asked which side of the Springbok tour he was on? he darn well knew he was on the wrong side.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        The right side of history involves restrictions of free speech it seems…

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          Nope. There isn’t a legal right to free speech.

          FFS could you at least use the correct phrase for NZ – the one in the BORA.

          Or could it be that you just an idiot from the USA?

        • arkie 6.1.1.2

          Freeze Peach! Freeze Peach!

          You have been called out for your disingenuous repeating that ‘free speech’ is being restricted. It is not. It seems you are more concerned with defending fascists…

          • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.2.1

            NZ BORA allows freedom of expression, but not if it contravenes
            Food labelling regulations
            Copyright
            Trade secrets
            Non disclosure agreements
            Etc.

            Oh and state secrets

    • Bill 7.1

      Unbelievable. (Actually, it’s not). Anyway, because I suspect most people don’t click on links, I hope you don’t mind me doing a cut and paste of what I’m seeing as the most pertinent bit, Pat.

      “She put herself in a position where [Democrats] from states that Trump won will have to distance themselves from her even more,” another former Clinton aide told the website. “That’s a lot of states.”

      Predictably, gleeful Republicans seized on her polarizing comments.

      “At the RNC, we try not to continue to focus on Hillary Clinton. We really do try very hard,” Mike Reed, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said in an email to reporters. “But this one is impossible to ignore.”

      • Pat 7.1.1

        No problem….i figured the article was self explanatory…but obviously only if you bother to read it.

        • Dennis Frank 7.1.1.1

          From President Kylie Jenner’s inauguration speech after the 2020 US election:

          “I heard that Hilary Clinton was running to be our first geriatric president and thought `why not a millenial?’ When my website crashed half an hour after I called for volunteers to join my support team, we had more than 100 million men enlisted!! I also got several million women, talked to lots of them & they all seemed to be lesbians. I appreciate their appreciation and think it’s wonderful to have so many minority rights advisors.”

          “I’d like to thank Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton for destroying the Republican and Democratic parties. Who’d have thought the Green Party would suddenly displace them? I’m proud of whatever small part I may have played in leading them to this result.”

          “Ralph Nader will look after the environment for us. Elon Musk has agreed to be my Climate Change Czar. Oprah Winfrey will be Race Relations Director. LeBron James will serve as Secretary of Defense, George Clooney will be Secretary of State & Bill Gates Secretary of Treasury.”

          “I wish Hilary well in her new career running knitting circles in old folks homes and agree with her suggestion that they discuss how wonderful she is. Old ladies always need a fresh topic. The Don will do well in his new tv reality show, Politics 1.01, and definitely a good idea for him to include the audience in discussing the reasons why someone ought to be fired – ethics & social darwinism are making America great again! Uh, I think my speechwriter means social media? If there was a god I’d declare `God bless America’, but we’ve moved on. Anyway, let’s party!!”

  7. McGrath 8

    I would have just let them speak as they would have failed miserably. They would have been lucky to get 10 listeners. Now there is all this hoo-hah resulting in an much higher profile.

  8. SPC 9

    The Free Speech coalition is actually part of a campaign against the re-election of Phil Goff.

  9. tsmithfield 10

    Challenging religious intolerance (for whatever reason) is not a bad thing.

    As can be seen during history, Christianity has been associated with persecution, and reformation as people have stood against religious intolerance at considerable personal cost on many occasions.

    Southern was undoubtably pulling a stunt in Lutin.

    But was it wrong for her to point out the intolerance of Islam towards gays? Surely people were only getting offended because of their own intolerant attitudes that were being upset. But is that a bad thing?

    So, social change often comes about from people being willing to stand up and make a point. We probably would still have slavery, and women would be nowhere near as far ahead in Western culture if it wasn’t for people being willing to stand up against issues.

    So, causing offence in itself isn’t a reason to clamp down on freedom of speech. Tip-toeing around issues because it might cause offence isn’t helping social progress in religions and cultures that undoubtably need it.

  10. Ross 11

    Phil Goff has said that he would allow Donald Trump to use Council facilities. Well, of course he would because Tump is such a reasonable person…by the way how is that Mexican wall coming along?

  11. SPC 12

    Meanwhile – something not covered in the MSM – real threat to free speech in New Zealand.

    New Zealanders forced to live in exile.

    • SPC 12.1

      A bit more context.

      • Gosman 12.1.1

        Noone is forcing her to live in exile. I strongly suspect she has some mental health problems which lend her to a degree of paranoia.

        • SPC 12.1.1.1

          Sure, it was her chosen response to being intimidated.

          And I strongly suspect your willingness to believe that those targeted for persecution are mentally ill/paranoid is why your defence of free speech can now be seen as the gaslighting man joke that it is.

          • xanthe 12.1.1.1.1

            From personal experience i agree for once with gosman.. Suzie is both mad and dangerous, avoid! IMHO!

  12. Ed 13

    At last some clear thinking over at the Daily Blog, after the naive mumbling of Chris Trotter.
    John Minto is back from a week’stramping and writes.

    “ In this case “freedom of Speech” is being used as a cover to promote the denial of freedoms to others based on race and religion. Freedom from fear, freedom from abuse, freedom from racial or religious denigration should be enjoyed by all New Zealanders. For this reason the council should not provide venues for the promotion of race or religious hatred which undermines the freedoms of other citizens.

    I was one of those who complained to the Broadcasting Standards Tribunal about the racist stereotyping in Al Nisbet’s cartoon in the Press newspaper a few years back. Nisbet was promoting the view that Maori are lazy dole bludgers who waste their money on booze, gambling and smoking. His cartoon was nasty and vicious for which all Maori feel the backlash.

    It wasn’t a denial of Nisbet’s freedom of speech to say the cartoon should not have been published. Nisbet has plenty of other ways to promote his racist views without being given a platform to do so by a major daily newspaper. Similarly for the “white genocide” alarmists whose narrative is based on seeing the “enemy” as those of different races or religions to Europeans. Stirring up hatred and resentment based on race or religion is nothing less than the promotion of fascist ideas.”

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/07/17/free-speech-for-racist-or-religious-hatred/

  13. Bill 14

    Meanwhile there continues to be an intense debate on the left amongst those who think that the right to freedom of speech should be sacrosanct and those who thinks that punching a fascist can occasionally be justified.

    Pretty narrow playing field there Mickey.

    Way I see it, there’s a principle at play around free speech, and I can absolutely expand on justification for giving some people a good kicking.

    Here’s a thing for consideration. If you can’t understand why, for instance, some people think that whites are victims and why they feel marginalised, are you more inclined to simply condemn then for any subsequent racist and/or misogynistic utterings, or would you rather understand where they’re coming from and deal with any root cause that might be giving rise to their perceptions?

    Plenty of people are happy enough to exploit the fallout from any condemnation being heaped on such people. So…maybe condemn them too, if condemnation and dismissal is the game plan? Build an army to fight?

    Alternatively, get to the root cause of shit and rip it out? 😉

  14. veutoviper 15

    Interesting! I better get some popcorn in.

    A couple of weeks ago, Pete George wrote a (first) post on the proposed visit of Southern and Molyneux and included a link to the actual sales blurb put out by the organisers of the Australia/NZ tour – with the full conditions etc.

    If any one is interested, here is a link to this first post:
    https://yournz.org/2018/07/10/the-molyneux-southern-speaking-tour/

    And a link to the actual sales blurb/TOCs etc which is the info most relevant to this post here:
    https://axiomatic.events/

    At the time, I considered it somewhat hypocritical to impose the conditions set out in the sales blurb re denial of entry etc vs the freedom of speech debate.

    Both Southern and Molyneux have now been granted visas to Australia and are now there. I may be wrong but I think they may also have been granted visas to NZ, but at this point there is no indication that they will be coming.

    Only three days until their first appearance in Australia – Melbourne, July 20 – if things go to schedule …

    • dukeofurl 15.1

      havent been granted visas. As Canadians they can come here under visa waiver conditions which mostly mean no visas required.
      However once they arrive they still need ‘permission to enter’, which can be used to turn ‘deplorables away’. Not so sure on the conditions on that

      • Craig H 15.1.1

        Pretty basic – funds to survive for the trip and a ticket out at the end.

        However, because they’ve been banned from the UK, they don’t meet character requirements, and need to apply for a visa before travelling. Arguably they may need a work visa since it sounds like they were traveling for a paid appearance.

  15. rightly or wrongly 16

    I would sound a small note of caution to those lefties who have expressed delight at their great white knight vanquishing the two hated Canadian dragons and basing their delight around the said dragons being ‘fascists’ and ‘racists,’ not expousing ‘inclusive’ opinions, and liable to incite public disorder.

    The caution is this; when you justify banning speakers from public venues on spurious grounds, there is a double edged sword where a future right wing mayor/government may decide that your favourite international Union rep or Socialist President must be banned as they could be considered to be ‘racist’ or ‘communist’, espousing ‘exclusive’ opinions, and inciting public disorder.

    The justification is the same in both cases and you end up with a public discourse of bland and palid conversation, devoid of challenging ideas and concepts.

    Much better to allow speakers of all flavours and colours and if they something you don’t like counter it with more speech. Anything else is authoritarian dictat.

    • Ross 16.1

      That is spot on – and is strongly supported by none other than Barack Obama who said:

      “We [protect speech critical of religion not] because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech.”

  16. NZJester 17

    This video shows the double standards in America and with the Right Wing when it comes to free speech.

  17. AlexeiDinoia 18

    So many stupid sjw delusions in this comment section.

  18. Carolyn_Nth 19

    So now the Freeze Peach coalition are trying to do a deal with Auckland Council, to have an event at a council venue.

    I guess this is because the Coalition knows they don’t have a case against Goff or the council. Some say they are out to undermine Goff, or to test the law – but they probably don’t have a case to defeat the original council decision through the law.

    I would let this negotiation go through the process. It’s not about free speech really, but about propaganda and provoking a response to get publicity. Let the law and negotiations take their course.

    If the Canadian pair to have an event in Auckland I wouldn’t give them more oxygen by protesting the evnt.

    Maybe the best thing now is to do what the anti-nazi league and rock against racism did in London in the 80s. Hold an alternative event/s elsewhere, celebrating Aucklan’s diversity. Make it positive, fun and entertaining so that it engages communities at the flax roots.

    In London in the 1980s, the National Front was on the rise, staging marches and meetings. Away from the public eye, there was violence against black people. I went on a couple of massive anti-nazi league demos through London, followed by free outdoor concerts with some big name performers: Elvis Costello, Polystyrene, Wham, etc.

    That’s the way to go now, I think, whether the Canadian propagandist and provocateurs do an event in Auckland or not.

  19. Delia 20

    I just read in today’s Herald they have permission to enter New Zealand.

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