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Free Speech.

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, July 11th, 2018 - 179 comments
Categories: censorship, human rights, liberalism, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, useless - Tags:

There appears to be a bit of angst on display over obnoxious cunts running with the “free speech” baton. But, as stated in the excerpt on the front of this post, we’re talking about a principle – not about how acceptable or cuddly some people and the views they express may or may not be.

If Lauren Southern wants to build a fan club among white South Africans (as I believe she may have done) and then come to New Zealand and engage with some arguably racist segment of New Zealand’s South African immigrant community, she has every right to do so. And her right to do so should be defended against anyone who’d deny her that right. Even if, as is arguably the case, she’s a raging fucking hypocrite around free speech, and an obnoxious individual expressing lamentable, thoughtless or spiteful ideas, her right to speak freely ought to be defended.

That doesn’t mean she has the right to a platform. Neither does it mean others have the right to deny her a platform.

Red Logix posted a rather long video by Trevor Phillps (former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission for England and Wales). He knocked the nail on the head at the very outset of his documentary.

Campaigners like me sincerely believed that if we could prevent people expressing prejudice ideas, then eventually, they’d stop thinking them. But now, I’m convinced, we were utterly wrong.

What’s to say to that, bar “No shit Sherlock!”

And yet it appears that a goodly number of people are rushing off to condemn whatever the Lauren Southern’s of the world might be saying on that very basis – that if the views people like Lauren Southern hold don’t get expressed, then the views will exit the realms of thought.

Ironically, all the hullabaloo that has flowed from her and Stefan Molyneux booking out the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland has given them and their views far more oxygen than they’d otherwise have received. That platform they have no entitlement to, and that people sought to deny them by having them barred from the Bruce Mason Centre, has been extended far beyond the Bruce Mason Centre, and their message duly amplified – by the actions of those self same people who have sought to shut them down.

And they should never have sought to shut them down.

To reiterate. Free speech is a principle. And it’s not contingent upon people talking the way you want them to talk, nor saying things the way you like to hear them.

If Southern, or anyone else, incites people to inflict injury on others, there are laws to deal with that. But there is, quite rightly, no law proscribing obnoxious thoughts or ideas.

To paraphrase Tom Walker’s Johnathan Pie – what the fuck is going on when the likes of Don Brash and Lindsay Perigo hold the mantle of free speech? They don’t own the principle.

Though it seems they’re getting a free run at it.

179 comments on “Free Speech.”

  1. Sacha 1

    Speech has never been an unfettered right.

    • marty mars 1.1

      + 1
      Yep, free speech is a misnomer imo.
      Free thought is true – you can THINK anything you like I think.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Marty – the comment was made that opposing speech in Maori (as Brash reported did) is anti-free speech so wouldn’t that mean that a person unable to think in Maori can’t in fact, think anything they like; they can only think inside of the bubble their language allows? Restricted-think?

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          Yes I agree – our thinking is socially constructed and thus is limited, subjective and conditional imo.

        • Gosman 1.1.1.2

          It is hardly anti-free speech to oppose Maori being used in certain areas of public discourse. It might be arcane and culturally offensive as well as being against certain obligations under the TOW but it is not anti-free speech. It would be similar (not identical) to arguing that Afrikaans shouldn’t be spoken on Radio NZ National.

          • marty mars 1.1.1.2.1

            Not even close to similar – have you heard of the Treaty of Waitangi? Understanding the difference could help you a lot with your obvious confusion as noted by your continued question after question.

            Brash and his ilk are ANTI free speech.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I already stated it was against Treaty obligations. That still doesn’t mean it is anti-free speech. Treaty rights don’t guarantee Maori any more or less rights on freedom of speech than anyone else.

              • marty mars

                More rights that Afrikaans – have you forgotten the point you’re trying to muddy?

                • Gosman

                  In relation to free speech that is correct. Maori have no more or less rights than any other group from a free speech perspective. They might have cause to argue their culture and language should be promoted but that is not a free speech issue.

                  • marty mars

                    If te reo Māori is an official language (which it is) of this country then opponents of te reo Māori are opponents of free speech imo.

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.2.2

            Culturally offensive ex-ACT leader fronts attack on Mayor

    • Bill 1.2

      No-one has claimed it isn’t couched around with caveats – such as not inciting people to kill, murder, maim or otherwise injure others. But nice straw thingee-jig to throw in as a first comment.

      • Sacha 1.2.1

        It’s an important part of the principle that individual expression rights are balanced against other human rights – such as freedom from harm for groups of people.

        • marty mars 1.2.1.1

          + 1 well stated.

        • Gosman 1.2.1.2

          Freedom from harm idoes not (or should not) include freedom from hurt feelings. Freedom from harm is from actual physical harm.

          • marty mars 1.2.1.2.1

            Who said otherwise, please quote the legislation that says other than this.

          • Sacha 1.2.1.2.2

            Doesn’t increased discrimination which reduces access to housing, jobs, etc, count as harm?

            Does well-founded persistent fear of violence in public because of a group you belong to count as harm, or is it only after the violence has been carried out?

        • One Two 1.2.1.3

          Herd mentality…

          Without individual freedom…there is no freedom!

          • Sacha 1.2.1.3.1

            You really do not grasp the idea of ‘balanced’ do you?

            • One Two 1.2.1.3.1.1

              The concept of ‘balance’ is inherently undefinable so by all means believe you have a grasp on the concept…

              Once you figure out why don’t, and can’t actually grasp ‘balance’…you may just realise what freedom actually is…how it begins and ends at an individual level…

              Only at an individual level…

              • McFlock

                Search Results

                Dictionary
                balance
                ˈbal(ə)ns/
                noun
                noun: balance; plural noun: balances

                1.
                an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
                “she lost her balance and fell”
                synonyms: stability, equilibrium, steadiness, footing
                “I tripped and lost my balance”
                antonyms: instability
                Sailing
                the ability of a boat to stay on course without adjustment of the rudder.
                2.
                a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
                “the obligations of political balance in broadcasting”
                synonyms: fairness, justice, impartiality, egalitarianism, equal opportunity; More
                parity, equity, equilibrium, evenness, symmetry, equipoise, correspondence, uniformity, equality, equivalence, similarity, levelness, parallelism, comparability
                “the obligations of political balance in broadcasting”
                antonyms: imbalance
                mental or emotional stability.
                “the way to some kind of peace and personal balance”
                synonyms: composure, assurance, self-assurance, self-control, calmness, coolness, cool head; More
                ease, tranquillity, serenity, imperturbability, impassivity, equanimity, nonchalance, confidence, self-confidence, self-possession, sureness;
                poise, dignity, aplomb, presence of mind, nerve, sangfroid, countenance, collectedness, suaveness, urbanity, elegance;
                informalcool, unflappability
                “the way to peace and some kind of personal balance”
                antonyms: nervousness
                the relative volume of various sources of sound.
                “the balance of the voices is good”
                Art
                harmony of design and proportion.
                3.
                an apparatus for weighing, especially one with a central pivot, beam, and two scales.
                synonyms: scale(s), weighing machine, weighbridge
                “a girl was weighing material on a balance”
                the zodiacal sign or constellation Libra.
                singular proper noun: Balance; noun: the Balance
                4.
                a counteracting weight or force.
                synonyms: counterbalance, equipoise, counterweight, stabilizer, compensation, recompense, ballast, makeweight; archaiccountercheck
                “this stylistic development provides a balance to the rest of the work”
                the regulating device in a clock or watch.
                noun: balance wheel; plural noun: balance wheels
                5.
                a predominating amount; a preponderance.
                “the balance of opinion was that work was more important than leisure”
                6.
                a figure representing the difference between credits and debits in an account; the amount of money held in an account.
                “he accumulated a healthy balance with the savings bank”
                the difference between an amount due and an amount paid.
                “the holiday balance must be paid by 8 weeks before departure”
                synonyms: remainder, outstanding amount, rest, residue, difference, remaining part/number/quantity
                “the landlord demanded payment of the balance of the rent”
                an amount left over.

                verb
                verb: balance; 3rd person present: balances; past tense: balanced; past participle: balanced; gerund or present participle: balancing

                1.
                put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.
                “a mug that she balanced on her knee”
                synonyms: steady, stabilize; More
                poise, level, prop, position
                “she balanced the book on her head”
                remain in a steady position without falling.
                “Richard balanced on the ball of one foot”
                2.
                offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.
                “the cost of obtaining such information needs to be balanced against its benefits”
                synonyms: weigh, weigh up, compare, evaluate, consider, assess, appraise, estimate
                “it is a matter of balancing advantages against disadvantages”

                Hope this helps.

    • Dennis Frank 1.3

      What fetters do aborigines place on each other’s speech in Oz? I’m still waiting for proof to show up on this (after mentioning the other day how indigenous societies don’t seem to have implemented sanction codes against free speech).

      • arkie 1.3.1

        Avoidance speech in Australian Aboriginal languages is closely tied to elaborate tribal kinship systems in which certain relatives are considered taboo. Avoidance relations differ from tribe to tribe in terms of strictness and to whom they apply.

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

        The more you know

        • Carolyn_nth 1.3.1.1

          Don’t Maori have traditional rules about who can speak on a Marae?

          • Molly 1.3.1.1.1

            In the formal part of the powhiri, not usually when the powhiri is completed.

            There is a pattern of duality, which includes spiritual/body, ancestors/present, male/female which is balanced out during the formal powhiri process.

            To be clear, it is more like ‘house rules’, where the tikanga of the marae itself is followed when you are there, these variances are referred to as kawa. A lot of leniency is often given to visitors who won’t be as informed about local kawa practices.

            A trite metaphor would be how everyone knows how to play “last card” but different families have different rules. Usually rules are accommodated, and agreed upon before playing for that visit.

            And Maaori culture is quite adaptable, and will become more aligned with modern practices, I believe. Though I do quite like the ideas of balancing energies behind the formal powhiri process, and it doesn’t bother me as much as it did before I understood the origins and the meaning.

            (Welcome any improvements or corrections on this… still in the learning stage, myself)

          • Dennis Frank 1.3.1.1.2

            Okay, so far so good. My take is that Abos use institutionalised discrimination to limit the free speech of some of their more distant relations, whereas Maori still adhere to their traditional patriarchy in order to discriminate against their women. I wonder if further evidence from other indigenous folk would merely provide further diversity of application of censorship, or would it identify a commonality, enabling a general principle applicable in law to be abstracted…

            • RedLogix 1.3.1.1.2.1

              Dennis. I’d advise you frame that more carefully; it was clumsy. And even most white Australians avoid using the term “Abos” in a public setting, which this most definitely is.

            • arkie 1.3.1.1.2.2

              So far so racist Dennis.

              The point is that the principle of free speech is not a particularly old one and is associated most strongly with the ‘liberal’ ‘western’ philosophical tradition.

              • Dennis Frank

                Nothing to do with racism & I’m not even slightly interested in pc-conformism. The point is that people are born with a natural right of free speech just as they were in ancient times before groups started imposing limits on it, so really it’s all about the basis on which those limits are imposed. Is it ethical? Does it serve our common interests?

                • Sacha

                  As soon as you say ‘born with a natural right’, expect people to stop listening to anything you say.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Why would I expect that? Most people know babies exercise their natural right of free speech until the age where they learn that they will get told off by their mother if they say naughty words.

                    • solkta

                      natural right of free speech

                      I think you need to have a think about what “rights” are and how they come about. They are certainly not “natural”. You probably need to look up that word too.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I’m using natural in the sense of `deriving from nature’. I suppose one could also say `deriving from autonomy’ or `deriving from agency’. I own several books about human rights (and have read them) – how about you?

                      If you are a younger person who assumes that a recent trend towards viewing rights as a social construct is the only possible way to view them, then let’s hope you live & learn…

            • Brigid 1.3.1.1.2.3

              “My take is that Abos use institutionalised discrimination to limit the free speech of some of their more distant relations,”
              Your knowledge of Aboriginal practises with regard to their language seems to be zilch.

              The way they do things is the way they do things, because what is now know as Australia has been their country for thousands of years

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah exactly, which is why I interpreted the wikipedia statement as I did. If you know a better way to interpret it, why not inform us? Making sense of such things in relation to the culture we know is all we can do when we lack an informed explanation from an aborigine.

          • Michelle 1.3.1.1.3

            Carolyn no one can enter the marae without the womens karanga. Despite how it might appear to many non Maori we were very much a matriarchal society.

    • adam 1.4

      That is correct Sacha, and that’s why Red Emma fought for it. So women like you could say what you want. Too soon to remind you as a woman your voice would have been cut off just for raising it? To soon to remind you, you would have gone to jail talking about birth control? Or is it too soon to accept that women have the rights to their own body, and they got them by using free speech?

      • Sacha 1.4.1

        Am not a woman, sorry. Women secured improved reproductive rights by decades of organised campaigning, not just by speech. And some can be rolled back by Supreme Court appointments and suchlike without much opportunity for speech to play a part.

        • adam 1.4.1.1

          So being able to talk about issues, like birth control and not being thrown in jail not that important to you then?

  2. Southern and Molyneux are just trolls, nothing they say is actual speech they are just click-baiting, it isn’t really worth the effort to complain about…

    Secondly, waiting for the obvious violence to happen because of their event seems a bit ambulance at the bottom of the hill. I mean is it OK that we wait for the racist fucks who will go to such an event to actually harm an innocent before we condemn them? It isn’t like it is a low-percentage probability…

    Lastly, despite what the above might suggest, I do agree that free-speech is something that should be protected, but at the same time that doesn’t give you the right to run around and abuse anyone you like then claim free speech when they tell you to fuck right off

    • Puckish Rogue 2.1

      “Secondly, waiting for the obvious violence to happen because of their event seems a bit ambulance at the bottom of the hill.”

      What obvious violence?

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        “Biffo” Brash .v. anyone with a heart?

        • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1.1

          Sounds to me like theres a few people on here that think that if this happens it’ll end like the scene in the movie Pink Floyds The Wall where Pink incites the skinheads to violence

          • You_Fool 2.1.1.1.1

            With Southern and Molyneux? Yeah, quite likely… extremists tend towards extreme behaviour, so the odds are great that there would be an increase in violence after their talk. Or do you think their anti-whatevers ranting would make people sit down quietly and type well worded letters to the editor? The two are trolls and click-baiters, their goal is to cause controversy, and what better way than to get some actual muslim/gay/feminist/whatever bashing going on? It just needs to be far enough removed from them they don’t go to jail, but can use it to fuel more clicks, more likes and therefore more $$$$$

            • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The biggest threat to violence will come from the protesters looking for an excuse

              • Robert Guyton

                Pucky, your claim is as weak as the one you’re addressing
                . In any case, don’t you mean threat “of” violence?

                • Puckish Rogue

                  (Dammit yes)

                  It isn’t a weak claim, when you look at whats happening in the USA with other speakers of the “alt-right” you will see a lot of rioting being, but not limited to, anti-fa and they claim the alt-right are nazis therefore any of their actions are ok

                  See if LS & SM speak I don’t think there’ll be hordes of skin heads streaming out of the Bruce Mason theatre looking for a fight

                  Actually some probably think its more like this:

              • Robert Guyton

                And who would have incited/provoked that violence?
                Was Goff right then, to make the Town Hall unavailable.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  The point is there isn’t going to be any violence except the possibility of violence from any potential protesters yet the above is what some on the left think is going to happen

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Some on the right probably think the above as well; what’s your point, Pucky?

    • Andy 2.2

      So the farmlands documentary is just trolling?

      Children being boiled to death in bathtubs. Women having their kneecaps drilled out with Black and Deckers. Women having eyes gouged out with forks.

      Just a few of the joys in store if you watch Farmlands,

  3. arkie 3

    These videos by Contrapoints are a good summation of the free speech principle and the Left.

    [Over half an hour of video is “a good summation”? If you must spread a wallpaper of video over a post, the very least you could do is offer up a summary of what’s in the damned things or alert people to some pertinant points] – Bill

    • arkie 3.1

      Okay, this is a complicated topic where principles and politics meet. Necessarily the discussion can take upwards of half an hour, perhaps even three days worth of posts on a forum.
      But anyway to summarise:

      Part one of Contrapoints “Does the Left Hate Free Speech?” deals with the concept of free speech, citing Milton, Paine and Stuart Mill through Hitchens. Their broad conception still has exceptions however, and exactly when/where those exceptions kick-in is worthy of noting.

      Part two of “Does the Left Hate Free Speech?” deals with the paradoxes of freedom through several fictional and real examples, and part three (also contained in the second video) deals with safe-spaces.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        Are you not able to articulate these ideas in a form that does not require people to spend valuable time watching a video made by some obscure person and posted on the internet?

        • arkie 3.1.1.1

          If i did it would require people to spend valuable time reading a post made by an even more obscure person and posted on the internet.

          Watch it, or don’t, but according to John Stuart Mill, freedom of speech is also the freedom of an audience to hear and learn.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            And so what if he is correct? How does that impact us today?

            • arkie 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Is he correct? We need to ascertain its impact on us all independently, do we not?

              But in the end it all depends on whether we’re engaging in a free exchange of ideas or whether we’re just Sealioning or JAQ-ing off.

      • marty mars 3.1.2

        + 1 thanks

  4. AB 4

    Bill, on the whole I agree – but with a couple of quibbles:
    – speech cannot be an incitement to physically harm others (I am interested in what other sorts of harm we might proscribe too, but it gets problematic quite quickly)
    – if people like Southern gained real power, I doubt that they would extend to me the degree of freedom of speech that I am suggesting we extend to them (this is very troubling and I don’t know what the answer is)

    • Sacha 4.1

      Other sorts of harm we *already* proscribe legally – from the Human Rights Act, s61:

      “matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons in or who may be coming to New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons.”

    • Pat 4.2

      “…if people like Southern gained real power, I doubt that they would extend to me the degree of freedom of speech that I am suggesting we extend to them ”

      And isnt that the point? You assume that somehow controversial views will lead to a subjugation of any given minority when in fact it is the denial that risks such. Ultimately we are all minorities and it is the peaceful compromise of conflicting views that enable society to function….remove that discourse and how can a compromise be achieved?

      Consider that as individual minorities we gain self protection by the protection of others.

      • Sacha 4.2.1

        How do you ‘compromise’ with people who insist that other people like you should not exist? Discourse is not a level playing field.

        • Pat 4.2.1.1

          The discourse is not entirely with those purporting an idea…it is a discourse much wider than that….if an idea is foolish or dangerous to a community why do you expect it will be adopted?…it may however lead to moderated changes…..just as we have seen with those that many now deem positive.

        • Gosman 4.2.1.2

          I do that every day here Sacha

          • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.2.1

            Nobody here insists you don’t exist, Gosman; don’t visit, perhaps, don’t troll, certainly, but not “don’t exist” so you can’t rightly claim to ‘compromise’ with such folk, can you.

        • Cemetery Jones 4.2.1.3

          Have Southern or Molyneux do done this?

    • Bill 4.3

      I used the term “injury” in the post. That covers psychological as well as physical harm, no? And you’re right that it’s not black and white – but that’s why there are laws that usher in court proceedings and deliberations. Hardly perfect given a slue of institutional and cultural bias within the legal profession, but hey, that’s the order of society we tolerate or accept.

      Southern gaining power? One way to increase their popularity is to get all Stalinist on it and shut them down. There’s a whole lot of “pissed off-ness” floating around that people like Southern tap into and that conservative liberals top up on an almost daily basis.

      Think “Trump”. Think “Brexit” Think – well, walk through any supermarket or shopping mall and look at people and the damage on exhibition or display. Then breeze over it and suggest that denial to a four figure sum fucking wedding cake is a worthy issue to get het up about. Why would people who have been done in and done over their entire lives – who can’t pay bills, afford medical treatment, get their kids out of gangs….why would they give a fuck about that? Or from a different angle, why might those people, made invisible 99% of the time, get angry at the suggestion? And who might tap into that anger?

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        I try not to indulge in the +1 hand on knee thingy … but that was on fire Bill.

        I know CV was his own worst enemy, smart and articulate, he couldn’t help but overdo it. But he’s absolutely correct on this; much of the alt-right/conservative blowback we are seeing is the direct result of the failure of left wing politics..

        I’m not going to suggest a single simplistic cause, it wasn’t the identity politics, nor the ideological extremists, or smug overweening arrogance we so often projected. Nor was it the poorly disguised resentment and envy of the successful that made us so ugly. More than anything else we just got so self-absorbed in our own cleverness, we forgot who it was the left is meant to represent …

    • Gosman 4.4

      Do you have any indication that they want to restrict the right of freedom of speech for people like you?

  5. RedLogix 5

    Lauren Southern wants to build a fan club among white South Africans.

    Interesting, I hadn’t picked up on that.

    Working at some large overseas projects I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of people from many countries. Always interesting, sometimes a bit challenging. But without exception the one group I always respect … as working people … are the Afrikaners. They’re blunt, direct and honest people. They know what they’re doing and they work damned hard.

    And without exception they all have some horrendous story to tell. The man whose sister heard her husband drive into the garage, then when he doesn’t come into the house, she goes out to find him hacked to bloody shreds next to the car. That would be typical. As a rule they tough it out and don’t whine about it, but if after a few beers you respectfully ask them what they think is happening … they ALL tell you that a genocide is planned for them if they don’t leave soon.

    And given that the left’s response to this crisis has pretty much amounted to “you fucken well deserve to die you white racist cunts” …. it’s not very surprising that someone like Southern can build an audience.

    • Brigid 5.1

      This is going off topic a bit but I must ask. Do the Afrikaners understand why they are being hacked to pieces?

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        That pre-supposes there is a good reason to hack anyone to pieces.

        • Brigid 5.1.1.1

          No it doesn’t. I can’t see that there is ever a good reason to hack someone to pieces, I expect the Afrikans think that also, so, do they wonder why they are being hacked to pieces.

          That is, why are they hated so?

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1

            Well as Gosman pointed out below, it’s not just Afrikaners at risk here. South Africa has appalling rates of violence across the spectrum.

            The usual factors apply, economic incompetence, gross inequality and politicians willing to exploit the resulting social fractures for their own advantage.

      • Gosman 5.1.2

        Farm murders in South Africa are not merely a problem for Afrikaner farmers. In fact Black and Coloured farmers will suffer just as much, if not more not forgetting the English speaking South Africans.

        • RedLogix 5.1.2.1

          Fair point, I guess I was only speaking to my experience. Most of the guys I meet are not farmers as such, usually they’re mechanical engineers, skilled techies and trades.

      • cleangreen 5.1.3

        RedLogix at 4.3.1 said;

        “we forgot who it was the left is meant to represent” …

        Red Logic, can you explain ‘who I as a left leaning individual are being told to represent’ – if not some among us;- who are the victims in families with members that were murderd?

        This right to speak about murder of families as a social issue to discuss is needed is it not?

        I go back to the wars and remembering who laid their lives down for us to live in a free from murderous society again.

        If the world had got off their arses in 1933 when the Jews were being murdered and driven out of Germany, then perhaps we coulld have prevented the second workld war then in its tracks but no-one said boo to a goose then did they so freedom to discuss todays issues is important to slow the advance again of another similar Fascism state. “lest we forget”

        • RedLogix 5.1.3.1

          Fair question. The answer could be simply put; all those people who we might have expected to vote left in their natural self-interest, but don’t.

          Thrashing that out in more depth would be an awful tangent to this thread, so I’ll leave it at this.

      • Gabby 5.1.4

        Once you’ve been hacked to pieces you’re not in much of a position to understand anything brigy.

  6. adam 6

    Is not most of this, that many on the so called ‘left’ are so imbued with the ideology of liberalism, they can’t actually argue their point anymore.

    They can’t think to put forward arguments to wipe the floor of these alt-right thinkers.

    Here one just to get ball rolling, “if Lauren Southern is so against feminism, why is she speaking at all? If women are not equal to men, then her continued speaking undermines the men’s rights movement. ”

    Of course that can be improved on as an argument. But it’s just one example.

    Smarten up people, get in the game.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Your argument has a fundamental flaw.

      Even if you are correct and she is arguing Woman are not equal to men that does not mean Woman can’t stand up and argue their case on topics.

      It might mean that they believe Men would be better at doing this but it doesn’t mean they believe Woman are incapable of doing so or shouldn’t even attempt to do so.

    • McFlock 6.2

      Which is fine, if she’s prepared to debate in good faith and with an open mind.

      But if she’s a troll who makes money by validating bigots and provoking confrontation, debate is largely pointless unless (you just like the practise).

  7. David Mac 7

    Yep, sticking our fingers in our ears and chanting “la-la-la-la…” only feels like it’s working, it isn’t and won’t.

  8. Visubversa 8

    As this obnoxious woman makes a living by saying these sorts of things on Youtube and other Vlogs, there is a good arguement to be made that she is actually coming here for the purpose of furthering her employment. She is not a “visitor” or a “tourist”.

  9. KJT 9

    The pair have a right to free speech. But. We have the right to deny them the public venue, owned by us.
    However my leaning is towards allowing people to speak, and show their degree of stupidity, publicly. These things can only be countered, if they are in the open.
    Ironic, Brash supporting free speech, after trying to muzzle Nicky Hagar. When a book was coming out exposing the self interest and dishonesty, of the “Hollow men”.

    • Gosman 9.1

      His legal argument at the time was that the correspondence was stolen. This is a valid argument. Hager claimed (AFAIK) that the information wasn’t stolen but given to him. Brash wasn’t arguing that Hager didn’t have a right to publish a book about him just that he couldn’t use stolen material in the book.

  10. KJT 10

    Bill. I find the use of the word, c—nt even more grating, than your misuse of the word, Liberal.

    • Bill 10.1

      The use of “liberal” to describe a political position (in this instance “conservative liberal”) is a correct and accurate use of the term “liberal”.

      • KJT 10.1.1

        “Conservative Liberal” is an oxymoron.

        • Bill 10.1.1.1

          No. It really isn’t. When the mix of politics has shifted from being predominantly social democratic to being predominately liberal (as the case has been in NZ since about ’84), then the conservative position sits off towards what would be a social democratic position.

          In my view…

          National are a liberal party. NZ Labour are now a conservative liberal party. Muldoon’s National was a conservative social democratic party. NZ Labour in ’84 was a liberal party. Winston Peters and NZF have remained a conservative social democratic party. The Greens are more a smudge of social democratic/liberal and some weird quasi religious thing.

          And by that measure, Clark’s Labour government arguably lent more towards the social democratic tradition than does Ardern’s because it included the solid social democratic influence of Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party.

          But this is off-topic, and a post will be up soon enough (a follow up to this one) if you have a yen to debate or argue it.

    • marty mars 10.2

      + 1 yep unnecessary.

  11. One Two 11

    Seems as if your article, and the principle were too complex for a number of commentators, Bill…

    If folk can’t understand something as straight forward as the premise of this, then humanity as a whole is in serious danger…

    Which of course it is…

  12. KJT 12

    “Freedom of speech” has to include the freedom to be obnoxious and offensive.
    As a conservative republican American said when he kept me in my job, after some of my employers objected to my political statements. “I don’t agree with anything you say, but sure as hell, agree with your right to say it”.

    • cleangreen 12.1

      Yes KIT;

      Or; – as a local ‘cabinet’ MP that came to our annual Greypower meeting two weeks ago said to 100 people attending, quote; “When you are in opposition you can say what you like; – but when in Government you are watched with every single word you say”.

      • KJT 12.1.1

        Shouldn’t that say. “When you are NACT, you can say what you like. When you are of democratic socialist leaning, best to be anonymous”.

        • cleangreen 12.1.1.1

          KIT;
          Yes and NACT can say “do what i say not what i do” as they always do anything they want period.

  13. Sabine 13

    to use a more recent example of ‘free speech’ gone wrong, Rwanda?

    What if that ‘free speech’ does incite violence?

    At what stage does Free Speech becomes Hate mongering? And if someone leaves one of these assembly and beats the crap out of a ‘gay’ or a ‘darkie’ or a “femnazi’ is that then just a random act of violence?

    At what stage is a society allowed to say, thanks, but no thanks.
    Or does society have no rights, and the right of the individual trumps all others?

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Yes there are boundaries. Working out where they are is partly what these threads have been about.

      Or does society have no rights, and the right of the individual trumps all others?

      Good question. The phrase I’ve resorted to in the past is “mutual interdependence”. The history of this is deep and very complex, but to generalise grossly, I would argue that in deep time our tribal or collective allegiances dominated, and that only over the past few centuries have we shifted the balance towards a wider understanding and expression of the sovereignty of the individual.

      Obviously this concept can be driven to an undesirable extreme … as the libertarians tend to do … but by and large much of the modern world is the successful result of this experiment.

      Just to complicate things, I’ve argued in the past that there are really three actors to consider, the individual, the community they live in, and the state. And that each can be conceptualised as having mutually balancing rights and responsibilities toward each other.

    • cleangreen 13.2

      Sabine
      Beware of becomming a police state when you restrict free speech as Idi Amin in Uganda did as many other African leaders did.

      I went to Africa for a year and saw the examples there of suppression and violence like seeing a whole body of a man cut into four inch slabs and stuck into aa suger sack and dumped into a creek so this will be at the end when you suppress free speech not the other way around as most think.

      In 1970 I took local tribesmen with me down the Zambesi valley to carry out engineering work, and the Africans always said to me “why are you so happy boss and speak so freely”?
      I felt that suppression then and will never stop free speech again.

      Keep the comunication open and solve the issues in discussions is the way ahead.

      • Sabine 13.2.1

        I like the german way, you have a right to free speech, you however don’t have the right to use this right to advocate discrimination, violence, deny the holocaust etc.

        Again, i used an example that was ‘free speech’ gone wrong. On purpose.

        Where, in a free society, do we draw the line between free speech, free exchange of ideas etc, and incitement to hate and advocacy of violence or discrimination of ‘others’.

    • Bill 13.3

      What if that ‘free speech’ does incite violence?

      It gets dealt with by the legal system and the courts that we’ve ceded authority to.

      • Sabine 13.3.1

        true that. As Rwanda showed us.

        You have a point.

        And it also means that we are not learning from the past, that we are going to allow the same things over and over again, because in the end we – as a society – are unwilling to admit that some ‘speech’ should simply not be ‘free’ and above all not on a tax payer / rate payer platform.

        but as i said, you have a point. When enough people have died, we will ask’ but what could we have done to prevent this.

        • Dennis Frank 13.3.1.1

          Yes, I too can see that Bill’s reasoning re inciting violence & others citing the yell of fire in a crowded theatre when no fire exists implies a common ground basis for limits on the right of free speech. I just think the kerfuffle around these two rightists points to a lack of relevance of the current law. Unless someone can prove that the meeting was going to produce violence, then we are just discussing the paranoia of some concerned folk, and their desire to act on the basis of their personal fears to limit the civil rights of people they don’t like.

        • Bill 13.3.1.2

          Rwanda was state sanctioned incitement to murder. And – as I understand it – it came off the back of some fairly tangled ethnic, political and historical circumstances that ran deep in Rwandan society.

          Maybe those underlying dynamics wouldn’t have been so deadly – would have been dissipated somewhat, if speech had been freer?

          I say “maybe”, because I don’t know enough about the complexities of the lead up to 1994.

          Do you?

          Or are you just running on a superficial take because that might lend itself to this point you’re trying to make about free speech being a bad idea?

          • Sabine 13.3.1.2.1

            the use of Radio was a big tool of ‘incitement’

            https://www.concordia.ca/research/migs/resources/rwanda-radio-transcripts.html

            http://www.hscentre.org/sub-saharan-africa/media-tool-war-propaganda-rwandan-genocide/

            and i would like to add Fox ‘news’ currently as a potential tool to advocate for discrimination, and eventually violence. One could even argue that certain Youtube channels fall under propaganda. Our tools of weaponizing hate speech or propaganda have changed. And we need to change with the times.

            I don’t try to make free speech a bad idea, that really is just lazy thinking on your part. I ask and have yet to receive an answer as to how you and us as a society should deal with ‘free speech’ that in the end is taken as an encouragement to discriminate and in many cases that will lead to death.
            And we know that this happens because it has happened before.

            So let me ask you what should be done to allow a. for free speech, and b. keep all of our society save from insults, harassment, and violence? Shall we really wait until someone is in the hospital or in the morgue and then let criminal justice take care? And if we do that are we better of?

            • Bill 13.3.1.2.1.1

              Yes, government controlled media were used, by the interim government, to incite violence.

              You want to run through the safeguards and consequences of inciting violence in NZ, then mickeysavage has linked to relevant legislation more than once. I believe Ad commented at length somewhere too.

              There are too many comments under various threads for me to be arsed doing your leg work for you, but I’m sure you find them, and the answers to your questions/concerns if you want to.

            • Cemetery Jones 13.3.1.2.1.2

              You seem to have a really negative view of human nature and a very pessimistic take on human potential when left to make their own minds up based on hearing all points of view. When did the left go so goth?

              This pervasive distrust of the public to be capable of hearing things we don’t approve of, this belief that exposing ordinary people to bad ideas will lead to them being influenced by them and acting upon them.

              Too many on the left now think like those 70s American evangelicals who burned Beatles records and protested rock concerts.

      • Macro 13.3.2

        It gets dealt with by the legal system and the courts that we’ve ceded authority to.


        Like the way the POTUS tweets repeatedly:
        “A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are.”
        emboldening a simple minded fool to gun down 5 journalists.
        Or when he calls asylum seekers animals and criminals he allows the border force to act inhumanely.

        “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in—and we’re stopping a lot of them—but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” he told a group of California sheriffs. “These aren’t people. These are animals.”

        https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/separating-families-at-the-border-shows-exactly-what-the-trump-administration-thinks-of-immigrants.html
        These people are dangerous to the good of a free and fair society, as profoundly portrayed by the present POTUS.
        The Rwanda experience is similar and the journalists who incited the hatred have since been brought to justice.

    • KJT 13.4

      I would say Rwanda was more an example of violent “suppression” of “free speech”.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    Reading some of these threads, it seems that there are many on the left who are struggling with the idea that Southern and her ilk should be afforded the rights of free speech.

    However, an easy way to understand the argument is to imagine a situation where NZ swings back towards strongly conservative (as appears to be happening in Italy with refugee migrants at the moment).

    Then imagine how you would feel if say a speaker from Greenpeace was branded as alt-left, and refused speaking rights in council owned venues.

    When you understand this, then you will see why it is vital that we all stand up for the right for views to be expressed freely, even when we strongly disagree with them.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      It’s “vital that we all stand up for the right for views to expressed freely…”
      Would it be okay for some to just sit quietly and watch? There are plenty on their hind legs over this already.

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        Absolutely. Freedom of speech also means freedom from compulsion to make any particular statement.

    • Sabine 14.2

      but what if the Greenpeace speaker where to use his right to free speech simply to insult say the super conservatives and advocated giving them – the super conservatives – grief.

      would you then still argue for this guy to use a tax payer / rate payer funded venue?

      I think this really is the crux of the matter.

      • tsmithfield 14.2.1

        Absolutely.

        In fact I would encourage more speech, not less. For instance by having a televised debate for the Greenpeace speaker and those with opposing views so people could make a balanced, informed judgement about the issues.

        • Sabine 14.2.1.1

          yeah, we had that two years ago in the US.

          all mexicans are rapists.
          all ‘immigrants’ from certain countries are ‘animals’ two name just two of these things.

          it is working well in the US, right?

          • RedLogix 14.2.1.1.1

            I somehow doubt that the sudden discovery of free speech in the USA in 2016 can be blamed for Donald Trump.

            • Sabine 14.2.1.1.1.1

              That is not what i said.

              What i did was point out to instance that clearly demonized a particular group, easily identified, in a way that emboldens others to beat up people, harrass them, tell them to go ‘back where you come from’ etc etc etc.

              And this is what happens if you do allow certain individuals unchecked liberty to say what they want, and then just go ‘oh he was joking’ – The Press is the enemy of the people, oh he did not mean it that way ‘Women who have abortions should be punished somehow.

              Its not that he discovered Free Speech, its that he is abusing a right to the detriment of the ‘others’.
              the others being black, mexican, refugees, immigrants not from norway, women, democrats etc.

              So again, where do you draw the line? Lest we forget, but maybe we don’t simply give a shit?

              • RedLogix

                This isn’t the place to rehash all the reasons why Trump won that election. But in a very small nutshell, I place most of the blame on the Democrats for utterly botching what should have been a slam-dunk election.

                If you imagine that somehow we could have stopped Trump by limiting his First Amendment rights, well that could only happen in a totalitarian society that only permitted expression of officially approved dogma.

                The problem with limiting freedom of expression is simple. At first you conceive of it as a good thing to stop people saying egregiously offensive things. But because the definition of ‘offensive and harmful’ is so very subjective, it’s very easy to start shifting the goalposts to better suit your ideology. Because this is such a draconian tool, very quickly after that the most powerful and dominant political group in any society will grab the rule book and narrowly rewrite the ‘acceptable speech’ rules to suit their purposes with strict and brutal rigor.

                Probably that group will not be the one you want it to be.

                • Sabine

                  this is not to rehash anything.

                  It is something that is happening in current times and it applies perfectly to the current discussion.

                  At what stage does become free speech incitement to violence and discrimination – in politics?

                  As for any groups, i will be the least affected from most of the excesses.

                  I have that awesome thing called white privilege and heterosexual privilege and because i am of a certain age i have become invisible (to old :))
                  So really i don’t worry about much for myself, but i do worry for those that don’t have it quite as easy as i always had it in my life.

                  • RedLogix

                    At what stage does become free speech incitement to violence and discrimination – in politics?

                    Well it’s not terribly obvious exactly where that stage is reached; the terms ‘violence’ and ‘discrimination’ are so very subjective. For this reason the safest place to set them is at the extremes where most reasonable people have no problem identifying clear cut incitement and hate speech.

                    The rest we just let people hash out by talking to each other. Sometimes hurtful, usually much safer in the long run.

                    I have that awesome thing called white privilege and heterosexual privilege and because i am of a certain age i have become invisible (to old :))

                    White … oppressor! Hetrosexual … oppressor! Boomer generation …. double oppressor! You’d be surprised at how easily anyone can be scapegoated. It seems unlikely right now, but consider the ‘Cultural Revolution’ in China, and how that turned out for a lot of people just like you.

                  • KJT

                    Well. I think the politicians who knowingly organised society so that hundreds of thousands are now in poverty, when they manifestly were not, in the seventies, despite GDP being much lower, should be vilified and imprisoned.
                    I can see a right winger claiming that is “hate speech”. Indeed it fits New Zealand’s legal definition of “hate speech”. “Inviting hate, against a particular group”.

                    • RedLogix

                      @KJT

                      I can see a right winger claiming that is “hate speech”.

                      Yes that’s exactly the point. It’s crucial to understand anything the left imposes unjustly, or any principle we compromise, can and WILL blowback on us.

                      If we behave like stalinist authoritarians the right will play the same game. If we vilify, shame and imprison people no matter how pure or good a motive we might claim for our action the result will be disaster. Have we already forgotten the catastrophic body count of the 20th century?

                      This is so obvious I feel kinda stupid typing it out; yet here I am saying it for probably the tenth time the past three days.

              • KJT

                I don’t think that driving those attitudes underground, actually changes them.
                Brash’s dog whistles to racists and the prejudiced, simply bought out what already exists.
                Similarly, the Greens were blindsided by the amount of racism, misogyny and hypocrisy directed at Metiria Turei, because we have been too successful in silencing those who hold racist and misogynist positions. Better that they were allowed to expose themselves.

                • RedLogix

                  What changes people’s minds is not yelling at them, nor standing on lofty moral pinnacles and sneering at them. We all know this, because when someone does it to us, we become defensive and double down.

                  People change when you engage with them truthfully, you listen to them and work with their perceptions, their reality. Then they can work through the fears and anxieties which fuel the racism and bigotry.

                  Because beyond these issues, the really big unsolved problem we face is gross inequality. While the left has staked out the territory for decades, we’ve made virtually no real progress in understanding the correct way to reduce it. At least not one that captures the imagination and values of most people. I think that is because we’ve been treating it as a political problem, when maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s best understood in a psychological sense, or even an ethical one.

                  Bill would protest that ‘the big problem’ climate change, and he’s right. But here’s a thought; what if the path to reducing inequality also turned out to the one on which climate change ceases to be a problem?

        • cleangreen 14.2.1.2

          tsmithfield; 100% correct;

          Yes; – what I was taught working for a large telecommunications company (Bell Canada) i Toronto was that communication was the key to conduct better planned resolutions for our customers.

          Our customers were the top Canadain Corporations, industries & most Canadian banks and financial services.

          We must keep the communication levels at the highest measure possible.

    • Molly 14.3

      I agree. Despite all passionate arguments regarding the “likely” content of her views, and her flawed reasoning, the actions of Phil Goff is using a sledgehammer to sink a tack.

      Another consideration, is that allowing Southern to speak would have given a realistic indication of how well her ideas and thoughts have taken root here, by looking at the numbers of those who pay to see and listen to her.

      Auckland Council’s actions, not only have provided much-welcomed publicity, but may also have added to her supporters. A double blow-back, resulting from posturing.

      All Auckland Council has to do, is provide venues at Auckland commercial rates to private business bookings, and ensure they meet the terms and conditions of that use. Any bookings that can prove to be beneficial to all Aucklanders AND is Non-Profit based, should get substantial discounts. Any attempt to get those discounts that fails, could then be publicised for the reasons why Auckland Council considers those bookings to be purely privately motivated.

      The venue is booked. Terms and conditions are met, commercial rates are charged. It is packed, and that gives all an indication of the grip of such misleading rhetoric. Or it is empty, and the lack of publicity and ensuring freedom of speech arguments ensures the next booking is as well.

  15. R.P Mcmurphy 15

    I agree with the principle but it is the Akl City Councils right to deny her or anyone for that matter the use of its facilities. There are other halls and there is ALWAYS the street corner. Making demands for the purpose of inciting disorder and hatred is not a right.

    • Sabine 15.1

      Thank you for pointing out the elephant everyone is tying to avoid.

      She can say what she wants, she can rent any private venue, she can go to any street corner or white nationalists watering hole and speak to her like minded fellows.

      But the Auckland City Council and any other council has terms and conditions in regards to the use of publicly funded spaces, and she or anyone else for that matter should read them before signing a contract to lease a venue.

      I said it yesterday with the Baker, state your terms and conditions. And then let the customer choose. She choose her venue badly.

      • cleangreen 15.1.1

        sabine;

        I am not convinced that all local Councils have ‘conditions’ that prevent ‘all or any’ person from using “publically funded” venues; – if they did not firstly request those “Public funders” if they had their rights permited to refuse ‘any party’ not to use the venue.

        We as ratepayers have the right to speak for or against the use of the venue we fund don’t we?

        If ‘Local Goverence’ does not have explicit agreed ‘terms’ in their ‘Governence charter’ then we have the rights to have our say in the use of our venue, – and that would show ‘free speech does exsist’.

        • Sabine 15.1.1.1

          actually i would be surprised if they did not have them?

          Imagine you lease your space, someone comes sprouts lots of incendiary words and one goes home and oh oh, i don’t like people in red shirts and bashes one to death?

          So i do think that all councils have Terms and Conditions that clearly state what their venues can be used for and what not. IF they don’t then they are waiting to be sued.

        • McFlock 15.1.1.2

          Governance is not the same as management.
          If Goff screwed up badly, he won’t be re-elected. But venue bookings are not organised via citizens referenda.

          • Bewildered 15.1.1.2.1

            Agree but did he go beyond his powers in restricting usage, ultra virus and all that Where did he get his authority to make this unilateral decision to restrict usage of a public venue and did he follow due process if he had such power at all I suggest the negative on both, and blatant dishonesty re his public reasons for doing so re safety vs simply using his position illegally to shut down opinion he does not like

            • McFlock 15.1.1.2.1.1

              If you’re right, the announcement from Goff would be fodder for a constructive dismissal argument by the CEO/highest actual level of control.

              Which would be a pretty big story in itself

          • cleangreen 15.1.1.2.2

            Hi Sabine & McFlock,

            I am embroiled now with a submission to napier city Council inside the “Corporate governence section” and this section of Councils are the ‘guiding principals’ of the management of the council plans; – so I think this is where the weakness is right now.

            http://disclosure.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2018/48

            *It identifies:
            *the general policy intent of the Bill and other background policy material;

            *some of the key quality assurance products and processes used to develop and test the content of the Bill;

            *the presence of certain significant powers or features in the Bill that might be of particular Parliamentary or public interest and warrant an explanation.

            You see that “Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill” is now in parliament about to become a new law upon Councils own rules, guidance/directives/policies as set for all council activities from November 2018 and we are interested in this “public interest and warrant an explanation” policy that may give those who want to have the cuple their chance; to give “public interest and warrant an explanation”..

            This may dramatically force councils to swing in favour of providing a level platform for a balanced information provisional service.

    • indiana 15.2

      “Making demands for the purpose of inciting disorder and hatred is not a right.”

      Was this demand made by the event organisers?

      • Robert Guyton 15.2.1

        “Was this demand made by the event organisers?”
        What demand, specifically, Indiana?

      • Puckish Rogue 15.2.2

        I think the main issue is that judgement is being based on second hand information and labels

        • cleangreen 15.2.2.1

          Puckish rogue; I am astonished to say it but finally we can agree with you on this point there.

          It seems that all my Leftie Comrades are overlooking the fact that they have past judjement upon this lady on ‘heresay’ or ‘second hand information’ – but real justice must be made here.

          My comrades all will agree that before a charge against her is made she firstly needs to be given her rightful day in court at least, – rather than this “wild west type rough juistice” is being put upon her just on hearsay, and she should have her chance to place her case before us all firstly before our “informed consent” judgement can be correctly made.

          Congratulations PR, – one down to us in agreement. ‘There is hope finally maybe’.

          • Puckish Rogue 15.2.2.1.1

            Its all part of my cunning plan to convince people to vote National 🙂

            But seriously, to me, this isn’t a left v right issue which is probably why its making some interesting posts

          • solkta 15.2.2.1.2

            There is plenty of her shit on the interwebs if you want to waste some time and find out what a pig she is.

  16. McFlock 16

    This is an issue about where the line between causing harm and free speech is drawn.

    An inflammatory troll barred from more than one country needs an exception to be made to enter NZ, let alone use an Auckland council venue. I like it when these things come up – the righties will fund their court case, and the line will be more clearly drawn.

    • Bill 16.1

      Doesn’t the speech have to have happened, or a text of it produced before any judgement could be made on its effect or content? Hasn’t the speech or presentation been given in Australia? Were there any riots or whatever reported in the wake of the presentation/speech?

      To say I think person A will say x,y and z and so cause a riot or whatever is ….I don’t know the word, but it feels like a step beyond “thought crime”.

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        Not really.

        Again, it’s a reasonableness test.

        Is it reasonable to assume, given her record, that while her comments might provoke debate she will not say anything too inflammatory, nor will her presence inspire congregations of angry people in emotionally-charged confrontations that might reasonably be expected to spark into violence?

        Or is it more reasonable to expect congregations of angry people threatening violence, and maybe a spike in bashings of non-white, non-cis people?

        Now, she might have dramatically changed her tune and become an emmissary of peace and understanding, carefully framing complex issues in a way less likely to provoke violence. But is that a reasonable assumption?

        • KJT 16.1.1.1

          Careful. That is the argument police use when they arrest protesters or pickets. Especially left wing ones.

          People driving tractors up Parliament steps, exempt, of course.

          • McFlock 16.1.1.1.1

            and occasionally they get their arses handed to them in court for doing so.

            That’s the thing – there’s no single Kantian rule that we can write out and it will lead to a just outcome each and every time. At the end of the day it needs to be examined on a case by case basis, some instances of inflammatory speech will be well over, others merely running close to the line.

            Goff made a pretty redundant call, but it’s being challenged in the courts anyway. The clearer the line, the more clearly we can see whether it needs to be adjusted.

            • Dennis Frank 16.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree with how you’ve been framing the situation. Unfortunately the courts seem set to be deciding whether Goff mishandled the situation rather than the actual hate-speech/free-speech balance. Do you think they have a basis upon which to decide on both issues?

              • McFlock

                Well, apparently Goff fucked up by tweeting after the council organisation cancelled the booking on safety grounds. So he didn’t make the call at all, but his tweet opens the opportunity that he was behind the call and for reasons other than the venue gave.

                Cake territory – if he’d shut the fuck up, the discussion would have been about safety.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Ah, I get it. Media wrongly credited him with the decision. Thanks

                  • McFlock

                    Not super sure on that, and disclosure could always reveal that he made the instruction beforehand. Or the venue management fucked up somehow.

                    It really all could go in any direction.

            • KJT 16.1.1.1.1.2

              After giving the matter some more thought.

              A politician deciding who gets a platform, or who doesn’t, seems to me to set a very dangerous precedent.

              Someone the majority, i hope, disagree with, this time.

              Who will it be next time?

              • McFlock

                Assuming Goff made the call and wasn’t just tweet-wanking after the fact, it’s not necessarily a bad thing – springbok tours come to mind.

                And besides the legal challenge, it’s a decision that might bite an elected official in the backside next election so I’m not sure just how slippery this particular slope is.

          • cleangreen 16.1.1.1.2

            Brilliant words there KIT. Ha ha ha ha

  17. Ian 17

    Finally a bit of common sense coming into the debate. I will never forgive Goff spitting at Kiwi soldiers returning from Vietnam.THAT sort of shit reminds me as a dairy farmer how unhinged the left really is.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      I will never forgive Goff spitting at Kiwi soldiers returning from Vietnam.

      That was a long time ago. Hopefully none of us are quite the same people we all were back then. You don’t have to forget, but maybe it’s time to forgive?

      And just for the record … yes it was unhinged in my book.

      • Gabby 17.1.1

        You were there were you redloggy? I’ve seen no proof that it isn’t a complete fiction. You may be the missing witness.

    • Gabby 17.2

      Are you an andee boy sock ianny? Or are you tagteaming with that lie? You’re looking after your cows I hope.

    • KJT 17.3

      Almost as unhinged as expecting high input dairy to be a sustainable Business, Eh!

  18. R.P Mcmurphy 18

    what about the British Home Office principle: you are undesirable so take a fucking hike!

  19. CHCOff 19

    A principle is that when politics runs amuck over a (any) governmental system, the pursuit of power instinct devolves the society.

    NZ1st!

  20. peterlepaysan 20

    Goff denied no one freedom of speech. All he did was tell them say what you like anywhere you like but not on council property. He could have suggested the Orewa Rotary Club.

  21. Cinny 21

    Bill…. what’s with using the “C” word? Don’t you know that cunts are useful?

    Anyways… re Free Speech, it’s such a tough one.

    Was reading an article last night about a girl who convinced a boy to kill himself via text message. Her lawyer is appealing, his argument… her texts were free speech.

    When words cause death or suicide, should someone get away with it using the ‘free speech’ narrative?

    US teen’s urging of boyfriend to kill himself was free speech, lawyers say

    Where do you draw the line re ‘free speech’?

    • Brutus Iscariot 21.1

      I thought “c-nt” was a misogynist slur? Pretty denigrating of the female body and personage.

  22. One can say certain words and there will be consequences depending on who is effected by them. But that shouldn’t mean they’re prevented from saying things at public venues.
    Many of Lauren Southerns critics [from the left] are just as ignorant and scientifically illiterate as she is and that is worth being discussed. Her Antifa opponents are thugs and no better than cockroaches from what Ive seen. The left and right are at war with each other.

    • arkie 22.1

      Probably more effective to dehumanise the opponents of fascism in the original german

      eine osteuropäische Kakerlakenart

  23. Sehr gut! But the problem is.. these opponents of fascism are by any reasonable definition fascists themselves.

    • Carolyn_Nth 23.1

      I suspect you are confusing “authoritarian” with fascism. And maybe also confusing rule of law in the interests of democracy, with fascism. Or an form of social organisation that isn’t anarchism, with fascism.

      How does “reasonable” definition differ from actual definitions of fascism? Does that refer to you definition?
      But just say you are correct.

      Facscism A starts to get a platform in society.

      Fascism B starts to argue to have them denied a platform.

      Fascism A then gains further momentum, and starts to dominate society. And Fascism A, conforms to the standard definitions of fascism as in this dictionary definition:

      a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

      Ultimately that will not allow for a parliamentary system of democracy, with checks and balances in the legal system where decisions can be challenged in a court of law, where protests movements can be formed, where all sections of society have equal access to participating in the processes, etc.

      Wikipedia gives more detailed definitions of fascism:

      Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism,[1][2] characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce

      Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[12] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.

      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.

      There is some disagreement about the exact definition of fascism. Left wing opposnents to current neo-fascisisms, are opposed to the demonisation of selected sections of society, according to nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, etc. Such demonisation is aimed at promoting the supremacy of other sections of society. This fascism that many on the left oppose also promotes violence and brutality, whether overtly, or more covertly.

  24. Angel Fish 24

    Much respect for your defense of free speech!

  25. Tricledrown 25

    Soft peddling fascism Goebels was good at that.

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