Stand up for free speech, stand against Bully State

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, August 7th, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: activism, democracy under attack, democratic participation, human rights - Tags: ,

As you know, when Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnston spoke up against the Key government’s cancelling of the Training Incentive Allowance, Paula Bennett tried to silence them by releasing their private information to the media.
That was a flagrant breach of her fiduciary duties as minister and the Privacy Act, and a threat to free speech.
Nonetheless, Bennett claimed that by speaking out, Fuller and Johnston had given ‘implied consent’ for their information to be released.
It’s not good enough.
Now, Timothy Grigg, who set up the ‘Bully Bennett Must Go!‘ Facebook group has launched a petition, to be tabled in Parliament. By signing on, you are standing up for our right to free speech. You are stating that if you should speak out against a government policy that does not give express or implied consent for your personal information to be released. You are telling Bennett and bullies like her that such abuse of power is not acceptable and you will not be silenced.
Click on the image below for a full size copy of the petition form. Sign it. Send it in (it’s freepost). Show this government you won’t allow your rights to be trampled on.

small petition

21 comments on “Stand up for free speech, stand against Bully State”

  1. Bright Red 1

    printed, signed, ready to go!

    captcha – ‘widespread’

  2. snoozer 2

    count me in too. We can’t have politicians ignoring our rights when it suits them politically.

  3. sausage fingers 3

    That was a flagrant breach of her fiduciary duties as minister

    Does a minister really owe fiduciary duties to every citizen of New Zealand? That seems a bit impracticable.

    Are you sure Eddie? Or do you just not know what a fiduciary is?

    • snoozer 3.1

      “A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence.”

      ah, wikipedia, ensmartening me since 2006

      • sausage fingers 3.1.1

        Yes. I know what it is.

        And this isn’t one of those circumstances.

        • Macro 3.1.1.1

          Yes it is! It was also a flagrant abuse of her power and her responsibility to protect the privacy of the people she was attacking.

  4. vidiot 4

    Great, another useless waste of tax payer dollars.

    Free Post MY ARSE, who do you think foots the bill ? Us the tax payers.

    These petitions will achieve nothing.

    • Bright Red 4.1

      oh, guys, you have to give up your right to petition Parliament because it costs vidiot a tiny fraction of a cent.

      Btw, were you complaining about the cost when the truckers brought our public thoroughfares to a halt this time last year?

    • Armchair Critic 4.2

      “Another useless waste of tax payer dollars”
      50 cents to remind the government that they are not above the law seems to be a bargain to me. In the past people have died to achieve the same thing.

  5. vidiot 5

    And would you not rather have that 50 cents spent on Chris Carter and his exotic jaunts ? Or are Ms Fuller & Johnston more worthy recipients ?

    It’s a recession – you cut un-necessary spending, you don’t spend more (when you don’t have any to begin with).

    • Armchair Critic 5.1

      So if I surrender my entitlement to free postage to parliament and put a 50c stamp on the envelope, with the full knowledge that the will achieve nothing (do you think that this is because there are none so deaf as those who will not listen?), can I have the moral high ground?
      In return it would be great if you could write to Sir Roger Douglas and Bill English and tell them about cutting unnecessary spending. Don’t let me stop you from using the free post, either, I don’t mind you doing it.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.2

      Quite, right, with the small exception of every other country in the western world, who are injecting cash to kick start their economies. But lets stand in splendid isolation as a monument to the purity of the free market model. Forward to the Past!

  6. Evidence-Based Practice 6

    What about the risk that people signing will have their personal details ‘outed’?

    • snoozer 6.1

      well, the petition expressly says that opposing the government does not give implied consent to release that information – so any minister who does will be breaking the privacy act.

      Petitions are presented to Parliament most sitting days, I’ve never heard of it coming back to bite them and I don’t think we can live in fear of such retribution in a democracy.

  7. MikeE 7

    How very orwellion, where petitioning to censor a minister is described as “protecting free speech”

    • Armchair Critic 7.1

      For goodness sake MikeE, the right to free speech is tempered in a number of ways, for example libel laws, hate speech laws and the Privacy Act. All the petition asks is that the government respects and enforces existing rights about privacy. The minister should be censured, she isn’t being censored.

    • Bright Red 7.2

      There’s a long and proud history of people petitioning the Crown and its ministers to state their rights and lodge objections to abuses of those rights. You might have heard of this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petition_of_Right

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    One of these days we might actually engage with the 21st century and allowing digital signatures online. Print out a whole page just for one lousy signature (mine) and post it all the way to NZ?!

    I shall, for the sake of democracy. But bloody hell… *mutter mumble*

    There’s something the Greens could usefully do… encourage e-government initiatives and save a snowshoe-sized carbon footprint every time I fire up the printer, produce a page, waste an envelope, and pay Australia Post to fire up various trucks and jet planes just to allow a single sheet of A4 to alight on a bureaucrat’s desk in NZ.

    [Oh, and the stamp will be paid for in Australian money. So no worries there].

    • Bright Red 8.1

      hopefully they’re not using those trucks and airplanes just for your letter 🙂

      I mean… I know mail volumes are down and all

      • Rex Widerstrom 8.1.1

        The price they charge for anything bigger than one page of A4, I thought I was being charged to have a footman flown across to deliver it on a velvet cushion.

  9. It may be only a matter of perception, but I have thus far seen no difference between this Government and the last. Bullying, controlling, corrupt, power hungry and nannying. I am no fan of either. Fortunately, their actions make them less & less relevant. Sadly, we are more & more dependent.

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