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The extent of the right to free speech

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, July 8th, 2018 - 354 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, blogs, clickbait, internet, law, law and "order", Media, Politics, racism, scoundrels, sexism, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, twitter - Tags:

Phil Goff’s decisive action in saying no to Lauren Southern being allowed to use the Bruce Mason Centre to hold a fundraiser has attracted some heat.

There have been a number of people who have complained about this being a breach of freedom of speech.  These include those who would not know what freedom of speech was if they tripped over it and others that I have a great deal of respect for.  But if there is no such thing as a completely unfettered right of freedom of speech where do we draw the line?

Idiot Savant’s brief description of the test is a good start.  Here it is:

Restricting that right pre-emptively requires a very high test: basicly an announced intention on the part of the speaker to incite a riot. If that test isn’t met, there’s no justifiable reason to prevent them from speaking.

There is another aspect to what was happening, do we allow Ms Southern to even come into the country.  I believe that our government is under no obligation to do so.  But using I/S’s formulation of the test, are we obliged to allow Ms Southern to speak to us?

And what about the nature of the communication?  A desire to have a public debate about important issues is one thing, but what if the debate is nothing more than the front for a business?

Jim Parker from the Failed Estate blog site said this on my facebook feed:

There’s a pattern emerging. This woman, Milo, the Information Wars guy and Australia’s assortment of provocateurs have latched onto a business model. This involves calculatedly creating outrage to generate notoriety and ‘brand’ awareness. The politics is neither here nor there. What’s important is getting noticed and monetising that attention. It’s the desperate last days of neoliberalism and these outrage manufacturers are the ultimate expression of its bankruptcy as an idea.

Perfectly put.  It is all about the clicks and the dollars.

Cameron Slater provides a local example.  He has tried to monetise his blog by the use of things such as gun porn, cyst videos and sudoku. Clicks are clearly all that matter.  Back in the days of dirty politics he used to be feared, but no longer.

IS’s test, is Southern intending to incite a riot is a fair one.  And I think that it this is her intent.  In the search for clicks and attention she is happy to go into muslim communities and insult their god, or confront feminists and attack their beliefs or insult left wing activists and claim they do not respect free speech or be on a boat attempting to disrupt the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean.

With a camera in tow.  And the feed is then broadcast to all of her followers.

After viewing her Youtube channel I get the strong impression that she is not interested so much in delving into the issues as in stirring up controversy and accumulating the clicks.

Most people agree that the right to freedom of speech is not an absolute one and that a line should be drawn.  Potentially causing a riot is one possible test.  How about not tolerating hate speech?

New Zealand already has this on its law books.

Section 61 of the Human Rights Act 1993 states:

It shall be unlawful for any person—

(a)  to publish or distribute written matter which is threatening, abusive, or insulting, or to broadcast by means of radio or television or other electronic communication words which are threatening, abusive, or insulting; or

(b)  to use in any public place as defined in section 2(1) of the Summary Offences Act 1981, or within the hearing of persons in any such public place, or at any meeting to which the public are invited or have access, words which are threatening, abusive, or insulting; or

(c)  to use in any place words which are threatening, abusive, or insulting if the person using the words knew or ought to have known that the words were reasonably likely to be published in a newspaper, magazine, or periodical or broadcast by means of radio or television,—

being 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.

Saziah Bashir says this in a guest post on Radio New Zealand’s website:

Southern is known for her controversial views on issues of race and gender, and is strongly anti-immigration, anti-feminist and islamophobic. Molyneaux – an avid advocate for Trump – is also a men’s rights activist and has been described on numerous occasions, interestingly, as a cult leader.

Neither would concede that what they’re bringing with them is hate speech. Indeed, Southern responded to requests for her ban by calling hate speech simply “a fancy word” to describe an unpopular opinion of the time.

But hate speech is, in fact, a legal term encapsulated in Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty which New Zealand is party to and ratified decades ago. New Zealand also gave effect to many of the rights contained within the ICCPR by enacting the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

The recognition of hate speech is not limited to New Zealand, with many European countries enforcing such laws, including those pertaining to holocaust denial.

The right to freedom of expression is not unfettered, nor can it be used as a crutch for the increasingly tired argument for supposedly necessary discussion and debate.

That there needs to be a debate on Islam in New Zealand is itself a ridiculous proposition because when was the last time we needed a national debate on any other religion, despite the violence some so-called members of that religion may be perpetrating somewhere in the world?

And the suggestion that a debate needs to be had at the expense of not only the sentiments of an entire community, but our safety, is abhorrent to those of us who belong to that community and also call New Zealand home.

While some may be able to engage with the likes of Southern on a detached, academic discussion, her views and her actions are actually physically and emotionally harmful.

To reinforce everything Bashir was saying Southern tweeted this in reply:

It is interesting that she uses a progressive ideal, freedom of speech, to push regressive ideas, bigotry.

Her line is the equivalent to the right’s belief that totally unfettered markets provide the best result.

But some forms of debate are totally lacking in merit and are instead hurtful to others and dangerous.  I have no problem with our government declining to allow the proponents of these ideas permission to come to New Zealand or Auckland Council refusing to allow its premises to be used for the dissemination of hate speech.

And Southern’s monetised hate speech is a perfect example of speech that the Government and Auckland Council should not have to take action to support.

Although this whole incident shows what happens when censorship of any form is applied, it attracts attention to the speech which is being opposed.  And maybe there was a more cynical reason for Southern deciding to cancel her speaking event.

354 comments on “The extent of the right to free speech”

  1. Visubversa 1

    I bet it is no co-incidence that they chose the North Shore for their hate speech rally.

  2. Tuppence Shrewsbury 2

    Interesting that IS’s test is failed more often by the oppressors of Ms Southerns right to free speech than by her supporters

    Let’s use it to silence those protesting against her

  3. Anne 3

    Umm it’s the “Bruce Mason Centre” mickey not the Rex Mason…

    Not had a chance to read all of your post but my understanding is this girl is only in her early twenties. She’s still a kid living in Never Never Land. Glad we’ve told her to go jump and not come back. We’ve got enough crackpots of our own without importing any more from off-shore – even on a temporary basis.

    [Oops will fix – MS]

  4. Ad 4

    There is no problem making money out of a venue – it’s a risk that the promoter is entitled to take. Hell I found Pantera offensive, but they were welcome to book and try their luck.

    In fact, why not use state money to bring them here? We have massive taxpayer subsidies put into all kinds of money-making media, and they generally serve up anodyne tripe. There was no problem subsidizing Hillary Clinton – and not a single mind changed out of that function.

    Please let’s have some red meat and some actual debate in this country.

    What’s worse, we’ve been totally hoodwinked by this government on immigration. Prior to the election they were promising us massive immigration cuts. Soon as they get into power, all too hard. No accountability. This place needs a good hard immigration debate – and we ran from it because we were incapable of discussing values and immigration in the same paragraph.

    No problem quoting the Human Rights Act at me, but that’s a thing you deploy to hold people to account once an act has occurred, not license to smother debate before its starts. Which is what you propose.

    And should a case get to court from that Act through the thoroughly discredited HRC, a decent judge would be weighing that up against freedom of participation, freedom of membership, freedom of expression, freedom of media, freedom of assembly, and a bunch of others in BORA and in the UN Declaration – rights which are at least as important as protecting the feelings of the usual over-sensitive types.

    Also there’s been the point raised that all the ideas are fully available on line. Well, that’s just a poor confusion of modes. Online marginal channels are echo-chambers – as this site often shows. It’s as silly as saying, no, we can’t have Nelson Mandela visit New Zealand – when we can see everything of any note in 2-minute Youtube clips. What a silly comparison. You actually need an event to gravitate and staple the debate around.

    There will simply be no clear contest of ideas unless they are held in analogue space where actual words are spoken live before a tv audience.

    The whole attitude of too much of the left to this proposed speaker was that they are too weak to contest, and simply afraid.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Thanks Ad. I take it you don’t think there should be any restriction on the right to freedom of speech?

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Weeeeell …

        Mickey you are renowned as one of the most restrained editors on this site, precisely because you would rather the whole chorus regulate itself. And by and large that’s right, they do.

        I’m not happy with people yelling “Fire” in a concert, when there isn’t one – because people die in stampedes. So yes, some limits.

        Also swearing is annoying, but the net result of that is also largely self-regulating.

        And if people shout too much too close to my house, sure I will call Noise Control.

        But the left isn’t going to get fire in its belly again unless we show we are going toe to toe with wankers and pricks. We are getting pansted the world over precisely on the values-plus-immigration debate. We need to start rehearsing it here.

        • mickysavage

          That presupposes that Southern had something to say that would contribute to people’s understandings of the issues and not affront various local communities. We could do much better.

          • veutoviper

            Well said, MS.

          • Nick K

            Of course there are limits on free speech. The NZ Bill of Rights Act explicitly states that. But those limited are tested by the courts, not by mayors nor any other politician. Otherwise, you get the rulers dictating what democracy is.

            I was vehemently against the protests over Wicked Campervans and heavily criticized Paula Bennett at the time on her Facebook page. I am disgusted with Goff for taking this action as much as I was with Bennett.

    • Anne 4.2

      Please let’s have some red meat and some actual debate in this country.

      We have plenty of “debate” in this country. Far more than many countries around the world. But I fail to see any point in welcoming debates with extremist, attention seeking trouble-shooters whose sole purpose is to create further chaos in an already chaotic world climate.

      We don’t need em.

      • Ad 4.2.1

        Every other advanced country in the world – and most of the remaining democracies – is having massive conflicts about immigration. It is on the way to killing every centre-left and centre-right party in the world. We don’t have to like it, but this is coming our way.

        • marty mars

          From your position of privilege that might sound like a good idea but how about thinking from the point of the targets of these haters. The damage is immeasurable and persistent – to hear and see ‘different’ people attacked and you are different fucks people up.

          Your red meat is some poor bastard who didn’t deserve it.

          • Ad

            Remember the last time we had a proper civic debate? It was the Foreshore and Seabed March. That led directly to the formation of the Maori Party.

            The demos reacted to the event in a totally responsible way.

            And no, no one had any special “privileges”. They just formed a movement, fed on red democratic meat.

            • marty mars

              the F&Seabed stuff is still a sore spot for those shafted by it – but not for those not. How far have we come? – not far at all.

              Notwithstanding that I do think we need strong debate on immigration. We just don’t need imported hate monitizers and their lackeys imo.

              • Ad

                Sorry if it’s not comfortable for you.

                Rights aren’t supposed to be.

                Because this government has chickened out on immigration, that debate has gone.

                And that is the way the government wants it. We are doing the suppressive work of the state ourselves.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Agreed, marty. “Red meat” is not a helpful metaphor – it suggests a brutal and violent contest: one that incites and sensationalises the issues, and not an open and inclusive public debate about impacts on diverse people’s lives.

            • Ad

              Rights are contests.

              They involve threats to people’s actual lives, not just your opinions and the inability to want them discussed.

              Instead of facing up to disagreement, you get to interview your always-agreeing keyboard and have not a jot of your world view challenged. Which is just the fresh-faced moral cowardice that has seen the elected left decline very fast in most countries.

              You have a typically smug pinkness of the over-sensitive.

              • marty mars

                Wow what a horrible personal attack. What a dickhead you are s.ad.

              • left_forward

                Rights are what? … a contest!?
                For rights to be rights they require a universally implicit agreement about what is ‘good’, in conformity with an undebatable fact.
                The question of what is good in this regard is the opposite of a contest – if you don’t intend to do good, then this has nothing to do with rights.
                Where are you coming from Ad? – do you support Southern’s racist stuff?
                If you’re answer is yes, don’t given us the BS about human rights – simply defend how you think such hate speech has any benefit to any one in NZ, and how it does not cause further harm.

                • RedLogix

                  Any right as such comes with a counter-balancing obligation that is imposed on someone else. In this sense if for example we tilt employment legislation excessively in favour of employers ‘rights’, the burden which falls on workers becomes onerous and injust.

                  In this example there is clearly a ‘contest’ between workers and employers in which the optimum outcome is a reasonable balance both parties can live with. Indeed if you get the balance just right, they’ll both thrive. Tilt too far one way or another and it all turns to custard.

                  And implicit within that logic lies your idea that ‘rights’ are an inherent good, that when they conform with a constructive balance of rights and responsibilities … the outcome conforms with a collective benefit and ethic. There is merit in both perspectives; it is entirely valid to view ‘rights’ as a contest of demands, while at the same time looking to an outcome which is ‘good’.

                  But tossing in a gratuitous personal attack on Ad because of this difference of viewpoint, is a misuse of your right to comment here; the opposite of a responsible use of it. So to speak 🙂

                  • left_forward

                    No RL, I don’t agree.
                    The rights I am referring to do not come with counterbalancing obligations. They fall within the class of inalienable human rights – in this case – for people to be free of discrimination (and its associated violence) based on race or religion. This is not open for contestable debate – it is universal right and inherently good.

                    The strength of an inalienable right is not morally equivalent to the contestable notion of the ‘right’ of human speech. If this is a right at all, it is clearly in a different class, as it is indeed contestable in the sense that you are using.

                    My so called personal attack on Ad, was not tossed in, nor gratuitous (despite your joke), it is the inevitable conclusion of the logic, RedLogix. I hope very much that he is not advocating for discrimination based on race and religion, but he does defend freedom of speech far too strongly for anyone to think otherwise.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes a person may well have an inalienable right to expression of religion, race, etc, free from discrimination … as long as they observe an obligation to observe the exact same right for everyone else. The moment an individual resorts to ‘discrimination, hostility and violence’ to impose their view on anyone else …. that ‘inalienable’ right evaporates.

                      I honestly cannot think of any ‘right’ that exists as an absolute, in isolation from all others, and lacking any counterbalancing responsibility. Paradoxically, the more powerful the right, the more exacting the responsibility.

                    • McFlock

                      I tend towards the idea that rights are not balanced by obligations, but nor are they unlimited.

                      It’s a semantic point as to whether “you have the unlimited right to speak freely, but you are obliged to not promote violence against others” is different to “you have the right to speak freely only up to the point that your speach begins to promote violence against others”, but the semantic difference leads to a difference in perspective.

                      Do prisoners “give up their rights” when they commit a crime, or is prison a balance between their right to freedom and our right to be protected from crime? If prison is a punishment, then harsher sentences become logical (even if they don’t work). If prison is a temporary protection of society from the criminal, then rehabilitation becomes the priority and humane conditions are a right. And things like voting should not be curtailed just because their freedom needs to be.

                      We do have responsibilities – caring for children, for example. But I don’t believe that those are intertwined with rights – a right is a right, and I have no right to promote cultural violence.

                      The point in my head is possibly too subtle for me to clearly express, but the idea that ‘you failed to live up to this responsibility, therefore you don’t have that particular right’ seems less consistent to me than ‘you don’t have a right to go that far, but you also have this different obligation’.

                    • RedLogix


                      Yes that expands on a complex topic nicely. The relationship between parent and child is a good example to illustrate this. Both have rights and responsibilities, for instance the child has the right to be cared for, loved, educated and embraced by their culture, while at the same time the parent has the responsibility to provide these things.

                      At the same time the parent gets the right to determine for instance, where the child will live, what food they eat, what school and culture they will be brought up in. And at the same time the child has an implicit obligation to be obedient to their parents, appropriate to the age and capability.

                      Both parent and child have very real rights, but both are balanced by obligations and responsibilities.

                      Do prisoners “give up their rights” when they commit a crime,

                      A good question. Clearly they will in general give up their ‘right’ to liberty, to where they live, what food they eat, who they associate with, etc for the duration of their sentence. On the other hand in our society we allow them to retain the right to health, freedom from gross abuse (at least in principle) and the right to vote.

                      At the other extreme consider the barbarians of the Islamic State. Their crimes were such that pretty much everyone wanted to eradicate them from the face of the planet with no regard to their ‘rights’, inalienable or otherwise.

                    • McFlock

                      The prisoner thing is similar to the more extreme IS situation, yes. But I don’t necessarily think they give up their rights as such. They still have a right to freedom. But that right is taken from them by everyone else exercising our right to our own protection.

                      It’s not the failure to live up to their obligations that makes us ignore their rights, it’s the need to protect everyone else.

                      Parents have a right to raise their children, and an obligation to do it to a certain standard. But if they fail to live up to that obligation, according to a “right vs obligation exchange” model then they lose the right to raise their children.

                      However, if they do not lose that right (if rights are inalienable, but balanced against the rights of others), the onus is on us to give the parents the support to exercise that right, and only ignore that right when the rights of the child to live in safety (for example) can only and unavoidably be exercised by removing them from the parent.

                      The other example that occurs to me is in the Crimes Act (not that law and morality intersect as a rule, but for illustrative purposes only…): attempting to murder someone is not punishable by death. You do not lose your right to life if you try to kill someone.

                      But that person’s right to live and defend themselves means that they are not culpable for your death if it was a reasonable part of defending themselves from your attack. They are culpable if you try to kill them but then they kill you when it was completely unreasonable for them to do so (Jack Palance in Shane is a good examle of that, shooting the guy who drew first even after the guy stopped drawing because he was drunk and finally realised Palance totally had the drop on him).

                      So everyone keeps their right to life, but there’s a balance to be struck when those rights conflict. Your obligation to not try to kill people is another matter completely, dealt with elsewhere in the act.

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s not the failure to live up to their obligations that makes us ignore their rights, it’s the need to protect everyone else.

                      An interesting take on it. I think that hones in quite nicely to the pivotal point at stake here. I don’t entirely disagree with you, but neither do I find it a sufficient explanation. Logically ‘protecting everyone else’ is a desirable, definable goal. It’s why just tossing people in prison is such an attractive ‘out of mind, out of sight, can’t do any harm while they’re in there solution’ to crime. I cannot entirely dismiss the utility of that.

                      But as we all know prison by itself is a weak solution; more often than not it’s counterproductive and creates more total crime than it allegedly protects us from. And I think the reason for this is that prison neglects or weakens the notion of responsibility, in both directions.

                      Prison, by itself does little to nothing to address any sense of accountability or recompense from the offenders’ perspective; by and large they serve their time and emerge unchanged, and at extreme risk of recidivism. While at the same time it allows society as a whole to pretend it has ‘done something about it’ while in reality living on in denial about the primary root causes of crime … exclusion, marginalisation and inequality.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah the entire rights vs obligations vs prison thing is one of those basic questions which possibly has no answer, just a kaleidoscope of perspectives that help us judge difficult situations. I certainly he no definitive answer.

                  • Incognito

                    I honestly cannot think of any ‘right’ that exists as an absolute, in isolation from all others, and lacking any counterbalancing responsibility. Paradoxically, the more powerful the right, the more exacting the responsibility.

                    Hmmm, the Right to Life comes to mind and with that the Right to Death; everything else is contestable …

          • Gosman

            If I attack the ideas behind a belief system you strongly believe in why is that a bad thing?

        • Anne

          What has hate speech, Islamophobia, racism in general and extreme right-wing fascism got to do with the vexed question of immigration?

          It’s true the Trumps and Southerns of this world feed off the problems being created by the huge numbers of refugees war and our changing climate patterns are producing, which is another reason why these people should not be given soap boxes allowing them to further spread their evil messages.

          Look where it landed the world last time.

          • Ad

            If you are unable to answer your own question, you’ve been asleep for a decade of elections in US, EU, Australia, and Britain.

            So wake up.

            • Anne

              Already you’re showing your one-up-man-ship tendencies which don’t add much by way of a reasoned debate imo.

              Carolyn_Nth is quite right @ To paraphrase her… inciting violence of thought and deed through hate speech – and the real damage it can cause innocent people – should be avoided at all cost.

        • arkie

          I feel like the discussion that needs to be had about immigration is really about globalised capitalism.

          In a world where capital has freedom of movement across borders and workers do not, exploitation and multinational corporate profits run rampant.

          The centre doesn’t want to address this status quo but these reactionary Canadians are pushing the conversation in a completely unproductive direction; they seek to undo the social progress made by liberal centrism.

    • Bill 4.3

      From where I’m sitting, that’s very well put Ad.

      (Except the bit about Nelson Mandela because, like, he’s dead – which might be reason enough for saying “No, we can’t have Nelson Mandela visit New Zealand”)

      Please let’s have some red meat and some actual debate in this country.

      Nope. Brown shorts it is.

      • Ad 4.3.1

        I considered Obama – but “too soon”.
        I thought you might like the Hillary Clinton line though.

    • Carolyn_Nth 4.4

      Yes we need an open and honest debate about immigration in NZ, when all sections of society have equal opportunities to state their views in public forums.

      that’s not something we will get from the two right wing Canadian propagandists and their promoters. It is evident their support of “free speech” is an empty slogan. The reports of Southern’s disruption of the Tornoto slut walk protest shows this. Southern talked over the speakers trying to speak their views publicly. She held placards and positioned herself in front of cameras to draw attention away from the speakers. Consequently many said Southern was trying to silence them.

      As Habermas argued, democratic public debate needs to be free of commercial or state power. Hence businesses or the state selectively choosing who is given public access to public platforms to state their views on immigration is not the debate we need.

      • Ad 4.4.1

        Habermas had no idea about either immigration or Islam, and viewed the European project with rose colored spectacles. Not relevant here at all.

        The only debate we have as a result of this episode is debating freedom of expression itself. Which, again, shifts not a single voter opinion on anything.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Habermas has his faults, but his point about public debates being free of commercial and state interests is a good one.

          The only debate we have as a result of this episode is debating freedom of expression itself. Which, again, shifts not a single voter opinion on anything.

          Yes. So it shows how little the Canadian pair have contributed to any necessary open and honest debate. They and their supporters have just muddied the waters with their claims to freedom of speech, and their other attention-getting tactics.

          • Ad

            The state directly intervened by denying venue.

            We have massively subsidized state media. The speakers sought no such subsidy.

            The debate was not enabled to occur – and it is mostly the left’s fault.

      • BG 4.4.2

        “The reports of Southern’s disruption of the Tornoto slut walk protest shows this. Southern talked over the speakers trying to speak their views publicly.”

        Err…she was protesting? So it’s ok when the Anti-TTPA mob, Poverty Action Group, Greenpeace, Minto en tal try to shut down cities, damage property and disrupt people happily going about their own business but when the shoe is on the other foot is called ‘drawing attention away and trying to silence people’.

        Protest groups in NZ try to silence people all the time.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          You are reverting back to making “freedom of speech” the primary issue. That is precisely what I have been arguing against. You are ignoring issues of power (who has access to dominant platforms to argue their position), and aims to strongly include evidence-based arguments in the public arena; it’s ignoring primary issues of democratic process (enabling all sections of society to take part in the debate), and the aims of working towards as humane and inclusive society as possible.

          There are powerful, corporate, international organisations dominating the platforms and organisations to push FOR the TPPA, inequalities that favour the rich and powerful, measures that contribute to damaging climate change etc.

          GreenPeace, Minto, PAG, etc, are pushing for a a more humane, democratic society and one where we make best use for all of the resources available in the long term.

          The right wingers are borrowing from those tactics, using superficial arguments of “free speech”, on the behalf of the already rich, powerful and dominant groups in society – making out that challenges to their dominance are in some way anti-democratic. they will use any arguments that further their aims, including distortions of the evidence, or totally being dishonest – like Trump.

          The Canadian duo and their promoters and supporters have been making “free speech” the primary issue. I used the example of Southern’s disruptive tactics to show the emptiness of their claims to be strong supporters of free speech.

          The other groups don’t make their tactics about freedom of speech, so much as the kind of society they are working towards.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury

            So you are proposing a progressive tax on people’s right to free speech based on their status or their perceived power in society?

          • BG

            Agree to disagree.

            How many times have we seen protest groups attempt to infiltrate (generally through property destruction) into premises where another group is gathering? All under the banner of free speech.

            The irony is I have no problem with these people protesting, but also let me get on with my day. Why does their rights to protest override my right to go to work, or partake in activities?

            Also I disagree with the line “GreenPeace, Minto, PAG, etc, are pushing for a more humane, democratic society “. That is your opinion and it is my prerogative to disagree. All I see in those particular groups is hypocrisy but that is for another day.

            One question I want answered is “what are the progressives so afraid of?”

            • Carolyn_Nth

              Protesting by the left is usually done under the banner of wanting to engage in debates about how to progress to a more humane society that is sustainable for all. Once again you are making freedom of speech the primary issue, rather than the other aims left activists are working towards.

              Green Peace and other activists spend a lot of time making evidence-based arguments in favour of a more humane society. These too often get buried and the spin and propaganda of the likes of the Nats, their media ans social media cheerleaders, and other right wingers (eg the two track politics Hager wrote of, that was orchestrated via John key’s office.)

              Progressives are only afraid of spin, misinformation and propaganda that seems to be too prevalent these days.

              Since the 1980s we have have been told by the neoliberal or neo-conservatives that their policies will lead to a great society for all. All we have go is entrenched inequalities, divisive targeting of some ethnic groups and others not part of the powerful elites. And we have got more and more people sleeping in the streets, queuing for foodbanks, beneficiaries being demonised and denied the support they need, and some dying before their time.

              These are verifiable facts, not some airy-fairy, off-the-top-of-people’s heads opinions. And these are not features of a humane society.

              • In Vino

                Thank you Carolyn_Nth
                I am coming in late, and wish that I could have made a contribution as good as yours.

              • Andy

                That isn’t my experience of the left. My experience of the left is a group of low IQ unemployed people with masks and baseball bats that intimidate and assault people

                You are most welcome

                • McFlock

                  When was that? 1981?

                • marty mars

                  It seems like you are part of the grouping the left opposes so no wonder they didn’t give you ice cream and a pat on the head. Most of your sort that I’ve come across are cowards and runners anyway – once someone stands up to you, you fold like a wet nappy.

                • Incognito

                  That’s not an experience, that’s a stereotype, which makes you a cliché.

                  • Andy

                    I am referring to the Antifa and BLM types we see on a regular basis in the USA, punching women, smashing windows etc .

                    • joe90

                      types we see on a regular basis in the USA, punching women, smashing windows etc .

                      And the Christian types we see on a regular basis in the USA, who’ve maintained a 30 year campaign of murder, threatening to kill, bombing, arson, acid attacks, bio-terror threats, invasions, burglary, kidnapping, stalking, vandalising, intimidating ect…..?


        • Anne

          Protest groups in NZ try to silence people all the time.

          Not to mention the bullying and intimidatory treatment by the Authoritarian Right making people too frightened to stand up and complain. And don’t claim it doesn’t happen because it is going on in one form or another all the time.

          At least “protest groups” are up front and everyone knows who they are.

    • swordfish 4.5

      Entirely agree, Ad.

      The intellectually-crude, Bully-Boy, Book-burning PC / Identitarian segment of the Left moves in an ever-more Authoritarian direction. Whatever the hell they are … they certainly aint liberal-Left. They are deeply regressive and hopelessly insular (no disrespect to Micky … a person I hold in high esteem. I certainly don’t regard him as in any way part of this religious cult-like Identitarian extreme.).

      • arkie 4.5.1


        The identitarian movement (otherwise known as identitarianism) is a European and North American white nationalist movement that originated in France.

        In 2017, Southern supported the white identitarian group Defend Europe opposing the action of non-governmental organizations involved in search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

        Identitarianism is a regressive, race-based ideology aiming make racism modern and fashionable. Using poor and refuted correlations between IQ and race (Charles Murray) as justification for racial disparity.

        These speakers are also certainly not ‘liberal’ either, they are attempting to undo the progress made by the liberal centre. They do not add to an informed discussion, they aim to muddy the waters, provoke reactions and play the victim.

        The Auckland council is well within it’s rights to refuse to host them.

        We are the same country that forbid a group of rappers from performing on council property in 2014 (Odd Future at Rapture) for safety concerns, so how is this any different from that issue?

      • mickysavage 4.5.2

        Thanks SF. After watching Southern’s videos though I really questioned whether her right to speech, and be allowed to enter the country and speak at a Council facility was appropriate?

        There is no substance to what she says. She appears to me to be someone with a business model designed around her ability to insult and if there is to be a line drawn I was happy for it to be here.

  5. Carolyn_Nth 5

    The problem here is that too many people are setting up the ideal of “free speech” as the ultimate, and an end in itself. But “free speech” is only important as a means to other ends. In the first instance it is a means to enable democratic debates and processes, so that all sections of society have equal opportunities to state their views and needs. And democratic process is something that is needed to ensure as humane and inclusive a society as possible.

    In my discussions with left leaning USians, Brits and Europeans, I have come to see the placing of “free speech” as an ultimate good in itself as being a USian thing. They cite the Jeffersonian ideal of a “free market of ideas”. This ideal is foregrounded because it is assumed that when all have equal opportunity to have their say the best ideas and facts will rise to the top.

    Brits and other Europeans are more likely to see hate speech as oppressive and undermining a humane and democratic society. The USians tend to ignore issues of power and unequal access to platforms that enable only some views to be publicly heard and to dominate.

    As Micky’s post shows, the Canadian pair are really abusing the ideals of “free speech” and “democratic debate” by using them as slogans to support their manipulations of ideas and facts in order to promote an agenda that is less than humane, and less than democratic.

    Their aim is propaganda, not a fair and egalitarian debate. Their aim is to undermine gains made by those who have for too long had their views and needs suppressed. Consequently, the lives of many of those in the oppressed groups have been damaged – in short, the result has been less than humane. The right wing propagandists’ aim is to restore dominance and power to those who have traditionally been the dominant groups in western society: white, masculine, heterosexual, Christian, etc.

    So, the Canadian pair, their promoters and supporters, are abusing and undermining the ideals of “free speech” and “democratic debate”, and using them as slogans to subvert a democratic and humane society.

    • Anne 5.1

      Very well said. Thank-you Carolyn_Nth.

    • mickysavage 5.2


    • veutoviper 5.3

      Excellent comment, Carolyn Nth. And ditto for your earlier ones on this post at, 4.4, and

      I really despaired when I read some of the alpha male wantabe’s comments also expressed here (“Rights are contests” – really?), but your comments have brought the discussion back into perspective, especially your last sentence above:

      So, the Canadian pair, their promoters and supporters, are abusing and undermining the ideals of “free speech” and “democratic debate”, and using them as slogans to subvert a democratic and humane society.

    • RedLogix 5.4

      Absolutely you get to disagree with anyone to your hearts content; but you don’t get to silence them under the false flag of ‘democracy and humanity’. It’s wrong and it always leads to disaster.

      The logic is simple and brutal; if want to claim the right to silence someone because you disagree with them, then you can have no complaint when they attempt to enforce the same right over you. End of discussion, start of murder.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.4.1

        if want to claim the right to silence someone because you disagree with them

        Is anybody claiming that?

        • RedLogix


        • Gosman

          Your argument seems to be that society should be able to democratically manage what views are classified as ‘Hate speech’. Democratic means are generally an appalling way to manage fundamental human rights.

          • RedLogix

            But this is exactly what we do; not with any formal ‘democratic elections’, but in our daily interactions and discourse with each other we each get to determine for ourselves what is tolerable or not.

            There is no all-seeing committee who passes rulings, there is no thought police who examines our consciences … it’s just each one of us doing the best we can with what is in front of us, guided by the great narratives and moral guidelines from our deep heritage.

            • Gosman

              I’m meaning majoritarian democratic apporaches. I agree your version of democratic methods is highly effective.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Democratic means are generally an appalling way to manage fundamental human rights.

            Actually, it’s the only way.

            Having them set by top down edict is the wrong way and causes all sorts of problems because the few people at the top tend to miss a lot of the consequences as there simply isn’t enough people thinking about them. Entrenching them becomes a problem as well because when those consequences show up it’s difficult, if not impossible, to change them as needed.

            This is the basic problem of dictatorship.

          • KJT

            Funny that the more democratic the society. The more human rights are honoured.

            No, non-democratic society has had any time for human rights.

    • Gosman 5.5

      This would be hilarious if the implications were not so dangerous. Ideas are not something that should be heavily regulated for the ‘benefit’ of society.

      • Tricledrown 5.5.1

        Gosman so these mentally Deranged aryans when in power deny the right of free speech.
        Just show’s how low you can go.

        • RedLogix

          And there are plenty of examples of left wing totalitarians doing exactly the same. Suppression of free speech and association is happening all over the world even now, especially China, Russia, the Middle East and so on. It’s a common feature of extremist, corrupt, thuggish regimes everywhere, to the extent that it’s virtually a diagnostic.

          And yes it can go pretty damned low, but it’s a tendency that lies along the authoritarian/liberal axis. It has nothing to do with left/right politics as such. Besides the he did it too argument is something you should have stopped using in pre-school.

        • Gosman

          Who are the “mentally Deranged aryans” (sic) that you are meaning?

    • Dennis Frank 5.6

      Free speech isn’t an ideal. It’s a human right. To see this for yourself, cast your mind back to the hunter/gatherer epoch: human groups then (families & clans) had yet to impose any limit on the natural ability of members to use language in communicating with each other. Consider whether any anthropologist has reported evidence of any indigenous peoples today, anywhere in the world, imposing any censorship code as part of their traditional culture. Zilch.

      The left & right normally depict each other’s opinions as propaganda, so you’re just conforming to the stereotype. Extremists of either persuasion can call for their opponents to be limited by the rules of democracy until they’re blue in the face, but it will never shift the rest of the electorate away from fairness.

      • Carolyn_Nth 5.6.1

        Freedom of speech has been included in human rights documents over the centuries. It is something that has been constructed by societies in order to ensure all sections of society have a say. Usually the history is given as starting with ancient Athenians. it is related to their attempts to develop democracy.

        Generally it is explained as being needed in democracies.

        In this history of legal inclusion of freedom of speech/expression as a right, there never has been unfettered freedom of speech. It is usually stated that with this freedom comes responsibilities.

        Amnesty International says:

        You might not expect us to say this, but in certain circumstances free speech and freedom of expression can be restricted.

        Governments have an obligation to prohibit hate speech and incitement. And restrictions can also be justified if they protect specific public interest or the rights and reputations of others.

        Any restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of expression must be set out in laws that must in turn be clear and concise so everyone can understand them.

        People imposing the restrictions (whether they are governments, employers or anyone else) must be able to demonstrate the need for them, and they must be proportionate.

        All of this has to be backed up by safeguards to stop the abuse of these restrictions and incorporate a proper appeals process.

        If the exercise of freedom of expression works against the democratic principle and/or harm to others, it is not acceptable. The law is not always correct in working to ensure the necessary safeguards, and from time to time, this results in amendments.

        You seem to just be (incorrectly) drawing on some common assumptions about the primacy of unfettered freedom of speech as an ultimate principle standing above all others.

        If you think there was no censorship in hunter gatherer societies, you have never studied any anthropology, and are resorting to some uninformed, romanticised notion of such societies.

        • Dennis Frank

          All irrelevant to the point I made. Politically, the number of people in a democracy who believe free speech is a human right is usually greater than those who prefer censorship of opinions, and their weight inevitably dictates the outcome. Amnesty often seems a subculture of leftists – hardly surprising they choose to discriminate against believers in rights.

          I was amused that they carefully avoided defining hate speech. Obviously leftists want to be able to control the terms of the debate, so their intent is to remain free to specify it whenever they feel like it, to suit any specific situation. No attempt whatsoever to objectify a rule or suggest a law, so far as I can see. Rather pathetic, really. The kindergarten level of politics.

          Someone ought to explain to these beginners that politics creates new social norms most constructively on the basis of consensus.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Well, I don’t need to define hate speech, because it is defined in documents relating to the NZ Human Rights Act.

            page 132:

            New Zealand, like many other countries, has legislated to give effect to Article 20 of ICCPR, which requires state parties to ban “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimi-nation, hostility or violence”.

            NZ Human Rights Act 1993, sections 61 and 131 bans any expressions that are likely to incite racial disharmony.

            Basically, amnesty is just following the international agreements.

            Hate speech is not specifically defined in NZ law, but comes under other laws. It is currently under review by the current government with the aim to try to strike the best balance between freedom of expression and “hate speech”

            Meanwhile the Ministry of Justice has started surveying 8000 New Zealanders on their experiences of crime, including whether they feel they were targeted on racial, religious or sexual grounds.

            While the term “hate speech” is not referenced in New Zealand legislation there are existing laws which do cover some conduct which could fall within its description.

            The Human Rights Commission said it was “fully supportive” of the proposed changes.

            It acknowledged concerns about the adequacy and extent of current legislation.

            “Freedom of speech and expression are really important human rights. But most rights are not absolute and we also have to remember that with rights come responsibilities,” a spokeswoman said.

            “We need to make sure our laws strike the right balance between protecting the right to freedom of speech and appropriately ensuring that we protect the right to personal security and safety so that people do not suffer actual harm.

            “We are not talking about hurt feelings or offence, but situations at the very serious end of the spectrum where serious damage or injury is caused.”

            So, that’s some kindergarten politics for you.

            The UK has more specific laws against hate speech:

            The Public Order Act 1986 forbids racial hatred against individuals of groups including colour, race, ethnic origin and nationality.

            In 2008, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act amended the Public Order Act to forbid the incitement of hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

            • Dennis Frank

              Ok Carolyn, that’s fair enough as far as it goes. I’ll just refer you to my new contribution down-thread at 2.22pm: looks like this issue will remain a sleeper to the general public if the relevant laws don’t get tested in court.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.6.2

        Consider whether any anthropologist has reported evidence of any indigenous peoples today, anywhere in the world, imposing any censorship code as part of their traditional culture. Zilch.

        Persia, Rome, Egypt… the list goes on (Debt: The first 5000 years by David Graeber). Used locals as spies as well. We can point to the Middle ages in Europe and the persecution of those who weren’t Christian. And then there was the lèse-majesté laws as well.

        Of course, they were all capitalist empires but they were all indigenous somewhere.

        • Dennis Frank

          It was to avoid such red herrings that I chose my words carefully, in order to make the point precise. No evidence of such codes, until civilisation developed sufficiently in places that the ruling class found them necessary to compel the populace into conformity.

          Obviously lynch mobs & targeted assassinations were used prior in order to delete anyone who said stuff others thought was a threat. The sanction of mutual respect and care would normally deter hate speech in small groups, but when size escalates to the point where the person with a sharp tongue gathers supporters to defend them and becomes a gang, the larger whole community has to encode behaviour to retain cohesion.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It was to avoid such red herrings that I chose my words carefully, in order to make the point precise.

            I knew what you were trying to do. You just failed at it when you used the word indigenous instead of nomadic.

            No evidence of such codes, until civilisation developed sufficiently in places that the ruling class found them necessary to compel the populace into conformity.

            Yeah, I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Going against the groups culture has always been taboo and doing so could result in an effective death sentence (Don’t want to be part of our group? Not a problem – bye.).

            The sanction of mutual respect and care would normally deter hate speech in small groups, but when size escalates to the point where the person with a sharp tongue gathers supporters to defend them and becomes a gang, the larger whole community has to encode behaviour to retain cohesion.

            That happened in the smaller nomadic groups as well (Debt: The last 5000 years). Societies actually do needs uniform codes of behaviour else they splinter.

            • Carolyn_Nth

              Yes. The sources I looked at earlier on another computer, gave examples of hunter gatherer societies in Africa and elsewhere. There was quite a bit of difference. But, while such societies tended to be pretty egalitarian, some also restricted rights of women. I read one source which said that anyone describing dreams that included sexual activity with someone that was prohibited, would be physically punished.

              Also, another source included details about how story telling practices ensured conformity to the group norms – basically a form of soft censorship where certain stories were sacrosanct.

  6. marty mars 6

    And leaders of political parties here get death and rape threats from the supporters of these vile far righters.


  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Some rightists are indeed disgusting. Marama’s experience reminds us that social media have become toxic due to human nature being provided that public outlet.

    Some here seem to be advocating that some rightists ought to be deprived of their right of free speech because they are “haters”. That’s a real good way for leftists to bring the political left into public disrepute and a classic case of jungian projection. Fair-minded people are likely to view such leftists as a mirror image of any haters they are opposing.

    I recall when the free speech movement began in Berkeley and made the headlines here, combining with Martin Luther King’s nonviolence to form a new style of politics. As an adolescent it seemed an inspiring social trend to me. I see no valid reason to decide that it has failed.

    Goff was right to judge that it is inappropriate for the Ak council venue to be used by a sectarian group for their own political purposes. That just sidesteps the issue. Morality and natural justice require any community group to be able to voice their concerns. This woman ought to have been hosted by a local like-minded group, and paid for a commercial venue, and ignored by everyone else…

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.1

      I watched Prime on the Sixties recently, which covered Martin Luther King’s activism. In fact, he shifted to deliberately supporting protests and law breaking in areas in the south where there was known to be the most resistance to black civil rights. It was done in a non-violent way, in the face of violent repression from the law enforcement agencies and local governments. Many people were violently treated by the authorities and/or supporters of the status quo. Some were killed; some were badly hurt.

      In such areas, black people were sometimes restricted from being able to speak publicly. This, even though the US constitution gave all US citizens the right to “freedom of expression”.

  8. Andy 8

    It’s great to see NZ light up like a beacon of leftist intolerance and bigotry as always

    Now the whole world can see what a cesspit New Zealand is

    Molyneux and Southern have huge Youtube followings. They will dine out on this for ages

    • arkie 8.1

      You have a racist doll in your profile pic. Not sure you’re an expert on what constitutes intolerance.

      • Andy 8.1.1

        I have a lot of “dolls” in my profile, yet you choose to pick on the black one.

        Mind you, I notice that you lot pick on the woman mostly in this issue.

        I guess you soy-fed gimps are too afraid to pick fights with men

        • arkie

          Racist dolls, fear of soy, white-knighting; I’m surprised you didn’t call me a cuck and tell me you’d slap me happily.

          It’s a dicussion forum not a fight club, Tyler. Tell us about the red pill.

          • Andy

            The red pill is the name of a documentary by Cassie Jaye, a self described ex feminist, on the men’s rights movement

            I must confess I haven’t seen the film, but I have no doubt that it is hateful and NZ should ban her from entering the country should she try

        • dv

          Why does clicking on andy give me a warning about the site going to may be a phishing site Andy?

          • Andy

            Because I am a Russian Bot funded by the Trump team

            • Incognito

              In that case it is time to install some AV software and stop surfing those dodgy sites, they’re no good for gullible people.

        • Gabby

          Where’s Manu andee? What’ve you done with Manu?

  9. Pete 9

    The promoters should have tried to get Eden Park as a venue!

  10. cleangreen 10

    Thanks to Phil Goff the right movement have unearthed the soft side of the Left amongst us all inability to ‘tolerate’ extremists voices in our midst’.

    This single action will come right back to bite us in the rump later be rest assured.

    There is a price to pay down the line now, as we on the left have long preached ‘inclussiveness’.without any exeptions, so we have wounded that premise already now.

    These two Canadians have just been made more powerful as ‘Martyrs of their cause’ even if it is regarded as either right or wrong, and that’s the price of freedom.

    I lived in US as a kiiwi for five years and learnred the principal of their culture of “Live and let live” where the sense of freedom was real and nobody bothered us where we as a famiy ever went, it was a deep sence of fredom we enjoyed far more than the increasing limitatiion on our civil rights being trappled on today in NZ with overtones of corporate type “compliance”..

    • marty mars 10.1

      Inclusiveness, tolerance, yeah nah you earn the right to be respected by treating others with respect. The left are not cowering dogs worried by rwnjs – the left stands up and fights and fucken dies to help others. That is the whakapapa of the left.

      • Andy 10.1.1

        The left is responsible for the murder of 100 million people in the 20th century, in case you have forgotten

        • adam

          And the right is responsible for 250 Million more, in case you have forgotten.

          • Andy

            How many people have libertarians and conservatives killed in the name of limited government and individual liberty, exactly?

            I’m not including neocons and other types here, who do not stand for me.

            • Incognito

              FFS, not another pissing contest on TS!

              • marty mars

                it’s okay they both have tiny hands.

                • Grafton Gully

                  Fact is that mass killings under communist regimes exceed others, unless you blame lack of resolve on the part of the western democracies for the triumph of Bolshevism in Russia and Maoism in China, among other movements that led to the murder and starvation of millions.

                • adam

                  The master tool is in the house

        • Draco T Bastard


          Social critic Noam Chomsky has criticized the book and its reception as one-sided by outlining economist Amartya Sen’s research on hunger. While India’s democratic institutions prevented famines, its excess of mortality over China—potentially attributable to the latter’s more equal distribution of medical and other resources—was nonetheless close to 4 million per year, for non-famine years. Chomsky argued that “supposing we now apply the methodology of the Black Book” to India, “the democratic capitalist ‘experiment’ has caused more deaths than in the entire history of […] Communism everywhere since 1917: over 100 million deaths by 1979, and tens of millions more since, in India alone”.

        • Draco T Bastard

          View at Medium.com

          The claim that communism killed 94 million people during the 20th century, for all intents and purposes, is an outright lie that hinges on counting millions of deaths that were not caused by communism and by having sympathies for nazis and their genocidal collaborators during WWII, as if they were victims of anything but justice.

          It doesn’t help that your source of 100m killed by communism has been thoroughly debunked – by some of its authors.

          And as for capitalism, 100 million Indigenous people in the Americas were killed during the European colonization for the propagation of American capitalism, as well as millions of African people that were enslaved as property to be profited off of by capitalists in the West. How many people have been killed by capitalist sanctions? How many people have been killed in capitalist wars? How many people have been killed by capitalist dictators like Pincohet? How many people have died and will we let die for profiteering?

          • Andy

            Mr Bastard

            I’m guessing that’s you are also a Holocaust denier and a rabid anti Semite ? Is this a fair assessment?

            • In Vino

              How long have you been reading threads on this website, Andy?
              Can you think of a sensible question to ask?

              • veutoviper

                He has been around this website on and off for years albeit it with a different avatar in the past, and also on several other blogs including TDB where he uses the same avatar as he is using here now.

                Some call him a climate change denier as CC is his usual bete noire and his prime haunt apparently is Richard Treadgold’s http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/ where he does the occasional guest post.

                IMHO he is a RW troll who is using the Southern/Molyneux tactics to stir things here – and I suspect in the hope of copping a ban – so he can then “dine out on this for ages” as he says in his comment at 8 above re Southern and Molyneux.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Ah, the RWNJ fails to have a valid argument and reverts to the tired method of ad hominem.

              • Andy

                It’s hilarious that Mr Bastard accuses me of ad hom whilst referring to me as a “right wing nut job” in the same sentence.

                Not too bright are you?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A didn’t use an ad hom – I used an accurate descriptor.

                  • Gosman

                    That’s your excuse for all your atrocious behaviour. It isn’t hate speech because it is true.

                    Do you not think the people coming out with the ideas YOU regard as Hate speech actually believe it is the truth as well?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      The Paradox of Tolerance

      As paradoxcal as it may seem, defending tolerance requires to not tolerate the intolerant.

      • Pat 10.2.1

        Popper’s statement is somewhat more conditional than that ….

        “Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

        As always the problem is determining whats ‘rational’ for that alters in time and place…and in self interest.

        Not to mention whos doing the determining.

        • RedLogix

          Popper makes a strong case for knowing the limits of acceptable discourse; knowing where the boundaries are.

          I have an very good Dutch friend who once explained how the Dutch were a very pragmatic people who made a good habit of tolerating a wide range of personal beliefs and ideas, and were largely forgiving of minor offenses that harmed the few directly involved. But step over the boundary, start to harm the coherence community as a whole, and you got hammered.

          Extremists exist at all the boundaries of the political compass; and left unconstrained they will harm the community as a whole. But crucially it’s only by allowing them to voice their ideas that you get to know who they are, who to ignore and who to discriminate against.

          It’s not their ideas that are harmful per se; it’s when the centre lacks all conviction and allows extreme ideas to become practice is when the body count begins to stack up.

          • Pat

            The centre is not a point however, it is a spectrum.

            Popper makes the point that society needs to be prepared to meet force with force….not preemptive strike, for if history has taught us anything it is that popular belief is frequently erroneous and ever changing.

            If we desire to apply Popper then we must first clarify who are the tolerant and who are the intolerant……it is circular.

            Good luck with that.

            • RedLogix

              Indeed good luck is part of exactly what we need. But we don’t improve our chances by imposing ‘cures’ that are worse than the ills we imagine we are fixing.

              And while in principle it is true there are an infinite number of ways to interpret the world, and no apriori way to privilege anyone of them over any of the others; history pragmatically teaches us that there are only a very constrained number of ways to organise society that are not totally catastrophic.

              In past ages religions were how we determined where the acceptable, workable ‘middle path’ lay. In pre-scientific ages religion advised us of where the boundaries lay and which direction was ‘up’ so to speak. In the modern world we have the exact same problem to solve, but we have to work harder at it and take more responsibility for the consequences when we fuck up.

              • Pat

                “history pragmatically teaches us that there are only a very constrained number of ways to organise society that are not totally catastrophic.”

                Does it?…we dont know what we dont know….in fact we view history through a contemporary lens which in itself is probably false.

                Some may wish a world where ‘religion’ determined rigid mores….was that successful?…or even better?…..and which religion?

                As to taking responsibility, we bear the results of our actions/inactions everyday.

                • RedLogix

                  I didn’t suggest the process was easy, or obvious. If it were we would not be having this discussion.

                  And while the classic notion of religion triggers all manner of conniptions to the modern mind, we should not forget that as a social tool it guided us through millennia of painful, often brutal development to the point where we are today.

                  We may well have out-grown that ‘childhood’ phase as it were, we may well be inclined to discard those forms which seem insufficient or contradictory to us, but at the same time we cannot diminish how it has shaped us, and how it’s ethical ideas still underpin how we determine right from wrong, and how our consciences prompt us to tell the difference between proper sensibility and shame. Inasmuch as our societies are rooted in our history, religion inescapably lies at the foundations, ancient stones we are barely aware of, much less able to dig up and discard.

                  But the past 200 years has seen a distinct step, or stage in our evolution as a species. Any unbiased observer, of even just the most ephemeral, material development of our world, can see a disjuncture. Metaphorically humanity is making that awkward, turbulent transition from adolescence into adulthood. We have outgrown the limitations of childhood, but are as yet unskilled at the responsibilities of the mature adult.

                  • Pat

                    It is not easy and therefore restricting views which may or may not be valueless is counterproductive…it is only by examination that we can form a judgement as to their usefulness, for judgement is all that it is.

                    P.S. adulthood is probably overrated.

                  • Pat

                    lol..depends upon the child…there can be wonderful insight from an uncluttered mind….by 40 theres usually a lot of clutter.

                    • RedLogix

                      As someone who was far too slow in growing up myself, who was far too slow a learner, far too late in taking responsibility for my life, I bitterly regret the wasted middle 20 years of my life blaming the world for my shortcomings.

                      Yes adulthood is way more constrained and ‘cluttered’ as it were than childhood. A great musician for instance, will spend tens of thousands of hours precisely practicing and shaping their skill with an instrument, discarding everything that does not work, constraining themselves to exactly what does. Only then they become masters and truly creative in a way everyone else will admire and respect.

    • Kendoll 10.3

      Bollocks,learn to spell.

  11. adam 11

    I thought Mr Wood summed the weakness of the whole debt from the far rights side. No one stopped them from going private, except themselves.

    Funny how the trolls here are blaming ‘the left’ for the utter lack of spin on going to a private venue.

    Irony is a harsh taskmaster.

    • Andy 11.1

      Given that they have both been denied visas I don’t think the venue is an issue

      In any case there is a legal case starting to overturn the visa issue and a venue will become available . They generally have to keep the venue announcement until the last minute to give the Antifa leftist thugs the least opportunity for violence and disruption.

      • adam 11.1.1

        Your comments are from a really unhinged placed Andy, indeed you have little to no touch on reality. Antifa, really does not exist here. Our anti-fascists, who I’m happy to be part of, are pacifics. Your just making shit up, is that because your angry someone called you out for your hate?

        • Andy

          antifa don’t exist? Then why was the event cancelled on security grounds? Who was going to be threatening security?

          • adam

            I don’t know, your lot. The right are the ones who do political violence. I mean running over women is your stock and trade.


            • Stuart Munro

              Not to mention the trades hall bombing.

            • Andy

              Oh “my lot”. You mean the conservatives, the libertarians?

              Presumably assaulting people with their copies of Atlas Shrugged or The Road to Serfdom?

              But regardless, if these wicked “far right” people come with their torches and their copies of Mein Kampf to listen to Lauren Southern, their white heroine, (sarc) who exactly are they going to fight, given that the NZ left are all so peace loving?

              I am seriously interested in where these security threats come from

              • Draco T Bastard

                But regardless, if these wicked “far right” people come with their torches and their copies of Mein Kampf to listen to Lauren Southern, their white heroine, (sarc) who exactly are they going to fight, given that the NZ left are all so peace loving?

                That would be the people that they’re railing against wouldn’t it?

              • adam

                Sorry andy, you’re the idiot who used the term “the left” not me. So I went you you being a tool.

            • Andy

              Adam, so “my lot’ are responsible for running over people?

              How do you know what “my lot” consists of? You mean the parish council, the Lions Club, or the local Ice Hockey team? Yeah we are all crazy mixed up mofos running people over in our cars and trucks

              I don’t know what crazy movie is playing in your head right now, but it isn’t the same one that I am watching

              • adam

                And how many Christian anarchists have killed people? You know you’re the one who came out with the broad brush – look how stupid it is.

                • Andy

                  I live in constant fear of the Methodists

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I’m not surprised, they’ve had your number for centuries:

                    “The Andy is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen.”

      • You_Fool 11.1.2

        “Given that they have both been denied visas I don’t think the venue is an issue” [Citation needed]

        As far as I can tell (and i am relying on the mainstream media here) the pair haven’t been denied any visas in NZ (yet).

  12. DS 12

    Preamble: I have nothing but contempt for Southern and Molyneux. They are pond scum of the internet.

    The problem here is that the arguments underpinning “let’s crack down on religious hate speech” are the very basis for our archaic Blasphemous Libel law. You remember – the one everyone wants to repeal? Apart from, seemingly, some people around here who want to bring it back via the back door?

    Also, where does one draw the line between criticism of Islam and criticism of Destiny Church?

    • Andy 12.1

      Molyneux has had half a billion views on his Youtube channel. Not bad for “pond scum”.

      • Kevin 12.1.1

        If you are impressed by that, you should check out some of the flat earthers you tube videos then.

      • DS 12.1.2

        I have watched a fair few of his Youtube videos. That is how I know he’s pond scum.

        • Andy

          What have you spent all these hours watching someone who is “pond scum”?

          I don’t spend hour watching paedophile videos.

          Do you have some kind of special masochistic streak?

          • DS

            I actually have the funny idea of checking out someone’s argument before dismissing it. I have seen Molyneux, and know what he is. Hence my opinion of him.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Is passing out a leaflet saying that Alah is Gay an actual criticism of Islam?

      There’s lots to criticise Islam for. There’s probably more for Destiny Church.

      Criticise away – don’t use hate speech.

      • Grafton Gully 12.2.1

        The “Allah is gay line” is at the top of a list that ends with “Allah is all of us”

        `I Am Allah, You Are Allah, Every One Is Allah!’

        Lauren and co are thinking it through, the visa bans fit well with their agenda.

        • Andy

          I love Jesus but Allah is my favourite Gay God

          • marty mars

            Fella you are coming across as very silly – funnily enough this is not uncommon for newbies. Just take your time and grow into your new environment and pretty soon you won’t feel such an outsider and alone. It is hard but you can do it if you try really really hard. Go on then, off you go.

        • Gabby

          Not Elvis though.
          Elvis isn’t Allah.

      • DS 12.2.2

        Blasphemous Libel:

        (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year who publishes any blasphemous libel.

        (2) Whether any particular published matter is or is not a blasphemous libel is a question of fact.

        (3) It is not an offence against this section to express in good faith and in decent language, or to attempt to establish by arguments used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, any opinion whatever on any religious subject.

        (4) No-one shall be indicted under this section unless with the sanction in writing of the Attorney General for the time being first had and obtained.

        Note section 3. How is what you are arguing any different from this Law?

        Meanwhile, the last prosecution for Blasphemous Libel in England surrounded a poem about a Roman Centurion fantasising about Jesus’ dead body. Is that hate speech?

      • Andy 12.2.3

        “Criticise away – don’t use hate speech”

        Sure thing.

        Islam was founded by the Prophet Mohammed. During his years at Mecca his was a spiritual journey, but then he moved to Medina and turned to violence. He murdered Jews in large numbers, and was responsible for the rape of many women. He had up to 13 wives, 11 at one time. The youngest, Aisha, was 6 when he married her, and they consummated their marriage when she was 9.

        Islam is a supremacist ideology that requires “people of the book” (Jews and Christians) to pay a tax, the Jizya. This is manifested in NZ as “Halal Certification”

        Jews and Christians wore special badges or belts to differentiate them from Muslims. In 9th Century Iraq, the symbol for the Jew was a yellow star, the same as the one wore by Jews in Nazi Germany

        In many countries in the world today, these traditions remain in place.

        • Draco T Bastard

          He murdered Jews in large numbers…

          I suggest you read history.

          Islam is a supremacist ideology that requires “people of the book” (Jews and Christians) to pay a tax, the Jizya. This is manifested in NZ as “Halal Certification”

          non sequitur.

          BTW, none of that was actually a criticism of the religion. It was just a bunch of assertions not backed by facts.

          • Andy

            it is written in the Hadiths

            Anyway, I understand that rape, paedophilia and murder are no problem for you Mr Bastard.

            I can imagine why you want to defend Islam. It fits with your world view perfectly

            Of course, “far right” RWNJs like me you don’t like our daughters being raped are in plenty too, so I suggest you keep your activities discrete. Maybe get a job at the BBC or something

            • You_Fool

              I am pretty sure my muslim friends also don’t want their daughters raped… it is almost a universal desire that….

              • Andy

                Of course Muslims don’t want their daughters raped.

                No problem with Kuffaar women though

                “Captives of the Right Hand” as I believe the Qur’an states

        • You_Fool

          From 1095 – 1291 Christians banded together into ‘crusades’ and went on raping and pillaging trips through the middle east, killing many Muslims and Jews, and occasionally a few Christians they didn’t like.

          Lets all hate Christians too!

          • Andy

            One of the key differences is that we don’t have gangs of Christians raping children in the north of England. I can’t speak for the Catholic Church though

            • You_Fool

              I am sure there are plenty of gangs of christians doing it in a lot of places around the world… mostly because there are people of all faiths doing it… it is not the sole domain of any single religion

              • Andy

                I’m pretty sure everyone is a rapist. However the 1600 girls in Rotherham raped by “Asian Grooming Gangs” were the ones we heard about

          • Gosman

            400 years after the Muslim’s started doing it.

            • You_Fool

              They are not even OG with the killing and raping… how sad, can’t even come up with something original…

              In any case, Christians had managed some whole-scale genocide/persecution before that anyway, with the forced conversion of pagans… albeit after they had suffered some persecution first by pagans…

              Then again, the Jews had been persecuted for 10’s of thousands of years before that….

              It is almost like us humans have been inflicting masses amount of suffering on ourselves for as long as we have had civilization and religion…

              Almost like it isn’t something specific to a single religion….

              • Gosman

                There are slight differences between the World’s religions in relation to tolerance of others. Of the three major Abrahamic faiths The Jewish faith is not great, Christianity at it’s basic level is pretty good. Islam is terrible. The verses of the Quran promoting toleration of others are only focused on the Jews and Christians and not people of other faiths. Even these verses were laid down in the early years of Muhammed’s rise to power and were superceded by more intolerant views such as the Verse of the Sword.

                • arkie

                  Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

                  (Matthew 10:34)


                  • Gosman

                    I stated Christianity was pretty good not perfect. Contrast that with the Quran though and you will see a huge difference. Jesus didn’t call for the death of anybody.

                    • arkie

                      Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

                      (Matthew 12:30)

                      But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.

                      (Luke 19:27)

                    • Andy

                      True dat.

                      Whether you think Jesus is the son of God or a mythological figure, the ideal for humankind between Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed is pretty clear cut.

                      One one side, a rapist, murderer and a paedophile, on the other hand….

                      I don’t recall any references in the Bible to Jesus having sex with children.

                      Which is why employees of the BBC are mostly atheists I guess

                  • Andy

                    Which is why we see this current outbreak of Methodists beheading people. Bloody Matthew again

            • McFlock

              Tell that to Emperor Theodosius.

          • Gabby

            That’s a wee while ago now you fool.

        • joe90

          In 9th Century Iraq, the symbol for the Jew was a yellow star,


          Medieval Catholic canons ruled that Jews, and Saracens, be distinguished from others by wearing an oval badge, the measure of one finger in width and one half a palm in height and in England, Jews over the age of seven were required to wear a piece of yellow taffeta, six fingers long and three broad, over the left chest of the outer garment.

          • Andy

            I am not a Catholic and am fully aware of the anti-Semitism in the Catholic Church

  13. greywarshark 13

    When talking about people not being under any compunction to limit themselves, it is essential to realise that those without any goodness in them will take it that they can let all their badness out. The minds of these people must be like a cesspit, they arise out of it as vile creatures with their ugly utterances. And they pass on the social meme to other poor disaffected creatures. There’s the rub.
    A Black Pandoras Box.


  14. R.P Mcmurphy 14

    I guess she is free to stand on a street corner and start bellowing.

    • Tricledrown 14.1

      So how many NZers fought and died fighting fascism.
      Yet people like these 2 attention seeking aryans think its okay to peddle their thinly veiled fundamentalist propaganda.
      Hitler came to power by spreading fear and hatred.
      He only had a small support base but once his brown shirts went on the rampage it was to late.
      We allow these misfits to gain traction we could have a repeat.
      Poverty and equality drive the spread of fundamentalism.
      Sharing wealth and getting rid of poverty is inoculating the population against falling for fanatics?

      • Andy 14.1.1

        Actually New Zealand is the only English speaking country in the world to allow Nazi war criminals in after the war without fear of prosecution

        We also have the odious John Minto screaming at Jews through his megaphone, not to mention racists like Hone Hawawira prattling on about “white mofos” so I guess Naziism and anti Senistism fits quite nicely with most Kiwis

        • In Vino

          Andy, by my own statement I should not be replying.
          But I will make that statement: the childish drivel you have just spouted makes it obvious that you should be ignored.
          Are you pro-Zionist by any chance? You asked Draco TB if he was anti-Semite… Do you have a bee in your bonnet?

          • Andy

            “Am I pro Zionist by any chance ?”

            That’s a great question
            However since you odious anti free speech advocates are trying to muzzle “ people like me” ( ie people not like you) I can’t think of a single reason why I should respond

          • greywarshark

            Poverty and [lack of equality] or [inequality] drive the spread of fundamentalism.
            I guess that your usual concern for human rights would have shown up in your comment if your fingers hadn’t gone faster than your thoughts.

        • marty mars

          silly andy – insulting kiwi heroes won’t get people to think you are cool. You seem like a real plonker so please try harder otherwise you’ll never fit in.

          • Andy

            “I will never fit in”

            Oh dear how dreadful. Not being in with the Cool Kids

            How disappointing

            • marty mars

              yeah sad but common for your type – always struggling with new environments, new people, new ideas. Makes for great laughs though as you types flounder around, blustering as if no ones ever heard the shit from your lips before. Pro tip – we have, many times, and it’s still boring.

              • Andy

                “New ideas”

                There are about as many “new ideas” here as the magazine that bears the same name

                • marty mars

                  Well maybe if you stfu and listen but that’s not how you roll is it andy. You got a puffed up chest and by god these damn colonials are going to hear it – b.o.r.i.n.g.a.n.d.y.

              • veutoviper

                Ignore him, marty. He is not a newbie; he has been around the traps for years both here on TS albeit under a different avatar, and also on other blogs including TDB. (Ed: Interesting – IIRC Richard Christie who has now appeared at 24 and Andy go back many years including on TDB but on different sides.)

                Andy’s usual bete noire is climate change and he is apparently usually classed as a climate change denier. His prime haunt apparently is Richard Treadgold’s http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/ where he does the occasional post.

                IMHO he is a troll who is using the Southern/Molyneux tactics to stir things here – and I suspect in the hope of copping a ban – so he can then “dine out on this for ages” as he says in his comment at 8 above re Southern and Molyneux. He outed himself in one aspect of that comment.

                • Andy

                  I wondered when one of you creepy cunts would start doxxing me. Richard Christie is pretty good at this.

                  Come on let’s do this. I have nothing to lose. Literally nothing.

                  Come on motherfuckers. Time to play.

                • marty mars

                  Thanks veutoviper – I gathered he was unhinged, good to know how far. He certainly is an aggressive far rightie – usually that’s a sign of extreme self loathing imo.

          • Andy

            “Insulting Kiwi Heros”

            Mr Phil Goff spat in the face of returning Vietnam soldiers. I don’t have a problem with protesting war, esp Vietnam, but spitting is so unhygienic.

            Words are better. Maybe a speech at a public venue. Oh wait …

            • joe90

              Mr Phil Goff spat in the face of returning Vietnam soldiers.

              Can you substantiate your slur?

              • Andy

                yes I can. A couple of minutes Googling found some links that back up my claims. You can do the same.
                In the meantime, maybe you can provide some evidence that these libertarian Canadians are a threat to world peace and are, in fact, “far right”, whatever that means

                • joe90

                  Blubber boy’s assertions and anonymous comments over at Farrar’s sewer?

                • Gabby

                  Links to bullshitters like your good self you mean andee boy. Maybe even one of your socks.

            • Gabby

              I say I say andee boy, I think I’m starting to recognise your style, in your selection of lies.

        • Tricledrown

          Andy the Aryan himmler used similar divisive propaganda.
          John Minto has spent his life fighting for the oppressed.
          He is not anti semetic he is anti Netanyahu who is a corrupt politician.
          And War monger 60% of Israelis are against this fundamental fuckwit.

          • Andy

            You are claiming that Lauren Southern is “far right”

            I am claiming Minto is a Jew hater

            If someone screams at Jews through a megaphone “from the rivers to the sea” then I assume he wants to exterminate them all, as is written in the Hamas charter

            Minto. Hates . Jews.

            Get it?

            • Stuart Munro

              Pfft. You’re just a Minto hater.

              Israel is killing a shitload of Palestinian children, but you want Minto to be silent. You think you’ve found a wedge issue, but righties don’t care about justice issues, so when you try to run race allegations you’re not fooling anyone except yourself.

        • Gabby

          the only English speaking country in the world to allow Nazi war criminals in after the war without fear of prosecution?

          How many quibbles need to be accepted for that to be remotely true?

      • Gosman 14.1.2

        “Hitler came to power by spreading fear and hatred.

        He only had a small support base but once his brown shirts went on the rampage it was to late.

        We allow these misfits to gain traction we could have a repeat”

        Replace Hitler with Lenin and Brown shirts with Bosheviks and apply to the views of people like Draco.

        • Stuart Munro

          That would be abnormally stupid even for you, Gosman.

          Draco makes many pertinent critiques of capitalism’s failures. Of course you have nothing to counter them with but ad homs. Tragic really – the far right is no longer a principled position so much as a collection of prejudices.

          • Andy

            Draco is mentally unhinged.

            He/she/xir thinks that all capitalists are parasites. This included builders, plumbers, hairdressers, etc.

            Which planet does this thing come from ?

            • marty mars

              Don’t worry pandy your not a parasite more a bed bug feeding off dead skin and discarded detritus – yum yum lol.

        • Tricledrown

          Goadboy DTB has no following, and people have given up on communism.
          While we have plenty of nasty Nazi gang members right here in NZ.
          Who are legitimised by the likes of Don Maori Bash.
          Prior to the recent election reading some of the posts on his Hobson’s pledge /choice were outright hate speech with death threats against me not unlike Marama Davidson’s.
          After I said these comments were worthy of reporting to Susan Devoy these posts were all pulled down.
          One being from a now National MP.

  15. Ken 15

    Personally, I would let them speak and see how many feet they can get into their mouths.
    I can fully appreciate why the council wants nothing to do with them though.
    They can always find other venues if they want.

  16. Pat 16

    I’d suggest be careful what you wish for….there are two feet with boots.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    I tend to agree that Southern is more interested in the publicity she creates with her antics. I did say on a previous article that I didn’t agree specifically with her tactics.

    However, there seems to be a general tip-toeing and pandering to the views of many Muslims so far as their views on issues such as the rights of women, homosexuals etc.

    Surely, where such ideas exist, these need to be challenged even if that causes offence. A good example of this is Malala who was willing to offend some of those in Islam so far as education of girls is concerned. Even now, she acknowledges she would probably be killed if she went back to Pakistan.

    This is the problem when people want to ban freedom of speech on the grounds that it might be offensive to some. Sometimes certain views need to be challenged, and those who are offended are probably those who need to change.

  18. corodale 18

    Potential religous conflict in Europe, and thus the world, which these Canadians wish to talk about…

    Not just click for cash, but real issues here. Rogue and failed states like Saudi, Iraq and Syria may well do better under a Turkish administration – revive of the Ottoman empire… Erdogan considering a constituional change from secular to a religious state?

    The militant religious nationalist imperial expansion of nuclear sub-marine ready Israel, stands at the bridge here. Most NZers are Japanese enough to know that traders, bankers and weapon manufacturers are low caste professionn; not suited to power in shadow govts. This is all common knowledge to folk from the old Ottoman.

    But free-speech is trumped by “security”. But security is the tool of the shadow-govt which controls the world, badly.

    From the left-right dribble here in comments… perhaps the Shire would benefit from a visit by these Dwarves.

    • happynz 18.1

      Saudi is a failed state? Lumping a rich GCC country with Syria is a bit odd.

      • corodale 18.1.1

        Their war with Yeman, and destabilisation in Syria… rich rich, poor poor. Under Ottoman rule…

  19. mac1 19

    Lauren Southern is not the only one to come to NZ to preach an anti-Islam message. A black African Anglican priest gave a talk in our town a few years ago. Most there were conservative Anglicans who were giving this priest a sympathetic hearing for his anti-Islamic talk.

    At the end I stopped by him at the door and told him that I didn’t accept what he had been saying. He said he could tell that by my body language during the talk. I said to him, “I could smell the gun smoke.”

    It would be interesting to know what that audience in that church hall would think of that priest’s views now.

    Back in the Sixties I heard a white South African woman talk critically about Apartheid at Canty Uni. A questioner from the right wing British Empire loyalists spoke about the white people as “Christendom’s purer form of man”. Unbelievable but true. Have we progressed?

    • Gosman 19.1

      What is wrong with preaching an anti-Islam message exactly?

      • Tricledrown 19.1.1

        Gosbaby deliberately antagonising is what has lead to the 2000 years of conflict.
        Your pathetic trolling is part of this ongoing divisive under mining.
        Playing right into the fundamentalist’s
        Motivation to retaliate.
        Time to grow up Goadboy?
        Your life must be hollow to be wasting time motivating the Standardista’s.

      • Andy 19.1.2

        I would have thought the left would want to criticise a regressive ideology that marginalised women and gays, but it appears they have sold out in the interests of “social justice”, ie harvesting votes from minorities

        • mac1

          Gosman and Andy, you weren’t there “to smell the gunsmoke”.

          But how do lies, exaggerations, half-truths, argumentum ad hominem, and false analogies sit in the pantheon of what’s wrong with preaching anti-Islamic rhetoric?

          What’s wrong with generalisations and poor logic?

          What might be wrong with a statement that begins “All Muslims…….’?

          Especially when it has the cloak of Christianity with its Gospel of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness thrown over it.

          • Gosman

            If the arguments are as pathetic as you make out then it will be no problem to counter them with specifics and good logic.

            However does it not trouble you that the majority of countries that seek to include Islamic principles in their legal systems have appalling human rights records?

            • mac1

              Let me rephrase your question and return it to you for answering.

              Gosman, does it not trouble you that the majority of countries have appalling human rights records?

              So what failing/s in human relations, political systems and philosophies might be at play here?

              • Gosman

                I disagree the majority of countries have appalling human rights records. In fact I think most countries human rights records have improved out of sight over the past 50 years especially with the end of Soviet style Communism.

                • mac1

                  So, Gosman, what is your definition of ‘appalling”? What is the least breach of human rights you can tolerate before you are appalled?

                  • Gosman

                    Denying people the right to protest or free assembly would be appalling.

                    Not having equal representation of views from minority groups in positions of power is unfortunate but not appalling.

          • Andy

            Nowhere did I or anyone else say “all Muslims”.

            I treat Muslims with the same individual respect I give to everyone else

            An ideology isn’t people

            • mac1

              Andy, so why do you use the same faulty logic when you make the claim in as many words that “the Left” all won’t criticise something and ‘they’ have sold out?

              Or have you not figured out that the Left is not a homogeneous grouping?

              Did I say you said “All muslims……..?” That was the cleric I heard speak.

              But otherwise you’re right. Respect people. Don’t generalise.

              • Gosman

                What is your view on the use of the term RWNJ in relation to this debate?

              • Andy

                To me “the left” appears as a homogeneous grouping that marches to the drumbeat of political correctness.

                If you want to educate me as the nuances then I am genuinely interested,

                Since “you lot” refer to “my lot’ lumping conservatives, libertarians, classical liberals, Alt Right, paleoconservatives, neocons, centrists and who knows all into the same bucket, i.e “right wing nut jobs”, it seems only fair

                • mac1

                  Andy, there are two arguments you are using which are often used here. Both are fallacious.

                  First, “they do it too”, is not a defence. Just an admission that what you do is wrong.

                  Second, I don’t use ‘you lot’, so that is not an issue of fairness with me.

                  Right wing nut jobs don’t need me to define them. They are self-evident, as are all nut jobs. My Empire Loyalist friend from the Sixties was one. He had a friend. He believed in a thing called ‘nigger smell”! He was also a member of Right Wing groups.

                  As for educating you, try Google. It will I am sure lead you down the highways and byways of leftist politics. It is not without reason that the Monty Python skit of the People’s Front of Judea was funny and accurate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4

                  • Andy

                    Right Wing Nut Jobs are self evident.

                    Oh really, but this includes anyone including libertarians, conservatives, classical liberals, centrists and even moderate left people

                    I don’t need to “define the left” They are all the same.

                    Politically correct drones that are unthinking robots, stringing together a series of vacuous bumper sticker slogans about the “marginalised”

                    To a tee, they would all let their daughters be raped rather than offend Islam

                    Beneath contempt, all of you

      • Cinny 19.1.3

        Agent provocateur she is.

        I listened to an interview with her on radio live last week. She believes women want to stay at home and do the domestics… LMFAO…. go home darling and fold the washing then and practice what you preach.

        Wait up… isn’t that what muslim wives do anyway? Lolz oxymoron as.

        At 23 she’s still a child, and it appears she is desperate for attention.

        • Gosman

          Then allow her to speak to people. If she is an inane and irrelevant as you claim she will influence hardly anyone and certainly noone of importance.

        • Puckish Rogue

          So at 23 shes a child yet it used to be the Greens (well Sue Bradford anyway) wanted the voting age lowered to 16, thankfully reason was seen and it didn’t happen however some still think its a good idea


          • Gosman

            Yes it is hilarious that some on the left think that when a young progressive person is active in politics it speaks volumes for their maturity and intelligence and when a young right leaning person is active they are a child who needs to spend more time learning before speaking.

            • Cinny

              I did make that comment after doing a bit of reading on her. She’s desperate for attention, a childish trait.

              Possibly still bummed out from her election result…

              “In 2015, Southern was a candidate in the 2015 Canadian federal election representing the Libertarian Party in the district of Langley—Aldergrove.[13] She was briefly removed by the party as a candidate, but was eventually reinstated with support from Breitbart News and The Rebel Media.[15] The election was eventually won by Conservative candidate Mark Warawa. Southern finished last, having received 535 votes, or 0.9% of the total”

              Hey at least the people of Langley are on to her, probably heard her speak lolololz.

        • Andy

          If Lauren Southern believes that women want to stay at home and fold the washing then why is she putting herself at risk going to dangerous places in Europe, South Africa and the USA?

          She has done some good work on the Farmlands doco but apparently the rape , torture and murder of white SA farmers is of no interest to NZers because, it’s racist, or something

  20. MikeS 20

    “…is Southern intending to incite a riot is a fair one. And I think that it this is her intent.”

    You are either willfully ignorant or simply delusional.

  21. xanthe 21

    I was interested by this in your post micky. Which does not seem to be getting the discussion it deserves

    “There’s a pattern emerging. This woman, Milo, the Information Wars guy and Australia’s assortment of provocateurs have latched onto a business model. This involves calculatedly creating outrage to generate notoriety and ‘brand’ awareness. The politics is neither here nor there. ”

    This cause/outrage as business model is becoming more prevalent and is not confined to the extreme right or cam slug.

    For those who have followed the Assange case it is disturbing to see a whole industry of self promotion clickfarming and personal fundfaising that has grown online around this “cause”

    a growing trend that does not in any way contribute to dialogue, truth, or justice

    • Andy 21.1

      Why is the entire “right wing web” (i.e Youtube) just “click farming” and the leftist web (i.e a small group of tedious blogs like this and the MSM) not?

      • arkie 21.1.1

        Are you able to read before posting nonsensical misrepresentations of other peoples comments or ad hominems?

        xanthe did not say that at all, and explicitly says that this ‘click farming’ is NOT unique to the right or the left.

        I suggest you cease posting here if you find it so tedious. It would definitely reduce the tedium for the rest of us from responding to your blathering.

        • Andy

          So why is Lauren Southern “click farming” when she goes to South Africa to make a doco, yet our useless MSM just read Twitter and post it as “news”.

          People actually pay for this garbage,

          • arkie

            Time for a nap buddy, you’re sounding a little tired. You can’t follow a simple train of thought. The teddies are calling.

            • Andy

              I am interested in your thoughts on the “Jesus is a Cunt” tee shirt displayed a while back at the Canterbury Museum.

              • arkie

                Look now you’re uncessarily swearing, have a wee sleep bucko, you’ll feel more yourself after a kip.

  22. koreropono 22

    Ellie Mae O’ Hagen over at the Guardian wrote an article that discussed the ‘free speech vs hate speech’ debate that is coming up in the comments.

    In a nut shell the article argues that rather than this being a simple ‘freedom of speech’ debate, it is in fact an “ideological battle over the values that define our public sphere”. I tend to agree with her.

    O’Hagen goes on to write, “What is happening here is threefold: first, the right is so accustomed to its values dominating public discourse that many people within it have become grown-up babies who can’t bear to live in a society that isn’t constantly pandering to their sensitivities (what the writer Arwa Mahdawi describes as “populist correctness”). Second, others on the right are shrewdly exploiting the important principle of freedom of speech to ensure their ideas are the prevailing ones in society, by claiming any challenge to them as oppression. And finally, these groups are being aided and abetted by liberal dupes and cowardly university institutions, both of which are convinced that they’re engaged in an impartial debate about enlightenment values that isn’t actually taking place” I also agree with her.

    It seems that the ‘freedom of speech’ advocates are so hell bent on arguing that it is dangerous to ‘ban’ this type of speech or this type of speaker but I assume those same ‘freedom of speech’ advocates have never suffered the consequences of said hate speech.

    The long term impacts of hate speech on the targeted populations is enormous, we only have to see what is happening in Trump’s America, where such targeting made it ideologically and psychologically acceptable for people to lock babies in cages (yeah yeah I know there’s been outcry and so called turn around) but the point is that hate speech led to the acceptance and justification of this kind of behaviour.

    It is incredibly dangerous to accept hate inspired and hate inspiring speech under the guise of ‘free speech’, when that kind of speech shapes the values of society and influences the behaviour of individuals and impedes on the rights of others , it is indeed an ideological battle.


    • Gosman 22.1

      What a nonsensical argument. Challenging an idea is not the same as shutting down the possibilities for the idea to be discussed.

    • Gosman 22.2

      Can you not win an ideological battle with the power of ideas alone? Why would you require other ideas to be shut down? Are you worried they are more persuasive than your views?

      • RedLogix 22.2.1

        And deeper than this; are you so weak in your own ethical standards you’re afraid you will not recognise a bad idea when you hear one? If you do encounter something genuinely hateful and abhorrent, do you need someone else to tell you that it is so? Or will you know it for yourself?

        And then do you have the courage and conviction to confront it openly?

        • Gosman

          I think there is a fear of other people inherent in this. Other people cannot be trusted to think the ‘correct’ way and hence they need to be ‘protected’ from ‘harmful’ and ‘hateful’ opinions that may lead them (through no fault of their own of course) to support the ‘wrong’ type of politics.

      • koreropono 22.2.2

        Gosman are you not engaged in your own attempt to silence and shut down ‘free speech’ or are you simply trying to prove that your ideological view is superior to that of others?

        Regardless, this is more than a simple debate about whether or not one can win an “ideological battle with the power of ideas alone” and it is certainly not about any worry that these hate filled ideas are “more persuasive than” my own views.

        Hate speech is intended to denigrate and harm certain populations and therefore it is dangerous and should not be tolerated or given air time under the guise of “can’t you win this argument with ideas alone”. I would no more accept, and nor should any person, abuse in the context of a domestic relationship, even if said abuse is disguised as ‘freedom of speech’ or whatever you want to dress it up as. While in the context of a domestic relationship the victims of verbal/psychological abuse are limited (unless you count the generational impacts when said abuse is ‘normalised’ and that type of abuse becomes inter-generational, thus accumulating multiple victims and perpetrators.

        Hate speech, rather than targeting one or a small number of victims, extends to capture a multitude of victims. Victims who are then subject to lesser conditions, rights, or treatment because of the dehumanising impacts of hate speech. When hate speech impinges on the well-being of others, those spreading the hate speech have lost their right to ‘freedom of speech’.

        • Gosman

          How am I trying to shut down anything koreropono?

          I would like to know how you think anything I am doing here is shutting down your right to respond any way you like.

          BTW how do YOU define Hate speech ? It seems to include any activity that could be regarded as denigrating a group of people.

        • RedLogix

          Gosman are you not engaged in your own attempt to silence and shut down ‘free speech’ or are you simply trying to prove that your ideological view is superior to that of others?

          As rhetorical questions go that one plainly misdirects in the most idiotic fashion. Clearly Gosman is not silencing anyone, not even in the most indirect, obscure fashion. He is of course entitled to argue his ideology just as forcefully as you would wish to argue yours, but to conflate this with a generic notion of ‘hate speech’ is utterly wrong-headed and dangerous.

          Of course abusive, hateful and obnoxious speech exists. But using a ‘rule of law’ or some form of collective determination to ban and outlaw it is a cure far worse than the ill. The correct way to confront abusive speech is to argue clearly and openly against it, one on one, each time it raises it’s head. It’s a task that never ends, it’s tiresome, often hurtful and sometimes dangerous. But all totalitarian alternatives are far, far worse.

          About 18 years ago I spent some time working in Siberia. By the end of the post-glasnost crisis, much of Russia outside of Moscow was in dire economic straits. Objectively they were much worse off than under the Soviet era regime; yet when queried on this they consistently replied along the lines “we now have our freedom”. It was still a somewhat grim and imperfect ‘freedom’, but those who had lived through the totalitarian hell of compelled speech and thought could very much tell the difference.

          • Robert Guyton

            ” The correct way to confront abusive speech is to argue clearly and openly against it, one on one, each time it raises it’s head.”
            You encourage each and every so-called troll comment here on TS to be answered then? You feel that DNFFT is a mistaken call? The logical outcome of a policy like that would seem to be … a proliferation of well-fed trolls and exhausted and disinterested bona fide commenters.

            • RedLogix

              I’ll have to bow to your clearly greater real-world expertise at build strawmen than mine 🙂

              Several responses; there are more reasonable non-trolls here than not, we out-number them. Secondly there is no special need to respond to the obvious, blatant, boring trolls, who as you say for the most part they wither off and die given a lack of attention.

              But thirdly there are those who make an articulate, good faith argument that you REALLY disagree with. Then you do have an obligation to stand up to their argument honestly and with some courage. If you are correct you WILL prevail, at least to the extent you will be able to accurately express your argument, with clarity and persuasion.

              Obviously no-one should be out there tilting at each and every windmill, but neither can you sit back and expect some omniscient moderator to do your work for you.

              • Robert Guyton

                “If you are correct you WILL prevail, at least to the extent you will be able to accurately express your argument, with clarity and persuasion.”
                How will you know you have prevailed? Praise from the TS Council of Elders? A smiley face and an lol? Trolls bursting into tears and vowing never to return (we wish)?

                • RedLogix

                  Sorry I didn’t convey my meaning precisely there; By ‘prevail’ I don’t mean ‘winning or losing’ in the conventional sense you so rightly skewered above.

                  What I had in mind was something less direct, more a question of whether or not you have listened accurately to your opponent, done justice to your argument, whether you have thought it through clearly, mustered the data to support it, and expressed the nuances clearly.

                  Everyone knows when they’ve gotten this right, regardless of whether anyone else cheers you on or submits the tussle.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    So, RedLogix, it’s something you will know? There’s no need for feedback of any kind from the audience? Hmmmm….
                    I like how you think, only… what’s the measure, I wonder, feeling okay about what you said? Or is it a matter of mathematical certainty: I said this and this, thus…mostly I think, if there’s a feeling of wry humour, recognised by at least one other, you’ve done okay 🙂

    • Carolyn_Nth 22.3

      Thanks, koreropono.

      So much I agree with in your comment at references to the Guardian article. e.g. that those (actually not just those who locate themselves on the right, also some on the left) are very used to a dominant culture that supports their bit of status and privilege, that they accept it unquestioningly as being acceptable.

      So any challenge to the system that enables their comfortable status seems to be read as an affront to democracy, decency, freedom, civility, or however they characterise it. Except, to those suffering under this unequal system, that defense of the status quo seems like an entrenched cultural authoritarianism.

      And the second bit you mention, about the use of “freedom of speech” to claim any challenge to the prevailing social norms as being some kind of oppression. It also seems to me that, because it is an asymmetrical struggle: i.e. those favouring the persistence of the status quo tend to sit on the side of the most powerful groups in society – even if they are not aware of that bigger picture.

      There are systems, organisations and conventional(ised) practices that protect that status quo. The least powerful then sometimes resort to organised people-power to protest and resist the status quo – often using disruptive tactics that are more likely to get media attention so their views are heard in the mainstream.

      Some of those aiming to maintain and/or restore the power of the dominant groups, especially those on the right, are then resorting to similar tactics. They borrow from left wing forms of resistance, but with totally different aims and values.

      It is important to be aware of the struggle and power dynamics under the surface, and not accept the superficial appropriation of nice sounding liberal/left ideals in the service of maintaining the oppression of some sections of society. It is indeed a battle over the deeper values, policies and aims.

      • Gosman 22.3.1

        I don’t mind you challenging my World view or opinions. Indeed I positively revel in the opportunity to defend my views. What I object to, and what this argument is about, is not the challenge to people’s views. It is the attempts to shut down the debate. That is not challenging anyone. That is running away from debate.

        • Robert Guyton

          Do you invite the Jehova’s Witness be-suited bicycle-riding insisters in for a cup of tea and a chat, Gosman? Or do you run from their debate?

          • Gosman

            I enjoy chatting with them. Why do you ask?

            • Robert Guyton

              Do you defend your views when they challenge you? Or do you say, “I’m sorry, “I have to feed the chooks” and bustle them on their way?

  23. tsmithfield 23

    Southern’s motivations are largely irrelevant to the free speech debate. I agree she was stirring up controversy and aiming for clicks, so I don’t think her motivation was pure.

    However, the fact is that she confronted people with the proposition that God identifies with gay and trans people. Ordinarily, most here would applaud such a stand being taken that asserts the rights and acceptance of gays and trans people.

    The fact that people were offended by the said proposition is evidence that offending them was a good thing as some ideas need to be challenged even if that means offending people. Tip-Toeing around ideology on the excuse of not offending people is pathetic.

    Would Malala be prevented from speaking in New Zealand because she caused offence with her views and challenged the status quo?

  24. Richard Christie 24


    This is a strategic win for Southern.

    • tsmithfield 24.1

      Exactly. Publicity is her oxygen, whether good or bad.

      Freedom of speech also means freedom to ignore. If she was allowed to say what she wanted anywhere she wanted, whenever she wanted, and everyone ignored her, then she would fade into oblivion very quickly.

      • Andy 24.1.1

        Of course if someone ignores you you fade into obscurity
        But people are not ignoring her

        You could ban her instead. Oh, wait…

        • Robert Guyton

          “people are not ignoring her”
          I am.
          “You could ban her instead”
          I didn’t.

          • Andy

            No you didn’t

            Phil Goff and Immigration NZ did

            They also banned Ayaan Hirshi Ali, or at least cancelled her trip on “security grounds”

            I guess people don’t want to hear from ex-Muslims who are victims of FGM either.

            Is there a pattern here?

            • Robert Guyton

              That’s curious. I was under the impression that a visa loses it’s automatic status when it has been revoked elsewhere. No one person or organisation acted in anyway, other than to perform their legal duty. What’s making you fizz about that?

              • Andy

                Lauren Southern was banned from entering the UK because she ran a stall in Luton distributing LBGT leaflets in a Muslim area of Luton.

                This was in response to a Vice article claiming that “Jesus was gay”, in order to compare the relative tolerance of Christians and Muslims to a similar message.

                Recently, a Muslim Iman entered the UK discussing whether gays should be burned to death, thrown of buildings or have walls dropped on them.

                No issue with that by the authorities of course.

                So, the issue is one of double standards and enforcement of one of the tenets of Sharia, that one may not criticise or insult Islam at all

                These actions suggest NZ would also follow the path of the UK

                • Robert Guyton

                  She was banned from entering the UK; got that. She lost the “automatic” status of her NZ visa; read about that. Where’s the local ban you keep citing?

        • Robert Guyton

          “Of course if someone ignores you you fade into obscurity”
          Many here would like to do just that to you, Andy but clearly you know you can harp on and on and a group of individuals cannot ignore you; it’s troll-basic, making your original claim a nonsense.

          • Andy

            Which original claim is nonsense?

            NZ is enforcing Sharia blasphemy laws

            This seems very regressive to me. We should be free to criticise any ideology or religion.

            I understand that leftists don’t want to offend Muslims because they are a potentially large voting block.
            When you have no morals, no values and you live in a culturally relativist nihilist vacuum, then this is no problem if power is the only goal

            • Robert Guyton

              The claim I quoted, Andy; you claimed, ““Of course if someone ignores you you fade into obscurity” but the experience of you commenting here and that of trolls in general shows your claim to be wrong/nonsense.

      • Robert Guyton 24.1.2

        Oxygen lifeform? I sense hypoxia.

    • Andy 24.2

      Obviously, because leftists are so thick they can’t see the consequences of their own actions

      The pushback against PC is now so big it’s unstoppable

      • mac1 24.2.1

        Andy, for me, ‘PC’ is about manners and respect. It has been my noticing that when people complain about things being too ‘PC’ they are actually being checked for their lack of manners and respect.

        So if there’s a ‘pushback against PC” that is big and unstoppable, then what does that say about the ‘pushers’? Steppenwolf’s song “The Pusher”applies.

        • Andy

          Political correctness is not about manners. It is moral cowardice and mental tyranny.

          If you support FGM, child rape gangs and Sharia blasphemy law , then you are not being “polite”. You are being a moral coward. A spineless sell out.

          • arkie

            A sellout to whom?
            What are they paying?
            Is it anything like what Molyneux et al charge as speaking fees?

          • mac1

            And what have those three things to do with political correctness? Who supports those three things?

            I don’t even know what FGM is, FFS.

            But if you don’t realise how warped is your logic in that last post, then I can’t help you.

            • Gosman

              Female Genital Mutilation.

              However it is one area that there is no basis in the Islamic religion for. This is merely a cultural practice that some Muslims have adopted. That is distinct from say penalties for Apostasy which are specifically sanctioned under Sharia law

              • Angel Fish


                “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (ﷺ) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband. ”

                He doesn’t out right condemn the practice!
                Now because this is a personality cult, what he condones and condemns is essentially law and thankfully, he doesn’t oblige it which would make things severe as is the case young boys who get no protection from MGM.
                But still, his condoning of this practice means, it’s difficult to get rid of in Islam majority nations.

            • Andy

              You must have spent a long time in your safe space not to know about Female Genital Mutilation

              • Gosman

                You can’t blame this on Islam though, There is no mention of it in the Quran nor in a Hadith, nor is it part of any mainstream Sharia school as far as I know.

                • Andy

                  Gosman – I do agree with you on that. Thanks for the clarification.

                  However, women being second class citizens under Sharia is an Islamic thing.

                  • RedLogix

                    Try and keep the historic context in mind; in the context of the era Islamic Law was actually exceedingly liberal and progressive. Take for instance the oft-mentioned punishment for theft.

                    For a start the Quran demanded a certain level of evidence and testimony, for another IIRC the removal of the left hand little finger was only permitted after the the third offense. Keep in mind this was in a society with no laws, courts, police, prisons or any sense of rehabilitation. In a deeply polygamous society most young men saw crime and violence as their only option to gain status and the chance of a mate; the usual response to any hint or rumour of a theft, was for the clan to hop on their horses, chase some poor bastard down and gleefully disembowel him on the spot. Islamic Law must have looked like the ultimate piss-weak liberal wet-dream to these people.

                    And again in the context of the era, Sharia Law codifies rights and responsibilities between the genders that while way less than perfect in our eyes, was a huge advance for those who first adopted it.

                    But of course there are two big fat flies in the ointment; one is that fundamentalists over time distorted the application of the law into extremists forms, and then secondly absolutely insisted that Muhammad was the last Prophet and that His law must stand unchanged for all time. Both assumptions are wrong and the consequences of these two catastrophic mistakes are playing out in the world around us.

                    • Andy

                      Believe it or not I am open to the idea that Sharia may have been a good thing in the past. What we need are Islamic reformers that are open to change and progress in the context of society. Mostly, Christianity has adapted in this way.

                      Unfortunately Islamic critics, even those from the culture, are banned from speaking.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      This one wasn’t banned here though, was she?

                    • veutoviper

                      Excellent summary and comment, Redlogix.

                      On the subject of female genital mutilation, Gosman’s comment is a reasonable summation re Islam and in fact there are certain Christian sects that do practice this. I don’t have time to find some good links on this, but this Wikipedia item is not too bad as a starting point.


          • Gabby

            Guessing Gus!!
            Jawna Rye Sigh!!!

  25. mpledger 25

    Free speech is all about allowing people who want to say something to say it. There is nothing about a requirement of giving people access to the resources of their choosing in order to make that speech.

    Noone gives people unfettered use of tv, radio or newspapers in the name of free speech. Why should we be obliged to give people the use of other resources, such as buildings, in the name of free speech?

    • Gosman 25.1

      Agreed with you with the exception of use of public resources. If people who shared my political philosophy controlled the public sphere do you think it would be valid to deny people like you the use of publicly owned spaces just because we didn’t like your views?

  26. Dennis Frank 26

    Wikipedia: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”.

    So have we ever had a prosecution for hate speech in Aotearoa? If so, was it successful? If not, wouldn’t it have been better for us to test the law by allowing these two rightists into the country, record them doing their spiel, then get Amnesty or some other liberal organisation to take them to court on the basis that they broke our law?

    I note our ’93 act (as cited in the header essay above) also makes the publishing of insults illegal. I bet that clause has never been tested! Probably written by a liberal, eh? Insults are not only the normal way for parliamentarians to interact with one another, they’re also the usual way users of social media interact with each other. Insults are probably identifiable as a structural component of human interaction throughout history, in whatever society…

    • RedLogix 26.1

      discrimination, hostility or violence

      It pivots on the definition and scope of these three words. As an assumption, I think everyone here accepts the absolute necessity for some boundaries on free-speech. All rights exist in context with other rights, and crucially come with counterbalancing responsibilities. The question is where to draw the boundaries.

      At a minimum we can probably all agree that any form of legal compromise, ‘second classing’ of access to things like fair trial, access to education, health and commerce, etc are discriminatory.

      Again at a minimum we can pretty plain define violence as any physical act that causes personal injury or loss of property.

      Hostility is a little harder to define; but clearly inciting act’s like spitting on someone, expressing open hatred, contempt and abuse are usually can usually be determined in any given context.

      Given that freedom of speech is an exceedingly valuable right, not just for individuals, but for the health of society as a whole, it’s reasonable that any curtailment of this right should have to leap over a pretty damned high threshold. The problem we frequently encounter is that under the guise of ‘fairness, justice and general niceness’ the threshold gets lowered. The idea becomes that if some forms of discrimination are arbitrary and unreasonable, then no discrimination at all must the best solution. That any expression of dislike must be guarded against less it is deemed ‘hostile’, and the term ‘violence’ is spread around so thinly that every corner of human experience is smeared with it.

      It isn’t an easy conversation, and I think we should accept at the outset, different people will want to draw the lines along somewhat different borders; but we can reasonably discuss how the map is laid out and where the optimum locations might be.

      • Dennis Frank 26.1.1

        Yeah, all that seems reasonable. Consensus could be made to gell accordingly, I suspect. The problem I’m having with the issue now seems to hinge on the extent to which the law is an ass, or a liberal pretence (if you prefer) or merely a hazy guideline yet to be codified via actual court decisions.

        My observation of the culture of lawyers is that until you get a body of case law established for practitioners to argue in court on the basis thereof, any legislation that attempts to implement the idealism of a portion of the electorate is effectively provisional – merely a pipedream semblance of law.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          “Consensus”? – that suggests the possibility of a tyranny of the majority. And that can be influenced by who has most access to public platforms.

          And a tyranny of a majority of neighbours (who may have considered themselves to be acting on some sort of local consensus) can lead to this awful situation in Auckland, as reported a couple of days ago.

          A young Muslim family, including an 11-month-old daughter, have been hounded out of their Auckland home by racist neighbours.

          The situation smacked of the life-threatening discrimination that forced them to flee Afghanistan as refugees in 2014.

          But as verbal abuse and physical threats from neighbours intensified over the past year, they said they have felt increasingly unsafe here.

          And HRC says that:

          Unfortunately, racism and discrimination continue to be experienced here in New Zealand. On average, the Human Rights Commission receives 400 racism related complaints a year. Many more go unreported.”

          In such matters, especially when it impacts on minority groups, the measure of the law should be on the harm caused. And, yes majority views will have an impact, but, in the short term it can mean a smaller group of relatively powerless people standing up to the spread of such hate speech.

          • Andy

            I don’t condone the bullying of the Muslim family at all.

            It is disgraceful behaviour

            However, the downside of suppressing free speech is that it amplifies the real bigots and nutters because they have no voice.

          • RedLogix

            In such matters, especially when it impacts on minority groups, the measure of the law should be on the harm caused.

            Pivoting exactly on what is meant by ‘harm caused’. I’ll put this bluntly, by themselves hurt feelings don’t count … at least not in law. They do matter socially, they do matter in the interactions of individuals and each of us can be accountable for the consequences when we get it wrong.

            But the law is a very powerful tool. Essentially society works because we individually cede our personal resort to violence and grant a monopoly to the state. It is the state that writes law, employs police who can enter your home and arrest you, and a justice system that can publicly prosecute, shame and imprison you. This should power should never be trifled with, and we should always use the least amount of it necessary to get the job done. Otherwise yes it does degenerate into a “tyranny of the majority”.

            But people get hurt feelings all the time, social media should have taught us this if nothing else. It’s 100% certain that everytime anyone posts a comment here on anything of substance … someone will be offended. How is the law supposed to deal with this in a manner that does not in itself degenerate into another kind of tyranny?

            Again I agree there are boundaries, as I tried to outline above. But for the most part, using the law to define and restrain “hateful speech”, is a dubious idea at best.

            • tsmithfield

              You talk a lot of good sense Red Logix.

              My concern is about the overwhelming urge by many to avoid any communication that might cause another group offence.

              Sometimes when important issues are raised, those at fault will be offended. That is an unavoidable consequence.

              A good example is Malala who offended some to the extent that an attempt was made on her life, and she will likely be killed if she returns to Pakistan.

              But the issues she was raising around education for girls was well worth the offence caused.

              I think that causing offence is an important part of free speech. As is the right of others to criticise if the person is being a dick.

      • Andy 26.1.2

        No one has actually stated what the offensive speech is, since it hasn’t happened yet and Southern and Molyneux speak on a number of issues

        (Molyneux produces at least one video a day of an hour or more duration. Mostly interviews with others. Many with different views to him)

        So do we ban people because we might hurt someone’s feelings beforehand?

        • Robert Guyton

          Being late to the discussion, Andy, I am labouring under the impression that the person in question wasn’t banned at any point; her visa application was invalid, the venue was made unavailable – have I got those things correct?

          • Andy

            Lauren Southern has been denied a visa. I am not sure about Molyneux

            Southern was held at Calais by UK border police under terrorism related laws because she was in Luton distributing LBGT leaflets claiming that “Allah is Gay” as a “social experiment”

            • Robert Guyton

              Here in NZ though, Andy; the “automatic” nature of her visa was invalid; is that correct? Did she take the next step of applying for a visa?

              • Andy

                I am not familiar with the fine details of the visa issue. They key point is that Phil Goff has publicly stated that these two are not welcome

                He is a man who used his rights of “free speech” to spit in the faces of returning Vietnam soldiers, yet he caves to the bullying of a small group of SJWs, which seems to be a growing issue .

                • Robert Guyton

                  “I am not familiar with the fine details of the visa issue.”
                  Really? It’s easy to find reports and you seem to be up on the “fine details” of just about everything else under the sun!
                  Are you saying Goff’s not free to offer his opinion? It may be he’ll have to/perhaps/maybe face consequences for his action of making the venue unavailable, but expressing his opinion? Don’t you champion that? Expressing your view about his past behaviour toward other groups seems…ironic. As for this issue being a “growing” one, I can see from what I’ve read here that your intention is to give that impression, repeat it endlessly and make it a “fact”; if some naive blogger reader like me can see it, I’ll bet it’s very obvious to everyone else.

                  • Andy

                    I’m still at a loss to know who has been offended by these crazy libertarian types.

                    What specific things did they say, other than “Allah is Gay”?
                    if the Canterbury Museum can run an exhibition featuring a “Jesus is a Cunt” Tee Shirt, this seems fairly mild in comparison

                    What specific message is the Canterbury Museum trying to convey with the “Jesus is a Cunt” message?
                    The use of the present tense suggests the resurrection perhaps?
                    I can’t find any Biblical references to Cuntish behaviour.
                    Do you have any understanding of Biblical Cunt Theology Robert?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Andy – your intent is to shock. You are … boring.

                    • Andy

                      Robert Guyton,

                      Your intent is to be boring. I checked out your blog and you are possibly the most boring beige blogger I have come across

                      Your supercilious tedious holier than thou attitude so so typical of NZ leftists of a certain age. So utterly convinced in their moral superiority than you drip sanctimony from every limp orifice you have still functioning in your ageing body

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Andy, that’s sweet of you. My daughter calls my blog, “Pretty useless things” and I concur. But, you know, there’s magic in the ordinary. That you can’t see that doesn’t surprise me one little bit; “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
                      And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
                      Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
                      And Eternity in an hour”
                      and all that, lost completely on you, it would seem.
                      Your tone has… acidified? Not playing the reasonable guy tonight?
                      Nevermind, there’s always tomorrow and another opportunity to occupy the TS space, peddling your stuff. Age shaming? It’s so …old, Andy.

                    • Andy []

                      Robert Guyton

                      Today is looking good for skiing
                      In the meantime, if you wish to be a sanctimonious prick then I will respond in kind

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Sanctimony, Andy? Will you fake it, or play it straight. Lets see what you’ve got. Once you’ve come in off the slopes and peeled off your ski-suit, that is.

                • Gabby

                  Second time you told that lie andee boy. Third time makes it true what what?

          • Carolyn_Nth

            It looks like an Auckland event was tagged on to an Aussie focused series of events. The organisers didn’t seem terribly interested in finding an alternative venue to the original council one.

  27. millsy 27

    Ironically, most of what Moylenux, Southern and Peterson envision in their ideal society can be found in the Islamic states that they hate so much.

    • Andy 27.1

      I was wondering when the staff would let Millsy out for his evening stroll in the grounds

      On which planet do free thinking classical liberals want to live under Sharia Law? Planet Millsy would be my guess

  28. Koreropono 28

    The following linked article supports why freedom from hate is more important than allowing hate speech under the guise of freedom of speech.


    • RedLogix 28.1

      I’ve no interest or knowledge of Southern and Molyneaux and I’ve no desire to defend them specifically; but overall Bashir’s article largely addresses the question of Islam and it’s reception in the West.

      The core problem here is ignorance; most Westerners know little about Islam, nor had any personal interaction with the faith on its own terms. As a consequence we tend to fall prey to one of two types of error, one in which we uncritically swallow all manner of bigoted nonsense about Islam, the other where we naively underestimate the very real differences in world views and how unconstrained immigration from Islamic countries might eventually dismantle our Western civilisation.

      As a consequence steering a middle path between a fundamental respect for the Faith of more than a billion people, and a sane cautionary attitude is not easy. Some years back I was close to a number of people in the Baha’i Faith, a religion originating within Islam in the 1900’s but now quite widespread throughout the world. These people generally know far more about Islam than the average westerner, and have an intimate knowledge of it’s dark side. As a matter of respect I’ve never repeated some of the first hand stories I was told, and I’m not going to start now. Suffice to say, it utterly baffles me how the left wingers here, especially the strongly pro-feminists, are so closely aligned with and protective of a culture utterly at odds with their own professed values.

      Let me be utterly clear, our tolerant ‘freedom of expression’ culture, where everyone has an unalienable right to their religion and culture, is absolutely NOT reciprocated when you live in an Islamic country. When in the Middle East as an ex-pat you’ll likely be permitted some minor latitude around alcohol, sex, clothing etc as long as you do it out of sight and don’t annoy anyone. But God forbid you do anything in public they do not like, or challenge someone powerful. Very quickly you will discover real intolerance, and it’s much worse than an unpleasant remark in a shop trust me.

      Nor does Islam have any sense of separation between church and state; they may operate in distinct realms, but there is no barrier between them. Power and authority flows smoothly between them in a manner we would find utterly wrong.

      Worse still, while Islamic clergy may express some degree of tolerance towards Jews and Christians, (People of the Book) … anyone else really is an infidel. Especially the Baha’is who are regarded as apostates. The Prophet is regarded as bringing the final and absolute Word of God forever, Islam as expressed in the seventh century literature is the ideal and permanent form of faith for all humanity. The ultimate, logical goal that falls from this insistence must be a global Caliphate enduring forever.

      Of course most believers are ordinary people who just want to get on with a quiet life, socialise with their community and can’t be bothered with all this totalitarian malarkey. Many Islamic clergy are genuinely peaceful, decent people who guide their communities wisely. Most moderate Muslims, lead admirable, principled lives, guided by a deep faith which many in the West could well learn from. If only that was the whole story I’d not be writing this comment.

      Superficially this alliance between radical elements of the left, and a radicalised Islamic influx is utterly confounding. They appear to share nothing obvious in common, yet over and again we find the western left defending them against all apparent logic. So what does energise this alliance? The answer is hidden in plain sight I think; it’s what they both hate.

  29. When the self appointed arbiters of free speech decide what the population should hear, and what they shouldn’t…. it’s yet another step backwards for all of us.
    The Mayor of Auckland should hang his head in shame. It is a disgraceful action.

    • Carolyn_Nth 29.1

      So much wrong for your statement.

      Goff is neither self appointed (he was elected), nor taking some arbitrary action. According to my research, Goff acted well within the Bill of Rights Act, The Human Rights Act, and Auckland Council policy.

      Read and learn.

      Goff was elected to lead council in accordance with it’s policies. And it is not just about free speech, but acting in accordance with a “free and democratic society”.

      Goff has said the Canadians can hold their event somewhere else in Auckland, but not at a council venue.

      • PaulMartinson 29.1.1

        The mayor wasn’t elected to decide what folk should hear in a public debate.
        I would have liked to debate Lauren myself. She is completely loopy and misguided in my view but preventing her from speaking at this venue is no different to the censorship the Sturmabteilung applied to artists, socialists and Jewish people whose views they vehemently disagreed with in 1939.

        The HRC has very little power and with its own internal problems it appears rather conflicted and hypocritical in so may things let alone in this statement “…excite hostility or ill-will against, or bring into contempt or ridicule, any group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons,” . What on earth do they mean by race here? Its a meaningless word. It has no basis in taxonomy or biology or genetics. Ive actually asked them what the word means and they cannot explain citing the U.N that can no longer define the word either. Yet they still use it in the most dangerous and provocative way.

        The real issue is imo ; One of the most important freedoms we have is to mock and ridicule. Without it comedy would die. There would be no Monty pythons flying circus for example. Where religion is concerned, mockery and critique is essential to containing it.
        “Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things…one of the beginnings of the human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority, its indispensable” ~Christopher Hitchens [RIP Hitch]

      • PaulMartinson 29.1.2

        ps; why isn’t neuroscientist and prominent atheist Sam Harris being banned from visiting NZ [for consistency sake]? Isn’t he coming to Auckland soon? He openly talks about his ridiculous and anachronistic idea that race and IQ are linked. He once said Muslims specifically could be profiled at airports to avoid wasting time. He criticizes Islam ad infinitum and is basically only different to Lauren Southern by being a democrat. It seems a persons politics matters more.

  30. Angel Fish 30

    “Most people agree that the right to freedom of speech is not an absolute one and that a line should be drawn”

    It’s irrelevant what most people think when it comes to issues of human rights.
    Not so longer the majority did not care for same sex marriage and it didn’t matter because on principle, same sex marriage is perfectly fine.

    Likewise here. It’s irrelevant that you assume that they have intents of starting a riot because you are not the fucking arbiter on these matters.
    No one is, it’s a universal right afforded to us and you stand to be nothing more than a degenerate fascist by trying to silence someone.

  31. R.P Mcmurphy 31

    who isx she to use the royal WE pray tell? she is a trouble maker and rabblerouser and this quote fits her: “The MOB find their private benefit in the public disorder and prefer the favour of a tyrant to the inexorable quality of the laws.”

  32. Ken Allan 32

    Whenever the far-left shoot down in flames anything they don’t want to hear, they use a range of standard terms in their rhetoric. They are: hate speech, racist, bigotry and a raft of synonyms for the word ‘repugnant’. They use these terms as if they are stating facts but they are not stating facts. They are using subjective statements, many of which are in grey areas within a continuum that stretches to nothing at all. This gives the far-left the power that they clamour for, and that is the power of control. They want everyone to be forced to be in step with them.

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