The free speech coalition that is actually quite expensive

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, July 11th, 2018 - 168 comments
Categories: don brash, human rights, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Don Brash judgment

The free speech coalition has appeared, with one purpose and one purpose only, to make sure that the voices of extreme right wing bigots are heard.

Their fundraising prowess is admirable.  They were able to raise $50,000 towards legal fees for a possible court case in only one day.

Their sense of economics is not so admirable, they could hire any number of private facilities for extended periods of time for a lot less than this.  Why not spend the money on expensive lawyers instead, especially if they can possibly cause political damage to Auckland’s labour aligned mayor.

Those involved have a certain, ahem, pedigree.  But not the sort that would make me think they are logical guardians of our rights to free speech.

There is Don Brash, whose commitment to the freedom of the publication of ideas is such that he once took out a preemptive injunction trying to stop the publication of Nicky Hager’s book Hollow Men.

And he is also totally opposed to the use of Maori.  Freedom of speech as long as it is not about him and is in English.

There is Michael Bassett who is an unreformed Rogernome and who still chips at Labour ever chance that he gets

There is also Ashley Church who thinks that white male privilege is not a real thing.

Also Dr. David Cumin  who thought that the New Zealand supported UN resolution on Palestine at the end of last year unfairly demonised Israel and who opposes “hateful” graffiti that attacks Israel.  Anti Israeli graffiti clearly for him is not the exercise of free speech.

There is Melissa Derby who opposed changing the law so that hate speech against Muslim immigrants could be targeted on the grounds that it was discriminating against Maori.  No I can’t work this out either.

There is Stephen Franks, a former ACT MP and Lawyer whose political campaign team was once implicated in the tearing down of posters containing messages they did not like.

There is AUT professor Paul Moon who thinks that opposing hate speech is damaging to free speech.  At least he is being consistent.

And there is Lindsay Perigo who does not like people exercising their right to free speech on radio stations if they have a kiwi accent.

There is Rachel Poulain who I have never heard of.

Chris Trotter is there.  His commitment to principle is admirable but freedom of speech is only one of a number of important rights and the extreme right use it to attack other rights.

And there is Jordan Williams.  He has some history.  He did not like it when Eleanor Catton criticised National and is not happy about Colin Craig exercising his right to free speech and say not very nice things about Williams.

And where were all these people when Bob Jones was firing legal letters at others who were exercising their rights to free speech?

Their job?  To defend the right of free speech of Lauren Southern.  Someone who says things like this:

And this:

[Adolph Hitler was] just an SJW [social justice warrior] who happened to get a freaky amount of power.”

She does not appear to have a huge commitment to the rights of others.

And as pointed out by Brian Rudman in the Herald the commitment of the organisers of Southern’s tour to freedom of speech is not that good either.

Rudman writes:

I find it droll, that the “freedom of expression” – loving promoter, banned from Auckland Council venues by Mayor Phil Goff, employs the same sort of censorship tactics they’re berating the mayor for using against them.

The “Australia is at a Crossroads” tour brochure, which has the Auckland event tagged onto the end of a list of Australian state capitals, includes the terms and conditions for those paying $86 plus to attend.

The first is that promoter, Axiomatic Media Pty Ltd “reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone.” Then to make doubly sure only like-minded groupies attend, it adds “if someone is deemed to be a risk or disturbance and is asked to leave who has already entered the event, they shall not be entitled to any refund.”

In other words, even for organiser, Australian Christian fundamentalist, Dave Pellowe, who is now calling for lovers of free speech “to stand up and fight back, before it is taken away for ever,” such rights are not absolute. Not when he’s hiring the hall for his Alt-Right circus act at any rate.

He, rather sensibly, doesn’t want mayhem to break out in his meetings. So he’s signalling he’ll toss any dissidents out who might want to exercise their freedom of expression and heckle, or otherwise enter into debate.

Dovil has the best description of what is happening.

Get ready for the court case.

168 comments on “The free speech coalition that is actually quite expensive”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Sherrifs.

  2. corodale 2

    “There is Melissa Derby who opposed changing the law so that hate speech against Muslim immigrants could be targeted on the grounds that it was discriminating against Maori. No I can’t work this out either.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Mauii the Polynesian sailor who fished up the North Island actually an immigrant from Alexander the Great’s Arabia, some few thousand years ago? Like some Maori actually are related back to the Muslims? Some of those lighter skinned and sometimes red haired Maori folk.

    • marty mars 2.1

      I’m correcting you – you are wrong.

      • corodale 2.1.1

        Ok, Maori as Muslim might be a over stretching it. And I’m sure the Chinese will have already have calmed Maori as theirs.

        But I did see a NZ documentary (who remembers the name of it?) with a red-haired Maori lady, who said her ancestors come from Persia, she even had a DNA test to prove it.
        And the genetics of the Maori rat show that it was in NZ for a good two thousand years, not one thousand. Official history is bent to pacify the Christians and Emperialists.
        Yeah, seems Maui really did command a fleet from Alexander the Great, but he remained in the Islands rather than sailing under South America and back home as planned.

    • Gosman 2.2

      Eh????

      Even if they were linked to people in the middle east (which arguable most people outside Africa are) it was well before Islam was even invested. They are no more descended from Muslims than NZ was settled by EU citizens in the 19th Century.

    • Brigid 2.3

      So having red hair or being ‘lighter’ skinned, (lighter than what?) suggests Arab ancestry?
      I don’t think so.
      And ‘Alexander the Great’s Arabia’ What?

    • Stuart Munro 2.4

      The origin of the Pacific peoples is usually traced back to the Malayopolynesian expansion, in which more mobile coastal peoples, genetically those from what is now Taiwan, were pushed out by the expansion of the wet rice growing Mandala cultures.

      These peoples moved down through Malaysia, sailed west as far as Madagascar, settled Indonesia and coastal New Guinea, and expanded east across the North Pacific, then west through the south Pacific to New Zealand. All that took 4-5000 years. Alexander didn’t really have much to do with it.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.5

      Like some Maori actually are related back to the Muslims?

      The banning may be a bit OTT but she has a point:

      Ban immigration for people who still think Islam is a race

  3. roy cartland 3

    Wow the things people will throw their money at ostensibly for the benefit of all of us. Are those people’s right to speak on public property really the most important thing to fundraise for right now?

    • Stuart Munro 3.1

      The nutty Right is betting on scaring up some deplorables to prop up the flaccid Gnats like Dali’s sticks.

    • Gosman 3.2

      Do you not think the right to free speech is important enough to campaign on?

      • Stuart Munro 3.2.1

        Neither this pair nor the people supporting them are sincerely interested in protecting rights of any kind. Because their interest is not sincere their pretense need not be humoured indefinitely.

        Can free speech be made a wedge issue to attack the coalition? Maybe. Need we tolerate foreign provocateurs? Nope.

  4. Penny Bright 4

    “The free speech coalition has appeared, with one purpose and one purpose only, to make sure that the voices of extreme right wing bigots are heard.“

    That is just BULLSHIT Greg.

    Which section of which Act gives Auckland Mayor Phil Goff the LAWFUL right to deny access to Auckland Council facilities?

    The precedent this creates, IMO, is appalling.

    I support the Free Speech Coalition and this upcoming Judicial Review.

    #WhosNext

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Tena koe Penny. Hope you are getting better.

      Section 61 of the Human Rights Act which says this:

      “61 Racial disharmony
      (1) 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.”

      We are talking about someone who thought Hitler was a SJW and who opposed refugees being rescued.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        The Hitler comment wasn’t supportive of Hitler more attacking SJW’s. I have seen similar attacks here against the National party and it’s supporters.

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.1

          She also said this about Hitler:

          “Oh and another problem I have with Hitler? He fawned over Muslims more sycophantically than Justin Trudeau. Bibi Netanyahu was right to point out that Hitler decided on the Holocaust partly because Middle Eastern Muslims told him they didn’t want Jews expelled into the region.”

          She has some strange views. Having said that I agree that she may not have been supportive of him. But she seems to be criticising him not because he killed millions of innocent people but rather because he was too left wing.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1

            Yes she is guilty of equating support for Muslim’s and people who she classifies as SJW’s with Hitler. Frankly this is a ridiculous comparison. However I see similar stuff on this site all the time MS in the comments section. Don’t try and deny that either because people do make that comparison with elements of the right and you know it.

          • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1.2

            Could be because Hitler began his political career as an activist in the German Workers Party (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Workers%27_Party). Most people consider political parties established by workers to be left-wing, so she was telling the historical truth, right?

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Do you understand the term wolf in sheep’s clothing?

              Goff is in Labour and was even a Labour MP but he’s definitely right-wing.

              • Matthew Whitehead

                It’s like he didn’t even read the page. Relevant material about the party’s ideology:

                anti-Semitic, nationalist, anti-capitalist, and anti-Marxist ideas

                Also:

                Further in an attempt to make the party more broadly appealing to larger segments of the population, the DAP was renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) on February 24.

                Fascists have always insisted on whatever name makes them most popular.

      • Penny Bright 4.1.2

        I look forward to this Judicial Review.
        (And I am feeling better – thank you Greg 🙂

      • Mickysavage, the human rights act is toothless and confused in its wording. It should be rewritten completely .If you ask the HRC to define what they mean by the word ‘race’ for example, they will lecture you on how there is no race in human taxonomy, its a construct etc and then cite the UN which cannot define the word either. This is a least true but their continued use of the word and the concept ‘racial disharmony’ is completely daft given we have no races. It makes them a very dangerous and provocative commission in my view . Remember we recently had a minister of the crown state NZ board rooms had too many people of the wrong skin tone yet the HRC did nothing…and stated it had no powers to do anything.

        • Hanswurst 4.1.3.1

          This is a least true but their continued use of the word and the concept ‘racial disharmony’ is completely daft given we have no races.

          I think it makes sense, however, that fomenting disharmony on the basis of constructs that exist only in our traditions, and chiefly in the realms of cultural prejudice, is a more dangerous and unseemly pursuit than doing so based on real scientific evidence.

          Race, like God, does not need to exist in order for people to make a problem out of it.

      • Rachel 4.1.4

        Actually, I’d like an answer to Penny’s question. “Which section of which Act gives Auckland Mayor Phil Goff the LAWFUL right to deny access to Auckland Council facilities?”

        • lprent 4.1.4.1

          The crimes and summary offenses acts for a starter. Just about every commercial act will as well. Most of the council facilities are public spaces. They are private facilities held by the council on behalf of the direct and indirect rate payers of the Auckland city. They all have closing times. They have rules about their use. And they have requirements all the way through our legal system requiring that the council use them responsibly.

          Perhaps you should frame this the other way. What part of which Act or even what remaining part of our common law not covered by legislation demands that I, as a rate payer of Auckland, have to provide a venue for idiots like you who apparently don’t understand basic legal principles. What laws are you relying upon?

          FFS: Even the NZ Bill of Rights Act has nothing in there requiring “free speech” in any capacity. It contains a freedom of expression (s14)

          Freedom of expression
          Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

          These are things that can be done in your own home. They don’t provide a “LAWFUL right” for my facilities (as a current ratepayer) to be used for fuckwits from out of town to exclude me.

          There is nothing in there that says that the councils or the government must provide bigots a place to speak whilst excluding those that they didn’t want to speak. The terms and conditions of these arsehole “free speech” advocates from Canada were appalling. They reserved the right to exclude anyone that they didn’t want in the Bruce Mason.

          I really detest lazy hypocrites like you proclaim a “right” and then neither bother to look at the underlying basis for that “right” nor get upset that the “right to free speech” comes with limitations to others doing the same thing.

    • cleangreen 4.2

      100% Penny,

      Freedom has no bounds toward everyone here, and if denied it is not freedom at all.

      Remember Jacinda said at the Auckland Town hall speech before the election; – “Everyone will have a voice and be heard”?

      These two should be able to use the Auckland Town hall if choosen, – or has National flogged this historic building off too?

      I remember when I was a kid of 4yrs old born in Auckland being taken to this hall to see 1950’s blockbuster movies.

      • solkta 4.2.1

        When spelt with one “e” it’s not freedom either.

        • paul andersen 4.2.1.1

          the other :e: was sold off in a hostile takeover by a merchant banker, apparentley the pr line was that by privatising the “e”, it would perform better, last seen working on the streets dressed as a hypen…..

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.3

      Actually the council has a presumptive legal right to deny access to a venue on these grounds- there is no firm legal understanding that political discrimination under BORA would cover this situation, and expression in New Zealand is regulated, not free out of principle like it is in the US. It’s possible that the principles regulating expression don’t extend as far as Goff would like them to, but it’s also quite possible he’s acted completely lawfully. I would be highly doubtful this challenge will go anywhere.

      Now, whether that’s right in the first place is another matter. My personal feeling is that freedom of speech is best as a negative right, not a positive one- that is, the government itself can’t take away your freedom to speak, but it also can’t be compelled to give someone a platform to ensure they can speak. These white supremacists can always get on a soapbox if they’re really so keen on being heard, or shell out their $50k for another venue, assuming there’s one that’s willing to take them. (Ironically, Stephen Frank, who thinks that flag-burning isn’t expression, appears to think it’s a positive right and that there is a duty to ensure that platforms are available to every nutter who wants one, but then again, what else do you expect from an ACT MP but entitlement to attention?)

      There’s also an issue of freedom of association here. Compelling the council to provide a venue to white supremacists is effectively compelling the voters of Auckland (through their council) to associate with them, so it’s not even a straightforward issue of freedom of expression like you’d perhaps think.

    • esoteric pineapples 4.4

      Good on you Penny for being so forthright in your views. That makes two of us.

    • Paul Wiggins 4.5

      The council governance rules are online and answer your question. The key matter neglected in press reports is that the mayor acted after advice from officials.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Nah … polarising the free speech principle is an extremely bad move mickey. You know perfectly well the core idea, that free speech is not free unless you are willing to defend it for those expressing opinions you do not agree with.

    We have a perfectly adequate set of HRC tools to deal with the most egregious cases of neo-nazi nuttery, but the goal should be to use them as sparingly as possible … not to allow ourselves to be goaded into increasing over-reach.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      The free speech argument keeps getting me to rethink my view.

      This post is all about the politics and motivation of the free speech coalition. If they came out and fought for Renae Maihi I would think much more favourably about them.

      As it is there is a power imbalance, huge resources to protect the rights of someone who engages in monetised hate speech, much less for and considerable against a Maori woman who calls out Bob Jones for some pretty appalling comments.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Her case is exactly how the situation should have been handled. These people should be allowed to come and talk here and if they breach the law then the law should be used to deal with that outcome.

        What would be similar is if this new group actually funded the legal defence of the speakers AFTER they were charged with something.

        • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1

          Leaders do sometimes use their judgement to protect those they have been chosen by. Goff made a call, as leaders are want to do and I hope he gains from doing so. Acting early is often a good way to avert trouble, rather than mopping-up afterwards. This Taxpayer’s Onion-led brouhaha looks self-serving and mean-spirited to me.

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1

            Goff has allowed his opponents something to sink their teeth in to. Frankly he is an idiot for allowing himself to be drawn in to this situation which could very well have never become an issue for him if they were denied entry to NZ (which would still have been wrong).

            • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you mean “fangs”, Gosman. Goff may well be enjoying the “issue” – he’ll be seen as strong and decisive by all but the “Don Brash” supporters in Auckland and may well come out of this smelling of roses – I reckon he will and already is. He said, no thanks to some unpleasant people and more of those, rich and right-wing, have risen up (I see a crypt) to “have a go” at our local hero; that’s how it will look, anyway, in my view.

              • Gosman

                I think you overestimate the number of people who are pleased Goff took this decision. Most people won’t care and (rightly or wrongly) will only see Goff abusing his power to stop people he doesn’t like from speaking at a public venue.

        • woodart 5.1.1.2

          they are allowed to come and talk here. they are quite free to hire a private facility and hope for some protesters to show up so they can film it and play the victims of nasty left wingers. thats what this whole whingefest is All ABOUT. nothing to do with free speech. anybody with half a brain should be able to figure this out. its all about playing the victim…. these wankers need oxygen and if NOT given it , they will phuck off back under their rocks….

          • patricia bremner 5.1.1.2.1

            Blonde in a pose with a gun, an automatic gun. Provocateur!!
            Not society building!! Wanting attention. They just stir imo.

      • RedLogix 5.1.2

        Nothing comes for free; free speech DOES mean tolerating low grade piss-takes like Jone’s “Maori Gratitude Day”. (I didn’t like it, and I think Jones exhibited poor judgement in writing it. But let me put it this way … if that is to be labelled “appalling”, what word should we use for say … the treatment of Kurdish women captured by ISIS? Or any number of other real atrocities I could point at?) So yes I agree there is, oddly enough, a cost for ‘free speech’.

        But much, much worse than stupidities like Jones’, is a society that creeps down the path of both openly and covertly silencing opinions because we label them unsafe or dangerous. Rapidly it becomes a very bad habit; because if one group can play that game so can another.

      • Pat 5.1.3

        3 posts on the same topic in 3 days indicates quite some concern…a question?

        What is the worst you fear would happen should this pair be allowed to speak here?

      • Michelle 5.1.4

        Many of the people supporting these haters are in my view nothing but a bunch of f… n hypocrites we don’t need people like them here we have enough of our own problems. More hate, more anger, more divisiveness, more vile nastiness towards others and all for the sake of freedom of speech when it suits. Based on the list supporting this it looks like some of these people have their own personal vendettas and money still talks. Most people that come here to our country irrespective of there ethnicity or religion come here for a better life leave them alone .

    • Matthew Whitehead 5.2

      Except nobody is arresting them for their speech, Red, so this isn’t an issue of freedom of expression, it’s an issue that they feel entitled to be granted a platform. Those are fundamentally different things. If, for instance, the editors here at this blog refuse to publish a guest post, are they inhibiting freedom of expression? Because that’s the road we’re going down if we say these white supremacists are entitled to a venue.

      It’s if their immigration request is denied that we’re really inhibiting freedom of expression, and personally I think the right balance is to let them into the country, but to hound them out of any venue that isn’t owned by a fellow white supremacist. They can talk on the street for all I care, and that is all that freedom of expression really requires.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        I haven’t really thought much about the difference between freedom of expression and freedom of platform. I tend to think there isn’t much difference really. Two examples come to mind.

        The first the situation in the USA where if you want to organise a street protest you’re likely to find yourselves allocated a wire cage located in the middle of nowhere where you can ‘protest’ in utter futility to your heart’s content. Sure you’ve been allowed freedom of expression, but the denial of an effective platform has rendered the first right toothless.

        Another might be the “Madonna in a Condom” controversy that Te Papa leapt headfirst into as a opening PR stunt. On one hand no-one was denying the artist the right to concoct this provocative little piece, yet it only gained any significance because Te Papa gave it a platform. Mouldering away in some minor gallery or workshop it would have meant nothing.

        So I’d argue that freedom of expression and platform are closely entwined and while they are useful aspects to think about, de-coupling them altogether is pointless.

        Of course the private owners of any given ‘platform’ have every right to determine what expression they permit. In the case of TS there has been a long-standing commitment to a fairly broad expression of left wing ideas, and permitting a commentary that excludes only the legally dangerous and blatantly bigoted.

        Publicly owned platforms are in a less clear position. There is no apriori reason for them to deny access on the basis of content. For every member of the public who may object to a speaker, there may well be another who wants to hear what they have to say. Again there will be extreme cases who fall foul of our HRC laws and other legal constraints, but as others have discussed, the legal case is not open and shut.

        • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.1.1

          A street is a public place, which is where freedom of expression lives. A venue is a private place, where freedom of association is far more relevant. Your point about free speech zones would be a good one, if we were excluding them from a venue that was public. What we have is instead a private venue with local ownership, which is a pretty different thing.

          I think they are closely related, but what we’re talking about here is whether the right to a platform is positive. (central government can and must compel local government and other organizations to provide one) or negative. (it can’t be taken away by central and/or local government) If we say that right is positive, TS could be in a position where it’s no longer free to disassociate from right-wing thought like it always has, depending on how strong that positive right is determined to be. A positive right to a platform is just as slippery a slope as restrictions on free speech are, because it is the erosion of freedom of association, which is just as critical a political right.

          I would disagree that publicly owned premises have no reason to deny access. There are plenty of valid reasons, including that there is expectation of security for attendees, but the most important one is this: the council has a duty to promote democratic norms, and should have a right to deny a venue to groups that are explicitly anti-democratic.

          • RedLogix 5.2.1.1.1

            TS could be in a position where it’s no longer free to disassociate from right-wing thought like it always has, depending on how strong that positive right is determined to be

            Using your terminology, TS is a private venue in a public setting, offering freedom of association via pseudo-anonymity. It’s something only the internet could have enabled on such a scale, but it’s why private property rights actually matter. (Much as some closet marxists here would be grind their teeth at the thought.)

          • Pat 5.2.1.1.2

            Anti democratic?….what groups may that include?

            • Matthew Whitehead 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Very few. Off the top of my head, I can only think of the supporters of these jokers and perhaps the National Front.

              • RedLogix

                Precisely how do you see Southern and Molyneaux as being ‘anti-democratic’? I’m genuinely curious. I’ve watched one youtube of Southern speaking to the situation in South Africa, but there was nothing in that which seem overtly fascist or anti-democratic.

              • Pat

                I’d suggest the most anti democratic aspect of this affair is the attempt to silence the views of a sector of the electorate….something rightly railed against in the past.

                That is the anti democracy and why it is struggling.

  6. Ed1 6

    Were there any problems with the Australian events? – either of interest to the law regarding violence in protests or in ejecting those not wanted by the organisers? I can understand a venue operator not wanting to make a loss on an event that appears likely to result in additional costs – but perhaps the answer would have been to increase the fee . . .

    In some ways the “free speech coalition” may be setting themselves up for future problems by supporting the expression of minority opinions . . .

    • You_Fool 6.1

      Don’t have a link on me, but I am pretty sure they were denied visas (or at least Southern was because she had been denied a visa in the UK)

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Interesting, eh? Just as if our public servants are required to conform to some group-think rule and obediently do just as the UK govt tells them. Did they not get sent to the sovereignty 1.01 class as part of their training, or does the idea that we are an independent country still seem too radical to take seriously?

        • Michelle 6.1.1.1

          We still fly the union jack Mr frank despite the 24 million dollar referendum.
          And is this really about freedom of speech when certain groups and people in our country don’t have a voice and are marginalised. I think there are underlying issues and its more about money, power and control rather than freedom of speech. Hence why the claws have come out.

      • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.2

        Nah, they tried to apply for a visitor’s visa as opposed to a working one, that got denied, and it looks like they’re being approved for a working visa for aussie now they’ve got their ducks in a row.

  7. Gosman 7

    Ms Maihi’s situation has nothing to do with free speech. Noone stopped her from making her statements or organising her petition. She just has to deal with the consequence of those actions. Just as people would be free to take a case against people who they believe have breached the law.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    Nick R said (Kiwiblog)

    “Fair enough. But this won’t be a slam dunk in Court. There are a number of problems that will have to be overcome before they will even get the Court to consider freedom of expression issues. The first is that the issue is moot. The speakers are not in NZ and may not even be eligible to enter NZ having been refused entry to the UK and possibly other countries too. If the Court agrees the issue is moot because the speakers are unable or unwilling to travel to NZ, then it may refuse the review application there and then. And if they overcome that problem, they will have to contend with the Auckland Council’s standard terms of hire for its venues. These include a number of clauses about what the venue can be used for and include public order provisions. The Court will have to decide how much discretion this gives the Council to decide what is an appropriate use of the hall. It is far from certain (to me at least) that the Council has acted unlawfully here. Finally, if they can also clear this hurdle, they will have to confront Goff’s own argument head on, which is that s 14 of the NZ Bill of Rights Act does not create a positive duty for the Council to provide a venue. It only prevents the Council from interfering with the right to receive or impart information. The Council will say that the fact that these people have access to all kinds of digital communications, and have many thousands of followers, means there has been no interference with their freedom of expression at all.

    I’m not saying the judicial review is doomed. With a good following wind and a generous activist-minded judge (of the sort normally castigated in this neck of the woods), they may be able to get home. But if they do, the only result will be a decision which requires the Council to reconsider the request to book the venue again, together with some guidance on how to make the same decision again without breaching the Bill of Rights Act. The Court will not order the Council to allow these people to use one of its venues.

    I ought to be charging for this stuff…”

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Thanks Robert. Nick R ought not to suffer angst for his free advice: he’s providing a public service in a free-lance capacity & I commend him for doing so. He can take heart from being seen as a public-spirited citizen rather than a mercenary lawyer.

  9. marty mars 9

    That bunch! Thank the gods they are all together saving far righties one bigot at a time.

    Can’t remember any of them doing anything to support the poor or targets of the haters they adore so much – but but it’s the PRINCIPLE – certain vintages of white whine love that line – it makes them feel important and gives them another chance to tell their story and explain what THEY think. Like attracts like.

  10. Would the Mayor prevent prominent liberal atheist and neuroscientist Sam Harris speaking at public venues when/if he comes to Auckland soon? Not likely…yet Sam has expressed similar, if not identical views to the current pair of so called ‘miscreants’ on race and IQ, on profiling Muslims at airports and Islam as the ”mother-load of bad ideas”.
    It’s a strange world when conservatives are the only ones defending the right to free speech.

    • Gosman 10.1

      Yes, I wonder what the position would be if Bill Maher was scheduled to come. Would he be denied permission as well given his outspoken views against Islam?

      https://deadline.com/2017/06/real-time-bill-maher-maajid-nawaz-contribution-anti-muslim-extremist-1202119139/

    • RedLogix 10.2

      It’s a strange world when conservatives are the only ones defending the right to free speech.

      You could argue that there is an element of game playing, and ‘moneyed privilege with not enough useful things to do in life’ going on here; but overall you’re correct. It should give the left pause for reflection.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1

        Not wanting to go deeply into the issue (given how contentious it is) but it does remind me of the situation where you have groups on the left (including feminists and the LGTB+ community) defending Islam which I find really strange given how Islam views females and LGTB+

        • Stuart Munro 10.2.1.1

          You’re assuming Islam speaks with a single voice. It’s every bit as varied as the Left, if not more so.

          • Gosman 10.2.1.1.1

            It isn’t as varied as you suggest. There are five main schools of Islamic jurisprudence which the vast majority of Muslims acknowledge. They are in agreement and quite specific about a number of topics which Westerners would find appalling (e.g. Death penalty for Apostates). Muslim’s who disagree with this are very much in the minority. Similar to Christians who dispute the divinity of Jesus.

            • Stuart Munro 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Have you lived and worked with Muslims Gosman? I have.

              • Gosman

                And so what?

                What part of what I have set out do you (or your Muslim friends/colleagues) disagree with ?

          • Puckish Rogue 10.2.1.1.2

            No doubt but when you consider the countries where homosexuality can be punished by death and/or the consequences for Adultery and then consider that the major religion of those countries is Islam then the coincidence is…interesting

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

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery#Consequences

            • Stuart Munro 10.2.1.1.2.1

              Not especially.

              You’re presuming that it’s religion that’s responsible for this treatment, when properly it’s local culture. Russia is not particularly LGBT friendly for example; and Islam doesn’t get to shape its culture much.

              The middle east has had less education and less progressive activism than the west, and it has suffered from authoritarian leadership. Although the wealthier countries are trying to catch up, there is a significant gap, which will endure for quite some time.

              We don’t have to go back very far in our own culture to find comparable intolerance however, and conservative reservations about some progressive enthusiasms (NZ’s prostitution reforms for example) may not be entirely misplaced.

              • Puckish Rogue

                “Russia is not particularly LGBT friendly for example; and Islam doesn’t get to shape its culture much”

                That is true however its also been decriminalised in Russia whereas I’m talking legal executions

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

                “The middle east has had less education and less progressive activism than the west, and it has suffered from authoritarian leadership”

                Again true however the countries mentioned range from being from Africa, the Middle East and Asia so its not just confined to one continent, race or people but it is confined to one religion

                “We don’t have to go back very far in our own culture to find comparable intolerance ”

                Intolerance is one thing but being executed is another thing entirely

                • Stuart Munro

                  I think you’d find there were informal executions and people driven to suicide in NZ, it was no joke, though admittedly less oppressive than the formal state apparatus wielded against the likes of Anwar Ibrahim. That seems to have been more in the way of political opportunism than religious enthusiasm however.

                  The point of raising our own examples is not to demonize cultures that are modernizing, but doing so a couple of steps behind us. It took us a good long while too. Cultures become tolerant when it is their own sons and daughters at stake, not the wishes of external moralizers.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I’m not disagreeing with you on past treatment but i just find it odd how LGTB+ and feminist groups can support something that, literally, want them dead

            • Gosman 10.2.1.1.2.2

              Muslim’s are very good at trying to have their cake and eat it too in relation to their teachings.

              They argue there is no centralised authority that dictates what Islam is like the Papacy and Roman Catholicism. This is correct. There isn’t even a clergy as such (other than perhaps in Shia Islam). Anybody can appoint themselves an expert or Mullah and so long as they have a good degree of knowledge people can decide to follow their views or not.

              However it is actually an incredibly prescriptive and legalistic faith. Sharia law is very detailed and is much like the Common law in the English legal system. Most Muslims accept that Sharia law is the genuine and valid interpretation of their faith. By challenging sharia you are challenging Islam itself.

              • Stuart Munro

                Plenty of folk want to have their cake and eat it.

                Israel wants to murder Palestinian children without UN sanctions.

                The Gnats wanted a strong economy but didn’t want to regulate the massive deadweight cost of rent seeking real estate speculators.

                Judging by the poor choices of our own legal system Sharia law could in some instances provide a healthy counterpoint – but any system is only as good as the people in it.

            • Brigid 10.2.1.1.2.3

              An interesting exercise would now be to determine what percentage of the world’s Muslims don’t live in those countries.
              Incidentally, the wikipedia link lists Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as a country. There is no such country.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well Indonesia is still (last time I checked) the largest country in the world with Islam as the major religion

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

                https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-adultery/draft-proposals-in-indonesian-parliament-aim-to-ban-extramarital-sex-idUSKBN1FI13X

                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4823028/Ten-Indonesians-lashed-100-times-adultery.html
                The beatings occurred in Aceh, which is the only province in the country which implements Sharia law in full

                People flogged for range of things such as gambling, drinking alcohol, gay sex or any non-marital relationship

                More than 90 per cent of 255 million people who live in Indonesia describe themselves as practising Muslim

                • Stuart Munro

                  Yes I have a couple of Indonesian friends.

                  It’s a curiousity, but the character of Islam is quite different in different countries. The Indonesians, for the most part, are pretty mellow about it. Malaysians have a reputation for being more severe.

                  I’m curious what your prescription for Aceh might be – these are no doubt their own laws produced more or less appropriately by their own legislature. Changing the status of a traditional crime requires some local buy in – unless we are to charge in where angels fear to tread like colonial authorities or missionaries.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I did see what happened to East Timor first hand so I’m probably a little biased in this area but what to do about is…well I don’t know how you’d go about changing peoples entrenched views on religion, Russia certainly couldn’t manage it

                    I really just hope that Sharia law doesn’t gain any sort of a foothold in NZ

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Timor was a bit like Japan’s war really, imho.

                      Meiji’s modernization gave modern instruments of war to a poorly educated population susceptible to pretty low end enthusiasms. The government under Hirohito (who Meiji expressly forbade be made emperor) used those enthusiasms for cynical ends.

                      The Indonesian soldiers and auxiliaries responsible for the massacres were readily manipulated by nationalist politicians – chiefly the Suharto family, whose kleptocratic interests they were advancing.

                      NZ would not be threatened by a few dozen hyperqualified Islamic jurists – but a mass revisionist conservative anti-intellectual group might be a very different matter.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      “NZ would not be threatened by a few dozen hyperqualified Islamic jurists”

                      Its not like theres no sharia law and then, suddenly, it happens. The more you let things creep in the more readily you accept it.

                      http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/opinion/chris-lynch-does-islam-have-any-place-in-nz-public-swimming-pools/

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/92823871/father-barred-from-womenonly-muslim-netball-tournament

                      “but a mass revisionist conservative anti-intellectual group might be a very different matter.”

                      No I don’t think it would. NZ, as a whole, would reject it

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “NZ, as a whole, would reject it”

                      That would rather depend on whether we continue high rates of migration of unskilled Muslims, thus building a Muslim ghetto, or we revert to a more prudent and measured policy.

                      Which no doubt is one thing Southern might have to say, if one could be bothered to parse her nonsense to get that far.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      “or we revert to a more prudent and measured policy.”

                      We can both agree on that

      • Gosman 10.2.2

        Undoubtedly but then the left are allowing room for this to occur.

      • Penny Bright 10.2.3

        On this issue – I support the Free Speech Coalition and Judicial Review.

        Which section of which Act gives Auckland Mayor Phil Goff the LAWFUL right to deny access to Auckland Council facilities?

        Want to label me ‘right wing’?
        Fill your boots.

  11. Ad 11

    The case will be a gift to Goff.

    Fascinating to hear Brash interviewed by Guyon Espiner this morning when Brash stated he had read none of their works, seen none of their views, and engaged with none of them.

    Which gave Espiner the chance to recite their views on race and intelligence, Hitler, and more.

    I’m for them speaking, live, here.
    If they keep getting denied, it will continue to be a gift to the right as well as to Goff.

    The left will have to defend by equating this kind of public speaker to a neo-military outfit intending to incite.

    All that then does is invite accusations against the left that they bring in extremist nut-jobs as well.

    • Gosman 11.1

      Do you understand what the Hitler comment was about or are you as guilty as Brash in not knowing?

      • Ad 11.1.1

        You need to go back to the interview.
        It will be up on RNZ by now.

        • Gosman 11.1.1.1

          I listened to it. I understand the context of the comments. I’m asking if you understand the context of the comments regarding Hitler and SJW’s.

    • RedLogix 11.2

      The only legitimate path through these ‘third rail’ issues that Espiner mentioned is to confront them head on. In this modern age of unlimited bandwidth it turns out that people are far more intelligent than we thought, and are quite capable of working through these issues for themselves.

      Thinking we can ‘protect’ people from hearing bad ideas is a forlorn, counterproductive hope.

      • Ad 11.2.1

        Aye

        • David Mac 11.2.1.1

          It’s healthy to hear all views. Like music, the discerning of what suits us is one of life’s joys.

          • marty mars 11.2.1.1.1

            Do you continue to listen to music you can’t stand with lyrics that directly offend you and your family or do you not listen to that anymore?

            The lines used by these far right hate monitizers are not new, the debate isn’t new, intolerance of hate speech isn’t new. You can see the vids, read the words, follow the podcasts, send and receive emails – there are zero barriers.

            If people here were the target they’d be wailing like 2 year olds but selfishness reinforced by neoliberial and patriarchal attitudes dull the senses and sensibilities of those not ‘othered’ imo.

            • Gosman 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Did you think NWA’s F#ck the Police should have been banned because members of the Police and their friends and family may have been offended by the song?

            • David Mac 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Oh I’m not intolerant of it. But I want to hear it. I’ll listen to anything but spend the most time and my money to indulge what is a good fit for me.

              My position on racism is largely formed by my experience of it. Not because I’m brown but being in a shop at the same time as a brown person was and being served in a manner that steered me towards the music that suits me. The shop-keeper’s comments after the person departed, solidifying my view.

              I’m pleased I was there to see that. I’d rather I lived in a world where I didn’t but that’s not the case.

              • marty mars

                It is valuable that you can imagine someone else’s struggles – of course for them it is a continued lived reality not a holiday visit and they don’t get to touch the music player – nope, they have to listen to the same hate songs every single day – how do you think you’d feel with that situation?

                • David Mac

                  I think I’d live with a state of constant turmoil Marty. My recognition of the pitfalls of appointing myself a victim while constantly being exposed to strong justifications to do just that.

                  Meeting that prick behind the counter in that shop helped form this opinion of mine.

  12. Puckish Rogue 12

    Phil Goff shouldn’t have waded in like he did. Had he kept quiet then probably what would have happened is maybe some people might have turned up but now, with all the publicity, LS & SM will have exactly what they want and thats international publicity

    Now personally speaking censorship should only be used very sparingly because the inclination to use use it to ban stuff you don’t like is very seductive, for the greater good of course sarc/

    For me it becomes a slippery slope-type argument, would Hilary Clinton be banned on the basis of how many innocents have been killed under her watch as secretary of state?

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
    ― George Orwell

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Your quote from Orwell is on the nail. I recall Simon Schama’s great series on the history of Britain; in the last episode on the 20th century he chose Churchill and Orwell as the two key figures to carry the narrative.

    • Robert Guyton 12.2

      Why is it bad that LS&SM have more publicity as a result of Goff’s action? Surely we want their views aired thoroughly, so that everyone can judge for themselves? What’s the fuss? (good on you, Phil).

      • Puckish Rogue 12.2.1

        I agree, air their views so people can decide for themselves, not have Phil Goff decide for everyone

        If LS&SM then spout any views that are against NZs laws then they should face prosecution but if not then they should be allowed the right to use council property as any other group

        • Robert Guyton 12.2.1.1

          Phil Goff hasn’t decided for everyone. If you are suggesting that “everyone” should decide who can use the Auckland venue, please explain the process for getting their go ahead. Electing someone and empowering them to make decisions seems a good way.

          • Puckish Rogue 12.2.1.1.1

            ” Electing someone and empowering them to make decisions seems a good way.”

            Really tempted to go full Godwin on this but i won’t 🙂

        • Robert Guyton 12.2.1.2

          “I agree, air their views so people can decide for themselves, not have Phil Goff decide for everyone”
          “Everyone” wouldn’t have gone to hear them. This way, more people get to apply their thinking to the issues; well done, Phil Goff!

          • Ross 12.2.1.2.1

            Robert

            Phil Goff is consistent if nothing else. He also refuses to release a report paid for by ratepayers. He’s an equal opportunity free speech denier. 🙂

        • Stephen Doyle 12.2.1.3

          If you reywant to hear what they have so say, jump on YouTube. No need to have them actually here.

          • Puckish Rogue 12.2.1.3.1

            The problem is most people who don’t want them here probably haven’t heard them and are probably getting their information second hand

    • Matthew Whitehead 12.3

      Nobody is disputing they have a right to talk to whoever they want.

      What I would dispute is their right to hold a paid talk here. I don’t think the country should grant them a business visa, although it should absolutely let them in as visitors. If they want to talk, they should do it for love, and any venue that agrees to host them should tank its reputation in doing so.

      Freedom of expression requires we allow them to speak. It does not require allowing them to profit, allowing them a platform, or allowing them to speak without social consequence. It just requires that there be no governmental persecution, which I will enthusiastically agree to.

      Also, what most of you lot are essentially requiring is that the council be compelled to associate with someone. That is itself a breach of rights, so we aren’t in a position of “do we hold freedom of speech sacred or not?” We are in a position of “how do we balance a person’s right to a platform versus the implied freedom to disassociate from someone, and does that count as political discrimination under BORA?”

      • Blazer 12.3.1

        ‘if they want to talk, they should do it for love, and any venue that agrees to host them should tank its reputation in doing so.’
        ‘ It does not require allowing them to profit, ‘

        Are you serious?
        Whatever happened to the people who want to pay to hear them exercising their own free choice ?Unbelievable.

        • Matthew Whitehead 12.3.1.1

          Those people can still hear them, they just wouldn’t be allowed to work while in New Zealand, lol. If anything, such a decision would be a boon to them because they could hear them for free, assuming they actually care about their message when it doesn’t make them money.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.3.2

        Who are you (or rather Phil Goff) to deny someone to make some money by talking about ideas that some, not all, find unpalatable?

        Who is Phil Goff to decide who can, and can’t, use publicly funded resources that’re are open to others simply because he disagrees with whats being said.

        These people have as much right to a platform as anyone and if no one turns up to listen then that’s all good but if people do turn then that’s good as well and as long as they don’t break any on NZs laws then they should be allowed the same rights, access and platforms as any other group

        • Robert Guyton 12.3.2.1

          So long as our laws allow visitors to earn while they’re visiting. If they need a special visa, “working” for example, they’d have to go through the process of securing one, wouldn’t they? Have they, I wonder?

          • Matthew Whitehead 12.3.2.1.1

            We know that the one they applied for in Australia wasn’t a working visa, and that’s why they got denied entry, because they were clearly coming for a professional event, lol. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the same mistake here.

        • Matthew Whitehead 12.3.2.2

          So, a few things:

          If they’re denied a working visa, that’s not for me or Goff to decide. That’s up to Immigration, and it’s in question because our law red-flags anyone excluded from another country, and these two have been excluded from the UK. They’re also probably so dumb they’ve applied for a visitor’s visa rather than a working one here too, like they did in Australia.

          These people have a negative right to not have the government legislate that they can’t have any platform at all. I believe in a free contest of ideas, and part of that is that having unpalatable ideas has consequences, and one of those consequences is disassociation- when people don’t want to do be associated with you because they find your ideas actively harmful to society. That disassociation can happen without any infringement on your rights at all under our current legal framework, and I’m not certain that’s a bad thing.

          • Puckish Rogue 12.3.2.2.1

            Sounds like you believe in a free contest of ideas but don’t approve of the same resources being provided for peoples whose ideas you disagree with

            • Robert Guyton 12.3.2.2.1.1

              The law’s the law, Pucky. Gotta play the game.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well if its taken to court we’ll see if it was indeed playing the game

            • Matthew Whitehead 12.3.2.2.1.2

              Indeed. I don’t think that the state has an obligation to provide anyone a platform just because. (and make no mistake, compelling the council or its subsidiary to rent the venue is the state providing a platform, it’s also overriding that company’s freedom of association) I think such obligations can exist for certain reasons, (eg. promoting equality, democratic debate, etc…) but that none of those reasons apply to white supremacists, who actively oppose pretty much everything liberal democracy is supposed to stand for. I don’t think they should be persecuted by the state, but neither should the state step in and prevent non-violent action taken against them, such as deplatforming them from local or private venues.

              You don’t get a fair contest of ideas if bad ideas aren’t allowed a chance to die.

  13. Ross 13

    I wasnt aware that Brash is totally opposed to the use of Maori. Maybe you could supply a link to that. Second, Chris Trotter is a supporter of free speech and he cannot reasonably be described as a right wing nutjob. Third, Labour MP Louisa Wall went to court because she was offended by a couple of cartoons. Thankfully she lost. You can make this a right wing issue if you choose but I wouldnt recommend it.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/98431944/labour-mp-louisa-wall-takes-fairfax-to-high-court-over-offensive-cartoons

  14. mickysavage 14

    Andrew Geddis has a typically nuanced view of the matter in this post (https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/southern-and-molyneux-hard-questions-and-no-easy-answers)

    Short answer? He is not sure on the legal merits of the coalition’s application.

    • Gosman 14.1

      Hence the need for them to test the argument in court Do you support this then MS?

    • Blazer 14.2

      Geddis begins ‘As a society, must we let obnoxious provocateurs have a public stage? How do we decide when others must bear the burden of their speech?

      Easy answer don’t ‘bear the burden’,just don’t buy a ticket and don’t go.
      ‘obnoxious provocateurs’ is a subjective judgement in any case.

    • RedLogix 14.3

      Geddis is such a valuable contributor; an outstanding piece of clear thinking and exposition.

      Geddis quotes Bashir: For, as Saziah Bashir wrote for Radio NZ’s website; “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.”

      It’s an interesting argument. It’s clear that words can and do have an emotional impact. (Whether that can be directly parlayed into a physical detriment is less clear, but I’ll pass on that.) Given the sheer certainty that anything controversial will offend someone, that if you speak to an audience large enough someone will feel ‘harmed’ by the discussion … Bashir’s logic by itself if applied generally would effectively shut down ALL discussion beyond the mere trivial and banal.

      Geddis refers rather wittily to a “hecklers veto” the notion that if someone reacts noisily and threateningly enough to an idea they can effectively shut it down. What Bashir implies for is a “snowflake veto” where if someone can claim ’emotional harm’ they too can silence the debate. It’s hard to like either tactic, and there isn’t much really to choose between them.

      Geddis concludes there are no easy answers. Partly because like most of us here, he finds Southern and Molyneaux unsympathetic characters he doesn’t really want to be defending. There are obvious costs to permitting a wide-ranging freedom of expression, but I believe the appalling record of totalitarian regimes should prove that the cost of censorship, open or covert, is much greater.

  15. Smoke 15

    So goofy can ban someone from buildings…yet won’t ban these idiots supporting terrorists https://www.national.org.nz/finlayson_appalled_at_hezbollah_protest

  16. Carolyn_nth 16

    But Geddis is repeating that the reason for Goff not allowing the Canadians to use a council venue was health and safety. Goff has also been reported as the reason was that they will stir up ethnic tensions.

    • Ross 16.1

      Goff is not a mind reader and I’d hazard a guess and say he didnt ask the speakers for a copy of their speech. So he really has no idea what they were going to say.

  17. Oberserver Tokoroa 17

    Extreme Speech, like Extreme Sport is for fools.

    That is why we have Sir Bob Jones Knighted by an unwise, very old Queen Elizabeth of England.

    The Greek Philosophers promoted the concept of “Moderateness in All Things” 400 -300 BC – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

    eg : Extreme Courage – is as silly as Extreme Timidity
    eg : Obesity – is as silly as Bulimia
    eg : Exercising to extremes – is as stupid as locking yourself in a cage

    The middle way is the better way. In which case the extreme right in Politics is not going to achieve good results.

    Neither is the extreme left.

    Unfortunately, the extreme right during the past 170 years has caused enormous trouble wherever it arises. Most recently, From Stalin to Trump. It churns out its dangerous nonsense freely – with dreadful results. It believes it has the right to Murder and impoverish decent human beings. It starts with chatter and ends with Disaster.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.1

      I think you mean:

      “Unfortunately, the extreme right, and left, during the past 170 years has caused enormous trouble wherever it arises. Most recently, From Stalin to Trump.”

      • Matthew Whitehead 17.1.1

        It’s fair but incomplete to call Stalin a left-winger. The reality is that Stalin and Trump do have a political dimension in common- they are both conservative and hit the relevant qualifications to be authoritarians. That is the relevant political dimension here.

    • Dennis Frank 17.2

      Not disagreeing because I’ve been anti-fascist since a teenager, except Stalin was a leftist! The Bosheviks were a Marxist party formed when the Russian Social Democrat party split in 1903 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolsheviks).

  18. adam 18

    Just to point out an uncomfortable historical fact, it was Anarchists who got the right of free speech. And many of the arguments people are using against this alt-right, attention seeker are many of the same arguments which were used to shut down any debate on socialism. Also birth control, and the right of women to think of their body as their own.

    I’m of the view, if you can’t beat these alt-right types with a strong argument, then your either a liberal who knows your on the wrong end of history and can’t come with anything better. Or you need to get it together and do a better job. Here a link to Red Emma, try her arguments out, you’ll wipe the floor of these alt-right tards.

    https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/not-just-free-speech-but-freedom-itself

    • marty mars 18.1

      Thank you for that link. It is valuable to read different views around this and that article was interesting.

      “In practice, we are permitted free speech only insofar as expressing our views changes nothing. The premise that speech alone cannot be harmful implies that speech is precisely that which is ineffectual: therefore anything effectual is not included among one’s rights.”

      So true.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      That’s a well thought out piece.

  19. Siobhan 19

    an update..

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/105398823/phil-goffs-tweets-may-have-unwisely-brought-ratepayers-a-costly-battle

    Turns out that Goff didn’t make any sort of principled stand. He just implied he had by omitting to state that it was Auckland Live that canceled the booking.

    For all we know the booking may have been cancelled due to lack of a security plan.

    • Matthew Whitehead 19.1

      The security issues were what the venue had always been citing. I had wondered if Goff’s announcement was him claiming credit for this as if it was intentional, given he didn’t actually positively claim to have cancelled the booking.

  20. Sabine 20

    well what can you say, Grifters got to grift.

  21. esoteric pineapples 21

    If this blows up in everyone’s faces, let’s all remember that it started with the two of them being banned from using a public venue, not anything that came next.

  22. SPC 22

    The right wing group concerned is more concerned with framing the idea that the white race (largest single identity group in the west) is under threat than defending free speech.

    Using cultural inheritance connection to our civil liberties to do so.

    How much this is now a class thing (white race middle class, ethnic minorities underclass) can be seen in the involvement of Don Brash and the taxpayers union guy.

    Thus an alliance of those who dismiss Treaty contract and those who would declare a right to discriminate in breach of the Human Rights Act. Whose real focus is preserving the power of moneyed privilege, and herding the white race sheep to do their duty to the National identity group and vote “Tory”.

  23. SPC 23

    The legal action will fail, it is in response to Goff’s grandstanding on the issue – as if this was decisive when the outcome had already been determined – on grounds that holding the event would be outside criteria required for their venues.

    I am sure the all parties are aware of this – the real target being Goff’s re-election.

  24. The problem with the left in general is that they appear to hold political power in many places in the western world. The Left cannot tolerate debate and lecture on certain taboo subjects and because of this, we have the de-platforming movement. I for one, am very keen on hearing the opinions of those who feel that Islam is incompatible with western culture and values. It appears that the countries who hold the highest population of Islamic people are those who seem to have the biggest problem (ie. France). I am keen on hearing why Feminism has run its course and now serves to only divide the genders and perpetuate mythical gaps where none exist and now harm the progress of young men all-over the developed world. I want to hear these views because if there is any validity to them, we as a society are in a great deal of trouble. People who incite violence against any race, colour or creed should be prosecuted vigorously and jailed for lengthy terms. But people who merely attempt to illuminate social and moral positions which many of us find uncomfortable because of their wider societal implications should be heard. You NEVER win when you censor. You either drive dangerous views underground and certainly bring on violence instead of healthy debate and possibly miss out on understanding a viewpoint which you would never have considered before. FREE SPEECH SHOULD BE FREE! NO EXCEPTIONS!

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    3 weeks ago
  • Minister visiting Australian counterparts
    This week Minister for Small Business, Hon Stuart Nash, is travelling to Canberra for a range of meetings with his Australian counterparts across three of his portfolios. The first visit is with the Australian Assistant Treasurer, the Honourable Stuart Robert ...
    3 weeks ago