5 reasons why stripping Bob Jones of his knighthood is totally misplaced social media rage


There’s a petition to strip Bob Jones of his Knighthood because he said some pretty derogatory and racist shit in the NBR for Waitangi Day.

Bob Jones has responded by taking defamation action out against the young woman who has organised the petition.

I blogged about his disgusting comments here when they first came out.

Here are my 5 thoughts on the latest developments.


1 – Stripping Bob Jones of his knighthood because he was racist is a tad fascist

Brothers & sisters, we are not a theocracy, we are a progressive liberal democracy. It is not a crime to have a racist opinion nor is it a crime to express a racist opinion. It is ignorant, offensive, petty, dehumanising, immoral, unethical and fucking ugly. But it’s not illegal. Yes, it’s illegal to discriminate based on race, but having a racist opinion and speaking it? We don’t arrest people for opinions

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2 – Having a racist opinion isn’t hate speech

Let’s not give Bob’s petty and ignorant rant the kind of significance of actual hate speech. Hate speech is when you are attempting to incite violence against another group of people.

“Kill all the Māori and drive them into the sea”. That’s hate speech.

“Burn all the Chinese businesses and beat them in the street”. That’s hate speech.

“Kill whitey”, well, that’s just smart thinking. I’M JOKING. Calm down.

You get my point right? Hate speech is a serious and terrifying thing that we must always prosecute when it happens, but this bile and cringe worthy brain vomit from a tired old bigot like Bob isn’t hate speech, and giving him the power of actual hate speech is beneath the meaning of the word.


3 – If you wanted to strip Bob Jones of his Knighthood, surely THIS was the reason

If we are to demand his stripping of a Knighthood, then surely the time he goaded a protester into committing suicide and then bragged about how he goaded a fellow human being into committing suicide

This sort of (always male) behaviour is a regular occurrence in the capital. In the 1980s when long-overdue reforms saw the closure of some isolated, scarcely used post offices, a Nelson region goose turned up in a park opposite my office, surrounded by the standard litter of signs, asserting he was starving to death in protest. I bowled across and nailed him with some impeccable logic. “Why starve to death?” I suggested. “Why not get it over with quickly and commit suicide?” So he did.

One of my daughters working, or more accurately, attending in our office at the time was appalled. “Don’t you feel bad?” she asked me. “To the contrary,” I replied. “Anyone who values their life on the existence of a country post office plainly hasn’t got one. I did him a wonderful favour.”


…was the moment to demand this prick had his Knighthood stripped from him.


4 – That Bob Jones is racist isn’t the issue, that the NBR published it is

Beside the fact that we don’t punish people because they have an opinion we don’t like is the truth that Bob isn’t the problem here. The problem is the NBR. The NBR is the most right wing newspaper in NZ and openly supports the neoliberal agenda. They are an elitist shit rag that provides Jones with a platform, not because they believe in his racist diatribes or are champions of free speech, they give this tired racist dinosaur a column because they think he’s funny. How the NBR have managed to escape the social media rage directed at Jones is the real question and by focusing on this attempt to strip Jones of his Knighthood, we are actually letting NBR off the hook.


5 – How can Bob Jones possibly sue for defamation when he no longer has a reputation to defame?

News that Jones has responded to the petition with threats of defamation are actually the most delusional thing this sad old racist has managed to say to date. Defamation law asks if a reasonable person would think less of the person being defamed. Seeing as Bob is a vicious, nasty, suicide-goading-then-bragging-about-it-fuckwit, nothing the petitioners have said could lower Bob in the eyes of a reasonable person any more than Bob’s own words and ugly behaviour.


  1. “but this bile and cringe worthy brain vomit from a tired old bigot like Don isn’t ”

    I guess you mixed up your racists there ;-). Easy mistake to make since they’re basically interchangeable.

  2. that why the d..head lives in Auz and he can stay there they can have him a lot o f people here in the Hutt valley cant stomach him and the bull that comes out of his mouth

  3. His story about goading the protester to kill himself isn’t true. Mediawatch was contacted by someone who pointed out the protester continued to protest for many years. Not sure what it says about Jones that he embellished the story and wanted to be known as the man who had goaded someone to kill themselves.

    I suspect if you did an audit of Knights of the Realm both here and, definitely in Britain, you’d find no shortage of old-style racists amongst their ranks.

    • Kia ora Jeremy – I had heard that version of events, my understanding was that the suicide occurred later than the time frame Jones was suggesting. Either way, Jones boasted about goading the protestor and the protester did eventually commit suicide. I think he embellished the time frame, not the suicide.

  4. That the NBR, a supposedly reputable magazine, published this ignorant and vile old man’s rant shows that this magazine simply has no journalistic standards. Editorial heads should roll.

    That knighthoods are issued to the kind of people who get pleasure in abusing, hurting and racially attacking fellow New Zealanders shows that the honours system is an outdated anachronism. It should be disbanded immediately.

    As for Jones let him say what he likes in the privacy of his own home. Unfortunately his family have to listen to his drivel but the rest of us shouldn’t have to.

    • The standards for “knighthoods” are super low anyway. Basically if you make a boatload of money (e.g. Steve Tindell, Paul Holmes, Michael Hill, Peter Jackson, Bob Jones etc) they’ll slap a Sir moniker on you (if you want it). The fact that so many arseholes have one now, makes the whole “honour” of getting one extremely dubious imo.

    • Rather than list all the labour party members who have accepted gongs, including knighthoods and dame-hoods, let me just list the two who stood by their socialist principles and declined, Lange and Clark. The rest, like Cullen and King, were hypocrites of the highest order

  5. He has certainly done a good job rarking up the natives, and I see his god children Mike Hoskings and Kate Hawkesby adding fuel to the fire in Auckland’s Local Rag this morning.

  6. Punch n Jonesy

    You are quite right Martyn when you say we are not a Theocracy.

    Neither are we a Democracy. Roger Douglas, John Key and Billy English has seen to that – along with their friends the very wealthy Capitalists, such as the self declared comedian Sir Bob Jones and Sir Roger Douglas.

    It surprises me, that a number of Pakeha and Maori non-Knights have not paid the NBR a friendly visit. A meaningful visit.

    I am also sure Sir Robert Jones would love a visit. He loves a laugh. He would be rolling on the the mat. Busting with mirth. Awaiting the next funny blow.

    For whereas silly Bobby Jones has no dignity other than his own shit, NZ Maori and Pakeha by and large have a Nation load of it.

  7. Unlike the bilious Waitangi Day article penned by the late Sir Paul Holmes, I find this one to just be classic Sir Bob Jones, going out of his way to be playfully offensive because he gets a kick out of it. I guess especially now that he’s of the age where showcasing his boxing skills when his fly fishing is disturbed by a journalist may not be an option.

    But think back to when Jones posted that $2,000 prize for the best essay on the topic of ‘Why commerce students ought to be flogged’. Did anyone really think he was making an earnest call for systemic violence and hate towards commerce students, or did they realise it was just some old bloke’s twisty sense of humour?

    So when the kind of guy who would put up a $2,000 prize for the best essay on the benefits of flogging commerce students writes an essay titled ‘Time for a Troll’, I feel like you could be pretty far along the ASD curve and still pick up on the fact that this was just an offensive joke designed to get a reaction out of people. So say what you will about the tastelessness of that, and I think there’s probably quite a lot to say in general about the value of humour which punches down instead of up, but using this as a wedge issue to launch an assault on free speech by playing hurt over a silly essay on a paywalled website with a tiny readership.

    I’ve written many hurtful, unkind things about conservatives and libertarians, and a few too about SJWs. I find increasingly punching left rather than punching right, because while my politics still lie to the left, our side is turning into the one exhibiting the tendencies I used to associate with the right: humourless, shrill, and always on the lookout to play offended in lieu of making and winning an argument which owns the facts.

    I don’t want to see us turning into the American or European left, shamelessly and almost instinctively using a mixture of histrionic offence taking and militantly humourless language policing as an alternative to winning the argument. We used to be the side who could do facts and humour. Now we’re running from it, just as the right is learning to play that game. That is a foolish, foolish strategy in a game where you need to win national elections. It is elite behaviour of the kind I formerly associated with the right. We must not let this happen. Outrage is not a winner’s currency.

    • All in bad bad Fun –
      Hi Cemetery

      Forgive me for not leaving a couple of dandelions (yellow flowers) in your graveside vases Cemetery.

      Sir Robert Jones knows how willingly you cower down before his cruel shit. Again and again. How willingly, over and over, you stand and shiver like a scared rabbit in a Talley abattoir.

      The People that Her Majesty Victoria conquered by a measly deed of a dodgy Treaty – and whom have further suffered under the deliberately ignorant Crown of Elizabeth II – are now made a comic mockery on their very own Treaty Day.

      An Oaf named Sir Robert Jones, made or reinforced this constant Comic Mockery. Knighted he was by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

      But it is alright by You Cemetery. It is alright by Elizabeth II. It is alright by Pakeha. It is alright by your friend Sir Robert Shit Jones.

      Jacinda will not cower down Cemetery. She is a Woman.

      • Actually it’s precisely my lack of fear in the face of mean words which motivates my post. A strong, philosophically coherent and factually unassailable argument from someone I oppose is the thing I fear most. In other words, your response leaves me with little to fear.

        • Cemetery Jones

          I greatly respect your “lack of fear in the face of mean words …”

          We cannot allow filthy Capitalist NZ Citizens, in this day and age, to further rubbish and humiliate people conquered and plundered by the English Monachy in 1840.

          It was on Waitangi Day, that the English Monarchy stole the Land, the Dignity and the Future from the Maori Peoples.

          Those people settled here, on or about the year AD 1200.

          Sir Robert Jones, who wields cruelty like a flogger, might find it funny to have his Land, Possessions, his Dignity, and his Future taken from him and his fellow Capitalist people. By Order of the Crown.

          Jacinda should discuss this oaf Robert Jones – with Elizabeth II. As a person whom she Knighted – he has cruelly failed. It all depends how Elizabeth II regards Maori.

          • While I totally agree with your point that Sir Bob Jones would think twice about the nature of his attempt at humour if his own recent social memory included being colonised, I’d have thought QEII would view Maori as tough enough not to be triggered like a bunch of rich little snowflake soyboys from the good suburbs of Cambridgeshire by the penmanship of an old git who was out to wind them up.

    • Top notch comment Cemetery. The ASD part is world class journalism and eminently reasonable. The commerce students comparison occcurred to me also. The current regressive tendencies of the western left may, I fear, leave it mortally wounded. My loathing of the right in the 70s as a youngster was a reaction to the Bartlett-Whitehouse types -authoritarian puritans. How times have changed.

      • Yeah, Brendan O’Neill in the UK has been making the Mary Whitehouse comparison a lot. One which sadly may be lost on millenials, but it’s the perfect black mirror to their morbidly censorious and childish authoritarianism, where any hint of offence must be responded to by the use of the state to punish and by use of media and social media to humiliate and shame.

        Unfortunately they’ve picked a fight here with an old codger who is basically immune to these things, and I get the feeling that he’s out to make an example. And I’m actually grateful, because what is going on here is very obvious. It is the attempt to begin the assault on free speech, enshrining the right to police language and have this professionalised offense taking fetish sanctified. It is vital that Jones’ lawsuit either succeeds or at least wards them off. And preferably succeeds, because the next person they pick on might not be able to afford to defend themselves the way he can.

        30 seconds of hilarity which summarise the situation for me very nicely:


  8. Okay Okay

    present day Naenae is what you you regard as Cambridgeshire.

    the loss of home ownership is the great gift of the right to the many Citizens of New Zealanders.

    mere penmanship is the only morality you you embrace.

    you stink of class – not of anything noble.

    • I’m sorry, but just how does a statement of your views on home ownership figure in this conversation about whether or not it’s ok to censor free speech in the pursuit of short sighted political goals?

      As to your two final statements, make an argument which shows why. Or don’t, and it will serve to reinforce my view that you are suffering the moral confusion creeping into the left which I am trying to resist from taking us over.

      And I’m talking of course about the kind of moral confusion which leads to people going around throwing insults at people they disagree with, while insisting that anyone they disagree with shouldn’t be allowed to go around throwing insults at people, and that they should be punished by the state for doing so. And that whether or not you are entitled to the privilege of going around throwing insults at people or in need of punishment by the state for doing the same depends entirely on your politics, and the family into which you were born.

      Yes. Step back and take a look; that’s actually what you are arguing for here.

  9. Cemetery

    Free Speech does not exempt a grown man from abusing non knighted fellow citizens under the mask of measly strained nervous humoiur and penmanship.

    You well know that.

    By the way – there is no such thing as the left or the right. There is just the haves and the have nots. As again you well know.

    Crush the have nots Cemetery. Do it.

    • “Crush the have nots Cemetery. Do it.”

      Make an argument which shows that the content of my post in any way implied this, Observer. Do it.

      • Cemetery

        Explain to me why your sick “humour” is not filth.

        Can you not for once pretend to be a man in your own right and defend normal people.

        Stop being the cruel spokesperson of the demented Capitalist Sir Robert Jones and Her Majesty Elizabeth II, whom he solemnly represents.


        • “My” sick humour? Congratulations!

          Not only have you failed to make an argument to support your previous assertions, you’ve skipped on to pretending that my lack of desire to see people with silly opinions get punished by the state for expressing them equates to approval of what they say, and amounts to an implied expression of enthusiasm for plutocracy and class victimization.

          Your way of arguing is so emblematic of how and why we’re losing the culture war.

  10. I totally agree, so called ‘knights’ should be exposed for what they are, entitlement driven, selfish careerists and populists and VIPs who are for sale. To strip them off off a fake title solves nothing, get rid of them altogether, together with the fake title system, altogether.

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