How The New Zealand Left Transformed Southern And Molyneux From Unknown Rightists Into Free Speech Heroes

By   /   August 7, 2018  /   45 Comments

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The debate stirred up by the repeated denial of both public and private stages to the pair on account of threats and intimidation has placed the issue of free speech squarely on New Zealand’s political agenda. The Left will find it much harder, now, to sell its arguments in favour of limiting New Zealanders right to free expression that would have been the case if Southern and Molyneux had simply been allowed to come and go without incident.

WHAT A PITY there is no “Politburo” of the New Zealand Left. A central committee of knowledgeable and experienced left-wing strategists and organisers who could make decisions on behalf of the wider progressive movement. Had such a body existed when the news of the impending visit of Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux broke, then what happened next would have been very different.

The Politburo would have perused the available information on the Canadian duo and very quickly realised that the best course of action for the New Zealand Left was to do absolutely nothing. No media releases. No posters. No protests. Certainly no threats to disrupt the speakers’ public meetings. In response to Southern and Molyneux, the New Zealand Left would do precisely zero, zip, nada, nothing.

Why? Because even a cursory glance at Southern’s and Molyneux’s modus operandi would have alerted the Politburo to the fact that protests and threats of disruption were absolutely indispensable to the success of the pair’s political touring.

Without the threats of disruption from Peace Action Auckland, the Auckland Council would have had no grounds for denying Southern and Molyneux access to the Bruce Mason Theatre in Takapuna (along with every other council venue in Auckland!) on health and safety grounds. The meeting would have taken place and, if the Canadians were lucky, they might have merited a few brief paragraphs in the NZ Herald. Most Kiwis would have remained blissfully unaware that Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux even existed.

If provocateurs fail to provoke, do they make any sound at all?

We’ll never know. Because, of course, the New Zealand Left does not have a Politburo to provide it with sagacious strategic advice. It is a wild, anarchic melange of individuals and groups, united only by the fierce conviction that all those who challenge the phantasmagoria of sectional sensitivities which constitute the contemporary “progressive” movement must ipso facto be fascists whose every public utterance, being “hate speech”, must be suppressed – by any means necessary.

Knowing this, Southern and Molyneux would have been confident that all they needed to do to spread their ideas in New Zealand was announce their intention to hold a meeting. The Left could be relied upon to do the rest.

That the Canadians’ first infusion of power came from the Mayor of New Zealand’s largest city must, however, have struck them as more than usually fortuitous. Phil Goff’s naked assertion of the right to determine what the citizens of Auckland could and could not hear was bound to rouse the defenders of free expression to action. Better and better! Southern and Molyneux could now count on tens-of-thousands of New Zealanders googling their names and watching their YouTube channels.

The next step was to begin the game of “will they or won’t they be able to secure a private venue?” With social media crackling with ideological thrust and counter-thrust and “anti-fascist” coalitions being announced, the next phase of the propaganda operation was ready to unfold.

It was a phase Southern and Molyneux could hardly lose. Either the secured venue would stand firm against the inevitable threats and the meeting would go ahead. Or, the venue’s owners would be subjected to such intolerable pressure that the meeting was cancelled. If the former eventuated, then it would inevitably attract hundreds, if not thousands, of screaming left-wing protesters. If it was cancelled, the Canadians could present themselves as the victims of left-wing intimidation. Either way, the mainstream news media would feel obligated to step into the story.

Which, with the Powerstation’s decision to first hire out, and then deny, its facilities to the duo, is exactly what happened.

Had the proposed meeting at the Bruce Mason Theatre gone ahead without incident, Southern and Molyneux would have been able to preach to, at most, 800 already converted enthusiasts. As they wing their way back to Canada, however, they will be congratulating themselves on being presented to the tens-of-thousands of Kiwis watching the television current affairs programme “Sunday” in prime-time.

Many socially-conservative New Zealanders, seeing the Canadians for the first time, will doubtless have wondered how anyone could be offended by two such telegenic and articulate individuals. The stridency of their opponents, by contrast, must have appeared strange – even slightly sinister.

Had it ever been the intention of the Left and its kindred souls in the Human Rights Commission to extend and strengthen New Zealand’s laws against “hate speech”, then its fruitless attempts to suppress the views of Southern and Molyneux can only have rendered such an exercise significantly more difficult.

The debate stirred up by the repeated denial of both public and private stages to the pair on account of threats and intimidation has placed the issue of free speech squarely on New Zealand’s political agenda. The Left will find it much harder, now, to sell its arguments in favour of limiting New Zealanders right to free expression that would have been the case if Southern and Molyneux had simply been allowed to come and go without incident.

The person who sprayed graffiti on the Powerstation’s walls over the weekend described Southern’s and Molyneux’s foray into New Zealand politics as the “FREE SPEECH – EULOGY TOUR”. Given that eulogies are only pronounced over the dead, the graffitist is clearly someone who believes the Left has either already killed free speech, or is intending to do so in the near future.

He, or she, is wrong on both counts.

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45 Comments

  1. Andy says:

    Chris, you are correct on the point that protests and banning achieved nothing. You are also correct that many socially conservative NZers will find the pair’s arguments quite compelling.

    TV NZ did an interview with the pair. The unedited version is around an hour long and has just gone live on Youtube, published via Molyneux’s channel.

    I am only half way through the interview by Mihirangi Forbes, and there are intelligent questions and answers. Most of this interview hit the cutting room floor.

    Now the world sees NZ in a different light to how they saw it last week, at least those that watch Youtube channels

    The question I have is, why can’t “provocateurs” come and speak? Why assume that they are wrong? Why don’t engage with arguments and facts?
    Why use TV shows to advance an agenda and not engage with ideas?

    I look forward to a more open discussion in NZ about important issues

    • Sam Sam says:

      Provocateurs who fail to provoke, do make a sound but with a a New Zealand left with out forign policy ambitions no one needs to strain there ears very hard to hear the provocateurs.

      Let’s assume TVNZ promoted the Canadian duo, and let’s assume intelligence was a key feature, let’s also assume that YouTube is a go to for kiwi culture. So how we deal with all this is we need an America is not a bad ship in the pacific, we need an America that is a good ship focused on the $17trillion Atlantic Ocean trade and walking back NATO because an aggressive NATO creates counter aggression and now China has to worry about its Chinese Russian boarders.

      In the Pacific Ocean the Washington consensus attempted to ring fence China but a China that nolonger needs to focus on Russia can Focuse on American containment. America can play a role in the west pacific but it can no longer contain the South Pacific. What needs to be understood is the ANZUS treaty is a treaty and not a call to arms every time America wants to throw its wieght around. Treaties are meant to cool relations nor ratchet them up.

      As for the rest well I’ll leave it for desperate media companies with falling ad revenue and ratings.

  2. Lone comet says:

    I get that if these small fry guys were ignored and could hire any venue they wanted as a platform to spew their hate speech they would lack the oxygen the brouhaha from not being able to do that here has generated. However your Politburo of the Left sounds a bit like a dictatorship, and the great thing about a free society is people are allowed to protest, and also choose who may or not hire their venues, so I don’t agree with your argument. This isn’t a freedom of speech issue, they just didn’t get the platform made available to speak because of legitimate protests against what they espouse. They could still speak and did. Its a free world, but wouldn’t be if a Politburo like the one you posit here, existed.

  3. Ada says:

    All of which demonstrates the essentially adolescent nature of the woke Left.

  4. Lone comet says:

    Oh yes, and check out how You Tube (finally) bans InfoWars a platform to promote hate speech, a news article on The Daily Beast. Hmm, its a continuum right. So in your opinion, assuming you agree with You Tube shutting Infowars down, when do you get big enough for a platform to take that sort of action? I am glad and proud that NZ didn’t tolerate Southern and Molyneux for a minute, and ignorance is not bliss and so what if more Nzers know about them than otherwise would.

  5. Harry says:

    Wrong on both counts? It is plainly evident that “the left” hates free speech and can not tolerate ideas that contradict its approved narratives.

    • Mr Darlington says:

      “Wrong on both counts? It is plainly evident that “the left” hates free speech and can not tolerate ideas that contradict its approved narratives.”

      Funny, TDB has devoted close to a dozen blogposts on this issue and published alt.right comments from every nutter in the country, and you still whine about the left hating free speech? What the fuck do want? You have a free platform here. What else is missing????????

      • Off white says:

        Mr Darlington, almost a dozen blogposts on TDB. Blow me down with a feather, so that’s your proof free speech is alive and well in NZ. ‘Every nutter in the country’, speaks volumes on your position.

        You need an explanation, but why waste oxygen.

  6. Mike the Lefty says:

    Appearance is everything, so it seems.
    When we are told that fascists are coming to preach their racist agenda we automatically think of jackbooted brownshirts giving one-armed salutes or white robed and hooded torch bearers burning crosses.
    Those kind of people are easy to hate.
    Not so easy to hate are two superficially personable Canadians, one of them a young good-looking female.
    The methods may be different but the underlying message is similar – we are better than you because we have judged ourselves racially superior and you are a threat to our superiority.
    The reality of the message is overwhelmed by the paint and polish applied to the facade.
    The New Zealand MSM have once again been hoodwinked by the right-wing manipulators – business as usual!

  7. BG says:

    “the Left has either already killed free speech, or is intending to do so in the near future”

    Sorry to tell you Chris, but free speech in NZ is on it’s very last legs. I’m saddened to live in a country where debate is shut down because of zealots and people who call themselves progressives are gagging anyone who disagrees with them.

    Case in point: Your fellow free speech advocate, Don Brash, has been ‘uninvited’ from Massey University (once the bastions of open dialog) due to ‘safety fears’.

    Freedom of Speech RIP

  8. Megan says:

    White man who will never feel the brunt of hate speech, condescendingly blames the left for standing up to those who incite thugs. Who he should be frontshirting is the media who keeps giving them oxygen…

    • off white says:

      Ok I’ll bite. Seen much media over the last couple of years? The anti white sentiment is at epic proportions. From the mainstream no less. Judging by how you begin sentences is rather ironic.

      From the future oxford dictionary:
      Anti fascist = fascist
      Anti racist = racist
      Anti hate = hate

    • Nick J says:

      So Megan you aren’t male, and possibly not “white”…I could be your opposite quite possibly. Or not, and that’s the point. You are actually displaying sexism and racism, and you don’t know doodly squat about what hate speech is applied to Chris and by whom. A little hint, your characterisation of white male is heading that way.. As for inciting thugs, did you see any breaking up the anti free speech protests? All I saw was a pack of activists determined to shout down and shut up anybody holding a different opinion to them. It’s what I’d describe as verbal thuggishness.

  9. Megan says:

    White man who will never feel the brunt of hate speech, condescendingly blames the left for standing up to those who incite thugs. Who he should be frontshirting is the media who keeps giving them oxygen…

    • Cemetery Jones says:

      Yeah true, it’s not like the Nazis killed a lot of white men last time, right?

    • Andy says:

      I’m guessing that if you are a white South African farmer that just watched his 3 year old child being boiled alive in a bath, you might disagree.

  10. Off white says:

    Chris you rightly have little faith in your ‘comrades’, but to think they could be tamed with a so called politburo (sounds like a panel of elitists/champagne socialists) is naive. To you last bit, yes they want free speech to be footnote in history, for it is intolerable to have a range of opinions. In these times when you echo the mainstream media, the government, Hollywood and popular culture it should be enough to question your beliefs.

  11. WILD KATIPO says:

    I don’t know so much. I’m the sort of person who would roll over in my sleep and mumble… ”are we a people that value our lifestyle so much that our expression of free speech is to say no to these wreckers?”

    Sure , if we did have a ‘politburo’ we could have opted to do nothing , – or, – dismantled them with ‘academic discussion and debate’…

    But Mark Twain did once say : ” Never argue with an idiot , – they will always drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”…

    Now, protecting ones quality of life can be justified if it can be shown someone is sowing division and a message of intolerance and social harm. We have banned several high flyers from entry to NZ. Including the head of the American Hells Angels. So whats the common denominator?… social harm. And we do not live in a country where it can honestly be claimed there is a lack of free speech.

    That’s just semantics.

    And Southern and her mate knows that.

    They came here with the idea to stir up shit. Shit that doesn’t exist because here in NZ we are a long way from Americas wars and racial problems. And by extension , – Canada and the rest of the 5 eyes spy groups. There is no comparison between NZ and those country’s.

    Hence the lack of traction gained , – barring publicity to a toxic message that only exists and is tolerated in their country’s, – not NZ and it seems, – not in Australia either. And if the far right starts screaming about an intolerant dictatorial left,… perhaps there’s good reason for those two to be shown the door.

    Because it is an interesting fact that ,…once right or left wing extremists (totalitarians in general exemplified best with the Nazis, Mussolini ,Mao, Pol Pot etc …) use social democracy’s penchant for ‘ free speech’ to gain power, – they are the very first in line to censor and curtail it.

    We don’t need their toxic racial views here anymore than we need another Rena sinking and leaking oil off our coasts.

    Perhaps it was our freedom of speech to say so in no uncertain terms.

  12. Nick J says:

    Sanity, sanity. I despair for my fellow Leftists. Years of imbecilic stupidity, culminating in this. We slip behind, we will end up with our own Trump.

  13. Theodore says:

    Oh FFS Chris, give it a rest!

  14. Mjolnir says:

    “WHAT A PITY there is no “Politburo” of the New Zealand Left. A central committee of knowledgeable and experienced left-wing strategists and organisers who could make decisions on behalf of the wider progressive movement. Had such a body existed when the news of the impending visit of Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux broke, then what happened next would have been very different.

    The Politburo would have perused the available information on the Canadian duo and very quickly realised that the best course of action for the New Zealand Left was to do absolutely nothing. No media releases. No posters. No protests.”

    Are you for real, Chris??

    Are you really advocating a so-called “politburo” to contro/manage/directl all comment and protest action on the Left??

    What happened to your strident demands for protecting free speech??

    Why should people on the Left be muzzled by some weird “politburo”??

    What do you think would happen if you tried a “politburo” for right-wingers, to direct their commentary?? And thoughts how that would be perceived??

    Whatever strange thoughts are percolating in your brain are becoming comedic.

    • Mr Darlington says:

      +1

      A politburo? Sounds like a remnant from from the old USSR. They didn’t treat dissent very well, did they Mr Trotter?

    • Keepcalmcarryon says:

      I wonder also.
      It seems neither the goose nor the gander were listening to the hypothetical politburo -Mr Trotter was not letting the situation slide but further splitting the left and creating headlines by teaming up with the far right to trumpet the correctness of his position on free speech.

      This is massive win for the right. Joe public thinks the left look like a bunch of twats (or we could use the greens reclaimed word) and frankly who could argue different?

  15. Ned says:

    They are not an example of free speech shut down but of shysters being shut up. If Kevin Trudeau cam here trying to $90 sell tickets to a mega memory seminar I would be fine with that being shut down as well.

  16. Cemetery Jones says:

    Nice one, Trotter. I appreciate the stance you’ve taken on this issue. However I will say that on the left, we don’t need a politburo to make decisions for us; that is the self-appointed role to Molotov Morse appointed herself, with all the disastrous consequences which have been identified by the likes of Bradbury and your good self.

    What we need are more of us taking the time to follow your example in our own lives and denounce lunatics like comrade Molotov and her doublethinky ‘Peace’ Action group on our own initiative. It is our individual responsibility to collectively make clear she doesn’t speak for anyone other than the half dozen moth-eaten Trotskyists who smell like dusty corduroy and cat wee with whom she surrounds herself, and the couple-dozen purple haired manic depressive millenials they’ve managed to brainwash. And it is these young followers who matter.

    To the bright young things of the MSM, they’d be feeling pretty #metoo-ish after 5 minutes in the company of those older APA types. But the young ones in this movement sort of look like them and sort of talk like them, and they therefore are likely to soak up their talking points. As they have done, willingly, in an instance like this. What they need to hear is an opposing force on the left who will say no, it’s not that simple and you’ve got to think on wider points of principle.

  17. orbital panda says:

    Free speech is a red herring. Your next column should be on the massive cultural change in the last 10 years in NZ. Try to work out the reasons for this hatred shown by Lauren. Brushing the issues under the carpet as you have written about will not lance the sepular pustule. (i.e. ignoring Lauren)
    Immigration seems to be the issue here, intertwined with changing religion, changing cultures and the increasing voice of minorities. This is a painful process for many. Call Don Brash and listen to understand the fear he has. He is the preacher for the old ways and old days.
    If immigration is not carefully managed in terms of infrastructure (schools, health, housing, roading, employment, poverty) the hatred will fester and be like a messy game of whack-a-mole. NZ inc has absolutely no business plan when it comes to immigration and how we manage it. e.g. 70k immigrants is one new hospital/year. Lets get a business plan together. Ive seen a better business plan at my bowling club!!

  18. Aussie Bloke says:

    I’m coming in late to this story, so I apologize if my question is blatantly obvious to you all.

    Who is it that these two hate? From the little I know, Molyneux has upset people by talking about the IQ difference between ethnic groups. I havent heard anyone deny this issue. The arguments are about what causes this difference.

    Southern seems to harp on about protecting western civilization. She says that countries shouldnt be so open to accepting refugees. This discussion has been going on in virtually every european country for a few years, and while its a heated discussion, I’ve not heard people being accused of hate – its typically a political discussion.

    • Sam Sam says:

      I think Stefan Molyneuxs interpretations of market systems and the west in general is historically sanitised and seriously wrong. Molyneuxs faith in market systems to achieve desirable outcomes I think is grossly mistaken, and I don’t accept his values either particularly of multiculturalism. I don’t think the ability to succeed in a system of competition, as in U.S military entrance tests based on IQ is much of a value to be admired. So let’s just take the historical differences of the west and ask how did the west develop, and it developed through massive state intervention. What intellectuals often talk about is higher level protectionism and it’s true the pioneers were protected in order to develop the textile industry and industrial development and then on to steel and other industries, they had to be protected from superior British industry and technology and production. Meanwhile the U.S is underwriting European security and economic security today. But this is the least of it, this is what intellectuals talk about and it’s at the margins.

      More to the point the New Zealand and Australian economies were built on forced land confiscations and cultural genocide. The colonial state houses of that era would have impressed the nazis. The technology of South Pacific colonisation was very efficient because people could be taught to fire a pistol 10 times faster than instructing some one in the martial arts of the day, and this is in large part a source of the modern South Pacific economies. Not just cotton but wool was responsible for a lot of the early industrialisation and a lot of our merchants where textile merchants then we had to develop financial systems and complex arrangements and interactions that became globalised – this is a huge contribution to the development of Britain, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand but what has any of this got to do with markets. I mean this is a violent intrusion into market systems. And this is only part of clearing continents of indigenous inhabitants. That’s a pretty severe interference by the state into market systems and human interactions and social and economic systems.

      Māori had pretty advanced economies and most where destroyed. The idea that IQ has something to do with developing western culture is so grossly false that people can hardly talk to the likes of Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern. The same is true for almost every other developed economy. Government subsidies amount to about $5 trillion dollars and this is the market system, the western system.

      • Nick J says:

        Thank you Sam. You just demonstrated superior ideas to Molyneaux. If debated on this you would hammer him. And it’s what Leftists need to do, present positive winning narrative. The alternative is to carry on deplatforming screaming victimhood fantasies and retributive authoritarianism, highly likely to bring that opposition goons out in force.

        • Cemetery Jones says:

          Exactly, it’s actually very easy to make a decent counter argument from the left against much of the right’s economic and historical analysis.

          Deplatforming is a dead-end street, and those who advocate it will soon find themselves travelling one of their own making. If these people think that opening the door to this tactic won’t blow back on them, they’re even dumber than I already thought.

  19. Helena says:

    Molyneux and Southern opened my eyes to what is going on in South Africa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nygUZGiHjjQ

    • Mr Darlington says:

      Yeah, how bout them uppity Blacks regaining their own country?? And why shoukd they be treating their former slace-owning masters so badly? Bloody ingrates!!

      • Sam Sam says:

        Because murder is wrong no matter who does it. Before engaging in open warfare under international rules of engagement and UN rules of engagement you have to exhaust all peaceful means and white farmers are no where near as aggressive and powerful as they once where. It dosnt matter who’s pulling hard on the levers of power, state violence is state violence.

  20. Andrew says:

    Chris, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but there’s a new game in town….and you’re not a player.

  21. WHAT A PITY there is no “Politburo” of the New Zealand Left. A central committee of knowledgeable and experienced left-wing strategists and organisers who could make decisions on behalf of the wider progressive movement. Had such a body existed when the news of the impending visit of Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux broke, then what happened next would have been very different.

    The Politburo would have perused the available information on the Canadian duo and very quickly realised that the best course of action for the New Zealand Left was to do absolutely nothing. No media releases. No posters. No protests. Certainly no threats to disrupt the speakers’ public meetings. In response to Southern and Molyneux, the New Zealand Left would do precisely zero, zip, nada, nothing.

    Hmmm, that would have left you without much to write about these last few weeks, Chris? For someone vociferously advocating non-engagement and ignoring the pair, you’ve devoted more time and attention to them than probably all other bloggers combined.

    Anyway, I’ll politely decline to be party to any such so-called ‘Politburo’. (And that’s my polite response to such a suggestion.)

    But then, the formation of such an august body is not a serious suggestion, is it, Chris? That’s not your real point, I’m guessing.

    Nice strategic chess move: put your ‘Politburo’ piece on offensive. Your opponant moves their “Don’t Censor me with your Politburo’ piece to counter. You then move in your ‘Aha! Don’t Like Censorship, eh?’ piece as back-up attack to check-mate.

    But I prefer poker, and I call your hand, Chris. Are you seriously calling for a controlling ‘Politburo’?

    • Nick J says:

      Guess what Frank. I totally agree with you about a Politburo, spot on. I’m wondering whether Chris called for this out of frustration at the Hampstead woke Left? I’d contend that there’s every reason to feel that way, the Left now has two totally opposed factions at war ( as ever).

    • Mjolnir says:

      “Nice strategic chess move: put your ‘Politburo’ piece on offensive. Your opponant moves their “Don’t Censor me with your Politburo’ piece to counter. You then move in your ‘Aha! Don’t Like Censorship, eh?’ piece as back-up attack to check-mate.

      But I prefer poker, and I call your hand, Chris. Are you seriously calling for a controlling ‘Politburo’?”

      Damn, he caught me out in that trap!!

  22. Marc says:

    Come on, Chris, you know where the true ‘Politburo’ sits in New Zealand Inc. It sits within the Deep State and also within Treasury, same as the top offices of Police, SIS, GCSB and the Defence Force.

    It may have been overly excited and in hindsight a bit ‘dumb’ to have some leftists protest and even make threats, but nevertheless, it was refreshing at least, to see some street action and more, also online, so to be reminded, not all here are as dull, uninspiring, lazy and indifferent.

    Vocal dissent and opposition is part of democracy, of a free society, we are not that free in NZ Inc, so stop lamenting what happened.

    Actually the cowardice lies with the owners of the Powerstation and Auckland’s Mayor to not let the speaking event go ahead. Then we could have had real ‘debate’ between protesters outside and those inside, finally coming out after the ‘event’, and being confronted with ‘different thought’ and dissenting ‘free speech’.

    NZers are so boring, so predictable and at times ignorant, it is shocking. Why not stand your ground for a change, few here do it, they finally back off, withdraw and run away, the middle class property owners do it all the time in suburbia, when they have neighbours they dislike and cannot get on with, rather than stand their ground, they ring an agent, put the For Sale sign up, and move to other ‘gated communities’ of like minded idiots.

    In other places we get lively debate, even heated debate, at times fiery protests, but NOT in Aotearoa Boring Sleepy Hobbit Land.

    • Sam Sam says:

      Let’s just pretend from the benefit of hindsight we’re transplanted into 1930’s Stalin. First order of business unfuck the intelligence service and cancel the purge of the general staff. Halve all quotas and industrialise food production. Pay public servants a living wage.

      Continue the invasion of Germany, solo the liberation of France ahead of schedule, then ignore Britain and race for nukes.

      Unfuck domestic policy as well, prevent the holocaust and make full use of the war effort, and go full war economy, and fix the inefficient infighting while ruthlessly crushing corruption.

      Get a Russian MG-47 machine gun ready before invading Germany.

      Don’t declare war on the US, and warn Japan not to attack the US or else.

      Check if Hitler has only one testicle.

  23. Marc says:

    “Given that eulogies are only pronounced over the dead, the graffitist is clearly someone who believes the Left has either already killed free speech, or is intending to do so in the near future.”

    It is hardly the left as such that has killed ‘free speech’ in New Zealand. Free speech is somehow enshrined in the Bill of Rights Act and some other legislation, but making it part of the law allowing people to say and think what they wish, that does not in effect mean that true free speech and freedom exists in NZ Inc.

    Most people do not really dare to use their right to ‘free speech’ to the full extent, many not even in a humble manner. The ‘silent majority’ rather shies away from participating in any political action, that may be represented by protest marches, public speaking events and the likes.

    They are CHILLED by the socio economic realities in NZ Inc. Those that work for a private business employer will fear being caught out by their bosses or differently thinking ‘work mates’, so they refrain from saying and doing things in public, as it may ’embarrass’ them, and perhaps even lead to negative consequences they may have being employed by someone who wields the power of the paymaster.

    Those working in the public service may also shy away from participating in certain actions and commenting on matters in public, as their employer, being so ‘politically correct’, may not approve of this, or not like it in certain ways.

    There are social pressures, many will wonder, what would happen if my neighbour sees me there, what would happen if my parents, my brothers, sisters, cousins see me at ‘that protest’? What would they think of me, what would the consequences be?

    All this puts pressures on people, and New Zealand, being such a small place, has special and particular problems in this area. It is the same with being a tenant, few bother raising complaints, as they know, the Property Manager or landlord have power over them.

    And this is what is going on, we have very low participation in protests and actual free speech events, it is rather so that the like minded may assemble in smaller numbers here and there, and reinforce each others thinking, also prejudices, than go out and face the opposition of others.

    New Zealanders still suffer the tall poppy syndrome, not just in regards to disliking others stand out due to being richer or of higher status or so, but also in regards to those who take firm, different positions on topics and issues.

    Only few get away with it, but they usually play the game of tribalism, they always know there are some like minded that will cheer them on, so they stay among their own, and shy away from the rest, especially in public.

    Hence any ‘free speech’ in New Zealand is already highly compromised and controlled, it is NOT true free speech, in my view.

  24. […] Chris Trotter argues that anti-Muslim campaigners Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux should have […]