I hope I never piss Phil Quin off

By   /   April 15, 2019  /   20 Comments

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The redefining of hate speech laws is a debate we desperately need to have because the hate speech is coming.

Wow.

I mean.

Wow.

Phil Quin Clan ain’t Nuthin’ to fuck with.

I hope I never piss him off enough for him to go to town on me like this, sweet Jesus this take down of Golriz Ghahraman is just devastating…

MP lacks credibility in urging hate speech law
It is an irony of some magnitude that the leading proponent of new hate speech laws in the New Zealand Parliament, Golriz Ghahraman, worked as an intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), defending Simon Bikindi who was convicted for inciting genocide.

It is doubly so when you take into account that the defence arguments almost entirely rested on his right to freedom of speech.

While I accept even the most heinous criminals are entitled to a robust defence – and that includes interns, I guess – at the very least I’d be curious to know if Ghahraman accepts the ICTR’s ultimate judgment, or harbours any regrets about the role she chose to play defending Bikindi, a folk singer who used his celebrity to encourage the extermination of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, one million of whom were killed over 100 days of slaughter.

…it’s Undertaker pile driver stuff…

…these two have beef that stretches back to another very critical column against Ghahraman where Quin attacked her CV mythology and civil rights lawyer status when it emerged the Greens had given her work history a very optimistic retelling which cast her in the mould of civil rights crusader when she was representing Rwandan mass murderers.

Despite the Green Party co-leader James Shaw publicly apologising for misrepresenting Ghahraman, Quin’s criticism was mostly written off as heteronormative patriarchal sexism against a successful WOC refugee.

This take down is more damaging.

When Quin attacked Ghahraman last time, the concept of woke and identity politics was a sub thread cultural influence, with it moving centre stage, criticism of her is an attack on the zeitgeist. Which is what makes Quin’s column so interesting.

Quin acknowledges the dangers of hate speech by referencing Rwanda (a country he has had an enormous amount of time for and knowledge of) but re-iterates his belief that free speech allows everything up to that point of incitement.

Woke millennial micro aggression policing culture values would encapsulate an enormous amount of day to day comments and opinions. Such an over reach of state intrusion into the life of the individual is sure to produce free speech martyrs who could stoke a toxic rebellion in an already fractured debate.

The redefining of hate speech laws is a debate we desperately need to have because the hate speech is coming.

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20 Comments

  1. Shawn says:

    Many Western European countries have strong hate speech laws, yet those laws have not stopped or hindered in any way the rise of far-right political parties. In the Netherlands recently an openly white supremacist party just snagged a large chunk of the vote and catapulted them into major party status. Hate speech laws that go well beyond incitement to violence simply don’t work, and they may in fact play a role in encouraging support for the far right.

    Not too long ago the Atlantic magazine had an article about the rise of the Sweden Democrats party, a far right party with roots in neo-Nazi groups. The article made the point that one of the major reasons for the SD’s rise was that mainstream parties and the media had simply ignored, or dismissed as racism, any concerns or issues regarding immigration. Any discussion or debate at all was off limits. The result is that the SD is now the third largest party in the Swedish Parliament.

    We must not repeat Europe’s mistakes.

  2. It is an irony of some magnitude that the leading proponent of new hate speech laws in the New Zealand Parliament, Golriz Ghahraman, worked as an intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), defending Simon Bikindi who was convicted for inciting genocide.

    It is doubly so when you take into account that the defence arguments almost entirely rested on his right to freedom of speech.

    While I accept even the most heinous criminals are entitled to a robust defence – and that includes interns, I guess – at the very least I’d be curious to know if Ghahraman accepts the ICTR’s ultimate judgment, or harbours any regrets about the role she chose to play defending Bikindi, a folk singer who used his celebrity to encourage the extermination of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, one million of whom were killed over 100 days of slaughter.

    So according to Quinn there are those who do not merit ” a robust defence”? He says they do, but then doubles back by positing;

    I’d be curious to know if Ghahraman accepts the ICTR’s ultimate judgment, or harbours any regrets about the role she chose to play defending Bikindi

    What the hell kind of question is that?!

    On the one hand, a number of very vocal people are climbing Mount Righteousness by chest-beating on the virtues of free speech. Draw breath. Then engage in character assassination of a person who carried out one of the toughest jobs conceivable to humanity: being a defence lawyer for a person who (after due process) was convicted to be a war criminal.

    After all the pious pontifications on the virtue of free speech – the same is not applied to the right of a fair trial, assisted by a defence attorney who is not simply a paid hack by the state to put a seal of legitimacy over a kangaroo court?!

    Quin can piss off if he thinks fair trials apply only to some, but not others.

    His piece was not some “warning” to the Green Party. It was a character hit-job. And unless those on the Left understand what is being ranged against Labour and the Greens (and to an extent, against NZ First), then wait till those hit-jobs increase in intensity.

    We know what comes next; another nine years of National.

    Sometimes I just fucking despair.

    • esoteric pineapples says:

      “His piece was not some “warning” to the Green Party. It was a character hit-job.”

      Well said Frank. They tried it before and it failed so they are giving it another go. Apparently, Parliament is no place for anyone who appears even mildly radical in their opinions. Basically they want to hound GG out of Parliament much like they did Metiria Turei. It’s a very similar situation as to what is happening with Ilhan Omar in the US congress. You can have all shades of beige, but anyone with colour must be ejected from the body politic.

      • Indeed, ‘Pineapples. There is a common thread between the harassment of Metiria Turei, Ilhan Omar, and now Golriz Ghahraman. The subtext of racism band misogyny is hard to ignore.

        That some on the Left are not pushing back hard on these vendettas is unfathomable. If we do not stand in solidarity with women of colour elected to office, we shouldn’t be surprised when none want to stand as candidates.

        We end up with an Old White Boys Network and wonder why women of colour want nothing to do with politics.

        • Sam Sam says:

          Wait wait. Is Golriz’s livleyhood at risk if we all keep criticizing her, I don’t think so. And Golriz is being forced to take things hyper literal by the share amount of trolling with a bit of hate mixed in that she receives but I’m saying we shouldn’t just because we can exercise free speech as opposed to criminalising speech.

          So Greens don’t want to bully trolls into submission? They want to use the state to bully trolls so there hands aren’t unclean? Isn’t bulling trolls what we do.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Frank Macskasy: “…a person who carried out one of the toughest jobs conceivable to humanity: being a defence lawyer for a person who (after due process) was convicted to be a war criminal.”

      I agree with you. The more so since, at the time of the Rwanda tragedy, we were propagandised as to what actually happened. At that time, the internet hadn’t got its contemporary head of steam; we now have access to revisionist accounts of events such as this one. Though I must say that what we were told by the msm back then seemed a little too one-dimensional. See this:

      https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/10/liberte-egalite-imperialisme-vive-la-france-in-black-africa/

      As to Simon Bikindi, the account above doesn’t mention him (though his name may be in one of the links: I haven’t yet managed to check them all out). But I think we’d be justified in characterising him as a scapegoat, even though he probably wasn’t entirely innocent. It’s clear that the person who should have been prosecuted is Paul Kagame; though of course there are citizens of France, UK and US who ought also to have faced justice. But never will. The same applies to Kagame, by the looks of it. It’s hard to find online information about Bikindi that doesn’t fall into the category of propaganda, but there’s this: tantalisingly short on information, but such is life:

      http://www.therwandan.com/rip-simon-bikindi-92854-121518/

      While as I recall, the Green party in the run-up to the 2017 election campaign overegged Ghahraman’s CV, nevertheless I think that the important lesson to draw from Phil Quin’s piece is that he doesn’t have any idea of what really happened in Rwanda. And he should leave off with Ghahraman; you’re dead right that she was just doing what a lawyer ought to do.

      And that revisionist account above suggests Bikindi sure was deserving of a proper defence, given that he was being blamed for a slaughter carried out by others.

      The salient lesson that all of us should draw from msm accounts of events such as the Rwanda massacre is we need to be very sceptical: if an account looks to be too simple/black and white/one-dimensional, it probably is.

  3. WILD KATIPO says:

    …’these two have beef that stretches back to another very critical column against Ghahraman where Quin attacked her CV mythology and civil rights lawyer status when it emerged the Greens had given her work history a very optimistic retelling which cast her in the mould of civil rights crusader when she was representing Rwandan mass murderers’…

    ——————————

    And here’s the clincher:

    ——————————

    …’ Despite the Green Party co-leader James Shaw publicly apologising for misrepresenting Ghahraman, Quin’s criticism was mostly written off as heteronormative patriarchal sexism against a successful WOC refugee’….

    And to those who think those that have been shown to clearly commit crimes against humanity, … and that the lawyer defending them then goes on to be an elected official should entail a free pass to become a proponent of what is hate speech and what is free speech ?, – BECAUSE THAT WAS THE WHOLE PREMISE OF Simon Bikindi’s DEFENSE COUNSEL!!!

    FREE SPEECH !!!

    Just think about the Nurembourg trials.

    Most of them ended up swinging on the end of a rope. And there was sweet bugger all in the way of defense for that bunch ! Hate speech or free speech aside.

    Maybe it was because so many people from different nations had lost their sons and daughters fighting the bastards. Conversely – thousands more civilians were bombed to shit and into eternity because of those genocidal freaks.

    YET !!!

    The 800,000 to 1000,000 estimated deaths over 100 days was FIVE TIMES FASTER THAN THAT OF THE HOLOCAUST IN NAZI GERMANY !!!

    SO, – question is… WHY did James Shaw feel the necessity to apologize for Ghahraman ?

    Was it because he and others could see the incongruousness and inconsistency of her position , – and so felt the need to head off future criticism?

    Obviously that failed.

    Now ! , – in another place and in another time,- IF Ghahraman had defended Julian Assange WHO HADN’T committed crimes against humanity , then it might have been a very different story.

    ——————————

    UPDATE: Julian Assange arrest.

    Julian Assange, 47, (03.07.71) has today, Thursday 11 April, been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, at 10:53hrs after his arrival at a central London police station. This is an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the Extradition Act. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later today (Thursday, 11 April).

    UPDATE: Arrest of Julian Assange – Metropolitan Police
    news.met.police.uk/news/update-arrest-of-julian-assange-365565

    ——————————

    There’s a case worth fighting for.

    But a folk singer who uses his popular appeal to stand off the back of a ute with a P.A system and encourage ”Hutu’s to kill more Tutsi’s” ?

    I don’t think so.

    So I think Ghahraman dips out badly on this score.

    Hate speech ?- she bloody defended it !!!

    • Mjolnir says:

      As i posted on another blogpost, Katipo do you believe everyine is entitled to fair represehtation in a fair and open trial? If not, who do you think shoukd be denied justice and fair process??

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        And as I answered in Trotters article when you tried to compare Simon Bikindi with Martyn Bradbury.

        A case where Bikindi was charged with war crimes and inciting genocide and Bradbury has had the Police try to present evidence behind closed doors… whereby Bakindi was given MORE rights than Bradbury.

        In Bradbury’s case, – the Police want to present secret evidence behind closed doors about some very dubious practices they conducted knowing full well Bradbury and any council representing him cannot respond .

        In Simon Bakindi’s case , – he was charged with war crimes and inciting genocide. Multiple people watched and listened to Bakindi throughout Rwanda standing on the back of a ute encouraging Hutu’s to kill more Tutsi’s, while at least two of his songs were played constantly , – on a radio station also encouraging ethnic cleansing , – one inciting the mob to kill moderate Hutu’s and the other to kill Tutsi’s , and NOT ONCE did Bakindi seem to have a problem with this.

        And the irony of all this is ?

        That Ghahraman has set herself up as the leading proponent of new hate speech laws in the New Zealand Parliament , – and guess what she and her defense council based their defense on?

        FREEDOM OF SPEECH !!!

        Doesn’t that seem a little bit disingenuous to you? Doesn’t it strike you as odd that Ghahraman who had no such qualms defending a criminal like Bakindi for inciting genocide then turns round a few years later back in NZ and try’s to be a leading proponent of what is and what isn’t free speech and a determiner of what counts as hate speech???

        Of course Bakindi needed representation.

        But if Ghahraman genuinely believed in her principles she could have chosen not to represent Bakindi. No one forced her to be there. She had the option to walk away. But she didn’t. She chose instead to stay and represent the monster on grounds of ‘freedom of speech’ when he was CHARGED WITH INCITING genocide.

        And its these issues that stick in the craw of New Zealanders.

        Not some side issue of whether or not Bakindi was entitled to legal representation.

    • Lucy says:

      So a person who encouraged people to kill people should not have defense counsel? If they have a defense counsel should the counsel not put forward the best defense? The defense was ultimately found to be not valid as he was convicted. Ghahraman did her job she defended a man using his defense of free speech.

      • Mjolnir says:

        She defended a man charged with crimes

        As we are *all* entitled to be defended

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        Was it slightly unwise to even try to use the dense of ‘freedom of speech ‘ in the first place when the very charges laid against the defendant were inciting genocide ?

        ——————————

        incite
        /ɪnˈsʌɪt/

        verb
        encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behavior).
        “they conspired to incite riots”
        synonyms: stir up, whip up, work up, encourage, fan the flames of, stoke up, fuel, kindle, ignite, inflame, stimulate, instigate, provoke, excite, arouse, awaken, waken, inspire, trigger, spark off, ferment, foment, agitate for/against;

        More
        urge or persuade (someone) to act in a violent or unlawful way.
        “he incited loyal subjects to rebellion”

        ——————————

        Was Ghahraman forced to represent Bakindi?

        Did she have the option to walk away on her principles?

        Did she see this trial as looking good in the CV to use it as a launchpad into a political career?

        A political career which would eventually see her as the ‘leading proponent of new hate speech laws in the New Zealand Parliament?’

        Doesn’t that strike you as a tad peculiar?

        Defending a man who helped to incite his fellow ethnic kin in a genocide that resulted in the massacre of around 800,000 to 1000,000 human lives , – by using his hate filled music records and standing on the back of utes throughout the country with a P.A system encouraging Hutu’s to kill more Tutsi’s ?.

        A man who was happy to have his music played on a radio station that gave hourly death counts like reading the weather report and encouraged and exhorted Hutu’s to ‘do their job’ and ‘kill more Tutsi’s’, – and which received govt directions on where the mobs needed to head next to to conduct ‘ethnic cleansing’ ?

        Was Ghahraman forced into defending Bakini?

        No.

        She chose to do it.

        On the grounds of ‘Freedom of Speech’.

        • “Was Ghahraman forced into defending Bakini?

          No.

          She chose to do it.

          On the grounds of ‘Freedom of Speech”

          Nope. On the grounds that everyone deserves a fair trial. Everyone

          Because if we start making exclusions how soon before those exclusions reach us?

          I may not be a free speech fetishist but on the issue of a free, fair, trial with independent legal representation, I am unequivocal.

          • let me be frank says:

            “I may not be a free speech fetishist but on the issue of a free, fair, trial with independent legal representation, I am unequivocal.”

            Difficult to have one without the other

          • WILD KATIPO says:

            Great . So do I believe in a fair trial and representation as well. So do most of us. But that is not the issue at hand in either this article or Chris Trotters.

            But in THIS situation , – and because no one compelled Ghahraman to be council of defense for Simon Bikindi
            ,- the double standard of using the argument of free speech as a defense of Bakindi against the very thing Bakindi was being charged with is where the hypocrisy comes from.

            THEN ,… going on to promote oneself as a ‘ leading proponent of new hate speech laws in the New Zealand Parliament’ seems a double standard to say the least.

            Unless this was seen by her as a great addition to the CV to be used at a later date to enter into a political career, – with the caveat that the public by and large wont remember or even bother to do a backstory check.

            She believes in ‘ freedom of speech’ ? – then she must also believe in ‘freedom of choice’.

            She chose to represent Bakinda .

            No one compelled her at all.

            There are plenty of other QC’s , lawyers and barristers around the globe that could have quickly filled her shoes to do the same job. And possibly do an even better job.

  4. Tiger Mountain says:

    Mr Quinn indeed tries to have it both ways. It is really worth watching Golriz’ own account in the video linked to the article. Her voice has not been heard often enough on this.

    This has been a rough lesson for the Green Party, and others take note. Their own actions in not scrupulously editing and checking Green candidate statements, opened a space for seemingly every keyboard arsehole in NZ, to have a go at the Greens and Golriz Ghahraman.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Soooo… everyone’s a ‘keyboard arsehole’ in NZ who dares to call out someone because she is 1/ a woman , 2 /a Green , and 3 /an MP 4/ a child from a refugee family.

      Sorry mate, – but this is politics where ‘exceptionalism’ shouldn’t exist.

      And if it does, – that’s setting a very tenuous precedence. Such as denying people free speech by using the tool of political correctness , public shaming , group control and social conditioning / engineering.

  5. Muttonbird says:

    Phil Quin hates powerful women. I thought that much was clear and accepted.

    Golriz Ghahraman is a powerful woman so he hates her.

    • Sam Sam says:

      You can’t just project hate speech like that because then you would agree that the society you live in is immoral. You understand that correct?

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      And Jacina Adern currently is way more powerful than Ghahraman.

      Rhetorical question : Does Quin hate her as well? . I don’t know , – do you?

      You see how that line of thinking starts to fall down if Quin doesn’t ‘ hate’ Adern?, – and if it falls down , – what does that make your line of reasoning?

      Exceptionalism because Ghahraman is a Green , and an MP, – which borders on sycophancy.

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