The ugly Bob Jones defamation case a serious threat to free speech

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Sir Bob Jones’ ‘Māori gratitude day’ column clearly ‘tongue in cheek’ – lawyer

It relates to a petition by film maker Renae Maihi, who called for Sir Robert’s knighthood to be revoked after he said that Waitangi Day should be replaced with Māori Gratitude day in an NBR column in 2018.

The column said Māori should bring Pākehā breakfast in bed, and weed their gardens out of gratitude for existing – which Sir Robert Jones’ defence claims was satire.

In his opening remarks, Sir Robert’s lawyer Fletcher Pilditch said his client has been a prolific author, who has been published in almost every paper in New Zealand.

“Typically the plaintiff’s writing is humorous, often they’ve been designed to provoke comment, or encourage readers to take themselves less seriously.

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“The plaintiff subscribes to the belief that laughter is the best medicine, and to never take life too seriously.”

He said the column was clearly of a “tongue and cheek” nature as it was included under the subheading, “Time for a Troll’.

Pilditch said the petition made serious and offensive allegations, and spurred a hate-campaign against his client, which resulted in him being he called a “white supremacist”, “turd” and “scum” by online commentators.

Nothing manages to scream white boomer male privilege quite like a multi-millionaire suing a young Māori woman documentary maker for defamation after a lifetime of race baiting.

We forget that the defamation laws in NZ are the most extreme in the Western world, indeed Graeme Edgeler recently pointed this out in a NZ Herald column, and his conclusion was that the extreme nature of our defamation laws were a threat to free speech.

Personally I thought the drive to strip Bob of his knighthood was terribly flawed.

We are not a theocracy, we are a progressive liberal democracy. It is not a crime to have an offensive opinion nor is it a crime to express an offensive opinion. It is ignorant, petty, dehumanising, immoral, unethical and fucking ugly. But it’s not illegal. Yes, it’s illegal to discriminate based on race or incite hate, but having an offensive opinion and speaking it? We don’t arrest people for ignorant opinions, that path leads to totalitarianism, not a woke utopia.

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 was the time to strip him of it

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.”

…how can Bob Jones possibly sue for defamation when he no longer has a reputation to defame? 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-racebaiting arsehole, nothing Renae Maihi said could lower Bob in the eyes of a reasonable person any more than Bob’s own words and ugly behaviour.

18 COMMENTS

  1. The quintessential Bob Jones image–standing by Rolls Royce car, velvet jacket, “cigarillo” in gob, giving anti apartheid protestors the fingers–that is what he really thinks of free speech when exercised by others.

    Jones has been a life long reactionary, misogynist and bully, as shown by his punching a journalist on camera, various tantrums with parking wardens, flight attendants, serving staff, and latterly trying to silence Ms Maihi.

    He might have got away with his 1950s stereotyping of Māori 40 years ago but no longer!

  2. What is Hate Speech?

    Section 61 of the Human Rights Act provides that it shall be unlawful for anyone to publish or distribute threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to excite hostility or bring into contempt any group of persons who may be coming to or in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race or ethnic origins of that group of persons. Section 61 treats the matter as a civil not a criminal one and complaints go to the Human rights Commission.

    I guess this section is toothless, and that the description ‘unlawful’ means zilch.

  3. Jones looks like a right royal hypocrite – yes Bob you get to have your say, and so do people who disagree with you or can’t stand you. But seriously, what chance does Jones have of winning this case? Close to zero I would say – badly advised by his lawyer.

    • Jones is a lying two faced narcissist and sadistic bully.
      He wants to hurt his opponents and the money hardly matters to him.

      This is the slime ball who publicly encouraged his shareholders to hold onto their falling shares while he was secretly selling his off.
      He helped bring down the Labour govt and so dispense with Kirk’s superannuation scheme for Kiwis investing in NZ. An international bankers pimp.

  4. Nasty twisted old man bob jones is. I knew his cleaners and she appears to have cleaned more than his house, having a son to him probably when she was making his bed or perhaps changing his sheets or dusting his bedroom. He can stay in Aus they deserve him my father who is around his age said he was always a racist prick.

  5. Blob Jones is a racist and a bigot. He’s proud to be in this club.
    We’ve all just got to accept that of him and we can rejoice when he dies and can piss on his grave.
    He won’t be coming back after that, nor will he be able to harrass any of us all in court. RIP you old prick.

  6. The best thing anyone can do for Bob Jones is to ignore him. He’s a cobweb-covered cadaver shambling awkwardly about the place unaware his time has long since passed. Let him expire in a corner somewhere like the creaking reptile he is.

  7. Jones is a dangerous loose cannon employed by such as the NZ Herald to spout his odious dogma/ Americana / get rich quick / exploit the minority’s far right wing, free market lies.

    Yes , I enjoyed some of his pieces of literary comedy ,… but he is a dangerous shit stirring , self satisfied , smug and privileged ass-hat that I believe should INDEED be stripped of his knighthood. He sets people groups against one another. How can a knight, – who is given that title due to services to his community, – and by extension – his nation , – be allowed to pit New Zealander against New Zealander?.

    That ,… by definition is an oxymoron.

    In plain-speak, a hypocrite.

    Strip him.

    Do it publicly.

    Jones is nothing more than a liberal , free market globalist neo liberal.

    The type of cancer that led to the destruction of this once great nation pre 1984. The type of cancer that was aligned with rOger DouGlaS and the Business Roundtable aka the now renamed NZ Initiative – governed by the Mont Pelerin society of the Square Mile of London.

    In other words , – a complete and utter treasonous shitter.

    And a racist one at that.

    Don’t feel sorry for the disgusting manky toe nailed old bastard,… he is no Grandpa Walton.

    He’s a CUNT,… to use the Green party’s reclaimed word.

    And lets never forget THIS about the sadistic old sack of shit – he deliberately formed the NZ Party to oust Rob Muldoon,- specifically and directly to facilitate the traitor rOgEr DoUgLaS’s theft of the nation.

    And once that was done?,- disbanded his party.

    There’s your sack of shit grabastic Bob Jones for your, – RIGHT THERE.

    * further reading :

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    Fuck YOU Jones, – times have changed and smelly , rotten , dead on their feet Mr Burns zombie clones like you are despised.

    FUCK YOU.

    Crawl back into your coffin , you pathetic blood sucking vampire.

  8. Bob Jones has always courted controversy and the media allow him too do it just too create a diversion.

    He is rich and arrogant and will do anything that allows him too start a fight just check out his recent history in the late 70s and early eighties , a different New Zealand then.

    He knew darn well that this whole hideous debacle would lead too court and the opportunity too take a case for defamation.

    Don Brash would be proud.

    He loves the attention and the insipid media and hand wringers give it too him in spades.

    • Bob can go alright he can go back to Aus. Why do you think he left the Hutt Valley/Naenae where he was brought up in the first place. He took his gardener to court for poisoning his plants and he lost his case.

  9. I actually think that Maori gratitude day is an excellent idea. It should be held on the day after We Gave Back All the Confiscated Land Day

  10. Too much attention for the pompous old oliphantic fartsack.
    If he posted that article here he would be banned for trolling and rightfully ignored.

  11. His lawyer claims that Bob and Weave received turgid comments after the publicity about the Court case.
    Surely they are just free speech, ‘satirical’, colourful, but not worth profiling. It’s all in the game really. He could have matched Trump but NZ is too small for him to perform to his full talents. Why bother about his knighthood – that was besmirched when Roger Douglas got his, and as Martyn says above, those of us who note the doings and learnings of our society know that it is a bit tatty around the edges, a bit raffish, uncouth, behind the facade, few real honourables now.

  12. Screw the old ageing globalist.

    We don’t need his sort around here anyhow’s.

    He’s on the wrong side of history on this one, we don’t give a shit about his brand of free speech or oligarch wannbe aspirations. The guy is an arsehole, a scrawny scarecrow wannbe boxer who never made it , and a publicity seeker, – burn his books and let him go down in history for the cancerous tapeworm he is.

    Maybe he can get to enjoy his bile and riches in another realm,…. times running out for the wasting old racist. Who knows?… maybe he can take all his riches with him,… but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Make your peace with your maker while you still can , Bob.

    I’d be proud of you if you did, son.

    Because humility is the start of all wisdom.

    Something you haven’t displayed much of in all your long years.

  13. Jones puts up his opinions, where they are fought. Unless you don’t want people to put up their opinions without a lawyer , or the top 10 %, I rather appreciate him, though not agreeing obviously. Free speech is beautiful and goes with demo-cracy institutionally. Having a niece determinally disapproving of me for not being perfect. So none but MJS would get by her, my most intelligent niece, who understands reality so much less than me. I’m a distinct averager in my view of myself but … ideas, make me wiser with the wizening.

  14. what a racist/lies and bull shit/drags his friends down with him.then withdraws .what a dork waste of time fuck. whats duff dolng hanging round with crap. come on m8 wake up and be positive.you could be so good for maori/you books are like whakapapa living in the past. you poor bastard .peace we won/renae thank you.power to the people.

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