Little’s Hate Speech Laws Will Destroy This Government.

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ANDREW LITTLE has confirmed that the Coalition Government will announce changes to New Zealand’s free speech laws before the election. Clearly, Jacinda Ardern has not been able to persuade her Justice Minister that introducing “hate speech” laws is a sure-fire election loser. Or, perhaps the Prime Minister also believes that attacking freedom of speech is an election-winning strategy.

The timing of Little’s announcement is interesting. It points to a dramatic weakening in the position of Labour’s coalition partner, NZ First. For the first time since the Coalition’s formation in October 2017, Winston Peters finds himself and his party dependant on the good will and protection of the Prime Minister.

The Serious Fraud Office’s decision to launch an investigation into the NZ First Foundation has prompted multiple demands for Jacinda to stand Peters down for the duration. She has been called “weak” for refusing to discipline her Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister – and he is very aware of the political rewards that would flow to the Prime Minister if she decided to give in to his critics’ demands.

If she did give in, Peters knows that any threat to “pull the plug” on the Coalition in retaliation would be met with a cool “go on then”. Being seen to have forced a snap election over the SFO investigation would seal NZ First’s fate. The electorate would punish Peters and his party mercilessly. Jacinda and the Greens, on the other hand, could present themselves to the country as the principled and courageous defenders of “clean” politics. What would undoubtedly be suicide for Peters and NZ First could end up being the making of his erstwhile coalition partners.

All of which adds up to a radically changed power dynamic on the Beehive’s Ninth Floor. From here on out, what Jacinda and her “progressive” colleagues want, Jacinda and her “progressive” colleagues are going to get. Three weeks ago Peters would have shaken his head coldly at the very thought of introducing anti-hate speech legislation prior to the election. Today, he has bowed his head meekly and walked away. The Coalition’s “handbrake” has been released.

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Returning to my earlier speculation about Jacinda’s actual position on hate speech, I can’t help recalling how strongly she reacted to the pain and suffering of Christchurch’s Muslim community. I am minded, also, of her passionate advocacy for her own “Christchurch Call”. In the bitter aftermath of the Christchurch Massacre, the Prime Minister promised New Zealand’s immigrant communities her protection. Tougher gun laws were Step One. A ban on hate speech could very easily be Step Two.

Insensitive though it may seem to even pose the question: how will the electorate respond to what the Prime Minister’s opponents will undoubtedly characterise as an attack on New Zealanders’ freedom of speech? At more than twelve month’s remove from the terrible events of 15 March 2019, will Jacinda’s inspired “They Are Us” formula be enough to turn aside the free speech defenders’ counterattack?

Those in the Prime Minister’s professional and personal entourages will be adamant in their insistence that being seen to move against hate speech is not only the right thing to do, but that it will also reap Labour a rich harvest of votes – not least from New Zealand’s 57,000 Muslims. The brutal question which must be asked, however, is whether or not winning the support of the 1 percent of New Zealanders who subscribe to the Muslim faith can sensibly be counted as an unqualified addition to Labour’s overall Party Vote; or whether it will be more than offset by the defection of those New Zealanders opposed to Labour’s restriction of free speech? The next, equally brutal question is: “Where will those votes go?”

The obvious, and worrying, answer is: “They will go to the Right.”

It is one of the greatest tragedies of contemporary “left-wing” politics: that its practitioners have allowed themselves to become identified, irretrievably, with the suppression of free speech. Most particularly, with the suppression of the free speech of persons identified as “right wing”, or, more ludicrously, as “Nazis” and “fascists”. Worse still, they have secured this “de-platforming” by threatening to unleash violence and disorder if these individuals are permitted to speak. They have thus supplied local government, university and corporate leaders with the “health and safety” justification for shutting these speakers down. Free speech advocates refer to this tactic as “The Thug’s Veto”.

Little’s reaffirmed commitment to introducing legislation aimed at curbing hate speech will, therefore, be received by right-wing New Zealanders as a direct assault upon their personal liberties. Labour and its Green allies will be accused of using the power of the state to demonise and silence their political opponents.

The Right will not take this lying down.

It is, however, doubtful whether Little has given much thought to what making bitter enemies of the entire Right might lead to. While National and Act – especially Act – will be content to fight the issue at the level of abstract principle, those further along the right-wing spectrum will not hesitate to link Little’s hate speech legislation with those it is intended to protect. The very white supremacists the Left has vowed to extirpate will present Little’s laws as proof positive of the Labour/Greens’ surrender to the demands of multiculturalism in general – and of Islam in particular. Such linkages can only pose a grave threat to the safety of all New Zealand’s immigrant communities. The very ugliness that hate speech laws are intended to hide will be even more openly and defiantly displayed.

And this, sadly, is the problem which the advocates of hate speech legislation all fail to appreciate. That people cannot be forced into abandoning their erroneous, hurtful and/or dangerous opinions. They can only be argued out of them.

Does Andrew Little truly believe that hate speech laws would have stopped Brenton Tarrant? His murderous rampage was inspired not by the rantings of some fool on 4Chan, but by his close study of the centuries-long struggle between Islam and Christianity in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Are the hate speech laws to be set wide enough to capture the wrongful interpretation of history? Will they extend to banning trips to the European battlefields where the Ottoman armies were checked by Christian knights? And if they are, how will that help to persuade people that what Little is proposing is anything more than the thin edge of the wedge of totalitarianism?

Our current laws forbid the incitement of actual physical harm, and will punish those who wilfully defame their fellow citizens. Attempting to pass laws against the giving of offence, however, is a fool’s errand. Far from eliminating offensiveness, such laws will only encourage and intensify it. Harm cannot be prevented, but it can be healed. Building trust and amity between peoples is achieved by starting conversations – not by shutting them down.

67 COMMENTS

  1. If the tool of social engineering kiwi style is to control everyone with hate-speech laws then it has failed before it has begun.

    New Zealand doesn’t have a multicultural melting pot. Immigrant communities tend to coalesce together. Muslims eat halal and Jew eats kosher and the mingling is non-existence.

    If it was truely a melting pot then over 80% of New Zealand’s population would be in public housing where everyone lines up and is giving a house one by one like good little communists thus evenly distributing the demographics amongst each other, instead of having all Asians over here and Sudanese over there and so on.

    Considering the way Kiwi build is going this snow globe ideal of what New Zealand might be is all horse before the cart stuff. People can’t talk kosher meals into Muslim houses, this kind of thing has to be built words, it has to be ground up with brick and mortar.

    • Good riddance.
      Labour deserves to and NEEDS to be voted out for this.
      They were given a mandate and have squandered it on dangerous shit like this.

      • And who do you suggest we elect, the same lot that had 9 years to deliver our brighter future Jays I look forward to your reply

        • We can’t build a future with words.

          Speech control are secondary to effective governance and delivering health, education, public transport, public housing and defence.

          There isn’t much to be proud of there.

          • Well I’m hard against giving the crown the power to control what people think and say. I don’t want the crown to have that power at all.

            It’s bad enough having people like Action Against Poverty and New Zealand Gun Clubs being set lose after what happened in Christchurch. The way to address this isn’t by giving power to some more dangerous entity like the crown, especially not Labour nor National. What we have to do is get to the people that hatespeech trys to recruit.

            And why are people susceptible to Hate Speech? So the people who have been subjected to the effects of what Brenton Tarrant has done to us like the Muslim AND the law abiding gun owner are going to be frightened, they’re going to search for people to blame it on and that will produce easier targets for people who are susceptible to Hate Speech.

            The way to deal with it is not to to go oh Labour or National because that wouldn’t have changed a thing. The way to deal with it is to deal with the sources that ill society which is what Brenton Tarrant was appealing to.

            So if you’re truly worried about what harms people then picking out Hate Speech is a very odd choice. Yes Hate Speech can harm people but Free-Market-Ideology is harming New Zealanders way more.

            So who is really suffering? Youth suicide is going way up, child mortality rates, UP! Infant mortality rates, UP! Wild life and insect mortality rates, UP! Immigrants ect. Addressing Hate Speech doesn’t fix this stuff. And the answer isn’t having the crown powerful enough that we can’t talk about any of this stuff. Controlling speech isn’t the answer.

            A strong central government deployed against the elites with the backing of the public is the answer. Yknow fixing infrastructure, making sure every family has affordable rents and mortgages and so on and so on.

              • Free speech means free speech, That means you say what you like as long as it’s not damaging to others by being deliberately false. For instance, I can say I think Ardern is an imbecile and I hate her, and she is going away this election, That’s free expression backed by reality and we are keeping that free expression,

                • You and I and everyone else we quibble over petty differences, we lie, cheat steal, fight with neighbours, what ever. What we don’t do is subjugate people and conquer land, it’s only at the state level is it even possible to imagine such ideas. So because speech in parliament is so tightly regulated then for the same everywhere else free speech is possible. The more regulated and constrained at the top, the freer we are at the bottom.

  2. The NZ Labour-led government promotes the interests of corporations and banks ahead of the welfare of the people, and by Mussolini’s definition (the melding of corporate and government interests) is a fascist government.

    In the long run legislation passed by this government will be totally irrelevant because industrial societies are in the process of destroying everything that makes this planet habitable for humans. The latest dire warning with respect to the insect ‘apocalypse’ will be ignored, just as the dire warnings about planetary meltdown are ignored. In fact, given the rate of environmental collapse, there probably isn’t any long run anymore.

    With all the PC bullshit that occupies the minds of politicians, the next generation will be able to die of starvation and overheating, knowing they were politically correct and didn’t upset minorities or those with differing opinions.

    To expect the government to act on something that really matters is obviously asking far too much of them.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/20/fates-humans-insects-intertwined-scientists-population-collapse

    • Spot on Afewwhoknowthetruth. I too envisage a future where people are arguing over correct pronoun usage whilst starving to death.
      Comfortable middle class educated liberals: the only one’s with the luxury to pour energy into woke sophistry whilst our ecosystems collapse around us.

    • Mr Little will take issue with the ‘insulting’ definition of ‘PC bullshit’, and he will ban such hostile talk also, further down the road.

      The government deserves ‘respect’, he will say.

  3. Brilliant article Chris. The term progressive is now a strange one. In my opinion, one cannot deem oneself as progressive, yet restrict speech at the same time. Restrictions on speech is purely authoritarian and is borderline despotic.

    The irony is that David Seymour is probably the most progressive politician in parliament right now.

    • Heh, the funny old thing in all of this free speech debate is that predominantly white blokes “punching down” seem the most aggrieved.

      Bigots seem to be seeking some sort of protectorate for their views on those with typically less power. Should they be appeased really?

      Harsh light nonetheless is cast upon the Labour Caucus death grip on neo liberalism. Surely implementing Fair Pay Agreements and the Welfare Working Group recommendations should take precedence.

      • Hear hear You are the guru at the top of the Mountain. Labour is like Homer Simpson, offered three questions about the meaning of life. but who keeps quizzing stupidly, “Are you the Guru? Really the Guru? The Real and Only Guru.” It takes such a long time for Labour to arrange its ideological positions according to the latest, purist protocols that ‘Life happens while they are planning other things.”

        In the end, they just show up as ineffectual and impractical, losing status and improvements previously gained, by injudicious gestures –
        (see above; losing their souls, and ours, while becoming distracted by distant ephemera).

      • Tiger Mountain: “…predominantly white blokes “punching down” seem the most aggrieved.”

        And your evidence for this would be….?

    • Michelle: “In my view hate speech is not a priority. Hate behaviour is already being punished.”

      Hear hear! I completely agree with you.

      Moreover, I’d characterise crime as hate behaviour.

  4. The triumph of The Clever Twit!
    It is also an absolute guarantee that I am voting ACT – even though I still consider myself (old school) left-wing.
    This is crossing the Rubicon on steroids from Little.

  5. You’re absolutely correct Chris: Any attempt to redefine ‘hate speech’ will destroy this government. Based on my long term observations I think Andrew Little is an authoritarian at heart. He seems to have brought his old ‘union enforcer’ role with him to parliament.
    Luckily for the rest of us, he’s a fool. There are two major stumbling blocks to his plan.

    Firstly it goes directly against the 1990 Human Rights Act. Section 14 states:

    “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.”

    Any attempt to breach that will see thinking Labour voters over to the other side. It will have half the population marching in the street.

    Secondly, he will be unable to precisely define ‘hate speech’, and if you can’t define it, you can’t ban it. I’ve seen him twist and turn on this in TV interviews already. Like I said, the man is a fool.

    • Is it any wonder that Little has been rejected time after time by the electorate, and is only in parliament though the list MP back door?

  6. Yeah. The bosses’ law is to designed to protect the bosses.
    Little wants to impose more bureaucratic tyranny to keep the peace for the ruling class.
    That’s been Labour’s job since it was created.
    Little’s US, and EU overlords were happy enough before the invasion of Arab and African oppressed peoples flooded their precious white supremacist heartlands and caused a white supremacist backlash.
    But banning hate speech won’t stop the mass migrations caused by capitalist oppression in the third world, nor the Nazi blowback to the invasion.
    Nazi’s don’t respect the law.
    More hate crimes will occur, but increasingly by the state on the actual targets of the Nazis which is socialists and communists.
    So new hate speech laws, ostensibly progressive and peacemaking, will will be used to shut down any alliance developing between the third world oppressed on the move and sympathising workers in the imperialist countries against their shared imperialist overlords.
    It will justify more surveillance, repression and fascist reaction to save capitalism from socialist revolution.
    That’s why communists never agree to bosses’ laws that can be used against workers and oppressed people whatever their origin.
    Only working class unity across borders can stop fascist reaction.
    Workers need to organise their own class internationally to defend all bourgeois freedoms that help them to organise the revolution because the goal is the revolution.
    To oppose hate speech laws is to defend free speech.

  7. I look forward to seeing Little’s definitions of hate. Is it a disgusting POTUS tweet saying all Mexicans are rapist drug peddlers? Or a flaky Israeli declaration that no-one can criticise or sanction their illegal occupations and murders (Abby Martin was recently prevented from talking on a campus by refusing to sign up to anti-BDS legislation now reaching far into the US)? Is hate the unfounded and rabid MSM reports day after day of Russia, Iran and China spying on the world and interfering in everything from elections to power grids? Worse is hate speech the use of propaganda by the deep state and MSM to justify wars which kill hundreds of thousands of brown people in foreign lands? Is stealing the wealth and land of sovereign countries part of the hate speech censorship m.o.? Is hate anything that Jacinda’s mate Jack Dorsey deems ideologically appropriate on Twitter, or Marky Mark on FB, or Mr Google on YouTube, who are currently deplatforming anyone with a wiff of truth telling, academic freedom, activism, satire, piling on the elites, swearing, questioning the status quo, having an opinion on gender issues, fullcaps or words originating from the uneducated, poor, marginalised or minorities? Is this crackdown on free speech a power struggle by governments to try and control populations into cognitive submission? Or are they just virtue signalling snow flakes who throw their toys when presented with the truth, or alternative views, or information that exposes their incompetence or wrongdoing? Sure, bulldoze these smelly, hate group racist murderers of a tall cliff, but use your head when it comes to the good majority.

  8. I think this is more about our right to hear all viewpoints and to make our own judgments than the “right of free speech”.
    People like Andrew Little and David Shanks (and arguably Jacinda Ardern) consider that they have the right to see and hear everything and then to make judgement on our behalf, while we are left wholly in the dark.
    In doing so they betray contempt for the very people who they supposedly represent.
    The right to freedom of speech and expression is of course important.
    I still have not forgotten the day when my employer called me into his office and showed me a letter on parliamentary letterhead written by a former Labour cabinet minister with decidedly neo-liberal views. The letter “suggested” that I be dismissed for having written an opinion piece published in the “New Zealand Herald” which proposed an alternative to the New Zealand government’s forest privatisation program. My employer assured me that I would not be dismissed on those grounds, but admitted that he felt himself to be under a great deal of pressure from the government over the matter.
    For his sake as much as mine I tried to keep a low profile from that point on.
    So if you were to ask me where Labour’s latest proposals will end I would reply “in fascism”. No “ifs” or “buts” about it.

    • That’s a truly disturbing story, Geoff. I would urge you to name names and require Labour to account for its unconscionable actions. Stories like yours, as you rightly attest, cast Little’s intentions re: hate speech into an altogether darker context.

      • The signature on the letter was that of Ken Shirley MP, who had at that time departed from the ranks of the Labour Party.
        My employer was the late Arapeta Tahana, Tumuaki (CEO) of Waiariki Polytechnic where I was employed as a forestry tutor.
        People can make their own judgements about Mr Shirley, but I will take this opportunity to pay tribute to Arapeta Tahana, a man who was fearlessly committed to the principle of academic freedom and to the progress and solidarity among our people, exemplified by his role in the construction of the Tangatarua wharenui at Waiariki. Arapeta was a man who paid a price for his principles and his devotion to our people. He was also victimized for his political views, and although he eventually obtained vindication through the courts it should be a concern to everyone that so often the legal system is the only place where our people can obtain justice under the colonial regime – if they can afford it.
        I am sorry for the delay in replying Chris. Spent the past few days in the bush.

    • It’s also great the government spies are able to spy on people without a warrant too, now that some ‘hate speech’ could be lurking in the suburban BBQ or you could have your political opponents put in jail – right up Mark Mitchell and Slater style of dirty politics.

      I’d say Castro would be carted off in chains for hate speech and threatening to kill, aka comments like capitalists are evil pigs who deserve to be shot… and plenty more hyperbole comments like it to be criminalised under the new laws that can be interpreted out of context.

      Just being arrested and going through the courts even if found innocent is a punishment for not using Chinese style ‘self suppression’ and remembering someone is always watching and reporting any innocent remark or sarcastic comment.

      Sarcasm would be criminalised and hyperbole neutralised.

      No wonder the jails are expected to triple in numbers going forward, they re already building the prisons!

    • Geoff F Thanks for sharing your story. No surprises there unfortunately. We need more personal accounts like yours in the public square.

  9. Andrew Little used to be a reliable guy on human rights, but not giving Maori in jail the vote, while pushing through woke legislation which will anger a significant amount of COL voters who believe in human rights and freedom of speech is just plain loopy.

    I guess the experience of being persecuted by the Haagamans from beyond even their grave, did not give him insights into how poorly written laws can be misused especially now????

  10. Little nearly destroyed the Labour party by hanging on to power when anyone with half a brain could see he was not going to lead a winning team with the messages he pushed. Now he is doing the same thing with this hate bill also he has not got a good track record with dealing with treaty issues so upset Maori.
    He always reminds me of the angry union bosses that destroyed businesses in the UK in the 70s

      • Ross,

        It’s been my observations over around 15 elections that Governments generally get voted out here rather than voted in. With that in mind, Little felt the contempt for National he was witnessing on his travels would somehow result in him suddenly becoming popular and PM in 2017.

        The telling moment for Little was shortly after Key stood down as PM on December 5th 2016. Little had been utterly woeful as Labour Leader against JK so you would have expected Little to at least double in the poll for PM. Instead, he didn’t move one percentage point. That is the moment he should have stepped down almost a year out from the election. Instead he arrogantly waited for his lotto victory until he gifted Ardern a hospital pass 9 weeks from election day.

        I believe Little is a solid enough politician but totally inept as leader and should never have been “gifted” that role. As woeful an opposition leader as David Cunliffe ever was.

  11. Tried to read the RNZ reporting, but was triggered by the example, when hate speech was apparently the inability to understand gender diverse and uses they/them pronouns correctly and thus not being able to be criminalised as appropriate to such a heinous crime is a big reason why the new hate speech laws are needed…

  12. Well, as I’ve commented somewhere before, stuff and things in “plucky lil ‘ole NuZull that punches above its weight” are probably going to have to get worse a bit longer for many – possibly most, before they get better.

    So be it. We kinda brung it all on ourselves.

    If and when the collective ‘left’ (which Labour see themselves as being the foreskins of) manage to regain power, I hope they have a plan, and highly improved bullshit detectors so that they can hit the ground running after the election, and one that will see transformation and kindness.

  13. Just DON’T do it!

    A win is going to be tough enough without handing it to them!

    Seymour is already gaining votes on this.

    Please, PM, just don’t do it!

  14. We hear hate speech daily here in NZ its disguised as the news, current affairs, documentaries, in the education curriculum, in our courts, justice system, the police and most government departments.

  15. You can ban guns but you can’t ban people from having hateful thoughts – and that is what any ban on speech is about; eradicating ‘bad’ thoughts.

    Attempts to ban thoughts and behaviours inevitably lead to a surge in those behaviours (aside from the banning of violence and physical harm for which there is 100% public support)

  16. The Right will not take this lying down? The Right will be fucking delighted! The contemporary left seems incapable of learning. Why can’t Jacinda and co learn from the fate of UK Labour? Boris Johnson has made them look irrelevant by doing the sort of things Labour should have been focusing on instead of bleating about how “racist” Britons are.

    • +1 chruskl, totally agee they need to look at how other labour leaders failed to win against idiots.

      This is one analysts version of how OZ labour lost their unlosable election.

      In short this commentator blames OZ Labor Loss for targeting the top 20% of the population not the top 1% for further taxation, hypocritical environmental stances, wages not being priorities in a way that people believed in with unions, and a history of Labour mirroring the liberals on policy with previous labour governments hypocritical acts probably creating lasting distaste over the party…

      https://jacobinmag.com/2019/05/australia-labor-party-bill-shorten-third-way/

      UK seemed to lose their election to the seemingly bumbling Boris, due to

      Labour infighting and intense media campaign hate against Corbyn, aka calling him a anti semite (new meaning with the current stupid NZ hate laws being proposed of using ‘hate speech’ as a way to actually stop people being against occupation), massive complexity of UK Labour policy offerings like free broadband which were bizarre to many as a luxury, Labour being immigration lite and opening up the NHS to all of Europe to use, continuing more jobs and welfare to migrants, unclear about Brexit stance, and expected tax increases under Labour to many…

      The democrats also lost against another seemingly bumbling politician, Trump.

      infighting (Bernie vs Hillary), Democrats being pro immigration, pro trade and not understanding the local job losses and wages due to neoliberal policy, Obama giving the banks public money over the GFC while many middle class lost everything and it was never addressed by the democrats who then were hobnobbing with the banks and celebrities and with their own Hillary ‘foundations’ collecting big bucks for themselves, Democrats strong identity focus – vote for me I’m a woman… not a compelling message for at least 50+% of the population….

      So when you look at these factors COL are in trouble if they continue to disappear into their woke arses on another complex unnecessary law change in the middle of multiple crisis – no houses, or food on the table or protected communities water (gave it away to China and cruise ships instead) but we will arrest and spy on anyone who may be committing thought crimes like the RNZ example as the inability to understand gender diverse and uses they/them pronouns correctly… sounds like a winner for the working class…NOT!

  17. Andrew Little!
    Defender of the worker.
    Yeah right m8

    Like most MPs who take minister of police or spies, they get sucked in with war stories and blue and red lights and rides in helicopters.

    Like Nash. Little, in my view, is a poodle.

  18. Jacinda and her hideous ‘Christchurch Call’ has resulted in large internet service providers now censoring endlessly, even Google, You Tube and Facebook are now ‘cleansed’ to a degree that resembles an high degree of PC censorship.

    There used to be this and that odd kind of info to be found upon searches, it has all disappeared, the chilling effect of the ‘Christchurch Call’ is wide reaching.

    This will have the adverse effect, as those seeking ‘alternative’ information, whether true or fake, they will in larger numbers dive into the dark side of the web, and perhaps fall prey to rather bizarre information, including conspiracy theories, like the mass murderer in the German city of Hanau did until he went on his rampage two days ago.

    The establishment and its system are hated by ever more people, and if they feel they are being dictated to, they will be ever so more motivated to take ‘action’, which can be very nasty indeed.

  19. From what I’ve read it seems this is a process that was supposed to have been done and dusted in 2019 but dragged on into election year. I’ve read opinion to the effect that they should broaden the current scope of the law to include homophobic slurs etc (at present it’s rather narrowly defined) while keeping the bar high. Mind you I suppose if it was that easy it would have been concluded in 2019.

  20. “It points to a dramatic weakening in the position of Labour’s coalition partner, NZ First.”

    And yet: it’s reported this morning that NZF has put the kibosh on feebates for electric cars, and may just move against proposed extended gun laws.

    That doesn’t sound like a party whose position in the coalition has weakened.

    And: given the above, why would NZF allow Little’s cockamamie hate speech law proposals to proceed?

  21. “The obvious, and worrying, answer is: “They will go to the Right.””

    I’m an old lefty. Were there a real left-wing (old-style left-wing, I mean) entity contesting the next election, I’d vote for it in a heartbeat. But there isn’t. So – aside from not voting at all – what choice do we have? As things stand, my party vote will be going to ACT: something I could never have imagined, only a few years ago.

    “….with the suppression of the free speech of persons identified as “right wing”, or, more ludicrously, as “Nazis” and “fascists”.”

    I have been called all of these names on this very blog site. I am none of them, of course; I’m an old lefty. But nowadays, I’m a sceptic. Which seems to bunch the undies of some commenters here.

    “Worse still, they have secured this “de-platforming” by threatening to unleash violence and disorder if these individuals are permitted to speak.”

    Indeed. I note that the latest victim is the unfortunate Peter Singer. I doubt that any of those screaming for his deplatforming have any real understanding of his philosophical writing. And – in any event – he’s coming here to talk about charitable giving. Giving till it hurts: a concept that’s foreign to the woke left, I’m guessing.

    He has another venue lined up, I believe, after Sky City cancelled his booking. Pusillanimous of it, but what we’ve come to expect.

    Nowadays, I rarely listen to Kim Hill, but this morning by chance, I heard her interview Singer. She wasted a perfectly good interview, barking at him over his writing on severely-disabled infants, despite his visit having nothing whatever to do with the disability issue.

    I noticed today that she now sounds disturbingly like the Martians in that ridiculous movie “Mars Attacks!”.

    “That people cannot be forced into abandoning their erroneous, hurtful and/or dangerous opinions. They can only be argued out of them.”

    There are two things to be said about this comment. Firstly, people’s opinions aren’t necessarily dangerous or erroneous, though they may well be heterodox, thereby causing offence. Secondly, if I judge by what’s been screamed at me on this site, I’d say that few people are receptive to countervailing argument, most especially if their strongly-held views are characterised as racist. Or fascist. Or right-wing. They’ll often pipe down, because they don’t like the name-calling. But they won’t change their views.

      • Sounds like hate speech under the new laws Orangemanbad…

        “you are so surplus to requirements in these times boomer”

        Or has age discrimination dropped off the human rights?

        Weird how the ones most braying for so called rights for identity groups and criminalising anybody who wants a debate about it, are often the worst offenders of discrimination and denigration of other identity groups aka age, race, gender (pale, male, stale.) Hypocrisy is one of the big turn offs of woke thinking.

        • SaveNZ: “Weird how the ones most braying for so called rights for identity groups and criminalising anybody who wants a debate about it, are often the worst offenders of discrimination and denigration of other identity groups aka age, race, gender (pale, male, stale.) Hypocrisy is one of the big turn offs of woke thinking.”

          I, too, have noticed this. Hypocrisy, right enough!

    • Firstly who are you to tell me what’s up with Maori. Do you have enough mana for that?

      You, DEsterre speak about people who comment as if people are coming after you. As I remember it was you who started coming after me trying to educate me on what afflicts Māori or feminist and other edgy details.

      So I often talk harshly of you or the Greens or Labour or who ever because ideology in which they are presented is suspicious. So you should criticise me or who ever for criticising the most problematic topics which brings me a lot of hate.

      When ever I get attacked from all sides and it still happens, one minute I’ll be accused of rightwing centrism and the next I’m being accused of left wing centrism all in the one comment so just feel free to attack me.

      I’m sad I don’t go deep into philosophy because I think Chris Trotter does the best forensic examinations of the deep-state which is a permanent point that I repeat obsessively and I think that’s what we need today in our political moment.

      We don’t need economist, the economy can function just fine with out them. Yknow the National Leader will love economists and regularly designates himself as a superior economists. We need what Bomber is when he opposes economic BS which is an apostate. Yknow people who can renounce religious or political beliefs.

      So we need contradictions, we need feminists who can display toxic masculinity. That’s why I like Greta. She isn’t a genius economists or what ever she just repeats the same piont in a wonderfully aggressive way but let’s not get to lost in this.

      It goes against woke identity politics misunderstandings of what multiculturalism is. I think we should learn and agree to respect each other through authentic multiculturalism.

      I don’t think it’s necessary to be a true social democrat by understanding the true nature of colonization or the patriarchy and so on and so on. If anything it is the other way around. To understand 18th century New Zealand I recommend reading some of Chris Totters Blogs on it. We learn more from each other than some artistic transformation into a totally different cultural context.

      The true sign of a resilient culture is one that can be transplanted into a new time in a new place and in a new culture. Matareki the National Kapa Haka contest is an open unfinished character when we all came to late, much later than the original works of art. This is a privilege for us because we can understand Māori better today than Māori understood themselves 200 years ago.

      Today apocalyptic predictions abound. We are confronting crises after crises for apocalyptic reasons. The predominant right wing reaction to the warnings of apocalypse is that these warnings are a part of the desperate radical leftists desire to sustain the revolutionary zeal.

      Lefties feel betrayed after every great left wing project of the 20th century failed so we can not accept a relatively developed western life so the woke radicals need to invent or construct a final threat of apocalyptic catastrophe. So the right wing reaction is “nothing really great is happening it’s just a left wing trick to keep the revolution going.”

      Of course I disagree with this right wing reaction. The one thing I do agree on is that ecology is now a great field of ideological investments and ideological battles. For me at least the most dangerous ones are self hating ideology that humans come with hubris to exploit Mother Nature and we all must travel back in time and live as we lived when we signed the Treaty. Apart from the obvious ideology of tax polluters and you can’t afford it, tax is theft bullshit the most dangerous ones are the time warps.

      I could not imagine a worse anti-centrism than this fake anti-centrism where all these mother naturists claim we need to be single cell ones with nature. What the woke are really interested in is not Mother Nature because Mother Nature is brutal and totally indifferent where as the woke claim male patriarchy destroys all life on earth.

      As we know from geological records nature is ruining itself all the time. So it’s not nature we need to worry about we just want a safe environment for us.

      • Sam: insofar as I could make sense of what you were saying, I cannot see what your comment has to do with the topic of this blog. It reads like a stream of consciousness, in truth.

        “Firstly who are you to tell me what’s up with Maori. Do you have enough mana for that?”

        Say what? How is this relevant to any of the preceding comments in this thread? Never mind the original post….

        “As I remember it was you who started coming after me trying to educate me on what afflicts Māori or feminist and other edgy details.”

        My dear chap (or chapess): please a) stick more or less to the topic of the post, b) read comments carefully, so that you actually understand them and c) don’t hark back to other comment threads which you clearly remember imperfectly.

        If you cannot do those things, best to refrain from commenting altogether. Really: trying to interpret your comments is for the most part a pointless waste of time.

        Note that I’m not remotely interested in educating you on what afflicts Maori (whatever that means). However, I have pointed out to you that if the first language you learned was English, that’s your native language, not te reo. Clearly that bunched your undies, because you want te reo to be your native language. But while it can be your language, if you’ve learned how to speak it, it can’t be your native language unless it was the first language you learned.

        No point whining about this: it applies to all humans, not just Maori. The English language has been particularly pervasive over many years, pushing aside many indigenous languages as it rolls over much of the world.

        • How do you know English is my first language?

          Your comment only makes sense if you can instantly forget something that was written down by yourself, and what I was replying To, Yknow the ones about being being attacked or somethings?

          As you admit to wilfully trying to bunch my undies up while denying it at the same time is amazing really.

          I felt the need to reply to you because of the faint hope that you would avoid voting for ACT. But I don’t know you’ve erected some strong defences around your newly found ideology.

          All I was saying was that the future can not be built with words.

          • Sam: “How do you know English is my first language?”

            For heavens sakes! Respond to what I actually wrote, not what you think I wrote.

            I don’t know what your native language is: note that above, I said “if”. It was you yourself, on some other comment thread, who made reference to English as if it were your native language.

            Note that I don’t give a good goddamn which is your native language; I’m interested only in the principles underlying the acquisition of language. It’s very clear that many people – you included – don’t understand those principles.

            I have said – repeatedly – that te reo needs native speakers. Not people who learn it at school;given the critical status of the language, likely not even people who are bilingual (as are a couple of my relatives). Without native speakers, the language is dead. The same principle applies to every language in the world.

            If – note that word -IF – you aren’t a native speaker of te reo, and assuming that you grew up in NZ, it’s more than likely that English is your native language.

            Enough already!

            • Oh okay I thought you was doing what you always do when you take offence when ever someone asks you a question which I don’t think is going to contradict your what if’s, so let me ask some more questions. The idea here isn’t a gotcha on ethics or rights even though I can see you’ve thought it over a little bit so here’s some questions.

              If Māori was replaced with Europeans then presumably you would say that is wrong to support?

              So if we replaced those Māori that are currently fluent in the Reo with Europeans would you consider that situation to be wrong?

              And the loss of the Reo would you consider that to be wrong?

              So then my next question would be what is it that is true of Māori that isn’t true of Europeans that would allow for cultural genocide to happen?

              So what is it that makes some one Māori? So are you just talking about genetics or economics?

              So let’s say that we slightly modify Māori where they still have the same consciousness but there genetics are slightly altered so it’s still the exact same Māori mind it’s just everything else is genetically European would it would still be okay to culturally genocide them?

  22. I think you underestimate the role of 8chan in the shooter’s decision – it evidently provided a supportive community for him. Concentrating on those internet communities that promote violence is probably pretty sound – hate speech laws on the other hand, rely on levels of linguistic determinism even Sapir & Whorf would not care to assert.

  23. Selling visas and tax incentives for foreigners, surprise surprise drives up house prices around the world and then apparently those who become marginalised in their own countries who complain about it (while the neoliberals spend money on lobbying for more easing) become the victims who are not allowed to be considered the victims by the powerful with money to control media and government ear… locals who are the vulnerable ones then become the ‘other’ are accused of xenophobia…

    Portugal’s plan to exclude Lisbon and Porto from golden visa scheme draws flak from property industry
    https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3051189/portugals-plans-exclude-lisbon-and-porto-golden-visa-scheme-draws-flak

    Another wonderful thing (sarcasm) to encourage wealthy people to come to other countries and generally on the backs of buying up property to meet the ‘residency’ are encouraged with generous taxes that locals can not access or are too poor to make advantages of https://tax-free.today/blog/nhr-residency-in-portugal/

    Property statistics can also be misleading, because high wealth individuals from around the world have the ability to buy up more properties than locals and create cartels, Often dual residents have more tax advantages from multiple residencies and avoidance tax advice, (0% tax havens in NZ, free gift duty, moneylaundering that is not a crime here for foreign nationals https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12260326 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11905478 )

    And behaviour that causes poverty to others by encouraging semi legal behaviour from new and old residents that band together to create ‘bargains’ from ‘dummies’ will get a little slap on the wrist.

    New Zealand property tycoon Ron Hoy Fong to be prosecuted for ‘bid rigging’ and ‘cartel conduct’
    https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/3017692/new-zealand-property-tycoon-ron-hoy-fong-be-prosecuted-bid

  24. “Our current laws forbid the incitement of actual physical harm, and will punish those who wilfully defame their fellow citizens. Attempting to pass laws against the giving of offence, however, is a fool’s errand. Far from eliminating offensiveness, such laws will only encourage and intensify it. Harm cannot be prevented, but it can be healed. Building trust and amity between peoples is achieved by starting conversations – not by shutting them down.”

    Well written Chris, that’s the best summary I’ve seen in press that sums up my vague thoughts on the matter. Touche

  25. I don’t like Hate Speech laws. Labour needs to leave this woke garbage and focus on building up family’s to live in a healthy independent lifestyle.

  26. Labour is increasingly a bad joke and I believe its time for them to be replaced by any govt that overturns laws that criminalise “opinions”.

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