Is Billy TK Shouting “Fire” In A Crowded Theatre?

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JUST OVER A CENTURY ago, an American socialist, Charles T Schenck, tested the boundaries of free speech. He and his fellow socialist, Elizabeth Baer, were convicted under the Espionage Act (1917) for distributing pamphlets opposing the conscription of young American men for service in World War I. The pair appealed their conviction to the US Supreme Court, citing the First Amendment to the US Constitution’s protection of Freedom of Speech, but their conviction was upheld. The celebrated American jurist and Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, explained his decision in the following, famous, passage:

“We admit that in many places and in ordinary times the defendants in saying all that was said in the circular would have been within their constitutional rights. But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting ‘Fire’ in a theatre and causing a panic… The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is question of proximity and degree.”

The “theatre” Holmes refers to is, of course, the United States at war. Schenck’s arguments against conscription – by undermining the US war effort – were, in the unanimous judgement of the Supreme Court, a direct violation of the people’s will – as expressed in the US Congress’s declaration of war against the Central Powers. Context, argues Holmes, is everything.

One hundred years later, and half a world away, the issue of free speech and the context in which it does, and does not, require the law’s protection is still very much alive.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Earlier today (13 August 2020) in Whangarei the Leader of the New Zealand Public Party, Billy Te Kahika Jr, addressed a small crowd of people who had joined a protest against the Government’s latest efforts to control the community transmission of the Covid-19 virus. In the course of that address, Mr Te Kahika alleged that the Government’s actions were part of a preconceived plan to deprive ordinary New Zealanders of their rights. His speech reinforced arguments he had already voiced on Facebook earlier in the week. Patriotic New Zealanders, Mr Te Kahika advised his audience, were leaking information to him about the Government’s plans to deploy the armed forces against its own citizens. Very soon, he claimed, soldiers would be testing New Zealanders compulsorily for Covid-19.

These are inflammatory claims, prompting the question as to whether or not Mr Te Kahika is guilty of “falsely shouting ‘Fire’ in a theatre and causing a panic”?

Certainly, the claims advanced by Mr Te Kahika are false. The matter to be determined, therefore, is whether or not they are likely to cause panic. In ordinary times, the answer would be “No.” In ordinary times, the opinions of conspiracy theorists may be safely ignored. Indeed, in ordinary times, the state protects their opinions. Mr Te Kahika’s freedom of expression, as set forth in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, would not be infringed – in ordinary times.

But, these are not ordinary times.

New Zealanders need only look across the Tasman Sea, to the State of Victoria, to understand the threat posed to society by an inadequate official response to any resurgence of the Covid-19 virus. Many people will become sick. Others will die. The local economy will be devastated. Any activity which threatens to facilitate and/or augment these evils must, therefore, be considered, in Holmes’s compelling phrase, “a clear and present danger” to the common welfare.

It is very difficult to interpret Mr Te Kahika’s activity as anything other than an attempt to impede, undermine and in every way frustrate the Government’s attempt to respond adequately to a proven resurgence of community transmission of Covid-19 in the city of Auckland and, quite possibly, across the rest of New Zealand. His unsubstantiated claims seem calculated to arouse fear, anger and hatred among those least equipped intellectually, emotionally and materially to challenge their veracity. When directed against those in authority, for expressly political purposes, such falsehoods have the power to cause immense harm.

If Holmes’s important stipulation that “the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done”, then Mr Te Kahika’s actions can only be described as extremely reckless and irresponsible. Conscious, that they could quite easily contribute to a significant lessening in the public’s willingness to comply with the Covid-19 regulations – and, hence, to the spread of the virus – the Government would be entitled to take all necessary measures to silence Mr Te Kahika and his  political lieutenants.

The only consideration militating against such a course of action is likely to be whether or not the silencing of Mr Te Kahika would be more, or less, likely to facilitate the very substantive evils it was intended to prevent. While the crowds he speaks to remain as small as Whangarei’s, it is probably not worth making a “free speech” martyr out of Mr Te Kahika – especially if such martyrdom constitutes an important part of his election campaign. The Government would, nevertheless, be wise to keep a close eye on the NZPP and its inflammatory leader, and both eyes on the size of the crowds they attract.

My own principled attachment to free speech is well attested, and, just for the record, I believe the US Supreme Court was wrong to convict Schenck and Baer for opposing the draft. I do, however, concur entirely with Justice Holmes that freedom of speech gives no person the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.

Nor to undermine the efforts of our government to preserve New Zealanders’ lives in the face of global pandemic.

 

88 COMMENTS

  1. Yes. He is, he reached into my aunties head and now she’s like some cult member. Billy T.K. You and me. You, and, me.

  2. On a bit of a knifes edge here Chris with your interpretation. More than a little ironic. Especially considering all of the dangerous rhetoric coming from the media.

  3. I think a party for people on the fringes is probably a good idea. If nothing else, it means these people and ideas come out of the shadows into the mainstream. We should be able to learn from the tragedy of last year that extremist ideas festering on internet chatrooms leads to bad results… a shame this could not have happened before Tarrant performed his atrocity. Hate speech laws seem to be designed to encourage this kind of ideas by attributing victim status.

    There is perhaps a parallel with firearms owners, with the early hint of a development of a “gun lobby” where there never was one before in our country, caused entirely by a feeling of victimisation by the Government knee-jerk over-reaction to Tarrants crime.

    • Surely dangerous and anti social opinions should be monitored though?… isn’t this the crux of determining and anticipating terrorism which we charge our governmental authority’s to do on our behalf ?

      A Police officer we certainly expect to intervene when inflammatory speech is used to incite a mob towards violence , racially incited murderous intent and acts towards treason against the commons?

      Surely we can expect more than a toothless response by our paid authority’s to restore the rule of law for the good of the commons?

      So why should we expect to endure those patently malignant elements that are so beyond the capabilities of sound reason and debate and who are so radicalized that they will use every edifice of lawlessness to justify the ‘means suits the ends’ in their minds and ideology’s ?

      There comes a point in time that certain malignant forces operating are so far beyond the accepted grounds of humanity that they need to be curbed. This is why the doctors during and after WW1 campaigned against the use of lead nosed bullets and tear gas. It is the basis of the Geneva convention. It is the basis of treatment of prisoners of war. It was the (supposed ) basis of Abraham Lincolns war against slavery.

      History is replete with examples whereby at certain times, certain manner’s of speech were deemed necessary to be curbed, not simply debated. Metaphorically speaking and as a physical example ,the crossbow, which was deemed to be an evil device, was outlawed – or attempted to be outlawed- for use against ‘christian’ forces. Yet the crossbow is as the rifle, – a simple tool. It is all how it is used and with what intent , whether for good or for evil.

      Yet when it comes to speech, we disconnect ourselves and seem to have this reticence to curb what is patently and obviously hateful and inflammatory speech. Yet which is, … a direct precursor in many circumstances to an act of violence or inciting others to commit acts of violence. We seem to have this transient view of the spoken word ‘ that it will be forgotten in time’. Tragically, not so.

      One only has to look at the examples of Europe 1939 to 1945 to see the estimated total of 70–85 million deaths accorded to the oratory of one former corporal who rose to power in that era.

      All I can say is… be careful what you wish for. A fire is good for warmth, nourishment and light provided it is contained within the fireplace.

      Let it out, ? – and the whole house and surrounding forest is burnt down.

      • WK I remember a recent post of yours mentioning stomping on the heads of your politically vanquished opponents.
        Should you be on a watchlist?

        • Nay, see , here is where you get me wrong.

          I’m not one of your mealy mouthed neo liberals or fawning ‘follow the pack’ lefties.

          I’m a centrist whose political heritage belongs to the period pre 1984. I could have just as easily voted Bill Rowling or Rob Muldoon.

          Yep, that’s right, – I’m a Keynesianist. Not a neo liberalist. And proud to be so.

          Something that you ‘keep calm??!!?’ … have a bunch of problems with. Why?

          Because we types are after your treasonous thieving of the commons . We want ( and are starting to see ) your lots political downfall.

          First comes the downfall, then comes the follow up, eh guv. But first things first, and taking on one goal at a time, lets start with National, then we can start working backwards. Little bit like a virus,… eh mate.

          • So was that a yes or a no WK?

            I don’t think the issue is who you vote for left, right or other but rather the oddly violent language of some and their propensity to demonize and dehumanize their opponent.
            That’s a bad road to go down and it’s all over this blog from a bunch of people lately.

            I’ve been here years, as have you and you (should) know I’m no neolib, but neither am I a woke destroyer of kiwi culture.

            I do note that those who cry the loudest to censor others are invariably guilty of sins of their own, often worse.
            Who gets to be the judge of acceptable political discourse?
            Yourself, of course.

  4. Are you seriously suggesting he should be locked up? If you believe that, then presumably you think the police will be checking all sorts of blog sites, tracking down the commenters and locking them up as well. There will be hundreds of people to be locked up.

    You know what I call that, a police state.

  5. Yes Chris, – but the same could be said about inviting the inflammatory remarks of Canadian white supremacist female speaker Lauren Southern, – which I objected to her coming here and you supported. Your argument was we could debate her and her colleague. My argument was that we don’t need their inflammatory racist speeches here and we should close down her inappropriate neo nazism by not letting them here .

    Similar to the whole crux of her shouting ‘FIRE’ in a theater :

    ———————————–

    … ‘ These are inflammatory claims, prompting the question as to whether or not Mr Te Kahika is guilty of “falsely shouting ‘Fire’ in a theatre and causing a panic”?

    Certainly, the claims advanced by Mr Te Kahika are false. The matter to be determined, therefore, is whether or not they are likely to cause panic…If Holmes’s important stipulation that “the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done”, then Mr Te Kahika’s actions can only be described as extremely reckless and irresponsible’…

    ———————————–

    Sooooo,… why is it OK to pick on Mr Te Kahika’s viewpoints and take Oliver Wendell Holmes ruling regards ‘context’ as yelling ‘fire’ in a theater as justification,…and yet treat the highly inflammatory and racist speeches of Lauren Southern as something less in a multicultural society such as NZ ?

    You like to debate,…

    I’l leave you and others with that thought.

    • Here we go again, another anti free speecher. Easy to call someone a racist without evidence. I don’t expect you to point to any either.

      • Yawn.

        I guess Lauren Southern was a well balanced and well meaning social engineer according to you. Ta Ta. Try not to be a nitpicker and a bore next time.

      • Yawn.

        So I guess that Lauren Southern was a well meaning and well balanced social engineer according to you, eh?

        Sorry to shoot the fuck out of your sacred cows buddy, but some evil f@ckers shouldn’t even get a look in when it comes to inspiring race riots.

        • Yes, ignore it, but that was to be expected buddy. Especially with an attitude of guilt until proven innocent.

        • “Prove to me that Lauren Southern wasn’t a racist.”
          I don’t think that’s how the burden of proof operates. It lies with the person first asserting a claim.

              • Social media has pulled this entire generation into politics and we can not leave them to be slaughtered by the likes of Stephan and Southern without putting up a decent fight.

                  • How can I take advice from some nobody hiding behind a fake profile picture and a pseudonym. If you don’t want to be open and transparent then just stick to the facts.

                    • Good on ya Sam. Oh transparent one. Maybe stick to Facebook, but don’t take my advice.

                      Peace out. 🙂

                    • Are you thick? we can not give the likes of Stefan free rein over social media because there converting people into cult conspiracy theorists. They must be engaged and embarrassed in front of everyone, it’s the only way.

              • The Internets a marvelous thing. Input in,… input out.

                Try it.

                You might learn something then, eh mate.

                Oh , and BTW ,… are you daft?

                Or just blind to the things you don’t want to see that’s in plain sight for everyone else, guv…

  6. While I don’t think he should be locked up, there definitely needs to be some kind of push-back in terms of a counter narrative that will at least address some of the more outlandish claims. I am amazed at how many people I know are fully involved and have bought into the whole spin; covid 19 is being used to control us, a one-world government is next, the army will enforce compulsory vaccinations that Bill Gates has developed in order to implant bots that will track us…. it’s hard to know exactly how many are supporting him but the NZPP facebook page has over 24,000 “likes” and 31,000 followers, and has only been up for a couple of months.

    • Well I dunno about all that , but I do know that every time there is an advancement in technology for WHATEVER REASON regards personal information that is freely given to govt, you sacrifice by increments your privacy thus your human rights to privacy.

      And lets face it… most of these govt dept’s are filled with people just like YOU. Pimple faced , lank haired, office workers who cant wait for smoko, cant wait for the weekend gossipers who don’t really give a flying fuck about some nameless faceless slob out there who they had to deal with on Wednesday and ”pass me another beer” and ”let me tell you all about it” types.

      Eh.

  7. Inflammatory claims or merely highlighting what has already been announced?

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/15-07-2020/checkpoints-soldiers-door-to-door-testing-nzs-new-covid-outbreak-plan/

    “The Government would, nevertheless, be wise to keep a close eye on the NZPP and its inflammatory leader, and both eyes on the size of the crowds they attract.”

    Are you endorsing the State spy on a political party and take note of their supporters? And if their support grows enough to become a threat to the establishment, what are you suggesting the State do then?

    • “Are you endorsing the State spy on a political party and take note of their supporters?”
      What’s wrong with you, “The Chairman.” ?

      Keeping an eye on something isn’t the same as sending in spies.
      It’s taking note of what the loon is saying and so be prepared to correct the crazy talk if his fantasies threaten to get traction amongst the feeble minded and permanently bewildered amongst us..

      • Steady on , mate… were we not saying the same thing a few years back regarding John Key and his treatment of Kim Dotcom using the MSM at the Internet / Mana political launch?

      • When Governments keep an eye on people, they tend to do it via one of their agencies.

        Correcting political thought/talk sounds rather like the CCP model. Therefore, if the Government believe the belief he (Billy) is touting are fantasies (yet want to maintain the public’s trust and not further feed his mantra, thus his support) then all they have to do is reasonably disprove them.

  8. I think AO/NZ’ers are dumb enough to panic at anything. Certainly after more than 36 years of neoliberalism depriving us of any real and actual news of merit that might threaten the neoliberal agenda which is to keep us dumb enough to be exploited on an ongoing basis.
    The first news of this latest outbreak of c-19 in Auckland saw people scramble to the supermarkets to buy yet more toilet paper in bulk in Christchurch.
    That’s two things. #1 It’s dumb and #2 It’s hilarious.
    Surely, behavioural psychologists will be all over us like flies on stink.
    My personal opinion is that billy tk should go for it and see what happens because we’re fucked anyway.
    Can I suggest that a way of nudging things along would be by pouring thousands of litres of proper LSD into Auckland’s water supply?
    I’ve got my cameras ready.
    The film ‘Idiocracy’ just keeps giving.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBvIweCIgwk

    • Be quiet, CB, … toilet rolls make good and fast ways to wallpaper a house when there’s nothing else, and the kids can always go to town with their crayons. I know. I was 16 years in the painting and decorating trade.

      So leave those panic buyers be.

      We are keeping tradies employed that way. You should know that.

      Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
      https://youtu.be/sMmTkKz60W8?t=23

  9. You want to know what causes panic? Telling seriously ill people with a deadly virus, when their immunity is low- that they are going to be forced by the barrel of a gun into a fecal matter infested hotel room! What panel of government approved “scientists” decided that dank, germ infested hotel rooms are appropriate for a serious medical containment? And riddle me this-why are we not seeing use of appropriate PPE, still? Compare South Korea covid-19 testing sites to New Zealand and look at the difference, it is frankly, scary! And we also have the Prime Minister coming out and telling people that scarfs and bandannas are adequate protection against this virus! This is an irresponsible lie that rises to criminal. And you wonder why people don’t trust the government, really? Even massively educated scientists have not come to a consensus bout this virus, but for New Zealand health professionals and scientists to declare hotel rooms as sterile appropriate medical containment facilities and bandannas as medical protection is seriously a new low..

      • I’m sure Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Shakespeare and Emily Bronte’ would be proud to quote that… I can see it now, endorsed by everyone of them if they were alive today…

        ”Paragraphs protect your brain from dangerous walls of text”…

        At the very least, it would be an excuse to justify ‘writers block’….

    • A part of Angie’s statements are correct as Government say now they are acting “cautious” but are they?????

      Consider this angle we posted on Scoop Today as “food for thought” as truck drivers were coming out of Auckland yesterday they were “exempt” for being stopped as they drive their freight in and out of all NZ without being checked for where they were going and what was their purpose so we are worried as truckies may be casually spreading Covid 19 around the country without even knowing!!!!!

      https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2008/S00178/govt-must-consider-increase-mass-testing-for-all-citizens-now.htm

      Politics
      Gov’t Must Consider Increase Mass Testing For All Citizens Now
      Friday, 14 August 2020, 9:45 am
      Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
      NZ Ministry of Health/Minister do not have adequate data to understand ‘how and why’ the latest community Covid cluster has emerged this week, so they are concentrating at the cold store site where containers are transported by trucks, CEAC assume all drivers are tested, – If not we must now test all our freight transport drivers and incorporate this with the current ‘swab test’- and “the antibody test (also called a serology test.) which confirm all who develop immunity to Covid 19 for true accurate test results.
      Transport operations
      Most freight drivers manually touch the freight as it is offloaded from trucks so if any driver has Covid 19 it will be easily spread widely around the country, so CEAC calls on Government to have all truck freight operators to be tested now and every two weeks for Covid 19 to reduce community spread of Covid 19.
      WHY?
      · We need to know who has actually developed immunity to the virus.
      · We do not have these tools at present in the test protocol
      · NZ Ministry of health is using only the nasal or throat swab test, which can ‘migrate’ from the nasal or throat in a few days we are being advised.
      · The current ‘nasal throat Swab’ coronavirus test look for the virus’ genetic material in a sample of mucus, which is usually collected by a nasal or throat swab administered by a health care worker. and only diagnose a current infection.
      · Whereas the antibody test (also called a serology test.) finds who develops immunity to Covid 19.
      · It signifies that the person has been exposed to the virus long enough that their immune system has been responding to it- which is the real gold standard now being used.
      Before the coronavirus started spreading in Global communities, there was just one type of test to detect an infection; – the coronavirus test look for the virus’ genetic material in a sample of mucus, which is usually collected by a nasal or throat swab administered by a health care worker, but now several other types of testing are used in conjunction with the PCR swab test to ensure an accurate test result is obtained.
      What is this coronavirus antibody test?
      Unlike other tests on the market, the antibody test (also called a serology test) does not diagnose a current infection. “It signifies that the person has been exposed to the virus long enough that their immune system has been responding to it,” Stenzel says.
      It’s important to remember: Many people who are infected with the coronavirus do not experience symptoms. And knowing whether someone has been infected but wasn’t sick can also pinpoint people who may be in the clear to return to normalcy.
      People who have already had the virus are “probably not going to be a danger to other people,” Stenzel explains. Scientists are still working to better understand if and how the virus mutates, but Stenzel says the thought is that those who have “been exposed to coronavirus and have developed immunity and have completely recovered, hopefully won’t get it again.”
      Public health experts are also looking to serology tests to paint a more complete picture of how the virus spreads and to better understand its fatality ratio. The CDC is developing its own serology test for this reason”. Unquote.
      The following report here confirms that the current NZ Ministry of Health nasal throat swab test can be false negative in several ways.
      Proof is below; “A ‘negative’ coronavirus test result doesn’t always mean you aren’t infected”
      This was found reported in China during their pandemic, and they resorted to ‘lung Xray’s’ to confirm that the patient was seriously ill after so many confusing false negative swab results were repeatedly found occurring there.
      And this also shows how false Swab testing is;
      Quote; “A test developed by the researchers was able to detect 2019-nCoV in oral swab samples. But samples taken about 10 days later did not have a positive result.”
      Conduct full Covid 19 testing of all our citizens firstly and complete a full assessment of solid controlled ‘tracing of the Covid 19’.
      We must have mass testing of all our community firstly to have a solid ‘robust tracing process’ to fight Covid 19.

      • …“food for thought” as truck drivers were coming out of Auckland yesterday they were “exempt” for being stopped as they drive their freight in and out of all NZ without being checked for where they were going and what was their purpose”…

        ———————————-

        Nice one , CG.

        But so many of these knuckleheads don’t want and don’t have the courage to put their heads above the parapet, do they…gutless.

    • What a load of rubbish you put in your comment . I am no defender of Jacinda but the thw idea of a scarf or bandana is to protect others not the person wearing it. As regard to the hotel room I do not know we’re you stay but I have never been in a dark germ infested room even at the lower end of the price range. I imaging you are a member of the Billy TK party you would pass the intelligence test.

      • Trevor Sennitt,

        The most concerning aspect of her utter crap is that she clearly believes it.

        If she hasn’t already I sincerely hope she doesn’t breed.

        • Wow. With friends like you the Labor gov needs no enemies, what a gross thing to say to say to a mother. And that hotel rooms are germ infested is not “crap,” in fact they are loaded with crap. Many studies have been done on this. Why does this country not have containment in hospitals where they belong? And bandannas are not proper protective wear. If protective wear is mandatory proper wear- N95 should be provided for free to everyone.

      • A scarf or bandanna will not protect Nana from your germs. And hotels, not matter how nice they look are loaded with fecal germs. There are scientific studies on this. A tent is more germ free.

      • Wow. So I must be a Billy TK Party member instead of a woman with my own opinion? ABOUT GERMS IN HOTELS? AND PROPER PPE?

        • No, you can have your own opinions it’s just that you don’t have any power or control over anything. Just stick to the facts.

          • Fecal matter covers hotels and it is a totally inadequate place to quarantine people. Why would an outbreak be race inclusive to Pacific Islander only? Can we go there?

  10. Wow Angie, you have completely changed my mind! The “facts” that you outline here are SO interesting and obviously unbiased that I am going to abandon any medical information or advice from the professionals and experts and listen to you.
    Your post is the only thing that has reached a seriously new low…

    • Cheers. At least you did not retort by calling me a “Nazi” a “bigot” a “conspiracy theorist” or the tired out “white supremacist.” Must mean the dialogue here is reaching new highs! Or indeed, hotel rooms are not proper medical quarantine facilities and scarfs and bandannas are not adequate protection from covid19. You think I am joking yet I am not at all, I am livid about this.

      • I can see your point of view… something amiss with hotel rooms instead of hospital wards and bandanna’s instead of certified medical masks,…

        Even us old cowboys can see something not quite right with all that…. next they’ll be saying Whisky instead of anesthetics,… but I cant say I’ll disapprove with that decision….

    • No well hang on, I’m gonna grab my cowboy straw hat, my black jeans and ripped off at the shoulder denim shirt, my black leather vest and stylish yet practical subdued leather boots and go looking for a bandanna…

      *( They don’t sell them for us plebs at sanctioned outlets like Pack and Slave in an obvious place even tho I asked where… ( old chap told me by the lesser egress door over in the corner where most people didn’t go) …the govt said they had 5 million of em good to go. Nice to know where they all are.) I heard upon asking a young woman they are sold at the $2.00 shop, however.

      So I might try that get up and walk into an Australian bank.

      With my bandanna. And a pink water pistol.

  11. At that time and using that same spurious argument, Oliver Wendell Holmes was also instrumental in sending to prison Eugene V. Debbs, the Socialist who ran for President five times, the last time from that prison cell but from where he was still able to attract a million votes.

  12. Covid-19: Lack of testing of staff at border ‘extraordinary … – RNZ://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/423526/covid-19-lack-of-testing-of-staff-at-border-extraordinary-skegg

    AAAARSSEHOLES… !!!

    The state of modern neo liberal NZ. You bring it on yourselves with your cheap arse two cents Bullshit reliance on private enterprise and then wonder why you always get fucked up the arse. You deserve everything you get.

  13. He’s dangerous and is starting to remind me of Jim Jones.

    People like him get oxygen for two reasons.

    1) A void in the political system where people feel disillusioned with both Labour and National.

    2) He’s a reasonably good and convincing speaker. He wraps big lies up in little bits of truth.

    I spoke with a neighbour about him recently. He’s a supporter. I respected the neighbour but he tried to convince me of things I knew were total horseshit. I told him so but he’s adamant the man is on to it. If Billy TK can turn him into a believer, we can safely assume there will be an army of clueless morons out there who will fall for it hook, line and sinker as if he was Rattenfänger Von Hameln.

    • 2) He’s a reasonably good and convincing speaker. He wraps big lies up in little bits of truth.
      ——————–
      Yeah but TBH , – How long have the neo liberals been doing that to us?!!?

    • Quite right, Jacindafan. There are politicians that spend their time quelling fires and those who ignite them. Vast vacuums here in the set-up where only the elite profit markedly. Of course, the elite don’t have the right perspective to appreciate this. There aren’t the leaders of merit anymore, having been rewarded elsewhere, for the 80-90%.

      Yertle must shiver.

      Pretty damn bad indictment of a body politic.

  14. Well here here. Everyone using the word “conspiracy theorist” to shut someone up who dares question the status quo. Check out interview here where Sean Plunket disputes that description. I think the only ones shouting fire are the ones afraid of what he has to say. Sad but true. The only sheep of the world nowadays are the ones that don’t question the state of our current govt. scaring people over a flu virus that hasn’t killed any more people in NZ than the average yearly cold or flu. So questioning why we would need military intervention for the flu – you tell me who is the crazy one here?
    https://www.magic.co.nz/home/news/2020/07/sean-dives-in-deep-on-the-nz-public–party–with-guest-billy-te-.html

  15. The thing with Billy Te Kahika’s followers is that they are people who feel like they’re not being told the truth about the world – which is something readers of TDB have in common with them. The best thing we can do is reach out to them and say yes, something you’re right when you sense something is amiss – the rich and powerful are always working to increase their wealth and power but it’s a bit more complicated than Billy would have you believe.

    I’m suggesting to people that if they want to understand how to prove a conspiracy and turn it into reliable information they should read a Nicky Hager book.

    It’s a real pity that class analysis disapeared from public knowledge because their feeling that forces are aligned against them is fairly accurate, it’s just that explaining establishment power and concepts like Hegemony is not as easy as a story about a Lucefarian Plot in charge of the UN.

    • “It’s a real pity that class analysis disapeared from public knowledge because their feeling that forces are aligned against them is fairly accurate, it’s just that explaining establishment power and concepts like Hegemony is not as easy as a story about a Lucefarian Plot in charge of the UN.”

      Indeed. However, Lucefarian Plot aside (not that I’ve heard NZPP talk of one) the UN is an arm of establishment power.

  16. At the same and using the same specious “fire in the theatre” argument, Oliver Wendell Holmes was instrumental in sentencing five-time Socialist candidate for the US presidency, Eugene V. Debbs, to prison, from where he conducted his last campaign for the office, and despite which still attracted one million votes

  17. Billy TK’s language is exactly like what we hear from the pro-Trump brigade in the US.
    The virus is just a trick for the communists/democratic party to get control of us.
    We ain’t scared of no invisible virus.
    Hopefully people in NZ are a bit more intelligent than to swallow that rubbish.

    • …’Billy TK’s language is exactly like what we hear from the pro-Trump brigade in the US’…
      ———————-

      No its not. The USA and NZ are completely different nations with a completely different political system. The only things in common is a predominately English heritage and the English language itself. That, and the growing suspicion of being herded towards a surveillance society none of us wants but are being very compliant in making it happen.

        • 🙂

          Just goin’ into bat and exploring the the whole free speech/censure-ship thing SO it doesn’t just become one big echo chamber l0l. That’s what free speech is all about apparently.
          Its a paradox, TBH.

    • Just imagine, …a system that can track where you’ve been, what you’ve spent you’re money on, where you’ve next shopped, where you’ve next taken a shit, how much it cost for the public lavs, how much was your petrol bill at the bowser, and how much was that packet of condoms you spent on your way to your mistress…

      You think the SIS have a good laugh on you now?- they’ll need to bring an extra pair of undies when that day comes…enjoy your apps.

  18. In 1954 Billy TK would have been able to sit in the corner off the Tologa Bay pub and spout similar stuff to what he does now and he would’ve been regarded as ‘unusual’ and/or the village idiot.

    With less than 2 million scattered over the whole country, toll calls to reach anywhere a distance, his ideas would’ve been confined to the bar.

    More than twice the population means more than twice the number who want to hear something they can believe in, to belong to a group who will accept anyone, are looking to belong to something ‘different.’ And 2020 communications are here to let it happen.

    Billy Te Kahika has a whole page ad in our local paper today. The usual political stuff is there, along for the ride – decent homes, honest government And concerns about the economy. The funny thing is the major heading across the top says, “IT’S TIME TO RECLAIM AND PROTECT OUR COUNTRY.’

    And I’m commenting in a thread which really is about protecting our country. From lunacy.

    • Delightful personal joys have killed universal hard understanding.

      Via these comments I see politics must deliver, or hell creeps up.

  19. I think the legal folk should have a bit of a look at sedition, and hampering public health response laws, and advise Billy TK of his situation.

    A nudge to youtube to take down the specious crap that turned “turn’d his wit the seamy side without” wouldn’t go amiss either

    • Legal protest and campaigning to out the Government via our democratic process is not sedition.

      Suggesting our authorities should view it as such is a slippery slope you seem to be nudging towards.

  20. Thankyou Chris. I love your informed, considered reminders to us all of the importance of sane thinking.
    I can’t believe BTK jnr is the same man I saw on stage in O’Flaherty’s Napier with his band some years ago blowing the place apart with his rock and blues! Truly awesome.
    What went wrong?

  21. “….be wise to keep a close eye on the NZPP and its inflammatory leader, and both eyes on the size of the crowds they attract.”
    Chris Trotter

    This problem may sort itself as people Billy Te Kahika’s followers know start sickening and dying.

    Now that the government has abandoned its policy of ‘elimination’ for a new policy of ‘suppression’

  22. Biden is saying he wants to make mask-wearing mandatory but not a hope in hell of that in a busted country where Te Kahikas are preferred to the legitimacy of democracy.

    Lovely how the Yank rich believe the purity of their own stools over ‘how things are’ from long objective knowledge. 10 years at most.

  23. Its the born again affliction. Redemption and duty to repent all his sins! The colonial doctrine, the bible insists that he assimilates and rejects his devilish native beliefs.
    And try to get rich by doing so at the same time.

  24. What I make of Covid 19. In retrospect, avoid the old? And everything but the lockdown while keeping away from one another. Masks and contact-tracing boosted up.

    The huge economic cost for something that was prospected to kill 1% at most and the inaction about the 10 years to do anything about the elimination of organised human society. See Chomsky.

    As North British I appreciate the dark humour by which we’ll go out.

  25. Giving trolls attention – whether positive or negative – only encourages them. Instead, use that time and energy to engage with people in your life who are vulnerable to being misled or otherwise affected by trolls. They may not trust govts or news media (with some justification), but they might listen to friends or family.

    > The only consideration militating against such a course of action is likely to be whether or not the silencing of Mr Te Kahika would be more, or less, likely to facilitate the very substantive evils it was intended to prevent.

    Indeed, governments too need to beware the Streisand Effect:

    “The Streisand effect is a social phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of further publicizing that information, often via the Internet.”
    – Wikipedia

    In the age of network media, it’s no longer possible for any government to have total control of information. That is, on balance, a good thing for democracy – witness the CCP’s ongoing failure despite their willingness to use overtly repressive measures. It’s up to us (we, the people) to figure out effective ways to sort truth from rumour and disinfo.

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