I like Verity Johnson, her columns are always worth reading, as is her latest…
Sure, that’s a popular gripe and always will be. But it isn’t the Molotov cocktail that sets elections alight. It may be fun, but they need more than woke-bashing to stop the Jacinda juggernaut.
…until this weeks disastrous Hate Speech fiasco, I would have agreed with Verity. Woke bashing will excite the Right but not really do enough to move the middle.
The Hate Speech proposed law changed that.
I think one of the darker cultural values that we have as a people is negative egalitarianism, the ‘so you think you are smarter than me’ mentality that is deeply rooted in our collective psyche.
New Zealanders despise being told how to live their lives by people who think they are smarter than them.
It was this loathing of social engineering that saw the anti-smacking legislation ignite for the right in 2007 and saw Key elected in 2008.
The idea that Aunty Helen was invading the sacred space between parent and child felt like an enormous over reach and was manipulated by the Right into being Nanny State gone mad.
Now let’s be clear, I supported the repeal of section 59, it was insane that parents who had beaten the bejesus out of their own kids could use this loophole discipline defense and get off assault charges.
The Court is there to protect the kid who has been assaulted, not the parents who are doing the assaulting.
Sadly Helen couldn’t articulate this response and poor Sue Bradford was dumped to the wolves so the Left got outplayed and the triggered negative egalitarianism saw a change of Government.
I think this Hate Speech legislation will trigger the exact same cultural knee jerk.
The idea that the State will judge your words in a cultural landscape dominated by easily triggered millennial micro aggressions is as socially anxious as Jacinda personally breaking into your kitchen to police healthy lunch boxes live on TV with an outraged John Campbell calling for your immediate arrest for the inclusion of gluten.
Because social media is ubiquitous, people are watching the woke lynch mobs gleefully cancel movies they haven’t even seen with pre-censorship, they are watching the inconsistency of woke culture by banning the Charlie Chaplin musical but then putting on one produced by Harvey Weinstein, they are watching unleashed woke desire to punish all those who disagree with them.
They are seeing utes taxed, transgender weight lifters and $800 million bike bridges while they are stuck in traffic.
And now they see the Police handed the power to arrest you for words construed as racist, sexist or transphobic by woke activists whose starting point is all white peoples are racist, all men rapists and anyone defending free speech is a Nazi.
I think the solidarity created by the universal experience of Covid and Jacinda’s remarkable leadership is fading because of the lack of delivery on crucial issues like housing, infrastructure, poverty and mental health, add the criminalizing of free speech and you have an enormous backlash building.
The woke of course are not helping and watching the bullshit feral defenses of this madness is only giving the right more ammunition.
Jacinda was deeply hurt by the Christchurch atrocity, wading through all that pain and grief touched her and she doesn’t care what political capital she burns ramming this hate speech law through.
That’s why this is all so politically dangerous, it’s not like banning guns! That only impacted a couple of hundred thousand, banning speech however impacts EVERYONE!
Golriz described the Producer of They Are Us as a white supremacist for wanting to make a film that focused on Jacinda. The Woke’s threshold for white supremacy is so low they would consider milk a hate crime!
The wokes growing fanaticism will only serve to convince the middle that the woke will come after them once they have the power to call the Police.
There is a smarter way for Labour to play this entire fiasco which is why watching them hand ACT, National and NZ First so much ammunition is heart breaking.
I hope Verity is right and that woke bashing won’t trigger negative egalitarianism, but I fear that this Hate Speech becomes Jacinda’s anti-smacking curse.
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