“THE BATTLE OVER FREE SPEECH is only likely to grow more intense in 2022 (if) the Labour Government persists with its plans to eliminate ‘hate speech’,” and, “At risk will be nothing less than right of New Zealanders to speak and write freely about their beliefs.”  

So began Chris Trotter’s recent opinion piece on what he sees as a looming “epic” battle for the preservation of free speech in New Zealand. And he may be right  

But let’s not delude ourselves.  The very fact that Chris’s opinion, and that of most other contributors to The Daily Blog, can only be read on this platform and nowhere else, is itself proof positive that censorship is already alive and well in this country, and, as any reading of our history will attest, has been from the outset

Chris goes on to describe how; In all societies there are customs, conventions and laws, the flouting and/or breaking of which inevitably entail consequences.” And then, as if to highlight how lucky we are, Chris writes; “there are societies however in which the articulation of certain ideas risks the direst consequences, citing the examples of devout Muslim Countries which execute those who insult the Prophet, and Belarus where questioning the legitimacy of its leader could attract an ominous sanction.

But why use those examples when there are plenty of examples right here in New Zealand that carry sanctions, the effect of which can be just as deadly, but which, in my opinion, are the more insidious for the fact that we don’t see them. 

Chris went on to say that; “In such settings (as those authoritarian examples) it is simply nonsensical to speak about the existence of freedom of expression. No one is free who, the moment they attempt to exercise their freedom, is subjected to some form of punishment.”

And to highlight its brutal nature he added; “Stalin and Mao’s intolerance of free speech was based squarely on the proposition that their variant of the communist ideology was the closest approximation to the truth of which humanity was capable.

Well, if that’s the case, can someone please tell me just what our society’s all pervasive, suffocating insistence on the Capitalist ideology being “the closest approximation to the truth of which humanity (is) capable,” is all about.  And please explain too what the sanctions suffered by those who over millennia have opposed it, have been, if not the application of brutal authoritarian sanction.

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And if we are so enamoured of FREE SPEECH and its associated principles, why is our media so strenuously avoiding any mention of Julian Assange and the torture he is being subjected to, for practicing it?

If we are insistent that free speech is essential to the preservation of our democracy and world peace, why is it that we are only ever fed a view of world affairs that mirrors that of the United States, and which, at this very moment, has us on the brink of acquiescing in wars with Russia and China?   

The fact is, while our society’s “truth” may not be enforced in the same way as “the truth” of so-called “authoritarian states,” it is nonetheless every bit as self-serving, rigid and brutal in its execution.

In our schools and in our universities and institutions, and most especially in our media, we are so skilfully programmed to accept that our system is “the closest approximation to the truth of which humanity (is) capable,” that sometimes even our best commentators can’t see it.

And so it’s as well that we have others to remind us, such as H.L. Mencken, one of America’s greatest journalists and social commentators, who said; 

“The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.”


Indeed, if our society is so well served by the principles embodied in the idea of Free Speech, why do we have need of The Daily Blog?  



  1. There is a few commenters on this very blog who call for the banning of anyone (my self included), who is not a leftie, who puts up the flip side of their argument/thoughts, thankfully you Martyn and your moderators are free speech proponents, if you want to see what a true echo chamber is and indeed toe the line in commenting go visit The Standard….their way of not posting and/or banning different views from comments is what ALL blogs will look like if this free speech law gets passed!

  2. Hate speech laws seem to be more about controlling and criminalising what people say and stopping free speech than stopping hate speech.

    There are many instances of those on opposite sides who disagree and believe the other are hate speakers and criminals. AKA Zionist/Palestine.

    The best way to end hate speech is to talk and discuss it, not suppress and criminalise it.

    The trans movement seems to be full of death threats and harassment on both sides.

    Soon disagreeing with government policy will be a hate crime in NZ.

    Government is on the wrong track about hate speech and making it worse just like their ill informed woke/capitalist led housing reforms.

  3. A cracker of an article @ME. A kick in the nuts for the bloody USofA and a bit of sanity re the freedom of speech. I am an expert in neither but somehow I can’t see the Gestapo or NZ’s equivalent coming round to my house to frog march me to jail, or worse. Won’t happen.

  4. This kinda shows that democracy is an illusion…and what about the far-from-free (of moneyed and political interests) mainstream media that greatly shapes what we think, therefore say. Otherwise, free speech really should be just that, regardless of the far-from-free environment it tends to spring from.

  5. free speech is like being pregnant, you can’t be a little bit pregnant you either are or you ain’t, attempts to define/fence in/ decide what’s allowable, is NOT free speech…

    now if you want to claim ‘limited freedom of speech’ that’s one thing but you should stop saying it’s freedom of speech…because it ain’t.

    the assumption of the woke that their laws won’t be used against them by a future govt is facile to the point of idiocy

    if I offend you, will you die of it?, no, you’ll just be offended…stop your grizzling and have a sit down and a nice cup of tea.

    • If I offend you… Being offended on this forum is annoying or upsetting a little but one can be outspoken, criticise and can recive the same, and sometimes praise or agreement. It’s not a malicious forum so dumping on rarely occurs. But getting about, I don’t expect to be targeted face to face, just for someone’s satisfaction of venting. Here we are trying to argue points, discuss, display possibilities and get to know the minds that we are dealing with, and respect them for what we consider they are worth.

      Did you see that clip gagarin where in Christchurch there was a Muslim woman in headscarf-type hijab and a woman, who appears to be Maori, is jumping forward and back at her, throws small stones etc and abuses her for no apparent reason but resentment for her being alive and present. Why should people have to put up with that? Anyone would be offended, particularly if someone hostile had recently injured and killed others of their group!

      So grizzle on I say, and let the perps sit down and have a nice chat about what being a person means, and how adults are expected to behave; what they expect themselves and the nature of reciprocity. It would help of course if the government showed in practice the behaviour that it is so good at mouthing sanctimoniously. I want solo parents better treated, given more opportunities, not over-taxed with claw backs every time they start getting ahead, and all people struggling to make a go of their lives in a decent, fair society. Sanctimonious I may be, but I try to be fair to others and considerate myself, 90% of the time. Never perfect though.

  6. Has someone already called attention to your typo? Malcolm. I am sure it wasn’t meant to be a satirical put-down but Chris doesn’t consider himself Christ – he might laugh at being called a ‘very naughty boy’ though. His understandings of meanings are a broad church.

    But I feel I should remind Green Bus about the police raid on Tuhoe. That was a case oshowing the truth of the general wisdom to not eavesdrop on others as you are likely to hear things you don’t like. The police did eavesdrop and limited the free speech of Tuhoe. They said that there were other matters also, apart from the guns. But things soon get blown up in people’s minds even if there is no intention to do so in reality. And it’s a fine line as to what pre-emptive action should be taken. I think we shouldn’t be complacent.

  7. I think you are interpreting free what the MSM tells us as being free speech Malcolm. The lies the MSM constantly supply us with does not prevent the alternative media from speaking the truth. It just makes it harder to work out what the truth is.
    My impression at this stage is that the truth presented by the MSM varies inversely with the importance of the subject being discussed.
    D J S

  8. Much as I doubt the motives of the FSU (free speech union) and its ties to ACT and the TPU, they are doing good work across the political spectrum defending basic freedoms that woke millennials fail to comprehend.

    Free speech is one of the basic principles of democracy along with a free press, freedom of religion/conscience, and freedom of association. All of which are potentially threatening to the Establishment elites who hide in the shadows and want to continue their despicable acts of capitalist exploitation, war, propaganda and fraudulent financial practices that impoverish the working class.

    But all of that is treated like conspiracy theory by woke children with mediocre IQs, who are addicted to pornography and social media gossip, and their only aim in life is to become an influencer or pro gamer. They get their values from the worst humans on TikTok and Instagram while their parents are out working 2 or.3 jobs to pay the million dollar mortgage.

    What a sick little culture we have built.

  9. @ M.E.
    “But let’s not delude ourselves.”
    Bugger that. It’s the only thing that gets me through the day. x
    “…why do we have need of The Daily Blog? ”
    Maybe there IS a God? Because The Daily Blog gives awesome individuals like you a writing-voice and that all seems a bit Divine if you ask me.
    And you’re entirely correct re the vector of your Post. ‘Capitalism’ is fascist.
    And I mean ‘Mountebank’. I’d never heard of the word until now.
    “noun: mountebank; plural noun: mountebanks
    a person who deceives others, especially in order to trick them out of their money; a charlatan.”
    When a dubious pretense-politic becomes a den of psychopaths who’s over paid mean little mouth piece chants “Greed Is Good” we should know that no good will come of things.
    Liz Gunn on Big wee Mike Hoskings the enthusiastic promoter of the rich yet psychiatrically unbalanced.
    ‘Against The Current’
    To quote Liz Gunn* and **:
    “I remember when I worked with him, he maintained as his mantra, with his now usual level of inordinate pride, the intended-to-be sardonic saying of Gordon Gecko in the original ” Wall St ” movie – namely, that ” Greed Is Good”. He often repeated it off air, with that faux air of Great Authority. We all thought he was joking at first, but he was serious. I started to feel nauseous as I heard it repeated on many days, and as I saw the results of such a perspective in his approach to interviewees, and in his manipulative media pronouncements -now foisted on viewers each evening at peak time, and always aimed at endorsing Neo Liberal ideology.”
    Fantastic work @ Malcolm Evans.
    **I know…! Liz Gunn’s also an antivax nut.
    As my old Aunt would say ” What’s tha world comin to? “

    • Yes indeed, ‘Mountebank’ is a cracker! I would like to know how its correctly pronounced. I will use it at party’s and have it maybe confused with Mountbatten. The Royals are always a popular choice because here in NZ they are too distant for anyone to start an argument with at the barbie over. Or, for those less edumacated economists, – may confuse it with some globally important yet less well known financial institution. They will probably suspect somewhere in Switzerland. A subsidiary, perhaps.

      Yes indeed, …free speech is a wonderful thing because without it, – we wouldn’t have such wonderful words like ‘Mountebank’. Malcolm Evans? , – I salute you !

    • Countryboy you are a treat. Keep on keeping on. And your rants usually are well thought, amazing that with all the bluster and colloquialisms youre still making valid points.

  10. ” Indeed, if our society is so well served by the principles embodied in the idea of Free Speech, why do we have need of The Daily Blog and the Canary and other left wing opinions !
    Malcolm thanks for your contribution here I find myself agreeing with everything you have written on this post.
    If only your intelligent contribution could make its way into the mainstream to reach the many brainwashed members of our hermit kingdom.
    Keep up the valuable work.

  11. ” Indeed, if our society is so well served by the principles embodied in the idea of Free Speech, why do we have need of The Daily Blog and the Canary and other left wing opinions !
    Malcolm thanks for your contribution here I find myself agreeing with everything you have written on this post.
    If only your intelligent contribution could make its way into the mainstream to reach the many brainwashed members of our hermit kingdom.
    Keep up the valuable work.

  12. ” And if we are so enamoured of FREE SPEECH and its associated principles, why is our media so strenuously avoiding any mention of Julian Assange and the torture he is being subjected to, for practicing it ”

    YES and we have had to exist in this county listening, reading and watching the opinions of the right wing with no counter argument allowed.

    I remember an old friend of mine who was a Labour stalwart all her long life phoning Leighton Smith on ZB when she objected to one of his many nasty attacks on Helen Clark and when she phoned in incensed at his bigoted bias and nastiness and he cut her off because she did not agree with his attack on the then Prime Minister.

    There is no room in NZ media for anyone is is not right wing !

    How can you argue for free speech when it never existed in the first place.

    • Mosa if the media are continuously criticising the government it’s because there’s something to criticise. Your second to last paragraph is obviously BS. I’m sure if National was governing badly the media wouldn’t hesitate to criticise. Some people support their party even when they are performing badly. Mike Hoskins and the like aren’t the media they are just shouters of their opinion like antivaxers. I struggle to think of much this government should be congratulated for, but then I’m just a right wing nutter I guess.

      • ” I’m sure if National was governing badly the media wouldn’t hesitate to criticise ”

        Well as you said you are a right wing nutter so you probably didn’t notice how compliant the media was when Key and his gangsters were in office and you would have agreed with the mainstream attack on Helen Clark which intensified from 2004 with Brash taking the leadership of the National party.

        Apart from the mainstream news papers and their viscous biased editorials written by Tim Murphy and others and the supposedly impartial public broadcaster TVNZ led the attack daily on their news programmes and their in depth political interview platforms where anything the victim from the left said that could be used to discredit the left would be added to the 6pm news for a much wider audience. The night TVNZ’s political editor Jessica Much McKay interviewing Adern and Davis reacted to a comment about the then English National government when she said I don’t think that is fair on the National party and its members ! that finally confirmed their political position although the tactics used for many years formed an important web of the right’s capture of a pro right wing position and later TV3 after its change of ownership it was obvious only one opinion was permitted in the media and its coverage and many of those tactics were subtle and devious.

        Free speech means your public broadcasting and media are there to inform with out a bias for left or right and that any opinion is supported and respected. We have a right to being informed without a backroom agenda to politicise the truth in favour of one political group in other words propaganda.

        • It’s only your opinion Mosa just like I have mine. I believe there’s a hint of paranoia in your observations. You need to lighten up a bit. You obviously believe this government is doing a good job. I don’t and that’s why in my opinion a lot of the media criticism directed at Labour is deserved.

          • ” there’s a hint of paranoia in your observations ”

            No paranoia New view just observation and I am not my own here with that opinion. There are a lot of people who write regularly on this and other blogs about political bias and how it has disrupted a level playing field.

            As for the current government full marks for their handling of the threat to our country and our lives even with the failures and mistakes it could of been as disastrous as Australia and other countries who left the door wide open and never acted quickly to safe guard their own people.

            As for the rest of their management they are failing and they show everyday with their inaction how little they resemble the real Labour party and why it was formed in the first place.

            As for media criticism definitely agree with you that every government should be scrutinised and held to account and its a failure of this government and the previous National administration to not have a strong , independent , public broadcaster that acts in the interests of all New Zealanders in our right to have unbiased reporting of the truth.

  13. Although our working class and benefit class have long been portrayed as loud mouthed hate speakers, the reality is the opposite. The number of incidents we’ve had of criminal hate speech in this country is relatively low when you consider the array of different ethnic groups and sexual identities.

  14. if you wanna hear real hate and bile dan, get y’self round a nice middle class dinner party table where they verbalise what they can’t say in public…..all very politely of course.

    bring up
    asian drivers
    unwed mothers
    ‘bloody maori’
    then light blue touch paper and retire to a safe distance.

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