THE BIG QUESTION now facing the National Party is whether to defend free speech or give that job to Act. If it is foolish enough to take the latter option, then its chances of rebuilding its electoral strength anytime soon must be considered slim. The banner of freedom is a potent electoral prop, once relinquished it is extremely difficult to reclaim.
How gratified Act must have been to read the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019’s recommendations relating to hate speech. David Seymour’s greatest worry must surely have been that the Royal Commissioners would resist the clamour for a clamp-down on New Zealanders’ freedom of expression.
A modest suggestion to extend the already existing legislation outlawing incitement of racial disharmony by including religious affiliation would, for example, have been considered unobjectionable by most New Zealanders. But, to what I am sure is Seymour’s immense relief, the Commissioners have gone much, much further than that.
To read the relevant part of the Report is to be presented with a plan for comprehensive social engineering that is as ambitious as it is frightening. The Commissioners are clearly determined to downgrade the right of citizens to express their opinions freely. Their justification for attacking this most sacred of democratic principles? Society’s supposed duty of care to those who might be offended by people giving vent to harsh or cruel opinions. Protecting people’s feelings from the insensitivity of their neighbours is seen as vital to building and maintaining “social cohesion” – the Commissioners’ over-riding desideratum.
If National Party MPs’ hackles are not rising at this point, then the condition of political liberalism in this country is a great deal worse than I dared imagine. Any subscriber to the principles of liberal democracy should stand aghast at the implications of the Commissioners’ arguments.
Society, it would seem, cannot be relied upon to do the right thing. Left to themselves, people will insist on behaving badly. To borrow a term from Hilary Clinton, far too many Kiwis hold opinions and harbour prejudices that are utterly “deplorable”. To make these bad Kiwis think twice before voicing opinions hurtful to their neighbours, the Commissioners are recommending that the Government raise the maximum penalty for inciting racial disharmony (“hate speech”) from three months to three years! That’s three years in prison for voicing or publishing the wrong opinions. In New Zealand.
At this point, you can see why David Seymour might be gleefully anticipating lifting up the banner of freedom and sallying forth to do battle with the Commissioners and their willing enablers in the Labour Government. (Oh yes, that’s right, the Prime Minister herself has promised that her government will give legislative effect to all the Royal Commissions’ recommendations.)
Equally easily imagined is Act’s nervousness that National might decide to abandon the bi-partisanship forged in the horrific circumstances of the 15 March 2019 attack. It was that bi-partisanship – especially on the need for gun control – that set Act on its path to 7 percent of the Party Vote and ten MPs. How keen they must be to see National lend its support to the Commissioners’ crusade to forge a richly diverse – but socially cohesive – New Zealand. Even if that involves police officers arresting comedians for failing to recognise the difference between edgy humour and hate speech!
By now, I would hope that it’s becoming crystal clear to the reader that there is no way in Hell that the National Party is going to let this issue become the exclusive political property of the Act Party. Judith Collins is going to make damned sure that she, too, has her hands on the banner of freedom. Defending free speech is poised to become the unifying mission of the entire New Zealand Right.
And it is in this respect that the Royal Commission has served New Zealanders – especially Muslim New Zealanders – very badly. What should have been a reaffirmation of unity and solidarity has instead been repurposed into an incitement to division and rancour. Pretty soon the only aspect of the Report that anyone recalls will be its attack upon New Zealanders’ freedom of speech – and, inescapably, upon the vitality of their democracy.
The Prime Minister’s inspired formulation, “They are Us” will be replaced by three much more dangerous words: “Us versus Them”.
This essay was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 11 December 2020.
I would hope that intelligent people on the Left would also recognize the dangers in the Royal Commission's recommendations on "hate speech" and join in vigorously opposing them. This is the fight of our lives, whatever your views on other issues may be. Your freedom to express those views has been put in serious jeopardy. As John Milton wrote nearly four hundred years ago, "Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties". An alliance of voices from both the Left and Right would be a very effective force.
No wonder you were recently described to me "as long out of the game".
The right to free speech, to criticise any religion, or ideology, to critique its founder, what it considers sacred, to contest ideas, to engage in pubic debate, to draw cartoons, to mock, parody, or satirise are all hard won foundational freedoms of liberal western democracies. Thank God.
But apparently this means nothing to Labour, or the PM, our media, or for those with little understanding of history. That out government should willingly seek to introduce new blasphemy laws should be shocking to every New Zealander.
the left might also be on to this...
Funny, conservatives are all in favour of free speech until somebody kneels down during a national anthem, then it's a crime and a sin!
What bothers me is the way your on a left-wing site (Spinoff) feeling like a Gozilla slaying with a sword and then after a bit of taunting you have had the plug pulled on you.
That happened on the Trademe Message Board where non de plumes vote anonymously to have you banned without needing to be specific. TM got rid of their politics section but now I can't ask about a motor mower because "You received a permanent ban".
That silent ban without citizen oversight means coalitions of Real Estate In and Paul Spoonley's can hide the inadequacies of their argument. Youtube is one place where citzens can speak truth to power.
Interesting that "Great Replacement Theory"
Okay. From research that you’ve done – and I’m looking toward the March 15 anniversary here – but what role do immigration settings have on breeding or preventing extremism in a country?
A lot, really, because if you’re bringing in migrants who are creating anxiety, then at the fringe of that, you’re getting people who are radicalising the message about the Great Replacement, which is one of the key messages of the far right, and that is that somehow we, the host population, the white population, the Pakeha population, is being outnumbered by people who are not of our culture, not of our ethnicity, not of our religion. And so that produces not only a generalised anxiety; it also produces a fringe who are prepared to act on that.
That fringe isn’t based on fact because research out this week shows one in three New Zealanders were probably born overseas already.
The implication must be that a New Zealander is anyone born in NZ. At which point you would wonder why there is no scholarly counter argument in the public lexicon, because many would sense that as a dirty trick, which it is. The battlements of English castles, life amongst the rigging of a cutter, Beethoven, being impaled on a lance or doing the impaling (whatever I want to throw in) is my heritage. However the management reserves the right to "in the public interest" rewrite our history, burst our myths (whatever) they deem fit.
I certainly don't claim Chinese or Japanese Heritage. General Barcode is nothing to do with me.
There was a woman on Sean Plunket with Paddy Gower called Louise (with croaky voice) expressing the sentiments that Muslims seem to get special treatment> She can't find the language "they should obey our laws". She is reminded that we all should have equal treatment and protection. Jon Haidt talks about elephant and rider. The elephant is intuition. Our intuitions are that the group (society) comes first. As Jacinda said "they are us". Edward Thesiger called the Bedouin "a magnificent people" yet that was very much a closed society. We are being asked to celebrate a Tin tin-esque menagerie of peoples but dissolve ourselves. Look who the [expletive deletives] are doing to our museums etc, etc.
As I have argued before we welcome people up to a point but them many of us suffer from identity threat.
Sadly, people put up with any amount of authoritarianism, so long as it is directed against people they dislike.
I think you identified a major problem with hate speech. No one will define it. How is a person to know what will offend someone else? Or does no-one say anything - a real free speech country then. And if it hasn't clear and precise definitions, then activist judges will step in. Remember Treaty of Waitangi principles. Are we going to go like Scotland have and threaten to prosecute people for what is said privately in their own homes? And the controversy is ridiculous. Look at the International linesman who is in trouble because he identified a troublemaker in a group as what translated as "the black guy".
When one looks at what others have said that has been defined as hate speech by the Twitterati word police overseas, I shudder to think what will happen here. What was hateful about the actual words JK Rowling used? Or Germaine Greer?
Stamping down on forthright (and perhaps threefourth wrong) opinions won't stop it. They will just be driven underground. And that will breed rebellion. The silenced ones will soon become a majority as virtuous purity alienates the waverers. Better for potentially hurtful words to be out in the open where people's ideas can be challenged.
"authoritarian" personality is a bit of a misnomer. It has to do with a preference for order an is 30 to 50% heritable.
Paddy Gower argued that hate speech is like a "punch in the face", but we can all agree what a punch in the face feels like. Hate speech is subjective.
Meng Foon says "the good thing about Maoridom is that it is forever. You are here for ever.
Mathew Tutaki says "we were here well before you poo... and we'll be here a lot longer after you've gone". Paddy Gower arguing about roadblocks also invokes "been here the longest".
They are permanent we are supposedly going somewhere else.
Philip Mathews of The Press calls the "Alt-right" "radical losers" Grant Shimmons who let out his job is to read Letters said "when you're used to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
Hopefully we can answer back through our own outlets.
I would hope that intelligent people on the Left would also recognize the dangers in the Royal Commission's recommendations on "hate speech" and join in vigorously opposing them.
Damn right. Going by the way this ghastly idea has developed overseas, it's increasingly focussed on progressive issues like standing up for Palestinians.
This is the problem for the Ardern Govt. Having boxed itself into a position during the elction to hoover up National voters it cant do anything of substance to make the deal with Global Warming or make the economy work for all, so it hast to focus on Land Rights for Gay Whales issue and hope we dont notice at the end of 3 yrs that our kids still cant afford a house, the poor have grown in numbers and we will still be doing nothing of substance to meet our Paris commitments.
Brendan has a very good point. There must be freedom to criticise any religion. As others have pointed out, you can't change your colour or ethnicity, and changing your sex is very hard (all traits we are born with), but changing your religion is easy. Saying you don't like the tenets of some churches could be offensive to some adherents, so would be hate speech, even if the article was an opinion in polite language and did not advocate any violence. I do not like the Catholic Church because of the way it has protected criminals in its clergy. Is that hate speech? There must be freedom of expression. Anything less than that is treading on very dangerous ground where some organisations or religions get an effective state sanction. Philosophically, there is little difference between Islam and the Exclusive Brethren. Why should one be protected and the other vilified?
Most intelligent people assumed by the late 1960s in advanced nations like USA, UK, and NZ that religion as a lived reality and serious cultural force was long dead. The New Testament was lived out by left clerics, social workers and revolutionary priests, but really. Lloyd Gearing had nothing to do with religion. If you lived a good life, did good works, coached drama or tennis, you were apparently a Christian, incredibly. Even in 1975 it was fairly obvious that these were not ideas accepted by the Samoan or Southland branches of the Presbyterian church and the liberal churchgoers had either strayed into a church by mistake or for non religious regions.
The idea of enshrining religious beliefs as a basic human right seems to me a step about a hundred years backwards.I strangely believe we are and have to be one cultural, advanced European, open, 24 hrs and heterosexual, not a society of the 1950s built on lifelong marriage and now meaningless sports.
To me the real cause of Covid, and Global warming is over population and science has long ago failed to provide solutions.
The 800 page official report on Tarrants ugly misadventure in NZ is probably the greatest public service waste of paper ever produced. An 820 page doorstopper only worth sealing in Perplex. Apparently NZ intelligence services failed. They don't exist. NZ does not have strategic, military or any real kind of intelligence service. NZ Intelligence, you mean like the CIA, GRU,Asio M15, MI6. NZ Intelligence I mean the idea is Oxymoron. For decades Canada, the Mounties did the job. A few naval officers and yours truly were the only things worth protecting.
You could drop into a cafe in the defence quarter in Wellington before the earthquake and you would hear the entire defence strategy - the real one RNZAF staff officers negotiating with US officials for Orion supply of parts and electronics and the social plot the whole social equalisation plot where the multinational infantry is raised to the status of lifetime professionals and social stabilisers.
No No. Not my idea of any America or Sunset strip, Austin or Greenwich.Village or Harvard Square that ever existed.
Fox News and the rest that lead their flock away from reality like
Evangelicals first? Now that the spear is being pointed at democracy and reality so acutely?
No more focus group response by the Left. This is guided by my viewing America, being the preeminently mediated place, we need soap-boxers again or all will be lost. People who weren't respectable enough to be put in the upper house by the 1935 Savage govt. We need roarers for the people. Except 'meritocracy' has paid off leaders. Except any prick on the Left can take up the taiha like any prick can do so on the Right.
"Even if that involves police officers arresting comedians for failing to recognise the difference between edgy humour and hate speech!" Could even bite on the backside non-white comedians and comedians with disabilities (examples from Live at the Apollo and Britain's Got Talent who use their colour, ethnicity or disability to have a gentle jibe at whites and the not disabled......
"The right to free speech, to criticise any religion, or ideology, to critique its founder, what it considers sacred, to contest ideas, to engage in pubic debate, to draw cartoons, to mock, parody, or satirise are all hard won foundational freedoms of liberal western democracies. Thank God."
And yet Brendan, you tried to restrict my freedom to criticise your religion by maintaining that I wasn't "theologically qualified" to do so. Interesting. I suspect that your idea of freedom to criticise simply involves you being allowed to criticise Islam – which you are not in the least theologically qualified to do. Typical Christian hypocrisy I might say.
from the subject matter expert, Rowan Atkinson
I think the thing that concerns me most about any further legislation of this nature is that although it may be processed with the best of intentions it is another potential weapon to be used by the factions in our society who manipulate such legislation in dishonest ways to control others who may stand in their way for good reason. Once these things enter the 'justice' arena it can all too easily devolve into scenarios where the side who can afford the most cunning lawyer will triumph, at which stage, of course, 'justice' has nothing to do with it.
Thanks for the Rowan Atkinson link Anonymous - that is the most apt and useful thing I have ever seen here from a person with no moniker - so thanks invisible being.
GS notes that Brendan questions his standing when criticising religion, as having possibly inadequate "theological qualifications'. That is one of Rowan A's points - the ability of people with standing to utilise free speech and others limits - so they are likely to be crushed under Monty Python's large foot.
I was doing some backgrounding on the Tiwai Point waste ouvea question down in Mataura where hopeful negotiations are going on to get it shifted. I was interested in the company that contracted and failed to do so, looked up public records of who was involved, notably two Bahrain residents, one London, and the rest being men from around Invercargill way. I put up their info including their addresses and had that removed from The Standard as opening the people to possible harrassment in line with what happens on the dreaded social media.
Was I wrong to make this public information public? Should we know who are behind business schemes affecting our country? Did we ever get full info on Hubbard's South Canterbury Finance dealings, and did we understand how it all happened? Now, is our right to full public information to be limited because the internet is being used as a weapon by the vicious?
Are we then being hoist on our own petard with this amazing device for information actually being used as an IED* by the devious, so much that we must have censorship to control the destructive in our society. This will result in a society that now has great surveillance and is gathering great secrets; gossip and suspicion prevail, but no-one ever knows what the truth is! It seems we are getting there and fast.
* IED AttAck. ImprovIsED ExplosIvE DEvIcEs. What Is It? An improvised explosive device (IED) attack is the use of a “homemade” bomb and/or destructive device to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/prep_ied_fact_sheet.pdf
(1) Anonymous 21.15
...There must be freedom to criticise any religion. As others have pointed out, you can't change your colour or ethnicity, and changing your sex is very hard (all traits we are born with), but changing your religion is easy. Saying you don't like the tenets of some churches could be offensive to some adherents, so would be hate speech, even if the article was an opinion in polite language and did not advocate any violence.
(Me - Anyone who says that changing religion is easy blithely hasn't ever taken any religion encountered, seriously. The talk about religion will have at its base the violent reactions to images of the Prophet, with deaths following. What could prevent this recurring is just simple respect for others deep-held beliefs that are widespread and historical. Islam is not a recent cult. People hold it dearly and to make derogatory remarks about their Prophet is to strike at their hearts and denigrate them totally. All of the adherents will feel this, though only a few will act.
And the denigration is the act of an arrogant, egoistic, fatuous and ultimately destructive person, and has created an uproar. It is interesting that one of the cases occurred and reoccurred in France. I have been watching in the news what the Great Republic has been doing of later years, and it seems a country governed by the attitudes I have noted above. They are the authors of their own misfortune, a term that crops up in legal language when placing blame where it belongs.)
(2) Anonymous at 23.46
Most intelligent people assumed by the late 1960s in advanced nations like USA, UK, and NZ that religion as a lived reality and serious cultural force was long dead. The New Testament was lived out by left clerics, social workers and revolutionary priests, but really. Lloyd Gearing had nothing to do with religion.
If you lived a good life, did good works, coached drama or tennis, you were apparently a Christian, incredibly. Even in 1975 it was fairly obvious that these were not ideas accepted by the Samoan or Southland branches of the Presbyterian church and the liberal churchgoers had either strayed into a church by mistake or for non religious regions.
(Me - Sweeping statements by Anonymous here. But it is true to a certain degree. For some religion is behaving in a decent way, respectability is all, it is a nice club for people following good precepts in conformity. The main problem for religion is that it has tax-free standing. The poor are always with us appears in the Bible. And religion is supposed to look after the poor, so the lower income get herded into a group to receive charity, and the moneyed get on with their pursuits in life. And these include meeting legal requirements to be a religion for the tax-free advantages which are utilised by the sharp who follow their own line of being quick or dead. But religion sets standards and we need them. Love one another as I have loved you, John 13.34 KJV, Jesus is supposed to have said. I think that is a mighty precept and bloody hard to follow, but true religion is not easy.
Religion needs to be criticised to be seen as not diluted by too many worldly desires, but not thrown out when it seems to fail, in favour of capitalism or utilitarianism or other creeds. Just remove its tax-free status for its own good. And don't take away people's freedoms to have thought about religion and express opinion based on facts and their own experiences. I think the Tolpuddle Martyrs, fervent Methodists, good men and good workers and strong in their belief that all, including farm workers, should be respected, are a good example of how religion can unite and strengthen to endure while seeking better treatment.
Humanitarianism* can do this also, and questioning people should be able to speak without hindrance where it is fair speech. Unfair speech, verbal abuse as in slang speech should not be illegal unless it becomes harassment. This should be a matter for mediation and discussion between the parties about where such attitudes arise and how the antipathy can be better resolved; not blanket sanctions, not just fines or imprisonment; they don't alter attitudes, lack of understanding.)
*Humanitarianism is an active belief in the value of human life, whereby humans practice benevolent treatment and provide assistance to other humans, in order to improve the conditions of humanity for moral, altruistic and logical reasons. Wikipedia
Grey....I don't think somehow that New Zealand is going to forbid criticism of religion. If we did that there would be no theological debates. Every religion's beliefs are heresy to every other religion. To those who actually care about it anyway. I suspect the motives of anyone who says criticism of religion is going to be made illegal. After all, as an atheist I criticise it all the time.
You keep repeating the claim that I considered you theologically incapable of critiquing religion. I have no idea if you are or not, but I cannot recall making such a statement. It is possible that you misunderstood something I said, but in any event, if you could provide a reference to the quotation that you refer to, I would like the opportunity to judge myself guilty, or perhaps correct a misunderstanding on your part?
I made quite a few points, some of which probably seem contradictory GS.
The point about criticising religion becomes important when someone does it in such a disrepectful manner as in France, and satires the sacred head of the religion of Islam. And that has led to a person being killed. I made the point that changing a religion is not easy as stated above, not when it is at the core of one's life.
There is the question how can there be freedom of expression when you can't criticise some aspect of life? But to satirise some other culture's sacred beliefs is disrespectful to them as well as to their religion; it is simply reprehensible. Can we have rules/laws drawn up that curb this behaviour while still protecting the right to freedom of reasonable comment on all the sensitive matters, secular or religious, that have become diabolically contentious?
Greywarbler - with your statement " They are the authors of their own misfortune, a term that crops up in legal language when placing blame where it belongs" you are the dangerous type that used to blame women who were immodestly dressed as inviting rape.
The French society always had a tradition of free speech. It is one of the tenets of the Western world. That is why we got rid of blasphemy laws. One of the things about going to another country is you abide by their laws. If Islamists don't like it, they shouldn't live there.
Brendan, the only reason I remember this statement of yours is that it was so outstandingly hypocritical. It was some time ago, let's say that. I guess it's sort of convenient that you've forgotten it though. Some things just stick in your mind right? Just like the Christian who told me that as an atheist I was incapable of mourning my dead son. That was years ago and I still remember.
Greywarbler 14 December 2020 at 11:12. You're welcome. I forgot to sign RobbieWgtn. Good to know we can also find common ground while acknowledging our previous occasional dissonance.
That business about free speech and cause and effect together. Being the authors of your own misfortune can indeed be tied to what you are wearing, male or female, as well as other behaviour. Just because a group turn something to feed their sense of grievance, doesn't make their opinion unarguable. Women's opinions are not sacred; others have been unfairly treated throughout their lives, and down the ages, and women have been vicious themselves, so it isn't just males who behave badly - all humans have a propensity, and those adults who have not had a loving, secure childhood learning rules and respect are most likely to psychopathy.
If people want to live freely in their words and actions, then they have to learn to stand wise and practice self-control. Life is full of surprises, and dangers too. The wise adults learn to take responsibility for their own safety,those who are unprepared will be likely to come a cropper. Children need protection, but at adulthood they need to plan for risks and know how to face them.
Chris Morris You are so smug and uninterested in understanding the situation that it isn't worth you responding. Slide away from the issue in your mind with some excuse for reasoning quoting irrelevant history that you learned at school, which was only half the story then. Apparently you haven't learned more since then.
Tep. Good to be all singing in haromonious parts to the same end.
Thank you greywarbler for confirming yet again that you don't know what you are talking about. Is it irrelevant history that France deliberately has no state religion? Voltaire is still as relevant now as when he was alive. And the villian who beheaded the teacher only knew about it thirdhand. You are so tied up with political agitprop and namecalling that you forget what the meanings of words are.
Chris wrote "The Commissioners are clearly determined to downgrade the right of citizens to express their opinions freely. Their justification for attacking this most sacred of democratic principles? Society’s supposed duty of care to those who might be offended by people giving vent to harsh or cruel opinions. Protecting people’s feelings from the insensitivity of their neighbours is seen as vital to building and maintaining “social cohesion” – the Commissioners’ over-riding desideratum." Do you agree with the Commissioners that protecting people from hurty things being said, some unintentionally, is something that needs to be done and needs a tightening of the law to include religion?
But then you have already written that you won't reply, saying I only know irrelevant history but not defining what is irrelevant or wrong. .
Voltaire happened to be the man on the spot and has been canonised for his views. These helped bring about changes that then became ossified for a long time, preventing free thought and discussion. His ideas were behind the USA Bill of Rights, yet blacks were still fighting for inclusion till 1964.
Other historic figures had great ideas about freedom - Shakespeare, even Oscar Wilde. Bertrand Russell cannot countenance religion in his ideas of freedom, following Voltaire. Are you relying on their authority alone as fed to you by our educational system? Perhaps an old fashioned duel would be appropriate to go alongside quoting old fashioned thinkers, who may have eternal truths or not. Their posits may have been held sacred from being freely tested? As Oscar W. said: “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”
Here is a long piece by Russell on the matter. Free Thought and Official Propaganda (1922)* https://users.drew.edu/~jlenz/br-free-thought.html
Shakespeare's King Lear has conflicting thoughts about free speech. https://nottspolitics.org/2016/06/15/shakespeare-king-lear-free-speech/
And Erasmus is quoted here too:...the wise man has two tongues … one to speak the truth with, the other for saying what he thinks fits the occasion. So should one take pride in being a fool and ''While you live, tell truth and shame the Devil!' as the saying goes. And be resigned that one may then never speak anything again if offending powerful authority.
Your disparaging remark about 'hurty things' is risible. We have already laws against slander and libel to take action against such things, they are not regarded lightly. Children are cowed for life by their family adults saying hurty things that demean them. I am interested in being able to speak in careful freedom I think; call it the Goldilocks principle - neither too hot or too cold!
The Conchords have sung or rapped about this situation, in a very heartfelt way betraying their sensitivity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJhnRQAkTC4 I think one thing we need to cultivate is a sense of humour, and a willingness to see another's POV to understand them though not excusing them. And in minor things, a human version of that old vehicle insurance system called 'knock for knock' where some hurt is accepted by both sides!
I note that because your argument is so weak, you are deliberately conflating hate speech with libel and slander. They are not the same. The latter two are very precisely defined and dealt with in civil court. Hate speech is nebulous (it has not been legally defined nor tested in court) and a criminal matter so the State is the prosecutor with the possibility of custodial sentences. And that is a very big difference.
We all say things that hurt people, and often it is unintentional. That does not mean it is good or even acceptable. But it is a long way from being criminal. And if one looks at the court cases overseas about hate speech prosecutions, the bar is set very low. That is why the free speech defenders have rightly got on their high horse. The stupidity of the rules makes a very easy target to rally the troops, which is what the original post by CT was pointing out.
In something relevant to the post, the High Court judges have thrown out a criminal conviction for hate speech, where a woman misgendered a trans activist. In the appeal judgement they wrote.
"The Judge appears to have considered that a criminal conviction was merited for acts of unkindness and calling others names,” but “A prosecution under section 127(2)c [of the Communications Act] for online speech is plainly an interference by the state with the defendant’s Convention right to freedom of expression.” The senior judges said that if the case had “been approached by the [original] Judge in a legally correct manner, it should have been dismissed”.
As the counsel for Free Speech Union, which supported the case for the defendant said "The judges in this case rightly recalled that the freedom to offend is not constrained by the facile ‘obligation to be kind’ mooted by the magistrate below,”
It will be interesting to see what influence English case law has on proposed NZ legislation.
Chris Morris manages to disagree with me and come out of the discussion making the statement that Muslims should put or shut up, or leave the country. That is how his comment below reads to me.
Greywarbler - with your statement " They are the authors of their own misfortune, a term that crops up in legal language when placing blame where it belongs" you are the dangerous type that used to blame women who were immodestly dressed as inviting rape.
The French society always had a tradition of free speech. It is one of the tenets of the Western world. That is why we got rid of blasphemy laws. One of the things about going to another country is you abide by their laws. If Islamists don't like it, they shouldn't live there. Chris Morris
That sounds like aggression and rejection by the home bodies to those from another country and culture. It denies the right to protest and request fair treatment and respect. It is the attitude of a boorish person who considers it reasonable to be rude to anyone who he doesn't like or who is being picked on by others of his kind for whatever reason.
And you make some naive statements about the French. Please provide your sources; they sound like a nice easy-read summary about that country drawn from a primary schooltext. I fear that your idea of discussion is to state your prejudices and beliefs as absolute truth and criticise those differing, which doesn't give elucidation.
If you want to know about the 1905 law and the problems it caused the Third Republic, do your own research. My own local library had an interesting book on it. And I note you still haven't answered "Do you agree with the Commissioners that protecting people from hurty things being said, some unintentionally, is something that needs to be done and needs a tightening of the law to include religion?" From your silence I take it you do. At least you aren't continuing your stupid pretense that hate speech is the same as libel or slander.
With regards your second to last paragraph, that is your interpretation, and only that, of what I wrote. I was quite prepared to quote court judgements to support my case. Islamists, like most fundamentalists and especially militant ones, do not deserve any respect. It is they who divide the world into us and them.
Post a Comment