Saturday, July 7, 2018

A triumph for left-wing bigotry and intolerance

What a dismal, shameful day for New Zealand, for democracy and for freedom of speech.

July 6 was the day when extreme left-wing bigotry and intolerance triumphed over the democratic values this country has previously espoused.

The left professes to champion diversity and inclusion, but it has revealed just how selectively it interprets those words. Tolerance of diversity and inclusion applies only to favoured left-wing causes. Mysteriously, it stops short of tolerating any opinion that challenges left-wing orthodoxy.

Statements purporting to justify the cancellation of the proposed Auckland speaking engagement by the Canadian “alt-right” commentators Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux are breathtaking in their disregard for democratic principles.

I wonder, what did Auckland do to deserve Phil Goff? His creepy predecessor, the adulterous Len Brown, suddenly looks almost likeable by comparison.

Goff, who has passed himself off for years as a genuine liberal, now stands exposed as just another doctrinaire leftist who wants to control the public conversation. His credibility rating has sunk to zero.

His justification for barring Southern and Molyneux from speaking at Auckland Council-owned venues – that he doesn’t want to “stir up religious or ethnic tensions” – is a sanctimonious copout. It’s a capitulation to fringe extremists like Valerie Morse. It sends a signal that all the extreme left has to do in future to deny a platform to people it doesn’t like is to threaten violent disruption.

At times like this we expect our political leaders to stand up for the right to free speech, because it’s a fundamental tenet of liberal democracy. It’s not overstating things to say that Goff has betrayed us all.

As for Morse, I wonder if she suffers from some sort of personality disorder. She certainly seems blind to the contradictions in her own behaviour.

She purports to represent an organisation called Auckland Peace Action, but seven years ago she was identified as one of the Urewera 18 – a pathetic bunch of pretend urban terrorists who allegedly threw Molotov cocktails around and fired semi-automatic weapons at training camps in the bush.

Morse avoided conviction after the Supreme Court ruled that the police had gathered evidence illegally, but according to the evidence she was filmed holding a Molotov cocktail and had a pistol tucked into her trousers. Very peaceable.

More to the point, Morse was arrested for burning a New Zealand flag in a protest gesture at an Anzac Day service in Wellington in 2007. It was an act that outraged many New Zealanders, but her conviction for offensive behaviour was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Much as I despise Morse and her ilk, I believe the Supreme Court got it right. Freedom of expression quite properly allows New Zealanders to engage in acts that other people find deeply objectionable.

The irony is that having benefited from the right to freedom of expression on that occasion, Morse now insists on denying it to others. I don’t think there’s a word in the English language that captures the scale of her hypocrisy.   


Punch said...

Frankly, Phil Goff's actions yesterday were just disgraceful. Since when has an elected mayor become involved in council operations at such a micro level as who can hire a council owned facility for a peaceful function or performance ? But what I find even more disturbing is the complete and utter lack of outrage, or even minor pushback, from mainstream media over this decision and that of Lees - Galloway to not issue the Canadians visas. Except for some comment from Newstalk ZB last night, I haven't heard or seen anything criticising the decision from Stuff, the NZ Herald or RNZ. It's as if those who should be challenging City Hall, the Fourth Estate, are now just prepared to go along with it. Did Phil Goff, as an old leftie politician, realise that making his call late on a Friday, when 5 pm drinks beckon, was going to get past the nation's editors and opinion writers and go through to the keeper ?

Karl du Fresne said...

To be fair, there was a thoughtful editorial in the Dominion Post yesterday which I think also ran in The Press, but it wasn't easy to find online:

Kimbo said...

Sorry, have I missed something? Is access to Southern and Molyneux’s speech via YouTube (a far more effective means of disseminating information than an old-fashioned town hall style meeting, btw) been subject to censorship in New Zealand? Answer: No. So freedom of speech is in effect, just the means of accessing it by one means is public officials with the authority to do so. So yet again you are mistaken that freedom of speech entails an obligation to provide a platform for it. It does not, or at least the obligation is not necessarily automatic, includimg for public officials.

That said, Lees-Galloway’s decision to deny a visa seems extreme and not one I agree with. However, it has an antecedent in Norman Kirk’s decision to cancel the 1973 Springbok tour. He did so for two reasons, the alleged inability of the police to cope with anticipated (certain) protester violence and/or civil disobedience, and the presence of a white-only Springbok rugby team in New Zealand would provide a platform for the odious policy of apartheid. Funny how Rob Muldoon is maligned for letting the Springboks tour in 1981...

Goff’s decision seems less controversial. Maintenance of law and order is not the responsibility of local government in the first instance, and he can rightly say it is the job of the police to deal with the likes of Valerie Morse. So I think you are wrong when you call Goff’s decision “craven”. As I pointed out on the previous thread, like any private venue owner Goff also has the right, as the duly elected administrator, to deny or cancel a booking. And he’s allowed to take issues of taste and likely offence to some/many of the ratepayers who own the venue into account when doing so. So again, the Auckland Council is not obliged to provide Southern and Molyneux with a platform, especially when the organisers have the option of privately-owned venues (if they could find one) at their disposal. Or does anyone want to argue a private owner should be forced to book them?! Strange “freedom” if you do...

Hilary Taylor said...

Yes, that editorial ran in the Press. Pleasantly surprised..but not really, for what journo worth their salt can countenence such an absurd censorship...under the weasely excuse of
'public nuisance', 'health & safety' etc. Good grief're a 'yes' man! But I knew that already...'Objectionable, your honour!"

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this Karl. The media has been very sloppy on this issue. In one of the articles they even got the two mixed up and spelt Lauren's name wrong. But every article was certain they were 'far right' without anything more than a cursory look on Huffington post or buzzfeed to confirm.

hughvane said...

I aways used to refer to Phil Goff, the Member of Parliament and Minister of the Crown as 'The Right Reverend', because of his sanctimonious, self-righteous habit of preaching his views. What was worse, he was incredibly boring! Nothing much has changed.

I'd never read of Valerie Morse before today, and I cannot in all honesty thank you for enlightening me, but it would be fair to say that she is a n-job extremist, and the best thing anyone can do is to ignore her, she simply does not matter.

Purely out of interest in consistency, wasn't David Irving, author, also banned from entering NZ, and was there an outcry about denial of free speech in that particular event?

paul scott said...

New Zealand is following the path toward Orwellian social control.
Free speech, and demonstrating facts is labelled by people like Iain Less-Galloway dangerous racism and Islamophobia.
The truth and reality are unacceptable to the unwise and so must be censored and banned
People like Molyneux and Southern gather evidence on the reality of Islamic and Immigrant hordes and relate this in a matter of fact way.
To see these people banned from our country is to accept what this Government we have is.
A State supervised social control entity
You are supposed to stay at home and watch the garbage the media party pour on you daily.
“ Tyrannical groupthink, junk science hate, and a system which allows an ambitious, misinformed, and dogmatic mob to suppress free speech, create false narratives, and apathetically steamroll over the truth.” [ quote Straka PJ Media ]

There is good news, very good news.
It comes as a relief to many that the equal and opposite reaction to speech control is now exploding in USA and to a lesser extent UKistan.
We hold an internal view of ourselves as being fair-minded and having a grip on reality.
People, when seeing their Government acting unfairly, may drift away from social control mechanisms, voting instead for freedom, self-reliance, and choice.
Just as the civil war enters New Zealand promoted by zombies like Iain Lees-Galloway who refuses to help South African farmers, or even reply to letters, the overseas backlash appears in a wave which will see freedoms enhanced at least in the USA.

Sweden and Ukistan are lost. Germany will pay for its southern members until the voters have had enough. The EU, UN and NATO all have short lives ahead as the USA withdraws.
Freedom of speech, denied us, will return for our children.

Ruaridh said...

Dear Mr du Fresne,

This is not a post but an attempt to reach you when bereft (understandably) of access to your email adddress. This from the NYT concerning Alan Dershowitz illustrates in a degree my concern that free speech without value judgment containment can be a path to uncontrollable extremism. Something that, as I read it at least, Dershowitz recognises at the end of the interview when he talks about consequences.

No reply is sought.


Trev1 said...

Thanks for this Karl. Phil Goff betrayed everything my uncle was fighting for when he faced|Nazi paratroopers descending over the Ayia Valley in Crete in the early morning of 20 May 1941. He has betrayed everything our forebears fought for and is a disgrace to New Zealand. The question is, how do we fight back effectively against the fascism of the left?

Olivia Pierson said...

Rallies to support Free Speech are set to take place in Auckland, Wellington and Ch Ch on July 14th Sat. 1pm.
Even is here:

hughvane said...

Would Goff, Morse, Davidson & Co raise the same objections should there have been a modern-day Lenin, or Mao, seeking to enter NZ to spout their far-left ideology? Just a thought. I hope people will have caught Nisbett's cartoon in todays' Press (& elsewhere?).

Pearce said...

Thanks for this Karl. Phil Goff betrayed everything my uncle was fighting for when he faced|Nazi paratroopers descending over the Ayia Valley in Crete in the early morning of 20 May 1941.

I doubt that. Or at least, I know that when my father was fighting in WWII, it certainly wasn't to give modern-day Nazis the right to spout racism in council-owned venues.