Monday, July 9, 2018

Where does the Left - and for that matter the National Party - really stand on freedom of speech?

The New Zealand Left has got itself in a terrible moral tangle over the banning of Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux. It has allowed its concern for supposedly oppressed minority groups, such as Muslims and trans-gender people, to blind it to foundational democratic values. It was the Left’s own hero, Noam Chomsky, who said: “If you’re really in favour of free speech, then you’re in favour of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise you’re not in favour of free speech.”

I wonder, who in the Left will have the guts to stand up and say New Zealanders are entitled to hear Southern and Molyneux? Will anyone? Where are the genuine liberals, if any, in the Labour Party?  The present deafening silence suggests the Left’s embrace of human rights is highly selective. Freedom of speech, after all, is the most basic right of all, after the right to life.

And while we’re on the subject, where the hell is the National Party on this issue? Simon Bridges was asked about it on TVNZ’s Breakfast show this morning but was half-hearted and equivocal in his answer, saying he would have let the Canadians in but understood why Phil Goff banned them from using Auckland Council venues. No surprises there. I wonder if Judith Collins would have been so spineless.  

1 comment:

Hilary Taylor said...

Yes, the wooliest thinking & generally muddled, bob-each-way responses from many. I find this hard to fathom. To me it's simple...short of genuine encitements to anti-social activity/criminality then it's above board. The Folau fuss was a nonsense, this is a nonsense. The wisdom of the crowd will marginalise the cranks. As for the politicians of the day..most are centrists, a bit left or a bit right, and will have broadly similar views, bar those Greens playing at being marxists from the comfort of their cushy jobs, whom somebody else described better than me earlier on this topic.