Does Susan Devoy favour censorship by prosecution?

Does Susan Devoy favour censorship by prosecution? Apparently so – with her suggestion of involving the police to charge those she fancies have committed “hate speech”.

While in every society  there are undoubtedly individuals whose form of expression is extreme, unfair, or thoroughly objectionable, there is very good reason why we have not in the past moved towards a more totalitarian society –  by removing the right to free speech.

What our Race Relations Conciliator does not seem able to take on board is the fact that  New Zealand can no longer claim to be a free society if she achieves her apparent wish – to have individuals charged with the crime of using speech she and others may find offensive.

This is a horrifically dangerous move for any government to embark upon – a new form of censorship which would have been completely unthinkable to our parents and grandparents. Only in times of war,  when loose tongues could cost lives, has any Western society risked the damage done to one of the most important of human freedoms – people’s very basic rights to speak the truth as they see it.

But there is no doubt now that individuals are under threat today, even vilified, or virulently attacked for speaking the truth as they see this – for pointing out the growing dangers threatening our society.  The form of Muslim extremism, for example, sweeping across Europe, tolerates no opposition, the least form of which is name-calling and disparaging its opponents – those with the courage still to try to warn about what is actually happening to this now troubled continent.

 It has always been recognised that whether individual opinions are considered right or wrong – an open society is the only one compatible with Western freedoms – and the underpinning of democracy. Open debate and free comment are the best remedies to counter extremism. And we should be questioning why, if Devoy has any real knowledge of what happened to those societies in the 20th century (and today) in which the climate of intimidation allowed dictatorships to flourish, she has not taken the lessons on board.

It’s happening again. From one of the best informed website journals, The Gatestone Institute, comes this reminder of what happens when the State begins to censor speech. It contains a reminder by Spiked Online editor, Brendan O’Neill, that “politically correct speech does not need protecting. The United States first Amendment exists precisely to protect the minority from the majority – and to protect unpopular opinions from those who would silence them.”  https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12008/france-le-pen-free-speech#.WrNlggLKBas.gmail

There seems little doubt that Susan Devoy, with her aim of having suppressed speech or opinions which she finds unpalatable, thinks these should be silenced.

 This is not only an aim incompatible with democratic freedoms – (regardless of the creeping activism we have seen for some time, in relation to even our court decisions). It flies in the face of that most important reminder from The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 19.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

We have already in this country seen the rise of bullying and name-calling whereby radical activism uses the tactics of badmouthing thoughtful critics by targeting them as racist, or homophobic, for example. As it works by silencing all too many worried about the repercussions ensuing from standing up for their beliefs, we have started on the first step of a very slippery slope.

Ms Devoy arguably needs to think much more deeply of the consequences of her wish to involve the police to target individuals whose utterances she disapproves of. This will undoubtedly take us even further down the road of a virtual Police State that some maintain, with reason, we are already embarked upon.

©  Amy Brooke, Convener. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through www.amybrooke.co.nz, Kindle, or HATM Publishers.

 

For Best Practice Democracy – read The Spectator – below.

Losing our democracy….

For why we ourselves, individual New Zealanders, need to claim back our country from our now thoroughly unrepresentative politicians, read further  – below the link to my recent Spectator Australia published article, Best Practice Democracy.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/best-practice-democracy/

For example, what has happened to us in recent decades when a new South African arrival expresses shock at finding what is basically another form of apartheid now being deliberately promoted in this country? Reportedly, he not surprisingly hoped he had left all this behind… and couldn’t believe it is happening here.

What’s more, this reverse apartheid is being deliberately backed by our political parties, jostling for self advantage… And it is going to get worse – with the extremist push for separate, thoroughly undemocratic constitutional “rights” for any of part -Maori descent. But why?

Labour, under its new, activist leader,  Jacinda Ardern, shows every sign or leading us even further down this racist path, although to date, National has been even worse than Labour in this respect. During its recent period of dominance, the markedly racist Vision Matauranga was supported. A marked form of prioritising Maori-related outcomes, government-backed, it requires not only our universities, but our private institutions to provide, in research grant applications, preferential outcomes for those of part-Maori descent over all other individuals. More on this in future, as this insidious requirement has now crept into other institutions bearing no relevance whatever to any particular ethnic group.

For the moment: one outstanding example is that scientists who apply for all government grants for research purposes from the Ministry of Research and Innovation – (funded by all taxpayers) – now have to state how it will first supposedly serve Maori interests – and if not – they have to explain why. Note the comment below from one scientist – and scores of others will be thinking the same.

“Government is now requiring *all* applications for research funding from Ministry of Business & Innovation (MBIE) to consider Vision Mātauranga nonsense.  Previously, one was able to tick a box to say one’s research didn’t have such relevance – now, chillingly, one must ‘provide evidence if you think Vision Mātauranga isn’t relevant’  (the twisted logic of this requirement is so outrageous that it almost sounds as if it could be challenged, legally).

“May be a sufficiently palatable way round this kind of thing, but certainly puts me off wanting to be involved in any kind of proposal at all.  And to get a job away from research!”

Hands up those who think that Susan Devoy, if this were brought to her attention, would strenuously object on behalf of all New Zealanders at such specific racist demands?

Hmm.

Incidentally,  with a Maori economy of now $50 billion, the very wealthy iwi – thanks to the never-ending raiding of taxpayers’ pockets -could  well afford to fund their own research – prioritising specific Maori-interest outcomes…

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© Amy Brooke, Convener. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through www.amybrooke.co.nz, Kindle, or HATM Publishers.