Nowhere on the HRC website does it list the right to not be offended

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Hurty feelings and being offended are not listed as a human right on the Human Rights Commission website. What it does list is our our right to freedom of expression. The people who made a complaint about our cartoon are trying to stomp on our human rights but I can find no right of theirs that we have tried to stomp on. If you look through the list our cartoon has not prevented the complainants from enjoying any of the below rights but their complaint about us is an attempt to deny us our human right to freedom of expression.

Why are the Human Rights Commission even looking into these complaints? None of the below rights have been affected in any way.

What are human rights?

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that every person in the world should have. There are two main types of human rights – civil and political rights, and social, cultural and economic rights.

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Whaleoil Quiz of the Week

NZPF president on Charter schools – “parents have quite enough choice already”

The principal of Manurewa Intermediate is Iain Taylor. He is also the president of the Principals union, the NZ Principals Federation.

Bryan Bruce thought this guy rocked and his school should be the model for all NZ schools.

But his latest missive to the union members reveals a great deal about him.

This last week has been a ‘media frenzy’ with the main issue being the pre-Budget announcement that the Government is going to fund seven more charter schools.   We released a media statement to say that charter schools are not wanted, parents have quite enough choice already and the money should be spent on making every public school a great school.   No substantial evaluation of existing charter schools has been done to give any confidence that New Zealanders can benefit from having more of them.

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Australia are free of any climate change

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A case of: if you don’t like the data, then we’ll just delete it.

Any mention of Australia in a recent UNESCO climate change report was taken out on request by the Australian government, according to The Guardian.

The major UN report, World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate published on Thursday, initially had a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef as well as smaller sections on Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests.

It said climate change combined with weather conditions meant the Reef is in the worst crisis in recorded history, and 93 percent of the reefs along the 2300km site have experienced bleaching due to warm water. Read more »

Our law supports our political cartoonists’ right to offend

The right to free speech means nothing without the right to offend. Thankfully free speech is still protected in New Zealand. We are a liberal country that does not legally sanction political satire. In fact we are known for our political satire. Making fun of our politicians is a national sport. Satire is what makes our democracy healthy. When you cannot criticise or mock the government you are no longer living in a true democracy.

Atena Farghdani walks free on 3 May 2016Atena Farghdani walks free on 3 May 2016 © Mohammad Moghimi on Facebook

She was imprisoned for drawing political cartoons. But this week, after a year and a half of unjust imprisonment in Iran, 29-year-old painter and activist Atena Farghadani walked free after her sentence was dramatically reduced, and she was acquitted of some of the absurd charges levelled against her.

-amnesty.org.uk

Turkish journalists sentenced to 2 years in prison over Charlie Hebdo cartoon.

-mashable.com

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Auckland scoffs at Key’s plan to sort out their housing problems

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Prime Minister John Key today revealed more about the government’s new tool to tackle what it considers the biggest single factor in Auckland’s housing shortage – a lack of land.

Mr Key said the government would soon reveal a “national policy statement” that would override Auckland’s development blueprint, the Unitary Plan.

He said the “national policy statement” would drive the supply of land, with the Resource Management Act having factors that tie into it.

“If the Unitary Plan doesn’t meet the needs of Auckland, the national policy statement – because of the way it works – will drive it, mark my words.”

Auckland scoffs at the mere suggestion that government can achieve anything that way. Read more »

How many members does Labour really have?

The other day Richard Harman speculated (with good cause) that Labour’s membership database is somewhat diminished, perhaps even lower than the Greens.

POLITIK has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.

Well, that set off a shit storm with denials and counter-claims.

Chris Trotter was prompted to write:

HOW MANY MEMBERS does the Labour Party have in its centenary year? According to the veteran political journalist, Richard Harman, the answer is – not a lot.

Writing in his “Politik” blog on Monday, 23 May, Harman noted:

“Politik has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.”

If true, that is shocking news – and it’s only fair to point out that within 24 hours the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, Andrew Kirton, was assuring Harman that it was not true. “We are far, far higher than 5,000 and therefore well above the Greens.”

In spite of reassuring his readers that the contested information came from “a usually reliable source”, Harman was willing – as of Tuesday morning – to take Kirton at his word.

A more cynical person, upon being told by Labour’s General Secretary that the membership figure is “far, far higher than 5,000”, might offer, by way of response, the words of the infamous call-girl, Mandy Rice-Davies, who, when told that an Establishment big-wig had denied all knowledge of her, shot back the immortal line: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

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Labour’s report into their loss in the 2015 UK elections is brutal

The Tories cleaned out Labour in 2015 in the UK, and as a result Labour held an inquiry into why they lost.

They even produced a public report into their findings, which is more than can be said for NZ Labour and their report into the 2014 loss.

The report summarises the ten main findings:

The Independent Inquiry has ten messages and three lessons.
Ten messages
  1. A tsunami of aspirant voters sank Labour and the pollsters. Voters abandoned Labour because they believedLabour lacked economic credibility and the perception was that it would be profligate in government. In contrast, they trusted the Tories with their economic security.
  2. Labour lost because voters didn’t believe it would cut the deficit. The Tories didn’t win despite their commitment to cut spending and the deficit: they won because of it.The Tories were trusted to manage the country’s finances, Labour was not.
  3. Labour is losing its working-class support and UKIPis reaping the benefits. Since 2005 it has been socially conservative voters who are most likely to have deserted Labour.
  4. Labour hasn’t been this far from the electorate for a generation. In each of the last two general elections, but particularly in May 2015, Labour has marched away from the views of voters on a series of issues that are fundamental to the party’s electoral prospects – including welfare,public services and business.     Read more »

Winston thinks there are more voters among smokers than fat bastards

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NZ First leader Winston Peters has hit out at the rising price of tobacco as taxes are increased under the latest budget, saying obesity should be looked at first.

“Hiking tobacco taxes in the budget is just a lot of fat people sitting in their ivory towers telling smokers what to do.”

Mr Peters said the new taxes were making smokers feel “guilty”, and unfairly targeting them.

“The Government is ignoring the huge health problems we have with obesity and is picking on low-income people again – people who are not allowed to have any freedom to enjoy something that is legal without being hit hard in the pocket and made to feel guilty.

“This has nothing to do with supporting smoking; it’s about fairness and speaking up for people’s personal freedom.”

So what does Winston want to do?  Read more »

Whaleoil General Debate

keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.