A human rights lawyer explains in simple words even lefties can understand why they and Phil Goff are wrong

Radio NZ has an opinion piece from Craig Tuck about why banning speech you don’t agree with is counterproductive: Quote:

Ideas cause reactions. An idea can incite or excite – either for or against what is being said. However, the result is debate – not hate.

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who cancelled a public talk after Mr Goff banned them from council venues have hateful ideas, and to a small segment of society they may resonate strongly. For the rest of us though, they may well serve to remind and clarify our own – perhaps more reasonable values.

In law, speech is thought of in terms of process and substance. This means that while the ideas presented may be hateful in substance, the process by which the ideas are transmitted is sound.

Laws against hate speech blur this distinction. The result is that the right to freedom of speech is eroded. End quote.  

And who determines whether anything is hate speech or not? It is like trying to debate morals; whose morals are we talking about? Quote:

Hate speech has been used to punish and exclude people for hundreds of years (including recently in France). It has been free speech – a reliable friend to minorities – that has stood firm to protect them and their views.

As a society, we must be careful not to destroy one right in pursuit of the protection of anotherAs Noam Chomsky wrote:

“It is a truism, hardly deserving discussion, that the defence of the right of free expression is not restricted to ideas one approves of, and that it is precisely in the case of ideas found most offensive that these rights must be most vigorously defended.

Censorship or punishment of hate speech often leads to repression of free speech – the equivalent of spraying the weeds and hitting the surrounding green grass. It breeds fear, conformity and reduces debate and discussion.

By contrast, freedom of speech is an enabler of other rights – social and economic as well as cultural and educational. Indeed, the history of human development of thought and creativity is the history of free thought and expression.

Freedom of speech is a prerequisite and a facilitatora foundation and cornerstone of a democratic civil society. Arguably, it’s one of the most important discussions that a society can have: Freedom of expression is the basis of many other civil rights. However, protecting freedom of speech means that you have to accept the right of people to say hateful things. End quote.

People outside of the United States often wonder why their Constitution has a Second Amendment, guaranteeing the right to bear arms. They look at the Second Amendment in isolation without realising that it is there to ensure the First Amendment – the right to freedom of speech  is never able to be eroded by a dictatorial government or another hostile party. In the United States you have freedom of speech, and it is enforced, literally, at the point of many guns in the hands of civilians. Quote:

There are a couple of things to point out here though. First, the right to freedom of speech doesn’t carry with it a corresponding duty to listen. Arguably, one of the most efficient ways of dealing with people such as Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux is simply to ignore them.

Second, while New Zealand has no law specifically against hate speech, this is not to say that hateful speech will not be punished by law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law” (article 20).

New Zealand has signed up to this Treaty, and has implemented it.

The Human Rights Act makes inciting racial disharmony by way of publication or speech unlawful. The Crimes Act has provisions which also provide for potentially severe punishments for those who seek to harm others through their words.

In other words, In New Zealand we have the laws that we need to ensure that anyone who would seek to do criminal harm while hiding behind the right to freedom of expression can – and will – be prosecuted and punished. End quote.

The problem is that the media, politicians and those seeking to silence dissenting opinion have all lied about what Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneaux have actually said before, and simply labelled them racist. But I ask you, would a racist white woman really have a black boyfriend? These are the inconvenient truths that the media gloss over in labelling people far right, or calling what they say hate speech. Quote:

By creating strong laws which prohibit and punish hate speech, hateful ideas, and those who express them, go underground. They don’t simply vanish but may instead find other more harmful ways of emerging.

Fundamentally, the point is that one doesn’t have to agree with what a person says to accept that they are entitled to say it. It is as simple as that well-known biblical enjoinder to “do unto others”.

Are we so unsure of our beliefs and values that a couple of alt-right antagonists could pose a genuine threat to New Zealand society? We can celebrate the processes which allow freedom of speech, without needing to endorse the substance of what they say.

In the end, the more you know the less you fear.

Testing the assumptions and statements carried in hate speech through free speech enables education, reason and analysis. In a modern world where fear is a driver of law and policy, freedom of speech will promote empathy and reason. End quote.

That is why I refused to buckle when my privacy and freedom of speech were attacked by the left wing in an attempt to subvert an election. Most people could see through it, but many journalists buckled to Nicky Hager’s implied blackmail of them, and fell into line in seeking to try to destroy me. The demonisation of opponents is something the left wing do all too well. To this day there are still people who simply parrot the mental scribblings of Nicky Hager as though they were gospel. They’ve never been to my site; they just repeat the lies they’ve been told by people who should know better. Those journalists sold out. So did the politicians. So did those who ran. I’m still here, and most of those who folded, ran or turned yellow are gone.

Like this kerfuffle over two Canadian freethinkers: all the angry, nasty, indeed hateful left have done is make more people aware of the truths these people are telling. Instead of a few hundred people wanting to attend an event there will now be thousands.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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