Rodney Hide: Goff ‘opposes private property, individual freedom and, by extension, free speech’

Rodney Hide wonders why Phil Goff doesn’t support free speech in his NBR column: Quote:

We should not be at all surprised by Mayor Phil Goff banning Canadian far-right activists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from speaking at council venues.

The only surprising thing is that it doesn’t happen more often.

Phil Goff is a politician. He opposes private property, individual freedom and, by extension, free speech.

He believes it only right and proper that the state decide what we can and can’t do and, as an elected Grand Poobah, the heavy responsibility of deciding what we can and can’t do must fall upon him.

He’s not alone in this. Most politicians will mouth something like, “I believe in private property but…”, “I believe in individual freedom but…”, “I believe in free speech but…”

The “buts” invariably mean the speaker does not believe in private property, individual freedom or free speech. End quote.

Hide goes on to explain what is acceptable for “buts”. Unfortunately, politicians think it means a whole lot more than that. Quote:

There are “buts” but the “buts” properly thought through are narrow and tightly principled. In a free society the “buts” aren’t arbitrated by politicians. It’s scary if those in power decide who can and can’t speak.

Mr Goff explained his ban via Twitter: “[Auckland Council] venues shouldn’t be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions. Views that divide rather than unite are repugnant and I have made my views on this very clear.”

That is the view of a totalitarian. I consider Marxism, socialism and trade unionism divisive and there’s plenty of theory and history to back my view. But not for a moment would I consider banning speakers, speech, books, thoughts extolling all three. Indeed, I welcome the argument.

But now the potential for hurt feelings is sufficient to have speakers and their speech banned. What about books? Should they be banned too? End quote.

Books, if not banned, are certainly being redacted, rewritten and revised to reflect modern wonky values. Quote:

I emailed Mr Goff’s office to ask who made the decision to ban Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux and under what policy. It turns out it wasn’t Mr Goff at all. And it wasn’t for their views.

I was told by the mayor’s office that it was Auckland Live (the council’s performing arts venue organisation) which made the decision. And that it had done so for “health and safety” reasons. If it weren’t for the threat of protests from, wait for it, Auckland Peace Action, the booked event would have gone ahead despite Mr Goff making his view on the speakers’ views “very clear.”

Again, there should be no surprise to this. “Health and safety” is an easy political and legal vehicle by which to ban speech and dodge the Bill of Rights and contractual obligations.

In his youth Mr Goff protested the Vietnam War. He was free to do so. That was the difference between one side of the war and the other.

It would be all too easy to say that Mr Goff never understood that. And still doesn’t. But that would be wrong. He wasn’t opposing the war so much as supporting the other side. He will happily use our hard-won right to free speech but won’t defend it. Quite the reverse. With just the littlest bit of power he attacks and destroys it. End quote.

It’s time for Goff to eff off. He should be sticking up for the rights of all Aucklanders like he promised to do, not picking and choosing.

Not only has he cost Auckland ratepayers revenue from hiring out a venue at commercial rates, but he has also cost the ratepayers by having to defend a prosecution for his illegal acts in preventing people from hiring a facility based on their politics and views.

Time for him to go.


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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.

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