Free speech is not cheap


I used to think that The Spinoff had some interesting views. And then I read?this article today. Quote:

It?s hard to get people to give money to worthy causes. Climate change. Poverty.?Fuel taxes.?There are so many issues, and we?re all stretched thin. But this week we?ve found out there?s still one cause that can compel hordes of mostly rich, white people to enthusiastically part with large sums of cash: making sure racists can book council facilities. End quote.

We have no choice but to fund fuel taxes and climate change. But there was a choice on this one and ordinary people made that choice. Quote:

A?Free Speech Coalition?led by Don Brash?launched on Monday, with the aim of raising $50,000 to mount a legal challenge to Goff ? and the council?s ? decision to abort the event. The coalition raised the money in a day. End quote.

Tells you all you need to know. Quote:

….it turned out the people whose speech he was trying to protect were despicable racists. Molyneux peddles the?grotesque, debunked race science of writers like Charles Murray. He believes black people, and particularly poor black people, are inherently less intelligent than white people, and has?repeatedly warned of ?rapey? immigrants invading Western society.? End quote.

That wouldn’t be like those grooming gangs in Rotherham and Telford? Or all the rapists in Sweden? Those ‘rapey immigrants’? Quote:

To take that stance, you have to be confused (bad), racist (very bad), or a free speech absolutist who objects to any curbs on speech that isn?t directly threatening or violent, no matter how offensive or potentially harmful it may be (a potentially defendable position). End quote.

Isn’t that the whole point of free speech though? So long as it doesn’t threaten or incite violence, you can say what you want? Quote:

Except for when Don Brash, after hearing Te Reo M?ori on Radio New Zealand, called for the publicly funded station?s bosses to?remove that ?pointless? speech from the airwaves. End quote.

Doctor Brash’s point was that it was a waste of effort because less than 3% of people would understand what was being said. Not a free speech issue, really, more a comprehension issue. Quote:

Or the time Free Speech Coalition supporter David Farrar called for the government to take away Homebrew Crew?s grant money after they released an anti-government song, saying ?They?re entitled to call [John Key] what they want,?but I?d rather not have the taxpayer fund it?. End quote.

Completely agree. David Farrar is not saying it should not be said. He is saying it should not be publicly funded. Quote:

Or when time Farrar?wrote sympathetically?about efforts to sanction Kim Dotcom for leading a ?fuck John Key? chant. End quote.

I think that probably counts as hate speech. I’m sure it does. Southern and Molyneux don’t behave like that. Quote:

There was also when Free Speech Coalition member Jordan Williams sued Colin Craig for defamation over some ridiculous pamphlets. End quote.

Defamation is not free speech. It is …defamation. Quote:

Or when Free Speech Coalition member Stephen Franks?called for legal penalties against people who burn flags, saying flag burning is ?not speech? and shouldn?t be protected. End quote.

Flag burning is not free speech. It is the ultimate insult to the country whose flag you are burning. It is, in fact, inciting violence. Quote:

And when Free Speech Coalition supporter, Cameron Slater, praised Ethnic Communities Minister Sam Lotu-liga for his ?nice strong words? after he said Muslim cleric Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib anti-semitism and misogyny could be banned as hate speech ? one of countless examples of Slater looking to curb the free speech of radical or anti-semitic Muslims? End quote.

Cameron Slater does not try to ‘curb the free speech of radical or anti-semitic Muslims’. The very description of these people shows what they are. Anti-semitism is racism. Radical Muslims promote hate all the time. This is trying to curb hate speech and incitement to violence. This is not free speech at all. Quote:

It?s definitely uncomfortable to see a politician dictating what speech is permissible in council venues, and there is?legitimate debate as to whether Goff has done the right thing. End quote.

The only sensible thing this article has said. Yes, there is debate as to whether or not Goff was right in stopping the event from taking place. And we are going to find out. By a privately funded judicial review. Quote:

As you can see though, the Free Speech Coalition disagree, and they?re willing to put their money where their mouth is by paying thousands of dollars in legal fees on behalf of racists. End quote.

I hate to break it to you, Hayden Donnell, but the Coalition members didn’t fund this themselves. They asked for donations from concerned citizens and reached their target within 24 hours. Ordinary people donated to this fund, Hayden. People who really do want to see how far politicians can go to stop free speech in this country.

Although Don Brash, David Farrar , Stephen Franks, Cameron Slater and Jordan Williams may have raised concerns about things in the past, none of them has ever done their utmost to stop an event they didn’t like. That was Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland. Concerned citizens really do want to know if he can do that. We want to know if we are living in a police state, or if we are not.

I think free speech is important. From your article, Hayden Donnell, you clearly have absolutely no idea what free speech is.