Free speech denier of the week

Commenter of? the Week is going to be on hold for a few weeks while we all take a well earned break from?posting and commenting. In its place, for this week at least, we have decided to put in the Free Speech denier of the week.

This week, the winner is:

Credit: Technomage

How could this week’s winner be anyone other than our own beloved news outlet, Stuff?

It seems that Stuff can see into the future and knows exactly what is going to happen over the next few years regarding the weather, the climate and all related events. Even though a number of eminent scientists disagree, Stuff has decided it knows best about climate change, and will accept no discussion or dissenting voices on the subject. Stuff knows best.

I have decided to defer to Stuff editor Patrick Crewdson next time I want to add to my share portfolio. Obviously, with his keen insight and knowledge of future events, he will be able to tell me what to buy and how well those shares will do. What a wonderful skill to have, and how very useful it must be when it comes to… absolutely everything really. I wonder how many times he has won Lotto?

None of that matters. The point is that Crewdson and Stuff have taken the stand that their opinion is correct, and there are to be no dissenting voices… and they will shut down any opinions that differ from their own.

And they call us right leaning people who believe in free speech ‘fascists’.

I discussed this recently with a climate change believer. He said it was very frustrating to constantly be up against deniers, because the conversation goes nowhere, as it is always a question of whether or not climate change is real, and that Stuff’s attitude was a good one, because it moves forward to debate from an ‘is it true or not’ position to ‘how do we fix it’. This lady, Face of the Day on Saturday,? seems to think so too.


Yes, very nice. Stuff censoring free speech about climate change will save all those cute little birdies now.

But the problem with Stuff’s attitude is that it is the start of a slippery slope. If they get away with this – and they have got away with it, since they have now been backed by the Media Council – what will they censor next? Will they close down anything they see as racist, even if it isn’t? Will they close down any criticism of the current government? Will they close down any comments about immigration, after the signing of the UN Migration Compact? Will they close down any criticism of terrorism? Will they stop comments about transgender people in sport? In short, will they close down everything that can be viewed as dissent, even mild dissent?

Here are a couple of comments of wisdom on yesterday’s Face of the Day:

It is vitally important that we do not allow our basic rights to slip away. To those that think Stuff is right, I have only one thing to say.

Our parents and grandparents grew up in an era where free speech was taken away. Books were burned, the press was full of propaganda and everyone lived in compete terror. The second world war was fought to give us those freedoms back, or to keep them for those who were in danger of having them taken away, and millions lost their lives so that we could enjoy the way of life that is now under threat… again.

Many people will not see it that way, of course. But by the time people in Germany in the 1930s saw what was truly going on, they had no choice. They had to go along with it. The alternatives were terrifying.

As we seem condemned to repeat the errors of history, never think that it could not all happen again… because it already is.

Stuff be damned.