It’s easy to spot a conman, they always try to create a sense of urgency

The title of this post is a line stolen from Mike Loder?s post on Whaleoil about Ardern’s overhaul of gun laws being implemented with such unnecessary indecent haste so as to prevent public consultation.

Fast forward a week and Andrew Little is doing exactly the same thing. He is threatening to introduce stronger ?hate speech? legislation and, following his leader, he intends to do it without public consultation.


Justice Minister Andew Little says he’s fast-tracking a law review which could see hate crimes made a new legal offence.

He said the current law on hate speech was not thorough and strong enough and needed to change.

Mr Little said the Christchurch shootings highlighted the need for a better mechanism to deal with incidents of hate speech and other hateful deeds.? End of quote.

Radio NZ

By dumping new laws on us without consultation he is treating us like children whose parents bark out orders without engaging. It doesn’t work and it doesn?t engender confidence about the robustness of the new laws. There will be a lack of public participation.

Little?s puerile argument is that the Christchurch shooting could have been avoided if we had better ?hate speech? laws. Arden?s argument is equally ridiculous because no law change anyone can dream up could have prevented the Christchurch tragedy.

The real reason for both hasty and heavy handed law changes has more to do with the Coalition of Losers being seen to be doing something, anything in fact, after 50 people died on their watch. The CoL will consider the shutting down of free speech an added bonus.

Genuine attempts to prevent a recurrence should start with the prime minister talking to some of the Greens about their childish opposition to the GCSB.

We trail behind the UK where laws banning ?hate speech? evolved over centuries but have accelerated much more rapidly in the last 50 years – accompanied by increased migration and the creation of the EU. Quote.

A number of different UK laws outlaw hate speech. Among them is Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986 (POA), which makes it an offence for a person to use ?threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, another person harassment, alarm or distress?. This law has been revised over the years to include language that is deemed to incite ?racial and religious hatred?, as well as ?hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation? and language that ?encourages terrorism?. End of quote.

GB Office for National Statistics

Note the similarity in our equivalent legislation from Section 63 of the 1993 Human Rights Act. Quote.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to use language (whether written or spoken), or visual material, or physical behaviour that?(a) expresses hostility against, or brings into contempt or ridicule, any other person on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that person; and(b) is hurtful or offensive to that other person (whether or not that is conveyed to the first-mentioned person);? End of quote.

Section 63 of the 1993 Human Rights Act

Britain has experienced more hate crime than you can poke a stick at but their laws have not prevented one single act of hate violence and neither will ours.

On a bus in Auckland this week a professional woman on her way to work was verbally assaulted by a woman who, among other things, called her a ?white c**t who had stolen her land.? The women were strangers, the victim unaware of what triggered the assault, guessing at drugs or insanity.

Bystanders hung their heads and looked the other way. No one stepped in to stop the verbal attack. No one asked the victim if she was okay even though she appeared visibly shaken.

This was a great opportunity for someone to stand up and demonstrate our national intolerance of racial hatred. We know it?s wrong and the most disconcerting aspect to this crime was that no one intervened.

Tell me how a new hate speech law would have prevented this crime? Tell me how a new hate speech law would have assisted the victim?

Thankfully this wasn?t a physical attack. But if it had been, would the victim have been any safer under the new law?

You can’t legislate compassion and you can’t legislate to dispel fear.

But you can achieve both through open and meaningful dialogue – which this new law will not encourage. But no one asked us to engage and no one wants to know our thoughts. Let’s hope the next conversation doesn’t start with: “I told you so.”