Debate over the proposed Hate Speech legislation is raging at the moment. Even the mainstream media seem genuinely concerned because they rightly see themselves as potential offenders. Most stick strictly to the woke script so only a sudden brainstorm of independent thought or a cash injection from a private investor to restore their journalistic autonomy would put them at risk. A slim chance, I know, but one worth covering.
The Justice Minister, Kris Faafoi, appeared particularly ignorant when interviewed recently and asked what would qualify as hate speech. His reply seemed to be that he couldn’t possibly say but that the police would decide. But if he doesn’t know, what makes a police officer an authority?
The push for this legislation stems from the Christchurch Mosque Massacre but there is absolutely no credible evidence showing that if this law had been in place prior to the attack it would have prevented it or even warned of it. There is already existing legislation covering incitement to violence and threatening behaviour. Which begs the question, why is this government so keen to implement it?
Well, in the new “improved” version they’ve put in some added extras. You can also be charged for insulting or offending someone. As we know, these days there are people who have very thin skins indeed so even wishing them a pleasant day could incur their wrath. Social media can be a swamp of vitriol and hurt feelings, demanding instant retribution and public shaming. Can you imagine what will happen when they can file a complaint against you. Get ready for that ominous bang on the door and the flashing light reflecting off your front window.
To rub salt in the wound, imagine if “victims” of hate speech comments can maintain their anonymity after accusation. You would have to guess who you had offended, which would likely run to a long list, and that’s only the people you know personally. In many cases, perfectly acceptable remarks which fell under freedom of opinion and expression, would now be judged in court with the minimum of a fine and up to three years in jail if found guilty.
That’s bad enough, but it’s the toll of being dragged through our legal system with the stress, cost and other ramifications, like loss of income, employment and reputation. And ultimately, damage to your health which may never be fixed. Even if found not guilty, the harm is done and that’s all many woke activist groups care about.
This proposed law does seem to have been very poorly thought through and is so vague as to make any comment about anyone or any group a potential prosecution. Call me cynical but if this law is passed, and with an outright Labour majority it almost certainly will be, barring a revolt from any Labour MPs with a genuine love for freedom of speech, I am waiting for all activist minority groups to start alleging “hate crime” whenever someone criticises or disagrees with them.
We’ve seen how the police respond to public pressure from minorities - they take the knee! That means if you’re accused of a hate crime you’ll very likely be prosecuted, regardless of what you said. This law will unfairly target people who express views that do NOT incite violence or hatred. Simply taking an alternative position on an issue and arguing your case will see you in court.
Derek Mackie is a geologist with a keen interest in current affairs.
TVNZ News even mentioned He Puapua tonight. They mentioned the Maori Upper house that will control the country. It was spun in a positive way. The Government obviously think they have the voting numbers to carry this through.
The hate speech bill was brought out at this time to divert attention from the insiduous He Puapua proposals.
Both these proposals are a direct attack on our democracy, such as it is.
Hate speech and He Puapua go hand in hand. There can't be an ethno-nationalist society without control of speech. Particularly when second class citizen's realise how second class they are and tikanga justified corruption becomes endemic. Just go to Malaysia and see how far you get criticising the Bumiputera and take a look at their media freedoms.
Note also that this government is already breaching its own hate-speech law, through its instruction to government departments to award a percentage of their contracts to Maori-owned businesses The departments are being told not to award that percentage of contracts to white-owned businesses, which is encouraging them to discriminate on the basis of race, one of the crimes specified in the proposed law.
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