Friday, March 24, 2023

Karl du Fresne: In different circumstances, you could almost admire their chutzpah

Justice Gendall in the High Court has come to the right decision in the case of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, aka Posie Parker. Whether it was for the right reasons remains to be seen.

Gendall ruled that the government’s decision to allow Parker into New Zealand to speak at rallies in Auckland and Wellington was lawful.

As Jonathan Ayling of the Free Speech Union says, it was the only right result for a country that values tolerance, free speech and the ability to debate.

At very short notice, the FSU sought and was granted intervener status at the hearing this morning to make sure free speech issues were considered.

While the Crown Law Office argued that Parker should be allowed in, Roderick Mulgan of the FSU pointed out that the government’s lawyers concentrated their argument on whether her visit raised the risk of harm. Mulgan said the right to freedom of speech needed to be factored in too.

Gendall was under pressure to make a quick decision, and he did. Parker was due to arrive in the country this afternoon.

The judge said the application by those opposing Parker’s visit failed for technical and procedural reasons. He suggested one factor was that he had no opportunity to hear from Parker herself. He will give the full reasons for his decision in writing later.

It will be interesting to see where free speech sits in his reasoning, assuming it features at all. What will worry the FSU is that Gendall said he had considerable sympathy with the application and the issues of public order that were raised.

I’m no lawyer, but I would have thought it was open to the judge to strike out the action as frivolous and vexatious.

The groups that opposed the government’s decision to allow Parker into New Zealand cited likely harm and risk to public order. But if there's any threat of confrontation at Parker’s rallies, it's likely to have been entirely created – incited wouldn’t be too strong a word – by supporters of those same groups.

Had they ignored the British feminist and anti-trans activist, she might have come and gone with hardly anyone being any the wiser. It’s the LGTBQI+ activists, backed by opportunist politicians and hysterical media, who have whipped up an atmosphere of impending havoc.

The implications for free speech were obvious. To have caved in to the demand that Parker be barred would have reinforced the message that all anyone has to do to get a speaker cancelled is to threaten disruption – a ploy that the courts have done little to deter.

The lawyer for the rainbow and transgender groups opposing Parker’s visit said there was evidence (supplied, no doubt, by the public-spirited people at the unimpeachably reliable Disinformation Project) that far-Right and neo-Nazi groups were planning to attend Parker’s rallies in New Zealand.

Well, we shall see. If the attention-seeking baboons of the far-Right do turn out, it will almost certainly be because their interest has been aroused by the grandstanding of the attention-seeking rainbow and transgender lobbies and their political allies.

You have to admit, it’s an innovative approach: create the setting for public disorder, then rush to court squealing that it mustn’t be allowed to happen. In different circumstances, you could almost admire their chutzpah.

Karl du Fresne, a freelance journalist, is the former editor of The Dominion newspaper. He blogs at


Robert Arthur said...

Most court outcomes are determined by the priniple of what will generaae the most lucrative legal activity in the future. Tossing it out as vexatious would not have met that normal criterion. If some apes who do not know ahat a feminist is turn up and pull the hair of or apply the Crocodile Dundee test to any of the trans, it will be interesting to see who gets blamed.if I was a feminist or parent of a daughter I would be torn between her meeting and the counter co government one.

Unknown said...

One has to ask what is the issue that Gay Community has with Posie Parker speaking. Her approach is for and on behalf of Women, whom she she believes are being marginalized by the "ever increasing diatribe from the Gay Community", that is undermining what Women seek in their daily lives.

She also has spoken out on the "terminology" that is being enforced on Women, that relate to Women, in the attempt to change the the way they wish to live their lives.

Posie has spoken about these issues occurring within her own Country, Great Britain and also across America & Canada.

Anonymous said...

“…had considerable sympathy…” are those woke alarm bells I hear ringing?

Surely the only grounds applicable here involve some form of ‘test’ as to whether or not her visit would, on the balance of all probabilities, more than likely have incited and resulted in violence and harm to the public? And that test or threshold bar should be the same for anyone publicly speaking, and that risk really should naturally exclude those opposing her entry, or those likely to be incited by those raising that opposition.

Fortuitously, we have a recent comparator here in the ‘poem‘ presented by Tusiata Avia MNZM, wherein what she espoused could hardly have been more offensive and inciteful of violence. And, in that instance, where was the bar set? As it transpires, “extremely high” - to the point that even public funding and promotion of the poem was deemed acceptable.

So, unless the powers that be and our Human Rights and Race Relations Commissioners are complete hypocrites, of course Keen-Minshull had to be admitted.

Welcome to NZ, Kelly-Jay, but just be thankful we here are not part of France. There you need only suggest raising the age of superannuation a couple of years...

Anonymous said...

The woke still won.