Sunday, June 25, 2023

Stuart Smith: The Creeping Loss of Our Freedoms

The fundamental human right of freedom of speech is being threatened in New Zealand, and, if we fail to resist, we risk losing it entirely. The recent shutdown of Posie Parker’s Let Women Speak tour by protestors serves as a clear illustration of this danger. Another instance is Julian Batchelor’s nationwide tour promoting his booklet Stop Co-Governance, where his public meeting in Dunedin was forcefully disrupted by protesters who disagreed with his perspectives.

A veritable media storm surrounded Mrs Parker’s public meeting, with Mrs Parker, a diminutive middle-aged woman who advocates for women’s rights being assaulted by protesters while the police stood by wringing their hands: one of our country’s most shameful moments – where a vulnerable woman was left with a few brave members of the public to defend themselves from thugs.

Mr Batchelor’s meetings have also encountered determined protesters aiming to disrupt them. Surprisingly, this significant development has received little attention from the mainstream media (MSM), who have barely covered it. But when they do, the focus is on the protesters and their perspectives, with minimal coverage given to Mr Batchelor and his supporters.

Gone are the days when the media impartially presented the news, considering diverse viewpoints and upholding the principles of freedom of association and free speech. It appears that our media outlets have failed to recognize the threat to press freedom in this situation.

Our former Prime Minister’s “Christchurch Call” project, which seeks to control extremist online content at first glance is a noble cause. However, in practice it is just another mechanism for controlling speech, cleverly using the dreadful mosque shootings as justification for a further loss of our freedom.

There is no doubt that Jacinda Ardern’s experience in international socialist organisations will have taught her that the success of socialist regimes totally depends on controlling speech. But this is New Zealand – and we value our freedoms.

Whatever your views are on Posie Parker or Julian Batchelor, you should be able to express them freely. Free speech is the bedrock of our democracy and we must protect it. Those who seek to silence dissenting views clearly have little faith in the strength of their argument – or their own agenda.

Our frontline police do a fantastic job protecting the public, but they let themselves, and more importantly Mrs Parker, down badly. Mr Batchelor also claims that the police have put the interests of those who seek to silence him ahead of his right to free speech. We go down a very dangerous road if we allow our police to become politicised.

New Zealanders are fair-minded people who tend not to make a fuss: we don’t openly oppose things that we disagree with because we desperately do not want to be disagreeable. But this quirk of our national persona makes us vulnerable to the ever-creeping loss of our freedoms.

You can stand up against this via the privacy of the polling booth on October 14, and I urge you to do so.

Stuart Smith is a N Z National Party politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives for the KaikĊura electorate since 2014. This article was first published HERE


Anonymous said...

Stuart I always enjoy your viewpoints. I have never voted for National and will never vote for Labour again. National seem to have been for big business and the workers have mostly been damned/used without care. The housing fire was fanned by National and had petrol poured on by Labour.
But I hope that if National form a government this year, you will take a leading role. And please be true to yourself above everything else. There will be compromise but there should be a limit to standards sliding away.

Kiwialan said...

Stuart, until your gutless leader makes a strong stand against the surreptitious Maorification of our Country and promises a binding referendum on being a New Zealander or Aotearoan David Seymour will get our Party votes. Kiwialan and wife.

Anonymous said...

The creeping loss of our Freedoms!!! Oh, so NOW you are worried about our freedoms Smith. Where were you and the other blue bellies when there was a protest on just this matter on the front lawn of your place of business a while back?? Must be election circus time.

Unknown said...

What is concerning is the way corporates are happy to align themselves.