Saturday, 1 June 2019

An Absurd Waste of Police Time

Precious Petals Need to Harden Up

We are compelled to enter the lists once again on "hate speech".  We have just had in NZ what could be called a true "whack a mole" moment.  There appears to be a growing number of people who are fundamentally confused about what free speech is.  They have taken to repulsing any speech they disagree with as "hate speech"--which, of course, must be whacked out of existence every time the mole shows its ugly head.  

Such protagonists, however, are genuinely "dumb and dumber".  Here is the latest folly:
A Mayoral candidate has been accused of age, gender and race-based "hate speech", prompting a confidential council committee to recommended police involvement.  The political race hate stoush is brewing in Rotorua, with councillor Tania Tapsell branding online comments made by Mayoral candidate Reynold​ Macpherson as "totally unacceptable".

The row centres on an online post made by Macpherson on the Facebook page of the Rotorua District Residents & Ratepayers' (RDRR) lobby group on May 14.  The post, a response to a video in which Tapsell encourages more young people to stand for council, is entitled "Beware the charismatic pitch of the Pied Piper".  [Stuff]
Apparently a complaint has now been laid with the police.
  What an illicit waste of precious police time.  For our part, we hope that the police will gravely consider the complaint for all of ten seconds before consigning it to the a hole deeper than the Grand Canyon. 
ACT leader David Seymour has called accusations of hate speech from a Rotorua councillor to a mayoral candidate "absurd".  . . . "There is no indication that the post is an incitement to violence or harm of any kind. No law has been broken."  By involving police, Seymour thought the council was asking it to "assume the role of voters" to determine which views and ideas were acceptable.  "This is the danger of hate speech laws – what constitutes hate speech is subjective and the law can be used as a weapon to silence political opponents. "  Seymour said no person should be made a criminal on the basis of a genuinely-held opinion.  [Stuff]
The Free Speech coalition has hit the mole with a well timed whack:
The Free Speech Coalition has also weighed in, urging police and the Human Rights Commission to remind politicians that "they can't misuse false complaints police to suppress criticism".  In a press release, spokesman Dr David Cumin said having the police involved was "a serious attempt to intimidate".  "It diverts police from real crime. Politicians who won't meet argument with argument, and instead ask the state to punish critics are not fit to hold power."  [Ibid.]
Indeed, they are not.

No comments: