The odious hate speech laws

I sent this on 5 August, the day before a mere six-week window closed on public comments. Is this a piece of legislation crucial for the nation’s welfare, or another atrocious socialist misreading of Kiwi society that’ll sweep this gutless government out of office?

Hate speech law will shrink and darken the country’s mind and heart for generations. Only our government demands it, we don’t want it. Out with the government! Spread this post far and wide.

Sent to: [email protected]

Dear Sir/Madam,

The government proposes to introduce so-called “hate speech” legislation but there are fundamental difficulties with this.

  1. Hate speech lacks a clear definition, which means we all will be at the mercy of police and judges who must individually ascertain whether, in the particular circumstances of each case, a crime has been committed. Therefore it follows that no opportunity will exist, before we commit a potential crime, soberly and reasonably to determine for oneself, as a layman, that “this is a crime” and to decide whether to speak. Unless the legislation exempts accidental speech—accidental offence—who’s to say any hesitant, thoughtful, provocative, challenging or exploratory speech at all will be attempted, no matter how well-meaning our intent?
  2. The first we would know of our crime would be the Police knocking at our door.
  3. No harm is caused by hatred beyond emotional distress—no property damaged, no reputation in tatters, no blood spilled and no bones broken—therefore it is no business of the legislature or the courts, for no harm being done, no remedy is required beyond a hug and a cup of tea. Emotional distress consists of an ever-changing landscape of responses mild and strong—all perfectly voluntary—to a bewildering kalaidoscope of discourteous, insulting, rude, derogatory, objectionable, offensive, impudent, insolent, scandalous or humiliating speech and writing, and real or imaginary complaints about every conceivable behaviour. There is no end to the observed negative emotional responses and no end also to the events, persons or things that may invoke them, and therefore if the legislature and the courts are compelled to consider them, I fear they would continue without end and we would never know peace. Every case would be different, every one a winner for the lawyers and every one would destroy just a little bit more of our free speech. Not to mention that people would be locked away simply for speaking.
  4. Free speech is necessary for free thought.
  5. Our current legal framework is adequate and more regulation is unnecessary.

Yours most cordially,

 

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3 Thoughts on “The odious hate speech laws

  1. Esra Dral on 20/08/2021 at 8:37 pm said:

    Go to https://freespeech.act.org.nz/ and sign their petition. Make no mistake, this hate speech law is nothing to do with the Christchurch terror attack. It is an attack on our fundamental freedoms.

  2. Richard Treadgold on 21/08/2021 at 1:08 pm said:

    Thanks, ED. Already did that. Fundamental to a solid society, really, isn’t it?

  3. Brett Keane on 31/08/2021 at 6:50 pm said:

    Yep, the Long March of Marxism through Academia. Again. Bring back Winston and Ban Mass Postal Voting!!! Brett Keane

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