Friday, February 10, 2006

Worthless MP


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Remember Richard Worthless?
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The header on his website claims he is the MP for Epsom, look at the VERY top of your browser to see what it says. He just doesn't get it does he? The man who was convinced that, somehow, National had a better chance governing with him winning the Eden seat, rather than a list place, rather than National ALSO getting Rodney Hide and whoever ACT could bring along, has shown more of his true colours.
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He doesn’t believe in free speech any more than Tariana Turia does.
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In his virtually audience less newsletter “Newsworthy” he said:
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The media defence of "freedom of speech" overlooks two important points:
* Freedom of speech is not an unconstrained right. Whilst the New Zealand Bill of Rights in section 14 refers to the right of freedom of expression, there are a raft of laws which impinge dramatically on that right.The laws of criminal contempt and defamation are clear illustrations of that.
* We still have our on statute books the crime of blasphemous libel which carries a maximum jail term of one year. “

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Nice to raise that point, as if he was a prefect pointing out that "it's illegal" like some arrogant little do-gooder! When Richard Worth was at school was he hated because he told teacher whenever kids broke a rule? If he were a cop would he have given you a ticket for going at 101km/h (it’s the law!)?
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The law of blasphemous libel does exist, Worth fails to point out that the Crimes Act S.123(4) points out that no one shall be prosecuted for this offence without leave of the Attorney General. This demonstrates that it exists for exceptional cases – though it should not exist at all – it should not be a crime to blaspheme against any religion.
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Worth wasn’t just pointing out the law, he was effectively endorsing it by saying:
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“Comments and caricature ridiculing or attacking the religious beliefs of others are dangerously divisive in any community. Such comments bring unpredictable response actions from extremists and often the tacit support of more moderate adherents.”
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On one level he is right. Imagine if you lived in a society where your beliefs and opinions were typically considered extreme, ridiculous and stupid. Ever been a libertarian? Ever been an atheist in an avowedly Christian or Muslim town? Think the law should protect me, Not PC, Lindsay Perigo from ridicule? No. We wont threaten to burn down your buildings or behead you.
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"Comments attacking the religious belief of others" should be suppressed because someone will lose the plot and give an "unpredictable response action". So free speech now must have permission from people who tend to act violently when their belief in ghosts is attacked. So we must shut up because some psychotics will murder us due to the offence caused. There are plenty of reasons to criticise religions because they are ridiculous - that is different from harassing people.
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Rodney Hide (the real MP for Epsom) said, “we must be respectful of other people’s cultures and beliefs. That’s a simple matter of politeness and a pragmatic recognition of what it takes to live in a diverse and tolerant world.” You don’t go around and tell your Muslim neighbour everyday his religion is stupid or tell the local priest how evil you think Catholicism is.
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However, Worth is not saying that - he separates lampooning from ridicule and attack - because making fun of religion is not ridicule? How does he write this sort of vapid nonsense?
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Worth deserves the ridicule of the title Worthless - not as an insult, but because he is worthless in a party that nominally supports personal freedom. Presumably he is seeking the religious minority vote at the next election, given that the MP for Epsom has staked his colours to the mast of freedom on this issue.

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