Thursday, June 08, 2006

Outrage of sedition - where are the other parties?

Now I don’t agree with Tim Selwyn, I am glad he was prosecuted for vandalism. However, his prosecution for sedition is an outrage. Not PC and No Right Turn have both covered this verdict in some detail, showing that some on the liberal end of the SOCIAL spectrum (if not economic) understand freedom. David Farrar to his credit has also opposed sedition laws, but… and a big but it is... there has simply been silence from the major political parties. Find other issues where those people will agree, and agree with Geoffrey Palmer.
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The Labour Party, once the proud home of the socially liberal, is now the home of the petty bullies. The born to rule, “I’m a victim of my success as a popular and competent Prime Minister” arrogance. How many of YOU lot would also be convicted of sedition had the government of the day brought it upon you when you were in some protest march in the 60s, 70s or even 80s? Wankers.
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The National Party – supposed believers in freedom, much prefer to keep quiet. ACT – the liberal party, also keeping quiet. No point defending an “uppity Maori who convicted vandalism” because of principle? After all, majority of the public probably think “good job”. Much as the majority in Alabama thought “good job” when a black woman was arrested for sitting in the whites only section of the bus, much as the majority of Germans sat back and let Hitler destroy democracy in Germany after he was elected. Sanctimonious fence sitters. I again searched the National website for the word sedition and got this.
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The Green Party, often claims to be the defender of civil liberties, has said nothing either (until today). It would rather wank on excitedly about more subsidised buses in Hamilton. Frogblog also lacks anything on it. UPDATE - Green press release out, see below.
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NZ First is a party of authoritarians so no surprises there, and United Future once claimed to be liberal, but is anything but that.
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I’ve also seen nothing from the Maori Party, but then it has always had slow websites that are rarely up to date (last press release on there is 16 May).
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There are times when politicians have a responsibility – a responsibility to stand up for freedoms for people that most of us would not agree with, to stare through the prejudice and the popularity polls and say – Tim Selwyn should be the last person ever to face a charge of sedition – the law should be scrapped. So will Rodney Hide take a break from dancing and do this? Or is ACT as useless in defending fundamental freedoms as some libertarians have always accused it of?
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Prove me wrong - prove to me that ACT has just been slow, and isn't refusing to defend Tim Selwyn's right to circulate that leaflet because he'd be one of the last to vote for them, and because their voters would be the last to support his views. Fundamentally - neither matter.
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UPDATE 1- Green's have produced a press release on this, calling for a review of the law. About time, Keith has woken up. He said "New Zealand has an honourable tradition of civil disobedience against injustice, most notably during the Springbok tour of 1981. Thankfully the sedition laws weren’t used at that time, but the police now seemed prepared to prosecute anyone advocating such resistance. “Next thing we might see farmers facing charges for encouraging others not to get their dogs micro-chipped. “There is a big difference between inciting the immediate commission a specific criminal act, already covered by Sections 66 and 311 of the Crimes Act, and generalized calls for civil disobedience, which the sedition laws target." Spot on Keith, good for you - you can hold your head high. Labour, National and ACT, you all still an utter disgrace as parties in a liberal democracy.

4 comments:

t selwyn said...

Sorry to have to ruin my credibility with everyone, but I was actually an electorate agent for Prebs in 2003. And one of the early members of the Act Party when it was a vehicle for Roger Douglas' superannuation agenda and cared on a philosophical level about freedom and property rights. I've got more baggage than Heathrow, mate.

Lyndon said...

Greens release is up

Lyndon said...

http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR9878.html
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0606/S00143.htm

libertyscott said...

Tim, I was a member of ACT ten years ago myself. It doesn't ruin your credibility on this issue at all and doesn't excuse ACT's silence on this issue.