14 December 2006

Blogosphere to be placed on a fairer level

In response to widespread community concern about the untrammelled and biased perspectives presented in New Zealand political blogs, the Minister of Information Technology, Daffid Cantlift announced that all blogs would be subject to a licensing regime and be subject to regulation by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
“It is unfair and discriminatory for blogs to exist that can promote neo-Nazi, fundamentalist Christian, neo-liberal and other points of view without giving balanced space and time to alternatives” said Cantlift at his press conference today.
“We will be giving notice than all blogs produced and published in New Zealand will have to apply for a blogcasting licence, which will be at modest cost, putting the blog under the BSA’s jurisdiction”. Cantlift noted that while industry self regulation was an option, “the widespread hatred, lies and distortion from the right wing blogosphere was cancerous and corrosive to our democracy”, the licensing regime would ensure that blogs could not express an opinion without giving a tolerant alternative point of view. “Clearly this will not apply to informative blogs” said Cantlift, although he refused to respond to enquiries about whether he knew of such blogs he did say “blogs simply publicising what is government policy and the implications of the great problems of our day, such as climate change, would be free to continue to do their good work. These are in stark contrast to those using insulting, even blasphemous language”.
When asked what blogs were clearly causing concern, Cantlift said it was inappropriate to single any one out, so he simply listed the following:

Sir Humphrey’s

Whale Oil Beef Hooked
Oswald Bastable’s rantings
Not PC
The Free Speech blog
New Zeal

Blair Mulholland
Cactus Kate

Insolent Prick
Silent Running
Pacific Empire
Julian Pistorius
Tomahawk Kid
Elliot Who
Southern Gent

Crusader Rabbit
Andrew Falloon

Lindsay Mitchell
he continued but pointed out that clearly there were too many subversive blogs. When asked about how so many were hosted offshore Cantlift replied "if Iran can do it, we can. We're not America, why should we follow America?".
Leader of the Supposition, Hone Quayside said that the Notional Party would “carefully consider” the proposal as it was a “real issue for all New Zealanders who simply are fairness loving kiwis”. Quayside said “it is important to be a constructive Supposition and to not oppose what is clearly the democratically elected government of the country – that would be treason. After all, there are sound arguments for restricting criticism of political parties which perform a vital function”. Quayside said Notional would support the legislation going to select committee, and said the government can rely on Notional support, as it was important that incorrect political lines were not allowed to “willy nilly” pollute New Zealand media. He said there needs to be some thought given as to how to accommodate the Maaori Party’s call for all blogs to be bilingual, saying that while not opposed “in principle”, there may need to be “language training and workshops” for licensed bloggers to make it easier for them to meet their Treaty of Waitangi obligations. The Maaori Party spokestalisman agreed with anything that would bring the blogosphere under local control.
Reliable government supporter Peter Don’t said he was “appalled at the standards” of blog debate as his party was rarely mentioned, and there was insufficient attention given to how critically important it was for families to get Transmission Gully built as soon as possible. He said “in principle he opposes much of what the government proposes” but that “he gives them confidence and supply because it is “common sense” to support the largest party in Parliament that he was once a member of.
Tree Party spokesfrog said “people shouldn’t be mean online and if you can’t ban mean blogs, they should be regulated for the safety of the public, because they were not organic and many people used Telecom, which we know uses the hairs of poor children to build what was once its network”. The Trees would support the legislation, as long as it took account of the Maaori Party’s bicultural concerns.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Winsome Baubles could not be reached for comment as he was sleeping on a plane. His spokesman was overheard saying the Right Hon. Baubles recognised his status required him to work hard for New Zealand and he was pursuing opportunities for exporting gold to elite markets. This was later clarified as actually meaning "working hard to earn Gold Elite status with Air New Zealand Airpoints".
Minister for Labour (Party) Jim Il Sung said that blogs that said anything good about drugs should be banned, and mentioned BZP in the first instance.
* Cantliffe pointed out to journalists that there was no need to constantly misspell his name just because the "a" was pronounced with a "u", not least by half of his colleagues behind his back.
UPDATE - Capitalist Writer has also been listed as cancerous and corrosive, as well as being divisive, selfish and unfair.


MikeE said...

yay.. I'm cancerous and corrisive!

Lawrence of Otago said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lawrence of Otago said...

Very clever

Who now walks on four legs.

Rick said...

Sounds like something Perigo would say on the radio, that does.

Kane Bunce said...

Oh crap! I think my blog classifies as one of the sort that would require licensing! They no doubt would consider it cancerous and corrosive!

Hey wait isn't being cancerous and corrosive to fascist government a good thing? Given that cancer can kill I think it is. I think I'll second MikeE's "yay.. I'm cancerous and corrosive!"

Oh, and, Scott, I see you came up with much better joke names for the parties and MPs than I did for the short story I am writing for The Free Radical.

Oswald Bastable said...

Looks like there are enough of us for a whole wing at the planned Helen Clarke Re-education Facility.

If they would ever put such a group of dangerous subversives together, in one place!

writeups said...

The real tragedy is that blog licensing is all too believable in the current political environment - Helengrad could require blog licensing as part of their 'campaign finance' reforms. That said I enjoy being the underdog - being labelled cancerous and corrosive is really cool lol!

Duncan Bayne said...

You utter bastard. Subtle wind-ups are not, repeat NOT permissible before I've had my morning cola.

Kane Bunce said...

That inspired me to write my own similar post on my blog. David Cantlivewith wants to unbundle Google New Zealand and TeradeMe now. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Careful--Helen's gang don't understand humour at all. They'll regard your suggestions as a blueprint and have 'em passed into law over the the Christmas--sorry, "holiday"--break.

Anonymous said...

Your friend John McCain is doing just this in the US or course- but that is the US - not NZ.

Now he has introduced legislation that would treat blogs like Internet service providers and hold them responsible for all activity in the comments sections and user profiles. Some highlights of the legislation

– Commercial websites and personal blogs “would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000.”

– Internet service providers (ISPs) are already required to issue such reports, but under McCain’s legislation, bloggers with comment sections may face “even stiffer penalties” than ISPs.

— Social networking sites will be forced to take “effective measures” — such as deleting user profiles — to remove any website that is “associated” with a sex offender. Sites may include not only Facebook and MySpace, but also Amazon.com, which permits author profiles and personal lists, and blogs like DailyKos, which allows users to sign up for personal diaries.

Open the other eye 'Liberty' Scott.It;s not just 'lefties'.

Libertyscott said...

Rachel, John McCain is not my friend. I am no Republican, and I am as critical of the right and its intrusions on freedom (see National Party on party pills) as I am of the left. In NZ the left is in power, so it is all the more obvious there.

I hope there are Republicans and Democrats opposing McCain's policy - I fear my hope is in vain. I rarely see Democrats advancing freedom on censorship matters.

Cactus Kate said...

Go get fucked

Libertyscott said...


Berend de Boer said...

Agree writeups, we're laughing but feeling sad at the same time.

Kane Bunce said...

Careful--Helen's gang don't understand humour at all. They'll regard your suggestions as a blueprint and have 'em passed into law over the the Christmas--sorry, "holiday"--break.

Oh, crap! Good point. I didn't think of that.

Rachel, I am sickened by that. The only one responsible for the comments and user profiles are the ones that make them.

LibertyScott you should just delete Cactus Kate's comment. That's what I do with such comments on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Can anybody give me a link to a newspaper article on this story? I would like to do a follow up on it, and a cartoon of course.

If I understand this correctly, they are trying to censor the internet, the only free-speech arena left.

Callum said...

Damn, my blog ain't on there. :-(

Maybe he will consider it if I give him a link. libfront.blogspot.com