Wednesday, October 03, 2018



Prominent New Zealand conservative barred from speaking at a New Zealand university

Massey University’s vice-chancellor, Jan Thomas, cancelled a booking for Don Brash to talk to students of politics at Massey University’s Manawatu campus.

Thomas cited security concerns after she said threats had been made — apparently giving in to the “thug’s veto”. In short, anyone can prevent someone speaking in public if they threaten violence against the venue, those attending, or the speakers themselves.

Unfortunately for VC Thomas, universities are subject to the Official Information Act, and blogger David Farrar was able to show through a string of emails he obtained that Thomas had wanted to find a way to stop Brash speaking at Massey well before security concerns became apparent — simply because she didn’t like his views on Maori issues.

Suppressing the antics of Wicked Campers and two lightweight Canadians are one thing; denying a platform to a former Reserve Bank governor and leader of the National opposition — who came close to being democratically elected as PM in 2005 — is entirely another.

So, once again, de-platforming has backfired on those self-appointed censors among our elites who imagine they can tell others what to read, see or hear. It has provided potent ammunition for all those who already see universities as enforcers of a leftist ideology that largely exist to tutor students in how to spot racism and sexism, and far from being the centres of rational, dispassionate inquiry that universities should be.

In fact, it is shaping up to be a blunder of monumental proportions. Already, wags are asking the university to publish a list of what views it deems acceptable and those considered to be heretical or blasphemous. It’s pretty obvious the latter would be a very long one.

The bigger problem, of course, for those intent on shutting down debate is the disaffection it will cause among the many people who don’t like being told what to think or say — including those who are generally sympathetic to liberal views on race and gender.

The left should worry that the backlash over its efforts to crimp free speech will harm the prospects of left-leaning political parties in New Zealand — principally Labour and the Greens — as, indeed, some reckon has happened in the US with the election of Trump, and in the UK with Brexit.

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1 comment:

Spurwing Plover the Fighting Shorebird said...

So just because a Kiwi gose Conservative they want to ban him all because of the dirty filthy maggot infested lowlife would riot typical Bolshiviks