Reaction to Labour’s hate speech law shows National doesn’t get it
The most important thing to remember about today’s National Party is that it has been infiltrated by the left. Perhaps to the extent that it is no longer viable as a true opposition to the Labour Party. There are too many in the party who would be better joining Labour and pulling it to the right, rather than being in National and pulling it to the left.
Sid Holland’s founding principles made the difference between National and Labour quite clear in the party’s early stages, but today, most National MPs would turn into a quivering blob of purple/ green jelly if anyone ever asked them if they still stood by those principles.
National has effectively lost its right to be seen as the leading opposition party, and the ACT party now exists as a far more competent and cogent counter to Labour. Even with its similarly unfortunate progressive influences, they are still not infiltrated to the same degree as National.
This is shown pretty clearly by the way the two parties reacted to the preview of Labour’s proposed legislation addressing the perceived problem of “hate speech”.
ACT leader David Seymour’s response can be found here and in general expresses more of a classic liberal approach. National’s Justice spokesman is Simon Bridges. Mr Bridges describes the proposed law as a “step too far” and also says
“Freedom of speech in a democracy means having to tolerate the expression of diverse views, but there are some things like violent hate speech that are never acceptable.”
It was actually The National Party that passed the Human Rights Act of 1993, while sellout liberal leftist Jim Bolger was leader. IMHO it was a step too far then, and opened the door to what is proposed today.
However the critical issue that Mr Bridges misses is that speech should never be described (in legal terms anyway) as “violent”. Once you take that step you are framing speech as equal to assaulting someone physically. The use of this term demonstrates that the National Party does not get the real issues here.
Of course what Mr Bridges thinks personally may be quite different to his press release, which one would expect is bound to reflect the views of the party as a whole. Which is where the problem lies. The National Party as a whole is a weak incoherent political body made ineffective by leftist/ progressive infiltration.
The myth that National is the “big tent” party has been exploited by the left to gain access to the party and move it away from its founding principles. Until it reverses this slide, ACT is at present clearly the better of two not very appealing options.
That is if you’re one of those rare NZers that is today concerned about individual liberty.