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Stephen Franks on Louisa Wall and her ‘novel’ approach to Free Speech – plus was she kite flying?

26/04/2019

Earlier today Adam posted about a recent Facebook post by Labour MP Louisa Wall in which, to Adam’s mind, she exposed her essentially authoritarian views regarding a free press.

Then in this morning’s episode RNZ Morning Report had this

The Labour MP Louisa Wall is calling for greater controls on the media. While praising Jacinda Ardern for working globally to try to stop extemists using social media to organise and promote terrorism, Ms Wall wants the media to be “formally recognized as part of a political system”. In a Facebook post the MP for Manurewa has written: “…this would impose a Duty of Care on The Media – requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.” Louisa Wall is in Perth and unavailable to be interviewed. But in the Wellington studio we have Free Speech Coalition spokesperson and constitutional lawyer Stephen Franks

Mr Franks mounts a robust defence of freedom.  Just when he is really making headway they ‘run out of time”

He makes a point that had occurred to Adam, why did Wall float this comment now? Why has it not been explicitly denied by Ardern and Little?

Mr. Franks also pointed out that Wall’s comment was not inconsistent with Little;s earlier remarks. An example is here.

Whilst perhaps drawing a longbow, was she shooting her arrow of oppression at a target given to her?

Under Ms Wall’s approach would Thomas Paine ever been allowed to publish ‘The Rights of Man‘ and ‘The Age of Reason‘ .

Paine wrote:

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”

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