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Focus On Politics: Hate Speech Debate Gets Mired In Politics

23/09/2021

24 July 2021

This edition of RNZs Focus on Politics was reported by Anneke Smith.

Of course the subject become politicised. Not surprising given the government’s inability to properly articulate their intent, the imprecise drafting, In addition, we see what has happened elsewhere, think for example the legislation recently passed in Scotland. (see here for a discussion)

The programme is useful for bring out some aspects, but to me the entire thrust of the proposals is wrong. It seems to me that the government wants to protect certain groups, but at excessive restriction of overall rights.

Federation of Islamic Associations chair Abdur Razzaq says people have forgotten what the hate speech proposals are about.

Confusion over the government’s proposed hate speech law changes have been fuelled by the absence of the minister, and left minority communities worried it leaves space for misinformation to fester. 

Razzaq says it’s not a simple legislative change and people want to know how it relates to other law.

“We’re not having any chance to discuss that, face to face … understand and ask questions about the proposed changes and have a robust discussion but not get into a politicisation.” 

New Zealand Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses can’t understand why the government is missing in action.

“If you want to get these proposals through … you need to bring people along with you,” she says.

“They’re saying the purpose of those laws is to enhance social cohesion. I think what we’re seeing right now is actually the opposite, if anything – I think we’re seeing a lot of division.”  MORE AT LINK

Plus of course RNZ parroted the government line, and to boot we got Maori phrases thrown in for good measure

Personally, i am deeply suspicious of where this might be heading.

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