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Jacinda Ardern and the woke war on free speech – #1 – Ardern the ‘globe-trotting luvvie against liberty’ as called by Brendan O’Neill


Brendan O’Neill wrote recently at Spiked, but available at The Platform:

OPINION: Tyranny has had a makeover. It’s no longer a boot stamping on a human face forever. It isn’t a gruff cop dragging you into a cell for thinking or expressing a ‘dangerous’ idea. It isn’t a priest strapping you to a breaking wheel. No, authoritarianism is well-dressed now. It’s polite. It has a broad smile and speaks in a soft voice. It is delivered not via a soldier’s boot to the cranium but with a caring liberal head-tilt. And its name is Jacinda Ardern.

This is why Ardern is so dangerous to us all. O’Neill continues:

New Zealand’s PM, every online liberal’s favourite world leader, has gone viral over the past 24 hours following the circulation of the shocking speech she gave at the UN last Friday. Before the assembled leaders of both the free world and the unfree world, Ms Ardern raised the alarm about a new ‘weapon of war’. It’s a ‘dangerous’ one, she said. It poses a grave ‘threat’ to humankind. It threatens to drag us headlong into ‘chaos’. We must act now, she pleaded with the powerful, so that we might disarm this weapon and ‘bring [the world] back to order’.

I take issue with O’Neill’s use of the word liberal, though I understand why he uses it. Unfortunately, the progressives have debased our language so much that today liberal no longer means to many someone who is open to new ideas, a free thinker, but instead it means someone who is in reality an oppressive authoritarian who accepts only his/her view of any set of facts and denounces anyone who thinks differently. However, I digress.

O’Neill then comments:

What is this terrible weapon, this menacing munition, that Ms Ardern so passionately wants to decommission? It’s freedom of speech.

She was talking about words. Seriously. About ideas, disagreement, dissent. Her speech focused on the alleged scourge of ‘mis- and disinformation online’. We must tackle it, she said. She acknowledged that some people are concerned that ‘even the most light-touch approaches to disinformation’ could come across as being ‘hostile to the values of free speech’. You’re damn right we are. But us global elites must nonetheless root out virtual bullshit because it can ‘cause chaos’, she said.

Really getting into her stride, she said speech can sometimes be a ‘weapon of war’. Some people use actual weapons to inflict harm, others use words: ‘The weapons may be different but the goals of those who perpetuate them is often the same… [to] reduce the ability of others to defend themselves.’ ‘War is peace’, said Big Brother. Big Sister Jacinda Ardern sees it a little differently: war is speech. Words wound, ideas kill – that’s the hot take of this globe-trotting luvvie against liberty.

And she really is talking about ideas. Modern politicians who wring their hands over ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ are usually just talking about beliefs they don’t like. 

Ardern really cannot tolerate anyone who disagrees with her and her government. We have only to look at how she has muzzled the media in NZ, albeit assisted by a claque of complicit and sycophantic journalists; plus of course state media such as RNZ and TVNZ. More on this in a later post.

Another key point is that she whines on about misinformation and disinformation but is a recidivist in this regard herself. I have been pointing out for some time now how Ardern lies and misinforms – see for example. She even proclaimed that she so no reason to lie in a 2017 electoral debate and yet since that time has lied, dissembled and misinformed regularly.

The above clip is from the TV3 Leader’s Debate in 2017. Arguably it defined a view of Ardern in many people’s minds. Unfortunately, it, the view, is wrong. Ardern is, in my mind a serial peddler of misinformation, a major user of obfuscation, and on occasion a liar.

She went even further during the pandemic, viz

One of the most arrogant statements ever made by a politician, especially by one who has regularly been caught lying, obfuscating and being extremely economical with the truth.

In later posts we will look further at Brendan O’Neill’s article and related issues such as Ardern’s ongoing attack on NZ Democracy and her authoritarian approach to government.

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