NZ's Labour Regime: Bringing '1984' to 2021

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2021-03-07 07:15

[Submission to Parliamentary Select Committee, Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill, March 8, 2021]

"Religious faith is, precisely because we are still-evolving creatures, ineradicable. It will never die out, or at least not until we get over our fear of death, and of the dark, and of the unknown, and of each other. For this reason I would not prohibit it, even if I thought I could. Very generous of me, you may say. But will the religious grant me the same indulgence? I ask because there is a real and serious difference between me and my religious friends, and the real and serious friends are sufficiently honest to admit it. I would be quite content to go to their children's bar mitzvahs, to marvel at their Gothic cathedrals, to 'respect' their belief that the Koran was dictated, though exclusively in Arabic, to an illiterate merchant, or to interest myself in Wicca and Hindu and Jain consolations. And as it happens, I will continue to do this without insisting on the polite reciprocal condition—which is that they in turn leave me alone. But this, religion is ultimately incapable of doing. As I write these words, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all the hard-won human attainments that I have touched upon."

—Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great

It would be a tragedy and travesty of historic enormity if the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill were to transpire to be a ruse by which the Religious Woke snuff out what little of our freedom of speech remains. Alas, that appears to be their exact intent.

The Religion of Woke was an ominously growing spectre in Mr Hitchens' time, but could still be easily batted off with a modicum of richly deserved mockery and humour, especially of the kind Hitch was so skilled at. But its devotees now behave in exactly the manner Christopher ascribes to Christians, Muslims et al to whom "live and let live" is wholly alien;  they seek to ban mockery and humour, and have already succeeded in doing so to a scary degree by sheer intimidation without any need for  laws—their "Cancel Culture" is the modern equivalent of the Inquisition. Dissidents, apostates and non-conformists generally are not burned at the stake; rather, their books are burned; they are "crushed" and "destroyed" on social media and "unpersonned" in society-at-large in the manner of George Orwell's 1984—which the Zealous Woke are treating as an instruction manual rather than the dire cautionary tale of totalitarianism it was. Internationally, even fictional characters such as the Muppets and some of Dr Seuss's cast have been cancelled by Woke-Fascism just in the last few weeks; here in New Zealand commentators John Banks, Sean Plunket and Michael Bassett have been shoved down the Memory Hole in short order. Heaven help us when laws such as that proposed here add legal legitimacy to this moral depravity.

The proposed Bill supposedly brings the Films, Videos and Publications Act 1993 into the digital age, extending the entirely laudable protections it affords against the sexual abuse and exploitation of children to Cyberspace. Nothing wrong and everything right with that. But it behoves us to remember that the 1993 Act also proscribes any publication that:  

 (c) degrades or dehumanises or demeans any person [hurts anyone's feelings?] ...

(e) represents (whether directly or by implication) that members of any particular class of the public are inherently inferior to other members of the public by reason of any characteristic of members of that class, being a characteristic that is a prohibited ground of discrimination specified in section 21(1) of the Human Rights Act 1993. [You wonder what happened to Irish jokes?]

  
And let us remind ourselves how the updated Bill was touted by the Minister who introduced it when she did so earlier this year:

New Bill to Counter Violent Extremism Online Heads To Select Committee

Thursday, 11 February 2021, 3:48 pm

Press Release: New Zealand Government

Hon Jan Tinetti

Minister for Internal Affairs

“New Zealanders can now have their say on a new Bill to make livestreaming objectionable content a criminal offence and better protect all of us from inadvertently viewing harmful online content,” says Minister for Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti.

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill is part of a wider government programme to address violent extremism. It was read for the first time in Parliament today and has been referred to Select Committee for public consultation.

“The Bill addresses specific legislative and regulatory gaps in our current online content regulation that were highlighted in the wake of the Christchurch Mosque terrorist attacks on March 15. This Bill will allow Government to act swiftly in the future if another incident, like the livestreaming of the March 15 terror attacks, were to happen again.

”Objectionable material is already illegal to possess and distribute in New Zealand – it is the highest classification that can be given to a publication under the Classification Act. This includes child sexual exploitation material and violent extremism or terrorist content."

The Bill amends the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 so that:

• The Chief Censor will be able to more quickly notify the public of illegal content that could cause high levels of harm;

• The livestreaming of objectionable content will be a criminal offence;

• Government will be able to issue take down notices, requiring the removal of objectionable content online

• Social media companies will come within the scope of current laws on objectionable content; and

• Legal parameters are established for a potential web filter to block objectionable content in the future, subject to further policy development and consultation.

“We have worked with industry partners to create the Bill, which will ensure law enforcers and industry partners can rapidly prevent and fight harm from illegal online content.

“The Bill has now been referred to select committee, and I encourage the public to have their say through the select committee process,” Jan Tinetti says.

Notes for editors

• The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (the Classification Act) governs censorship in New Zealand. Under the Classification Act, it is an offence to make, possess, supply or distribute an objectionable publication (including digital content). Such an offence is based on whether the availability of a given publication or digital content is likely to be injurious to the public good.

• The Classification Act contains mechanisms to deter people from creating or sharing this illegal content, to allow authorities to investigate those who do and to prosecute them where appropriate.

• You can view the Bill at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2020/0268/latest/LMS294551.html and the relevant Cabinet paper with attachments at https://www.dia.govt.nz/Proactive-Releases#Min 

  
So it is not really "violent extremism" that is being targeted; it's anything at all that the government deems to be "objectionable" and "injurious to the public good"—i.e., anything it disapproves of! It's not the livestreaming of violent extremists this regime is worried about; it's the livestreaming of a debate involving Don Brash!

There is no "violent extremism" in New Zealand, unless you count the Woke-Fascist Blackshirts who forcibly close down any debate involving Don Brash (screeching uninvited at someone else's event through deafening megaphones is force, in my book). The perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque massacre, cited by the Minister in justifying this Bill, is the only example of "violent extremism" we have ever seen. But he was not a New Zealander; he was an Australian visitor, who, thanks to lax implementation of existing and already-adequate protocols by authorities, managed to obtain the weaponry in New Zealand with which to carry out his dreadful slaughter: an act of barbarism wholly atypical of life in New Zealand. Disgustingly, however, true to form, this regime just couldn't wait to use his murderous rampage as a pretext to confiscate the guns of law-abiding, peaceful New Zealanders; to politicise the police, who then morphed literally into Orwell's Thought Police and went knocking on doors to interrogate citizens about their political views;  and to launch an assault on our freedom of speech generally—which assault is already well advanced and which is the true purpose of this Bill, awaiting only the addition of "Hate Speech" laws to kill free speech off altogether.

Simpson and Grierson highlight:

The Bill introduces a new take-down regime that applies to online publications, with the definition of online publication expressly including livestreamed content and a copy of livestreamed content. The Bill provides that an Inspector of Publications may issue a take-down notice in relation to a particular online publication to an online content host where: an interim classification assessment has been made by the Classifications Office that the content is likely to be objectionable, or it has been classified as objectionable; or the relevant Inspector believes on reasonable grounds that the content is objectionable.

An Inspector of Publications is any person appointed by the Department of Internal Affairs for this purpose. The police are also deemed to be Inspectors of Publications, but not for the purposes of the new take-down notice regime.

Our police officers, Inspectors of Publications? Thought Police indeed! With the Ministry of Internal Affairs playing Orwell's Ministry of Truth! Note, by the way, there is not just one Inspector of Publications. There can be as many of these unelected, unknown, unaccountable censors policing our published opinions as the Ministry of Internal Affairs chooses to appoint. And I don't say "unaccountable" lightly. See for yourself, from the Explanatory Notes accompanying the Bill:

Under Bill safe harbour provisions in Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 will not apply to objectionable online content

Section 24 of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 (the HDC Act) states that online content hosts cannot be charged under New Zealand law for hosting harmful content on their platforms if they follow certain steps when a complaint is made. This creates the potential for exemption for online content hosts from any criminal or civil liability if they break the law under the Act (which is concerned with more serious content) but follow the steps outlined in the HDC Act. Under the Bill, section 24 of the HDC Act will not apply to the operation of the Act. No amendments will need to be made to the HDC Act. This will mean that enforcing the new offence or modified offences in the Act will not be limited by the HDC Act safe harbour provisions for online content hosts. It will ensure that online content hosts can be prosecuted for hosting objectionable content if they are liable for doing so.

So no matter whose livelihoods are destroyed by the Thought Police, they can't be sued or held to account in any way!

"Objectionable," "injurious to the public good," and "online harm," of course, in today's context, actually mean: any point of view, however peaceably held, to the right of Joseph Stalin's; any criticism of the Chinese Communist Party; any criticism of Islam; any criticism of the current Woke regime; anything that offends anyone who isn't white, male and unambiguously heterosexual. (I am old enough to remember the time I could have been jailed for acting on my sexual orientation; thankfully, that was all put right eventually, but we now confront the opposite travesty: straightness is treated as a defect for which one should be pilloried and cancelled.) Gay males are not off the hook if they are white; all whites are deemed to be an intrinsically racist stain on humanity because they are white; they ought to be turned down for jobs even if they're the best-qualified, and generally treated as second-class citizens—"white" is deemed to be inherently defective exactly in the manner proscribed in the aforementioned 1993 legislation!

Among those leading the racist charge is the New Zealand School of Music, which boasts of its intention to "de-centre whiteness" (it's not looking good for Bach, Beethoven and Brahms!). Whatever happened to judging people by the content of their character (or their actual musical prowess) and not the colour of their skin, or their gender, or sexual orientation or anything else they have no control over?!

Legislation such as is proposed here will only encourage the armies of snowflakes Woke brainwashing has engendered to find something to be offended by and poutingly seek to turn their infantile umbrage into a cancellation.

I first read 1984 in secondary school—it was on the required reading list. Now, under this very Bill, it could easily be deemed "objectionable" by an Inspector of Publications and banned. How long, after all, can the Woke-Fascists in Big Government, Big Tech, Big Business, Academia and the lickspittle media tolerate the ready availability of a work that foretold them with such devastating accuracy over 70 years ago:

It was only after a decade of national wars, civil wars, revolutions and counterrevolutions in all parts of the world that Ingsoc and its rivals emerged as fully worked-out political theories. But they had been foreshadowed by the various systems, generally called totalitarian, which had appeared earlier in the century, and the main outlines of the world which would emerge from the prevailing chaos had long been obvious. What kind of people would control this world had been equally obvious. The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government. As compared with their opposite numbers in past ages, they were less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act, and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time. [Italics mine]

That possibility is being  realised before our very eyes. We are on the verge of 1984. Pass legislation like this and we'll be all the way there. What to do instead?

Repair to Section 14 of our Bill of Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

By all means legislate exceptions for child pornography, incitement to violence, shouting "fire!" in a crowded theatre, the open advocacy of any kind of initiation of force, and ensure that such prohibitions apply to the Internet. But that's it! Stop there! Most, if not all of this is already covered. These things aside, untrammelled freedom of speech should be sacrosanct. Instead of killing it off altogether, let's declare a Free Speech Emergency for the express purpose of restoring it! Let's have Hyde Park-type Speakers' Corners in every public square in the country! Let their arches sport such unassailable truths and precepts as, "There is no such thing as a right not to be offended" (Salman Rushdie); "If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise we do not believe in it at all" (Noam Chomsky); "I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it" (mis-attributed to Voltaire, though it distills his position accurately); and, "A gun is not an argument" (Ayn Rand).


This Is How You Fight Back!!!

Mr_Lineberry's picture

This Pastor in Calgary, Canada wasn't taking any nonsense from the Police over Easter; ejected the Gestapo from his Church. They slunk away in disgrace and shame. This is how you fight back against the filth, folks! (hint: by standing up for yourself, not cowering away as you've been doing). Video is 2 mins 20 seconds and well worth watching if you are genuinely concerned about your freedoms being lost.

Not surprised

Jmaurone's picture

Everyone was dismissing the influence of Cage and Shoenberg, because most people really didn't enjoy atonalism, or take it seriously as a threat, etc, but here we are, with musical notation itself being called "racist". But I knew this was coming, as far back as when I was talking with lefty-university types back in 98-99, who were telling me that classical music was "colonial", imperialism, etc, because it mirrored political structures of oppression, invoking Adorno idea's of "total freedom" in music (re: noise), etc. So it's no surprise. Hell, they're attacking objectivity itself...

Well, you know what they say, "you can't reason with the unreasonable." And once they throw objectivity out the window, all bets are off...

Sheet Music = White Supremacism!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

When reporting the embrace last year of Only Black Lives Matter by the New Zealand School of Music and its enactment of a programme to "de-center [American spelling!] Whiteness," I observed that things weren't looking good for Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Little did I realise what an understatement this was. We now hear that Oxford University, no less, wants to shove musical notation itself down the Memory Hole of 1984:

https://www.breitbart.com/euro...

The University of Oxford is considering proposals that would remove sheet music from its curriculum over woke claims that teaching the Western form of musical notation has roots in “colonialism” and “complicity in white supremacy”.

In response to widespread Black Lives Matter protesters and riots last year in the United Kingdom, music educators at Oxford University have joined the wider iconoclastic movement which has been sweeping through British academia.

The music department at the prestigious and ancient university has seen calls to remove music notation from the curriculum as professors seek to focus less on white European heritage and culture, according to documents seen by The Telegraph.

The woke educators went on to claim that musical notation itself is a “colonialist representational system” that has “complicity to white supremacy”. The claim is similar to leftist pronouncements in America that mathematics is inherently racist.

The Oxford academics went on to pronounce that teaching the piano or conducting orchestras could cause “students of colour great distress” as the skills involved are closely tied to “white European music”.

Professors at the university said that the classical music which is taught at Oxford, which includes Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert, among others, is too focused on “white European music from the slave period”.

The assertion is somewhat dubious, as Western classical music, as well as the practice of sheet music notation, predates the Atlantic slave trade, stemming back to musical traditions from the medieval period such as Gregorian chanting.

In response to student demands “arising from international Black Lives Matter demonstrations,” the Oxford faculty is also considering placing a heavier emphasis on “non-Eurocentric” musical traditions such as Hip-Hop and Jazz, as well as “African and African Diasporic Musics” and “Global Musics”.

The curriculum could also place more importance on pop music and culture, with suggested topics including “Artists Demanding Trump Stop Using Their Songs” at campaign rallies and “Dua Lipa’s Record-Breaking Livestream”.

Mocking the woke push from the university, London mayoral candidate and Heritage Party leader David Kurten said: “For goodness sake. Oxford is supposed to be one of our top Universities that promotes academic rigour and excellence. It should not be peddling woke nonsense like ‘classical music is racist and ‘sheet music is non-inclusive'”.

The proposals come amid a wider push throughout British academia to “decolonise the curriculum” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In February, for example, the University of Leicester caused uproar after it proposed cutting courses in Medieval English literature — removing seminal works such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf — in favour of focusing more heavily on texts relating to sexuality, diversity, race, and ethnicity.

The woke push has also seen the introduction of speech codes, with the University of Manchester telling staff to refrain from using gendered words such as “father” or “mother” in favour of more “inclusive language”.

https://www.breitbart.com/euro...

The moronry of this is unimaginable—but no lover of freedom and civilisation should content himself with faulting its utter brainlessness: it must be called out as the unspeakable evil that it is, with the only caveat being that this is being unkind to evil!

Milo vs Woke-Fascists

Lindsay Perigo's picture

This is cosmos-shattering:

Nigel vs Woke-Fascists

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Nigel is taking on the "child-molesters of the mind," as I've always called them, the harbingers of 1984. The vicious legislation of which I speak in the primary post, not to mention the nauseating Woke-Fascism of the puke-making Meghyn Markle whom Nigel discusses here, is the culmination of decades of indoctrination by the child-molesters of the mind:

Outstanding essay...

Olivia's picture

The ground you cover with this is both sweeping and detailed.
Free Speech emergency indeed!
And in all nations.

Marvelous

Mr_Lineberry's picture

Lindsay! so, are you appearing before the committee in person? an oral submission?

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