Alf makes no secret of his belief we should bring back the hangman (or hangwoman in these enlightened times) to rid the planet of some more heinous criminals.
He is all for corporal punishment in schools, to discipline brats who need a good walloping, and he was right behind Crusher when it came to dealing with boy racers.
But the death sentence for cartoonists and satirists…
No-one – surely – believes making people laugh should be a capital offence.
Alf certainly doesn’t.
But he has found someone who does.
This someone, moreover, is a journalist who (you would think) champions lofty principles about freedom of speech and that sort of stuff.
He is former Maori Party candidate Derek Fox who has written – in effect – that the editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo got what was coming to him when he was killed in the terror attack on his magazine’s office.
Alf has not checked out exactly what Fox said. But according to the NZ Herald:
Mr Fox said on Facebook that the editor of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo had “paid the price” for his “bigotry” and “arrogance”.
He stood by his comments, and said if the magazine had not published gratuitous insults, the victims “would still be alive now”.
“But they didn’t, in fact they ramped it up to sell more mags. Well, they got bitten severely on the bum.”
Actually, they didn’t get bitten severely on the bum.
They were shot dead.
Three attackers, reportedly bearing Kalashnikovs and a rocket launcher, entered the building shouting “Allahu akbar!” and started firing.
They killed a dozen people before escaping.
Charlie Hebdo for many years has run all kinds of material that has invited controversy and provoked ire, much of it irreverent, some of it political and stridently anti-religious.
In 2006, the magazine republished the infamous cartoons of Mohammed that ran in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten as well as another caricature of the Islamic prophet in 2011. After the latter episode, the magazine’s offices were firebombed.
Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, the magazine’s editor, and several cartoonists were killed in the latest outrage.
But not all people have been outraged.
The Herald reminds us:
Mr Fox ran for the Maori Party in Ikaroa-Rawhiti six years ago but is also a leading Maori journalist, former Maori Television chairman and former mayor of Wairoa.
The good people of Ikaroa-Rawhiti had the good sense to vote for someone else.
Then the Herald tells us:
He wrote on Facebook that Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier was a “bully” who had abused free speech and was now responsible for the deaths of his colleagues.
“The editor of the French magazine has paid the price for his assumption of cultural superiority and arrogance, he was the bully believing he could insult other people’s culture and with impunity and he believed he would be protected in his racism and bigotry by the French state.
“Well he was wrong, unfortunately in paying the price for his arrogance he took another 11 people with him.”
Mr Fox continued: “Power cultures all like to use the old chestnut of freedom of speech when they choose to ridicule people who aren’t exactly like them, and mostly they get away with it.
“These guys liked the privilege but didn’t think they’d be caught up in the ramifications – they were wrong.”
So – ridiculing people who are not exactly like us is unpardonable.
Alf would have thought a tart letter to the editor would have taken care of the matter.
Or an aggrieved reader could stop buying the magazine.
Fox disagrees and regards the execution of the offender(s) as fit and proper.
The Maori Party has hastened to distance itself from this absurdity.
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said Mr Fox’s views did not match the Maori Party’s, and she condemned the violence in Paris.
She did not know whether he was still a paid-up member but said he was only “loosely connected” to the party “after all these years”.
Loosely connected to civilization and decency too, Alf would venture.
Oh, one more thought about the editor and his cartoonists being bitten severely on the bum for mocking the subjects of their satire.
Didn’t a gendarme or two get gunned down too?
What had they done, exactly, to deserve this fate?