Kahui twins’ mum highlights a freedom of speech issue – and a freedom to protest issue, too

June 30, 2011

Alf kicks off on a lofty note today: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Yep. Most of us are familiar with that libertarian quote that champions our freedom of speech.

Usually it is attributed to Voltaire, although it is reasonable to suppose he would have expressed himself in French. Anyway, it seems those words were first used by an Evelyn Beatrice Hall, writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G Tallentyre in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), as a summation of Voltaire’s beliefs on freedom of thought and expression.

Now let’s vary it: “I disapprove of what you sell in your bookshop, but I will defend to the death your right to decide.”

Maybe not to the death, on second thoughts.

But Alf is happy to support the proposition that book-sellers should be free to decide which books they sell and which they do not.

This idea is not much different – if at all – from the proposition that a book publisher should be entitled to publish what he or she wants to publish, and to reject the rest.

If things were otherwise, then publishers would be obliged to publish everything brought to them and book-sellers would be obliged to sell everything that is published.

Palpably, that is bollocks.

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The hobbling of The Hobbit – or how to drive a movie project to some other country

October 1, 2010

How do you kill the goose that laid the golden egg and turned our capital into Wellywood?

Very quickly, when you bring in the bloody trade unionists.

NZ Actors Equity has allied itself with Australia’s Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance , which has called for a boycott of The Hobbit films.

Other actors’ unions around the world are supporting that call.

Crazy.

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Would a bit of lolly break the brown boycott?

December 4, 2009

Oh dear, what a shame – but (on second thoughts) who exactly gives a toss?

That’s Alf’s response to the mana whenua groups reported to be considering boycotting Auckland supercity’s proposed Maori statutory board.

Pathetic.

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Macdoctor keeps up the heat on frozen peas

April 7, 2009

While the Greens remain quiet, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s compliance and investigation director Geoff Allen has had something to say about the contamination of Talley’s frozen peas with black nightshade (which apparently grows among peas as a weed).

Allen said Talley’s told him yesterday that the contamination had occurred after an unusually bad spate of nightshade in the 2007-2008 harvest.

The company withdrew several products in February after the contamination was noticed, he said. It had also traced the source of the nightshade to two growers and was increasing oversight before harvesting.

The same story at Stuff says:

Talley’s spokesman Robert Darragh said he believed the recent complaints were from consumers who had stored products recalled in February.

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