The trouble with never giving offence is that we must be hugely respectful – even to Morris dancers

May 19, 2015

Alf was drawn today to an article by one Joanna Norris, chair of the New Zealand Media Freedom Committee and editor of the Press.

Her subject was freedom of expression and the things that threaten it.

She discussed freedom of expression in terms Alf thoroughly supports.

At its very simplest, freedom of expression gives people the right to express themselves in a manner of their choosing. Whether you want to write a letter to an editor, write a column, dance in a park, or even burn a flag, your freedom to express yourself is protected by law (unless your flag burning results in public disorder).

The Bill of Rights Act gives New Zealanders these rights. Specifically it says this: “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.” There are of course limits, for example your right to express yourself must not result in a crime, but generally our courts have erred towards freedom of expression when balancing competing principles.

But from time to time, Norris went on, issues arise that quietly threaten the rights of New Zealanders to express themselves.

Read the rest of this entry »


If a National MP wants to avoid abuse maybe it’s better to live far away from greenies

May 8, 2015

The occasional tossers – probably lefties and greenies – makes derogatory and always-unjustified comments about Alf on this blog.

Now and again tart remarks are made about him in the Parliamentary debating chamber (and much more obviously lefties and greenies are his verbal assailants).

But that’s to be expected. We are politicking in the chamber on those occasions and only now and again do differences spill over into a bit of physical argy-bargy.

But Alf has not experienced the threats and abuse that apparently have troubled other MPs out in the community

No doubt that’s because of his avuncular charm.

Perhaps if other MPs were similarly charming they would avoid some of the difficulties they and their families experience.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Wira wasn’t a winner

August 2, 2009

Looks like Whaleoil was burning the midnight oil, to bring news to the blogosphere of the National Party’s new board and Wira Gardiner’s failure to win a place. He submitted his post at 2.53am.

Alf was tucked up in bed at that time, has slept in this morning, and so has been beaten to the punch.

Dunno if Whaleoil got any sleep but he was back on the job at 9:08am to bring news that the board selected Peter Goodfellow as the new National Party president to succeed Judy Kirk.

He is not impressed.

When it comes to who was first to bring us news of the party’s new board, Alf notes that an NZPA report was timed at 5.28pm yesterday. There may have been earlier reports.

But Whaleoil is entitled to brag (and does) that he got it right while the mainstream media got it wrong when they predicted Wira Gardiner would get on the board.

Ok so The Whale is 5-0 on the board selections and the MSM is 0-5. They all predicted Wira Gardiner would get on the board and they were all wrong.
Read the rest of this entry »