don brash

We mentioned in May that a whole series of right wing speakers have been banned in the UK, but the same problem has appeared in NZ over the last month, first with Auckland mayor Phil Gough telling the controversial Canadian pair Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux that they could not use any council-owned venue for speaking events.

Now it’s former National Party leader Don Brash, who formed treaty lobby group Hobson’s Pledge, and was due to speak at Massey’s Manawatu campus yesterday, as part of a series of politics talks.

The speaking event was cancelled by the university which Don Brash has called “utterly astonishing”.

Some of what the former leader has had to say has upset the Political Correctness Brigade — in essence that consists of ‘revision of revisionism’ when it comes to the 19th century history involving Maori-Pakeha relations, and his opposition to racism being enshrined in our statutes.

On Tuesday, Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas called off the event because of what she called “security concerns” – a move which has since been criticised by politicians including Chris Hipkins, Paula Bennett and even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

On this Newshub webpage the ‘security concerns’ have now been identified: two specific Facebook comments.

One was a post on August 3 by a Palmerston North man believed to be a member of the Stormtroopers gang. He posted a link to the event page with the caption, “This guy lol…if your [sic] up to nothing wensday [sic] head up to massey uni,” accompanied by a laughing emoji and a red circle with a cross through it.

The second concerning remark was a Rotorua man’s comment on that same post, which simply read: “Take a gun.”

A Stormtrooper, and on Facebook? Well that identifies the standard of Don Brash’s opponents, doesn’t it.

And if someone in Rotorua says ‘take a gun’, why not: 1. have a couple of security guards at the entrance to the hall with a metal detector; and 2. inform the police?  They said they weren’t informed.

When it comes to debates between the Political Correctness Brigade and ‘right thinking people’, you are going to get more than a few prejudiced and unjustified statements fueled by emotion — that often says more about those making them than about the validity or otherwise of the statements.

What matters in all conflicting views is evidence and logic, and when it is provided intelligent people should be able to analyse it to form their own opinion.