According to this story on the Radio NZ website, Justice Minister Andrew Little says “the current law on hate speech is not thorough and strong enough and needed to change.”
Mr Little: the Human Rights Act already makes illegal “language (whether written or spoken), or visual material, or physical behaviour that express hostility against, or brings into contempt or ridicule, any other person on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins” of people. And the Crimes Act already makes illegal inciting, counseling, or procuring any person to commit a crime.
That is adequate.
Once you go beyond negative comments about the things that people are not responsible for — their colour, race, or ethnic or national origins — you are intruding into people’s right to Freedom of Speech and in particular the right to criticise other people’s attitudes and behaviour.
The Mainsteam Media’s attention on the events in Christchurch of 15 March have presented PM Jacinda fantastic opportunities for virtue signalling which she has made the most of. Of course, some of that had to be done for the benefit of the international audience — NZ has significant trade with over 20 predominately Muslim countries and not to have made empathetic speeches and hugged Muslims would not have been a good look. In addition, there was a need to try to diffuse the possibility of a Muslim terrorist attack in retaliation. (That may yet happen, though.)
But Jacinda’s going over the top in donning Muslim women’s garments in public appearances and her national Muslim calls to prayer by Imams in Parliament, on radio and TV won’t have won her any new friends. We encourage readers to go to theReligionofPeace.com website which since 9/11 has maintained a running account of all known Muslim terrorist attacks in the World, most of which the MSM in NZ never mention. So far in 2019 alone there have been 431 Islamic attacks in 35 countries, in which 2,416 people were killed and 2,304 injured.
Rather ironically for them, TV One News last night actually reported George Clooney’s call for hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei to be boycotted after that mega-rich dictator announced gays in Brunei would be stoned to death, because of what Islamic Sharia Law says. (According to Amnesty International the new laws there will also allow for the amputation of children’s limbs for theft.)
It’s very hard to see how Islamic attitudes and practices can possibly be compatible with Jacinda and her coterie’s views on social issues; but schizophrenically she pretends they are. Such baffling contradictions can only lead to cynicism about her motives.
by Roger Childs
To Johnny, the hunger for a ‘society’ wedding was a mystery, people of all ages decked up in beaming submission and acclaim of a union between two young people they barely knew, everyone in disguise, though something loutish broke out now and then among the ushers and the uncles. Alan Hollinghurst, page 453
Wonderful social commentary
Alan Hollinghurst’s latest book begins in 1940 during the blitz, when a new man – David Sparsholt — arrives at Oxford University. It ends with his grand-daughter Lucy preparing to get married in 2012.
Once again, the author shows his wonderful skills in–
- drawing out characters
- observing cultural norms
- commenting on trends in literature and art
- evocatively describing houses, furnishings and landscapes, and
- analysing social and technological trends in England from the 1940s to the 2010s.
The Sparsholt Affair covers three generations and each of the five chronological sections jumps a few years, so the reader needs to be awake to sort out what has happened in between time.
Different parts of the story are recounted from the point of view of a range of characters such as Freddie Green, a student in wartime Oxford and Lucy, a seven year old in modern London. However, the principal storyteller is David Sparsholt’s artist son, Johnny.
But what was the “affair?” With the deft skill of a master teller of tales, Hollinghurst is parsimonious in dropping hints as to what it was throughout the 450+ exhilarating pages. It’s definitely worth hanging in there to assemble the clues!
One of the world’s great novelists
As in all his novels, Sparsholt has a gay theme, but this should not put anyone off. Hollinghurst is an outstanding writer by any standards and weaves wonderful stories with fascinating characters, both gay and heterosexual, and vivid descriptions of the settings they move through.
There are exquisite observations of people, places and rituals, laced with occasional humour, cynicism and irony. In the words of The Observer, he is a great English stylist in full maturity.
Photos by Leslie Adkin, 6 June 1938. “Probable site of Pa-o-Toata shown on J.D. Climie’s map of the area 1880-1884 on the Waikanae River within the confines of the Tararua Range. The semi-isolated tongue of high level terrace evidently the spot.” (Alexander Turnbull Library)
It indicates the Mangakotukutuku Stream which is a tributary of the Waikanae River. The NZ TopoMap here lets you zoom up on the area.
by Gill Ward and Elizabeth Coleman
Greetings to literary appreciators,
Feedback on the PTTP first 2019 session
It was great to see so many at our first 2019 poetry gathering. Thank you to Nicola Easthope, our guest poet and it was pleasing to see younger poets there too. We are aware that some of the seating and the sound system was not quite right. Gail couldn’t be there when we started but came later and saw ways to modify both these issues so there will be some tweaking before our session on March 31st.
We were touched that some of you raced up after the very successful Poetry performance at St Peter’s Hall in Paekakariki and really appreciated that.
Sorry that there was no room on the open mic board for you. Further to that, some poetry cafes have a limit on their open mic, time and number.
We have not wanted to do this hence the one poem ‘rule’. It’s important that there is time for our guest poet to read. So please also make sure your poem is no more than one page. Somewhere between 30- 35 lines. This might sound bossy but it will mean we don’t have to close the board after a given number of readers. We want to give everyone a chance – it wouldn’t be a poetry cafe without you all.
Bob Orr features on 31 March
Next month we have Bob Orr who has just published his 9th book, One hundred poems and a year. (Steele Roberts, 2018).
Vaughan Rapatahana interviewed Bob on Jacket2. This is an American website so you can read the whole interview. Here is a little about it:
Jacket2 offers commentary on modern and contemporary poetry and poetics. We publish articles, reviews, interviews, discussions and collaborative responses, archival documents, podcasts, and descriptions of poetry symposia and projects. We also publish discursive explorations and transcripts of material in the PennSound archive.
Here’s a part of the interview:
“Bob is also rather different to so many ‘modern’ poets, in that he has always paddled his own poetic waka (canoe) in and through his own currents. Oaring across his own ocean, if you will. Bob never completed any tertiary education. He never attended any university ‘creative writing’ classes in an endeavour to craft his poetry ‘better.’ Up until very recently, when he was the 2017 University of Waikato Writer in Residence, he eschewed any applications for literary grants. He rarely, if ever, uses a computer to write with or on — he doesn’t even have an email address. Indeed, he continues to write with an old style ribbon-fed typewriter. Bob Orr is a bit of a Luddite — all of which ensures that his stream of poetry flows deep from his heart and mind and is never obfuscated by the trends, tropes, and trivialities of the latest poetic fad. Like another key New Zealand poet, Sam Hunt, Bob Orr has always remained a people’s poet, by which I mean, a writer who keeps it simple, who never overreaches into pretentiousness and amorphous cleverdickism.”
The details of Sunday’s session
Bob is coming a long way, from Te Mata on the Thames Coast, to share his poetry so pencil in the date.
Poets to the People
Robert Harris Café
4 – 6 pm Sunday 31 March
We are gratified to host important New Zealand poets at Poets to the People. Our purpose right from the start was to bring stellar poets to Kapiti as it is not always easy for people to get into Wellington to readings and book launches. Hopefully we have met our objective.
Just a word – there are many events every weekend in Kapiti: music, literary, sport and more.
If you are at one of these our new venue is great for parking and we start at 4 pm. There is time to come on in. We welcome latecomers if they make a quiet entry. Latecomers are better than no-comers.
Here’s a word from Walt Whitman (Notes Left Over, 1899):
‘To have great poets, there must be great audiences too.’
We think so – and you are.
A research collaboration is proposing an alternative to Predator Free 2050, calling the current policy “badly designed and unachievable”. 16 July 2018 The research says the Predator Free 2050 policy is based on three flawed assumptions — that predator extermination is the best way to protect biodiversity, that we need to eradicate every stoat, rat […]
Except from the way PM Jacinda is talking, you may not be able to express an adverse opinion of the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour of any Third World migrants for much longer — or you will likely be labeled a “right wing extremist”, a “white nationalist” (or a “brown nationalist” which may not be quite so bad), a “racist”, a “murderous fascist”, or all of these and put on a terrorist watch list.
According to Cr Michael Scott, “The Library will be relocating to the site currently occupied by the Artel Gallery.” He acknowledged, “The down side is the loss of long-time local arts and business identity Maude Heath… at least she is not moving far, as Artel is relocating to new premises in Otaki, so her beautiful shop, is at least not lost to the coast arts community,” he said.
Library services have been being delivered inside the Mahara Gallery over the last few weeks. “This could never have been a long term solution,” notes Michael Scott.
“Over the coming weeks we will see the current Artel space transformed into a warm, welcoming, purpose designed library space” said Cr Michael Scott. “The western facing outlook in particular, which will ultimately open out onto the newly renovated town centre, I suspect will be well used as the winter months descend on us,” he said.
“The location will offer a welcoming space to sit and read. It will be a warm and welcoming haven for young and old who have been putting up with curtailed library services since the main building was shut by council,” said Cr Scott. “I acknowledge it’s a further temporary solution, but council has heard the concerns of the retailers and the wider community about the need for library services to be retained inside Mahara place.”
It’s not a particularly big space, of course, maybe 50 m², but better than nothing. —Eds