free-speech-freedomOn Wednesday a video was posted on the BFD website of two men in blue showing up to the house of a right wing political commentator on social media as filmed by the target of the visitation.  You can watch it and read comments on its website here

The BFD reporter says;

I watched the video and the focus was on the person offending people. Apparently, he had written something along the lines of stating that certain members of parliament should be hung from a tree.

If he had incited violence in what he said he would have broken the law. In this video however, he was told that offending people “borders on the line between freedom of speech and an offence and he will be arrested” if he says anything in the future that they deem to be on that border. The policeman does not explain or made clear in any way what that border is.

Stating that certain members of parliament should be hung from a tree is not the sort of comment that will encourage civilised debate, but neither did the following comment made by TV3 (Newshub) AM host Duncan Garner on 7 November 2018 about opponents of 1080 poison:

‘Lock ‘em up. Lock ‘em up. They’re anarchists. Send in Willie Apiata in camo gear to sort them out one night and they’ll never breathe again.’

Those comments resulted in a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, but the Authority, chaired by District Court judge Bill Hastings, considered them perfectly acceptable and refused to uphold the complaint.

What difference was there between the two cases?

Was it simply the fact that TV3/Newshub strongly supports the Jacinda Government and its policies, while the target of the Thought Police in the video obviously doesn’t?

It seems to be yet another incident in the ongoing official harassment of Jacinda’s political opponents.