The Who legend Roger Daltrey says the ‘woke’ generation is creating a miserable world that serves to stifle the kind of creative freedom he enjoyed in the 60s.
The iconic frontman made the comments during a recent appearance on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 podcast.
“I don’t know, we might get somewhere because it’s becoming so absurd now with AI, all the tricks it can do, and the woke generation,” said Daltrey.
“It’s terrifying, the miserable world they’re going to create for themselves. I mean, anyone who’s lived a life and you see what they’re doing, you just know that it’s a route to nowhere,” he added.
The singer noted how he was lucky to have lived through an era where freedom of speech was encouraged, not silenced.
“Especially when you’ve lived through the periods of a life that we’ve had the privilege to. I mean, we’ve had the golden era. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.
This Who song from 1968 seems very appropriate with the government oppression we are being subjected to now. —Eds
As of today, the Free Speech Coalition is no more. But we’re not giving in to the enemies of free speech — to the contrary. We are delighted to announce the launch of our bigger and better effort: The Free Speech Union.
The name is not ironic. One of the early wins of the trade union movement was the limited work day – that when you knocked off after 8 hours, you were no longer a servant of the employer class. With the enemies of free speech now going after people’s employment, it is a principle we need to re-assert.
We think it says crisply just what is now needed to defend freedom of speech. We need to stand with people being intimidated, cancelled, deplatformed, piled on by social media, doxxed and threatened with bankruptcy if they seek legal protection.
When we started the Free Speech Coalition in 2018, most of us thought freedom of speech was fundamental in New Zealand’s traditions, our culture, our constitution, and our law. We thought that all we needed to do was ensure that the enemies of free speech knew they could end up in court if they abused their power. The High Court decision essentially mocked that faith. And while last week’s Court of Appeal decision was better, it was hardly reassuring.
In the terrifyingly short period since the Coalition came together to oppose Mayor Goff’s claim to be free to use control of Council facilities to suppress unwelcome debate, New Zealand has seen cancel culture become mainstream in our media, universities, and public institutions.
At the same time, the tactics of those who wish to suppress free public discourse have changed. We are increasingly seeing online activists and social media mobs target people’s employment in order to silence them:
- A Massey University academic was subject to a disciplinary process for satirising gender pronoun enforcement in his weekly newspaper column.
- A high school teacher was investigated by the Teaching Council because he wore a MAGA hat to an Auckland Black Lives Matter protest.
- An Auckland Transport staffer was harassed in the media and publicly denounced by his employer for a comment made in a private Facebook group.
In short, we have to revitalise the cultural foundations for freedom of speech: we need to make free speech fashionable again. We have to defend tolerance.
Courts may still be an essential battleground. But many lawyers are now part of an elite political consensus that freedom of speech is passe – that they are justified in ending it to protect their values from challenge by outsiders. They believe that ends justify means. To them it’s OK to gag speech that might mislead ordinary people away from paths defined by their moral betters.
So we are gearing up to help people defend themselves, and others, against being de-platformed, cancelled, intimidated, and suppressed. The most immediate and powerful support will often be mutual support from fellow workers – people who may be feeling too threatened at the moment to speak up, or who have no practical way to gauge how many share their concerns. Hence, we’ve registered as a trade union.
There is precedent, a similar group in the United Kingdom was launched early last year by an associate editor of The Spectator, Toby Young, and Douglas Murray. We are launching the New Zealand Free Speech Union as the first ‘sister group’ using the name under licence.
But why a real union?
New Zealand law on unions is not restrictive. Our primary purpose remains protecting and promoting the human right of free speech.
The union model has advantages:
- the right to access employer’s property to conduct union business. The next time Massey University bans Don Brash or Martin Bradbury because what they might say is ‘unsafe’ – we may organise a union event on campus. That could include giving those they want to de-platform the legal right to enter as delegates of the Union.
- employers can’t stop people from joining our union – if they do, they’ll be in breach of employment law. We know of instances where universities have scolded academics for their public support of free speech / our campaign. If they try to do that with the Free Speech Union, they’ll be breaching employment law.
The union model also indicates our intention to build capacity to decide quickly on members’ legal position. Employment law is not reserved for lawyers, but some cases will need expertise in other areas (for example, defamation). Unions can advise members, without being treated as offering lawyer services to the public. Long term, the Union will need this capability.
And membership isn’t limited to just employees
We’ve set up the Union to allow anyone who agrees with our Statement of Values to join – including the self-employed, retirees, or people who are already a member of another union (you can be a member of your existing union, and the Free Speech Union).
Will you join us?
The enemies of free speech are now openly using their powers in government, online, in leadership positions in the media, in dominant businesses, and within the cultural elite. Defenders of freedom of speech are likely still to be in the majority. But they will not be effective as a silent majority. That’s why we’re coming together with the express goal of building solidarity.
Thank you for your support.
Free Speech Union
Given the rush to market for the Covid vaccines, could their safety be adequately assessed? No chance. From Suzie Halewood at off-guardian.org:
In 1956 German pharmaceutical company Chemie Grünenthal GmbH, licensed a new experimental drug designed to treat colds, flu, nausea and morning sickness. Known as Distaval in the UK, Distillers Biochemicals Ltd declared the drug could ‘be given with complete safety to pregnant women and nursing mothers without adverse effect on mother or child’ – a basic pre-requisite for licensing a drug.
While forty-nine countries licensed the drug under multiple different names, the then head of the FDA Dr. Frances Kelsey, a physician-pharmacologist with a profound interest in fetal development, refused authorization for use in the US market due to her concerns about the lack of evidence regarding the drug’s safety.
The drug was also known as Thalidomide.
Sixty-five years on and the stringent safety measures brought in to avoid another scandal on the scale of Thalidomide have been swept aside in order to fast track the approval of experimental mRNA vaccines. This is in spite of concerns voiced by (among others) Dr Wolfgang Wodarg and Dr Michael Yeadon who petitioned the European Medical Agency (EMA) with a Administrative/Regulatory Stay Of Action in regard to the BioNtech/Pfizer study on BNT162b – not just in regard to concerns about pregnant women, the foetus and infertility – but also in regard to the effect of the mRNA vaccines on those with prior immunity, for whom immunization could lead to a hyperinflammatory response, a cytokine storm, and a generally dysregulation of the immune system that allows the virus to cause more damage to their lungs and other organs of their body.
Related — Telegram page for Covid vaccine victims
by Christopher Ruthe
Blood lines in Aotearoa
The land of the long white cloud
Is the place to be
The right ancestry
Coca-Cola has paused its controversial diversity plan — that included penalties on outside law firms if they failed to meet racial diversity quotas — after intense backlash.
The pause comes after the orchestrator of the plan, Coke’s former general counsel Bradley Gayton, abruptly resigned last month after less than a year on the job and as criticism of the quotas mounted.
Some questioned whether Gayton’s policies violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says employers can’t treat people differently based on their race.
Scott Leith, a spokesman for Coke, said Gayton’s replacement, Monica Howard Douglas, is now reviewing the plan.
Legal defense foundation Project on Fair Representation published an open letter to Coca-Cola last week warning that Coke’s outside counsel “racial quota requirements” are “unlawful.”
The most extraordinary hour of Parliament
If you’ve not seen it, the hour-long debate in Parliament last night on Trevor Mallard is perhaps the most remarkable 60 minutes of Parliament you’ll ever see.
Last night the Speaker used parliamentary privilege to respond to the continued questions from the opposition regarding his 18 month legal battle which has so far cost the taxpayer $333,000. However, rather than the Speaker backing down, he dug in his heels and launched into a fiery exchange with opposition MPs.
Today the Prime Minster has come out stating her “overall support” for the Speaker but mentioned she has “expressed serious concerns to him about the manner in which he conducted himself in the House last night.”
Worth seeing for yourself
National MP Chris Bishop’s response
We seldom reprint an MP’s media release, but in this instance we think Chris Bishop has it spot on:
MEDIA RELEASE: Mallard fails to give taxpayers a straight answer
Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says.
"Trevor Mallard failed to justify his actions before Parliament last night. Taxpayers deserved straight answers after he cost them more than $330,000 but those answers never came.
"The big question Trevor Mallard repeatedly dodged is: why did he not just apologise once he knew he had wrongly accused the Parliamentary staffer of rape, which in his own words was within 24 hours, rather than letting this drag for 18 months at taxpayers’ expense?
"Taxpayers are also still in the dark as to how much more Mr Mallard’s subsequent behaviour, including his refusal to apologise and the ‘threats’ that followed, has cost them in damages."
Other questions that remain unanswered for Mr Mallard, the Prime Minister and Labour are:
Why did Mr Mallard’s lawyers tell the plaintiff in the defamation case that he intended to plead truth (ie. prove he was a rapist) when he knew that claim was incorrect?
Did Mr Mallard follow through on this threat and plead truth in any statement of defence filed with the court, when he knew that claim was incorrect?
Why did Mr Mallard’s lawyers tell the plaintiff in the defamation case that he intended to defend any claim "vigorously"? In particular, why did his lawyers say to the plaintiff that "the question of his reputation, and his conduct, will be very much the centrepiece of any public proceeding"?
Was the Prime Minister aware that Mr Mallard knew the rape claim to be false but had threatened the plaintiff that he intended to claim it was true anyway?
Did he mislead the Select Committee by stating he had no knowledge of the case when it is apparent he was briefed twice in the issue by his CEO?
"Trevor Mallard behaved in a threatening and bullying way. In any other workplace across New Zealand he would be sacked," Mr Bishop says.
"The Prime Minister might like to reflect on the fact that if Trevor Mallard was a National MP, she would be the first in line to call for his resignation."
Keeping this in the news
Some in the National Party wanted to give this issue up. But with your support, we’ve kept this issue in the media including our full page letter to the Prime Minister and ‘pay it back’ adverts.
By keeping it in the media, we’ve helped set the scene for National Party to continue to pursue this issue in Parliament.
It is clear the Government is feeling the pressure
From the Prime Minister’s comments today, it is clear she now knows this issue is a vulnerable point for her Government.
We will not let it drop.
Jacinda Ardern cannot allow her Speaker to aggressively position himself as a heroic figure in what is ultimately a mess of his own making.
Your humble Taxpayers’ Union is reliably informed the high water mark of the allegations against the falsely accused “rapist” was that he hugged someone from behind. For Mr Mallard to accuse his critics of defending someone guilty of ‘serious sexual assault’ is simply repeating the same behaviour that got him into this mess.
The Prime Minister can not in good faith continue to support Trevor Mallard as Speaker.
We need to put more pressure on Jacinda Ardern. Donate here to help us continue to hold Trevor Mallard to account, and put a stop to the growing legal bills being covered by the taxpayer.
The Local Government Act requires councils to produce a Long Term Plan every three years; the last was in 2018 so it’s that time again.
You can download the 102 page fancy document (pdf) on the council website here
There is sure to be the blasé attitude by most Ratepayers: “so much is predetermined by the bureaucrats and they don’t listen to us, so why bother?” The first two statements are true, but the important thing is that the bureaucrats cant say “no-one opposed our ideas” and it also helps to achieve constructive discussion about Ratepayers’ actual wants. There is another council election in October next year.
We’re finishing our own submission and will post it on here in a day or two.
by Geoffrey Churchman
He was born on 5 May 1818 in Trier, Germany, to be precise, and in her pursuit of suitable dates for more public holidays to please her voters, it’s a little surprising that Dear Leader hasn’t come up with this one, as he is the father of the ideology which has clearly been a major force in her life and and at least some of her cabinet colleagues. Maybe she’ll announce it next year?
According to the Wikipedia page on Marx, he “has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and his work has been both lauded and criticised. His work in economics laid the basis for some current theories about labour and its relation to capital. Many intellectuals, labour unions, artists and political parties worldwide have been influenced by Marx’s work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is typically cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science.”
And he is. No student of political science can ignore him as, deeply flawed as his theories are, he has had a major influence on the World. At the time he wrote his works in the mid 19th century he was concerned with the vast disparity of wealth and power between the haves and the have-nots.
But as economic historian John Kenneth Galbraith pointed out, as well as revolution, his Communist Manifesto proposed a series of modest socio-economic reforms by governments, which western countries steadily adopted — and served to diminish the appetite by workers for revolution. The revolutions that did occur — Russia, Cuba, China — happened in those countries which never saw those reforms. In that way did Marx work against Marx.
It’s rather ironic that in the last few decades the vast disparities in income and wealth have reappeared — including here in Kapiti where for some unfathomable reason, KCDC Boss Mr Maxwell is paid from Ratepayers about 5 times the average salary. Globally, we now have a new unfettered dictatorship — not of the proletariat (those at the bottom of the heap) but by the Billionairiat. It’s now said that the top 1% own about 80% of the World.
Even more ironically, Jacinda & Co. have been throwing nine figure sums of Taxpayer money at these billionaires: the America’s Cup owners and most recently, $162 million to Jeff Bezos of Amazon. What about doing something for the workers your party is supposed to represent, Jacinda? Why not reduce GST as David Seymour calls for, Jacinda?
This is one of the two best-known American satirical websites, the other being The Onion. Although some present KCDC councilors don’t understand satire, most of our readers are sure to.
Here are a couple of examples from yesterday:
It’s Official: New White House Cat To Be Named ‘Chairman Meow’
‘I Have Changed My Mind And Do Not Want A Divorce From This Amazing Handsome Man,’ Says Glossy-Eyed Melinda Gates After Receiving Vaccine