Last week I received an anonymous copy of a Memo the Environment Minister Nick Smith had written to his caucus colleagues on 26 January this year, defending his Resource Management Act reforms. It advised National Party MPs on how to respond to concerns raised by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research.
Sir Salman Rushdie understands the importance of free speech more than most. In 1988, the British writer was accused of insulting Islam in his fourth novel, The Satantic Verses. A year later a fatwa calling for his death was issued.
Apocryphally, in 1770, the French writer and provocateur François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) wrote to a French priest, “Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."
Over recent years Google and Facebook have become targets in a campaign questioning whether such successful international companies are paying their “fair share” of tax in the countries in which they operate.
The common image of charities is of benevolent institutions doing good in a quiet way for generally people or animals who need help. The reality is not quite like that. Today in Britain charities are big business and often pay big salaries.
If US President Donald Trump was the Prime Minister of New Zealand and heard what the Ministry for Primary Industries is doing to Biddy Fraser-Davies of Cwmglyn Cheese in Ekatahuna, he would undoubtedly call the head of that agency and say “You're fired”.
I write in some distress as it appears MPI is determined to close me down with their excessive demands for repeat testing of raw milk, immature cheese curd and final product testing of Cwmglyn mature raw hard cheese.
The carnage on New Zealand’s roads is continuing, with 326 fatalities last year - seven more than in 2015, and 30 more than in 2014. While one in four of the drivers were going too fast for the conditions, drugs and alcohol were factors in 40 percent of the crashes.
No one would be happy to know that the driver heading towards them on the road was drunk. That’s why we use a lot of Police time and taxpayer’s money to try and keep drunk drivers off our roads. But what about if the driver heading towards you was stoned instead?
Political Correctness is being used by vested interest groups to force new norms of thought and behaviour onto society. Nowadays if you are not “sensitive” enough in embracing values such as “tolerance” and “diversity”, then you will be aggressively attacked and stigmatised by activist critics - including in the media.