'If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticise.' Voltaire.
Up until recent times, New Zealand has had an enviable international reputation for upholding the right to freedom of expression. But this status is fast evaporating under the recent push toward censorship – or, in the current euphemism, “no-platforming” or “de-platforming” - of dissenting views.
One of the latest to be cancelled in such a manner is Dr Michael Bassett. Dr Bassett is a former senior Labour Party cabinet minister, noted historian, and author of several books on New Zealand politics. The views of this man are surely worthy of respect. Not so, according to the NZME media company. Under the instructions of the managing editor Shayne Currie, and fellow editors Murray Kirkness and Rachel Ward, Dr Bassett’s recent blog - New Zealanders' Modern Cultural Cringe – was deemed ‘not fit to publish’, and withdrawn from publication in the Northland Age, a NZME newspaper. Not only that, but it was also made clear NZME won't be publishing any of Dr Bassett's work on its platforms in the future.
To add insult to injury, the Northland Age continues to display the opinion piece by one Kelly Jensen, i.e. Response to Michael Bassett's `Racism on a grand scale', which is highly critical of Bassett’s column, and includes several distortions of the original text.
We can challenge this banning of Bassett
The editorial bias displayed by upholding Kelly Jensen’s freedom of speech, but not Dr Bassett's, deserves to be challenged. The editors need to be reminded that we, the public, like to read more than one side to a debate and do tolerate differences of opinion whether or not we agree with them. Please send your complaints to:
Dr John Robinson, former university lecturer, research scientist and prolific author of books about the historical development of New Zealand - including ‘The Corruption of New Zealand Democracy’* has also recently been censored by mainstream media. His latest commentary, ‘Apartheid New Zealand Style’, was judged not fit to publish by the management of the New Zealand Herald. It has since been picked up by the Waikanae Watch. Click HERE to read Dr Robinson’s article, plus his response to being de-platformed by the NZ Herald.
* ‘The Corruption of New Zealand Democracy – A Treaty Overview explores that background and outlines some of the consequences of the insistence on grievance, with a people becoming ever more divided. Racial privileges based on the accidents of history are now part of New Zealand law and are dividing a nation that was built on the worthy aspiration of one law for all. The continuing division of the land and writing of new law in back room deals, from which the public are excluded, is corrupting our once proud democracy’.