Here we go again
Firstly we were the poster-boy for Rogernomics, where the world was told how successful our country was when ‘giving away’ our prime national assets. They were encouraged to follow our lead. The news media did not report that we had created massive joblessness in one fell swoop, creating a divided class of rich and poor.
People who were forced on to the dole were treated as dole bludgers. The victims were mostly denigrated, and told that, without a job, they were worthless. Does wonders for mental health.
Secondly we have had massive immigration, of 70,000-plus each year for the last 10 years. We can justifiably question the quality of vetting of immigrants with the Christchurch massacre, as the perpetrator was an Australian.
This massive immigration has caused extensive homelessness. Combine that with the push for higher education to be able to get a job, and we now have generations of renters, because once people have paid off their loan they will have to save for their retirement. This is not the New Zealand way.
Thirdly, the Prime Minister is now considering defining ‘hate speech’, which will be punishable with incarceration, and encouraging other countries to legislate the same.
Many of us have experienced ‘hateful speech’, even in letters disputing our letters. With the Christchurch massacre, many are now afraid to speak up on any topic, as it could now be interpreted as hate speech. This is dangerous, particularly when we remember World War II, and how good Germans were afraid to speak up against atrocities perpetrated by those in power.
We all know what hateful speech is. It needs no legislation to define that. Society is well able to censure those hateful statements, realising that it is an indication of ignorance, and an inability to express one’s views in a meaningful way.
Freedom of speech is enshrined in our Bill of Rights, and must not be lost under the guise of hate speech.
BEVERLEY ALDRIDGE KATHLEEN PATTINSON
Otamatea Grey Power