Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

Life, liberty... and the Human Rights Commission

One of the insidious things about Political Correctness is the way its devotees use words to mean their opposite. 'Freedom' was once well understood to denote the absence of force exercised against one by other human beings. Opportunity-seekers who flocked from all over the world to the United States in the 19th century knew that. They weren't expecting "freedom" from having their feelings hurt. What they did expect was to be left alone to make their way in life — the government would not impede them, neither would it help them. It would not bail them out if they failed or penalise them if they succeeded. They would enjoy the simple freedom to DO, flowing from their freedom to think & choose. Government's function, at least more than anywhere else, was merely to uphold & protect that freedom.

Now, freedom has come to mean the opposite. Innumerable restrictions on freedom of action have been imposed in the name of ... the protection of freedom! Phoney freedom. The "freedom" not to have one's feelings hurt is a good example — an upcoming Free Radical will tell the story of an employee dismissed for theft successfully prosecuting his lady employer for several thousands of dollars, because in dismissing him, she hurt his feelings!

And then there's the Human Rights Commission. Here is part of a recent e-mail to me:

"I just rang the NZ Herald to advertise for a barman. Ooops! We had to change that to 'bar-person.' After the ad was placed, I decided to ring the Human Rights Commission & complain about the violation of my rights by not being able to use my private money to place a private advertisement with a private newspaper to advertise for a barman. As I pointed out, no amount of legislation would change my belief that I can employ who I want, when I want. I also wanted to make the generic point that I disagreed with the law & ask to have my objection noted. The response was interesting. No, they would not register my complaint, nor note my objection. But the fact I had left my name & phone number on their answer phone would be recorded and filed & potentially used in evidence against me if a complaint was ever laid against me."

Libertarianz say the Human Rights Act is one of the vilest (and most hideously mis-named) pieces of legislation on the statute books, & we would repeal it. The above anecdote is a perfect illustration of why. In our book, he who provides the job is entitled to fill it as he pleases. If he wants a barMAN, a barman he is entitled to seek. If he wants a barman between the ages of 20 & 30, he's entitled to stipulate that also. If he wants a white — or black, or yellow, or brown — 20-30-year barman who is heterosexual — or gay — he is entitled to say all of that. People who believe his requirements are irrational or immoral are entitled to say so, to be sure, but that's all — they're not the ones providing the job!

Our existing legislation, however, prohibits "discrimination" on the basis of all the PC bedwetters' favourite preoccupations, to the point where even registering a protest against this fascist law will be used as evidence against you by the Human Wrongs Commissariat.

Not so long ago, the Commissariat forbade a Nelson golf club to run any more golf tournaments for married couples (which it had been doing annually for 30 years) because this represented discrimination on the basis of marital status — another proscribed abomination! The manager of the club said at the time: "Hitler would be proud of our Human Rights Commissioners."

Philosophically, with that observation, he scored a hole-in-one.

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe?