Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 27/09/1999

Music - Die Fledermaus

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday September 27, proudly sponsored by Tuariki Tobacco Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

Music up, music down!

Not my editorial today, but Saturday night's from Wellington's Evening Post. A splendid piece of writing, all the more dazzling because its pro-freedom content is so rare in the anti-freedom mainstream media. Headed up Triumph for New Puritans, it says in part:

"The anti-smoking zealots at the Ministry of Health should be feeling well pleased with themselves this week. They have succeeded in making New Zealand an international laughing stock, among cigar smokers at least. In an editorial in the internationally-circulated American magazine Cigar Aficionado, New Zealand is portrayed as an Orwellian State where public servants wage witch hunts against smokers. And the sad thing is, it's true.

"Reacting to the Ministry's recent banning order against their magazine here, Cigar Aficionado's editors ask: 'Has George Orwell's Ministry of Truth sprung to life in New Zealand?' They go on to suggest that 'what we are witnessing in the anti-tobacco campaigns resembles the colonial witch-hunts of the 1600s.'

"Over the top? Not entirely. As we said in an editorial at the time of the Ministry's cigar magazine purge earlier this year, freedom of expression can be eroded by degrees. The threatened prosecution of retailers selling cigar magazines, on the pretext that they encourage smoking and therefore breached the Smokefree Environments Act, had sinister overtones of the authoritarian, 'we know best' State.

"Cheered on by anti-smoking activists, the Ministry not only required that cigar magazines be withdrawn from sale but managed to intimidate Auckland's Metro Magazine into axing its cigar column. This crackdown would have been easy to laugh off if it were just another instance of the silly but harmless political correctness which visitors to New Zealand occasionally comment on (for example, the Warkworth restaurant menu offering a 'ploughperson's lunch,' which an incredulous correspondent for Britain's Spectator magazine recently chanced upon).

"But it was more than that. It was a triumph for the virulent strain of New Puritanism that appears to grip the Ministry of Health, and which was also evident in the Ministry's determined attempt to derail the recent liberalisation of the liquor laws. As Victoria University law academic Andrew Ladley observed, the offensive against cigar magazines meant that health concerns effectively took priority over free speech - traditionally considered the most precious of all democratic freedoms.

"New Zealanders' right to free speech is supposedly protected under Section 14 of the Bill of Rights Act, which says everyone has 'the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinion of any kind and in any form.' On the face of it, this would appear to rule out emphatically such totalitarian actions as the banning of publications about cigars. But unlike, say, the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights Act doesn't override other statutes such as the Smokefree Environments Act. In the light of the Ministry's actions, New Zealanders might like to reflect on whether the freedom of speech they take for granted is adequately protected, especially against the bureaucratic activists."

The sad truth is, of course, our freedom of speech is not only not adequately protected, it is being actively attacked by our government. The even sadder truth is, New Zealanders, with very few exceptions, don't give a damn, and I genuinely believe now they never will. This anti-tobacco hysteria began under Comrade Clark, whom the brainless hordes imagine will be an improvement on Headmistress Shipley. The only thing the mindless mob can be relied upon to whine about is not getting enough of Other People's Money. So hats off to the Evening Post for standing out from the lumpen herd, and standing up for freedom of speech. Radio Pacific and The Free Radical aside, no one else is going to.

Speaking of which - to the Evening Post: the Free Radical Award.


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