It has been an interesting week for supporters of free speech, and in particular people who identify with or support “far-right” ideologies.
First, divisive pair Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux had their booking at a Council-owned venue, where they had planned to speak, cancelled.
Auckland May Phil Goff received widespread criticism for his unrepentant condemnation of the pair’s opinions and emphasised that they would not be given a platform in any Council-owned or managed venues.
On the back of this rejection, Southern was denied an automatic entry visa to New Zealand as a result of her being denied entry to the United Kingdom earlier this year.
“First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out – because I did not support Islam.
Then they came for the Feminists, and I did not speak out – because I did not support feminism.
Then they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out – because I did not support immigration.
Then they came for the talk Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux had planned to give – so I sent some death and rape threats to a female MP.”
– A far-right supporter
But the catalyst for outlawing far-right ideology comes after Green co-leader Marama Fox received rape and death threats – including threats made against her children – from enraged far-right supporters after she dared speak out in support of Phil Goff.
“It is clear that far-right ideologies breed dangerous, violent, and irrational impulses, and therefore we must stamp out these views and not allow them to be expressed or supported at all.” Says a source, who wishes to remain anonymous lest the same extremists who would threaten an MP and her children turn their unhinged vitriol on him.
“The only thing left to do is to outlaw them as an extension of hate speech, in order to protect our country from the far-right extremists who think nothing of doing harm to others just because we disagree with their reprehensible views.”
It will be hard to stamp out these concepts, no doubt, and some may question whether it is the right thing to do.
In fact, it could breed a winter of discontent and give rise to protests and counter protests, some of which are likely to be violent and descend into bloody battles in the streets in the name of freedom of speech.
What is certain is that the far-right demographic will not go down without a fight – to the contrary, they will be sure to go down with guns blazing, patriotic flags held aloft in burning defiance.