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I came across an article published on Linked-in this week, that to me, typifies the dangerous attitudes of the Wokesters, a group who I would argue, got us into the mess New Zealand is in today.
The article, by Frankie Emmett Karetai Wood-Bodley, a self-proclaimed academic, is entitled “Voices for Freedom believe they are above law, sense and reason.”
I really encourage you to read his article carefully. I believe that those who do, will come away with a clear indication of just whose ideas are the really frightening ones.
I’m going to use a little of my freedom of speech to comment on the nonsense of Wood-Bodley’s writing and to point to where I think the danger to civilised society really lies. And it is NOT with Voices for Freedom.
One thing should be understood. Voices for Freedom are indeed opposed to the direction of the New Zealand government’s covid-19 response plan. They oppose mask mandates, and they oppose vaccine mandates. They do so openly, publicly and within the law.
“Voices for Freedom are a dangerous organisation. An international operation with seemingly infinite funds.”
This may be Wood-Bodley’s opinion, but it is certainly unrelated to anything resembling fact. Despite his claims to academia, the writer has elected in this case, not to cite any reference for his claims. I assume the primary reason for not doing so, is that there aren’t any. It doesn’t really do a story’s credibility much good when the opening paragraph is just made up.
“They are wilfully breaking the law and undermining public safety under the guise of the “right to protest” and the “right to refuse medical treatment”.
Maybe Wood-Bodley was away that day at Victoria law school, but the “right to protest” and the “right to refuse medical treatment” aren’t a guise for anything. They are real! And it would seem that in Wood-Bodley’s legal opinion, freedom of expression is now “wilfully breaking the law and undermining public safety.” That’s one opinion that I suggest might come back to bite him on the arse one day.
“Voices for Freedom are wilfully perpetuating public health risks by choosing not to follow the law.“
Wrong! Voices for Freedom have organised a group of lawyers who volunteer their time to help citizens to understand the new laws and how they are affected by them. They’re also helping those people to mount lawful and legal challenges to those laws, where these citizens feel they are being unduly or unfairly affected.
“They argue that they are not “anti-vaccination” but they are “anti-mandate”.
Yes… and??? Are you saying that political opposition, the central principle of democracy, is to be extinguished? That it should be illegal to criticise the government and their laws? I certainly hope that’s not a path he is suggesting we go down… But it sure looks like it.
Wood-Bodley goes on in the next few paragraphs to outline how parliamentary government works in New Zealand. In this, he is in large part factually correct in what he says, but he draws some pretty frightening conclusions, in my opinion.
The writer suggests…
“If you have a problem with the New Zealand government response … then use democratic channels like talking to your local MP or party representative.”
Hands up everyone who wants to live in a society where that is the only avenue of legal social and political expression!
He then states…
“Members of the Voices for Freedom movement are advocating for our Prime Minister to be killed. Murder is illegal and so is inciting violence against an individual. They also advocate for destruction of public property namely our Parliament building.”
“The Voices for Freedom movement and its members have demonstrable links to white supremacist and other terrorist organisations.”
Again, no evidence cited, presumably because there isn’t any. It is important, I think, to note that Voices for Freedom doesn’t have members. There are no membership fees to pay, no membership cards or membership privileges. The organisers do invite supporters of their work to join a mail list. They even invite donations. But neither of those acts attracts with it any right to represent the organisation.
“Under new terrorism laws (yet to be enacted) Voices for Freedom would undoubtedly be classified as a terrorist organisation and it is highly likely that their more extreme actions would be within the new definition of terrorism.”
Well, if that idea doesn’t terrify every responsible New Zealand citizen, I don’t know what would.
Enough of his article. You get the picture. But here is the nub of the problem, as I see it.
It seems to be, that Wokesters like Wood-Bodley prefer the contents of their imaginations to life in the real world. He seems to think that representing oneself with truth, honesty and integrity are of secondary importance to political ideology. And that lying about your intellectual opponents is perfectly acceptable conduct.
The idea of personal freedom is abhorrent to these people. At least the freedom of anyone who disagrees with them. There is their view of the world, and serious threats to anyone who doesn’t see things through their eyes.
Now, even Wokesters have every right to free speech. I actually support Wood-Bodley in doing so, because the more he says, the more of his fellow citizens will see his attempt at social engineering for what it is.
The trans movement is a large part of this social engineering. Don’t get me wrong, if a person wants to live their life as some other gender, best of luck to them. Quite frankly, their choice is none of my business. I don’t claim to understand their choice, and I get that their right to that choice is not predicated on my understanding it.
But when political views start overriding nature, biology and physics, then that’s something else again. And that, in a nutshell, is what Wood-Bodley’s article on Voices for Freedom is all about. He’s saying, your views make me uncomfortable and therefore you shouldn’t be allowed to have them.
Well Frankie, Tough Tittie! The world doesn’t owe you a life without discomfort. You have the right to be offended all you like, but it is your responsibility to overcome the discomfort and to become a better, stronger, more rounded individual. Not to silence those who make you feel uncomfortable.
New Zealand has a history. Some of it is shameful, but much of it is grand, glorious and triumphal. Forged by hard work, and not a little sacrifice. And none of that greatness was achieved without the desire for a better life for all, not just the section of society that agrees with us. We would all do to remember that, great ideas die before they’re born, in societies that silence opposition.
By Colin Ford
Editor and Publisher
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