Friday, 23 November 2007

Oz newspapers fall foul of local law

The front pages of several Australian newspapers have just broken the law -- or at least the law as it will be in NZ's elections next year.

"We believe this country must, for now, look elsewhere for that response - to Kevin Rudd, and the Labor Party," says the Sydney Morning Herald endorsing Rudd. "Daily Telegraph backs Rudd," shouts the Daily Telegraph. Lots of other newspapers over there are following suit, all of which robust journalism would be illegal here next year under the Clark/Peters/Dunne/Fitzsimons bill to muzzle political opponents.

Incidentally, the Herald's endorsement comes just three years after swearing off such benaviour, saying just before the 2004 election [hat tip Tim Blair]:
There comes a time when a newspaper, having expressed its voting preference for more than 170 years, as has the Herald, must renew and reassess its claim on independence so that its pursuit of truth is not only free of partisanship and without fear or favour, but is seen to be so. From today, the Herald no longer will endorse a political party.
I guess it's always okay to lie when you're supporting Labor/Labour?


  1. I read your post with interest, sir, though I must say I always find it amusing when people who nominally label themselves libertarians so fervently attack parties like Labour, when in fact Labour is philosophically closer to such radical freedom-oriented ideologies than National.

    Perhaps it's yet more evidence as I blogged about (and you very kindly noted as well on your own blog) that libertarians in New Zealand love freedom .. unless it involves people or groups they don't like for whatever reason, be it racism or political opposition.

  2. I think I see the source of the confusion Oliver.

    Labour, traditionally espoused "socially liberal" values, but remained anti-freedom on the fiscal side of things.

    The right, traditionally, espoused more fiscal freedom, but held socially conservative views.

    From a libertarian perspective, BOTH Labour and National are anti-freedom.

  3. Oliver: Hey, we're libertarians, we attack the government. The government is Labour, so we attack Labour. Simple as that.

    Are you accusing us of racism?

  4. "libertarians in New Zealand love freedom .. unless it involves people or groups they don't like for whatever reason, be it racism or political opposition."

    I don't know where you get that idea from, Oliver. It's not true.

    Libertarians support any individual or group that endorses freedom, period. That makes for strange bedfellows.

    In the past I've supported such diverse parties as the Exclusive Brethren and Maori activist Tim Selwyn on their right to speak freely, Keith Locke (ye Gods) on abolishing the crime of sedition, Sue Kedgely in opposing the TGA and Rodney Hide & Tariana Turia on the Seabed & Foreshore legislation.

    Personal and economic freedom is a matter of principle and we support that, no matter the proponent.


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