MEMO: To Greens' co-leader Russel Norman
The Greens are right behind Labour's Electoral Finance Bill.
The Greens say if it was in any way an attack on free speech, they wouldn't be supporting it.
Sadly, with this press release complaining about the Herald's deletion of a paragraph of misspelled childish whinging, you demonstrate that you don't know free speech from a hole in the ground.
In calling a simple editorial decision "censorship," you are either disingenuous or deluded. Either way, you fully deserve derision.
MEMO: Censorship is interference by the state in the expression of ideas. It is not censorship if a free agent, eg., a newspaper, decides to edit or reject your copy. There is nothing in the principle of free speech requiring that I provide you with a megaphone, or the Herald provide you with a platform A private network refusing to publish your views is not censorship - it is their choice. A private newspaper editing your ill-thought maunderings is not censorship, it is good judgement.
However, it is censorship if a government uses legal force to ban speech, especially political speech. It is censorship if a government places a limit on the amount of political speech one is allowed one year in three. It is censorship to require registration with a government agency before exercising political speech. It is censorship if politicians can slag off private citizens one year in three with all the power of parliamentary privilege at their disposal, whereas to defend themselves those citizens will be required to file declarations about who their supporters and donors are and to keep an account of expenses to ensure they don't exceed some arbitrary amount (see here for example).
It is disgusting that some people under the Electoral Finance Bill will be barred from fully exercising free speech one year in three while being forced to fund the megaphones of their opponents. And it is enlightening, Russel, that you are right behind that.
As a former Green voter said to me at the most recent Anti-Electoral Finance Bill march, "I didn't vote Green for this!"
Just to help you out, Russel, here are some propositions on free speech on which you could do with some brushing up. Why not print them out and hang them up on your wall, and then hang your head in shame at what you're about to help ram through.
Perhaps the most important principle for you to get your head around is this: Without the freedom to offend, it doesn't exist. If you're offended by people donating to other parties who support their views, then get over it, and get some better ideas yourself. Don't try to screw the scrum to enforce your own views on us at our expense, especially not while supporting the censoring views of that offend you.
UPDATE 1: By the way, readers can send your own memo to the semi-literate deluded whinger here at the Green's Frog Blog, where' he's reproduced his press release -- complete with spelling errors...
UPDATE 2: An anonymous commenter makes the perfect point about Russel's whinging: "
So Russel complains about having his rebuttal capped at 200 words (the same as everyone else)?
Welcome to your level playing field, Russel.