Friday night I attended ACT Party Leader David Seymour’s Hamilton free speech meeting. This was part of his nationwide ‘Free Speech Tour’.7-5-21.
It was held in the Wintec Bill Gallagher Center downtown Hamilton.
It was a full house, approximately 200 Hamiltonians came along to hear David speak.
David had already visited 12 other towns with similarly good attendance, which he said was a testimony to both New Zealanders’ strong democratic spirit, and also their concern about the current government’s drive to muzzle free speech.
In my opinion, the good attendance of this ‘Free Speech Tour’ is also a response to how David Seymour has been distinguishing himself and the ACT party as ‘the freedom party’.
Up until the last election, David Seymour was a lone voice in parliament speaking out against proposed hate speech legislation and other Socialist interventions rushed through into law ‘under urgency’ bypassing safeguards and due process.
It was David Seymour’s decision to take a stand on such issues, including standing against Ardern’s gun confiscations that was behind ACT’s success at the last election.
Many New Zealanders are far from impressed with Ardern’s quickstep march towards a Socialist Police State which is sharply at variance with the Kiwi Spirit of Freedom and self-reliance.
In past decades New Zealand has suffered a decline in independence, and yet the pace with which Radical leftist ideology is being imposed under Ardern has caused alarm even among many conservative thinkers.
Today David Seymour rightfully enjoys the position in the public eye of most outspoken member of parliament for free speech, and now has 9 other Act Party MP by his side.
It is a position he has earned, and should his team continue on this righteous trajectory I foresee that ACT’s Star will remain in ascension, and they will increase their presence in Parliament.
By design, David told the audience that he wanted to keep the meeting to an hour in length including Q+A, which many people will have been happy with but not me!
I believe the importance of the topic easily justified double that!
There were many troubling aspects of what is going on that were not aired, yet I guess the difference between a public meeting, and a ‘Convention’ is that meetings generally are shorter.
This being so David’s speech was no lecture, but simple and brief.
He spoke about free speech as being an essential component of what it means to be a human individual, and that its suppression is an attack upon human dignity.
He spoke about free speech as being absolutely essential for a healthy democracy because free speech cannot stand where there is tyranny, and tyranny cannot stand where there is free speech.
He spoke about free speech as the enlightened means by which civil society openly discusses and solves its problems.
He spoke about how proposed hate speech laws threaten to suppress open discourse about politically charged subjects from fear of being visited by the thought Police, and getting flagged as being a person who has expressed ‘hateful opinions’… which could impact upon such things as Job applications.
He committed the ACT party to work to prevent any hate speech legislation from becoming law, yet admitted that because the Ardern government enjoys a 65% majority in parliament there is probably little ACT can do to prevent such legislation from becoming law should it be pushed through this term.
In that case, he committed ACT to repeal any such laws that might shortly come into force, including the wordy ‘Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification Of Publications And Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill’ which he described as Government ‘filters of online content’… and dangerous.
He said one means by which the repeal of any new restriction of free speech could be undertaken was via public referenda, yet to make that a reality would take a petition of parliament with 300 000 signatures. Not a small task… but do-able if those people who care about this issue… such as those who attended the ACT tour meetings throughout the country, committed themselves to help ACT achieve these goals.
Thus David finished the formal part of the meeting with an appeal for active support for ACT and their free speech initiatives, and also for Financial donations.
ACT party membership costs only $20 for 3 years… “a bargain!” said Seymour… alluding to ACT’s ‘Market philosophies’ as the solution to so many social issues.
David Seymour has an engaging speaking manner, skillfully throwing in a joke and a laugh here and there. When asked his opinion about why is there a clear pattern and common theme between what is happening all across western Nations, if he believed a grand scheme was at work. He pointed to the dearth of intelligence within parliament making it in his estimation highly unlikely they are participating in a grand evil conspiracy… but that their evil policies can simply be understood from their stupidity.
He does not appear to grasp that far from their stupidity rendering their adherence to a grand scheme unlikely… their gullibility makes it more likely!
They are following a well-articulated socialist Global agenda.
David said many top NZ bureaucrats and politicians are friends, and that no doubt they talk among themselves about what they hope to achieve. In their minds things they believe will make New Zealand a better place. (My thoughts: They dream of imposing a Leftist Totalitarian Police State!)
One lady in the audience was a migrant from Great Britain and ex high court lawyer who spoke about how Hate speech laws were wreaking havoc there. Seymour agreed and pointed out how far they had slid remarking also how Britain had up until recently Laws prohibiting the intentional causing of offence, yet these were overturned by the public backlash, including outspoken activism by Comic Rowan Atkinson. Seymour joked about how frightening it would be to be confronted by redoubtable Mr Bean! I chuckled because I think David Seymour himself bears an amusing resemblance to Mr Bean!
In the past, David Seymour has taken many positions with which I strongly disagree, however as things stand there are no political parties that come close to ACT’s resolve to defend such a fundamental principle of liberty as Freedom of Speech.
It is under Jacinda Ardern’s power-mad gaze, and she is hell-bent on silencing all dissent.
Nothing short of overthrowing New Zealand’s traditions, values, ideals, and even our National autonomy is in danger as she imposes the dictates of the UN, for example, the UN Global Compact for Migration which itself proscribes heavy censorship and prosecutions for anyone who complains about it.
We also know with certainty that Ardern’s regime seeks to use the education system to indoctrinate future generations in such radical leftist doctrines as Critical Race Theory and Transgender ideology.
These radical socialists in power first need to grant themselves the legal authority to suppress public opposition before they ramp up their scheme… which is why Hate Speech, and ‘Online harm’ legislation is such a dangerous Machiavellian precursor.
These things being so, freedom-loving New Zealanders need to think hard about who they are going to vote for next election, and whether or not they will help David Seymour and ACT succeed in their ambitions to ensure future generations of Kiwi will have the right to speak their minds.
Free speech is necessary is because human individuals will never agree on everything… even among friends.
ACT is far from perfect and far from Libertarian, yet as things stand I believe that getting in behind them on this absolutely critical right… at this absolutely critical juncture in time… is the right thing to do.
Future Free Speech Tour Dates:
13 May McFadden Center Christchurch. See here.
A new Free Speech Union has started up. I certainly will be investigating this further with a view of support.
Please share so others can discover The BFD.