What are we frightened of?

Why are we preventing people from voicing their opinions, and how can we do that in the name of free speech?

On a planet as populous as Earth, there have to be differing points of view about almost everything. It's what being human is partly about.

We are blessed with different, sometimes contrasting perspectives, no matter what we are looking at, listening to or experiencing.


To stop someone voicing their perspective, their opinion, is to take a point of view and make it official - this is the standard, and all others are wrong and therefore must not be spoken.

Who decides?

Opinion is not always about truth or lies: Sometimes it's just the way we feel about things.

Don Brash was invited to speak at Massey University, but Massey officials cancelled his talk in part because they disagreed with what he was espousing.

They have, therefore, declared that their opinion is the Massey standard and all must believe accordingly. To hold a different opinion is against Massey policy - at least, that's the way I see it.

Two rather controversial people from overseas wanted to speak here in New Zealand.

There were protests and their public meeting was cancelled. It made the news and gave the pair a New Zealand-wide platform for their views. They must be very pleased.

Their followers and their opponents all got to hear their beliefs and opinions. To many it was truth, to others it was lies and anathema. But they got to hear it because of all the avoidable publicity.

To imagine that Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern are alone in their beliefs and that allowing them to speak here will convert crowds of others to their way of thinking is naive.

To stop them speaking because the majority find their views offensive is to decide who hears what. Politically, just where does that place us?

Not in a good place, that's for sure.