Pair cross free-speech line

Sorry Mr Benfell, but the utterings of Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneax fit the definition of "white supremacists".

Saying this is false doesn't change that.

Taking a soft view of those two encourages some of the worst aspects of human behaviour to come out, and that can lead to a breakdown in civil society.

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Free speech is fine until its impact impinges on other people's right to live freely and that is where Southern and Molyneax's words cross the line.

There was a recent news item of a "socialist" bookstore in London being trashed by "right wing protesters" - the collateral damage from supporting the likes of Southern and Molyneax is just too high.

So, I can let Southern and Molyneax say what they like in the name of "free speech" but we ought to call them and their supporters out for what they are - destructive and foolish, taking no responsibility for consequences.

I don't believe Southern and Molyneax even care about consequences, but are part of a stupid movement whose guiding principle is "let's shake things up by creating chaos and see what happens". No thanks.
Robert Jaunay
Aramoho
US constitution
John Archer's sentiments regarding the United States constitution (Letters; July 31) are commendable but, in reality, Donald Trump is no threat to the constitution.

You could not write that document by observing how the US has long been governed.

The American left and their judicial cronies only find the constitution handy to subvert the very principles it was meant to protect.

Put criminal "rights" above "establishing justice"; deny 50-plus million Americans the "blessings of liberty" before their first breath; produce pornography unfettered despite its negative impact on the "general welfare" of society and families.

Getting rid of any vestige of God in the public square is ongoing. This is but a brief sampling. If they are opposed, "domestic tranquility" is of no concern until they get their way.

Trump is the "man in the mirror" for the left. His personal history is one which represents the society they have sought to mould void of traditional mores or absolute truth. Yet the left-tilting American media savages him.

Long before the American left emerged, disregard for the constitution was established by Abraham Lincoln.

He ordered northern legislatures and newspaper editors arrested to perfect his union. He sent armies north to quell riots against his war.

Buchanan, his predecessor, saw the first shots fired but could not constitutionally justify war. US history is rife with examples of the strong executive precedent set by Lincoln, especially in foreign policy.

Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes once said: "The constitution is what the judges say it is." New Zealand beware becoming a constitutional republic.
Teddy Marks
Whanganui
Plastic bags
Re: The amount of plastic bags in supermarkets.

I have begun to use the brown paper bags, provided for mushrooms, for all my other vegetables and fruit where necessary, instead of the single ones in a strip which are plastic and rarely used again.

Having watched several recent programmes on TV about the amount of plastic waste building up in countries all over the world (most of it not recycled properly), even small changes in our habits can help to make a difference.

There is certainly a great need for changes to happen and quickly.
Fiona Donne
Aramoho
Motivational speakers
At the recent National Party conference, motivational speeches were given to the faithful by former Australian prime minister Sir John Howard and Sir John Key (he of the Order of the Hopping Kangaroo).

Conspicuous by his absence from the podium was that other elderly gentleman, Steven Joyce. It seems that he has shouldered his shovel and walked off into the sunset to look for another $11 billion fiscal hole to dig.

Perhaps the other two noble knights should follow his example, mount their steeds and - like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza - ride into the twilight.
Elwyn Evans
Whanganui
Penal colonies
It's often stated (and it's true, I'm sure) that we learn from history.

The greatest empire we will ever know, the British Empire, deported its criminals to Australia - hence the great nation of Oz. Oz now deports its undesirables to New Zealand.

About 900 years ago, Rarotonga exiled an untoward tribe - hence the Maori nation and the "Land of the Long White Cloud".

With rising prison numbers, perhaps we could establish a penal colony to the south of New Zealand, following the examples of others.
Bob Harris
Whanganui