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Lindsay Perigo: Free Speech Is All That Matters

At the Free Speech Rallies that were held on Saturday 14th July, a speech was given by Lindsay Perigo, a member of the newly formed Free Speech Coalition. Below is the transcript of that speech and a recording of the same is embedded after it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Stefan Molyneux, one of the reasons we're here today, has a video on YouTube titled Why Free Speech Is All that Matters. In it, he argues that all the great moral advances of civilisation, such as the abolition of slavery, were made possible only by the existence of free speech and vigorous debate of the matter at hand. Without a free marketplace of competing ideas, Stefan says, we'd be locked into stagnation and tyranny.

Clearly any man who could say such things as that is a racist and a bigot who should not be allowed into New Zealand!

Neither should his compatriot Lauren Southern, who likes to tease Muslims that Allah is gay—a matter on which they are eminently unteasable.

So now the Muslims, along with the Mayor of Auckland, Phil the Fascist, and sundry Marxist, fascists of the left, have succeeded (at least for the moment) in having the pair banned.

For the Muslims, Hazim Arafeh [president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand] says they were only ever coming to insult Muslims, and:

"I don't think insulting Muslims comes under free speech."

Well, I hate to break it to him, but yes, it does. Insulting Muslims does come under free speech. So does insulting Christians, Buddhists, Rastafarians, libertarians, or atheists. Insults might not be the ideal mode of argument, but they are most assuredly allowed under free speech. Muslims should grow up and get over it. Stop treating all criticism as insulting in the first place. This is New Zealand, not New Zealistan. As Salman Rusdie, himself the object of a Muslim fatwa has put it, "There's no such thing as a right not to be offended."

For the Marxists, Peace Action — "Peace" in this instance being Orwellian Doublespeak for "violence" straight out of 1984 — threatened:

"If they come here [Stefan and Lauren], we will confront them on the streets. If they come, we will blockade entry to their speaking venue."

For long-suffering lovers of free speech across the political spectrum, this was the last straw. We might disagree on everything else, but on this we are united: the right to state our view is sacrosanct. The newly-formed Free Speech Coalition has founding members as "diverse" as Rachael [Poulain, self-described "progressive" and animal rights activist], my libertarian self and my old socialist sparring partner Chris Trotter, who has fronted for the group. In our opening salvo Chris said:

"Truth is not afraid of trigger-words. Truth does not need a safe space. Truth is not a snowflake. Truth can take the heat and most certainly should not be forced to vacate the kitchen in the face of a couple of Alt-Right populists and a politically-correct Mayor."


Ladies and gentlemen, Article 14 of New Zealand's Bill of Rights says:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

That is the standard to which we must now repair, and we must work for the repeal of any legislation that negates it—such as Section 61 of the Human Rights Act under which it is a crime to insult someone on the grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origin. No Irish jokes allowed!

We must make sure New Zealand doesn't go the way of Britain: no longer great, no longer free, polluted by no-go zones and pockets of Sharia Law, where one can be jailed for one's opinions.

To the Islamo-Marxists, to Phil the Fascist, to politicians like Simon Bridges and David Seymour who've been utterly gutless and useless on this issue, I commend the spirit of Voltaire:

I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it.

Let Lauren and Stefan in! Let Tommy out! Long live freedom of speech!


About the author

Lindsay Perigo is a former RNZ & TVNZ newsreader/interviewer. Leader of the Libertarianz political party, 1995-2000. Talk show host Radio Live for many years. Editor of The Free Radical magazine 1994-2005. Longtime free speech advocate.