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Offensive language

By Steven | June 21, 2010

“Of course we have freedom of speech in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean we have to use that freedom of speech to cause offence to people, particularly to overseas visitors.”

— Murray McCully, criticising Greens leader Russel Norman for his protest against Chinese human rights abuses in Tibet.

“Freedom to speak only inoffensively isn’t worth having.”

 — Sir Stephen Sedley, overturning the conviction of a protester in Redmond-Bate v DPP

Topics: Protest speech | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Offensive language”

  1. Lewis Holden Says:
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:40 am

    “He who dare not offend cannot be honest” – Thomas Paine.

  2. Graeme Edgeler Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 11:50 am

    we have freedom of speech in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean we have to use that freedom of speech to cause offence to people

    So we do have to use that freedom of speech to cause offence to people?

    Doesn’t freedom of speech allow, no, encourage, the criticism of the speech of others?

  3. lyndon Says:
    June 23rd, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Yeah, I think the ‘doesn’t mean we have to’ operates here. For all I had the same response you did.

    And I suppose MPs mounting a coordinated attack against the exercise of free speech wouldn’t technically be government suppression of free speech.

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