Labour MP trying to get a cartoon ruled illegal

July 25th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

MP says it is “appalling” that the has not upheld a single complaint under its race relations section despite receiving more than 2000 complaints since 1993.

No it is an excellent thing. Most complaints are settled with an apology or a decision there is no breach. Actually prosecuting someone for their speech should be reserved for the most grotesque forms of speech such as literal incitement of hatred or violence of the basis of race.

Louisa Wall, the Labour MP for Manurewa, has taken Fairfax Media and its papers The Press and Marlborough Express to the over by printed in May last year.

The cartoons depicted people taking advantage of the Government’s breakfast-in-schools programme to spend money on their vices.

So a Labour MP is trying to stop a newspaper from exercising editorial control over its cartoons, by having it effectively prosecuted.  If you don’t like the cartoon, then don’t buy the paper.

Fairfax argued that the case concerned where to draw the line in section 61 complaints.

Wall had argued that it was too high a bar but Fairfax agreed with the Human Rights Commission that it should only be engaged at the serious end of the spectrum.

Lawyer Robert Stewart said if Wall’s approach was taken to its logical conclusion, any material that was “disrespectful, belittling, or that mocks a group on the ground of their colour, race or ethnicity” could be restricted by section 61.

I am sure that is what Labour wants. No more mocking.

Stewart said 61 should be interpreted “restrictively” to the serious end of the spectrum with​ “insulting” to mean “scornfully abusive”, and “bring into contempt”

to mean “regarding with deep despise, detestation or vilification”.

Yep.

Stewart said it was clear the editors “were aware of the possibility for the cartoons to cause offence”.

However, “the right to freedom of expression is also a right to shock, offend, and disturb any sector of the population”.

Exactly. There is no right not to be offended.

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47 Responses to “Labour MP trying to get a cartoon ruled illegal”

  1. tas (625 comments) says:

    First they oppose Hosking, now it’s cartoons. This is nothing but a (poor) attempt at political censorship. Maybe Labour will try issuing a fatwa against the cartoonist next.

    DPF: Maybe you should reprint the cartoons and engage the Streisand effect (if copyright allows).

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  2. flash2846 (287 comments) says:

    Don’t Fairfax know that only white males are allowed to be ridiculed.

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  3. OneTrack (3,114 comments) says:

    “Exactly. There is no right not to be offended.”

    That likely won’t be true under a Labour/Green/Mana government. Censorship is one of the hallmarks of the left. They just can’t help themselves.

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  4. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    Ummm

    Isn’t Ms Wall MP for Manurewa; an area which has a rather high percentage of PI’s within its boundaries?

    Methinks that her (very) faux outrage has nothing to do with the cartoon and everything to do with currying favour amongst those within her electorate, and getting her back into Parliament.

    I could of course be wrong, but then again…

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  5. Kenny (21 comments) says:

    Here’s a list of all the great things Louisa Wall has done for the people of Manurewa
    *
    *
    *
    *
    Great work, Louisa

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  6. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    David Round on referenda

    Bear in mind, too, that underlying the criticism that voters will make ill-informed and impractical decisions is the unspoken fear that voters will just reject the policies of the politically-correct ruling liberal caste. The fear is that if you give the common people referendums they will only do what the Swiss did and vote against mosques having minarets. I am afraid I do not see why the decision should not be the people’s.

    http://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/david-round-democracy.html

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  7. thePeoplesFlag (247 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  8. CHFR (229 comments) says:

    Labour really need to brush up on history. The communists in Russia tried tactics like this but the proverbial was still taken by the people.

    Then again the left doesn’t really understand humour unless violence is attached.

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  9. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    If the cartoon is so anodyne, why has Fairfax not re-published it to accompany this story?

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  10. Chuck Bird (4,895 comments) says:

    DPF, I wonder your opinion if the cartoon linked homosexuality to abuse of 13 to 15 year old boys instead of generalizing about Maori.

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  11. Harriet (4,975 comments) says:

    With this section 61 matter – it doesn’t elaborate on the situation where a person repeatedly makes remarks at the low end of the spectrum – as that could then be “”interpreted”” as ‘regarding with deep despise, detestation or vilification’.

    A case example may be Michael Laws.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see Wall or Hone taking a case against the likes of Michael Laws to test the law. They could use ‘pattern of behaviour’ as a basis for the charge.

    I don’t see Laws as a racist ect but he is ‘out spoken’ on matters Maori, and would be a target for people like Wall, Hone ect.

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  12. OneTrack (3,114 comments) says:

    ” You can publish any damn cartoon you like – but free speech is not free of consequences.”

    What consequence? The gulag?

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  13. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Contempt for the cartoonist?

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  14. david (2,557 comments) says:

    And of course Ms Wall led the charge to lay complaints against Hone Hatefield for his comments about not letting his daughter date a white boy and about the white mofos. But then he was only communicating with those who are unlikely to ever read a newspaper.

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  15. Mobile Michael (452 comments) says:

    The cartoon depicted two obese brown skinned adults dressing in school uniforms to get a free breakfast, and commenting that the money saved could be used on pokies and tobacco. The message conveyed was parental responsibility (or lack thereof) was a factor in poverty, and that some people game the system to their advantage.

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  16. kowtow (8,522 comments) says:

    Equality for me but not for thee.

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  17. simpleton1 (230 comments) says:

    Mocking either goes to prove a point, or shows the mocker to be a nut case.

    Let the mocker prove himself as a nut case to the wide world, or there is a lot of truth in what is “quoted” to be thought about.

    To take away the freedom of speech, takes away truth and debate, which will only build a head of steam of resentment.

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  18. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    This is what irked the Liberals in Australia in which their Human Rights Commission was used to squash free speech that did not fit the liberal inner late set. The changes were handled in a very cack handled way by their Attorney General George Brandis and it looks things will be very watered down.

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  19. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Typical of the left to try to shut down debate.
    I am offended by most things MP Louisa Wall stands for.
    However, I will still defend her right to freedom of expression.

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  20. SPC (5,640 comments) says:

    I await the cartoons mocking the largess of providing super to those in high paying jobs – judges etc, so they can travel first class to resorts and drink champagne at the expense of those unable to save a deposit on a home.

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  21. ManuT (54 comments) says:

    Well I hope it offended. If the cartoon made one thief of public money feel guilty then good; if it made others scorn the thieves then better. Benefits are a gift and should be appreciated.
    If the race depicted in the cartoon are the majority of offenders then it is accurate. A cartoon ridiculing white collar criminals would hardly feature polys would it?
    Wall is nothing but a grandstanding opportunist twat.

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  22. Kiwi Dave (92 comments) says:

    PeoplesFlag: consequences of the cartoon could be that people refuse to buy the paper, refuse to advertise in the paper, no longer trust the paper’s editors as reliable news sources, write strongly critical letters to the paper explaining why the cartoonist is wrong, etc. But you seem to think that the most appropriate response is government enforced criticism and/or suppression of viewpoints you disapprove of.

    Countries that give governments the power to control public discussion and individual viewpoints are not very pleasant to live in.

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  23. ldypen (40 comments) says:

    Labour, firmly focusing on the important matters… pffft!

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  24. oldpark (338 comments) says:

    Was wondering if ms walls wears jackboots,to go with her attempted bullying of the MSM.Labours Cunliffe is trying the same old trick,attempting to muzzle a moderator in a proposed election debate.Wonder will the both overpaid mouthpieces for once ,do something for the nation of NZ,perhaps go and do something useful.

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  25. itstricky (1,851 comments) says:

    To shock any sector of the population a David?

    Ah, I see, you mean like this:

    http://m.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/05/not_funny.html#comments

    Cartoonists enjoy a wide latitude by their editors. This is how it should be. But there is a point at which an editor should say a cartoon is so offensive they do not wish to publish it.

    I thought the thing was “if you don’t like the cartoon don’t buy the paper”

    Ah, the personal responsibility argument. Shielding the user from having to break out into “I did it my way and I don’t like your way” for decades.

    Shoe…foot…other…foot….shoe

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  26. SPC (5,640 comments) says:

    TV 1 select someone who dismissed Cunliffe as a “moron” and said “Is David Cunliffe incompetent or mad? Is he out to lunch or out of touch? Is David Cunliffe deluded or living in a parallel universe?” as their host of for Leader debates.

    “insulting” to mean “scornfully abusive”, and “bring into contempt” to mean “regarding with deep despise, detestation or vilification”. However, “the right to freedom of expression is also a right to shock, offend, and disturb any sector of the population”.

    The insult to any real journalists and journalism at TVNZ is profound, if this is the best person they can find for this job.

    Surely 7 Sharp is not seen by them as their current affairs flagship programme.

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  27. itstricky (1,851 comments) says:

    Comments on that other thread “odius” “disgusting” “sick” “this is nothing to do with free speech” “left wing media sink to new lows” (hold on Manolo, the evil left wing media published this breakfast cartoon didn’t they?)

    If you don’t like the cartoon don’t buy the paper!

    So hilariously transparent. Anyone feel like ringing TalkBack for a rant?

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  28. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    itstricky – what a great example! you really got us there.

    you’re basically this guy

    Dude: “nice shirt itstricky, is that your mums curtain?”
    Itstricky “i hope your mum gets raped by 7 blokes and dies”

    thats pretty much the difference between the cartoon dpf is talking about and the link you posted.

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  29. Wayne Mapp (67 comments) says:

    Hmm, and I thought Labour had just decided to relentlessly focus on the key issues affecting New Zealanders. Maybe Louisa did not get the Memo.

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  30. ShawnLH (5,285 comments) says:

    Wow, she’s a scary little poppet. Still, no surprise. “Marriage Equality” my ass. The first time I heard her defend that bit of PC social engineering it was obvious she was the totalitarian type.

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  31. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    The HRC is a *complete* waste of time and money.
    It is nothing but a left-wing “smacky, smacky naughty boy” group, wagging its finger at those it deems to have transgressed in some way.

    DPF’s last comment here is spot-on – *there is no right not to be offended.*

    Overseas, HRCs and “hate speech” laws are only *ever* used to silence legitimate speech (like the criticism of Islam).

    Scrap the HRC *now*. It would not be missed except by left-wing busybodies.

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  32. SPC (5,640 comments) says:

    The cartoon was racist, but comment deemed racist is allowed by right of free speech.

    It’s racist action that is restrained by the HRA.

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  33. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Itstricky
    Fair call. I still think the mengele cartoon was more OTT, but absolutely the same standard should apply.

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  34. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    adze – fair enough. paula bennett was in itstricky’s example.. being compared to a nazi killer.. what were the names of the people in this other cartoon?

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  35. ross001 (213 comments) says:

    SPC (5,341 comments) says:
    July 25th, 2014 at 9:47 am
    The cartoon was racist…

    There were two cartoons and the other one featured some honkies :) I am unsure if Wall is appalled at this cartoon.

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  36. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    The question nobody has asked is how Ms Wall has time to bring a case in the HRRT? The Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body which acts pretty much as a court. It requires documents to be drafted and filed, just like a court. It holds interlocutory hearings – admittedly larger by telephone – just like a court.

    Ms Wall is elected to represent the people and to advocate for and intercede on their behalf, not to indulge in this nonsense.

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  37. ross001 (213 comments) says:

    Cartoonist hits back over ‘racist’ drawings
    Last updated 05:00 04/06/2013

    OPINION: Despite the attacks on his ‘racist’ drawings, Fairfax cartoonist Al Nisbet promises he’ll keep having a crack at everyone on an equal-opportunities basis.

    Born Scottish, and with a UK sense of humour I’ve always had to put up with verbal barbs.

    Usually it’s about being tight with money.

    I take it on the chin. Yet, whenever I’ve caricatured a Scotsman I’ve always portrayed the same thing.

    Angry, ginger-bearded, kilt-wearing, haggis-chomping, whiskey-swilling psychos who are tight with money.

    So far no Scotsman has complained. Drawing stereotypes is all part of cartooning. How else can various ethnicities be depicted?

    French wear berets, Dutch have clogs, Aussies have cork hats, journalists are vultures.

    Politicians are… well you draw your conclusions.

    In Cartoonland it’s sometimes necessary to highlight the features of a race or group that will instantly be recognised so the reader can grasp an issue quickly.

    I’ve lived most of my life in white Christchurch.

    My cartoons predominantly feature white folk, often ugly, fat, lesbian, boof-headed, rugby-playing, skinny, sullen, angry, hoodie-wearing, boy-racer white folk.

    I’m often asked why I draw so ugly. It’s because that’s what I see. The human race is ugly and it does ugly things.

    Maybe I’m jaundiced. After the quakes, we Christchurch folk didn’t take ourselves too seriously. We tried to laugh more.

    With the frustration of the locals and the slow rebuild there has been a demand for some levity, and some angry comment.

    Hopefully my cartoons have provided that. I get few complaints.

    Cartooning should be like playing practical jokes and annoying people, having a crack at all sides.

    Tickling, provoking, firing up debate, pushing the envelope as far as it can go to get reaction.

    Some laugh, a few get angry and a bit of steam is let off. Then things quieten down  …  until the next one.

    And they don’t always have to be funny. Sometimes they can be barbed.When the recent fracas blew up over my ‘‘meals in schools’’ cartoons, I was surprised but pleased.

    People were reacting and the phone was running hot. The outrage seemed excessive. I’d drawn more offensive ones.

    A few in Parliament were steaming with rage. Brilliant!

    I actually intended to draw the characters as all white. But while working on it, I saw on telly that a lot of the school breakfast programme was to be undertaken by schools in Northland.

    Ad Feedback

    At the eleventh hour I darkened the two central characters’ skin and lips to balance the ledger. The others were white.

    The Christchurch version depicted a mixed race family, hopefully encompassing a bit of everything, hence the ginger hair.

    Maybe they should have been Scottish – something was on offer for free!

    When I discovered the critics had focused on the race card and ignored the dorky Pakehas and gingas, I was surprised. The whole point was overlooked… that being of a system that gave something for nothing which could be exploited by a few.

    How that some could plead poverty while surrounded by the unnecessary luxuries of life like booze, gambling and fags, all while comfortably ensconced within an obesity epidemic… while their children starved.

    In other words, I was having a go at the stereotype of bludgers.

    Race had nothing to do with it. Am I culturally ignorant? Yes. I’m also ignorant about a lot of my own culture.

    But I know how to draw a rough representation of most races and groups that can be recognised quickly to meet deadlines.

    Why should I have to hold back when drawing Polynesians or beneficiaries? They are as good and bad as everyone else.

    I was accused by Tom Scott of attacking the underdogs. Unlike comfy, bleeding-heart white liberals, I don’t see Polynesians as underdogs.

    I don’t see beneficiaries who are ripping off a system as underdogs either.I include them equally in my cartoons and poke the borax equally.

    I’d be insulted to be left out or portrayed as weak and not being able to handle it. Polynesians are anything but weak. Neither are a lot of beneficiaries.

    Malcolm Evans told me to apologise. That’s rich coming from the man who has regular cracks at Israel.

    Interestingly, I had support from two Maori mates, one of whom told me not to apologise. Other cartoonists tore into me.

    Fair enough but it would be nice to see the same spark unleashed in their daily cartoons.

    But then maybe it’s different in the North Island and cartoonists have to cuddle up to their subjects afraid to say what they think.

    No wonder Kiwi humour is getting so bland. One thing I have learnt is that Maori and Scots have a common bond. We are both proud races, lived in tribes/clans, bared our butts at the enemy and we were both shoved off our lands.

    So, next time a Maori complainant comes my way, can we agree to poke our tongues, bare our bums,  then  sit down, have a beer together and lighten up… before we work on a cartoon that rips into the

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  38. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Wall obviously wants the news media to be her version of two-sided: for the Left and for lesbianism.

    She needn’t worry too much about NZ’s mainstream media (MSM) veering away from its usual liberal attitude towards the latter. The way it is letting Claudette Hauiti quietly slip away from Parliament contrasts markedly with the clamour with which it politically lynched and ridiculed her predecessor in Parliament, the heteroseuxal Gilmore, who, shame of shames, made an ass of himself when he was pissed at a private party, then tried to talk his way out of the lynch mob.

    Perhaps those liberals who lent their support to Wall in her campaign for instituting homosexual marriage in NZ, might reflect how liberal their protege really is.

    Nor need worry that any imbalance of the MSM is to the right. In the Hooerald today Diattima (Dita) De Boni ridicules ACT leader Jamie Whyte for his libertarian views on incest, as revealed in rather too-honest comment fairly recently.

    An old TVNZ blurb says De Boni, who is the wife of TV reporter Ali Ikram, during two years working Canada, where she was born, “was a closet heterosexual writer for the local gay rag”.

    De Boni, in the Hooerald, ridicules a Whyte article in the Wall Street Journal, and says he will get into Parliament through the “back door” of the Epsom electorate (I thought ACT was putting up Daivd Seymour there). She says of Whyte:

    Backtrack, regret and wiffle away from the comment as he did, he will still be known as Jamie “Uncle Cousin” Whyte by many people.

    I hope De Boni also condemns the prevalent cousin marriages of Britain’s Muslims.

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  39. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    I stuffed up the formatting in my 11.26 post:

    Here for clarity is the last bit:

    De Boni, in the Hooerald, ridicules a Whyte article in the Wall Street Journal, and says he will get into Parliament through the “back door” of the Epsom electorate (I thought ACT was putting up Daivd Seymour there). She says of Whyte:

    Backtrack, regret and wiffle away from the comment as he did, he will still be known as Jamie “Uncle Cousin” Whyte by many people.

    I hope De Boni also condemns the prevalent cousin marriages of Britain’s Muslims.

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  40. Fletch (6,408 comments) says:

    I am sure that is what Labour wants. No more mocking.

    Above all else, the Devil cannot stand to be mocked.

    ~ C.S. Lewis

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  41. SPC (5,640 comments) says:

    Jack5, Whyte only gets into parliament coat-tailing through the back door, if Seymour wins Epsom AND ACT get enough party list votes for two seats.

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  42. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Good ol Labour Rainbow Tolerance to the fore, again.

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  43. Goldsmith (27 comments) says:

    Louisa Wall trying to restore some credibility with her voters after yet again trying to ram the Bathroom bill down NZ’s throat.

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  44. SPC (5,640 comments) says:

    The right to be offensive is the birth-right of all people who look down upon others.

    The right to put the boot in and savage the weak – as to not to be one of the powerful or one of their toadying sycophants is to be worthless.

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  45. Kiwi Dave (92 comments) says:

    Itstricky @9.09

    I’m the guy who gave you your solitary uptick because there does seem to be double standard indicated by the rather different responses by KB readers to offence in the two posts.

    But note that DPF is actually quite consistent; in both posts he puts the responsibility on the editors to make the decisions for their papers. Editors’ powers are limited to their own papers and their opinions may be contradicted by other editors. Ms Wall, however, wants to use the state’s coercive powers, which are far greater than a private citizen’s, to suppress a view she finds offensive and to endorse an orthodoxy for everyone.

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  46. eaglewatch (64 comments) says:

    Whilst some people might not like it… none of them can argue with the legitimacy of the message portrayed, whether this be kids taking advantage of a second free breakfast or parents negating their responsibilities and spending a larger percentage of their tax payer funded benefits on drugs, at the pub, on the pokies or horses etc… his cartoon is both factually and statistically correct.
    Statistics are there for a reason, they enable us to observe patterns based on past performance and use this to make informed decisions about the present… whilst this is without a doubt racial stereotyping, it is racial stereotyping based on factual statistics, I do feel for the good people that get labelled due to this but perhaps their anger should be directed at those who continually fuel this over-representation in all the bad statistics.
    Now, apart from the above two paragraphs… it is a cartoon for f*cks sake!!! Cartoonists always accentuate the negative… that is where the humour is derived from, when they draw someone who possesses a big nose, they draw the most monstrously out of proportion big nose they can come up with!!!
    The people that take offence to this must lead an extremely sad life, those that do not have the ability to laugh at themselves or recognise light hearted humour when they see it are a very, very sad and depressing bunch indeed.
    The Scots and Irish have done it for years, we dont see them jumping up and down when somebody cracks a joke about their respective lineage etc.
    GET OVER YOURSELVES YOU SAD AND PATHETIC PEOPLE!!!

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  47. itstricky (1,851 comments) says:

    Thank you Dave.

    But note that DPF is actually quite consistent; in both posts he puts the responsibility on the editors to make the decisions for their papers. Editors’ powers are limited to their own papers and their opinions may be contradicted by other editors. Ms Wall, however, wants to use the state’s coercive powers, which are far greater than a private citizen’s, to suppress a view she finds offensive and to endorse an orthodoxy for everyone.

    Absolutely, in terms of her taking it to the HRT. Although I don’t see where she is asking for suppression by The State, she is mearly challenging The State’s handling of an original complaint.

    He is not consistent in his comments about the cartoon, however. Over here we have “don’t buy the paper if you don’t like it” and “someone’s going to be offended sooner or later, grow a pair”. Over there we have “this is an outrage” and “grevious mistake”

    You can’t have it one way or the other, depending on whether you are offended or not, that is the whole point of his last two sentences on this post.

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