I’ve previously blogged my approval of the EPMU efforts to save 300 Air NZ jobs by proposing realistic alternatives to Air NZ, not just protesting.
Now Andrew Little, EPMU National Secretary, delivers some excellent common sense on the cartoon controversy:
Freedom of speech and rationality are cornerstone values of western countries and it is essential we, and our public institutions (institutions with a public face), are seen to cherish them and not compromise them.
It might be a western perspective, given our culture generally of tolerance, but to take such offence at the published cartoons to the point of being driven to violence not to mention international trade threats is something we should be denouncing. I am extremely uncomfortable when I hear editors of substantial newspapers apologising for causing offence after exercising a perfectly justifiable editorial judgement. I expect editors to be bold in reporting news; their news judgements shouldn’t be based on causing possible offence to the community or the authorities. I’m sure the left can do a lot better at standing
by values of free speech and expression, and trusting most people to know bullshit when they see it.
Quote stolen from Molesworth and Featherston.
From a purely partisan sense I should be glad that so many (not all) on the left rushed to promote self-censorship (as it loses them support) but this issue is so vital to our future that I would much rather have widespread support for the right to satirise, criticise and even offend religions.