Steve Crow has won in court, but really he was going to be a winner regardless of the court ruling.
The publicity given to Mr Crow’s porn empire by Family First, Auckland City Council and others has been invaluable. He literally could not pay enough for all the free publicity. Rather than try and get the boobs on bikes parade banned, they should demand a share of the profits from his sex expo.
Why does Crow do boobs on bikes? To publicise his sex expo. He loses money on the actual parade – it is free. He doesn;t give a damn about whether or not the parade actually happens – he just wants the publicity about it.
He is secretly parying that Cathy Casey and co do lie down on the road to try and block it. It would be a god send for him. Guarantee a better TV story.
Mr Crow is a very smart man.
Also a very smart man, is public law specialist Dean Knight. Dean blogged last week that there was almost no chance of the Council being able to block the parade under the Bill of Rights. Dean concluded:
I am very confident in saying that, to the extent that the bylaw requires citizens to seek prior approval from a state body for a protest in a public place, it is patently inconsistent with the Bill of Rights and other fundamental common law rights, and is therefore unreasonable and invalid. There was, rightly, a public outcry a few years ago when Wellington City attempted to do this; it backed down. Also, it’s the very thing that many folk are pointing the stick at the Chinese government at the moment with the Olympics in Beijing. The requirement of prior approval is outrageous, particularly in the light of the restriction of protests and so forth.
He goes onto say:
It gets a little more complicated when one deals with other expressive activities. The reality is that we grade the nature of the expression and place differing degrees of importance on different types of speech. Political protest at the top. Speech lacking in intrinsic value at the bottom, arguably things like pornography etc. Commercial-related speech somewhere in the middle. That’s a wee bit controversial but probably accurate. In this case, we might see the full range of expression. Principally, the parade is related to a commercial activity. But it’s also got a pornographic titillation element – something slightly gratuitous. And, given the previous controversy and dealings, it’s also probably capable of being regarded as a protest or similar political assembly.
His colleague Steven Price then details a conversation he had with Dean on the legal issues:
Steven: You know what? I think it might depend on the amount of jiggle.
Dean: I think that’s right.
Steven: If there’s more jiggle, then it looks more sexualised – so arguably more lewd and offensive. Then controlling the parade fits better with the purposes of the Local Government Act, and the offences of offensive behaviour and indecent exposure. You’ve got less wiggle room for an argument based on the significance of the speech. More jiggle – less wiggle.
Dean: No, I disagree. If there’s more jiggling, there’s more of a political component to the protest. It is deliberately provocative. It underscores the parade’s message being more open about sexuality. It emphasises that the protest is defying convention, and the council’s attempts to scotch it. There’s less reason to protect an unjiggly naked protest, because the nakedness is less central to the protesters’ purpose. Jiggling provides better grounds for a defence for boobs on bikes. More jiggle – more wiggle.
Now’s that a legal conversation you don’t get to have very often!
Finally Steven notes:
Such is the stuff of academic discourse. Though it’s fair to say that Dean doesn’t normally evince this degree of interest in women’s breasts.
I burst out laughing when reading that. Those who know Dean probably did likewise. Others should be able to work it out!
As it so happens, I will be in Auckland tomorrow. Despite what some might think, I won’t be there for the Parade – for two reasons. Firstly the plastic fantastics that were on display last year look pretty awful from what I saw in the photos – you can’t beat natural. Secondly I actually think partially covered up is far far more sexy.