Karl du Fresne on the liberal left


If the furore over the Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux achieved nothing else, it at least destroyed the myth of the so-called liberal Left.

Extremists on the Left have been misappropriating that honourable word “liberal” for decades, aided and abetted by news media that seemed not to recognise that “liberal Left” had become a howling contradiction. A handful of genuinely liberal Leftists still exist, and some were brave enough to speak out in favour of . But those few exceptions aside, the Left now stands exposed as the antithesis of classical liberalism.

I think that is a bit tough. There are more than a handful principled liberal lefties. No Right Turn is a great example of someone who is always on the side of free speech.

No-one should be in any doubt that free speech, a fundamental hallmark of liberal democracy, is under concerted attack. We have confirmation of that from Massey University’s Australian vice-chancellor Jan Thomas, who has introduced to New Zealand the repugnant practice known elsewhere as no-platforming – denying speaking rights to anyone who doesn’t meekly fall into line with leftist orthodoxy.

An Australian imports a US practice into NZ.

I believe the Left targets Brash not because he holds extreme views, but for precisely the opposite reason: a large number of New Zealanders agree with him. That makes him a potent threat.

Hobson’s Choice won five out of five referenda. That is his real crime – he managed to persuade people.

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