Sunday, May 8, 2011

Flag Burning Now OK - God Defend NZ!

Offensive behaviour is that which causes injury or insult.
It seems burning our country's flag is NOT offensive behaviour. Even when it happens in front of a shocked public crowd including elderly war veterans, at an Anzac Day dawn parade!
Activist Valerie Morse burnt a NZ flag near the Wellington Cenotaph in 2007. She was convicted in the Wellington District Court - the judge found her behaviour was an expression protected under the Bill of Rights, but offensive in the context of an Anzac Day dawn service. The conviction (upheld by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal) was last week quashed by the Supreme Court, even though it's illegal under the Flags Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981 to destroy the flag with the intent of dishonouring it! [The Supreme Court ruled it’s necessary to prove that offensive behaviour must give rise to a “disturbance of public order”.]
Auckland University law professor Bill Hodge: "You can now burn the NZ flag any time, anywhere...I can't think of a time more sensitive with the right people in the right place than Anzac morning..."
It's ironic that Morse, arrested in the 2007 Urewera 'terror camp' raids, should play the freedom-of-expression card, but conveniently forget that her freedom came via sacrifices of those she dishonoured on Anzac Day.
Various RSA members have called the court's decision ridiculous, deplorable, disgusting. Valerie Morse claimed the protest was not aimed at returned servicemen, but against the Afghanistan war, so it was appropriate and reasonable. Witnesses however called the burning disturbing and offensive.
So until an act of Parliament changes things, this is what the Pathetic Permeation Of Political Correctness has produced.
Does this also mean that next NZ Day, it'll be perfectly legal to burn a maori separatist flag at Waitangi? After all, that'll be as inoffensive as the burning of NZ flags that's bound to occur there, following this ruling! Then perhaps I can fry a Qur'an...

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