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Political correctness threatens 'the Kiwi way'

19th January 2005

Newman On-Line: Political correctness threatens 'the Kiwi way'

This week, Newman on-line looks at the origins of political correctness, its rise in New Zealand, and outlines what Kiwis can do to oppose it.

Earlier this month, rugby league legend Graham Lowe announced that the real reason he is leaving New Zealand is not only to move to a warmer climate, but also to escape political correctness.

Lowe admitted that New Zealand's obsession with political correctness had influenced his decision: "I am as proud a Kiwi as you can get but I want to remember the New Zealand I grew up in. I don't think it's quite the same at the moment. I still love the place but the political correctness is too much for me".

It is indeed a sad day for New Zealand when political correctness has infiltrated our society to the level where it is driving good Kiwis abroad. Left alone, its proliferation does not bode well for the future of our society.

Political correctness is an ideology that originated in the former Soviet Union during the early 1900s. The Marxists realised that the secret to controlling the way citizens think is to control their language. To progress this ideology they adopted the official rationale that they were restricting the use of 'hurtful' expressions in order to prevent offence.

Proponents of political correctness now use intimidation and criticism as weapons to muzzle free speech and frank expression. Hate labels such as racist, sexist, homophobe or redneck are widely used to describe those who speak out against politically correct initiatives. The use of vicious, personal attack is intended to silence the opposition.

It wasn't always like this. Historically, the introduction of political correctness in New Zealand started out as a bit of a laugh. We were discouraged from using words like mankind or chairman, and buying golliwogs or repeating blonde jokes were frowned upon.

But now, it has all gone too far.

These days political correctness has become a debilitating force in society, severely curtailing our ability to debate matters that concern us in a forthright and robust manner. And, as we enter election year, it is particularly important not only to remind ourselves that political correctness is most often used by the left wing to suppress opposition, but that the Labour Government has become the worst offender in our political history.

With a targeted support base which includes Maori, beneficiaries, the gay lobby, and women, it is little wonder that Labour's ruling agenda has been packed with politically correct initiatives aimed at winning their support. These include the introduction of special privileges for Maori, a softening of welfare requirements, the introduction of gay marriage, and the legalisation of prostitution.

It also comes as no surprise that in promoting minority issues, the Government has turned its back on most of the concerns of the great majority of New Zealand taxpayers, highlighting the need for people to be fearlessly outspoken against political correctness and not be silenced by intimidation and abuse.

This year I intend to practice what I preach by speaking out about a number of important non-PC issues. These include the need to reform our welfare system in order to replace our culture of dependency with one of opportunity, to strengthen families rather than undermine them, and to introduce some common-sense initiatives to balance the radical feminism being promoted by Labour. In particular I intend to continue to promote the need for equal rights for fathers as well as to launch a campaign to introduce a national prostate cancer-screening programme for men.

But this week I am taking a lead in halting the relentless rise in political correctness by declaring that New Zealand - in line with our down-to-earth heritage and common sense approach to life - should be PC free!

I am pleased to announce that the PC free New Zealand website is up and running on www.pcfreenz.co.nz. In particular it features an on-line petition to stop the spread of political correctness in New Zealand. It is hoped that the petition will be widely circulated and supported by the silent and not-so-silent non-PC majority.

The website has been designed to provide opportunities for interaction, promotion (including how to obtain the popular PC free bumper stickers) and contribution. In particular, stories about political correctness will be welcomed, whether they are victories over PC stupidity, or accounts of PC exasperation like the case of my district council, which is proposing name-changes to our mountain and river. Officially the move is to 'correct' historical spelling mistakes, but locals have labeled the proposals as political correctness gone mad.

This development is very worrying: not only has the Labour Government embraced political correctness as a central creed, but it looks like some district councils are taking a politically correct approach to local government matters as well.

I would have hoped that rather than embracing political correctness, they should be pro-actively opposing it by adopting a 'PC free DC' policy instead!

Since changing place-names involves a process of public consultation, concerned locals are being encouraged to make submissions. It is only by speaking out and standing up against the PC onslaught that its relentless progression can be stopped.

Everyone in New Zealand should be free to express their views as they see fit. While we may not necessarily agree with their views, we should vigorously defend their right to state them without fear or favour. That freedom of speech is at the heart of our democracy. It is central to 'the Kiwi way'. Retaining our proud straight-talking tradition is surely worth fighting for.


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