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What about freedom of association, Mr de Bres?

What about freedom of association, Mr de Bres?

Thursday 17 Feb 2005

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

The longer Helen Clark delays sacking her mate Joris de Bres, the lower will fall the reputation of the Human Rights Commission, ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

The MP was responding to the Race Relations Commissioner's encouragement of legal steps by a moko wearer to force a hapless business to employ her. "What about freedom of association? What about freedom of expression?" Mr Franks asked.

"Mr de Bres should tell us why he has not taken up the cudgels on behalf of the business owner, who will now face thousands of dollars in legal costs. Why a privilege for moko wearers that no other fashion follower can claim? Why not uphold the employer's freedom and human rights?

"Any New Zealander, of course, should be free to wear a moko. Presumably some of them think it makes them more attractive, or they wouldn't do it. I find them intriguing.

"But equally we should all take personal responsibility for the consequences of our decisions. If I choose not to wash my hair, or clean my shoes, or wear a safety pin through my eyebrow, I am making a statement. I'm saying what I value, or don't value. Why should government-paid busybodies have power to tell others they are not allowed to draw conclusions and express their own view about me?

"It is well established that freedom of association also means freedom from forced association. Those who disagree with a fashion or political statement should be free to ensure they don't have it shoved in their face all the time, on their own premises and with their customers.

"Will Mr de Bres insist that an employer or a school or a boarding house must accept a pierced, mohawked, razor blade dangling punk, because they are expressions of his culture?

"The Human Rights Act is fatally flawed. It is simply a license by the politically correct Labour Cabinet to appoint their useless mates to enforce their particular views of society, and to entangle those who disagree with them in a nightmare of legal proceedings," Mr Franks said.


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