Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sedition in the news II

It looks like Ben Thomas of Dog Biting Men has been having fun; today he was outside the Auckland District Court protesting the sedition charges against Tim Selwyn:

The protest was small and low-key, and one of those involved, Ben Thomas, said the aim was to "show the hypocrisy of New Zealand's outdated sedition laws".

Mr Thomas said the fact that he was not arrested called into question why Selwyn was facing the sedition counts.

Well, it does and it doesn't. On the one hand, subsequent distribution for the purpose of public discussion is almost certainly covered by the "good faith" defence. And on the other hand, if the material is so vile and dangerous as to be worth prosecuting over, then surely it doesn't matter whether you are the first to distribute it or the second? It's yet another way in which our sedition laws and their enforcement simply do not make sense...