Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Farewell to sedition

Also in force today is the Crimes (Repeal of Seditious Offences) Amendment Act, which repealed the archaic offence of sedition. So, we are now free to excite disaffection against the government, bring the monarchy into contempt, and advocate civil disobediance against government policy - all things which are at the core of democratic society.

While ostensibly aimed at quelling political violence, the law was always used in practice to suppress those who advocated unpopular (in the eyes of the government) political causes: Irish and Samoan independence, a better deal for workers, peace, and Maori rights. And I am glad to be rid of it.