Censorship by any other name. Jonathan Coleman. RNZ

It had to happen. Think it through. These – in my opinion – are dumb people. Three of them showed that yesterday – Tolley and Bennet in Parliament, Key linguistically re security threats to sport.

Their message, indeed their whole approach, is mathematically-provably flawed. So there can be two reasons for their actions – one is that they are arrogant enough to put down debate or challenge. The other (less likely) is that they know their argument doesn’t hold water, and want to stifle debate or challenge.

There aren’t many good forums for questioning left. The Listener is a joke these days, people like Sainsbury are little more than buffoons, and we have a whole generation now who have done ‘economics’ but not history, geography or even social studies. Thanks to the first dumbing down in the Prebble-Douglas wave.

So – you gag the forums which may be a problem. Of course, you don’t call it that. You introduce ‘sponsors’, which immediately skews the mind-set to ‘business’. You screw the funding, with alarmist figures in millions, and alarmist figures of increases in staffing. And you threaten the board to fall into line, or fall on their swords.

Germany in the ‘thirties’ was thus. No bull. Don’t think it couldn’t happen here?

This is the last gasp of a flawed regime – and the appraisal, investigation and projections of that need to be had. It doesn’t want folk like Kim Hill, Chris Laidlaw and Bryan Crump loose in the mix – although they are no doubt happy with Mora, and Mornings has become pretty wishy-washy too.

Regardless, this is a direct assault on free and frank public debate.

As such, it constituted repression, thus qualifies as propaganda.

It’s not a very long bow to draw.

The irony, Jonathan, is that it too late. Despite optimism, rhetoric and effort worldwide, it’s all over. Your assumptions were wrong – fatally flawed – and no amount of gagging will change that.

It’s not uncommon historically for those who suggest that commonly-held views are wrong, to be persecuted. Crucifiction and burning at the stake have gone somewhat out of fashion, but removing the questioners has not.

The ultimate irony, is that I reckon RNZ is already off the pace. I’ve hassled all programmes this last year, and only look like having to step up the ‘ante’.

They, too, aren’t addressing the big question – and if they don’t, who will?

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