ethika womens reviews on cialis usa socialist programs metformin use in pancreatitis viagra available in chennai order cialis 20mg 20 tabs can you buy cialis in amsterdam no prescription viagra without insurance cost get a prescription for generic viagra lasix in acute decompensated heart failure propecia review best way to get viagra prescription zovirax walmart without insurance diflucan discount prices viagra generic approved fda prednisone over counter med 0.25 mg finasteride eod cytotec tablets uk storing liquid clomid gabaneural 150 mg viagra best days to take clomid doxycycline maximal dose venlo apotheke viagra generic viagra 50 mg cpr4 lowest cialis price canada 100mg zoloft 300 mg wellbutrin for anxiety cytotec information in urdu order ciprofloxacin from canada when will we have generic for viagra blonde actress in acura cialis does paypal accept payment for viagra blurred vision in one eye after taking viagra how much it cost viagra buy zithromax singapore metformin dose in ramadan cialis 20mg price sams club is viagra sold in walmart pregabalin generico de cialis can you buy metformin online uk can aleve 400 mg be taken with 80 mg prednisone ciprofloxacin best best way to order cialis online doxycycline to treat whooping cough real and fake cialis packaging viagra where to buy in uk cialis compare price female use of viagra washout period for zoloft reviews eyebrow hair loss accutane cost erofast sildenafil 50 mg onde comprar whats the price for ciprofloxacin hcl price for new 20 mg viagra buy clomidonlineindia liquid amoxil max dosage of viagra sildenafil actavis bestellen where to buy 5 mg brand cialis medicine illegal viagra in dubai quinobiotic ciprofloxacin 500 mg ships within canada viagra ciprofloxacin tinidazole in pregnancy viagra myth and reality can you take viagra with a beta blocker does accutane cause birth defects later in life taking viagra after cialis accutane low dose for mild acne much does viagra cost nhs cialis generico da 5mg adderall canadian pharmacy for cialis tabletka viagra online can propecia cause mood swings papines andinos donde comprar viagra how much cytotec cost in sa generic viagra combo pack viagra comprar en alicante prednisone prednisolone safe pregnancy accutane cause thyroid problems viagra pro review does diflucan 150 mg effect birth control viagra twice a day propecia for hair in pakistan how to take viagra to get best results can accutane cause birth defects generic viagra 150mg can clomid cause swollen feet viagra ads in google search results diflucan in nursing mothers thuoc acetyl leucine 500 mg metformin celebrities low dose accutane non over counter viagra tes skyrim inderal generic cialis generico uso zithromax in rti comparison is clomid worth it generic finasteride 1mg reviews on garcinia viagra buy liquid zovirax online kopen has anyone ever bought viagra from canada cialis 5 mg in vendita viagra london soho house buy sildenafil delived fed ex consecuencias usar pastillas cytotec viagra 100mg yahoo answers lasix pediatric dose iv effect on blood pressure at 100 mg viagra is the generic viagra for real what happens if a young male takes viagra generic zithromax tqeovertoz how to purchase viagra with paypal sivacol 20 mg prednisone best time of day to take cialis 5 mg is it safe to take viagra with steroids zovirax 800 mg iv can cipro cause yeast infections in men non prescription inderal success with clomid 50 mg gotas hcg donde comprar viagra role of viagra accutane 20 mg twice a day medication para que se receta la ciprofloxacina 500 mg sildenafil generico farmacias similares franquicias buy pfizer zithromax online viagra cream uk como se usa la viagra c20 viagra selling pharmacy in dubai doxycycline calcium brand name cialis 24 stunden lieferung paypal uk meds 4 u viagra online cialis take best results buy viagra in united kingdom comprare cialis in italia fucidin buy online uk viagra walgeens price of cialis wellbutrin generic not as effective as metformin nolvadex tabs price cialis 5 mg boite 28 prix ampicillin 500mg dosage for toothache viagra 50 mg prijs propecia cause more hair loss harga profertil 50 mg zoloft discount cheapest cialis viagra online test is it safe to take 10mg of prednisone daily meloxicam methocarbamol generico de cialis finasteride manufacturer in india half dose of clomid can u take viagra if u dont need it walmart price viagra how much is 5mg cialis at walmart pharmacy sildenafil 50 mg citrate tablets manforce ciprofloxacin 750 mg und alkohol generic substitutes for zoloft cost of generic cialis viagra generic canada discount rx prednisone 20 mg burst and taper cialis online ohne rezept doxycycline cholera treatment viagra in india mumbai red vibram kso womens reviews on cialis does really viagra work cialis online 200 mg buy clomid cod viagra antidote online nolvadex illegal canada can you get arrested buying viagra online lasix 40 mg fiyati nedir where to purchase menarini dapoxetine in sg effet du viagra sur lhomme yves saint laurent reviews canada diflucan cofryl 25 mg of zoloft cialis to come in effect redi tabs viagra generic listdictionary generic viagra zoloft medicine in india maintenance dose cialis extended release metformin generic drug can i drink diflucan 150 mg treat tinea versicolor nuy viagra online can u take 2 viagra in a night zovirax tablet 200 mg 25 tbs how much money does viagra cost at wal mart viagra v s cialis existe viagra de 25 mg order viagra online no prescription cost of metformin 1000 mg er at walmart buy inderal canada temperature a cipro in gennaio what would happen if i girl takes viagra can you pay for generic viagra with your hsa 25 mg zoloft sleep buy cheap prednisone where can i find the cheapest finasteride is viagra available in kashmir doxycycline rats dose informacion en espanol de cialis online rite aid viagra order lasix 40 mg bei hunden typical clomid pct dosage can i buy viagra at atlanta phentermine and cialis together naltrexone hydrochloride tablets ip 50 mg viagra cytotec farmacia online online black cialis wheres the cheapest cialis viagra next day delivery ireland viagra in peds viagra time to work buying viagra over the counter in bangkok ciprofloxacin 200 mg i v costo dei taxi cipro buy viagra prescription free getting viagra in brisbane qaul efeito de meiviagra generico herbal viagra for women chennai cash on door delivery lasix da 500 mg cipro bad taste in mouth what is thw work of sildenafil tablet 120 mg can i buy accutane can you take doxycycline and accutane together ramipril comp ct 5mg 25 mg zoloft aponal 5 mg dosierung ciprofloxacin where buy cheap viagra where to buy cialis uk is it safe to take ambien and cialis patrex sildenafil 100 mg natural viagra alternatives reviews on apidexin achat cialis en ligne europe ganfort colirio generico de cialis generic cialis online price comparison cialis tab 20mg tadalafil 10 mg uk. cialis or viagra over the counter do i need a prescription to buy metformin precio ciprofloxacino 500 mg cytotec 200 mcg como usar getting a viagra prescription order generic viagra in pakistan viagra generic 100mg reviews socialist flags for sale taking 40 mg cialis artical stanza in affitto zona cipro viagra buy store can viagra be used in half cheap cialis pill finasteride use in men qual o nome do generico do viagra do sandoz safe doses of prednisolone for polymyalgia cialis tadalafil how much does it cost in malaysia clomid dose for fertility lasix in dialysis pts prednisone 60 mg prednisolone drugbank metformin and weight viagra and plants when should you take your cialis il cialis generico can cialis be dissolved in a drink finasteride online without prescription changing finasteride brands viagra pfizer wiki notice prednisone mylan 20 mg buy cialis pro paying with pay pal out of canada viagra half tablet buy viagra cambridge uk cost of doxycycline at costco revelation chapter 12 who is the woman in the viagra zovirax tablet price in the philippines doxycycline hyclate used for kidney infection finasteride and bph viagra nebenwirkungen frau clomid dose for ovulation sildenafil calox 50 mg x 1 where do i buy viagra in mexico city wall green generic viagra garenteed nextday delivery cialis tadalafil over the counter in europe donde comprar femara vs clomid is it safe to buy viagra off craigslist much does ciprofloxacin cost without insurance can lasix cause ringing in the ears contraindicaciones para el consumo de viagra for sale cialis in half can you donde puedo comprar cytotec sin receta en puerto rico propranolol 20 mg daily zoloft dosage for ocd cipro 500 mg use aveed generic viagra posso tomar 2 comprimidos de cialis 5 mg cheap cialis melbourne australia lubenica prirodna viagra online 200 mg clomid pct generic viagra generic viagra online talco industrial donde comprar viagra zithromax powder form uk nolvadex for sale pct supplements doxycycline for pimples reviews ems use of lasix in the elderly eleven tadalafil 20 mg single dose diflucan mgs can zoloft cause numbness in limbs viagra from canada is safe where to buy viagra prague when i am fertile after taking 150mg of clomid uk how good is generic indian viagra generic cialis pas cher viagra super active 100mg reviews azucar glass donde comprar viagra best type of cialis for a young man caverject cialis safe level generic prednisone order sildenafil 50 mg cuanto dura el efecto viagra in the water by christine lavin standard dosage of cialis ovulating on clomid but not getting pregnant why can doxycycline cause hand tingling how to buy viagra online in the uk lotar bula generico do viagra can i take doxycycline for years grossesse multiple grace a clomid for sale difference between 100 mg and 400 mg of viagra viagra rezeptfrei niederlande kaufen doktersvoorschrift viagra for sale generic viagra 100 mg reviews boots price cialis uk 10mg como se usa clomid cialis in london soho sidena tablets 50 mg sildenafil doxycycline price comparison uk donde puedo comprar viagra en chile existe doxycycline max dose viagra available for men in bangalore apodefil sildenafil 50 mg duracion doxycycline hyclate tablets acne cheapest generic tadalafil over the counter reasons to take accutane cialis kopen zonder recept in nederland viagra generico posologia matrix 120 mg viagra buy generic viagra online shop ciprofloxacina 500 mg nombre comercial viagra piller online sildenafil citrate a 100 mg india zovirax 200 mg dosis font buy eli lilly brand cialis cancer prostate finasteride cost viagra canada shoppe next day delivery clomid uk oxazepam ratiopharm 10 mg beipackzettel ciprofloxacin zoloft social anxiety disorder dosage what is generic for prednisone farmacia online venta viagra mexico price of viagra generics in south korea where can i 20 or less doxycycline hyclate with no rx manila viagra buy viagra online legality priligy dapoxetine prix my 5th month accutane review viagra tablets name list viagra correct dosage prednisone 20 mg vademecum mouthwash free pdf on usage of clomide clomid uk boots store online pharmacy viagra usa blue sky peptide tadalafil review generic cialis pe gym prix en pharmacie du cialis buy doxycycline hyclate 100mg uk best time to conceive using clomid during cycle clomid store online viagra in singapore where we buy clomid for men take in morning or at night ciprofloxacina 500 mg tabletas netflix cialis 5 mg daily use cost duphaston 10 mg clomid 250 ml amoxil without prescription metformin 1000 mg daily is zovirax available over the counter can you take a viagra and cialis together is cialis sold in philippines where can i buy viagra in hampshire sildenafil formula chemistry finasteride 1 mg boobs what are the negative effects of viagra vgs pharmacy viagra prices price of cytotec in usa viagra for men cost in hyderabad comparisons of generic viagra effets secondaires prednisolone 20 mg cialis 60 ml online without prescription c pass type into generic viagra twins with 150 mg clomid and metformin viagra generic when will be available puedo tomar media viagra generic should finasteride be taken at night look up cost of propecia viagra feminino comprar no brasil prednisone alternative in uk zoloft 50 mg reviews cialis orders paypal paid cialis online bonifico is it safe to rake viagra with ampplodine what is amoxil tablets for doxycycline kennel cough treatment metformin alternatives uk how long will you last in bed if you take a 20mg cialis can i get a spray tan while on accutane buy clomid legit how long does 5mg cialis work use diflucan 150 mg safe doses cialis cialis 2 5 e 5 mg nolvadex 10 mg 250 film tablet cialis 5 mg diario precious memories viagra brand 100mg com amoxil 400mg tid price what is the use of metformin 500 mg does uncoated clomid 50 mgs work the same how much is viagra in toronto can you take viagra from bali to australia comprimido generico do viagra clomid prices in south africa should i take cialis daily tamoxifen zoloft interaction is liquid cialis real of fake donde comprar cialis lima canadian prices viagra 1200 mg zithromax chlamydia nose bleeds on accutane going from 50 mg to 25mg of zoloft tadalafil 10 mg from india image and used of original clomid in nigeria lasix 40 mg abnehmen cialis how safe is it glucophage price in pakistan n8 buy tadalafil prescribed online viagra meaning in bengali language ampicillin 250 mg tsp 200 ml is how many ounces cialis daily use vs 36 hour wirkung viagra nach samenerguss in die tapering off propranolol 10 mg safety of cytotec for abortion 20 mg splitting 20 mg cialis metformin 500 mg twice dose of ampicillin can i take metformin and doxycycline together bph treated with cialis chiari specialists in milwaukee wi how much is viagra in fuerteventura viagra tablet list for men available in india prix priligy 30 inderal 40 mg halbwertszeit online viagra in 24h how long does it take to recover from accutane zoloft dosage 300 mg ciprofloxacin 250 usage marketing strategy for viagra in uae omeprazole pensa pharma 20 mg prednisone who is the woman in new viagra ads on tv is oral prednisone safe during pregnancy dapoxetine uk buy to let expat buy glucophage without a prescription cytotec para que sirve y como se usa viagra 50 ml delivered over night aptiom generic cialis viagra online senza ricetta cialis generico mexico comprar viagra shops in atlanta can you cut cialis pills sildenafil patent expiry europe chiang mai viagra where to buy best lotion dry skin accutane for acne prednisone liquid for infants zithromax liquid flavor extracts cialis 10mg preisvergleich what does diflucan look like pill in pamphlet 100mg generic viagra online online viagra poland doxycycline and cellulitis cipla finasteride review viagra how to get best results comprar viagra andorra sin receta medica where to get free viagra ciprofloxacin in tonsillitis how long does a prednisone shot last in a dog will i get my period on clomid is generic viagra available in u.s. nozinan 5 mg bivirkninger prednisolone mambo 36 tadalafil reviews tadalafil costco pharmacy tadalafil 500 mg how do i take clomid bodybuilding zinnat 250mg 5ml generico do viagra where to buy viagra in switzerland clomid pills online dapoxetine india sun pharmacy metformin 500 mg polycystic generic cialis canada no prescription generic viagra uk pharmacy jobs prednisone 4 mg tmds disk fulvestrant generico de cialis clomid 50mg unsuccessful safety of propranolol in infants Kiwipolitico » Blog Archive » A boycott is not a ban

A boycott is not a ban

datePosted on 11:01, June 30th, 2011 by Lew

Just a brief comment on the Facebook-originated boycott of the Ian Wishart & Macsyna King book Breaking Silence.

A bunch of private individuals, however coordinated, choosing to publicly signal their intention to not patronise outlets which choose to sell a particular book is not a ban in any meaningful sense. You could (and no doubt Wishart will) try to parlay it into something like “de facto ban” or “virtual ban”, but it’s nothing of the sort. Even if major chain and independent bookstores decide against stocking the book, it’s not a ban — they are perfectly free to make whatever commercial decisions they feel like, and in this regard the signal provided to them by a Facebook group is potentially useful. It’s not a “ban” until the state applies its coercive authority to prevent the book’s dissemination, and there is absolutely no suggestion of this happening. The boycott, at present, is nothing more than a civil society movement: a large number of people have apparently decided that the book is (or will probably be) repugnant enough to their values that they will not support its distribution. That’s what you get in a free society. There are a lot of idiots making analogies to the Nazis and book-burning; these people need a serious dose of perspective.

I think the Facebook group’s judgement that the book will be repugnant to them is a fair one. I do not support the boycott, but I wouldn’t buy the book. I’ve read a lot of material I disagree with — Rand, Stalin, Irving from the “war fiction” section, and Kiwiblog comments for example — but it has to be worth my time. I wouldn’t read this book because I don’t think it would be worth my time, not because I find it repugnant. But I can see how this sort of book would be anathema to many people, given the nature of the case, given Macsyna King’s perceived truculence during the investigation, and given Wishart’s well-established reputation as an exploitative, delusional hack.

That having been said, I think the decision by ‘popular’ bookstores to not stock the book is misguided. It’s fair enough for the independent stores — Unity and such — who have a reputation for quality to maintain, but I think it’s an overreaction for the lowest-common-denominator chains to presume that a Facebook group could substantively harm their brands. “Book” people — people who buy lots of books — in general don’t approve of banning or boycotting books, however stupid they might be. I’ll bet there aren’t many such people in that Facebook group.

But it looks like the boycott is going ahead. And that raises an interesting question. People will still be able to buy the book if they want — Wishart can sell it online or whatever. But if his stated motivation that he’s not in it for the money but just wants to “break the silence” is true, then why doesn’t he make it available for free online?

L

31 Responses to “A boycott is not a ban”

  1. Graeme Edgeler on June 30th, 2011 at 12:22

    A bunch of private individuals, however coordinated, choosing to publicly signal their intention to not patronise outlets which choose to sell a particular book is not a ban in any meaningful sense.

    Consumer boycotts like this leave me cold. The effect is less free speech. While calling for a consumer boycott is itself an exercise of free speech, such tactics are bad for the marketplace of ideas.

    It’s perhaps less likely to happen in New Zealand, but I can imagine circumstances where a conservative boycott of bookstores (real or on-line) that carry books like ‘Heather has two Mommies’.

    In a comment on the Paul Henry saga, and the calls for Boycotts of Heritage Hotels, I argued:

    But if we are going to accept the notion of corporate sponsorship, why should we in the least worry about sponsors being told that their money is not yielding the result they wanted?

    Because of the other ways this can be used. Because punishing Heritage Hotels for something Paul Henry said over which they had no control (and shouldn’t have control) isn’t fundamentally different from arranging a boycott on Canwest/TV3/C4 for airing an episode of South Park about the abuse by Catholic clergy, or someone else for airing pro-homosexual something propaganda something like Queer Nation or The L Word.

    We have ad-supported television. While there might be a place for a real public broadcaster, most of the television we have will continue to be ad-supported. I like that there is a variety of things to watch (most of which I don’t). If we really start holding advertisers to account for the content of programmes or channels on which their ads appear, then they will be more circumspect about placing ads, and some voices may be lost.

    I think liberal non-racists outraged about Paul Henry should be able to call for a boycott of him, and all of TVNZ, and the advertisers who support TVNZ. I think Christians should be able to call for a boycott of The L Word, and the channel it appeared on, and every advertiser who supports that channel. But I think if they do, despite being an exercise of free speech, it will be bad for free speech.

    I remain of that opinion. Threats of consumer boycotts force companies to be more conservative, leaving out voices. Those voices may still be able to get through, but in some circumstances they may not.

  2. Lew on June 30th, 2011 at 12:27

    Very well-argued, Graeme.

    L

  3. Phil on June 30th, 2011 at 12:32

    Surely by your own logic, the ‘popular’ bookstores are not boycotting the book but simply choosing not to sell it. Which, as you note, is perfectly reasonable. The Facebook group, whom you infer to be the ‘lowest common denominator’, will clearly take umbrage at the stocking of this book and it would inevitably harm their brand.

    Or perhaps they, like the independent bookstores, surmise that few people would actually pay for a book by a truculent King and delusional Wishart.
    The book will appeal to neither ‘book’ people nor (at least a reasonable portion of) the ‘lowest common denominator’.

    It seems perfectly logical not to bother with it.

    ‘Book’ people are presumably more likely to frequent independent bookstores that are concerned with quality. Yet you suggest that the chain stores should take into account the sensitivity of ‘book’ people around the banning/boycotting of books. And ignore those that frequent their stores. While hurrahing about the right of independent stores to maintain their own quality standards. That doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

  4. Lew on June 30th, 2011 at 12:38

    Phil — I “imply”, you “infer”.

    But yes, they possibly do surmise that. However such a position isn’t supported by the evidence — Wishart’s previous books have sold very well, and the public interest in this case is extremely strong.

    Your last par doesn’t necessarily hold, either. “Book” people are just that — voracious and promiscuous readers who get their material from many sources, not just the fancy independent stores. My main point is that it’s very easy to hit ‘like’ on a Facebook page — somewhat harder to remember which bookshop you’ve boycotted and act on that, when you need to buy something from a bookshop.

    L

  5. Francisco Hernandez on June 30th, 2011 at 12:38

    Just some perspective and a thought exercise

    What if New Zealand was a racist society where mixed race marriages was frowned on and “Breaking silence” was a book about dating an Asian man and there was a consumer boycott applied on it.

    Still cool with you?

  6. Lew on June 30th, 2011 at 12:41

    Francisco, it’s not “cool with me”; as I say I don’t support the boycott. I just recognise that people in a free society have the right to enact one, even if it is wrong.

    L

  7. lyndon on June 30th, 2011 at 13:21

    It may well have been Graeme’s influence during the Paul Henry business that left me uncomfortable (without precisely changing my mind).

    The essence of free speech is no state bans. And it conversely implies that people should not be obliged to carry (any more than to buy) books that, for whatever reason, they don’t want to.

    But there is, I think, a place among the humanist angels for those that foster a free-speech environment, perhaps even actively defending – at least not shouting down – what they don’t agree with.

    Tempting to think of bookshops as having a public-good role as “buying libraries” from that point of view. (Though of course they make decisions about stocking all the time and it’s not normally called censorship.)

    I guess it’s the same old story: the right means nothing if you can’t put it into real effect.

  8. Mark Harris on June 30th, 2011 at 13:58

    given Wishart’s well-established reputation as an exploitative, delusional hack.

    You give Wishart too much credit.

  9. Mark Harris on June 30th, 2011 at 14:09

    WRT the free speech argument, I think it’s not hugely relevant. Free speech, as a concept, is about speaking freely without government intervention or prevention. But, even if one is free to say whatever they like, there is no obligation on another (whether an individual or business) to listen to them or facilitate their speech.

    Sean Plunket made a good point on Twitter (and I don’t say that lightly) : Let Wishart put his “non-money” where is mouth is and put it online free of charge.

    It’s not as if a boycott would prevent Wishart having the opportunity to speak freely. But it might prevent him from making money out of that opportunity.

  10. Graeme Edgeler on June 30th, 2011 at 15:29

    WRT the free speech argument, I think it’s not hugely relevant. Free speech, as a concept, is about speaking freely without government intervention or prevention. But, even if one is free to say whatever they like, there is no obligation on another (whether an individual or business) to listen to them or facilitate their speech.

    That’s one conception of free speech.

    But government action isn’t the only action that can impact on the expression of ideas.

    If every woman who fronts a campaign to get the government to do something, gets her entire sexual history published in newspapers, or has fake pornography involving her put on the Internet, then many more women might think twice before taking a public position on some important issue.

    If you write a letter to the editor criticising the government and 20 national party members stage a two-day protest outside your house you might not do it again, or others might not do it at all.

    what if Chorus, in providing the superfast broadband decides they don’t want their privately-owned network to carry people to the Labour Party website? I suppose you could build your own, but really?

    Private actions can chill speech just/almost as much as state action.

  11. Mark Harris on June 30th, 2011 at 15:38

    Straw men, Graeme. No one is preventing King/Wishart from having their say. People prefer not to fund it, that’s all.

  12. Graeme Edgeler on June 30th, 2011 at 15:54

    In my hypotheticals:

    No-one is preventing people writing letters to the editor in my example.

    No-one is preventing women from fronting public campaigns.

    You may have misunderstood (or I may have misunderstood) the boycott calls. I had thought people were calling for a boycott of stores that carry these books. If people are just calling for others not to buy/read the books, then my argument won’t apply to this situation.

  13. Peterg on June 30th, 2011 at 16:03

    I generally don’t buy any Wishart book, mostly for the reasons so succinctly stated in your foregoing comments.

    Isn’t it a matter of individual choice whether anybody or nobody buys anything, books or otherwise?

    How can individual choice exercised in this manner possibly be construed as ‘book burning’? Is it time for those who are suggesting it is to get off the grass, and develop a modicum of that very old fashioned and greatly valued quality that use to be in universal use in this country widely known as ‘Common Sense”.

  14. wtl on June 30th, 2011 at 16:21

    I haven’t yet formed an opinion as to whether or not I support the said ‘boycott’. However, I would like to point out that by stocking the book and placing it on their shelves, bookstores are not only ‘selling’ the book, but they are effectively ‘advertising’ it. I think this is an important aspect of the issue which has not been properly dealt with.

  15. Tiger Mountain on June 30th, 2011 at 17:02

    Boycotts are an effective tactic in some situations, but I prefer a slow burn educative, informed approach before one is ever contemplated. As a unionist I have seen the effects of boycotts linger, they are not so simple to turn on and off.

    My concern in this is the increasing acceptance of rolling ‘Vox Pop’ instantly pumped up FaceBook groups. It is shoot from the hip stuff with no expectation or likelihood of majorly informed views. The King/Wishart page is a glimmer of talkback with the delay removed.

    Last year there was the “whadarryaa? not a true kiwi if you don’t support Hobitts at any cost” on FB, and now this. While I might be in Lew’s idiot classification on this one, my one brief online comment certainly did not mention nazis. In this instance the mechanism and expression of peoples concerns on the exploitative book is a worry in itself for future publishers.

  16. Phil Sage on June 30th, 2011 at 21:27

    Lew – Great post, Graeme, an excellent argument.
    Tony Judt in “Ill fares the land” makes exactly the same point about how making outcasts of people who express an outlying view turns everyone into conformists. This has a dampening effect on progress and leads to less freedom rather than more.

    His argument is directed at self serving politicians who follow the party line, but the principle is exactly the same.

    I may disagree with a lot of Wisharts and Hone Harawiras views and output but they are both valuable outliers.

    I completely agree with Lew as to the difference between state and private action but also agree with Graeme that we should challenge those who would punish those to enable outlying views to be heard.

  17. Anita on June 30th, 2011 at 21:39

    Would it matter if the company refusing the stock the item was a monopoly? Or if both halves of a duopoly refused?

    If TVNZ and TV3 both stated they would turn down paid advertising of the book would that be less reasonable?

    Or if both APN and Fairfax refused to cover it in their books pages?

    Or if Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees all chose to refuse to provide phone services to Wishart and/or King?

    I guess I’m asking at what point does a company’s power become so great that its actions become overwhelming?

  18. […] the way Ian, what the bookshops are doing is not censorship or a restriction on free speech. It’s not a ban. It’s a market-based response to what might be an extremely inflammable and mediocre […]

  19. Luc Hansen on July 3rd, 2011 at 23:56

    Anita, hypotheticals are just lazy argumentation. And the slippery slope is a fallacy, easily countered by simply digging in ones toes at the appropriate point.

    I’m all for freedom of publication, and that has not been denied to Ian Wishart.

    I’m also all for freedom of choice for what retailers stock for resale, and that commercial freedom has been exercised by many, as is their right.

    I wouldn’t read or buy this book because, as the father of a two year old, I just find the whole thing distasteful.

    But more than distasteful is Wishart’s “Air Con” book condemning the scientific basis of anthropogenic global warming.

    That particular moneymaking enterprise of Wishart’s is downright dangerous to children of my daughter’s age, who, statistically, will most likely still be living at the end of this century, and I’m even more gobsmacked to find that Wishart has a child about the same age as my daughter.

    But then (sigh) at last sighting Wishart is a professed creationist.

    Says it all, really.

  20. donna on July 4th, 2011 at 01:19

    I am not buying it I do not care if anyone wants to I am not disputing their right . My issue and many others express the same on the boycott page is the method of how this one sided version of events is being done and the timing. Ok it might have been leaked but does not remove the fact he has them sitting ready to throw out into the public arena riding on the coat tails of emotion after the inquest. I can not see how that is helpful for child abuse and whatever other rot he speals about his reasons.

    If he had to wrote this book why not years ago … in my view he is using the inquest to sell it ..well I guess you got your wish Ian W. Your remarks to the media relating to the facebook page have been misguided and at times out of date. You ignore the majority and leech onto the minority who are expressing their rage. Comments out of line by supporters are monitored as a group as quick as possible and people reminded often it is not what we are there for but is that shared nope.

    I can never morally read this book now …

  21. Mark Harris on July 4th, 2011 at 08:35

    One point made to me over the weekend by someone who knows Wishart and by another who is in the publishing industry was that they would not be surprised to find that Wishart himself started the Facebook page in order to prompt a boycott/ban. The benefits would be to a) give him a victim position and so be defended by people who ordinarily wouldn’t have a bar of him , and b) drive all the purchasing via his webpage. Not sure I believe he’s that clever, but just putting it out there.

  22. Anita on July 4th, 2011 at 22:20

    Luc,

    I am not making a slippery slope argument, just wondering what the bounds are and where, in your words, we should dig our toes in.

    I think I would feel differently about a refusal to provide phone services, as that seems to me to be about penalising, rather than refusing to take part in something. Also I think I would feel differently about a monopoly which had sufficient power that their choice constituted a blanket ban – I think because I would feel they were taking away the choice of others to take part (by buying and reading in this case).

  23. muerk on July 5th, 2011 at 21:24

    I’m a member of the Facebook boycott page, as far as I am concerned I’m boycotting the book alone, and not any book store that wishes to sell it. I wouldn’t advocate boycotting stores that choose to stock the book, that’s a line too far for me, but I certainly wanted to publicly state that I personally want nothing to do with this exploitative work.

  24. Delia Morris on July 11th, 2011 at 12:46

    I read heaps of books, seriously, and the first time in my life I have boycotted one. Normally I walk away and say what nonsense. However, the fact that the crime is unsolved has led me to the FaceBook page. I agree with your opinion of Wishart and I would hate for a book like this, to sully any chance of justice for those small children. That is what it is about for me, anyone can sell it, I just think the book stinks. Thanks for your blog about it.

  25. DJT on July 11th, 2011 at 13:09

    Opinions are like arseholes…everyone has one and most people are not interested in any one elses

    There are some pretty opinionated points of view here and whilst I agree that everyone is entitled to a voice it makes me laugh that everyone thinks they are right and feels they have to argue to the death to prove it

  26. kat on July 11th, 2011 at 14:58

    An interesting article. I feel I must comment on two aspects though. I am a member of this group, perhaps because rather than boycotting a book something more will come from it. NZ’s child abuse statistics are appalling. It’s time we as a nation stopped ignoring the real issues and made a positive difference for those that may have no voice of their own e.g babies and toddlers.

    I am a huge book reader although I admit to relying more heavily on the library to support my addiction unless it is a book they will not purchase. However, this idea of being able to publish whatever one chooses I find a bit concerning. Is it OK for someone to write a book (non-fiction of course) about how to make a snuff movie? Is it OK for sexual predators to write about the enjoyment they get from such actions? I am sure there would be an audience for such books but just because people tout the “free speech” angle doesn’t make it right or moral.

  27. iwishartwascheaper on August 25th, 2011 at 21:03

    Surely the boycott is the ultimate example of freedom of speech. In a true democracy isn’t it the responsibility of society to determine what is acceptable to that society? Surely the best people to shape a society are the members of that society?
    47,000 people stating that they find this book distasteful and stating that they won’t frequent stores who sell it is sending a clear message. This debate should be about whether or not 47,000 supporters represents a significant enough proportion of our society to speak for everybody.

  28. Jenny on August 31st, 2011 at 12:35

    I read books every week, I am never without at least one on the go & have been an avid reader since my childhood. I’ve never boycotted a book before but I’m boycotting this one & my decision has never wavered, in fact the more I hear about what’s in the book, the happier I am to be a boycotter. Thank you for the blog.

  29. peter on August 31st, 2011 at 17:25

    There is evidence to suggest that at least two outlets (Paper Plus and Marbecks) decided not to stock the book because of threats made to bookstores that would stock it, and that management had concerns for the safety of their staff. One only had to make a casual glance at the facebook page to realise that the concerns were probably warranted.

    I think also it’s too easy to dismiss Wishart as an exploitative delusional hack. Such people rarely publish back to back to back best-sellers. Much of the opposition to Breaking Silence has been based on people’s dislike of Wishart, which has been a convenient red-herring, especially when the book began to prove to NOT be what the Facebook page engineers and many in the media had been saying it was (even before they or anyone had read it)

  30. Dee on August 31st, 2011 at 18:39

    To me the ‘lowest common denominator’ here is the author of the book.

  31. iwishartwascheaper on September 1st, 2011 at 15:57

    Peter: There is also significant evidence which suggests that book stores refused to stock it because they thought it was in bad taste and/or not something their customers would want to see on the shelves.

    http://www.northernadvocate.co.nz/news/no-room-on-northland-bookstore-shelves-for-controv/1061176/

    Early Paperplus press releases also gave similar reasons. The story that it was caused by fear is in my opinion spin generated by the Wishart publicity team.

Leave a Reply

Name: (required)
Email: (required) (will not be published)
Website:
Comment: