Judith Collins welcomed as Free Speech Union's newest member

The Free Speech Union is pleased to welcome aboard its newest member, National Party Leader, the Hon Judith Collins, and believe it is the first time a serving leader of the National Party has joined a registered trade union.

Since our launch a few weeks ago, hundreds of New Zealanders have signed up to our trade union to promote free speech. We welcome the Leader of the Opposition, as we will every MP who subscribes to our values.

As far as we know, this is the first time a serving National Party leader has ever been a member of a registered trade union. Traditionally, it has been left-wing unions who fought for the idea that employees are not servants 24/7 - that what you do and say in your private life is of no business to employers. That’s the value we need to reestablish, and something we encourage other unions to reassert.

Whether it be ‘values’, overreaching ‘codes of conduct' or ‘health and safety' excuses - employers cannot force employees to subscribe to political views. That’s why we created this trade union to protect freedom of speech.

Even for politicians, freedom of speech is under threat. Private American owned corporates are blocking what our political parties can say online, MPs are still subject to the ‘Waka Jumping laws’ - which can see list MPs sacked for not towing the Party line - and in local government, some councils are asserting that elected officials are only allowed to talk to the media with permission from council officers."

It’s time to return to freedom of speech being the default. We can’t have a healthy democracy without people being willing to disagree respectfully, and promoting tolerance - even accepting the risk of being offended.

Ms Colin’s politics do not align with many members of our Union Council. But that is the point of free speech, isn’t it?

Politicians of all political stripes are encouraged to stand for free speech, and join the Free Speech Union at www.fsu.nz/join