On the subject of Growing Irises in New Zealand, it has transpired that 0.006962970458901531% of the total New Zealand population* are claiming to represent us all.
The New Zealand Iris Society organisation has embarked on a spectacularly unsuccessful campaign from day one to shut this blog down and many web masters who have Links with this blog have been pestered with correspondence from some members of the NZIS executive to have Links with this blog withdrawn and have used a contentious opinion 'that a Link with my blog is a validation of my personal viewpoints', to justify the request.
This behaviour is not what could be reasonably expected from a Iris society or any other society that makes the claim to represent New Zealand a democratic country that believes in the strong defence of a broad right to freedom of speech.
My critical but justifiable points of views that challenge so called published wisdom and the highlighting of factual errors of Iris Nomenclature within the NZIS, that have been featured, and will continue to be posted by this blog could offend individuals or a group of individuals but this should never be the basis on which something is judged, and certainly not the basis on which facts or the free exchange of ideas are censured.
That would make the rest of us – the majority – beholden to the sensitivities of a small group of over-sensitive souls.
All of which it seems to me suggests the desirability of a legislative restraint on people purporting to act officially on behalf of New Zealand in any capacity.
No individual or group should be denied the right to pursue private interests but to assert that they represent us all is a privilege that properly ought to be sanctioned on our behalf by the government and not be an automatic right that anyone can assume.
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859
*The generous figure of 300 members of the NZIS is calculated as 0.006962970458901531% of the total New Zealand population of 4,308,506.