Friday, April 20, 2007

Own goal

National has scored another own goal by accusing Helen Clark of hypocrisy for having met with the Brethren herself while criticising National for doing so. But rather than meeting secretly to plot to circumvent electoral spending restrictions through an anonymous smear campaign, or to coordinate that campaign and massage the co-branding of its material (something it is clear from The Hollow men that practically every National MP did, with a very few honourable exceptions), it turns out she was forced to increase her security in order to stop them from harassing her, and told them to put their stuff in the mail to get them to go away. Quite a difference there, isn't there?


I honestly think that politicians should be prepared to meet any taxpayer of New Zealand. To make some NZ's pariahs unable to be seen by our officials is just worrying.

Imagine if I could not be seen because I am Catholic, or I/S could not be seen because he is atheist?

Posted by Muerk : 4/20/2007 07:52:00 PM

imagine if someone became leader - and got out extra protection to stop athiests from 'harassing' them.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/20/2007 09:29:00 PM

get a grip. She put on extra security because they were harassing her. She has every right to refuse to meet them. She met them, she disagreed with them, she wasn't going to change her mind, and they wouldn't go away. They had their turn.

Muerk, do you think that non-taxpayers don't have the right to meet their MPs? Grey Power and the Disabilities Commission may have words to say about that. I'm sure you meant Citizens.

Posted by Bloodrage : 4/20/2007 10:53:00 PM

Yup, citizens.

Posted by Muerk : 4/21/2007 10:05:00 AM


Get a grip, indeed. I don't know if you ever had any contact with the Diplomatic Protection Squad - or had to thread your way though the security at Parliament - but I'd recommend a little scepticism about Clark trying to paint herself as too much of a victim here.

Of course, Helen Clark - like every other politician - has the right to meet (or not) whoever the hell she wants. Perhaps Labour could now get a grip of their own, and realise they've gotten all the political mileage out of the 'scarf-wearing weirdos' they can.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 4/21/2007 03:04:00 PM

I never heard any howls of outrage from the right when Lockwood Smith and Wyatt Creech refused to meet with students and teachers while they were Ministers of Education...

Posted by Anonymous : 4/21/2007 09:56:00 PM

Ah, yes. Lockwood Smith.

I was at Canterbury avoiding the angry mob when he had to climb out a window to escape. find that the Engineering students had 'carried' his car away and put it in a nearby grove of trees so that it could not be moved... or the doors opened.

Posted by Bloodrage : 4/21/2007 10:45:00 PM

"they've gotten all the political mileage out of the 'scarf-wearing weirdos' they can."

Yet another famous last attempt at webpunditry. Never underestimate the 'weirdos' propensity for scoring own-goals.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/22/2007 09:15:00 AM

Re: meeting taxpayers vs. meeting citizens.

Both citizens and permanent residents in NZ are eligible to vote ... the latter being somewhat unusual in world terms I expect.

Bloodrage said: "She met them, she disagreed with them, she wasn't going to change her mind, and they wouldn't go away."

Exactly ... there is very limited purpose in meeting with ideological opponents. e.g., there would be almost no point in me meeting with Rodney Hide, at least as far as trying to influence his policies and world view go.

Posted by dc_red : 4/23/2007 08:38:00 AM

Actually, as far as meeting opponents go, I have met the very nice Mr John Banks with respect to the Homosexual Law Reform Bill during that campaign, and came away with a much improved opinion of him. As homophobic w--kers go, he's polite and friendly. Not reasonable or decent, but polite about it.
So in that sense there may be some value in meeting with people whose politics you detest.

However in the case of the christian cultists, I think Clarke was right to minimise meetings. When any dialog is based on the premise that the other side hates you and is demanding exemptions from very fundamental laws, I don't see the point. At the point when the Bretheren agree that child abuse is bad, lawbreaking should be dealt with by the legal system, and court decisions should bind even cultists, there's at least the possibility of dialog. But until then I don't see the point.

Posted by Moz : 4/23/2007 02:13:00 PM