Monday, January 31, 2011

Courting the wife-beater vote

Remember Tony Veitch? In 2008, we learned that he'd thrown his partner down the stairs, kicked the shit out of her, broken her back in four places, and stuck her in a wheelchair for months. But because he was rich and white rather than poor and brown, he was sentenced to community service, and now he's back doing his old job, acting as if it never happened.

Someone else who's acting as if it never happened is John Key, who over the weekend sat down with Veitch for a blokey interview about who he'd like to fuck. Quite apart from the content of the interview, the mere fact that he gave it sends a message: that John Key is relaxed about what Veitch did. That he thinks its OK.

At the moment the government is spending millions a year on a public campaign to reinforce the social unacceptability of domestic violence, to make sure everyone knows its not OK. John Key has just undermined that work. But hey, there are bloke votes to get, and women to demean. And if it means snuggling up to a domestic abuser, well, that's the price he's willing to pay.

It's despicable behaviour from a person with no moral centre. But then, Key used to be a money-trader, so its hardly surprising.