Several interesting things

1.  Jordan Carter and Scott Yorke both post about Trevor Mallard’s historic “Tinkerbell” comments, targeting Stephen Wittington, ACT candidate, and David Farrar, National pollster, for raising said comments following the announcement of Labour’s policy on same-sex adoption.

2. Apparently neither Jordan nor Scott read No Right Turn, which is a shame.  Or it might have just got in the way of the “this is a nasty rightwing plot against us” meme.

3.  Jordan thinks the big issue is that we must be very clear that Trevor Mallard isn’t a homophobe.  He just says homophobic things, which is … better, and also completely different.

4.  Scott thinks the big issue is that National are full of homophobes anyway so stop paying attention to Labour’s.  I am possibly coincidentally reminded of when a few of the secondary school teachers in my family pondered voting National in the early 00s, on the basis that “at least we expect to get fucked over under National”.

Moral of the story?  Firstly, as I said on Jordan’s blog, in a country with NZ’s suicide rate amongst queer youth, I have no time for “but just saying a homophobic thing doesn’t make a person A Homophobe” hair-splitting.

Secondly, when an outspoken, openly gay MP like Grant Robertson is reduced to saying of a senior MP, and of a homophobic attack against one of his colleagues, “It’s a silly statement“, when you’ve already had another MP’s homophobia defended because Oh Well Those West Coast Rednecks Will Like It, when it takes two fucking years for someone to admit calling a gay man “Tinkerbell” was “probably unfortunate” but oh, oh, he’s totally not homophobic?  I feel quite happy assuming Labour has a serious problem with homophobia.

Alternatively, I suppose one could argue that it’s just a context-free political ploy to unsettle Finlayson, they would’ve called him Four-Eyes if he weren’t gay … but if you’re seriously happy with your political party playing off other people’s homophobia and a culture of queer-bashing for their own gain and still want to defend them, hey, you go right ahead, I’ll be over here with the people who have basic ethics.

And yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, Scott, National are probably 1,367 times as homophobic as Labour so why am I trying to destroy the Left again???????  But you know what, when it comes to the left, I expect more.

8 comments

  1. Simon C

    Totally.

    I think that the issue of whether a person or statement is or is not homophobic is kind of missing the point. It matters not a jot what people believe in their hearts, or what they intend. What matters is the effect of the things people do and say.

    The effect of what Trevor Mallard said was to alienate queer people, to signal that their sexuality is not welcome in the party. So fuck that guy.

  2. Chris Miller

    Honestly, I didn’t think much of the original posts about it, because it was in 2009 and I wasn’t aware of a continued pattern of it. It was only when they started getting defensive that I started getting pissed off. It would have been so EASY to spin it right back at Whittington and Farrar and make them look pathetic for trying to make an issue of it, but instead they’re trying to cling to pride and are shouting down all the queer people telling them they’re being dicks over it. HEY GUYS. Shouting down queer folk pointing out bigotry is enabling bigotry! Just apologise properly, accept you were wrong and move on.

  3. Daniel

    It’s almost as if Labour are scared that actually responding sensibly to homophobia among their MPs will scare off the red-neck vote.

    Also if these guys think the Labour party is on the left they’re setting the bar a bit low (or to the right).

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