Tagged: delicious hypocrisy

A brief history of Chris Trotter, Waitakere Man, and John Tamihere

2005: John Tamihere interviewed in Investigate Magazine.

INVESTIGATE: What is the most powerful network in the Labour executive?

Tamihere:

The Labour Party Wimmins [sic] Division. Whether it’s bagging cops that strangle protestors they should be beating the proverbial out of, or – it’s about an anti-men agenda, that’s what I reckon. It’s about men’s values, men’s communication standards, men’s conduct.

I spoke to the boards and principals association in Wellington, and I showed them a picture of two girls with their fists clenched, standing on top of two young male students. The object of the exercise was to prove that once again the female students had romped home academically against all the boys. If the positions in the photo were reversed, all hell would break loose.

Where else in the world do Amazons rule?

In our constitutional base you could kill the Prime Minister – sure, there’s a deputy prime minister – but in the interregnum the second in charge is the Speaker. The Governor-General. If those three die you go to the Chief Justice, another woman.

I don’t mind front-bums being promoted, but just because they are [women] shouldn’t be the issue. They’ve won that war. It’s just like the Maori – the Maori have won, why don’t they just get on with the bloody job. I think it becomes more grasping.

Other comments include “I’m sick and tired of hearing how many Jews got gassed”.  Tamihere loses his seat in the 2005 election to Dr Pita Sharples and goes on to host a talkback show on Radio Live.

2009: Chris Trotter coins the term “Waitakere Man” in a post urging Labour to return to its working-class roots.

To win in 2008, National had to break Labour’s grip on the mixed metropolitan suburbs.
The voter escorting National to its First Term Ball turned out to be the sort of bloke who spends Saturday afternoon knocking-back a few beers on the deck he’d built himself, and Saturday evening watching footy with his mates on the massive flat-screen plasma-TV he’s still paying-off.
His missus works part-time to help out with the mortgage, and to keep their school-age offspring in cell-phones and computer games.
National’s partner – let’s call him Waitakere Man – has a trade certificate that earns him much more than most university degrees. He’s nothing but contempt for “smart-arse intellectual bastards spouting politically-correct bullshit”.
On racial issues he’s conflicted. Some of his best friends really are Maori – and he usually agrees with the things John Tamihere says on Radio Live.
National was getting two (or more) votes for the price of one. Sometimes Waitakere Man brought with him the votes of his mother, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces as well. How had Clark forfeited the trust of Waitakere Woman?
What broke their connection with Clark was the anti-smacking legislation. They felt affronted – as if their parenting skills had been weighed in the balance of the Prime Minister’s conscience and found wanting. Clark, who had no children, was telling them how to raise their kids. She seemed to be passing judgement on their whole family – turning them into criminals. They felt betrayed.
Waitakere Woman’s sense of betrayal, combined with the ingrained misogyny and cultural diffidence of Waitakere Man, was what got National onto the dance floor in 2008. Key should read both Rodney Hide’s intransigence on Maori representation, and the recent Referendum’s unequivocal result, as timely reminders of the price of his party’s admission.
When the band begins to play, Waitakere Man and Waitakere Woman must not be left standing.

2010: Chris Trotter revisits “Waitakere Man” in a post criticising the Labour Party for selecting Carmel Sepuloni for the seat of Waitakere.

In making this decision it has not only chosen wrongly, but it has also dealt what may prove to be a fatal blow to the career of one of its more talented MPs, Phil Twyford.
“Waitakere Man/Woman” is the key to Labour’s recovery.
…[quotes previous post on Waitakere Man]…
Carmel Sepuloni’s going to win back those voters?
Yeah, right.

Following a judicial recount, Sepuloni misses out on the seat by nine votes and was not returned to Parliament due to her placing at 24th on the party list.  Phil Twyford returned to Parliament after winning the seat of Te Atatū.

2012:  Chris Trotter identifies John Tamihere as the “avatar” of Waitakere Man.

Mulling over the Labour Party’s decision to re-admit John Tamihere to its ranks, I’m beginning to understand how Dr Frankenstein felt. “Waitakere Man” – the monster I created more than three years ago on the pages of The Independent Business Weekly – has not only gone its own way, it’s acquired a powerful, new, flesh-and-blood political avatar.

Waitakere Man proved troublesome from the moment he emerged from my computer keyboard. Many people believed he was myavatar. They charged me with counselling the Labour Party to embrace this bigoted blowhard and tailor its policies to suit his prejudices. Not true. My intent was only ever to make Labour aware of Waitakere Man’s existence.

It seems that Phil Goff has coincidentally started following Trotter’s advice, but Trotter, ever the voice of wisdom, warns:

When, inevitably, [Waitakere Man] brings his knee up between progressive Labour’s legs, let no one who voted for Mr Tamihere’s re-admission feign either horror or surprise.

August 2013: Chris Trotter theorises Tamihere will run for Waitakere under New Zealand First, and win.

But, if Tamihere (JT) runs, it won’t be in Labour red. Though the party eventually agreed to accept his 2012 membership application, the word in Labour circles is that a Tamihere candidacy in Waitakere would be approved only over the dead bodies of the party’s women’s and LGBTI sector groups.

That the very attitudes and values that produce such an allergic reaction among Labour’s social liberals and identity politicians might also be the attitudes and values of the average Waitakere voter, is as neat a summation of Labour’s dilemma as one is likely to find in the topsy-turvy context of contemporary electoral politics.

By recruiting JT to the NZ First cause and putting him up in Waitakere against both Paula Bennett and whoever Labour chooses (probably Carmel Sepuloni) Peters could grow the overall NZ First Party Vote by as much as 2-3 percent. On election night that could mean a NZ First tally of 8-10 percent – rather than the 6-8 percent it is currently anticipating.

Trotter also refers to Paula Bennett as “oozing BBW appeal”.

5 November 2013:  Following media exposure of the “Roast Busters” rape club, John Tamihere and Willie Jackson bully a rape survivor on their talkback show.  [Post by Giovanni Tiso featuring transcript of the questions asked]

Tell me this, how old are you?

How did your parents consent to you going out as a 14-year-old til 3am in the morning?

So anyway you fibbed, lied, whatever, and went out to the parties –­ did you not know they were up to this mischief?

Well, you know when you were going to parties, were you forced to drink?

Don’t youse [sic] know what these guys are up to?

Yeah but girls shouldn’t be drinking anyway, should they?

6 November 2013: Danyl Mclauchlan posts on the Roast Busters/John Tamihere issue.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in and around this instantly-infamous Radio Live clip …

… Finally, there’s a huge amount of affection for Tamihere amongst the Trotterist factions of the Labour Party. People like Mike Williams and Josie Pagani feel JT’s well-documented pathological contempt for woman would be an electoral asset among blue-collar male voters, and David Shearer gushed that he’d be an amazing Minister for Social Development. The core tenet of Trotterism is that identity politics isn’t important, and if that faction in the party had its way they’d have a welfare spokesman who thinks that young girls who drink alcohol deserve to be gang-raped. So let me say again that Tamihere would be a poor choice for that role, and that, like Shane Jones he is basically un-electable, and that people in the Labour Party should stop promoting these weird, creepy misogynists. 

Chris Trotter responds:

I’d exercise a little caution if I were you, Danyl.

8 November, 2013:  Josie Pagani (whose views on these issues would have to be the subject of a separate post) posts at Pundit on the issue.

I am disgusted with the attitudes of Willie and JT … But I don’t support banning them from radio. The painful, ugly truth about the attitudes of Willie and JT is that they are shared by tens of thousands of men who think women should take responsibility for not being raped.

Willie and JT’s job is to discuss stuff. You don’t fix their faulty attitude by telling the part of our community who think they have a point, that it should not have a voice. You deal with it by argument.

Because where do you end up if you get banned for expression? You end up like the pathological blogger Dimpost, who effectively attributes blame to me for the words and attitudes of Willie & JT.

It goes something like this – I have previously spoken out in support of Willie and JT, as politicians with something to contribute to the community. Therefore, I am responsible for everything JT says (and therefore the inference is that I agree with everything he says).

How perverse do you have to be to implicate a woman in the anti-woman views expressed on radio? What is really happening here is that he is trying to silence me (and others) because he disagrees with me about other political issues. This is where you end up when you try to have Willie and JT removed from the radio – banning people you disagree with, not just those who hold offensive views.

And Chris Trotter responds in comments:

Danyl McLaughlin’s [sic] association of Josie and myself with the behaviour of the Roastbusters and their defenders – based on nothing more substantial than that we share a political analysis with which he disaggrees – marks a new low for his blog. Perhaps you should ask yourself whether Danyl’s compulsion to denounce, denigrate and distress those by whom he feels threatened makes him more, or less, like the Roastbusters he purports to abhor?

The TLDR of all of this:  Chris Trotter has repeatedly made it clear that he thinks there is a “Waitakere Man” archetype of NZ voter who is a narrow-minded white dude who likes, and is even embodied by (except for the whiteness, obviously) John Tamihere.  Chris Trotter has repeatedly urged the Labour Party to appeal to this archetype – though always in every-so-slightly cagey terms like “dance partner”.  Which makes it very convenient, when Tamihere is an abusive fuck to rape victims, for Trotter to distance himself from the whole situation and paint himself as the victim.

You don’t get to constantly grind down identity politics and put your view of working-class (or is it self-employed?)/lower-middle-class men on a pedestal, then complain when the obvious misogyny and bullying behaviour which comes with that archetype explodes into the public view.

Here endeth the lesson.

Homework: consider the idea, posited by The Egonomist and others, that the promotion of a particular type of bigoted redneck thinking is identity politics – and the reason we don’t recognise this is because some identities get to be “normal” and not “other”.

[Daily Blog reposts] Peter Dunne: let the children go hungry

This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 11 July 2013.

Yes, I’m being picky.  But if you can’t be picky when you’re looking at somebody’s deliberate, planned, entirely-under-their-control press release, I don’t know when you can be.  Emphasis mine:

Of course, there is a significant number of children who go to school to hungry, because they have not been properly fed at home, and of course poor nutrition has an adverse effect on learning and the subsequent development of the child.

But that is not the issue – rather, the question is what is the best way of addressing this problem,” Mr Dunne says.

Translated from the original Conservativesian:  yeah, kids are hungry and it’s fucking them up, but that’s not the issue.

The real problem is that I can’t support anything with Hone Harawira’s name on it because I’m too heavily invested in camouflage-racist Common Sense.

But of course, a scheme which involves government subsidisation of religious organisations like Sanitarium who pay no tax on their profits (which they then invest overseas) who then get to market themselves as caring about New Zealand children, that’s totally cool!

You may recall that Family First’s line was much the same.  Only two questions: how do these scumbags sleep at night, and why do they never get called on their shit by actual paid journalists?

[Daily Blog reposts] Our depressing narratives around TEEN! SEX!

This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 23 May 2013.

God, we’re a terrible society to be a teenager in.  Scary, dramatic adolescent shit is going down, you’re trying to discover who you are and what you want to be in life, and at a time when you could seriously just use a little bit of understanding and hands-off-yet-supportive guidance from the adults in your life …

You get this.

Things which are apparently news now:

  • Teenagers have sex
  • Teenagers don’t tell their parents they’re having sex
  • Teenagers, especially teenage boys, aren’t really hyper-focused on the legality of their actions

Things which are apparently the problem:

  • The teenage brain is so underdeveloped that they’re literally incapable of understanding where babies come from.  And walk into poles a lot.
  • Binge drinking culture, which affects only young people and is not a reflection of their parents’ generation’s behaviour and attitudes at all
  • Teenagers watch TV and go on The Twitters and that’s how they figure out that they have fun nerve endings in their genitals (seriously, go re-read paragraph 8)

Things which are totally not the problem:

  • Adults throughout history treating teenagers like they’re fucking idiots/criminals who must be monitored and tracked at all times
  • Adults throughout history panic-mongering about young people having sex
  • Our media constantly panic-mongering about SEX!!!!!!!!!! yet ignoring the wider social context even when that context is described in their coverage
  • Young adults being denied decent information on sex and relationships because ew, sex is icky

Things which you would think are the solution but clearly aren’t because ew, sex is icky:

  • Comprehensive sex and sexuality education which emphasises consent and gives teens the power to resist peer pressure
  • Not treating sex like it’s the bubonic plague – because maybe teens would feel like they had more of a support base if our answer to them having sex wasn’t LOCKDOWN!  CURFEW!  CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!!

Why the religious right should not have any credibility in discussions of morality

Quiz time!  Out of the following quotes, which do you think was uttered by Bob McCoskrie, upstanding pillar of the community, in a recent press release?

*

“Putting aside the general atmosphere which must be counter productive to raising healthy, well-balanced children, one must consider the “role models” such children will be influenced by. “

*

“Street prostitution also continues to plague communities highlighted by retailers and families … being affected by the activities of prostitution, including half-naked prostitutes, used condoms, propositioning of family members, intimidation, noise and nuisance, and a general reduced sense of safety.”

*

“It is time the government looked at the social reasons underpinning why these young people end up as prostitutes. Clearly broken and dysfunctional families are a root cause. Until we have a government willing to enact family-friendly legislation, the problem will continue to get worse.”

*

“Same sex ‘couples’ are already breaching the bounds of what is morally acceptable by choosing such lifestyles. Adults consenting to such relationships is one thing; to raise children in such an environment is morally irresponsible.”

*

“Nature dictates that a man and a woman are required for procreation. This limitation shows that a child’s best interests are served by it having a mother and a father. The two most loving women in the world simply cannot provide a daddy – and vice versa.”

*

Confused?  Was it all of them?  None of them?  Did I just make this up in some twisted “try to write like a judgemental shithead” thought experiment?

The answer:  Quote number two comes from this press release, and quote number five from this one.  100% pure Bob-boner.

Quotes number one, number three, and number four were from Graham Capill, the former leader of the Christian Heritage Party, who in 2005 was sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual crimes against children as young as 8.

I am categorically not accusing Bob McCoskrie of any crime.

I am categorically saying we shouldn’t give a fuck what religious extremists have to say about society.  Their entire movement, and its assumption that a “return” to Good Wholesome Judeo-Christian Values will save our society, is in no position to pass judgement on anyone.

[Daily Blog reposts] The new prohibitionists

This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 11 April 2013.

Above all else, there’s nothing I hate more than someone who lies about their intention.  It’s the one redeeming thing about, say, rabid antichoicers who accept that people who get abortions should be imprisoned for murder: their beliefs are reprehensible, but at least they’re consistent, and don’t try to pass laws saying, say, “we just want to regulate the evil babykilling industry so it’s safe!”

Which is basically the line Peter Dunne is trying to sell in this media release about “legal highs”:

Today is the beginning of the end of an unregulated legal highs industry, and young New Zealanders will be the safer for it

Because you see, the problem is that a lot of whacked-out shit is getting sold in party pill format, and it’s untested, and this can end badly, and as someone just catching up with season 1 of Banshee I have no real disagreement with that premise.

But dig just the teensiest bit deeper?

The Bill will replace the temporary class drug notice regime that has been in place since August 2011.

It has done its job very well, taking 33 substances and as a result, more than 50 products off the market, but it was only ever a holding regime until we could get this law in place.”

Now, I may be completely missing the point here, but I was personally under the impression that you regulate things so that the unsafe things are taken away and the proven-safe things are permitted to be sold, albeit perhaps limited to grown-ups.  But for some reason, Peter Dunne’s press release doesn’t talk about how many substances have been tested or evaluated, just how many have been taken off the market, as though that’s the real measure of success.

And that is, in fact, a pretty different kettle of fish.

I mean, I’m not at all surprised that Dunne’s real focus is the killing off of all fun, I just wish he wasn’t co-opting ideas about sensible regulation and liberality in allowing adults to make informed choices to sell it.

Have National’s asset sales officially cost more than they’ll earn?

In a previous post at The Standard I did a wee bit of math and came to the conclusion that National has already made $5.26 billion worth of spending promises out of the Future Investment Fund, the not-actually-a-fund chunk of cash they plan to make from selling taxpayer-built infrastructure to their mates.

Things have developed.

First, there’s this post from James, noting that the sales process itself has already cost $124 million.  And this estimate from the Greens of the cost of the Government’s interest-free loans to Meridian investors.

And then there’s this acknowledgement from John Key that the original five-to-seven billion dollar estimate for the profits from the sales are pretty much shot to hell.

So now we’re left with:

  • Maybe $5 billion in income – only 2.1 billion of which has come in so far
  • $5.26 billion in promised spending
  • $124 million in process costs
  • $55 million in bribes to investors

Costs we’re still not including:

  • National’s promise to reduce our debt by $6 billion
  • Ongoing loss of profits to the Crown, as outlined in James’ post
  • The ongoing maintenance of all the projects they’re promising to fund – because shit needs to be staffed, maintained, cleaned and managed after you’ve built it or it’s a complete waste of time.

So at the most generous estimate?

We’re already in the hole for four hundred and thirty-nine million dollars.  Taking the promised spending and costs to date away from the actual funds received?

Three point three billion dollars in the red.

That’s the sound fiscal management of the National Party.

Weird Tales of Epsom: the brothel-seeker at the threshold

It’s sex-work-panic season again, and this year’s lucky suburb to get the spotlight as its well-to-do residents clutch their pearls is Epsom, where, horror of horrors:

A cluster of premises offering commercial sex are operating within a kilometre of one another in an upmarket Auckland city-fringe suburb, irking residents and businesses in an area where house prices average over $820,000.

A cluster of premises!  Three places doing the same kind of thing within a kilometre!  Unheard of!

It’s the usual complaints:  not near the children!  We’re a god-fearing community!

Te Unga Waka Marae even blames the three brothels for their parking issues.

Paula Hakaraia, a marae office volunteer worker, said she had noticed an increase in traffic and parking problems between 11am and 3pm.

“These are definitely not cars belonging to mothers picking kids up from school.”

Yes.  Hordes of out-of-zone sex-work clients are clearly the answer.  It cannot have anything to do with the marae sitting on the intersection of Clyde Road and Manukau Road, i.e. a few minutes’ walk from Broadway, Newmarket, a hub of shopping and commerce, business meetings, and good buses for the university students who could only afford rent in the “city-fringe suburbs” if they had a flat kidney-selling roster.

The possibility that Epsom is a good location for brothels because the wealthy dudes of Epsom occasionally like to pay for sex is completely ignored, because they are good people.  You can tell by the way they can afford $820,000 homes.

Let’s face it, there are two “problems” here:  one is that the Concerned Residents of Epsom are, just like Cameron Brewer and Asenati Lole-Taylor and John McCracken, in complete denial about the absolute normalcy of sex work.  The second is that it must seriously offend their sensibilities – and the Herald’s – that lowly brothel-keepers are able to afford Epsom properties.

I say unto the people of Epsom as I have said before to the people of Sandringham and Papatoetoe:  maybe if y’all stopped creating DEMAND there wouldn’t be any fucking SUPPLY.

(Also, as discussed on Twitter, how common can it really be for people to door-knock the wrong place and out themselves as sex-word clients?  Who knocks on a door and says “Is this where I get rimmed for a mutually agreed sum?”)

(Also also, there are some “victims” in this story:  the massage spas which are actually massage spas.  But guess what:  brothels labelling themselves as “massage clinics” has nothing to do with liberalism and everything to do with the same anti-sex-work attitudes on display in this story.)

Only a woman

At first, this media release inspired me to write a big screed about how the real “charade” is the one where Right to Life call themselves Christians.  But then I read on:

Only a man can make a woman a mother and a wife and only a woman can make a man a father and a husband.

There was only one option left to me, dear readers.

George Zimmerman and Bruce Emery

Yesterday, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.  I want to highlight the tweets and posts of US activists of colour who have commented since the acquittal.  This isn’t a time for white people to take the mic.  Please listen to these people.

Read Brittney Cooper.  Read the letter from 100 young black activists.  Read Trudy.

LeVar Burton has to teach his son how not to get killed by police.

Even in the aftermath, the narrative is that black people are dangerous and violent.  It’s not outrageous to the people who experience it every day.  It’s part of a constant policing of their behaviour.  It’s terrorism.

The racism that created this situation is systemic, and there’s plenty of examples to prove it (I believe this is the case referred to in the second tweet).  Zimmerman didn’t even get manslaughter.

Some additional information: In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person.  The NAACP has a petition up for the Department of Justice to open a civil case against Zimmerman, and you can support the Trayvon Martin Foundation – which has raised 1/3 of the funds George fucking Zimmerman got.

And here’s a fucking good resource for white people who actually do want to learn.

This case isn’t over.

~

But as @IdiAuslander says, this isn’t just a US thing.  So here’s what I do want to add:

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this trial and how it “couldn’t” happen here.  But it did.  It did when Bruce Emery chased down Pihema Cameron and stabbed him to death over a tag on a fence.  It did when you couldn’t move for people saying “oh well he was a vandal” and acting like Bruce Emery was justified in “being afraid” of the young man he pursued with a knife.  When the conspiracy theory was that Pihema Cameron and his friend “lured” Emery into some kind of trap and forced him to start swinging a knife.  When our ever-vocal “law and order” advocates excused Emery’s actions because getting graffiti off your fence is so frustrating.

This happened here, New Zealanders.  And a white businessman served two years for killing a brown teenager.  And we cannot let this shit happen.

(Note: NRT beat me to it.  Damn him..)

Perfect antichoice hypocrisy

We baby-hating prochoicers often make the argument that people who are anti-abortion seem to care so much about a foetus, and so little for a baby.

Turns out, they don’t actually care about a foetus either.  Not if its mother needs prenatal care funded by the state.  Just as long as they can force her to stay pregnant.

You couldn’t wish for a better illustration of their real motives.  Just look at Rep. Jodie Laubenberg insisting that she is the most “pro-life” person in the Texas State Senate, literally as she denies necessary healthcare to pregnant people.