To paraphrase a great man of the Labour Party, Shearer won, Cunliffe lost, eat that.
Whatever Cunliffe did or didn’t do, he’s been demoted. Shearer has arranged a convenient vote of confidence in his leadership which I have to hope even his supporters can see is a complete paper tiger.
There’s still going to be a vote in February. So there’s still going to be media focus on fun inter-faction crap instead of Actual Issues.
The point I’m stuck on is this: now there are calls for “unity” – which does kinda bug me because there’s a big difference between genuine unity (punctuated by hopefully constructive arguments) and everyone pretending to get along for the cameras and not calling out bad shit because It Will Look Bad.
And a lot of these calls for unity seem to imply that basically, it’s the anti-Shearer people who need to put up or shut up, who need to stop pointing out his perceived errors.
But even today, while David Cunliffe takes his lumps and doesn’t comment to the media, as instructed, as agreed by caucus … well looky here, someone’s been talking to Claire Trevett about what went down in the caucus room.
I’m all for unity – genuine unity punctuated by constructive arguments, that is – and I’m all for waiting until February, looking at Shearer’s performance, letting the democratic wheels of the Labour Party turn.
But not when “unity” means “Cunliffe fans shut up, Shearer fans do whatever the hell they like”. Not when “unity” means refraining from pointing out that it’s leaky bullshit like this which makes the Labour Party look unstable. Not when “unity” means pretending that David Shearer’s faction aren’t acting like insecure Mean Girls who just got told someone else is wearing white gold hoops to prom.
Let’s have proper debate if we need to. Let’s smack down the media narrative that people disagreeing within a party = SCANDALOUS INFIGHTING. Let’s all grow the fuck up. Starting with David Shearer and Trevor Mallard.
Just a few brain-still-trying-to-figure-out-what-the-fuck comments:
Taxing people “almost to breaking point”? ”Refuses to”? Josie Pagani had a big rant about how there’s no “right wing propaganda machine” … clearly a point of view held by people so deep inside said machine they can’t see the big RIGHT WING PROPAGANDA MACHINE labels all over the outside of it.
Labour: now the party of people who listen to talkback radio. Because that’s a huge demographic. Any day now Michael Lhaws is going to appear on their party list and we’re not even going to be surprised. I just hope it happens after Cunliffe decamps to form an actual liberal left party.
Further points: ”At the risk of being treated like Josie” – nice pre-emptive martyrdom plea there, Trev. Because it must be so hard for Josie Pagani, being able to make utterly ludicrous political statements under her own name in mainstream newspapers backed up by the [currently] second-biggest party in Parliament. So hard.
Also: COMIC FUCKING SANS. If nothing else, you’d think that would tip a social media guru like Mallard to the thoughts contained therein being entirely composed of crap.
Lesson for the day, kiddies:
Saying you’d consider docking a tax credit to [in-work] families to pay for earthquake recovery is just a completely political-context-free statement.
Criticising that statement for unnecessarily politicizing the earthquake aftermath is policitizing the earthquake aftermath.
Thus spake Cactus Kate. Also: as a Standard guest poster, am I also a Labour MP in disguise, or maybe a Green?*
Tim Watkin has a nice take on this … up till the point where he demonstrates a lack of understanding as to the difference between anonymous and pseudonymous blogging.
But then I feel somewhat safe assuming Tim has never seen his blogging result in losing a high-profile job, victim blaming, rape threats,** death threats, or having people call your local police station demanding a copy of your rape report.
Gee, why would an angry feminist like me, writing in the 4-million-people-2-degrees-of-separation land of NZ “hide” behind a pseudonym given all that?***
*Internet cookies to whoever creates an OKCupid poll to determine this.
**Oh, what do you know, a link about a Kiwi bloggerdouche targeting a Kiwi feminist blogger. Quelle surprise.
***Because I’m actually Trevor Mallard, duh. Our styles are so similar.
Dear readers, a challenge: how many problems can we find in this post by MP Trevor Mallard?
Do we limit ourselves to “wow, Trevor, just screaming “FAT KIDS!!!!” in the headlines sure was nice and non-judgemental” and “way to buy into that whole fat = lazy stereotype”?
Where would be the fun in that when there is so much more on offer?
I mean, the linked article doesn’t even articulate how our loving, caring programme even defines “overweight” in children. I beg you, someone please confirm for me that it’s BMI – you know, that complete crock of unscientific shite – or body fat percentage – because if there’s one thing infant creatures don’t need or naturally have lots of, it’s body fat. I will laugh and laugh and probably cry a bit.
And it’s interesting, you know, with these marvellous results showing “families” – another fun definition question – are being more active, there’s not a single freaking word spent to tell us how all these horrible fat children Learnt the Errors of Their Ways and are now lean, mean fighting machines all ready to fulfill their destinies as soldiers for the Reich.
You’d think they’d shout that one from the rooftops, wouldn’t you?
But nary a word. Oh, 93% have seen their “health and fitness” improve and of course we’re all neatly conditioned to infer that this means their bikini bodies are ready for summer, but come on. Nothing? No average-kilos-lost? Not even some sweet How I Lost Weight And Kept It Off Even Through Christmas anecdata?
One feels safe concluding that the report writers are, as we speak, in darkened basements jabbing forks into their own eyes to try and unsee the fact that fat kids might become active – might already have been active – and still be fat.
And while 79 percent more were active since joining the programme, this was down on the 88 percent figure last year and 81 percent in 2008.
While three-quarters of parents said their children were more willing to try physical activities, less than half (46 percent) said their child felt stronger or fitter, or that they had lost weight.
At this point I roll my eyes, feel entirely confirmed in my own prejudices (even if I don’t put it in such scary behaviour-modification terms as Trevor) and direct y’all to Lesley’s amazing post on why she gave up kickball.
You think that maybe some kids realised they hadn’t magically become a supermodel like all the magazines promised and lost heart? You think maybe not everyone likes freaking aquarobics? You think maybe we’re a society so fucking out-of-touch with our bodies that kids, raised on a steady diet of You Are Fat So You Are Unfit, don’t really feel they *can* be stronger or fitter without losing their [CHILDISH!!!] pudge?
Nah, must just be that They Are Lazy And Will Be The End Of Our Health System or something.
“Addressing problems early means you can take a child who might be destined for a life of unhealthy weight, with the associated health problems, and quite literally you can change their destiny,” Ryall said.
Families of children on the scheme were also changing their outlook on life, with 97 percent recognising the value and importance of being physically active, he said.
Because fat people are stupid, but with nanny state there to take care of us we too can have Flat Abs In Just Seconds.
My real gripe in all this, though? Still back to Mallard. Shit, dude, even Stuff went to some effort to hide their utter loathing of The Fat Kids. But you just had to go straight into SCIENCE SHOWS FAT KIDS LAZY, CURABLE, didn’t ya?
I’d respect your forthright honesty but I’m a bit busy slamming my head into this wall.
ETA: I shouldn’t blog at bedtime because then I miss important things like actually inserting the link to Lesley’s aforementioned post. It’s now there so go have a read!
I’d long ago realised that part of the reason I post cussy rants about things that seem like just small issues, not a huge deal, isn’t there something more important to worry about – is because those “small issues” just tap into much bigger problems.
Today, two such small issues reared their annoying heads.
The continuing saga of Oh Noes The Brown Man Said A Mean Word broke out on Red Alert, with Hon Trevor insert-duck-to-water-metaphor-here Mallard chipping in to the debate:
If a Pakeha used the term brown mofos it would be racist. That standard should apply both ways.
Which actually hits several big Pisses Me Right The Fuck Off buttons. But to summarise: using the argument of “the same standard” is so close to “one law for all” they couldn’t legally marry in all 50 states of the US. It’s “special rights”, it’s “level playing field”, and it’s bullshit.
There isn’t a fucking level playing field when one group of people has been historically shat on by another from orbit. There isn’t a tabula rasa of race relations where such lovely “can’t we all just be equals and ignore skin colour and historical disenfranchisement and oh we tried to destroy your language and culture” ideas can be writ large.
There is a basic reason why a person of Maori descent can refer to “white motherfuckers stealing our land” which does not hold true for a person of European descent saying “brown motherfuckers stealing our car”. That reason is privilege. Learn you some.
Second small issue: in the continuing if-they-wrote-this-for-TV-no-one-would-believe-it tale of Doug Schmuck and some possibly-dodgy legislative drafting, one quote nicely put its thumb directly on my White Middle Class Bastards Who Just Love Law And Order Until It Applies To Them button.
The 15-year fight for the Opua boat ramp had taken “a hell of a lot of time” and cost Mr Schmuck close to $200,000. “A few objectors can run the costs up so high that it makes things like the Resource Management Act untenable,” he said.
Ah, yes. You can always spot a WMCBWJLL&OUIATT, by the way they seem completely oblivious of the fact that the law still counts even when it might stop them from doing something they want to do.
The classic example is provided every time there’s a Police crackdown on speeding, possibly by, oh the horrors, using hidden speed cameras. Now, you might think “well if people don’t want to get speeding tickets they could try not speeding”, but such thoughts do not pass through the brains of White Middle-Class Bastards. No no no, this is just a revenue gathering exercise.
It’s not like their own speeding could cause accidents or cost people their lives or anything. We all know that speed only kills when it’s those bloody Asian homestay students whose rich daddies send them thirty grand a month to buy Ferraris and meth with, obviously. The laws of physics are very specific on this.
The other classic, of course, is the killing of Pihema Cameron – where the Your Sensible Is Not Like Our Earth Sensible Sentencing Trust decided that actually, that whole “tough punishment for violent crims is the way to save society” line didn’t so much count when the stabber was a rich white guy and the victim was [insert stereotype about Maori teenage boys here].
And so we have (oh Gods it makes me giggle every time) Doug Schmuck. Who has been nearly bankrupted, dear readers, by busybodies and that bane of the WMCB, the Resource Management Act. All because he built a private fucking boat ramp on a fucking public reserve.
It’s almost like some people expect Good Hardworking [White Male] Businessmen to obey the law or something. Don’t they understand the law is for the little people?