2005: John Tamihere interviewed in Investigate Magazine.
INVESTIGATE: What is the most powerful network in the Labour executive?
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.
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?
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.
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”.
I don’t know how you feel,
And I can’t know how you feel.
But I want you to know
That I feel for you, oh
I want you to know that I feel.
And I feel so ashamed,
That your femininity’s been so maimed
By the cruelness
Of party politics, oh
I feel so ashamed
When the LECs sneered with contempt
“Don’t sing me your womanly lament!”
Because you said “It’s my turn”
But you still had to learn
That equality wasn’t their intent
And the cold rain fell
In that procedural hell
You could be a fluent polymath
But you just ain’t a sociopath
And the cold rain fell
But girl, don’t hang your head
Because misogyny’s widespread
It’s no terrible deed
To lack the balls to succeed
So girl, don’t hang your head
Just hush your blog chattering
Over a representative smattering
It’s a man’s game to play
You shouldn’t play anyway
Because a dragon’s hide is so unflattering
I don’t know how you feel,
And I can’t know how you feel.
But I want you to know
That I feel for you, oh
I want you to know that I feel.
On marriage equality:
The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards don’t understand (or are pretending to not understand) that self-selecting phone-in polls are meaningless, especially when they’re getting a suspiciously big text bill this month.
The Civilian was the star media outlet on the ground, filing this insightful report mere moments after the vote was held.
Colin Craig continues to overestimate his own popular appeal – more on this one later.
On NZ Power
David Farrar is pretending to be stupid, and his commentariat are completely buying it.
Chris Trotter has caught the whiff of victory and has always been at war with Eastcunliffe.
Danyl McLauchlan is probably depressingly on the money.
My unsurprising reaction? Awesome to see Labour and the Greens working together. Awesome to see some real game-changing policy with big sexy BERL reports behind it. I can only hope they keep it up.
From Dimpost on Trotter on Shearer (I feel like we’re in the beginning stages of some terrible blogging chain letter here):
My concern about a Shearer-led government is less dramatic than Trotters’. It’s that many of the senior Labour Ministers will be the usual gang of loyalist idiots, that Shearer would be unable to manage Winston Peters (assuming New Zealand First is a part of the coalition), that Labour will wage an unrelenting covert campaign against any Green Ministers, and that the whole thing will see National sail back into office three years later.
Yep. I said it about the last election, and I’ll say it about 2014 as well: it is not a universal truth that any-and-all configurations of Labour-led government are better for NZ than any-and-all configurations of National-led government. Labour is not automatically the lesser of two evils in this situation, especially with ACT goneburger, the Conservatives not showing a lot of fight (just a lot of cash), and the Greens positioning themselves as a party with an actual clue, a purpose, a strong viewpoint and a soul.
The Labour government which follows this National government (whether in 2014 or 2017 or gods forbid 2020) faces one big challenge from the electorate: show us you have an alternative, successful solution to our woes.
A Labour government which muddles around with no clear idea of what it’s doing or where it’s going, which buys into National’s rhetoric, which does pretty much a watered-down version of what National would have done themselves only while telling us that “we’re the ones who really care” … that government is just going to send one big message: we don’t have a plan, and we can’t make things better.
And then a lot of voters will stay at home [again] or jump back to National because hey, at least they act like they know what they’re doing, and I guess they were right about leftwing ideas not being practical in the real world after all, and if I’m going to be stuck in an economic downturn at least I can have more of my money in my pocket, right?
And then we’re basically fucked until things get so bad for “middle New Zealand” that a revolutionary leader can take charge of Labour/the Greens/Mana and sweep into power on a massive wave of popular support.
But that would probably take a while.
I don’t want National to win the next election. But I’m not convinced that the current Labour Party would do a good enough job at the head of a coalition to remind voters – that big group of people who don’t really engage in politics and certainly don’t read blogs like The Standard – that there are alternatives to coldhearted neoliberal bullshit. That collectivist approaches work better than individualist approaches. That all-pulling-together does actually get better results. That a strong social safety net is something to be seriously proud of.
If voters aren’t convinced of this, they’re going to stay home. They’re going to vote for the $10 tax cut bribe. And the Labour Party will have no grounds to whine about it.
Paul at The Fundy Post has a 50/50 post up on a teacher barred from teaching for life because she posed for Penthouse. The good 50 is where Paul dissects the pretty dubious nature of the complaint (i.e. that it was made by the President of the Teachers’ Council, vs a member of the public or other member of the profession, among other things) and the bad 50 is where he agrees with Michael fucking Lhaws:
And where, as Michael Laws asks, are the feminists, the liberals? Looking the other way, it seems. This feminist liberal cannot help but think that if Ms Whitwell had done something pervy – some BDSM erotica or whatever – then there would have been hordes of other liberals complaining about vanilla privilege, the latest opportunity for overprivileged people to claim they are oppressed. But because she posed in an old-fashioned way in an old-fashioned dirty mag, the liberals won’t touch her. If she had done erotica (the name for middle-class porn), she would have been defended as someone who was celebrating her sexuality; but appearing in a magazine like Penthouse is simply participating in the kyriarchy, allowing oneself to be objectified into male stereotypes of female heterosexuality.
Um, fuck you, Paul. Maybe we’re “looking the other way” because we don’t read Michael fucking Lhaws’ columns, since they’re 99% guaranteed to piss us off royally and there’s far higher-quality wank in the world to get our delicate feminist knickers in a twist over. There could also be this tiny thing about Feminism not being an actual hivemind and not actually anointing Official Spokesbitches, hence why Chris fucking Trotter ends up valiantly fending off attackers with his glorious moustache on our behalfs (and we aren’t even grateful, bitches that we are).
But since you’ve brought up the topic: no. I don’t draw a magical fucking line between porn and erotica (cf. terrorist and freedom fighter) and no I don’t fucking write off a woman because she chooses to engage in a form of sex work while being employed in a profession which people like to ascribe all kinds of pure/noble/selfless values to.
Which is not to say I assume she was “celebrating her sexuality” either because I don’t think a woman (or other adult) has to be a sex-positive goddess of clitoral worship and soul-affirming breast massage in order to “justifiably” engage in sex work. She could, and this might shock you, have just wanted to make some extra money and counter-exploited patriarchy’s commodification of her body to do so, and may ascribe no more emotional/spiritual weight to it than selling off some old shoes on Trademe.*
Sure, Paul, maybe there wasn’t much pickup of this story on the feminist blogs. But you could probably point that out without slapping a big ol’ cliched “hates mainstream porn but loves kinky erotica, the double-standard-having flip-floppers” label on them. And I’m not even touching the whole “you just want to be oppressed so you invent new forms of privilege just to feel like martyrs!” thing.
TLDR? When you find yourself saying “Michael Laws has a point, feminists are stupid” you’re probably just a douche in need of some fresh air.
*This is obvs a really, really complex topic which I’m not fully exploring here for the sake of getting to bed at a semi-reasonable hour.
It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.
Today, gentle readers, Ideologically Impure is three years old.
Okay, enough of the gratuitous Portal references.*
It all started all those years ago with And thus … a blog. I was really just looking for a place to vent my spleen away from Bookface or Livejournal, and I guess I hoped someone would read it eventually. And apparently you do!
Since then, I’ve guest–posted at The Standard, helped contribute to and host the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival, and most recently kicked off a badass new collective Kiwi feminist blog, The Stroppery, with some lovely co-angry bitches.
To shamelessly thief an idea from The End is Naenae, the top ten posts at Ideologically Impure over its time have been:
- Pippa Wetzell resigns from TVNZ (sadly, fully establishing the inability of middle New Zealand to comprehend satire, or how blogs work)
- I am a woman and I enjoy sex
- Just fuck you, ALAC. Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on (sadly, no doubt bumped up due to far too many horse-porn fans on the Google)
- Who needs identity politics?
- Why chicks dig “jerks”
- Schrödinger’s Privilege
- Abortion reform: all about destroying The Left
- Newlands College to be awarded Grand Woman-Shaming Prize at secret Patriarchy Conference
- Fuck rugby culture
- This is what this feminist looks like
A nice grab-bag of my favourite issues, really.
Onwards and upwards!
*Note: Queen of Thorns rejects the notion that there is an upper limit to gratuitous Portal references.
Another three guys-who-often-write-stuff-I-agree-with pretty much have it covered on the most recent outbreak of “Labour is low in the polls, let’s keep on trying to be National 2.0″ fever.
Pagani’s strategy – which Labour appears to be following – is to keep almost all of the members of the unpopular government the public was glad to get rid of, endorse National’s policies which are mostly horrible failures, and promote no substantial policy of their own. This has worked about as well as you’d expect it to.
When did the party of Savage, Kirk and Clark become such a pack of lambs?
Comrade Trotter of course attempts to blame Labour’s woes on it not being racist, sexist, and homophobic enough – which I think tells us more about Trotter’s prejudices than it does about Labour.
With a bonus I/S on Greg Thugface O’Connor:
And if O’Connor is truly representing his members on this, then I think we have a real problem in our police force.
Fear not, tiny readers, there shall be bona fide cuss-filled ranting aplenty coming at you over this approaching Easter break! But after weekend on weekend of weddings, houseguests, and getting really drunk with awesome feminists I’m a wee bit spent …
in the mean time, you could always check out The Stroppery! /shamelessplug
It’s okay, ladies, we can stop now.
We can put down our keyboards and go back to our kitchens, tie a picture-perfect bow in our polka-dot pinnies, and get to baking some cookies to reward a man who truly deserves them.
You see, we were wrong about Chris Trotter.
He’s a deep, sensitive man with a luxuriant moustache that we are too silly to admire properly. His boner, I have heard tell, is of tremendous proportions as befits a noble, wide-stanced member of the sainted dinosauria.
He wrote us a song, you see. Before many of we poor ignorant “confident young women” were even born, he wrote us a song about how much his feelings are actually the most important thing to focus on when we fight (in an appropriately timid fashion) for the right to control our fertility.
On a grey afternoon,
In an old waiting-room
He said: “In this circumstance
She’s a fifty-fifty chance.”
On a grey afternoon.
And I don’t know how she feels.
And I can’t know how she feels.
But I want her to know
That I feel for her, oh
I want her to know that I feel.
What Chris Trotter wants us all to know, comradettes, is that he and his verdant moustache care about us.
Isn’t that enough, really?
But it’s not enough for Chris. Saintly, magnanimous, divine-manhood-bearing idol that he is, he has also taken precious time out of his grooming schedule to write up a history of abortion reform in New Zealand. Truly, consider what we might have done, sistren, without this great service. Surely it is not becoming a lady to access the unfettered “Google” and subject herself to all manner of strange, thought-provoking search results in a selfish, egomaniacal quest to Educate Herself.
We never need educate ourselves so long as Chris, moustache at his side, is there to tell us about the history of a movement we fancy to call “ours”.
Do you think his great work ends there?
No, gentle acolytes. Chris also lets us know exactly how things stand right now – praise him! For without such cogent analysis to hand some of our number may have had to sacrifice dignity, self-respect, and honour by straying out of our father’s or husband’s doors to explore the World Outside for ourselves, to sully our soft, pale hands with the filth and degradation of Modern Politics.
Yet still he is not satisfied in his quest to make sweet, romantic intellectual love to our brains. He gives us the way forward, as only an artistic yet acutely-honed political mind can.
Yes, my sisters. We must focus group. We must conduct market research, for so it has always been done when people alienated from the means of production and denied their fair share of the nation’s wealth desire to learn more about what they themselves are thinking. Following in the footsteps of Kate Sheppard, we shall employ public relations consultants to tell us what to do.
But not yet, neonates. No, now is not the time, for it would go against the timetable laid out for us by the tragically unbearded Messiah before us. We must wait. I know there are those of you out there, you foul-mouthed and uncouth so-called “women” who may cry “What convenience, comrade, that you insist our revolution wait until after this coming, perhaps pivotal, election!”
I do wish you would not say “revolution”, my pitiable ones. It is not seemly.
I merely beseech you. Look to the moustache. It could not lead us astray, for truly, above all else, it wants us to know that it has a lot of feelings.
In the Gateaux has a great post up on Chris Trotter’s 2008 piece on the antichoice forces behind the political right in NZ.
Thanks Chris. As a member of your so called group of young, confident women I really enjoy you speaking on my behalf. I like how you assume how we might view the past struggles of women in the pro-choice movement. I also appreciate your advice on the need to reflect. Because, as a young confident woman, I haven’t thought about the issue at all!
Of course you hadn’t, Sophia. We silly wee things may be young and confident, but obviously we can’t get anywhere without a strong, sensible man
splainer leading us.
I’m sorry, everyone.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter likes to wax lyrical, pretending not to know what people are talking about when they’ve taken the time and energy to provide all the relevant links to his own previous sexist whinging.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter has so little respect for women he thinks we can’t concentrate on more than one issue at a time.
I’m sorry Chris Trotter is so defensive about being called on his and the “mainstream” Left’s misogyny that he has to ironically apply a “you’re either
Nexus with us or against us” strawman on feminists.
I’m sorry if any of you sustained abdominal injuries while cackling* at Chris Trotter of all people calling someone else a “bully”.
I’m sorry if anyone had to waste 5 minutes on Google to reassure themselves that Chris Trotter has no idea what he’s talking about in regards to the US antichoice movement, which has been incremental and smouldering and very subtly engineered for the most part.
I’m sorry that my heretofore mild tone is about to be cast aside in favour of my usual “expletives-included” style.
Because fuck you, Chris Trotter. Fuck you for using vulnerable solo mothers as a fucking weapon against a feminist who actually gives a fuck about helping women take charge of their bodies and doesn’t cast them aside once they’re no longer useful. Fuck you for trying to turn NZ feminists against each other and using a woman public figure, very thinly veiled, as another weapon. Fuck you for fucking implying with scare quotes that that woman was somehow being dishonest in describing herself as a mother.
And fuck you, you pathetic, outmoded hack, for trying to say “that’s politics” as though you have a single fucking clue how to get the left back into power in this country. Let me know when that brilliant racebaiting manoeuvre from fucking 2009 starts paying off, mmkay?
But thank you, too, Chris. Thank you for continuing to demonstrate your utter irrelevancy. Thank you for proving for me (as though it needed to be proven) that feminists cannot assume the left are allies (hey Marty G, if you’re reading this, remind me why you were surprised my post was less than flattering of Labour?).
Thank you for the hilarity of the fact that you have no fucking sense of history, when you try to say that the people who stood up and made noise never achieved anything. I’ll remind every civil rights activist ever, shall I? Guess they should’ve just got up and asked quietly from the back of the bus if they could be treated like full, worthy human beings, etc.
You’re not scary, Chris. You’re not intimidating. You haven’t put me in my place. You’ve just made my entire argument for me. And I thank you for that.