Possibly not, according to the font of all NZ political procedural knowledge and God-Emperor of the kiwipoliblogosphere, Idiot/Savant.
Quite apart from her total lack of experience and dodgy views on such matters, the Race Relations Commissioner must have mana. Devoy has none. But there’s another aspect to this that is worth exploring: the appointment may be unlawful.
On the not-fit-to-hold-a-teaspoon-much-less-public-office front, Morrissey in comments at The Standard raised this interesting piece of history:
Dame Susan Devoy says her testimonial for broadcaster Tony Veitch – splashed across newspapers today – was for an application to return his passport, not to support him in a court sentencing.
In her testimonial presented to the court at Veitch’s sentencing yesterday for injuring his former partner with reckless disregard, Dame Susan said he deserved a chance to get his life back and have the opportunity to work again.
She had written it because she believed Veitch, whom she knew and whose stepmother was a close friend, deserved a chance to work again.
“I mean we can’t ostracise him for the rest of his life. But it is a different kettle of fish when you are writing a letter of support of someone coming up for sentencing.
“And I know that because I have written a letter recently for someone who is actually serving 10 years and six months for something probably a lot less than what Tony has done.”
She said she would not necessarily have refused to provide a testimonial for his sentencing.
Oh no, Dame Susan was totally lied to! She wouldn’t have written that testimonial if she knew it was for Tony Veitch’s sentencing for kicking his partner in the back so hard he broke her spine! Except she also wouldn’t have not written him a testimony. It just … would’ve been a testimony that looked less like she’s willing to exploit her celebrity to bail out a mate’s grown abusive stepson, when entered on the public record.
Fuck, someone probably thinks that episode helps to qualify her for the job, being all conciliatory and open-minded about things. Gross.
So, however briefly, Mike Tyson was issued a visa to come to New Zealand and make money off his celebrity, despite the fact that a large amount of that celebrity (especially if you’re not into boxing) comes from him being a convicted rapist and general thug.
And when there was an outcry (which apparently caused Life Education Trust to revisit their policy on letting anyone in the office have access to the official letterhead) there were the usual cries: but he’s reformed! Give him a second chance!
And strangely enough I was reminded of a post I wrote three whole years ago about second chances. And I realised that there’s a bit more to the bullshit around “second chances” which I didn’t address.
I do, absolutely, believe in second chances.
But second chances don’t mean that we can never again make an accurate statement about the bad thing, for fear of magically negating the second chance which has been given. Second chances don’t mean we just pretend the bad thing never happened.
There are people who will never buy a Chris Brown album or watch a show hosted by Tony Veitch or go to Mike Tyson’s show in the countries where his famous name doesn’t get him past legal barriers mere abusive schmucks would face.
This is not denying those poor women-bashers a “second chance”. Chris Brown is still making albums. Tony Veitch is still on TV, or at least has been since his crimes became public. And Mike Tyson is still touring the world selling tickets to a show which basically cashes in on his offending and got a cameo in one of the biggest movies of recent times (for reasons that escape me). Looks like they’re all having pretty damn good “second chances” to live their lives of public fame.
When people say those guys deserve a “second chance”, what they’re really saying is how dare you criticise the album/show/celebrity I like. How dare you remind me of those contemptible things they’ve done. I don’t want to have to acknowledge that my fandom is associated with the violent abuse of women.
Sorry, fanpeeps. Tony Veitch broke a woman’s back and then pulled the “I make no excuses for my actions, except all these excuses” stunt. Chris Brown beat Rihanna. Mike Tyson raped a woman.
You can go right ahead and keep supporting their careers if you like. But you don’t get to force the rest of the world to pretend that they’re still perfect admirable role models for your own comfort.
So for your warm-up dose of headdesk, John Key thinks Liz Hurley would be “thrilled” by being on his fucklist “the endorsement”.
Oops, someone didn’t run that line through the “even vaguely believable” and “not phrased like marketing wank” filters.
But it gets better, because “managing director of Mango Communications” Claudia MacDonald would like us all to know:
his comments were “refreshing” to hear from a Prime Minister.
“The days of tightly buttoned-up politicians with carefully managed facades are waning,” she said.
Yes, Ms MacDonald. John Key appearing on a sporty-bloke radio show to wax lyrical about “dream dates” with three very-mainstream, very-recognisable, basically ubiquitously-agreed-as-conventionally-attractive women who all happen to have the same colour hair as his wife* has absolutely nothing to do with maintaining a carefully-managed facade which hides the fact he’s a boring old financier who un-ironically uses awkward, dated phrases like “party central” when he goes off-script.
I can only hope Mango Communications’ clients are as woefully oblivious as you or business could be in for a rough patch …
*Couldn’t risk a “John Key prefers blondes, Bronagh in tears” women’s mag backlash.
Inspired by comments on the relevant Standard post.
It isn’t actually relevant that your wife is totally cool with you finding Jessica Alba hot.
It isn’t actually relevant that your wife thinks Brad Pitt is hot.
It isn’t actually relevant that you don’t mind your wife finding Brad Pitt hot.
It isn’t actually relevant that “most guys think [celebrity X] is hot”.
It isn’t actually relevant that “men naturally look at attractive women” (it’s also a bullshit evo-psych excuse for not being decent human beings!)
It isn’t actually relevant that heaps of other Manly Males talk about which celebrity women they wish they could fuck with no actual consideration given to whether those women would ever want to fuck them.
It also isn’t about being “light-hearted” and it’s not about “having a sense of humour”.
It is about the Prime Minister of New Zealand going on a radio show hosted by a basically unapologetic violent abuser in order to make himself look more “ordinary” by reinforcing the idea that women are valuable for being young and hot and sexually available.
Not sure why that needed explaining, but there you go.
Is it just me or is the idea of our Prime Minister joking around with Tony Vietch (a guy who threw his fiance down the stairs before kicking her in the back) about celebrities he’d like to shag just a little creepy?
Props to Sue Kedgley for calling this shit out, but oh my god does the article get into some seriously bizarre territory:
On the other side of the airwaves, Veitch’s rival breakfast host, former Kiwis league great Dean Lonergan said Key’s comment had made him respect the PM even more. “John Key is a strong leader and a very good family man,” the LiveSport host said.
“Those women who might be upset at his comments are obviously just disappointed they never made John Key’s list and never will.
Um, yeah. Sue Kedgley definitely lies awake at night, sobbing into a handspun hemp handkerchief, crying out “WHY??? WHY JOHN WHY? WHY DON’T YOU LOOOOOOOOVE MEEEEEEEEE?”
I mean, let’s just start with the fact that in Dean Lonergan’s head, “going on the radio to call Liz Hurley hot” directly correlates to “strong leader and good family man”. As Danyl put it, I don’t think one needs to be a feminist, or even particularly liberal, to wonder how the fuck that works.
But what I think we really need to take from this is the utter, utter cluelessness of patriarchy some time. Yes, yes, it’s a common trope to try to write off feminists as “jealous” – “you’re just into fat acceptance because you’re ugly, you criticise rape culture because no one will fuck you” etc. etc. But seriously? We’re actually meant to buy that as some stinging criticism of Sue Kedgley? That’s meant to somehow invalidate what she says, because she’s obviously just jealous she didn’t make a list populated by conventionally-hot celebrities? That was the best line you could come up with?
I ‘m feeling the need to go have a wash after writing this, so just a final thought: how much can we read carefully-engineered Crosby/Textor influences into the fact that all smile-and-wave’s celebrity crushes are brunettes, just like his “childhood sweetheart” Bronagh?
Too damn cold to get a good rage up, so some good posts by others:
Your boobs are someone else’s intellectual property at The Hand Mirror.
Tony Veitch police file released – because, you know, he just snapped and it was totally a one-off mistake and abuse isn’t escalating and long term and isn’t the Granny Herald glad now it ran that bullshit story about “ZOMG they’re charging Our Hero with throwing a glass of water, how TRIVIAL”?
Robbing public transport to pay for roads by Russel Norman over at frogblog. Because Steven Joyce is too stupid to understand that the reason Aucklanders poll in favour of public transport but still use cars is because current Auckland public transport is shit and maybe they’d use it if it got some actual investment oh no there I go being logical again.
And Eddie at The Standard basically sums up my feelings on “Punch in the face” dad guilty. Don’t even get me started on the idiot “commentator” on Sunrise this morning who, in response to Ella Henry’s comments about previous horsewhip/electric cord cases said obliviously, “But they got convicted, didn’t they?” NO YOU MORON, THAT’S WHY THE LAW HAD TO BE CHANGED, FUCKING HELL. I would lament that someone that uninformed is being paid to “comment” on issues of the day, but it’s probably part of some masterful Sunrise plan to plumb Henry-esque depths of stupid in an attempt to steal Breakfast viewers.
Second chances are for people who honestly acknowledge their previous misdeeds and sincerely commit to change.
Second chances are not for people whose apologies contain the phrase “I make no excuses … except to say …” followed by a list of excuses.
Second chances are not for people who act like their treatment by the courts is not almost certainly affected by the fact that they have famous friends, and are white, and have money.*
Second chances are not for people who use character reference statements given under apparently false pretences in order to get their sentence lessened.**
Second chances are not for people who did, in fact, injure another person’s spine by kicking them as they lay on the ground but do, in fact, think they’re the victim because a broadcaster said the kick was to the head.
Second chances are not for people whose principal concerns appear to be hiring media handlers and carefully character-assassinating the victim of their “cracking” “out of character” violent assault.
I fully believe in second chances. I fully believe in people’s capacity to change and redeem. Tony Veitch, on the other hand, seems to fully believe in his right to mouth empty apologies and pretend this never happened, and calling his actions “getting on with his life”. So no. He does not*** deserve a second chance.
Run On Hamster Wheels For Eternity In Hell Honorable Mentions:
Judge Jan Doogue, for assuming that only what gets proved in court is actually real, and for apparently thinking that what a person’s mates say about them is a better measure of their previous behaviour than the crime they’ve just been convicted of. May the words “single act” haunt you for the rest of your life, ma’am.
ETA: Holy crap on a shitstick, LudditeJourno has more on Ms Doogue. I’m off to find a brick wall to smack my head against.
Graham Henry, for not wanting to be “misconstrued” about that whole “Tony must be good because he didn’t say meanie-poo things about the World Cup” character reference thing. One, RELEVANCE, GET YOU SOME and two, GET THE FUCK OVER THE FUCKING WORLD CUP ALREADY.
And Stuart Grieves QC, for saying, of the prospect of defending his client against charges involving horrific violence against another person, “I was ready to brawl in court.” FUCK YOU, AND GOOD NIGHT.
*Though full credit to the DomPost for that screamer “CELEBRITY JUSTICE” headline. There shall be cake.
**I mean, seriously, THAT’S IRONY, PEOPLE.
A good round-up of what other blogs are saying on the Tony Veitch affair over at The Hand Mirror. I currently lack will or energy* to really comment, except to say what really should not need saying to an adult:
Any apology phrased “I am sorry, but …” isn’t.