A couple of months ago I was asked to write a post for the Ruminator and, rather optimistically, I agreed.The original brief was to respond to a post by Judith Collins. My post was going to be about snapper, not trout. But considering that issue, along with Judith’s leadership aspirations, has floundered, I’ll try another hook.
Idiot/Savant pretty nicely captures the self-satisfied Dad Joke tone of it all.
Judith Collins is a vile fucking human being. There are just so many things we can pick on her for. Using a tired old slur about her age, gender and appearance? Just fucking stop it.
[Radio New Zealand] said the way [Matthew Hooton] expressed his opinion was unacceptable, and fell well short of our standards for fairness and balance, so this week we also asked Radio New Zealand how can you be sure Matthew Hooton won’t make further politically-motivated claims in future, which might also jeopardise that even-handedness and political neutrality they value.
Well, Radio New Zealand replied that Matthew Hooton had raised a legitimate subject on Monday, in the context of Nine to Noon’s robust political debate, from the left and from the right, but its concern was the accusations of lying, which were addressed, they say, by Nine to Noon on Thursday morning’s apology and clarification.
Well Radio New Zealand also added, in live radio we can never give an absolute guarantee that comments won’t be made by contributors which might jeopardise our reputation for even-handedness and political neutrality, but we will continue, they say, to do all that we can to maintain that reputation.
From Mediawatch, 29 September 2013.
Segment starts at 9:23, quote from 16:51-17:47
You know what actually “jeopardises your reputation”, Radio NZ?
1. Claiming that Matthew Hooton’s comments were raising a legitimate subject but that it was the accusations of lying which were the problem. The subject he raised WAS the accusations of lying. THAT’S ALL HE SAID.
2. Crying about the dinnamic environment of live radio when you’ve already set a precedent for refusing to re-hire commentators who spew crap all over your microphones.
3. Saying you’ll do “all that you can” to maintain your reputation while also [GO TO 2].
4. Referring to anything which happens on Nine to Noon involving Matthew Hooton and Mike “I agree with Matthew” Williams as “robust political debate”.
(Oh, and obviously we now have a new bar for measuring one’s political gullibility: when Matthew Hooton says “There’s a growing sense”, do you assume it’s only growing because he keeps mentioning it? If so, congratulations: you can grasp basic political strategy. Moreso than Nine to Noon’s producers, apparently.)
Less than half the compensation awarded to New Zealand prisoners who have been mistreated has actually been paid to them – or to their victims.
The scheme, which came into effect in 2005, was set up to ensure that prisoners who have been mistreated do not receive compensation until any outstanding debt they owe to their victims has been paid.
One prisoner, Steven Brent Gunbie, was awarded $43,313 for [something]. However, the payment has been held in trust since 2007, and Gunbie will only receive the money after claims from victims of his crimes are settled.
However, only six victim claims have been successful since the scheme started in November 2005. The six victims have received payments totalling $49,000, and another $63,000 is being held in 19 cases for court-ordered reparation.
The delays are caused by [something].
The scheme was originally set up after prisoners at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo were forced under a programme called the “behaviour management regime” to live in isolated squalor and were treated inhumanely.
The prisoners were awarded a large sum in compensation. This led to public outcry over the rights of victims of crime. The Labour government introduced the current law on a trial basis to ensure money would not go directly to prisoners if their victims were owed anything.
The Government has now made the scheme permanent, even though its own advisers say it does not help victims of crime.
Prisoners have received $220,000 from a total pool of $516,000. Another $290,000 is being held in trust pending 12 claims from victims.
After the initial payments, almost all compensation payments are being made to prisoners who have been kept in prison beyond their release dates.
Correction Minister Anne Tolley said work was in progress to move to an electronic system to reduce the number of these errors, but also said prisoners should not receive taxpayer money, despite being illegally detained after their sentences finished.
Garth McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust criticised the scheme for forcing victims of crime to re-engage with offenders if they wanted compensation. He said the Justice Minister at the time, Phil Goff, “was trying to pacify and tried to have a foot in both camps.”
Current Labour Party justice spokesperson Andrew Little said the law did not work and failed to meet victims’ needs. It also had the perverse effect of victims benefiting only when the state abused prisoners.
[insert list of unsettled claims here if necessary]
This is the article which David Fisher wanted to run in the NZ Herald – an article about obstacles in the path of giving just compensation to prisoners mistreated by bungling corrections staff.
It’s just a pity the version which got published was headlined “Prisoners paid $500,000” – which isn’t true – describes Steven Brent Gunbie as “violent gun-wielding kidnapper Steven Brent Gunbie” and began,
A child sex offender was paid $26,600 in compensation by the taxpayer under a scheme which has awarded more than $500,000 to prisoners since it came into effect in 2005.
which puts a rather different spin on the matter, don’t you think? Or am I just unintelligent and poorly informed?
But let’s be serious – David Fisher could’ve written the above – or even something better. The NZ Herald? Ain’t got no time for giving a shit about abuses of prisoners’ rights. Not when there’s pageviews in them thar hills.
I keep ending up in wonderfully unproductive “debates” about the ongoing Assange case. So I just want to state a few things for the record:
Even if this is all a CIA plot …
Even if the Swedish government, well-known US government lackey that it is, is only pursuing rape allegations made against Julian Assange because they have a cunning plan to extradite him to Guantanamo Bay …
Julian Assange could have prevented this whole thing in one easy step: by not raping anyone.
I don’t really think that’s too much too ask.
But QoT! the rape apologists [when it’s An Hero of theirs] cry. Maybe those evil jezebels sent him Mixed Signals.
Then Julian Assange was perfectly capable of thinking, “Hmm. I’m not getting clear signals here. Maybe I should remove my penis and check that everyone’s on the same page.”
But QoT! This is only being done to detract from Wikileaks’ work!
Number of mentions of Julian Assange on Wikileaks’ About page: none. Not counting the newsfeed sidebars. Seems to me that any self-respecting “not-for-profit media organisation … network of dedicated volunteers around the globe” should be more than capable of getting on with things without one figurehead. I mean, Julian Assange can’t be the only smarmy self-promoting crusader for free information out there. How about getting Kim Dotcom on board?
Silly QoT. Julian is super-important. He’s the glue holding Wikileaks together / the front man / the face of Wikileaks. An attack on him is an attack on the whole endeavour, even when that attack is “being accused of rapey acts which his lawyers agree occurred”.
Sorry, defenders. If I wanted to sign up to an organisation headed by an accountability-free megalomaniac which occasionally manages to accidentally do some good in the world, I’d have stayed Catholic.
But QoT, clearly you just hate Julian Assange because he’s a man. And you just think women can never tell lies. And anyone who dares to level the slightest criticism against Our Holy Leader is a Zionist. And the real problem is that there might be a secret US plot behind all of this, and anyway rape culture is just part of the global hegemony so once we conquer that we promise to stop being rape apologists.*
*Not even making up ANY of those comments.
Special thanks: to the others fighting the good fight whenever this topic comes up, and in the most recent Standard comment threads that means McFlock, Pascal’s Bookie, and rosy, plus everyone who gave support to their comments, and anyone I missed once I had to stop reading the goddamn email notifications.
So, David Shearer and John Key made some speeches today. In the interests of even-handedness and refuting the obvious “splitter, y u hate Labour” response I get every time I dare question that sweet fuck-all has changed in Labour since they lost in 2008 … my response applies to both.
What a gigantic load of “meh”.
I’m not even talking about the policy points, nor the somewhat pained metaphors (apparently “not knowing how to use Excalibur” is some kind of cultural touchstone, despite not appearing anywhere on TV Tropes). I’m not even hugely bothered by the big announcements (National are restructuring the public service based on the back-in-vogue notion that big, generalised ministries = more efficient; the smart money says when they’re in power in the 2020s it’ll be back to small, specialised ministries = more focused and cost-effective / Labour are probably standing by more policies they nicked from the Green Party and like
Elizabeth Hurley lambs.)
I’m bothered by the utter, utter shittiness of modern speechwriting.
Great speeches are stirring and powerful and they have a sodding point, which they make clearly and strongly in a whole series of interconnected sentences. Maybe they use repetition for effect (dream/fight them on the beaches etc) and maybe they start off with a cute little anecdote … but fuck, they’ve got to have soul.
When written out, I like to assume they have more than one sentence per paragraph, on average. They could even make good blog posts, albeit lacking whatever awesome quality or memorableness a good orator’s voice adds (other things great speeches need? To be read by good orators).
Neither Key’s nor Shearer’s speeches are even in the same room as great speeches. They’re fucking boring, they’re mechanical, their writers think adding a pregnant pause at the end of each sentence makes them sound meaningful. Those sentences apparently don’t need to actually connect together, except in some weird, stream-of-consciousness way.
Let’s just try a simple compare-and-contrast, first off with one of the great speeches of the 21st century so far (pity the dude in question has turned out to be kinda rubbish):
We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame and start putting them on a pathway to success. We can stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness. We can do this with our new majority.
We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists; citizens and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our planet from a point of no return.
And when I am President, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home; we will finish the job against al Qaeda in Afghanistan; we will care for our veterans; we will restore our moral standing in the world; and we will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes, because it is not a tactic to win an election, it is a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the twenty-first century: terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.
All of the candidates in this race share these goals. All have good ideas. And all are patriots who serve this country honorably.
But the reason our campaign has always been different is because it’s not just about what I will do as President, it’s also about what you, the people who love this country, can do to change it.
That’s why tonight belongs to you. It belongs to the organizers and the volunteers and the staff who believed in our improbable journey and rallied so many others to join.
Thank the Gods Obama didn’t have either of our major parties’ speechwriters to hand, because it would probably have turned out more like:
School is important because it helps kids succeed.
We need to help kids succeed because kids are important.
But teachers are like Excalibur, they need someone to kick the tyres and pull them out of the stone of failure.
And farmers are like Narsil, and scientists are like Krod Mandoon’s Flaming Sword of Fire, and we need them to succeed, too.
We need our thinking people to think for us to develop a knowledge wave.
That’s how we’re going to succeed.
And [when I am Prime Minister / as Prime Minister] we will do things to make this success happen.
But this isn’t just about me.
This is about you.
And you are like our Excalibur, and when we know how to use you no more children will be abused.
No one wants children to be abused.
We want to change things and you are the wind beneath our wings.
Let’s succeed together.
Just because I know you’re salivating for some Labour-hating, go reread this post, pretend I say “David” instead of “Annette” and focus especially on the points about cliches, using the language of the enemy, and still being boringly vague while promising that honestly, the concrete policies you’re desperate for are [still] in development!
Horrifying afterthought: is Shelley Bridgeman writing both Key and Shearer’s speeches?
Now up at The Standard and reproduced below for those who choose not to tread there.
Guts. Backbone. Chutzpah. Grit. Will. Vision. Courage.
The one thing all of these words have in common is that Phil Goff could quite easily have used them instead of “balls” when he said:
“It’s time to make a decision that will build a stronger future for New Zealand. We’ve got the balls to do that. John Key doesn’t.”
And I know that Phil knows that, because he’s quoted using at least two of them elsewhere in that story.
Normally you’d cue up a big ol’ Queen of Thorns rant complete with naughty cusswords and all-caps. But seriously? Phil, save us the trouble of firing up a whole two brain cells to figure out your subliminal messaging. We get it. You’re a Man’s Man and you speak like Common People and The Days Of That Nasty Bitch Helen Are Behind Us.
You’ve been listening to Chris Trotter and you wanted to make it very clear, to talkback land and those nasty white-anting progressives at the same time, that you’re A Safe Pair Of Manly Man Hands and Not A Pussy.
You’ve chosen to put yourself firmly, obviously, in the camp (ha) of Damien “gaggle of gays” O’Connor.
Or alternatively you’re a bit shit at figuring out the implications of your own words.
In either case, those of us clinging to a phantom hope of a Labour/Green/Mana-or-Maori coalition actually delivering good outcomes for women, non-whites, queers et al can surely, at this point, take it as read that your party gives not a shit for us if we’re in the way of taking power. (And somehow expects us to vote for you anyway.)
I mean, when Jordan Carter’s pre-emptively parroting the line on Twitter I think we can safely file this crap under “Labour election key message”.
Or I’m just vindictively destroying the Left from within. Again.
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.
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.
After explaining that his “comments policy” boils down to “I don’t have to engage with my audience, now I’ve made my declarations from on high you are permitted to talk amongst yourselves”, Campbell has a go at me. Without being so open as to just name names, then people might actually look me up and see both sides of the story, which I understand is the most important thing in the world to him under other circumstances.
But since there’s still some apparent confusion, let me explain why Gordon Campbell is, indeed, a rape apologist.
From the most recent post:
I do not, and have not, absolved or condemned Assange’s personal conduct.
Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you equate “accurately stating what the charges against Assange are” with “believing the charges against Assange”. You’re a rape apologist because you are contributing to the narrative that says people who say they want Assange held to account in a court of law must actually be “assuming” he’s guilty – and therefore, obviously, are not worth listening to.
You’re also a rape apologist because you refuse to address the fact that his personal conduct involves not simply denying the charges and waiting for trial, but employing lawyers who have outright lied about the charges and allegations and continually fed into rape culture with their statements about the accusers.
In the second Wikileaks article, I repeated the gist of the accusations against Assange, and put them alongside the gist of his initial response in court to them. It was an attempt at balance, not to absolve the left’s golden boy of the hour.
You’re a rape apologist because you continue to pretend that the answer to “you have printed misinformation about the case” is “okay that bit was maybe kinda wrong but here’s their side of the story!”
You’re a rape apologist because you’re acting like accurate reporting of the accusers’ statements – not agreeing, not supporting, just stating what they have said and what the charges are – needs to be “balanced” by Assange’s [lying] lawyers’ statement.
Guess what, Gordon. If the Herald prints that Remmers McFlorist won the Ellerslie Flower Show, and someone points out that actually, Flowers McArrangement won the Ellerslie Flower Show, it would be a bit fucking douchey if the Herald then printed, “Okay, okay, so we printed the wrong name, but here’s 500 words from Remmers McFlorist on why she SHOULD have won!”
That’s not balance, Gordon. And Assange’s rebuttal is not actually relevant to you correcting and apologising for your misinformation – misinformation which was weeks out of date. You’re a rape apologist because you have taken the lies of a “golden boy’s” lawyers at absolute face value over the statements of women. You’re a rape apologist because you instantly believed that unprotected sex is a crime in Sweden (those silly liberals, eh?) and thus the charges must just be nothing that Real Countries would prosecute.*
From the second post:
It is widely known that the complainants first approached the police because they wanted assistance in securing an STD test. Initially, there was no mention of pressing charges of rape, coercion or molestation. How did this escalate from a request for a test to an investigation of a criminal nature? Who made this decision? After considering the evidence, Eva Finne, a female Chief Prosecutor chose to dismiss the charges. The case was then taken up by a politician who was facing re-election and whose motive may be questionable. The matter was taken to a prosecutor in a different city where none of the events had taken place. Why was this done? Was any pressure brought to bear? These are the questions a truly committed investigative journalist should be asking.
Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you uncritically post comments which criticise rape victims for not behaving the way they “should”. You’re a rape apologist for posting comments which imply that the cases must be silly if a women lawyer dropped the charges initially.
Below that, you’re a rape apologist for posting the “gist” of the charges against Assange … a “gist” which just happens to omit that whole “tearing off somebody’s clothes”, “holding somebody down” aspect. Funny how the charges, which you misreported, get given the “gist” treatment while the lying lawyers’ statement bullet points get the full “can I hold your coat while you take the stage, sir” rub-down.
Back to the latest post.
What I’ve said all along is that Assange’s personal conduct shouldn’t determine, one way or the other, how the revelations by Wikileaks are judged.
Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you’re the one who keeps bringing up Wikileaks. You’re the one who keeps waving the Wikileaks flag and you’re certainly fucking smart enough to know that waving that flag just keeps everyone conscious of the fact that Julian Assange is linked to Wikileaks, and Wikileaks is awesome, and the Powers That Be hate Wikileaks, and so we have to take accusations of rape with a grain of progressive dudebro-brand salt because HEY, WIKILEAKS! DID I MENTION WIKILEAKS YET?
If you want the charges against Assange and the work of Wikileaks to be treated separately, maybe you could stop fucking playing the Wikileaks Is Important card every fucking time you are asked to report ethically on the charges against Assange.
You know what would be awesome and bold and courageous, Gordon? If you had stood by your premise from the start:
Assange’s alleged sexual misconduct has managed to divert some media attention away from the content of the cables. The two things are – or should be – unconnected.
Who keeps connecting them, Gordon? I’ll give you a clue: it’s not the feminists who want rape charges treated seriously. It could, you know, be Assange himself who wants to constantly remind us (when not playing the I Can’t Help It If I’m A Rocking Stud line) that there are powerful forces against him and that “CIA honeypot” is a real conspiracy-theory-tickler of a line.
But don’t think he’s done, people.
Yet at this point, Assange has to be presumed innocent until proven guilty of the charges against him.
Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you have just busted out Rape Apologism Maxim the First. Guess fucking what? That’s a principle applicable to justice systems. Is my blog a justice system? Is media reporting a subset of the justice system? And hang on, at what fucking point is accurate reporting of the nature of the charges tantamount to assuming guilt? At what fucking point have I said “you have to assume he’s guilty”? OH THAT’S RIGHT, NEVER.
We claim to want the same thing here, Gordon. We claim to want to see these charges answered in court. But because you’re a fucking rape apologist you aren’t waiting until the charges are answered in court, you are making statements right now that the charges are silly, the women didn’t act the way they should have, HAVE I MENTIONED WIKILEAKS IS IMPORTANT AND IMPLIED THAT THIS IS A CIA HONEYTRAP YET???
The Guardian’s actions in releasing part of the Swedish prosecutor’s file against him was – I thought – an injustice.
You’re a rape apologist, Gordon, because you think an “injustice” is having the facts of the case published AFTER Assange’s lawyers have lied about them, AFTER Assange’s lawyers have lied about the entire Swedish legal system, AFTER the accusers have been not only named but had their photos and addresses publicised and been FORCED INTO HIDING.
But sure, what the Guardian did was the “injustice” here (now you’ve gotten around to reading it).
I found it interesting that one commenter portrayed me as part of a gendered tendency to minimize women’s experience and testimony in sexual complaints, while also denigrating me for linking to Bianca Jagger
Don’t worry, Gordon, this one isn’t about you being a rape apologist. This is about how you’re a misogynist douchebag for acting like quoting Bianca Jagger magically absolves you of your significant contributions to rape apologism. You’re a misogynist douchebag for going on to say naming the accusers mustn’t be that bad because hey, these Famous Feminists totally did it – failing to mention that one had retracted those names until after the quote, which was even better for your argument what with it boiling down to “everyone else did it so I did it too”. But as a bonus, you and Bianca Jagger are both rape apologists for pretending that criminal cases can never be re-opened unless Dark Forces Are At Work.
Then it’s a fine finish with a lather/rinse/repeat of “we can’t assume his guilt” [CITATION NEEDED] and a wonderfully oblivious expression of male privilege:
Personally, I do find it depressing that so much energy has been spent on Assange’s actions in bed and so relatively little on the morality exposed in the Wikileaks cable
WHY AREN’T THE WIMMINZ INTERESTED IN REEEEEEEAL ISSUES?? Oh, and Gordon? You’re a rape apologist for spending so much time pretending to care, so much time claiming it was about balance and fairness and did you mention Wikileaks … and then you fucking write off rape allegations as “Assange’s actions in bed”.
Gordon, you’re a rape apologist because you continue to make excuses for the fact that you spread misinformation. You’re a rape apologist because you pretend that factual reporting of charges requires a critique-free rebuttal. You’re a rape apologist because you have continued to downplay the charges and continued to privilege Assange’s side of the story. You’re a rape apologist because you have on multiple occasions, contributed to a culture which denigrates rape victims and treats rape as far less serious than other crimes.
You’re a rape apologist because every single thing you have said over three columns is straight out of the rape apologism playbook.
I can’t think why Polanski-defenders came to mind in light of all that.
*Protip, Gordon: most countries are pretty shit at even prosecuting “real” rape cases.
Many links sourced from megpie’s excellent round-up.
I’m going on hiatus for a wee while as of this weekend. In the meantime, here’s a dose of QoT rage to keep you warm.
Someone drop me an email if Gerry Brownlee reinstitutes the death penalty or anything.
And Russel Norman has a whinge* (notice the wonderful use of the active voice in the title, as though he were merely an observer)
My comment at frogblog (with all the naughty words spelled out in full, this is after all my cuss-filled sandbox) reproduced below in full because I’m smug.
I apologise in advance if this gets a little potty-mouthed, but I am frankly p!ssed off.
If the Green Party’s MPs honestly could not find a simple, soundbite-friendly way to explain not supporting this Bill (how about, “We don’t think it’s a good idea to give Gerry Brownlee the power to make murder legal”? How about, “We would support any Bill which is actually about helping Canterbury, this Bill is about giving Gerry Brownlee dictatorial powers.” THERE YOU GO, NO CHARGE), then what the flying f#$% are you doing in politics?
And for all the bloody media-would-bag-us apologists … let’s pretend it’s September 2011. Or even June 2011, given some people’s predictions. What do you think is going to cost more voters – having voted against a foregone conclusion a year earlier, or having every party (including Labour!) and pundit being able to say “Well you can’t really complain about Gerry Brownlee violating human rights, you voted for it.”
Frankly, FUCK your principled speeches. No one is going to look at your speeches when Gerry Brownlee declares a thousand-year ECan Reich, they’re going to say “well, if you didn’t want him to have this power you shouldn’t have voted for him to have this power.”
Actually, though, it’s probably a good thing that no one will look at your speeches. Then they’ll realise you’re a pack of hypocrites as well as cowards (and really, really sh!t political players).
So who the fuck can I vote for now?
*At this point I should add the disclaimer that I recently re-stumbled on Maia’s excellent post on why she ain’t voting Green any time soon so was already a wee bit pissed off at the ginger bastard.