19th century bigotry bad look for 21st century journalist

July 20, 2008

Chirs Trotter spent some of his chidlhood in North Otago which has made a virtue of its Victorian origins.

But I don’t think we can blame that for the 19th century bigotry which he spewed into his Sunday Star Times column.

Headlined Don’t ever forget who the Nats are he lumps the members of the biggest party in the country into three groups: the cockies, the rich and the reactionaries and paints them with his sterotypical bile.

As the Party’s Waitaki electorate chair I know a fair bit about its members and hand on heart can say I’ve nevery met any with the arrogance and ignorance Trotter describes, and is guilty of himself in this column. We’re just people who care about other people and our country and see politics as one of the ways we can help both.

In my role I also meet people from other parties – I’m even related to some 🙂 – and regularly buy acid drops for my aunt from another with whom I enjoy a chat. We have a lot in common – a desire for a happier, healthier, better educated, safer and more prosperous country. The major differences are not in where we want to go but in how we want to get there.

Stereotyping any party’s supporters as Trotter has done is ridiculous, as Tumeke shows by turning the tables:

Don’t ever forget who the Nats Labourites are

THE COCKIES THE SUBURBANITES: Backbone of the nation; earners borrowers of our overseas funds debts; selfish; insular smug; and possessed of an indefatigable sense of moral superiority over everyone whose front door looks out upon a street McDonalds instead of a paddock vegan wholefoods co-op.

THE RICH THE POOR: Creators of wealth (for others!); makers doers of jobs; robbers of rights tax; bastardisers of culture; selfish; arrogant ignorant; and possessed of an indefatigable sense of moral superiority over everyone whose income is less more than $100,000 per annum.

THE REACTIONARIES Defenders of the faith; upholders of decent family socialist values; sadistic; bigoted; deranged hankerers after a world that – thankfully – has long since passed away.

That list is just as polarisingly thoughtless as Trotter’s.

Quite. Trotter’s 19th century bigotry ill becomes a 21st century journalist.

No Minister is a little blunter with the rebuttal, NZ Conservative says  it’s hate speech, and Jafapete  reckons it’s a slightly OTT but timely warning.


The truth, the whole truth …

July 20, 2008

Witnesses in courth have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth for a very good reason: you can lie outright, you can lie by ommission as well as commission by withholding the truth and you can mix truth and lies.

The  developing story on the $100,000 donation from Owen Glenn to Winston Peters, his party and/or his lawyer, has not revealed the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, yet.


Climate change debate distorted by dogma

July 20, 2008

University of Otago geographer, Professor Geoffrey Kearsley, says that while human activity is changing the climate there is an increasing body of science that says the sun may have a greater role than previously thought.

It is now pretty much taken for granted that global warming is ongoing, that climate change is being driven by human activity and that it is critically important that extraordinary changes be made in fundamental aspects of our economy and way of life.

On the small scale, people plant trees, examine food miles, purchase carbon offsets and modify their travel behaviour.

Cities and even countries vie with one another to become carbon neutral; as a nation, we are contemplating emission controls, taxes and carbon-trading schemes that will have a profound effect on individual households and the national economy alike.

When linked with the other great crisis of our times – peak oil – it has become not only socially desirable to embrace all of this, but sustainability has achieved the status of a higher morality.

It has become politically unacceptable to doubt any of the current dogma.

So politics not science is driving the debate.

Not to subscribe wholeheartedly to the sustainability ethos is to be labelled not just a sceptic but a denier, with overtones of Holocaust denial and a wilful, unreasonable immorality.

It is said that we are now beyond the science and that the science of global warming has been finalised or determined and that all scientists agree.

Sceptics and deniers are simply cynical pawns in the pockets of the big oil companies.

And no one points out the vested interests in what has become the climate change industry.

This is unfortunate, to say the least.

Science is rarely determined or finalised; science evolves and the huge complexity of climate science will certainly continue to evolve in the light of new facts, new experiences and new understandings. Read the rest of this entry »


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