How low can Harre go?

Laila Harre’s blindness to the hypocrisy of  having her attempt to return to parliament funded by Kim Dotcom whose actions and principles are the antithesis of just about everything she’s ever stood for confirmed the low view many have of  politics and politicians.

Her attempt to justify the Internet Mana advertisement in which a crowd of young people shout F*** John Key takes politics down several more notches.

“Offence to who?” she says. “Young people have their right to have their voice heard.”

What’s happened to balancing the right to be heard with the responsibility to say something worth hearing in an acceptable manner?

“That will confirm what a lot of New Zealanders think of the guy,” says John Key. “In the end it’s a matter for him how he wants to run Internet Mana’s campaign .” 

Dotcom appears to want to run politics in the gutter and Harre is down there with him.

Earlier Massey University political marketing specialist Claire Robinson said the video cut down Ms Harre just as she was trying to claim the moral high ground.

“Laila Harre was expressing such indignation about John Key’s ‘sugar-daddy’ comment and the need for respect in the political debate, and at the same time you have Kim Dotcom posting a video inciting hate speech, in effect, among a crowd of young people.

“It is sinking to such a low, and completely at odds with what she’s trying to do, exposing yet again the enormous disconnect between Kim Dotcom’s hatred for John Key and the way that she wants to campaign. . .

But Harre was blind to the disconnect:

Ms Harre said she had no problem with the video, adding that it was a spontaneous reaction and Kim Dotcom did not lead the chant.

“The video is a true representation of youth expression. We are on the road to engage with young people over politics. We are not about censoring the way that young people engage.” . . .

It wasn’t a spontaneous chant and it wasn’t a one-off. It happened on at least one other occasion and it was orchestrated by IMP staff:

Is it any wonder that so many are disillusioned by politics and politicians when it’s sunk to this level?

Mindless and personal denigration is a long way from political discourse and it might also be a breach of advertising standards:

Family First NZ has laid an official complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority over the Internet Mana party’s ‘Join the Revolution’ advert on YouTube which includes a crowd chanting “f*** John Key”.

“Internet Mana is dragging political debate to a new low level. We really are in trouble as a country when a political advertisement is deemed appropriate when it simply denigrates another political leader in an offensive fashion,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Political parties should show social responsibility and observe taste and decency – especially as they seek to engage families in the political campaign.”

“New Zealanders want robust and respectful debate of the issues – not personal offensive attacks,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Advertising standards also says that ‘advertisements should not portray people in a manner which is reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule’ and ‘should not contain anything which in the light of generally prevailing community standards is likely to cause serious or widespread offence.’

“The party’s advertisement is not advocacy. It is personal denigration, and Internet Mana needs to find a better advertising agency.”

It needs to find some better principles and standards too.

2 Responses to How low can Harre go?

  1. Andrei says:

    LOL – this was the second item on TV One News last night

    The first one was the funeral of a dead gang member – of public interest apparently because the deceased’s woman was the step daughter of a deceased member of New Zealand’s media glitterati.

    No wonder NZ is a Nation of sheep and our political discourse is mere empty bleating.

    Baaa baaa baaaaa

    Like

  2. Neil says:

    If the Young Nats had led the chant F…. David Cunliffe this would have hit the radar and woken up all the sleeping dogs of the left.
    For the start, the word f…. is still regarded as a no go in any decent conversation. Laila Harre just implies that it is common language – common language among sewer rats to me.
    However great news, the left can use that against the terrible Nats.
    This is the only way that the left can challenge National- by getting down dirty and grubby.
    Cunliffe is going to get caught out big way in Tai Tokerau. Harawira is a nasty despicable s…. r.. who is useless. He just banks on his mostly unemployed pot smokers to return him.
    The KDC party wil;l bring Cunliffe down to earth eventually.
    How will The Nation and Q&A see these machinations ? Probably not from the mainstream of NZ society.

    Like

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