The horrible truth that young men have been allowed to carry on raping under the watchful eye of the police is bad enough. The story has also picked the scab off some ugly politics.

I am disgusted, most of all, with the men who raped the young women.

I am disgusted with the police for not investigating properly when they had a complaint. 

If they can covertly surveil drug gangs, why can’t they covertly surveil rape gangs? It’s unacceptable that they decided there were only two options; prosecute or do nothing.   Why didn’t they do more with the schools or the parents? Why not get facebook to remove the offending page and protect the girls from the continued naming and shaming? Were they waiting for a suicide?

In the US recently, an anti-police rant on facebook was treated as evidence of ‘illegal threats’ and promptly prosecuted. After the Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death in London, a facebook troll called David Lee was prosecuted for telling people to target businesses run by muslims. Boxer Tony Perrin, who threatened Muslims with acts of ‘insane violence’ on facebook after the murder, was jailed for four months. 

Was there really nothing else the New Zealand Police could do to stop these men raping?

I am disgusted by the rape culture that allows this to happen. Imagine if this gang of young men had been allowed to carry on killing people, or beating them up. It would be unthinkable. So why is it acceptable to allow these men to continue to rape young girls ‘because of a lack of evidence’? Is rape not bad enough?

How was simply ‘monitoring’ ever a moral option?

I am disgusted with the attitudes of Willie and JT who repeatedly implied that there is something that the women did that made them partly to blame. ‘The girls got drunk; they knew what would happen, so why were they there? They dressed like sluts.’

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.

The right way to deal with this perverse logic is to confront it, and to have the discussion. Willie and JT are not representing anyone on their show, no matter how often they imply that other people don’t understand what life is like in South or West Auckland like they do, so they should shut up. 

That’s cultural relativism at its worse. Rape is wrong no matter who does it. End of story.

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.

It is very tough to defend freedom of speech when it involves defending someone who has behaved horribly. But it is more important than ever to defend free speech at this time; freedom to agree with people is no freedom at all.

Comments (38)

by Thomas Beagle on November 08, 2013
Thomas Beagle

"You end up like the pathological blogger Dimpost..."

And your article was going so well until then!

by Chris Trotter on November 08, 2013
Chris Trotter

Try being on the receiving end of DimPost's pathology before dismissing those who complain about it, Mr Beagle. Danyl McLaughlin's 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?

by Andrew Geddis on November 08, 2013
Andrew Geddis

Josie,

You have in the past been a fairly vocal supporter of Tamihere rejoining Labour, and on Q&A you even said this:

JOSIE I was just going to say he [Tamihere] sounds like a working New Zealander, and they need voices like that in that Labour caucus, because there aren’t enough of them. And, you know, I think people are uncomfortable with some of his views on gay marriage, for example, but you can’t say, “I want your vote, working New Zealander. I don’t want your opinions.”

PAUL Would Labour necessarily want him or is he one of these political people who we like him or dislike him, irrespective of which party he’s with? Such as Winston, such as Tau Henare.

JOSIE I think he represents a Labour base, actually, and they’d be crazy not to consider him.

So I guess the question is, given that you are "disgusted with the attitudes of Willie and JT who repeatedly implied that there is something that the women did that made them partly to blame", do you still think this is true? And if you do still think that "he represents a Labour base, actually, and they’d be crazy not to consider him", isn't there actually a bit of validity in Danyl's criticism, which is that you're prepared to overlook these sort of "disgusting" attitudes on Tamihere's part - attitudes that aren't, let's face it, particularly new ones - because "‘dumb male voters’ like him, so they’ll vote for his party"? 

by Danyl Mclauchlan on November 08, 2013
Danyl Mclauchlan

Hi Josie,


I'm sorry that I've upset you by suggesting that you endorse Tamihere and Jackson's statements about the Roastbusters in my blog. I didn't mean to do that! I even wrote a paragraph at the end of the blog explaining that I didn't think you you agreed with his opinions, but I guess you didn't read that for some reason.

Anyway, let me explain what I did mean to say. I'll enumerate:

1. You're a left-wing political pundit. You advocate for left-wing ideas and politicians.

2. You were an outspoken advocate for John Tamihere.

3. Even though he has pretty huge problems with women. He gave a very offensive, misogynistic interview to Investigate magazine back in 2005 - which got him kicked off the Labour list and was probably a factor in him losing his seat in 2008 - and he's repeated his offensive views ever since, on his radio station and in the media.

4. But you still endorsed him for various reasons: friendship, disdain for identity politics. None of that mattered: you insisted he'd still make a great Labour MP!

5. And now we have the Roastbusters debacle and it turns out you were totally wrong! Totally wrong. Totally wrong! That's all I'm saying! It seemed pretty obvious to me that this raging outspoken misogyinst wasn't an appropriate Labour MP, and you're a professional political pundit so I would have thought you'd have seen it too. But'chya didn't.

So that's all I'm saying. I totally didn't mean to imply that you endorse the Roastbusters, or agree with Jackson or Tamihere and I do apologise for the confusion there. Really I'm just saying you were terrible at your job.

(And - as I recall - Chris Trotter was really dubious about the Labour Party re-admitting Tamihere, although I couldn't find his column straight away.)

by Josie Pagani on November 08, 2013
Josie Pagani

Hi Danyl and Andrew,

Let me say again. I completely repudiate the views expressed by JT and Willie -that some of the girls might have contributed to a situation that led to their rape.

But I know there are a lot of men who probably vote Labour who agree with them. You guys move in liberal circles and it’s easy to forget that these views are widespread (apparently even shared by the police!)

The challenge is what do you do about it? Your option is to shut down people who have illiberal views, and ban them.

To me, that’s unacceptable.

Rather than silence people with unenlightened views, you should confront those attitudes directly and passionately in the smoko room. Otherwise you’re saying that you only want to see a Labour party made up of people who think like you. Are you really saying, for example, that working class Maori men who look and sound like Willie and JT don’t deserve representation in the Labour party because of their offensive views on certain issues?

I strongly disagree with what they said. At the time I wrote that piece on JT Andrew,  I expressed my distaste with JT’s views on homosexuality. That doesn’t mean I don’t think that people like him belong in a party that represents labour, working people and wage earners.

For you guys, this is just more evidence that JT and men who look and sound like him, are not only unqualified to represent Labour - they shouldn’t even belong to the Labour party (that was the issue I was writing about BTW. If you remember, earlier in the year, the Labour party Council was debating whether or not JT would be allowed to RE-JOIN the party - not stand as a candidate).

If a rape survivor like Louise Nicholas is brave enough to stand up in front of trainee police after being raped by police, and talk to them about what it's like to be raped and then treated as if it’s your fault, can you still not see that silencing JT and Willie is the cowards option?

by Andrew Geddis on November 08, 2013
Andrew Geddis

@Josie,

First off, I don't want to be conflated with Danyl's views, or to be seen as a part of a tag-team beat down on you. My comment was by way of a genuine question - to see if Tamihere's latest outburst changed your views on him as being a person Labour ought to get back into its caucus (which is what you said on Q&A) - and not to intended to have a poke at you personally.

I also get your response. I guess this is the potential issue with it. In the working class, there also are folks who think unions are terrible, terrible institutions and that the only way for anyone to succeed is to pull up their own socks and get ahead under their own initiative - what I'd have called "class traitors", back in my Trotskyist days. If we want to put a face to it, let's call them "Paula Bennetts". Now, imagine a "Paula Bennett" emerged on the national stage and started saying things like NZ needs to liberalise its employment laws, cut the tax burden and keep its minimum wage at current levels (while at the same time supporting things like same sex marriage, gender balance in representation, and compulsory te reo education in high schools) ... and declares her interest in becoming a Labour Party MP. 

My guess (and it is a guess, so if it is wrong, I'll stand corrected) is you'd be deeply opposed to "Paula Bennett" joining Labour, let alone becoming a part of the Labour caucus. What such a person argues for is the antithesis of Labour values. No matter her potential electoral attractiveness to a group of voters that otherwise may see nothing in Labour to support, her basic values and worldview is so out of touch with what Labour is about that she cannot ever "represent" it. The Labour Party may be a broad church, but it isn't (and can't be) that broad if it is have any sort of soul.

Which is, I'd again guess, where those who oppose seeing Tamihere back in Labour (and especially back in the Labour caucus) are coming from. 

But like I say, this is guess upon guess ... if there are any actual Labour members out there who would care to wade in on the issue, I'd enjoy hearing your views (so long as they are expressed respectfully and in a way that recognises reasonable people can have different views on this, as any other, matter.)

by Tim Watkin on November 08, 2013
Tim Watkin

Danyl, for me you're still being a bit black and white and wise in retrospsect. Tamihere has always had flaws, but has also had a streak of brilliance and electoral appeal that has made him such a compelling figure for so long. All politicians have some pretty big flaws that get looked past, in part because you want to have a wide range of views round the table and that electoral appeal.

But are you saying that you knew in advance that he was going to go from sexism to, well, whatever you might what he did this week? Implying 13 year-olds could consent to sex etc? Cos I didn't. No, you're judging him on his past comments and wanted him out for that. But you can't use those to say you somehow knew in advance he'd go even further.

At some point a politician may go beyond the pale. For you Tamihere obviously went there some time ago. For me I think it might have been this week... or maybe six months ago. But I'd agree now that I have no desire to see him back around a cabinet table, whatever his other strengths.

For Josie that's up to her. But that doesn't make one of us right or totally wrong. I think it's silly to say 'look how this offensive interview proves me right all along'.

by Paul Williams on November 08, 2013
Paul Williams

But are you saying that you knew in advance that he was going to go from sexism to, well, whatever you might what he did this week? Implying 13 year-olds could consent to sex etc? Cos I didn't. No, you're judging him on his past comments and wanted him out for that. But you can't use those to say you somehow knew in advance he'd go even further.

I'm not purporting to answer for Danyl, his argument with Pagani and Trotter is his to fight. That said, were this question put to me, I'd confidentally say yes. I agree Tamihere has electoral appeal but he imploded as an Minister and has always been a loose cannon incapable of sustained self moderation. I understand, very well, the need to broaden Labour's appeal but I'd not support doing so with the likes of Tamihere. Give me Kelvin Davis over him any day.

by Tim Watkin on November 08, 2013
Tim Watkin

Ah well, all power to your psychic ability, Paul. But I'm certainly happy to look at this week's performance and see a man in no way fit to be Social Development Minister. We can also agree on Kelvin Davis. Last time I spoke to him he was expressing no desire to go back to parliament, but that might have changed...

by Josie Pagani on November 08, 2013
Josie Pagani

I agree Paul and Tim. I think this will be hard for JT to recover from if he still wants to be a Labour candidate. His electoral appeal has always been that he represents core Labour values - pro-active government that prioritises jobs, and is on the side of wage earners rather than capital. That's why Kelvin Davis was in parliament and still should be (but that's another story!). My point on Q&A Andrew, was that people who look and sound like him belong in the Labour party, and deserve to be represented by their candidate in the Labour party.  JT's homophobic or mysogynist views don't change the fact that he has done well at advocating for Labour principles in the past. You confront the harm his out-moded and thoughtless views on other issues creates by winning the arguments and winning over people who secretly agree with him. Not by banning him from the radio or excommunicating him from the Labour party. 

by Danyl Mclauchlan on November 08, 2013
Danyl Mclauchlan

Tim: Danyl, for me you're still being a bit black and white and wise in retrospsect. 

I have been mocking the idea of Tamihere's triumphant return to Labour for a while now. From my blog back in Oct of 2012

Just watched the John Tamihere interview on Q & A. Tamihere was dumped from Labour after a series of scandals, including an interview in which he made jaw-dropping misogynistic statements about his Labour party colleagues. Now he insists Labour should take him back because he’s ‘older and wiser’; he then went on to explain that every female MP in Labour’s front bench should be dumped because they’re under-performing. Also, he doesn’t want to stand in a Maori seat because it’s ‘too grueling’, but he’d like to be given Waitakere because it’s basically a safe Labour seat.

I doubt Shearer will still be leader come selection time, and I doubt the next party leader – whoever they may be – will want to spend three years surrounded by a media scrum demanding to know if they ‘still stand by John Tamihere in light of the latest scandal.’

And I've been disagreeing with Josie about Chris Trotter's Waitakere-Man hypothesis Tamihere being the apotheosis of Waitakere Man - for years. Surely you can't begrudge me being an unbearable dick about everything in light of recent events? 

And what about Josie's argument that Tamihere has a place in Labour because the party is diverse and he represents a viewpoint? It seems absurd to me. National is diverse but they don't make outspoken xenophobic racists MPs even though there are certainly people with that viewpoint inside the party. Because that would be stupid, right? It would cost you more votes than it would gain. And, to repeat Andrew's point, you wouldn't want to see, say, a Labour MP who wanted to abolish unions and privitise the entire health system, but had modern progressive views on gay rights and thus 'represents core Labour values'. Because that would be a crazy thing to do.

by Paul Williams on November 08, 2013
Paul Williams

Ah well, all power to your psychic ability, Paul

No psychic, inductive. It's incomplete data based on previous behaviour... but there's a fair bit of it. I felt the same way about Rudd FWIW.

by william blake on November 08, 2013
william blake

It seems like Tamihere and Jackson are being squeezed by their sponsors and are running "ad-free", it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their positions at Radio Live; censorship? meh, who needs it.

But why is our media dotted with these whack-headed dinosaurs? Wally and JT, Veitch, Laws and Paul Henry etc. are they a mirror to a cro-magnon culture or are they, in part, responsibly for creating it?

by Josie Pagani on November 08, 2013
Josie Pagani

 @ Andrew

"In the working class, there also are folks who think unions are terrible, terrible institutions and that the only way for anyone to succeed is to pull up their own socks and get ahead under their own initiative....."

This is misleading Andrew because there aren't a huge number of working class Labour voters who would want to abolish unions. And even if there were, then we should have a robust debate about that, and I would oppose them. 

The point you're making is 'how can I say that someone with pro-Labour economic policies (jobs and support for wage earners) but conservative social views should be a member of the Labour movement?' But there has always been tension between socially conservative groups on the left and urban liberals - nothing new about that. For those of us who don't share these reactionary views it can be troubling. 

But there's a world of difference between someone advocating for rape gangs (which would disqualify them from representing any political party, I would hope) and Willie and JT expressing views that unfortunately are widespread. Our job as progressives is to take those views on and win the arguments - rather than behaving like a small clique in the corner reassuring ourselves of our moral superiority. 

by ScottY on November 08, 2013
ScottY

His electoral appeal has always been that he represents core Labour values - pro-active government that prioritises jobs, and is on the side of wage earners rather than capital. 

Yes, Tamihere represents some core Labour values, while using every opportunity he can to belittle and demean women and the disadvantaged (which behaviours are hardly consistent with Labour's principles).  It's not as if Tamihere's Radio Live behaviour this week was inexplicable. On the contrary, it was entirely predictable based on his past bad behaviour and his inability to keep his gob shut. Tamihere's brand of politics is toxic and divisive, and the people of West Auckland (and I speak as one of them) are entitled to expect their leaders to behave civilly and with respect towards others. 

I'm with Danyl on this one. Tamihere has never been MP material (look how things turned out when he tried last time), and his disgraceful behaviour this week on Radio Live merely confirms that. With the greatest respect, I would suggest that Tamihere's failings have been obvious for some considerable time.

by Alex Coleman on November 08, 2013
Alex Coleman

Hi Josie,

What I don't understand is why the issues have to be linked. Why do we have to accept bigotry in order to 'pro-Labour economic policies (jobs and support for wage earners)'. The argument seems to be that those policies are not enough to win over social conservative voters, no?

Or is that some voters are so socially conservatibve that they cannot vote for a socially liberal party even if they need ' pro-Labour economic policies (jobs and support for wage earners) '? The solution seems to me to be make the case for the worker friendly policies, better. 

It appears that the tactic you are suggesting is to give social conservatives a voice in the party, that will then be largely ignored anyway. I don't think the voters are fools. Why vote for labour just because it has JT in it, when they can vote for a party that actually believes in that stuff and will go to bat for them on it?




by barry on November 08, 2013
barry

You hardly had to be psychic to predict what JT's stance on radio would be about this case.  I always hope I'm wrong, but studiously avoid certain radio shows when issues like this come up so that my radio can survive.

 

Yes, don't shut people up but don't give them air time for such views either.  What next? The Kyle Chapman breakfast show?

by Paul Williams on November 08, 2013
Paul Williams

My point on Q&A Andrew, was that people who look and sound like him belong in the Labour party, and deserve to be represented by their candidate in the Labour party.  JT's homophobic or mysogynist views don't change the fact that he has done well at advocating for Labour principles in the past

Has he? I'm not sure. Was he a critical part of Labour's solid vote over nine years? I don't think so. No more so than Clark, Cullen and an effective team were. Yeah a few more Cosgroves might be a good thing. Kelvin Davis too, but I'll personally be happy to see the likes of Robertson go, as I was Hawkins. What were their Party Votes like? 

Widening the base is a goal I entirely support. Doing so with dickheads, nah, not convinced. Tamihere's brain explosion was a sure bet.

But I do agree Josie, you're not responsible for his conduct.

by Craig Ranapia on November 09, 2013
Craig Ranapia

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?

Oh dear, Chris.  I'm just asking myself whether the man who compared media crticism of Winston Peters to gang rape and a racist lynch mob really need to dismount from that moral high horse. 

by Ross on November 09, 2013
Ross

young men have been allowed to carry on raping under the watchful eye of the police

That's an assumption, not a fact. The suggestion that police have aided and abetted rape is somewhat ridiculous. Police are typically quick to prosecute rape. The fact they haven't done so here suggests there may be an issue with the reliability or credibility of witnesses, or there is simply a lack of evidence.

I am disgusted with the police for not investigating properly when they had a complaint.

Again, an assumption, not a fact.

by Tom Semmens on November 09, 2013
Tom Semmens

"...Surely you can't begrudge me being an unbearable dick about everything in light of recent events..?"

So you've gone from using this story for an opportunist middle class liberal attack on your ideological enemies to claiming you are just being a crowing dick? Bit of a climb down?

by Andrew Geddis on November 09, 2013
Andrew Geddis

@Josie,

I agree with you that Labour ought to be very, very slow to apply any sort of  "litmus test" approach to who can and can't represent the party - especially any such test created by people like me sitting in middle class affluence and smugly certain about how the world should be. But, equally, I think there's a danger in an approach that says "if a view is widely held in the working class, then it has to have a place in the Party". It seems to me (albeit as an interested outsider, because in the end I'm not a Party member and so have no right to demand anything) that Labour's historical role has been to take the best of working class culture and seek to reorder society to this better end ... that is, after all, why Labour has been at the forefront of not just the fight for economic justice, but also the fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, etc.  And that's why the current Labour principles include commitments to:

  • All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.
  • The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

Which is why I think your comment "... there's a world of difference between someone advocating for rape gangs (which would disqualify them from representing any political party, I would hope) and Willie and JT expressing views that unfortunately are widespread" is a bit misleading in this context. The question isn't what views on sexual assault and the role of the victim would disqualify a person from representing any party, because surely the point of Labour is to be better on these issues than other parties. The question has to be, what is acceptable for the Labour Party, given the core principles (economic and social) that it stands for.

I should be clear that I'm not saying anyone who holds (or even espouses) "traditional", "conservative" or (to be paternalistic) "backward" views on cultural or moral issues should be shut out - that would be to impose the sort of litmus test that would kill the Party stone dead. So let's say, to take a hypothetical, that Kelvin Davis was still wanting to represent Labour and had said some of the things Tamihere did. Would that one incident make him unsuitable as a Labour MP? Probably not - you'd want it to be a "learning experience", from which he would gain a better appreciation of the sensitivities and underlying issues involved (as happened, to give a more extreme example, in the aftermath of Richard Prosser's "Wogistan" rant). I guess the point I'd make about Tamihere's case is that the "you keep him in the tent and try to win the argument with him" aproach has to have its limits. After all, he's been around Labour for a long time now. He claimed he was "older and wiser" when he sought to be readmitted to the Party. And yet, here we are again.

by Paul Williams on November 09, 2013
Paul Williams

He claimed he was "older and wiser" when he sought to be readmitted to the Party. And yet, here we are again.

Precisely.

But, equally, I think there's a danger in an approach that says "if a view is widely held in the working class, then it has to have a place in the Party".

I'm not sure if that's what's being proposed? However, to the extent that it might be, it could be the downside of an unduly narrow application of identity politics. A reactive sort of; we need a bigot for every gay perhaps (please note the the implied humorous tone).

by Danyl Mclauchlan on November 09, 2013
Danyl Mclauchlan

This is misleading Andrew because there aren't a huge number of working class Labour voters who would want to abolish unions.

But if we look at the electoral data we see that there are a lot of Chris Trotter's 'Waitakere Man' voters - working non university educated male voters who own their own homes - who do want to abolish unions. Or, at least, either somewhat or strongly agree that NZ trade unions have too much power: 32%

This has always been my problem with the 'Waitakere Man' hypothesis. This is a pretty small (~13% of population), disproportionately conservative right-wing demographic. Almost 30% self-identify as being 'close' to the National Party (as opposed to 20% among the general electorate). 

There are persuadable voters in there, sure. But why chase them rather than, say, the 10% of voters who don't own their own home, didn't vote in the last election and have a positive view of the Labour Party? I kind of suspect the answer is because those latter people don't meet Chris Trotter for beers at Galbraiths (or wherever), but strategically it doesn't make much sense. 

And regarding the claim that John Tamihere was a political superstar before his fall: this seems to be press gallery conventional wisdom. And yes, he was great at generating stories, which makes him a good politiclan by the criteria of a political journalist. But he didn't win votes or seats off the opposition, or get difficult legislation passed, or any of the non-gallery criteria we might use to judge an MP. He won a safe seat, spent his first term under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, strongly supported the F & S legislation, gave his suicidal Investigate interview and then lost his seat in the '08 election. 

by DeepRed on November 09, 2013
DeepRed

"National is diverse but they don't make outspoken xenophobic racists MPs even though there are certainly people with that viewpoint inside the party."

Bob Clarkson, much?

by fine tooth column on November 09, 2013
fine tooth column

Josie, though I often disagree with many of your views, I find myself agreeing with you in that John Tamihere and Willie Jackson should not be banned. I think it entirely misses the point and is a lazy. Too often, I find a kneejerk response to offensive public statements by conservative-leaning broadcasters is a liberal drive to remove them from the airwaves (usually spearheaded by people who hated them anyway/ never listened to their show). Granted, I think John Tamihere is a shitbag and that was based on everything from frontbums to homophobia to abandoning his cats while moving house. And I think he has in the past been misrepresented by pundits (yourself included) as some voice of blue collar males - which is simplistic and kind of insulting as there is no shortage of thoughtful, progressive blue collar males. But his popularity is based on a significant percentage of the population agreeing with most of his views. This approach would have it that removing them from air will mean these views will disappear. They won't; this is cultural and institutional. Also, rather than engage, challenge, and easily take down these backwards views, if Tamihere is sacked then this may entrench the views of his listeners/ those who agree with those particular views. As tough as it is to take down institutions, it's a lot more rewarding that sourcing individuals as the cause of all negative attitudes.

Also, anyone else find it a bit sausage fest that it seems to be almost entirely males attacking Josie's views?

by Paul Williams on November 09, 2013
Paul Williams
Also, anyone else find it a bit sausage fest that it seems to be almost entirely males attacking Josie's views?
I'm not attacking Josie's views. Others here seem to be criticising historical boosters of Tamihere, Trotter included. I call bullshit on the sexist card.
by Andrew Geddis on November 09, 2013
Andrew Geddis

Josie, though I often disagree with many of your views, I find myself agreeing with you in that John Tamihere and Willie Jackson should not be banned.

That's not the debate that is being had here, but. Josie did say in an early comment that "[my] option is to shut down people who have illiberal views, and ban them", but I haven't argued that (and nor has anyone else on this thread). In any case, it looks like the "banning" is going to occur as a consequence of the commercial backers of Radio Live not wanting to be associated with them ... which, I have to say, is something I am distinctly uneasy about.

It's then a separate question as to whether Tamihere's recent comments (combined with his past record) mean he ought no longer be seen as the sort of person to represent Labour as a political party. And I don't see why me having a "sausage" (I call it a penis, but whatever) means I can't debate this with Josie in a way that may be forthright, but I certainly don't think is bullyng or condescending.

by Alex Coleman on November 09, 2013
Alex Coleman

There are lot of people put there who take drugs. If a talkback host started explaining why people use P, and saying that most P users don't go on killing sprees and it's all just a bit of fun on the weekend and get out of here with your middle class atitudes; I'm not sure advertisers would stick around either.

 

And I'm not sure there'd be many defenders of the broadcaster's 'right to free speech'.

Is drug culture a worse problem than rape culture? We spend a lot more money combating it that's for sure.

by Fentex on November 09, 2013
Fentex

it looks like the "banning" is going to occur as a consequence of the commercial backers of Radio Live not wanting to be associated with them ... which, I have to say, is something I am distinctly uneasy about.

Why unease? Surely you do not confuse freedom to speak with freedom from consequence?

Or someones freedom to speak with compulsion of others to assosciate or trade with them?

by Tim Watkin on November 09, 2013
Tim Watkin

Surely you can't begrudge me being an unbearable dick about everything in light of recent events?

That's why I said a bit black and white and wise in retrospect! I don't begrudge you an ill-judged or imprecise par here and there, we all do it. But a large part of the point I'm about to make is that – while I'm not saying they're on the same scale – from a principled point of view isn't Tamihere asking not to be condemned in just the same way? Do you begrudge him a few dumb questions in the heat of live radio?

I get that you've never been a fan and he's only lived down to your expectations this week, but my point wasn't that you haven't previously been critical, simply that no-one could have known he'd cross this line (if it is a line to you; it's not to some). Some have argued that he had learnt from past mistakes and had more to offer.

And I guess my other point is that in times like this people are very quick to define a person as simply one thing, ie 'the man who asked about a girl's virginity' or, worst by my standards, discussed whether a 13 year-old had consented or not and then used some class/ethnic/moral relativism to justify his sexism (as if all poor or Maori or west Auckland men would approach the isue from his viewpoint). However offensive, any person is more than one interview or one mistake. I know people here are arguing he has form. Fine. But still, he is more than that and has remained a successful public figure and potential candidate due to his other talents (including an ability to speak clearly and passionately for a sector of society he knows and understands).

That he offends some of the mores within his own party is hardly reason for him to be rejected. Even Holyoake said, did he not, that he only agreed with 80% of his own party's ideas? We forgive all kinds of failings in people if we think some greater good is served.

Being a member of any party doesn't necessarily mean simply ticking a long list of 'must believes'. People evolve a party, or any group. Christianity wouldn't have achieved the reformation if it hadn't been for people inside its tent changing it. Martin Luther, I believe, was quite an arse. (And while we're on the name, Martin Luther King Jr didn't have a great track record in how he treated women, either).

None of that is to defend Tamihere per se or argue for him to be a candidate or anything specific, but rather observations of how we lose perspective in the heat of these sorts of debates.

And I'd end by adding, before someone else does, that when you've been a dick and want forgiveness, the usual method is to apologise. Genuinely. The lack of any repentance is as much a mark against the man, for me, as the questions themselves. A bit of metanoia would go a long way.

by Andrew Geddis on November 10, 2013
Andrew Geddis

Why unease? Surely you do not confuse freedom to speak with freedom from consequence?

Not at all. It's just that making commercial entities with profit as their priority the de facto arbiters of what can and can't be said in mainstream media (which is, let's face it, still the primary forum for public discourse) makes me ... uneasy.

Especially when stuff like this happens.

by Ross on November 10, 2013
Ross

It's just that making commercial entities with profit as their priority the de facto arbiters of what can and can't be said in mainstream media (which is, let's face it, still the primary forum for public discourse) makes me ... uneasy.

 It makes me uneasy too. And it's kind of ironic that the Left are quite happy to see multinationals apply pressure to a local radio station. I would have thought that the Left typically regarded mutlinationals with a healthy dose of scepticism. Not in this case it seems.

by Paul Williams on November 10, 2013
Paul Williams

simply that no-one could have known he'd cross this line (if it is a line to you; it's not to some). 

Tim, perhaps you mean you not "no-one"? I've got money on Otago being also-rans next year, Clinton to nominate for the Dems and my hangover to be unremedied by across the counter drugs... some things are highly likely based on previous patterns.

However offensive, any person is more than one interview or one mistake.

The "one" mistake is simply the one you've acknowledged. Is it possible there's others, like those noted in this thread?

by Andrew Osborn on November 10, 2013
Andrew Osborn

Such fun to be so outraged!...yet such short memories.

Wasn't it Labour Minister Dover Samuel who was sacked after he was accused of having sex with a girl in his care and subsequently arranging an abortion for her?

The cops couldn't prove he'd started the affair before 16 and no doubt Auntie Helen  told the cops not to look too hard so he got away with it.

Go to admire those Core Labour Values!


 

by fine tooth column on November 10, 2013
fine tooth column

@Paul Williams and @Andrew Geddis
Sorry if my comments seemed to single you guys out. With regards to gender, I'm more pointing out on this particular issue that there seems to be disproportionately men commenting and critical (yes, about her past views), but I'm also getting a similar impression on Twitter, Facebook, and other blog threads. "Banning" is also the wrong choice of word, as is "banned", should be "removed".

by Fentex on November 10, 2013
Fentex

making commercial entities with profit as their priority the de facto arbiters of what can and can't be said in mainstream media (which is, let's face it, still the primary forum for public discourse) makes me ... uneasy.

How do you conceive of corporations, presumably tough minded businesses, asserting a position against disagreeable expression as having been made arbiters by the general public of what's acceptable?

If anything one must think they are acting on what they believe is the publics, as their paymasters, will is. Poor sods, lambasted for going about corporate business without concern to public feelings and now it makes some uneasy because they act with concern for public feelings.

If apologists, and in the grand sum of social expectation enablers, for poor behaviour are to be disciplined by social approbation this is how it happens and I think corporates are to be applauded for staking a positive position.

by Andrew Geddis on November 10, 2013
Andrew Geddis

Fentex,

I hope to blog on this tonight ... not sure what my conclusion's going to be, but!

Post new comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.