Don Brash

Amidst the free speech debate of recent weeks, there seemed to be some interesting flip-flops by those critical of Molyneux and Southern, but defensive of Brash. So what gives?

 

While most normal people remained blissfully unaware, the free-speech wars have raged across the New Zealand internet like wildfire. 

Hearing the use of the Maori language on mainstream media during Maori Language Week provoked Don Brash to again demand that we be "one people" united in our Britishness. No doubt there are many people who agree with him. But is the tide of history leading to a more diverse society and is Maori language and culture becoming part of all of our lives? 

Don Brash has been here before. In his (in)famous Orewa Rotary speech he argued that there was too much Maori "privilege" and everyone should be treated equally. As part of the Hobson's Pledge organisation he promoted the view that we are all "one people". Now he is telling us, via his Facebook page, that only one language - English - should be used by the mainstream media.

Brash is back and so we have to explain again why his argument is built on rubbish and rubble. And we can do it with his own words.

It's a rare delight in these heavily managed times to see conviction politics and heartfelt arguments. It's just sad the Don Brash-led re-hashed Hobson's Pledge lobby group is so ill-judged and ill-informed.

Brash is back and so we have to explain again why his argument is built on rubbish and rubble

It's a rare delight in these heavily managed times to see conviction politics and heartfelt arguments. It's just sad the Don Brash-led Hobson's Pledge lobby group is so ill-judged and ill-informed.

How and what we remember is complicated but crucial. So when we consider the Maori Party's criticism of Helen Clark, shouldn't we ask if New Zealand is a better or worse place to be Maori given her three terms in government?

Well, this is a cat amongst Helen Clark's United Nation's pigeons. In the midst of a parliamentary recess when political news is thin on the ground, the Maori Party has told the world – and it's the world that matters in this case – that it doesn't support Clark's bid for the Secretary-General's job.