It seems that practically any criticism of our Dear Leader, these days, elicits a critical response from certain quarters. Robyn Malcolm’s remarks at the opening of the Greens’ campaign have been described by the NZ Herald, as “vitriolic”,
The NZ Herald article carries on with similar comments,
“But fronting the campaign opening in Wellington, Malcolm savaged Mr Key’s performance.” – Ibid
Robyn Malcolm’s comments consisted of the following,
“”We have a leader who seems to be more interested in talking about his cats on the radio, being seen at the rugby and getting on the cover of the Woman’s Weekly. I thought that was my job…”
“We ended up voting in a Government who’ve revealed their total lack of interest in leading us into the 21st century with any innovation, courage, or social integrity, despite what a nice guy he [Mr Key] seems to be…”
“An unshakeable and abiding love of fossil fuels … and an inability to follow through on promises of any kind, but will make anything up for a Hollywood mogul should they happen to come down this way…” ” – Ibid
Ms Malcolm’s comments are critical, certainly. Hard-hitting, probably.
But “vitriolic“? And “savaging“?
These are subjective interpretations – opinion – not impartial reporting. To some people, Ms Malcolm’s remarks would be harsh. To others, they would be fair comment. The determination of how we, the public, might feel about her statements should be left up to us to determine – not prompted by a media report.
Gordon McLauchlan, on Jim Mora’s Radio NZ afternoon panel, made precisely the same pertinent observations and criticised the Herald’s slanted reporting of this event.
One wonders how it came to pass in this country, that an ordinary citizen can be vilified in such a manner by the press, for daring to criticise our elected representatives. This sort of thing was more common in my parents’ country-of-birth, prior to the collapse of the Soviet empire.
As an aside; I heard most of Ms Malcolm’s speech on the radio. I was driving at the time, so wasn’t paying much attention. What I can recall is that she was certainly critical of John Key and his love-affair with photo-opportunities – but certainly did not sound anywhere near “vitiriolic”. Quite the opposite, I considered her words and tone to be quite measured and reasonable.
If anyone has been “savaged” – it is Robyn Malcolm by the unreasonable editorialising in the Herald’s article. The tone and wording of that article is truly, vitriolic.
What is just as bad, is the outrageous hypocrisy shown by Auckland City Councillor, Cameron Brewer, who joined in the hysterical condemnation of Ms Malcolm. Brewer was reported in the same newspaper (NZ Herald) as saying,
“Given Robyn Malcolm is clearly so anti the Government and the Prime Minister, she is far too partisan to front this all-important public consultation and plan . Her personal politics will really colour this council and the plan itself. It is just not appropriate in local government to employ someone whose politics are so pointed to be fronting a public consultation campaign.” Source
Brewer has demanded that Ms Malcolm be replaced because of her perceived partisanship, saying,
“The mayor now needs to urgently reconsider whether she is the best ambassador to launch the plan.” – Ibid
Is this the same Cameron Brewer who recently considered seeking the candidacy for the National Party in the Tamaki electorate?
Why yes, I believe it is.
So, let’s be quite clear about what Cameron Brewer is saying;
- Voicing comments that are anti-government and critical of John Key makes it “inappropriate” for Robyn Malcolm to be connected with an Auckland City Council project because she could be seen as “partisan”, is not acceptable.
- Supporting the current government and intending to stand as one of their candidates, whilst being a member of the same Auckland City Council, is not partisan and is acceptable.
My parents came from an Eastern European country that, prior to 1989, had been ruled by the local Communist Party. The power and influence of the Party reached into all areas of public life.
For example, if, as a teenager, you wanted to go to University then you had to be a member of the youth wing of the Party, the “Young Communists”. If you wanted a good job, you had to be a full member, in good standing, of the Communist Party.
I think we know where I’m coming from on this issue.
In essence, for Brewer to accept Robyn Malcolm as the representative of Auckland’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, she must be a card-carrying, Key-cuddling, member of the National Party.
Thank you, Comrade Brewer, for showing us how little you value political diversity of opinion.
Will you be following up with a One-Party state and Gulag prisons for dissidents such as Ms Malcolm?
And me next, I suppose?