The hypocrisy, vindictiveness and viciousness of the far right against Metiria was stunning

By   /   August 11, 2017  /   6 Comments

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The hypocrisy, vindictiveness and viciousness of the far right was stunning if not surprising. They think they own the poor, that those on a benefit must account to them, and they cannot tolerate the poor retaining any dignity. And that is why they pounced so hard on Metiria.

Metiria & Chris protesting CHOGM 1995

Yesterday I was so sad to hear Metiria resign.

Today I’m angry, as we all should be.

The hypocrisy, vindictiveness and viciousness of the far right was stunning if not surprising. They think they own the poor, that those on a benefit must account to them, and they cannot tolerate the poor retaining any dignity. And that is why they pounced so hard on Metiria.

She kept her dignity – she has it in spades. She started a conversation this country desperately needs to have. She put her daughter before herself back then, and now she has put her party before herself.

I know Metiria’s story is true, because I was there.

Anyone who suffered through Ruth Richardson’s mother of all budgets knows. The photo above shows us dressed as clowns to protest all the kerfuffle around the CHOGM talkfest in 1995.

Minutes later me, Metiria, Worik and Eddie were unfairly arrested (the charges were later dropped).

Meyt was first to be arrested, because the seasoned street performer in her stayed in character, which was a slow-moving ogre. I’m proud to call Metiria a friend, and know the next chapter in her life will be just as interesting and she’ll continue to be an inspiration for many, including me.

#IstandwithMetiria

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About the author

Chris Fowlie

Former editor of NORML News, Chris Fowlie is president of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, manager of The Hempstore, and court-recognised expert witness for serious cannabis charges.

6 Comments

  1. kd says:

    beautiful tribute, thank you for that Chris

  2. WILD KATIPO says:

    There’s going to come a day , drawing ever nearer,.. when Metiria Turei will be vindicated.

    Possibly it will not be recognized as such , because the powers that be, the very ones so threatened by her message will wish to put a suitable amount of time between their harassment of her and their slow ‘incremental’ small changes. So that they deny her any credibility, not from any sense of contrition.

    But it is an inescapable fact that the issue of real poverty and the treatment of the poor has reached un – New Zealander – like proportions. There is something sick and cancerous that has been overtaking this country for the last three decades.

    And Metiria Turei named it when she drew attention to a particular govt dept called WINZ.

    And that disease is called neo liberalism.

  3. mosa says:

    My wife and i met Metiria at the anti TPPA gathering in Dunedin last year.

    She is great to talk too and we made it clear to her that it was her parties policy on welfare and families that had impressed us after she given a speech on the subject and of course the Greens stand on the enviroment.

    She appreciated the support and made the comment that you would not believe the arrogance of Nationals MPs in parliament and how tough it was to get any traction in addressing poverty and hardship.

    I wish her well and apologise to her on behalf of all thinking caring Kiwis for the abuse and hatred directed at her and her family.

  4. Well said, Chris…

    Though I wonder if the moralists who hounded Metiria were “far right”? My real concern is that they were conservative middle class; uninformed; suspicious, and fearful. Led by a reactionary Media Elite who took it upon themselves to set the narrative and lead the middle-class by the nose…

  5. tv_Square_Eyes says:

    Working on your day off, in return for a box of beers, a lil bit cash under the table, etc. How many Kiwi’s have done this once in there live’s ? Blaa Blaa Blaa How many of you declared and paid tax blaa blaa blaa “NO” How many of yous have put your hands up, hell no i dont want to be done for fraud. How many of you pounced with abuse and hatred at Metiria Turei. Whats the difference, Metiria was on benefit trying to pay her rent feed her kid etc etc. Were the rest of yous trying to push shit up hill. Peace and Love New Zealand

  6. Maggie says:

    It’s a great pity that none of those hounding journalists didn’t do the hard work of finding out how much the benefit was at the time, what fixed outgoings were and what sort of outgoings people were trying to cover back then. Maybe we would have had some real discussions about what trying to live on the benefit is/was really like. I hope the relative who went to the media to pour scorn on Metiria’s story is ashamed of themselves. What did they think was going to happen. Do they hate her so much?