The great question in NZ political media next to ‘why do so many people think such a mediocre talent like Tim Watkin is a genius’, is, ‘how does Heather du Plessis-Allan keep getting work’. I’ve never rated her journalism or her opinion and this weeks column doesn’t help contradict those impressions.
Proving that there’s no such thing as a sisterhood and that she can be just as privileged and smug as her rich white male fellow broadcasters, du Pleases-Allan lashes out at Metiria for the following crime…
Instead of being a champion for beneficiaries, Turei has actually done a lot of harm to them. It wasn’t so much her admission of benefit fraud that caused the damage. It was her smug attitude. It was her refusal to apologise. It was her sense of entitlement.
…Metiria’s crime was not that she had told the truth about needing to game the draconian neoliberal welfare system, but that she had the audacity to tell her story with her chin up in defiance at the injustice of that system rather than the self-shaming we all demand from anything that is attached to the virgin sacrificing sacredness of ‘taxpayer money’.
In NZ we accept the dignity of the broken, but never the dignity of the resistant.
Muddle Nu Zilind likes their Maoris telling Billy T James style jokes, they don’t like them righteous against injustice.
du Plessis-Allan manages to go beyond hating on uppity Maoris, she also washes away an entire nations bigotry against beneficiaries by blaming Metiria for not being contrite enough…
Turei will have confirmed prejudices up and down this country.
She may believe she has started a debate about poverty in New Zealand, but it’s more likely she has driven people further towards the views they already loosely held.
…it’s like blaming the South African Apartheid state on Nelson Mandela because he stayed in prison for so long.
The delusional, moralistic, faux outrage of the mainstream media who have attacked Metiria did so because they were in a state of fear. Over the last 30 years since the neoliberal revolution, Corporate media have led the charge to convince the poor and beneficiaries that they have no voice, no power and no muscle at the ballot box. Metiria risked awakening that vote the corporate media have worked so hard to marginalise and disenfranchise and that was never going to be allowed to happen.
I’m not saying the management behind the Greens strategy wasn’t poorly gamed out, but the courage Metiria showed deserved far more than what du Plessis-Allan and her ilk meted out.