Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!

48
4520

 

IF THE SEXUAL ASSAULT scandal engulfing the Prime Minister’s office hasn’t been properly dealt with by the time you read this, Labour’s in big trouble. An article in this morning’s (9/9/19) edition of The Spinoff has catapulted this matter squarely into the realm of full-blown political crisis. The detail supplied brings to life the victim’s accusations in a way that cannot help but elicit sympathy. The Labour Party’s response, by contrast, inspires nothing but the most profound contempt.

The question repeated endlessly after the posting of Alex Casey’s article is: “How on earth did it get to this?” The person at the centre of these allegations isn’t just a Labour mover-and-shaker among other Labour movers-and-shakers, he’s a mover-and-shaker who works in Jacinda’s office! This means that, like Caesar’s proverbial wife, he must be “above suspicion”. Why those around the Prime Minister did not see fit to protect her from the fallout of a potentially catastrophic investigation is a deeply problematic mystery.

National’s pollster and Kiwiblogger, David Farrar, has openly stated that: “I’ve heard that [the accused person’s] role makes him invaluable to Labour’s election campaign. Labour have decided he must be protected.” If true, this tells us a great deal about the moral quality of decision-making within Labour’s ranks – none of it good.

It also tells us that everyone within the Wellington “Beltway” knows who this guy is. That includes, of course, the Parliamentary Press Gallery, who will be on nodding terms (at least) with every staff-person in the Prime Minister’s Office. This knowledge, privileged for the moment, can only add a dangerously intimate ingredient to what is already a toxic political mix. How long Wellington’s political journalists and commentators will allow themselves to go on knowing things that their viewers, listeners and readers do not, is anybody’s guess – but it cannot be for very much longer.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Word has it that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Paula Bennett, will name the accused staffer under the protection of Parliamentary Privilege as early as Tuesday afternoon (10/9/19). It was to Bennett that a number of aggrieved young women went with their grievances about Labour’s handling of this matter, so the DLO has skin in the game.

The most important takeaway, so far, from this scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of an accusation that demanded the most circumspect and judicious handling. Senior party officials should have spared no effort to ensure that the process of their investigation was as impartial as it was forensic. “Best Practice” should have been only the starting-point!

That it was so far from anything resembling best practice only reinforces the rapidly congealing public impression that this government can do nothing right – or well. It is becoming harder by the day to avoid the conclusion that the movers-and-shakers in and around this government are incapable of assessing how bad their own behaviour, and the failure that flows from it, looks to those living outside the bubble.

Jacinda has about 24 hours to seize control of this situation – or risk being seriously damaged by it. Everyone in the Prime Minister’s office serves at the Prime Minister’s pleasure – something which every staffer’s contract makes clear. Jacinda needs to make her displeasure known in ways that cannot possibly be misconstrued. She must act – now.

*  *  *  *  *

 

EQUALLY IN NEED of remedial action is the Green Party. It’s recent decision to take down from its Te Awa website an opinion piece penned by the veteran New Zealand feminist, Jill Abigail, has set in motion what shows every sign of turning into an avalanche of voter disaffection.

Abigail’s entirely reasonable and courteously framed objections to the words and deeds of those she clearly regarded as transgender zealots very soon fell foul of the very zealotry she was complaining about. The justification advanced by the Greens’ co-leader, Marama Davidson, for censoring Abigail was that she had put “trans people’s right to exist” up for debate.

By any reasonable reading of Abigail’s essay, Davidson’s accusation is entirely groundless. And, for that very reason, it has inspired scores of formerly Green Party-voting women and men to put their name to an open letter demanding a full accounting of the party’s apparent unwillingness to defend not only the rights of women, but also the right of citizens to express themselves freely without being subjected to emotional and/or physical violence.

That some of these signatures belong to feminists whose careers span more than 40 years of struggle on behalf of women and girls should give Davidson and her ilk serious pause. Just as positive word-of-mouth communication can be a wonderful form of advertising; a steadily rising chorus of outrage is capable of inflicting extreme damage upon a minor party’s reputation and – hence – its chances of re-election.

What the Green Party needs to decide is whether or not it is willing to bow to the demands of what may – or may not – be a majority of its members, even if, by doing so, it alienates a very substantial number of its voters. Twitter is not New Zealand. Indeed, it is nothing like New Zealand – not even that narrow slice of the country some people still like to call “progressive New Zealand”. Confined within the hothouse precincts of the Parliamentary complex it is all-too-easy to forget that.

Demographics matter. Psychographics matter. That being the case, it makes no sense for the current Green leadership to drive out female voters aged 55+ whose progressive political principles – especially those relating to women’s rights – were forged in the 1970s and 80s. This is especially true of those conscientious voters who look upon the attitudinal and legislative changes secured for women during their lifetimes as some of the most important achievements of their generation.

Nor should the Greens forget that these female voters have partners and brothers, daughters and sons, and grandchildren – all of whom are about to hear, from someone very close them, a vivid description of the intolerable and unforgivable treatment meted out to an 80-year-old feminist veteran, Jill Abigail, by the Greens.

Exactly who does Marama Davidson believe these folk are most likely to side with in the polling-booth? The Green Party Co-Leader – or their mothers and grandmothers?

48 COMMENTS

  1. The majority of Press Gallery journalists are female. They will take a very dim view of the Prime Minister’s deflection and deliberate ignorance of this.

    I’d also note that it blows Labour’s credibility on law and order reforms out of the water. How can someone listen seriously to Andrew Little’s proposals for domestic violence reforms or Kelvin Davies on prison reform knowing they are part of a government that protects some-one with several accusations of sexual harassment and now sexual assault?

    • In a recent comment in last Wednesdays Open Mic on The Daily Blog I drew connections between Green Party policy and echo chambers as they exists across social media. The woke represented by Marama Davidson would claim that there grand plan is contingent on the blindness and hubris of the patriarchy. It’s not merely that rape culture will grow more powerful but that politics had been reduced to mere tools of the establishment. In surrendering themselves to the will of the woke, democracy has completely rejected the will of the people. There for to defeat the patriarchy The Greens had a fairly simple path, they would weaken the already collapsing Labour and National Party’s because doing so would weaken democracy and thus usher in, if only for a brief a moment perpetual political and economic bliss. So there efforts would allow the politics of non-violence to emerge, the catalyst for the annihilation of both National and Labour Party.

      We don’t have to look for statements by Green Party Leaders, MPs, members or supporters to find a social justice worrier who’s true motivation is the destruction of the patriarchy. As usual the woke is always great in this regard, particularly of the relization that only marginalised opinions mater and everyone else has to shut up.

      Normal people so that’s people like me, The Authors of the Daily Blog, Y’know people who work. Normal people don’t just recognise the failures of democracy but that democracy will always be doomed given there connection to the woke. In the end the greatest wisdom is that democracy deserves to fall wishing that it would take down National and Labour with it.

      As seen with in the War on Terror life has adapted to new normals of brutality. This week we learn that sexual allegations are a constant in both Labour and National ranks after the revelations of Jamie Lee Ross and now this. At first it is very frustrating warning anyone of politicizing rape. It can’t be understood why any one would band together over rape and rise up against democracy. But unlike myself and normal people the woke misunderstand the true nature of democracy, that it is manipulated by Labour and National. The woke are still fighting for survival, for freedom and the ideals of democracy, and as I would conclude the woke fail to understand what should have been obvious for years, that democracy had never been worth fighting for in the first place.

      What should be obvious to the woke is that the downfall of the patriarchy and democracy. IF it fell, would have been sown generations ago. What The Greens and Labour fail to realize is that the public has already changed and revolts against corrupt systems that has been in place for generations is still true. It’s not just the woke and The Greens that want to see patriarchy destroyed. If patriarchy is destroyed it will be because that is how the people willed it. What most commentators do not recognise is that the old system is being rejected by everyone.

      The Labour and National Party won’t be destroyed solely because of the actions of its departments. It will be allowed to die so that a new system with a central command and control system at the top could manifest. And of course with in this new system there is no place for rape and brutality. That is truly woke. And unlike the hubris and blindness of male patriarchy the woke want to go beyond simple right versus left, male versus female. It does go towards hubris in away but it does go towards a deeper understanding that democracy isn’t worth fighting for from the very beginning.

      While normal people and the woke alike see hubris in major political party’s, I see hubris in engaging in such a premise in the first place. From the beginning of New Zealand’s democratic experiment colonisation and disposition has been a particular feature of it. The goal of smashing one Kings (or Queens) right to rule over everything has sunk into the morass of simple politics and is reduced to simple tools who are more security unit’s than of the politics of kindness. So long as everyone adheres to democracy the wealthy one percent can grow and dominate the workforce. This pillar of influence is utilised best by political donations. It is predicted by Noam Chomsky’s vast array of essays that as private corporations grow more powerful the public will begin to retreat from democracy and look to new solutions through the rejection of democracy and acceptance of demagogues and harsh laws.

      Chomsky’s essays, of course, is exactly how everything played out and will be recognised to late to be of use by anyone. How ever it is understood by Noam Chomsky to be true. For this reason there should be no problem in concluding that democracy was never worth fighting for to begin with. So that is one conclusion from a wise academic.

    • Ada – I suggest that you refer to pg journalists as ‘women,’ not ‘female.’ Female and women mean different things so I don’t know why you’re doing this again.

      Reducing a woman to her reproductive abilities is dehumanising and exclusionary; ‘female’ is most often used to imply inferiority or contempt. It’s also grammatically weird.

      ‘Female’ in it’s primary usage is an adjective, not a noun.When you use ‘female’ as a noun, the subject you’re referring to is, or can be erased.

      Attributing one uniform view to press gallery journalists is also a demeaning assumption. All journalists are capable of forming their own independent views. Most, if not all, are privy to knowledge about this matter which you may not in fact possess, and so you are not in the position to make assumptions about how others will view the current issues. That’s up to them.

        • No Ada,of course you can still choose whether to show respect to other women. Semantics and correct word usage help to convey the sort of meaning you intend. You may have done precisely this.

            • Grammar and PCness is some thing that I reject outright. What loath the most about the left is there defence policy, particularly The Greens Defence Policy. I think with NZFirst and Greens they create a good balance between Labours no spending defence policy.

            • Ada – Here was I thinking that voters voted on policy – or its seductive verbal equivalents – and now you’re saying that non-left wing persons loath the left for allegedly emphasising semantics and word choice. Hmm. Maybe you’re right. (Pun unintentional.)

              That explains donkeys’ years of the right wing love affair with John Key slithering around words like an acrobatic fruit salad and never bothering to even pronounce this country’s name properly. (That’s fascinating.)

              Shame about the loathing though – language can be a great little tool, for better or worse.

      • ‘Female’ in it’s primary usage is an adjective, not a noun.When you use ‘female’ as a noun, the subject you’re referring to is, or can be erased.

        Ada’s sentence “The majority of Press Gallery journalists are female” uses the adjective correctly, so it’s you who are wrong. It’s a sentence structure exactly the same as “Some cars are red,” “The majority of houses are big” etc.

        I suspect your actual point is less to do with a failed attempt at grammar pedantry than an objection to Ada’s implication that women are female. However, it’s not obvious how avoiding the suggestion that women are female constitutes showing respect for them.

        • Psych – Ada has previously referred to professional women as “females” viz :

          ” The Twitteratti, Women’s Day and female journalists may hold Jacinda up as a shining light, the Anti-Trump of the South Pacific.
          She might be a secular saint amongst the Labour faithful, the one true queen who pulled the party out of the darkness of permanent opposition into the Light of Government.”

          This seemed to be disparaging PM Ardern supporters as some sort of stereotype dummies; it was technically grammatically correct, but in terms of common usage, a bit rough. Conventionally it is more acceptable to refer to women as women, rather than as female, which is more circumscribed word, whereas ‘women’ is not, and it carries no limiting connotations.

          I could pull out my Fowler – but if you conjure up a few scenarios of every day gender usage, I think you’d find that there are differences.

          • That quote also uses the adjective “female” correctly, to modify the noun “journalists.” Female is the adjectival form of the noun woman (except to NZ police officers, who seem to regard “male” and “female” as nouns, as in “The offender was a male”), so it’s always correct to use it when describing women who are journalists. It’s also a less-circumscribed word than woman, not more, because it applies to children and non-human females. “Woman” only applies to adult female humans.

            I know that people have started to use “woman/women” as adjectives (women journalists, woman Prime Minister), presumably due to this weird objection to the word “female” that some people seem to have. They’re free to do that if they want, but it doesn’t mean anyone else has to use their bad grammar.

          • Snow White do you know how alienating that style of argument is?

            The Daily Blog is one of the most progressive places in the NZ political scene yet it feels like we’ve just had a visitor from another planet drop by. Imagine how people in the mainstream would react to being told their definitions of female and women are this wrong when they’ve never heard of these definitions.

            Communication isn’t just about chosing the right words – somehow you’ve got to be able to relate to the people you’re communicating with and these ivory-tower definitions are certain to have the opposite effect

        • And here’s me wanting to remorselessly mock guys for wearing short skirts and putting on a high pitched voice. Not because I recoil from the display but because I totally support LGBT people in there struggle to demand the right to be referred to how ever they want to be referred to. And I reserve the right to giggle slightly. I don’t except this as universality. We should be referred as what we want but I don’t think it is a principle for everyone to live by. Take Trump for instance saying that everyone should be called low IQ, weak ect. We should refer to people in away that doesn’t hurt, and again I reserve the right to giggle.

      • No snow White… There’s nothing degrading about the word female.. Unless you yourself feel women aren’t human.. That our unique reproductive capacity is degrading..
        People are using this word to identify the group once reffered to as women.. But now we can’t even use that without a ‘cis’ prefix.. And that’s the truly derogatory and regressive attitude.. It’s attitudes like yours that imply women are inferior. You’re not the boss of language. Your perspective is only valid as your own personal opinion. As is mine.

    • If your accusations of the PM and the ministers you name is true then the entire National party should be disgusted in their role in the Jamie Lee Ross fiasco. Remember there is still a lot that Bennett is hiding in that fiasco and yet she is at the forefront on the dog whistle attack on the PM. For mine I think you are completely wrong. I believe the PM when she states she only knows what she has been led to believe. I can not say the same for Bridges given what he has said on the JLR tapes.

  2. Yes, not looking good if the offender worked in Jacinda’s office. As for the trans zealots – they completely sabotaged Pride in Auckland. As a straight woman, I have no fundamental problem with people identifying as trans. However, I don’t want a ‘woman’ with male genitalia in my public toilets and I don’t want male to female athletes competing as females – the science is against it.

    • The transgender person identifying as a women does not have male genitalia.

      I agree as to professional and national representative sport, though would remind you of the athletes born biologically female who have hormone levels akin to males – who also have that advantage.

  3. Yes, not looking good if the offender worked in Jacinda’s office. As for the trans zealots – they completely sabotaged Pride in Auckland. As a straight woman, I have no fundamental problem with people identifying as trans. However, I don’t want a ‘woman’ with male genitalia in my public toilets and I don’t want male to female athletes competing as females – the science is against it.

  4. Drop kicks and knee jerks abound from all sides and makes the Hive of Bee’s a toxic brew of poisonous honey. Dosed by Ms. Evil concoctions herself (Pb) its sure to burn the flesh off even a sandfly at 50 paces.
    Do we really need this? Nah, just B-grade BS Payton place rubbish that deflects from the real serious schtuff not happening that will turn the Beehive into a giant ball of wax museum for folks to visit and wonder “What happened here?? Nz used to be a place of peace, solitude and thinking people that had a handle on “Fair for all , not free for all. Here lies NZ, suicided by Race, Gender and lack of Creeds.
    Bring in the wrecking Balls!

  5. Jeeze Wayne. Have just read the spinoff article Chris. If the facts are as stated labour are in serious doo doo, for there serious inaction and apparent attempts at cover up. My disillusionment already, having been an anti tppa protestor is only increased by this. I have an intense dislike of “pull up the ladder after me” paula, but if her interjection in this matter was a way of getting some movement for the complainants then so be it.

  6. Jill Abigail’s ‘concerns’ were mostly just conservative anti-transgender talking points spouted under the guise of ‘polite discourse’. It’s hardly a surprise the *progressive party* took the article down, considering it’s the only party consistently standing up for trans-rights these days. Weird to see feminists (I would have assumed, like myself) bending over backwards to conservatives on transgender issues just so that they can find some way to exclude trans people from our supposedly inalienable human rights.

    • Kate, I suppose it is an inalienable right of someone with male strength to trans to female (adj., Snow White) and become an unbeatable woman weightlifter? Not a good posterperson for the cause.

    • Jill Abigail’s ‘concerns’ were mostly just conservative anti-transgender talking points spouted under the guise of ‘polite discourse’.

      In your not-so-humble opinion. The fact that some conservatives as well as some progressives have a problem with people trying to eradicate the meanings of the words “man” and “woman” doesn’t turn the progressives into conservatives.

    • There’s nothing uniquely conservative about thinking that people born female deserve their own spaces to socialise, organise, get changed or whatever.

      In fact you’ve got things ass-backwards.

      It’s usually conservatives that say that women don’t deserve their own space. Or their own means to secure security, safety and dignity.

      The Green Party has officially hitched itself to the men’s rights movement. It’s utterly retrograde.

      The political left used to the only place that recognized the fundamental tenet of women’s liberation: that sex stereotypes are not innate. Nobody is born with them. Nobody is born with a biological drive to live out the stereotypes that patriarchy created.

      But now the Green Party has joined the ranks of hardened conservatives and the religious right, who believe that gender is innate, that children should be socialized into it even if it requires permanent medicalisation. And that women who object to this harmful ideology should be either silenced or punished.

    • Marc Marc Marc. The world isn’t ending. (Today i.e.) The Nats survived some fairly torrid shenanigans themselves and if you knew what some of their Business Round Table boys got up to, you might curl into a foetal position and never uncurl again.

      It behoves everyone to show a little restraint here, and most will.

  7. The Labour Party has managed this and the conference matter to the risible level of church/law firm and Hollywood. Labour not a safe place for women to work? One would have thought a political party would understood that Times Up means get your s876 together or get out.

    And yes the Greens need to retain respect for process – where issues are discussed through, rather than one where one side exercises the power and stifles the other. It is not a political party’s place to determine political a correctness singularity, just determine on a political path forward (after discussion not always unanimous).

  8. Hmmm, makes Key pulling a pony tail as a joke, in public, rather fade into insignificance doesn’t it? 😉

    Labour somehow managed to bury the youth camp sex scandal thanks to a compliant media, and by threatening the complainant, but the gloss has come off now.

    This is not the party of endless positivity and transformation, it’s the party of “sign this confidentiality agreement or we’ll ruin your life”.

    • Love to know all that JLR knows when he talks of under the bed sheets in his ex National party. But your probably more than happy with what went on Andrew.

    • “Hmmm, makes Key pulling a pony tail as a joke, in public, rather fade into insignificance doesn’t it?”

      You condone sexual gratification do you Andrew? You are part of the problem, not solution.

        • I believe what Andrew understands is what many don’t, which are there are different levels of arseholery.
          He is saying that as far as being an arsehole, Keys ponytail bullshit was a 2 perhaps. Whereas by the sounds of it, this incident could be as much as a 10.
          Or to put it another way. If Key had done what he did to my daughter is would have told him to pull his fucking head in and then punched him in the face if he continued.
          Whereas if this guy had done this shit to my daughter is would have started with a baseball bat and with any luck ended up on a manslaughter charge.
          So, keep shit in perspective huh?

          • Perspective huh? I believe those with any cognitive ability fully understand that what Key did was a massive
            abuse of power and was a “10” and should have had a baseball bat cracked across his head.
            Let us wait and see what transpires from a proper investigation in this case, as going to Bennett and STUFF media smacks of no ordinary pathway? Why did the victim not go to the police?

  9. TOO LATE!
    The damage is done: Open revolt by Labour Party rank & file and for good reason.

    The letter is here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd7lusWzxyuEy1RdBbQM-kvaXJf_oPaMhvkdLROhWv-k5sLqw/viewform?fbclid=IwAR2G2YEoky9KnVfHy4GDueYj8e-0wib1HsU8UDu-lAi3V987ZP3w9Wqq17s

    Extract:
    What has been outlined in the stories is nothing short of sexual assault. What has been outlined as the party’s process in addressing this assault is nothing short of enabling. What has been outlined as the response from other parts of the party – for instance, a senior party official and ministerial employee telling a survivor that the alleged attacker was ‘too important’ to the party, or the survivors being banned from entering Bowen House or other parts of the Parliamentary precinct – is nothing short of despicable. Every day this enabling is allowed to continue is another day that the survivors are silenced and the alleged attacker is allowed to continue enjoying his position of privilege and authority within the party and indeed, your own office.

  10. National didn’t deal well with Roastbusters. Now Labour need to call in the Ghostbusters to remove this shade of disrespect of high-sounding principles.

  11. It is a shame that the coverage , investigation and outrage being applied here was not in evidence during ” ponytailgate ” and other misdemeanors including former MP Todd Barclay and the coverup overseen by English and the National party.
    Nobody wanted to delve to deeply too uncover the National parties behaviour in a number of high profile incidents and sadly it looks like the Labour party who demanded action just a few years ago in opposition now believes similar scrutiny and standards should not apply too them.
    As for the PM,s department this is a major cock up but at least Adern is taking action by way of a Q.C investigation which is more than Key , Bennett or English ever did in the face of some serious behaviour.
    This has been a sharp lesson for Adern and the rest of her government and has the stink of corruption all over it.
    I have been fearing for some time that this may be a one term wonder and that Jacinda Adern will not want too be in this role for too long.

      • Hi Bomber
        Yes TDB did in fact inform us of Keys behaviour and i should have worded my rant a little better.
        I was meaning the MSM in general and my comment ” applied here ” was not a criticism of Mr Trotters article rather a broadside at the news coverage to date.
        I can see how that would be misconstrued.
        My apologies to the TDB team.

  12. Snow White September 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm
    ‘That explains donkeys’ years of the right wing love affair with John Key slithering around words like an acrobatic fruit salad and never bothering to even pronounce this country’s name properly. (That’s fascinating.)’

    Love it Snow White.

  13. I’ve read the accounts of the sexual assault scandal, listened to the interviews, both on Morning Report and Checkpoint. And I’ve heard Nigel Haworth’s flat-out denials regarding what he was told.

    Something here is very strange; I can’t help wondering if this is the latest manifestation of Dirty Politics? After what went on a few years back, I’d rule out nothing of that sort. Paula Bennett’s involvement reinforces my suspicions.

    “EQUALLY IN NEED of remedial action is the Green Party.”

    The Greens are a lost cause. If they’d stuck to environmental issues, there’d be some point in voting for them. But as things stand, the best outcome for all of us is that they’re tipped out of Parliament at the next election. Don’t vote for them.

    • Yeah na.

      You think victims of sexual assault and assault are part of some trap for men who abuse power or assist with a cover up. Your judgement is way off.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.