GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – A Few Foul Men (and Women)


Since Greta Thunberg gave her powerful speech at the UN last Monday the conservative right have gone after the messenger in order to avoid the message. They have attacked everything from her looks, her anger and even questioned her mental health .
I could list these detractors by name – from Fox News to a NZ Herald columnist – but that would be to give them further publicity, which of course is what they seek.

After reading a few of these pieces by right wing media commentators with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo (mostly male but a few female) I found myself recalling Jack Nicholson’s famous line in the movie A Few Good Men.

“You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

The other thing these commentators can’t handle is anger from a young person delivering a message of shame .

Shame that hits home because most adults know in their hearts Greta is right. Our children are right . We have let them down by not giving our governments a bigger mandate to instigate more rigorous climate change initiatives .

TDB Recommends

Today there are Strike4Climate NZ rallies around New Zealand tomorrow.
Let’s support our young people as they demand more action from our leaders on Climate Change.

If you click on the following site you will find where an event is happening near you.

I will be in Aotea Square with my camera from 11 am to 1pm If you spot me please say G’day.


Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. What a load of drivel . She should be at school – and so should all the other children bunking their exams. The liberal intelligenzia who feed this into the education system causing youth to be even more depressed have a lot to answer for . And since when and on what basis can it be asserted that white male New Zealanders don’t care about the environment? Tosh

    • I could ask myself the same question. Since when did non-pakeha get to decide what to produce, what manufacture or what to do with the profit. Overwhelmingly the the very few who get to decide are pakeha CEOs. Don’t forget that, brother.

    • John – You really think that school is the only place of learning ? And since when did groups of white male NZ’ers saying how caring they are have a practical impact on anything ?

      We used to call them pseuds – the oh so earnest participants in discourse about problems thinking that they were solving them merely by discussing them. Unfortunately, nothing is that simple.

      Would it be more palatable if Greta had been Greg ?

      • “Would it be more palatable if Greta had been Greg ?”

        It’d probably only be more palatable if Greta was not just male, but was also named Fortesque St John-Lewellyn Fucknuckle esq. (Don’tcha know)
        Ah fa fa fa fa fah!
        Put her in the army I say! Show the young whippersnapper a little discipline! She really has now climbed above her station. Gawsh………what HAS the world come to? If we let these young folk run riot now, the next thing you know they’ll be pissing on our graves and besmirching our good names. This really really is too too much! I just won’t have a bar of it. Pure humbug I say!
        Ah fa fa fa fa fah!

        • Tim – Greta is Swedish. That mouthful of hyphenated names (Did you have to have a Fortesque?) is more suggestive of upper class or social climbing Brits, and among those sorts of people, concern for lesser beings is totally infra dig.
          Lesser mortals and their lowly lives belong down the bottom, out of sight.

          Not all are like that – Antonia Fraser’s Dad, Lord Longford, got publicly involved in issues of social justice, and Everest’s Sir John, later Lord Hunt, whom I was fortunate to meet, was genuinely interested in education – I think he may have been on the ILEA – but run of the mill social climbers care for little beyond their own status and income.

          Greta setting the media on fire is better than Ireland’s Bernadette Devlin’s impact in the House of Commons, and I am now going to research Joan of Arc, because I know little about what she did, except that she came to a fiery end.

          One young woman setting the world alight speaking for the common good is a hell of a lot better than pop stars twerking, or Kadarshians running around half-dressed. All those offended men should be quietly grateful that they’re not her Dad – that could be a challenge.

    • John Lewellyn – What a load of drivel.
      Did your schooling contain critical thinking and science to university level.
      I suggest a little homework may help.

      Greta speaks for many millions if not billions who do understand

  2. Thunberg is entitled to her opinions as are anyone else. The state of the planet is bigger than one person or a PR company supporting their world view or agenda by exploiting an autistic heroine who is immune from critique. No one would deny the importance of the youth, their enthusiasm and their right to protest and be heard. No sane person would deny our planet needs protecting, but this is not science it’s emotion, this is not climate denial it is the pursuit of the truth, this is not an attack on any one but on the claims of many. I didn’t hear one word at the UN of the millions killed by Western military in the last two decades, it was just theories of doom and threats of maybe/possibly/has-to-be temperature rises, sea level inundation and even the wind blowing a bit stronger because of said climate change. No one has died because of bloody climate change but it seems to be a wrecker of childhoods and a marker for the end of days.
    On a lighter note Jacinda was well received on talk shows and ‘increased our profile’ for the good of selling stuff overseas, economy being probably the real reason the UN exists now, with new opportunities being leveraged from exploiting ‘climate trade’ and ‘climate champions’.

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