MEDIAWATCH: A salute to the columnist courage of Damien Grant

Fireworks aficionado, devoted father & husband, fanatical libertarian, redemption champion, cthulla of capitalism, liquidator, Sith cheerleader, right ring columnist and my weekly sparring partner on NZs number 1 weekly political Podcast that isn't funded by NZ on Air - The Working Group, Damien Grant

I want to take a moment to salute the courage of my weekly sparring partner on NZs number 1 weekly political podcast (that isn’t funded by NZ on Air), Damien Grant.

He’s the 75th most important columnist at Stuff with a beard and he continues to provide some of the weeks best columns because he has courage to take on issues most of the commentariat are too frightened to even mention least they become the target of a woke on line cancellation Lynch mob.

In these Cultural Revolution times of woke deplatforming and right wing Qanon white supremacy death threats, the fine line of telling it like it is has never been more dangerous.

The vast, vast, vast majority of mainstream columnists and journalists in this country have very clear colour inside the lines rules of acceptable debate and slavish acceptance of whatever the militant middle class identity politics aesthetics will allow.

That’s why Damien is such a champ, he is prepared to actually critique and challenge on issues everyone is too frightened to mention because it raises questions no one wants to answer.

His blistering critique of Oranga Tamariki and their obscenely racist reverse uplifts policy was barely touched by anyone else because it ruthlessly challenged woke identity politics, likewise his review of the post #metoo crucification of James Gardner-Hopkins which exploded with allegations the law firm was a sexual harassment factory when the actual sad details of what really happened were far, far, far, far, far, far less egregious.

The privilege of heteronormative white cis mal.. oh

His latest column today asks basic questions about our need to blame racism for everything, which has always been a bugbear of mine.

People often ask how do I stand hanging out with a libertarian so much, because I respect Damien for having the courage to say what he thinks, I don’t agree with it at times, but I respect him for using his platform to actually do what columnists are supposed to do, force us to reflect and question things.

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He didn’t get a nomination for best columnist this year, and quite frankly that’s a badge of honour when you check out his competition.

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  1. Interesting, alarming Martyn. Damien does deserve praise for opening eyes to such an egregious behaviour. He uses the word depravity in talking about the thinking and methods employed by people in Oranga Tamariki, and as the Ministry is trying to hush up the matter it would apply to them all.

    I know someone who was in social welfare care long ago and the results have remained throughout her life. She has had to summon great strength of mind to overcome them. Playing with children as pawns in a game of foster care monopoly, with added racist or Maori features, where a child keeps being moved from one place to another as part of a deplorable ‘game theory’ is a blot on social welfare and actually an insult to Maoridom. It implies that pakeha control and methods are necessary, which have imposed conditions that they think Maori should be desiring, and have set rigid rules to further this belief and Maori employees have learned that this is ‘best practice’. Following the set rules has become more important than caring for the children’s wellbeing.
    Once adopted, a bad practice is hard to identify and often refuses to quit. And, like a virus, it begins to spread to other organisations

    These links are business-oriented, but because in New Zealand all matters, including social welfare and health, are being affected by business-centred methods, the points made in them will be mostly applicable. The trend must be, to be practical, effective and keep the aims of the organisation, and their values to the fore in every move. In this case I would think, the loving care of the child in a stable and caring home where the child will learn to manage their life and how to behave, and advocate for themself for their own good and self-respect, and also as part of a good, decent society. Physical care is not enough of course, and how the child is influenced is important.

    If those within Maoridom care about their mana, they will bring their principles and practicality together and not let this be done in their name. It is just a bit of poisonous pakeha-influenced behaviour that is twisting Maori beliefs away from what good people would wish to happen. And it has been said that computer machine-algorithms are being used in decision making about which children should be ”uplifted’ (stolen) by this foul
    government organisation.

    Responsible Maori people would bring both heart and practicality to this on their own without machine guidance, if they had a set of guidelines to work to based on what is best for the child, which would include ensuring that the child is included in a hapu that is functioning well, maybe with an extended version of whaangai for a child from a different area.

    • That sort of facile comment just reinforces the value of Damien Grant to the nation. Somebody who thinks uses logical arguments and thinks before he writes.

  2. I love Damian.

    Used to wonder how anyone could be a Libertarian but have found that a lot of what he says makes sense. He is thoughtful and intelligent and funny. Isnt afraid to analyse a situation and come up with the truth (or at least his considered truth) and I would vote for him over Jack Tame any day.

  3. Grant’s stuff article link above is well worth a read. The following point he makes seems to escape many people today. “Society is complex. People make different decisions and pursue differing lifestyles. The fact that I am spending time writing this column rather than engaging in more productive and better paid work is a decision that will lead me receiving a lower income. If your priority is community and family rather than wealth accumulation your life’s achievements will differ. Some prefer to die with seven children rather than seven houses and that isn’t a bad thing and nor is it a problem that needs addressing.” We are becoming so obsessed with closing gaps and leveling outcomes that we are in danger of losing sight of equality of opportunity. This is why I don’t think we need a Maori health authority (or a Farmers’ health authority for that matter, even though rural people apparently die at a 20% higher rate than urban). What we need instead, is a much more effective health system, where everyone gets the treatment they need – in a much more timely manner – regardless of their race, money or post-code.

  4. #metoo is a funny thing, on reading Damien’s column and some of the links I have to conclude it’s mostly window dressing for entitled law students or rejects from the NZ School of Ballet etc who had more alcohol than they were used to. The K.K. school of fashion doesn’t help much either, alcohol and tight, elasticated body furniture a hubristic combination. The stupid thing is that the real Mickey Finners don’t usually get caught because they’re incognito and/or imposters.


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