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Not the Spanish Inquisition!


Earlier this week Adam posted an item entitled ‘Interesting Takes on Democracy’. It is clear that the attitudes espoused by Darien Fenton are held by at least one other Labour MP, Louisa Wall. The revisit of the issue was prompted by today’s scathing NZ Herald editorial which condemned Ms Fenton and her approach.

Now in a week which has seen NZ suffer a debt ratings downgrade by S & P and Fitch and potentially signalled at least a break in the electoral golden weather enjoyed by National as both Fran O’Sullivan and John Armstrong comment, thus providing an opportunity for Labour to gain some traction with the electorate, what happens? Darien Fenton sounds off about Peter Leitch, in a way which which reveals an apparent deep and abiding dislike of anyone who dares to hold a contrary view.

This Ms Fenton then compounds this with what Adam considers to be a mealy mouthed Clayton’s apology

The end result a Herald editorial condeming Fenton and the strong probablity given comment on talkback and response by Sir Peter that considerable damage has been done to the Labour brand in it’s core constituency of South Auckland. Fenton’s ill-judged remarks will arguably resonate more with voters than the credit downgrades which for many are probably to use Heln Clark’s memorable phrase a beltway issue.

Ms Fenton was supported by Louisa Wall, another who seeks to represent the good people of South Auckland.

Said Ms Fenton:-

Ms Wall, who is contesting the safe Labour seat of Manurewa, said “personal is political”, and Sir Peter could not endorse Mr Key without endorsing his policies.

This comment speaks volumes about Ms Wall and the prism of beliefs through which she views the world. It would appear that Ms Wall is one of those who thinks that holding an alternative view on a matter makes the individual some sort of devil incarnate. Hell even some National MPs like Keith Locke as a person, whilst finding his politics loopy.

But retiring Manurewa MP George Hawkins hailed Sir Peter as “a great bloke for South Auckland, absolutely brilliant, has helped many charities.”

George is much more canny.

The Herald piece suggests that even Trevor Mallard has recognised that Fenton went too far, he is quoted:-

“I can understand where she comes from. All of us are sensitive about stuff like that, but it’s the sort of thing where you take a pile of deep breaths and then let it go.”

Now Adam’s interpretation of Mr Mallard’s comment is that Mallard actually supports what Fenton wrote, but would rather it not have been made public.

So what we see here are a number of Labour MPs who clearly see someone like Peter Leitch, previously seen as a working class champion and thus in their books obliged to vote Labour, as some sort of class traitor or apostate. No doubt if this was medieval Spain Fenton and Wall would lead the charge to put Leitch on the rack, before burning him at the stake for his heresy.

The tribalism and class hatred displayed by Fenton, Wall and their acolytes, such as some who commented at Red Alert and The Standard was unbelievable in it’s bile and vitriol.

Just what kind of Labout government would NZ endure if Fenton, Wall and their ilk take power. Would free speech continue? After all Adam has cause to doubt that given the heavy handed ‘moderation’ recently wielded at Red Alert by Clare Curran, who parades herself as a champion of transparency in government.

Is a vote for Labour and Goff a vote for the bile and spite of Fenton and Wall and the thought police?

Where was Labour’s leader in all this? Does Goff not see how this damages him? His failure to distance himself from such comments makes him look weak. Does Goff really favour a world where people are ostracised if they hold a different view?

The spectre  of the Spanish Inquisition looms.

One Comment
  1. Quintin Hogg permalink
    01/10/2011 15:42

    If Labor were to return to power at the next election, unlikely I know, I think any number of professsionals such as myself would consider the options of Australia or Canada (although the cold is a bit of a disincentivein the latter option.).

    The attitudes displayed by Ms Fenton, Ms Wall and their supporters are simply sickening.


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