From B-Rabbit to B-ugger off. The rise and fall of Metiria Turei

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When Metiria Turei spoke of how when she was a solo mum she lied to her Work and Income case worker about how many people she was flatting with, and so, what her accommodation costs actually were I thought ‘risky move’. However the move ended up being genius for a couple of reasons.

The first was that there was a ground swell of support behind Turei from those who have been on benefits and those who sympathise for lower income families. It also gave us the incredibly popular #IamMetiria hashtag. The second was that it’s difficult to criticise someone who is looking to get some extra money to feed their kids…without looking like a bit of a cock and so what you saw was very few attacks from the right about her statement. Also it it very unlikely that anyone in parliament has not fudged some government department somewhere, at sometime, to their own ends and help them financially. Whether it was a student allowance, or a business write off, or a cash job, or a family benefit most, if not all of NZ adults, will have done something…so if you’re going to throw stones at Metiria you better be ‘sinless’

In her inadvertent honesty, Metira Turei had pulled off a ‘B-Rabbit’ moment. You remember B-Rabbit, he is Eminem’s character in the movie 8 Mile. In the movie rappers come together to battle, freestyling lyrics that cut down their opponent to size, mock them, and leave them a (proverbial) bloody mess on the floor. Well in the films finale, B-Rabbit flips the table and mocks himself viciously (NSFW).

I know everything he’s ’bout to say against me
I am white, I am a fucking bum
I do live in a trailer with my mom
My boy Future is an Uncle Tom
I do got a dumb friend named Cheddar Bob
Who shoots himself in his leg with his own gun
I did get jumped by all six of you chumps
And Wink did fuck my girl
I’m still standing here screaming, “Fuck the Free World!”
Don’t ever try to judge me, dude
You don’t know what the fuck I’ve been through

B-Rabbit, 8 Mile

At the end of the battle, B-Rabbit’s opponent has nothing left to throw at him and bows out of the competition in silence.

With the admission of benefit fraud Metiria Turei has put her ugly, uncomfortable truth on the table and left nothing for her opponents to throw at her.

I am interested to know whether the admission was a planned event, or an off the cuff statement which landed well with the public. If it was planned then that person needs a pay rise, if it was an off the cuff statement then Turei, and the Greens, hit that one thing that every politician aspires to, a grassroots movement, with a catchy slogan and a viral element.

However, as they say, a week is a long time in politics.

The feeling I get is that perhaps the ‘B-Rabbit’ moment was unplanned, yet very successful so, after it came out that she had committed electoral fraud, maybe Turei thought speaking openly and honestly about falsifying an address she was living at, to vote in an electorate she wasn’t entitled to, would add to the grassroots viral movement. It did not.

Falsifying ones address for the sake of voting in an electorate you are not entitled to is serious and very few people will have done it or at the very least, will have done it to add a vote to a specific candidate. Maybe people have moved and not updated their details etc…but Turei has admitted she did it to specifically vote for someone she was not entitled to. It was a calculated move to defraud the electoral system.

It’s also something that every politician can now put in their cannon and fire it at Turei without fear of reprisal.

We now hear that tonight the Greens are in turmoil with the resignation of two MPs who insisted that Turei resign over these two stories combined. I suspect if the latter had not come out there would have been no insistence by some for Turei to bugger off.

So where to from here?

If there are more Green MPs that insist on Turei resigning, then there will be significant issues for the Greens heading into the next six weeks…not ‘not getting into parliament‘ issues…but, along with the rise and rise of Jacinda Adern, the ‘dropping from 15% to 9%‘ kind of issues.

Voters do not like a sense of trouble in the camp close to an election, just ask Colin Craig, so if this story is not quashed very, very quickly it will be very, very bad for the Greens. How bad only time will tell.

Jacinda says “let’s do this!”

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Jacinda Adern talks to The Slightly Correct Political Show in 2014

Last week I wrote that Andrew Little’s decision to make public that he had thought about resigning was catastrophic for Labour as it showed weakness, which is something voters do not want to see in a future leader, the day after I wrote that piece Andrew Little resigned and Jacinda Adern took over as leader of the NZ Labour Party.

I think it is fairly obvious that if Little had stayed leader catastrophe awaited Labour at the upcoming election, however with Adern at the helm we might be up for a more interesting run.

As embarrassing as Labour’s poll results have been over the last few weeks, hovering around the mid 20s, there was still a mathematical chance that they could join forces with NZ First and the Greens to form a government. This means if under Adern’s leadership if Labour can achieve a small bump in the polls the chances are greater still that a left wing bloc, Labour led government could be a reality in the upcoming election.

If we have learned nothing else from the recent US election, we should now know that the media can play a significant part in helping put politicians names into the heads of voters leading up to the elections. Whilst not the sole reason for his election, it cannot be questioned that the free $5 billion dollars of media exposure given to Donald Trump helped to get him into the Whitehouse. Whilst the US numbers are unfathomable to a NZ audience, the principle is the same.

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Here is Stuff’s front page two days after Adern took the leadership. On that front page there are 9 mentions of her name and stories related to her. Bill English, our Prime Minister, is not to be seen anywhere and whilst the immensity of her coverage has declined, I still would suggest that there are many more ‘Jacinda Adern’ stories hitting our headlines currently that any other party or politician. This is nothing but good news for Labour.

So the question is can her new leadership give Labour that bump, can they hold that bump, and what does it mean for the Greens?

Long story short it is bad news for the Greens, because there is a sector of the voting public that saw no vision and leadership in the raft of dowdy, white, middle class men that Labour had tried since Helen Clark left office who have moved to the Greens. Some of these people will now see youth(ish), vitality and energy in Adern and come back. National had John Key who people ‘wanted to have a beer with‘ and on many levels Jacinda Adern has a similar vibe, she’s fun and friendly and has a good sense of humour and people will be drawn to her. She, along with Simon Bridges, were my political panel for a year in 2012 for a radio show I was doing and I can attest to her skills as being likeable and engaging. I already hear many of you sighing and saying that those are not reasons to vote for someone…and I actually agree…but it would seem that the population en masse will look at someone and some will make a decision based on who the person is, rather than the policies they stand for. Adern has this advantage over Bill English in spades. I have always been of the belief that we tend to vote for the leader…not the party. People voted for John Key more so than for the National Party…people will want to vote for Jacinda Adern irrelevant of the party she belongs to.

So will Labour see a bump. The answer is ‘Yes’

Voters get energised by a party who has disappointed for a long time making a dramatic changes that resonate with those voters. The last time we saw this was probably in 2004 when Don Brash made his now infamous ‘Orewa Speech’. National was languishing in the polls in the mid to high 20s. Brash made the speech, which resonated with the National voter, and within two weeks they were in the mid 40s, ten points clear of Labour. Yes they went on to lose that election, but if that bump had of happened 6 weeks out from the 2005 election rather than 20 months out there may have been a very different result. The change by Labour is not policy, it’s personnel, but the effect will be the same, it is dramatic and has shaken up this cycle significantly…”this is not the way politics is supposed to be done, changing a leader 7 weeks out from an election is madness!” Labour will see a bump from this change, and with only six weeks to go the question is will that bump be enough to change the polls significantly, will it be enough to offset any potential Green demise, and if so will it carry them to the election? I think the bump will definately be significant so the remaining question is will it carry Labour through only time will tell.

Jacinda Adern has re-energised this election cycle. For many political tragics like me who love to keep their eye on the American debacle and have largely been ignoring what’s happening in NZ this year, and now tuned in…as is the rest of the country.

Game on!

Andrew Little close to not making it back into parliament

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It was a shock this evening to hear Labour Leader Andrew Little state he has considered stepping down as leader in the face of bad polling. This statement will be catastrophic for Labour. It’s a message of weakness and double mindedness to potential voters who, whether we like it or not, search for strength when looking for a leader and, as we’ve seen before with Labour when David Cunliffe was “sorry for being a man“, will only go down as more fragility in the Labour Party of the 21st century.

With the latest OneNews Colmar Brunton poll having Labour on 24, maybe Little may not need to step down as, if these polls turn out to be correct, he is on a knife edge of not making it back into parliament at all.

The utmost irony to this story, is that a joint attempt to oust the National Government via a Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Greens, may be the reason Little doesn’t get back in.

The MoU offers, amongst other things, the opportunity for the two parties to work together in seats where the Green/Labour bloc were greater than the National vote. The idea is simple, no Green Party member will stand, the ‘left’ will vote strategically allowing a Labour MP to get in.

Such a move could be critical in marginal seats such as Auckland Central where Labour’s candidate, Jacinda Ardern, came within 600 votes of National’s Nikki Kaye in 2014, while the Green candidate took 2000 votes.

NZHerald

By my reckoning there are four seats that where is may be relevant. Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Ohariu are definite possibilities and Maungakiekie is a coin flip. What that means is that if we assume that all current Labour MPs hold their seats (and that is a pretty big assumption) and because of the MoU and with a little bit of luck they flip the four new seats, it will give Labour 30/31 electoral seats.

So why is this trouble for Andrew Little I hear you say? It’s because of how MMP allocates List MPs.

If you’ve heard people say that ‘the only vote that matters is the party vote‘ that’s because it’s the party vote that decides how many MPs you get into parliament. Which MPs are then decided by those who win electoral seats, followed by those on the list.

So for argument’s sake, if there are 100 seats in parliament and Party A gets 40% of the party vote, then they have 40 MPs. If Party A has won 30 electoral seats then the last 10 come from the list. If they have won 25 seats then 15 come from the list and so on… If they win 42 seats, that’s how we get an ‘overhang’ in parliament as their seats outnumber their party vote.

Andrew Little is not an electoral MP, he is only a list MP, he is #1 on the list however should this polling be correct, and Labour get 24% of the vote (120 MPs x 24%) that would only equate to 29 MPs…so if 30/31 MPs come from electoral seats, then none come off the list and Mr Little, the leader of the opposition, is not in parliament.

Now I am not suggesting that these poll results will be the final vote results, if we’ve learned nothing else from Donald Trump it’s that the polls are not always to be trusted…but typically with NZ First performing better than polling indicates, the Greens performing worse and Labour performing about what the polling says historically then what it means for Labour, and Andrew Little in particular, is that you have about 8 weeks to figure it out.

 

The GOP…home of ‘Fake News’

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So I am ‘lucky’ enough to be on the mailing list for the Republican Party who, for some reason, consider all the people on their list to be conservative.

Normally these emails come in and I skim them, ignore them or just delete them but for some reason not today.

I saw that the GOP wanted me, to participate in their survey because they’ve “had almost 68,000 conservatives in your area share their thoughts on what should be the #1 priority for Congress” and of course they “still need your answer in order to get an accurate representation.”

Firstly as a heads up, I suspect my answers may not give them an accurate representation of what their conservative supporters may want…just sayin…but also the survey is so full of ‘fake news’ that I wanted to show you how.

I’m not going to take it apart piece by piece, which I could and would be easy to show how the leading questions or binary options in a world of levels of answers would be appropriate, but as an example I will just focus on one particular question…it’s the question I have as a screen shot above about Planned Parenthood.

The question reads

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So the question is asking if funding should stop to non-profit organisations like Planned Parenthood…that part of the question is fair…moronic, but fair. However the next part, which is not a questions but a statement is in the ‘pants on fire’ category of so called ‘fake news’.

The GOP, the party in the US that controls all three branches of government, is tellings it’s supporters that Planned Parenthood’s ‘primary function’ is performing abortions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Planned Parenthood provides almost 9.5 million services each year to 2.4 million patients. A ‘service’ can be many things including, but not limited to, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing, contraception, mammograms and abortions.

Last year Planned Parenthood performed 328,348 abortions. That number is 3% of the total number of services which, I think you’ll agree, is nowhere near an organisation’s ‘primary function’. It would be fairer to say that abortions at Planned Parenthood are a miniscule part of the overall work they do but what the GOP does is misinform their supporters into believing these lies, which then get propogated on conservative news websites and that then leads to an ill informed public…the most ill informed…and the cycle of misinformation continues. There’s an old saying…”lies make it round the world three times before truth gets its pants on”.

Add all of this to the Hyde Amendment which states that federal funds can’t be used to perform abortions excepting if the life of the woman is in danger and you’ll see the GOP Fake News in full effect.

You’ve got to know when to hold’em

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So you have probably read my post from the weekend about Idoya’s coming out and the family’s response to it so far. Thank you for all the support, kind words and connection. Even if I haven’t come back to you personally I want you to know it is very much appreciated and not taken for granted.

That being said I wanted to let people know that we are good, I am good, the situation as it sits right now is as good as it can be. I have had moments in the last six months where I have gone to the darkest place possible for a person to go, but come through those and am out the other side.

I often think about life as a poker game, you get dealt cards and they are the only cards you have, the only ones you can play with. You can’t steal a few extra cards from the deck…you have what you have and nothing else, what matters in poker is how you play those cards. The cards we have are that Idoya is a lesbian, I am straight, we have children and our current outcome, the way we’re playing these cards, is pretty much as well as we possibly can at this point.

When this all first happened I search and searched the internet for help, I looked to see if our story was told elsewhere and what I could gleam from it to help me. I didn’t find our story which surprised me. I found some similar(ish) stories and I found many inspiring stories from the spouse who had come out and found themselves, or I found stories from the heterosexual spouse which many times were vicious, hateful and bitter.

“Nowadays I don’t even think of him. He lied to me, the person I trusted the most in the world. I learned that one never really knows anyone, even their partner of 10 years. How could I get this so wrong?”

“I will never forgive her for what she has done to me but mostly what she did to two wonderful kids who deserved none of this.”

“It has been hard for the kids as his behaviour has changed so dramatically. It’s like straight Jekyll and gay Hyde! Since being out, he sees very little of the children.”

Now whilst I acknowledge I have not walked a mile in these people’s shoes, and cannot know what happened in their marriages, like these comments, nothing I read resonated with me and my story so I have decided to tell my story so that when the next person goes through what I have been through…maybe they can find a resource the will help them.

There are some amazing stories out there of couples who have stayed in some form of loving relationship like Glennon Doyle Melton and her husband. Glennon, who is the author of ‘Love Warrior’, has a journey to coming out that has been something that I have grasped onto many times. Her ‘ex-husband’, who she refers to as her ‘forever life partner’ seems to be an amazingly supportive and loving man, but his story is not out there…so even the places where I found kindred spirits there were gaps in the story for me to grasp onto.

All I can say today is that I feel a responsibility to put my story, my perspective, my ideas on this whole crazy thing we call life out there, and in the future if this is helpful to someone then great. It may not be that you are going through a situation exactly like ours, but maybe you are having issues in your relationship, trouble in paradise or difficulty, of whatever kind, in your partnership…then hopefully my story may speak something to you on some level.

Remember we all get dealt cards we must play in the game of life, sometimes the cards are crap and we need to either figure out how to play them well or give up on the hand.

As Kenny Rogers tells us…

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

This is still very early in my journey, and how/where we will land is not yet known, but for the beginning stages of this crazy new life, with my ‘ITH’ and kids by my side, I think we’re sitting at the table, counting our money and now we need to figure out how to either gamble it, bank it or spend it.

We’re coming out

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Whatipu, 2014

As it is plainly obvious I have been very quiet on here for the past six or seven months. There are lots of reasons for this, but the main one is that there has been something going on in my personal life, and to be honest, writing pithy pieces about politics, religion or pop culture has been pretty low on the priority order.

Many of you know my wife Idoya, and many of you know that we have collaborated on content like elephantTV and that we have advocated for the LGBTI community for a long time. What many of you may not know is that a couple of years ago Idoya came out as bisexual and has identified as such since then. It’s not that it has been a secret, Idoya has written about it openly on her blog, but as most of you here read my writing mostly, it may not be as well known to you.

In the second half of last year, Idoya came to a realisation that she wasn’t bisexual, she was in fact gay. As I am sure you can imagine this created many questions about our relationship and what it meant for us as a couple and as a family unit. To me it was obvious that if one is bisexual then a partner can be male or female, but if one is gay…then a member of the opposite sex is outside the circle of people one can be in a sexual relationship with. 

It has been a difficult time for us and I would like to say today, to the very few people who knew the journey we were on, thank you so much for your support.

I want to let you know that Idoya and I are very much committed to one another and to the kids (obviously) but our marriage as it was…is no more. We are living together in the same house, albeit in separate bedrooms, which is exactly how we want life to be right now and it means the kids have lost neither mum nor dad. We are here as a family unit going through this stage of life together and strong. What we have now is a new commitment to a relationship that will likely be very different to any other you have seen before. We still love each other, we are still committed to each other and to the family unit, we still support one another and want what is best for one another. Who we are to one another is hard to quantify right now and we sometimes (jokingly) call each other our ‘ITH’ which stands for ‘insert title here’…what that title will be in the future, who knows.

From researching what feels like hundreds of instances where, within an apparent straight relationship, one party realises that they are gay, these are the four most common scenarios:

  1. The gay spouse has always known and has either lied to themselves and their partner, or they have suppressed their true feelings in order to maintain some kind of expected societal norm.
  2. There has been infidelity where the gay spouse has come to this realisation and then experimented in their new found understanding of their orientation.
  3. There have been clear signs that are obvious to the both people (e.g. “Oh that’ll explain why we haven’t had sex for two years”) as they look back once the revelation has occurred.
  4. The couple split immediately and it’s fairly ugly.

None of these four scenarios describe our situation, although on reflection Idoya does connect the dots and can ‘see signs’ but maybe it’s just the ‘bloke’ in me but I didn’t see them, and still don’t really. Even in a situation that is not that common, our story seems unique and not-the-norm. Idoya and I have had our difficult times over the past few months as this has been incredibly stressful, but I constantly come back to the position that Idoya has done nothing wrong. She has discovered a truth about herself and she has not wronged me or the children. So how can I do anything but support her in her journey and, in turn, go on my own journey as well to find out what this all means for me, for us and for the whole family?

As far as our daughters go, this is now their new normal. Currently all three of my precious girls are thriving and going from strength to strength. The choices we’ve made in handling this, particularly in working so hard to keep our family unit as together as it possibly can be, may seem weird to some, but I see our daughters as canaries in the coal mine who show us that so far we are doing well.  We have done our best at every step to move forward with integrity and love, and because of that, for now anyway, they are taking it in their stride.

Idoya is a writer and has written in a far more eloquent way than I and if you have an interest in what I am going through, then I think it’s important for you to read her perspective as well.

Finally I want to address the ‘religious’ elephant in the room. Many of you will know my involvement within the church and within church organisations. Many of you in those communities will be questioning how it is that we can be accepting of this new life which such apparent confidence. I can only say this: the Bible states in the Book of Psalms that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” This is the idea that as humans we were created as unique and special right from the womb. I want to state publicly that I see what Idoya has realised about herself as precious. She is as fearfully and wonderfully created today, as an out lesbian, as she was on the day I married her. This is who she is and I am proud of her and fully support her.

The whole is ‘worse’ than the sum of it’s parts

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By now most New Zealanders will have heard about the claims of racism on the ridiculously named, and tragically awful ‘Real’ Housewives of Auckland. even if you have no idea what this ‘show’ is, you’ll had heard murmurings over the last week about the fallout between Julia and Michelle.

If you haven’t, long story short, entitled old white woman, who lives off her (and previous) husbands wealth, calls ex-model a ‘boat n****r’…fall out ensues, champagne is thrown in faces, lots of swearing and crying, women divide up into white/non-white groups.

There, all caught up.

The old, white, privileged woman is Julia Sloane, and she tells us that the term “boat n****r” is “an old boating term” and I am sure it is…among racist sailors. Having been involved in sailing for quite a large portion of my youth, and still knowing people who own and sail large vessels I have to say that I have never heard the term, but then again the people I spent time with on boats were not racists or, at the very least, liked to slip in and “joke” using racist terminology.

I’ve only seen (and will only see) one episode of any of the ‘Housewives‘ franchises which was last night and unfortunately it’s something that I can never un-see. It’s like if you were silly enough to see one of those ‘beheading’ videos on the internet, once you’ve seen it, you regret it and realise that it’ll haunt you until your dying days. But even though I have only seen one episode it’s very easy to see unequivocally that Julia Sloane is a moron. A dimwitted idiot who thinks hours after she speaks and for whom this ‘Housewives’ experience will end up only showing the viewers what a lacking individual she truly is. It does that same for the rest of the cast as well, as in not painting any of them in a good light, but as evidenced in last nights episode, Sloane will come out as the worst.

With that all be said, I have to say that Bravo New Zealand, in my opinion, is a whole lot worse that Julia Sloane. As we’ve already made clear, Sloane is dumber than a jar of snot, and has put her foot in it with an off the cuff remark…but the executives at Bravo NZ have made calculated and deliberate decision to benefit from this moment. The sum of the parts of last nights episode were disgusting. but the ‘whole’ which Bravo NZ brought together was even uglier.

The show and the offending “boat n****r” comment have been in the news since the weekend, lawyers have been engaged by the parties involved, and have advised Bravo on the best was to broadcast the episode (see ‘best way‘ as ‘way they are least likely to lose revenue‘). There has been promotion and publicity about the incident pointing people to the show to see what happened and then whilst Bravo made the decision to not have any advertising during the episode, they chose to play as many promotions for other programmes from their stable as possible which then publicised their product to what will likely be their biggest single audience ever.

I am not the kind of person who calls for boycotts as I think they rarely serve a purpose, but what I would like to know, from the marketing departments and CEOs of companies associated with and advertising during  the #RHOAKL what they think of the episode and the messages put out there and having their brands associated with it.

Bravo NZ and Julia Sloane you should be ashamed of yourselves, Sloane for being a revolting person with an ugly hidden vein of racism and Bravo NZ for being a corporate pimp. For putting out into the market place this episode which could have been left well enough alone but as you chose not to it means you have deliberately done one thing…profited off racism and promoted it to get as much bang for your buck.

Please don’t make me side with the rednecks

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There was an opinion piece that I saw in my timeline today by NZHerald columnist Lizzie Marvelly about the disgusting case of Nikolas Delegat assaulting a female officer in Dunedin and receiving 300 hours of community service and paying $5,000 in reparations as his punishment.

Let me state this from the outset, I think the New Zealand justice system is imperfect, sometimes the threshold and directives for sentencing are too lenient and at other times they are too harsh. I also believe firmly that minorities, and especially Maori, are treated unfairly and disproportionately severely when sentenced as compared to non-Maori. Marvelly’s own NZ Herald, pointed this out earlier this week when it showed that “Maori imprisoned at twice rate of Europeans for same crime

So, if you read nothing else from this post, be aware that I am in the camp that thinks the Justice System is stacked against Maori and that often for others, especially the privileged, the system is too lenient.

The problem with Mavelly’s opinion piece is that the Nikolas Delegat case is not an example of that in the current system.

To be clear, I do think Delegat’s sentence is too lenient, but with the current stipulations for the crime he committed, he did not get special treatment because of his families wealth which is the main crux of Marvelly’s piece. This also means comparing it to other sentencing becomes problematic because Delegat’s sentence was proportionate, in the current Justice System’s climate, to his crime.

Lizzie Marvelly wrote about the difference between the sentence of Delegat to Hautahi Kingi, a young Maori boy in Whanganui in 2007 who, according to Marvelly. “attacked a male friend who had recently taken up with his girlfriend, causing a bloody nose and a cut lip”. The truth is, again according to Marvelly’s NZ Herald, is that with a friend “acted as street thugs engaging in street fighting. There was also an element of premeditation in that Kingi had sent threatening text messages to his intended victim the week before.” So according to the record it was a bit more than a off the cuff punch up.

Needless to say it appears to have been Kingi’s first offence so when he was sentenced to 5 months prison one could start to look at the bias inherent in the justice system where Maori are sent to prison and non-Maori are not, unfortunately for that narrative there was also another person who was sentenced with Kingi for four months…and my investigations point to him as being Pakeha. If my investigations are correct and the Kingi sentence was the inherent racism in the system, why was his friend also sentenced? On top of that the prison sentence was then overturned and both parties had their convictions quashed, and served 200 and 250 hours of community service. This means they actually got an easier sentence that Nikolas Delegat. What this points to is a rogue judge who tried to instill a sentence that was inappropriate, as opposed to the system being broken.

The truth is that Lizzie Marvelly and I, it would appear, are in the same camp when it comes to Maori being sentenced more harshly than ‘the rest’, but I said it on ODTtv this week, and I’ll say it again, this is not an example of that.

The maximum sentence that Nikolas Delegat could have received for this crime, under the current system, was 400 hours community service as experienced Christchurch defense lawyer Grant Tyrrell pointed out on RNZ National this week. He received 300 hours and had to pay $5,000 in reparations…based on the criteria for sentencing that is not a ‘slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket’…that’s close to a maximum sentence.

If you now want to have a debate on the whole Justice system being too lenient and Mr. Delegat’s case being an example of that, then I am with you but please stop comparing this case, today, to the injustice that Maori face in NZ courts on a daily basis.

What Marvelly’s piece does is give oxygen to those who don’t want to acknowledge that Maori and treated more severely in the Justice System than non-Maori because, again, this is not an example of that. So what Marvelly’s good intentions do, is actually give all those rednecks and racists a valid comeback because in this instance she, and many others, have got it wrong. And what that leads me to do it sit on the same side of the argument as those disgusting people and I don’t want to be here, so please, please…I beg of you…stop it.

 

Sam ‘Tape Face’ Wills final #AGT performance

Sam Wills, a.k.a Tape Face a.k.a The Boy With Tape on His Face, has just performed his final time on America’s Got Talent competing for US$1,000,000.

Here is his performance in full

We’ll let you know, as soon as we know, what the results are tomorrow. Good luck Sam!

9/11 The Definitive Interview

57d4a86a9d2dc-imageAs crazy as it sounds it has been 15 years since I was sitting in the More FM Auckland studio at just before 1am when calls started to come in about planes crashing into buildings in New York. The next 24 hours is history and the subsequent years have fuelled debates about what actually happened.

This post is timed to upload at exactly, to the minute, 15 years since the first plane crashed into the first building.

On the ten year anniversary I brought together the media spokesperson for 911truth.org, Mike Berger, and the man in charge of 9/11 performance study 01/02, Dr Gene Corley about why the twin towers collapsed.

I interviewed each of them for about 10 minutes individually and then I let them chat to one another. I believe this is the definitive interview to explain what happened, and debunk any of the myths that surround the twin towers falling.