The Panel with David Farrar and Petra Bagust

Talking Uruwera Four and Nick Smith’s ACC fallout

Ideology versus intelligent debate

It’s been fascinating to watch the small (let’s be honest…very small) ripple of the Cameron Slater/Helen Kelly post I wrote yesterday and I’ve be really interested in how people have pigeon holed me and cast aspersions on my character and decided what kind of person I am.

I think it’s a case of ideology versus intelligent debate.

If you are an ideologue, I think the chances of reasoned debate is diminished as all you can see is the conversation from your side…now that makes sense but any intelligent person will tell you that ‘your side’ is not always going to be right…logic dictates that sometimes it will be in the wrong. Therefore if you support ‘your side’ 100%, you are sometimes supporting the side who is wrong.

Let me take a step backwards.

I have written several posts about Union issues in the past couple of years, sometimes supporting them as in the NZEI case for National Standards (so much so that the NZEI put my post on their website for others to read) and sometimes not supportive of them as in the Ports dispute right now. After the NZEI post I was called a ‘Socialist’, ‘a leftie loon’ and ‘the mouth piece of Helen Clarke’, after the Ports piece I have been called a…well lets have a look at that.

On Kiwiblog in and amongst the comments here are some thoughts…apparently I am “not the brightest light on the Xmas tree” or thoughts that maybe I was “dishonest”. I also started my last post with a statement of not being anti-union, that has been compared to someone saying “I am not racist…but I hate Maori”

So far my favourite response has come from one time colleague Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury. You see I am a microscopic fish in the world of blogging so sometimes when I write a post I also send an email to some ‘colleagues’ to let them know what I have just posted about. It’s kind of like prostituting myself looking for more hits as a pay off. I did this last night after my most recent post and got these responses from Martyn via email.

actually after reading this, I defriended you from Facebook, having an opinion is one thing Pat, being cameron slaters bitch is another thing. What a load of anti-union hysterical bullshit. You are well on your way to being a rednecked talkback host. Congratulations.

Followed 60 seconds later by this one.

when you do evil Pat, people tend to notice. Giving slater time after he’s being paid by PoA is pretty dirty though isn’t it?

I email him to wish him well for the future seeing as we were no longer ‘friends’ and may have just mentioned that it was a shame that the week before when we asked him to come on and put his perspective to one of these issues he wouldn’t respond to us to which he again responded.

I would have zero interest in being on right wing christian radio Patty and my advice to the Union movement would be to bypass it as well.

Again followed 60 seconds later by this one.

Oh and btw – stop sending me this unsolicited right wing Christian crap.

When I supported Martyn over his fallout with Radio NZ he was happy to receive my ‘crap’, when I wrote the piece about the NZEI he was happy to receive my ‘crap’, when he saw me on TVNZ talking politics he was happy to send me ‘crap’ congratulating me on the show and when he heard me on ZB and facebooked me congratulating me on my content one can only assume he was happy to allow my ‘crap’ to flow in his ears…but not now. Not now that my latest ‘crap’ doesn’t all of a sudden fit with his ideological narrative…now we cannot be FB friends

I don’t mean to pick on Bomber in this, I like him, always have, still do and probably always will, my wife knows him a little bit from University days and she likes him too but it’s a good example of how ideology gets in the way of intelligent debate, I am not anti-union…I am anti how this union is handling this one industrial action, period.

Today on my talkback show I stood up for the PSA…wait for it…a union. I back them in their claims that John Key has broken his promise about job losses. I agree, he is in the wrong and I support them in that. I support the Rest Home Workers Union…you guys should be getting paid ten times what you are for the work you do.

But an ideologue cannot see the wood for the trees, an ideologue cannot reason that an intelligent person can look at an issue and make an independent assessment of that issue…which may, or may not be parallel to whom they supported last time and I think this is what gets debate de-railed 90% of the time in NZ as it’s the ideologues who write the blogs, who comment on the radio, who write the speeches, who tell you what to think.

I like ’em all, I have no beef with anyone of them, it just saddens me that those of us that you could justifiably call centrist are not the ones pulling the big audiences on air, in print, or on telly as we are not controversial enough…until we disagree with an ideologue.

UPDATE: A response from WhaleOil to Bombers emails

Pat, a point of clarification. I know you didn’t say it but Bomber has done so.

I am not, nor have ever been paid by POAL or anyone associated with them in any manner, either in kind or in cash for my posts about the Ports dispute.

I have simply verified and reported facts as they came to light. I in no way hold you responsible for Martyn Bradbury’s defamation. I certainly do not wish you to take it down.

I want people to see it, together with my outright rejection of his lies.

My apologies to Cameron to not have already putting some kind of disclaimer in amongst Bombers email