Thursday, August 07, 2014

Some sympathy for Guy McCallum

I don't know him, haven't talked with him. But I get where Guy is coming from. When Jamie Whyte said he "...had no interest in Maori bashing as a political game" I was relieved because the issue of race and privilege is  highly misunderstood and misrepresented. And it attracts genuine racists.

However, I agree with the principle of one law for all. In our relatively recent history Maori did not enjoy that status (eg shut out of or paid a pension at a lower rate.) So some latter day affirmative action could be perceived as justified. Whether that has been successful or should be continued needs to be talked about. Whether separate Maori courts, and health and social services are better than non-Maori should be up for debate.

When a political figure - intentionally or otherwise - starts people grumbling and rumbling, on either side of the fence, a defensive element wants to shut them down (Devoy). Another wants to inflame controversy by crying "bashers"and "racists" (the media). Others want to have their say (the public).

Guy doesn't want to be on the team that looks the way most of the anti-ACT media paints them. And he doesn't like the cynicism of stunts. But all politicians pull stunts in campaigns. I created a series of signs detailing Labour's multiple misuses of taxpayer money and erecting them illegally along the Esplanade during peak hour traffic. People still remember them.

Yesterday a friend who is fairly non-political asked me, "You were ACT weren't you?".

She went on to try and describe what Jamie Whyte was saying and how she thought he was right and brave. A friend of hers, who does accounts at a school with a Maori immersion unit, is very put out about the disparities in funding and resources. "People are concerned about this sort of stuff," she went on. And she wanted to know how to use her vote to make it a vote for Jamie.

So sometimes Guy, political candidates just have to suck it up. The media is not there to perform a policy education service. They will always seek to create controversy.

But potential ACT voters won't be told what to think by the media any more than they will be told what to think by the candidate. They know what they think. They are just waiting for a candidate who verbalises it.


Unknown said...

Well said Lindsay, got it in one.

JC said...

How could a party that espouses libertarian ideas *not* mention race based funding.. no matter how noble it is in intention?


Don Mckenzie said...

I have no sympathy for Mr Mccallum.

He obviously has not read the essays and books written by Michael Bassett and Richard Prebble over a number of years.
To turn round and run to an excited media is not the mark of a loyal ACT member, let alone a would be candidate for the party.
He needs to resign and begone.!!

Paranormal said...

If I was a cynical being I would suggest McCallum was the stunt. Whatever the case, whilst I have no sympathy for him, Act should be thanking him for keeping the story in the media.

You're spot on Lindsay whilst the media will fume and carry on, Act voters won't be told what to think. What they do need is candidates with courage to hold the line.

GMC said...

Such a shame, we haven't met Lindsay. I really have enjoyed your opinions and comments on welfare reform, and agreed with several ACT Party members who thought you should be speaking on our behalf for a number of things.

I know some people will be confused about my actions. But the confusion around this issue is now a little clearer for all to see.

And yes, ACT has become the One Country, One Law party now, which is clearly what they wanted most.

A party that makes people like Pauline Hanson feel welcome is unfortunately no longer a party for me. And people should know the reasons for that, since this involves a party very likely to form part of the next government.


Lindsay Mitchell said...

Guy, I felt like you when ACT backer Louis Crimp was saying outrageous things about Maori. It's a shame when ACT loses people who actually want to see the lot of everybody, including Maori, improved and genuinely believe their policies would achieve that. But it's a decision you had to make.