FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Brash Bashing Not OK?

Of course everyone knows Don has the old fashioned idea that all New Zealanders are created equal. How quaint! James Cook, DomPost letter to the editor, 19 December  2017

A media target

By Roger Childs

Credit Tom Scott

Don Brash has been in the headlines for decades. Back in the late 20th century he was Governor of the Reserve Bank, and then as Leader of the National Party, using some dubious and secretive tactics,  he almost caused an upset in the 2005 election. Earlier that year he had given a controversial speech on race relations at the Orewa Rotary Club, which considerably increased support for the Tories.

After being dumped by National in favour of John Key, Brash took on Rodney Hyde for the leadership of the ACT Party and won, carrying out what many regarded as a political shafting.( See Tom Scott’s view alongside.)

In more recent times he has headed the Hobson’s Pledge movement which is committed to seeing equality for all New Zealanders, and an end to favourtism for people who have any blood link to the early Polynesian immigrants.

“Dinosaur v dominatrix: Brash gets whipping”

I gave up listening after 15 minutes. DomPost columnist Karl du Fresne, 15 December, 2017

Tom Scott crafted a cartoon a week or so back showing old Don swinging in the branches with a young girl looking on in amazement. The recommendation was that he should not be disturbed.

Then a few days later, Karl du Fresne produced an Opinion piece with the eye-catching  headline featured above. It commented on the interview between Kin Hill and Don Brash which had been broadcast the previous Saturday morning. (Scroll down to December 3 to see KIN’s analysis.)

The basis of the interview was Brash’s recent public comments about too much Te Reo featuring on National Radio. Hill climbed in to the Hobson’s Pledge spokesperson, in a vigorous and partial defence of her RNZ colleagues.

Du Fresne claimed that Brash was hung, drawn and quartered. (Actually the drawing (through the streets) came first in the old days.)

But was Brash dismembered in the interview? Here is a letter to the editor that was not printed.

Brash holds his own

Kim Hill, in breach of the RNZ Charter which requires impartiality

Brash bashing seems to be a favourite media sport these days. Don Brash’s views on Maori favouritism and Te Reo are not popular with many, but may well be supported by the majority of New Zealanders.

Karl du Fresne claimed that Brash was whipped by Kim Hill in the recent Saturday interview on National Radio, but admitted that he gave up listening after 15 minutes. There was much more, and the further it went, the more Hill lost the plot in aggressively defending her RNZ colleagues for using Te Reo on air.

Brash in fact, more than held his own in the “debate”, when he was allowed to answer the questions! Du Fresne’s most accurate comment was that Hill’s tactics were … a brazen abuse of the state broadcaster’s power and showed contemptuous disregard for RNZ’s charter obligation to be impartial and balanced.

Freedom of speech

The impression one gets from the mainstream media, is that Don Brash is old-fashioned, out of touch and racist. However, whatever people think, he is entitled to express his views without being personally attacked.

It may well be that a majority of people actually support what the Hobson’s Pledge group are promoting. Fundamentally they want equality for all New Zealanders, regardless of their background and when they arrived in the country.

This seems very reasonable and is in line with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Surely we are still one people, as Lieutenant Governor Hobson had emphasized to each chief after he had signed the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840.

He iwi tahi tatou – We are now one nation.