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ImperatorFish: A special thank-you to Richard Prosser

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, February 15th, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: racism, religion - Tags:

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here.

We’ve all been giving Richard Prosser such a hard time this week, but he’s actually done us a favour.

Thanks to Prosser’s intemperate language and offensive views on race and religion, bigots have been flushed out from all sorts of hiding places.  He has made a fool of his publisher, Ian Wishart, and left various knuckleheads who usually agree wholeheartedly with his views scrambling to defend themselves on blogs and other forms of social media.

He has also revealed New Zealand First’s leader to be entirely without principles. Winston Peters’ previous utterances on race are reasonably consistent with many of the comments made by Prosser, even if Peters was never foolish enough to call for flying-bans to be imposed on people who have that “Muslim” look about them. This history of race-baiting helps to explains why Peters’ criticism of his own MP has been relatively mild. But criticise he must, because the political situation requires it of him. Prosser’s only crime, as far as Peters is concerned, is that he was unsubtle.

I am delighted that Prosser’s intolerance and bigotry is out in the open at last. It wasn’t exactly hidden previously, but most people would not have even heard of the man before this week. Now they know what he stands for and which party harbours him.

So thank you, Mr Prosser, for all your efforts. The backlash against you has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance. If we are intolerant of one thing, it is ignorant lackwits who achieve political office.

78 comments on “ImperatorFish: A special thank-you to Richard Prosser”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    He has also revealed New Zealand First’s leader to be entirely without principles.

    Are you sure we didn’t already know this?

  2. Northshoreguynz 2

    Lackwits? Surely you meant fuckwits?

  3. Anne 3

    Definition of lackwit – a dull and witless person.

    Definition of Richard Prosser – a dull and witless person.

  4. mac1 4

    “The backlash against you has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance.”

    I believe, and hope so; and that we continue to be so. I say this as a Pakeha Scots/Irishman who speaks some Maori, who is proud to have a Japanese son-in-law and another child recently returned from living in China, for whom tolerance and respect for who people are is paramount.

    I have a mother-in-law who is old enough to have been a nurse during WWII. Having the son-in-law that we have has altered and changed her opinion from those war-time attitudes. She also learned Maori in the 70s and has worked in the Islands.

    I am sure that most families have similar stories of growth and change as we develop as a nation. It’s part of our psyche as a people who believe in fairness and equality.

    It’s just a pity that this belief does not permeate into other social, political and economic areas for all our citizens.

    I hope that the backlash against Prosser’s bigotry, intolerance and basic unfairness can see more equality develop in the way we distribute our wealth, our culture and our goodwill.

  5. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5

    Don’t want to be a f…wit but I was disappointed that David Shearer sounded ambivalent when asked by a reporter getting hypothetical – “Would you sack one of your MPs who said the same.” The answer was a bit um and ah. But it would be necessary I think, to retain the idea that Labour has values.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Outlandish. Almost as outlandish as a revolving door of Labour Party has-been’s reappearing in the Leaders Office.

      New times, fresh ideas.

    • Anne 5.2

      The reason for that Nose Viper is both National and Labour are hedging their bets because come the day after the 2014 election they might be wanting to do business with NZ First. Cynical I know but that’s the downside of MMP.

  6. Vinscreen Viper 6

    Some will be aware of my lonely battle in other threads on this site in defence of Prosser. Not of what he said but of his right, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights Act, to say anything not actually illegal.

    Now its official. The bullies have won and Prosser has been proved partially justified,

    I’ve just heard David Shearer say twice, on National Radio’s politics programme, that Prosser was wrong to say what he did because (roughly) in some parts of the world such a statement might provoke a violent reaction. He didn’t want that happening in New Zealand.

    So there you are. Don’t complain about the bully in the school-yard. It might provoke a violent reaction. Don’t complain about police brutality. It might provoke a violent reaction. Don’t compain about the new extreme-Right political party’s bully-boys. It might provoke a violent reaction. Don’t complain about your bosses’ crooked book-keeping. It might cost you your job. Don’t complain about International companies screwing us out of tax on their profits. They might take their business somewhere else.

    So the bullies Prosser referred to as threatening to take away my (daughter’s) rights have won. My rights to complain about their murderous and brutal regime have gone because, according to Mr. Shearer, if I speak up against it I might provoke a violent reaction.

    This, people, is how the Nazis came to power in 1930’s Germany. This is how dictators all over the world get and retain their power. If you think it couldn’t happen here, think again.

    Once you start picking and choosing when Civil Rights apply and when they shouldn’t, you’ve lost them all.

    • Scott 6.1

      Don’t be ridiculous. Who is proposing that Prosser’s rights be taken away?

      • handle 6.1.1

        Right-wing whingers like VV seem to think rights are absolute. That there may be consequences from speech is a tricky concept for their tiny brains.

        • Vinscreen Viper 6.1.1.1

          “Right-wing whingers like VV seem to think rights are absolute.”

          I can’t imagine why you think I’m Right-wing. Or is it just that anyone who doesn’t agree with you must be a Right-winger?

          But yes, I do think rights should be absolute. Otherwise they’re arbitrary which is fine as long as you’re the guy who’s deciding when they apply, but if you’re not that guy you have no rights at all.

          My tiny brain tells me that I thought I was free in New Zealand to do anything not actually forbidden by law and my personal morality and ethics. However it seems that despite anything the law of the land might say I am liable to lose my job, be spat on in the street, have my windows broken and/or house set on fire by anyone who doesn’t like something I said.

          I thought that kind of thing only happened in… better not go there.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            Defending racialists is generally the purview of the right wing.

            However it seems that despite anything the law of the land might say I am liable to lose my job, be spat on in the street, have my windows broken and/or house set on fire by anyone who doesn’t like something I said.

            More bollocks. Assault, willful damage and arson are still illegal. Losing your job has to go in accordance with employment law (bit of a bugger about the nat reforms then, I guess).

      • Vinscreen Viper 6.1.2

        The people who are saying he should not have written what he did. Such as David Shearer.

        Disagreeing with what he said is one thing. Disagreeing strongly and verhemently if you feel strongly and verhemently. Democracy allows that. But the people who have demanded his resignation, abused him personally, refused him the right to explain himself or apologise if he chooses to are simply acting like bullies and seek to deny his right – incidentally intimidating others.

        • McFlock 6.1.2.1

          But the people who have demanded his resignation,
          people have had the decency to resign or at least stand down for less.

          abused him personally,
          Because he revealed himself to be a horrible person. Or does his right to free speech trump everyone else’s?

          refused him the right to explain himself or apologise if he chooses to
          In parliament.
          Nobody has the right to make personal statements in parliament – that’s why he needed leave of the house. Hone seemed to think prosser should personally apologise to the people he maligned, rather than a trite apol-excuse in the house.

          are simply acting like bullies and seek to deny his right – incidentally intimidating others.
          Bullshit. If he has the right to demand that an entire ethno-religious group be barred from air travel, then everyone else has the right to call him on his bigotry, call him a dick, and question whether he is an appropriate person to have labelled as “New Zealand representative”.

          And you know what? Discriminating against bigots is not the same thing as bigots discriminating against people with less power or privilege in that society. Prosser is not an oppressed mass, he’s part of the problem.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      “This, people, is how the Nazis came to power in 1930′s Germany.”

      Go read a book about that.

      Focus on the parts where a Party demonises a subset of a society and denies it rights, based on the idea that they are ‘other’ to the true, inherent, nature of the society. That ‘those’ people are a danger to the society and that their rights need to be curtailed on mass.

      In the mean time explain how Prosser’s rights have been curtailed. Has he been arrested? Has anything happened other than other people saying that what he said was indecent and dangerous? Has anyone suggested what he said should be illegal, that he should have his rights curtailed? No they haven’t.

      • Vinscreen Viper 6.2.1

        Read a book. “Moreover, some deputies of the Social Democratic Party (the only party that would vote against the Enabling Act) were prevented from taking their seats in the Reichstag, due to arrests and intimidation by the Nazi SA. As a result, the Social Democratic Party would be under-represented in the final vote tally. The Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the right to rule by decree, passed easily on March 23, 1933”.

        “In the mean time explain how Prosser’s rights have been curtailed.”

        Amonst the personal abuse and vilification there has been a great deal of pressure for him to be fired as an MP. Now while that might not be an attack on Prosser’s rights I suggest it most certainly is an attack on the rights of anyone who might wish to express views and opinions of a similar nature but who now fears to do so for fear of very real repercussions. If, for example, Prosser worked for a company running High Street stores throughout New Zealand do you think he will still have that job?

        As you pointed out, no-one has accused him of anything illegal yet exercising his rights might have cost him his job. Happy with that?

        How many authors were prevented from exercising their freedom to create works of literature after the Salman Rushdie affair?

        • handle 6.2.1.1

          Speech has consequences, especially if you are an official public representative. There is no blanket ‘right’ to an absence of those. If other people now fear them as you suggest, maybe a useful lesson about civic boundaries has been learned.

        • McFlock 6.2.1.2

          And to be technical, I don’t think Prosser can be fired as an MP. He can be kicked from his party like horan, but he’d still be in parliament. The point is that NZ1 obviously feels that it needn’t distance itself from racist pigs.

          If prosser wants to remain in parliament as a sitting advertisement for the underlying bigotry of our nation, that’s his right.

          • handle 6.2.1.2.1

            Most organisations have “not bringing into disrepute” clauses in employment contracts, so Prosser is lucky he is not running some High Street store. All we have over him as an MP is a bit of public “pressure”, the poor dear.

  7. Vinscreen Viper 7

    “The backlash against you has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance.”

    Am I the only one to find this statement breathtakingly dissonant?

    May I suggest instead:

    1. The backlash against you has demonstrated we are a generally white, middle-class, liberal, Western nation intolerant of any view we don’t believe white, middle-class, tolerant, Westen-orientated liberals should display, or

    2. The backlash against you has demonstrated we are a small practically defenceless nation in the South Pacific with a great living standards and we’re scared shitless by anything that might attract the attention of anything that might threaten the aforesaid, or

    3. The backlash against you has demonstrated that the laws we have guaranteeing the right to express any opinion which does not actually break any other law is only applicable to views we agree with or are views that don’t stray too far from what we consider acceptable and so make us uncomfortable.

    5. The fact that we allow you to write these things has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance.

  8. mac1 8

    VV, if being intolerant of bigotry is intolerance, then I have no problem with that. Just like “free speech”- no-one has the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.
    Considering your suggestions:
    1. Those are values for some but some values, such as respect, are intrinsic to any society, yes?
    2. Other nations which see our standing against intolerance might respect that for itself.
    3. There is a difference between discomfort and feeling moved to speak out, usually to do with degree of intolerance expressed.
    4. Not there to reply to.
    5. In my personal lexicon, I may choose to react or not to bigotry. If someone, though, asks me to give support or agreement as well then they will get a reaction.
    If an MP does this, as Prosser did, then he needs to be replied to because of his position as a people’s representative. When he is patently unrepresentative, then he should be rebuked. Otherwise, he and his listeners/readers/followers may then take this as approval. Not everybody gets “tacere non consentire’.
    People also need support for their own unexpressed tolerant views and sometimes people need to be given a lead. That is in the nature of leadership. Example is a great teacher.

  9. Vinscreen Viper 9

    mac1, the definition of bigotry is “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”. So I’m afraid being intolerant of bigotry is bigotry. As I have already said, I might not agree with what Prosser said, but I find myself having to defend his right to say it against bigots who would deny him that right.

    “Just like “free speech”- no-one has the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.” Not even if there is a fire? Or if he genuinely thinks there might be a fire? The problem with limiting “free speech” to things we only want to hear is that we might be closing our ears to things we might need to hear.

    I would agree no-one has the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre maliciously and with intent to cause panic. The elements of malice and intent would make it illegal. Is that the case here?

    “Those are values for some but some values, such as respect, are intrinsic to any society, yes?”

    Intrinsic? I disagree. Unless you believe in such concepts as “God-given” or an that nature has objective moral and ethical standards societies must set their own values. In this case we have conflict between two values we have set ourselves- the right to free expression and an obligation not to offend the sensibilities of others. Clearly they can be incompatible, but as we have enshrined them in law I go to the law and have decided that however objectionable Prossers comments might be he had the right to say them. I suspect the ‘others’ in this case – anyone looking like a Moslem, whatever that means – is more likely to have been amused by the sheer stupidity of the comment rather than offended by it.

    “Other nations which see our standing against intolerance might respect that for itself.” And we stand against intolerance by being intolerant? Personally I have a damn sight more respect for the Danes over the Mohammed Cartoons business than I have for David Shearer’s lily-livered capitulation to intimidation.

    “There is a difference between discomfort and feeling moved to speak out, usually to do with degree of intolerance expressed.” Indeed, speaking out is in my view the correct response to intolerance. But when that ‘speaking out’ itself becomes intolerance what has been gained?

    “In my personal lexicon, I may choose to react or not to bigotry.” It is the same in mine. The correct response to Prosser’s comments is to demonstrate the errors and/or foolishness of the comments, not attack the man for making them.

    I do agree that as a list MP for NZ First his views should be taken as those of the Party even when not expressed in the House, or even as an MP. That, however, is a matter for the Party itself and if it chooses to allow him to retain his seat it can be taken as endorsing his comments. However this view is complicated for me by the fact that the House itself refused to allow him to explain himself, repudiate his comments or apologise as he sees fit. By refusing him that opportunity the House certainly unfairly and perhaps falsly nailed these views to NZ First’s mast. Personally I think Parliament diminished itself be refusing to hear him and feel that refusal was motivated by petty party politicking, popularism and point-scoring at a time when Parliament should have risen above it.

    • McFlock 9.1

      Oh, so you’ve gone to angle B. The old “but he’s right, they’re awful” line you took failed dismally, so now you’re clinging to the Paradox of Tolerance.

      Try this on for size:

      The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        🙂

      • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.2

        Thank you. I found it very difficult to try on but gave it a go.

        “The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise.”

        Yup, agree with every word. The last sentence in particular.

        ” But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.”

        Yup, agree with that too – when it has been established that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, begin corrupting followers and prove willing to meet our arguments with violence. But we should not use force before those last two qualifications are met. And by force I include economic consequences such as demanding a man’s job.

        “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

        Too dangerously wide for me. I say we only have a right not to tolerate the intolerant when that intolerance manifests itself with intimidation, the threat of violence or the actual infringement of the rights of others . If someone is intolerant of a religious belief or group he is entitled to that intolerance, and even to express it. What he may not do is seek to impose or express his intolerance on others through intimidation or violence. If people choose to adopt his intolerant preaching they are free to do so, subject to the same limitations.

        “We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law”,

        Hence I disagree. And anti-Islamic rant, for example, might offend many people. It might even hurt the feelings of some. But we as a nation have not decided that people have a right not to be offended or have their feelings hurt. You might feel that we ought to have such a right and be willing to give up the right of free expression in exchange, but ‘we’ in the sense used in this piece have not done so.

        “and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal”

        I agree, as this clearly amounts to an attempted or even actual infringement on the rights of others.

        • McFlock 9.1.2.1

          Too dangerously wide for me. I say we only have a right not to tolerate the intolerant when that intolerance manifests itself with intimidation, the threat of violence or the actual infringement of the rights of others

          Examine again popper’s line : ” as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. ”
          What exactly has been demanded of Prosser that is not firmly in the bounds of
          keep them in check by public opinion”, rather than actual infringement of rights? The bit you especially agreed with?

        • handle 9.1.2.2

          “And by force I include economic consequences such as demanding a man’s job.”

          That’s mighty convenient for your argument, such as it is.

      • mac1 9.1.3

        Jeepers, McFlock, you’ve just justified the whole study of the classics and philosophical thought. There I was stumbling along trying to articulate what I felt was wrong with VV’s argument about intolerance of tolerance as a dissonance, and good old Plato had already been there.

        Do any Thinkers pronounce on intrinsic values, as I call them, which belong in any society? Any pointers as to where to go? Nicely! 😉

        • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.1

          Why not start here?

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.3.1.1

            Just look at where that’s taking the USA.

            Also note that it says that you are allowed the pursuit of happiness, not that you are allowed to actually gain happiness and enjoy it.

            • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.1.1.1

              I agree wholeheartedly that the Declaration seems to be more honoured in the breach than the observance. It didn’t even apply to the framers at the time it was signed, as ‘all men’ did not include those of an, ah, ‘African extraction’.

              In fact it confirms my argument that there are no such things as ‘intrinsic values’ which belong in any society, but I don’t mind helping mac1 look for them.

              • Colonial Viper

                How is a document which is only a few hundred years old and sourced from just one particular culture supposed to confirm to you that human civilisation holds no intrinsic values?

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  Are you asking me? I don’t think it does, but Mac1 asked “Do any Thinkers pronounce on intrinsic values, as I call them, which belong in any society?” and this seemed to me to be just such a pronouncement on intrinsic values.

              • mac1

                Thanks, VV. I have just wikipedia’d ‘intrinsic values (ethics)’ and discovered that I am humanist in that I believe there are certain intrinsic values.

                I’ve also discovered that there is a whole heap of reading of various positions on this topic, some of which I’ve never even heard of, (let alone tried).

                So, I’ve taken my own advice by doing my own googling. Now I have to decide whether I have enough years left to do this reading, and to learn the banjo.

                Hmmm, “Zen and the Art of Banjo Playing” aka “Frailing in the Darkness” or even “Claw Hammer Techniques in the Extraction of Logic.”

          • mac1 9.1.3.1.2

            VV, in your reply to me, @9, you argued that values are not intrinsic, but created by societies. In 9.1.3 I asked for guidance upon this point from philosophical thinkers.

            You return with an example from the American Constitution’s Preamble which states that truths (values) are Creator (God) created, backing up my belief that certain values seem to be intrinsic to humanity. You gave the dichotomy between god/religious based values and society created ones, decrying the former and supporting the latter.

            So starting there does not seem to give your views support, no?

            Anyway, there may be no dissonance there at all. I am not schooled in philosophical thinking, as I stated above.

            • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.1.2.1

              Hi Mac1.

              “So starting there does not seem to give your views support, no?”

              Well no, it doesn’t support my views. However both it and the use of the words ‘human rights and fundamental freedoms’ in the NZ Bill of Rights seem to me to support the view you are espousing which is that there are intrinsic values which belong in any society.

              I would argue that both the Founding Fathers and the New Zealand Parliament are wrong to assume the existence of ‘rights’ independent of any society’s acceptance or recognition of them, but if you want to argue otherwise you have support in those documents.

              • McFlock

                If there are no intrinsic values or universal rights, prosser has no “rights” that have been violated.

                Unless you have some other source of rights.

        • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.2

          Or here?

          An Act—

          (a) to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand; and
          (b) to affirm New Zealand’s commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

          – New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

          • mac1 9.1.3.2.1

            Now you give me an example of society’s setting out of what values are important and to be protected by law.

            I did ask for some Thinkers- i.e philosophical reading, though.

            • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.2.1.1

              “I did ask for some Thinkers- i.e philosophical reading, though.”

              Lord! You can probably find some philosopher who supports any view you’re comfortable with. Nietzsche? Voltaire?

              In my personal opinion one of the greatest books ever is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig.

              • Colonial Viper

                I like that book too and it really is a great classic read. But you haven’t successfully picked up the lessons of human compassion from it, just those of mindful sharpness and perception.

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  “But you haven’t successfully picked up the lessons of human compassion from it”

                  I coud find that a hurtful statement were I less thick-skinned. In what way have I demonstrated a lack of human compassion?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As I’m not your priest nor your rabbi, VV, I suggest you go talk to them.

                    • Vinscreen Viper

                      As I don’t agree with your diagnosis, CV, I’ll pass on that one.

                      Or I could be snarky and say Matthew 7:3.

                      But I’d be wrong to do so.

              • McFlock

                The idea of philosophy is not to find a leader or authority whom you can quote verbatim, but with no understanding – like a lot of folks with bible passages (or dare I say “who cut and paste from the Quran”?).
                The idea is to knock about several perspectives so you can think for yourself, come to your own conclusions, and justify them.

                • mac1

                  Thanks, too, McFlock. Sounds like a what’s left of my life’s work as I sets on the porch a-playin’ on the banjer. (see above)

                  The first tune I write for the banjo will be titled “Dualism Banjos.”

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  “The idea is to knock about several perspectives so you can think for yourself, come to your own conclusions, and justify them.”

                  Jesus wept. I thought I’d given a lot more time that I should have spared over the last couple of days trying to justify my apparently unique synthesis of several perspectives resulting in very unpopular conclusions to you lot. In the face, I must say, of some pretty hostile tackles on the man rather than the ball.

                  Where I can I copy and paste quotes because usually someone has said what I want to say more elegantly and in a lot fewer words than I can.

                  • McFlock

                    You did well in the C&P department.

                    But the thing is, you missed the relevance of the quotes, which was zero. The issue is prosser’s comments, not that (shock, horror) some folks from any religion are extremist nutbars.

                    His rights haven’t been violated – he even gets to keep his job as long as this parliament goes on, if he feels. But other people have the right to call him a dick for being a bigot, and demand he apologise to the people he maligned, and generally use as much free speech as he did.

        • McFlock 9.1.3.3

          Most of them considered the issue.
          I quite liked Rousseau.
          More modern thinkers on justice and rights are Popper (above), and Rawls .
          I’d also recommend Jim Flynn’s “How to Defend Humane Ideals”, which kicks around some similar issues.

          • mac1 9.1.3.3.1

            Thanks, again. I value Jim Flynn whom I met in the sixties as a student, and with whom playing “The Banks are Made of Marble” was a signal moment for me. I just like the man.

        • Rogue Trooper 9.1.3.4

          “After Virtue”- Alisdair MacIntyre

  10. xtasy 10

    Prosser is a tosser, of ill thoughts, dumb ideas and poor judgment, full stop.

    Yes, he has done NZ a favour, by showing how so many on talk back, in work environments, clubs and in backrooms are still the mean, little minded back stabbers and nationalistic haters that are still around in too great numbers.

    It is a disgrace that there are a number of MPs in the Parliament, and that is NOT JUST Prosser, who sit there with no good purpose and justification.

    Well, he has ensured, that at some stage a “natural selection” may soon see him look for another job. Unlike some others, I cannot see Winston being happy or even dismissive of this, this is major damage to NZ First and he will see that something will get sorted.

    Nobody defends islamists and especially terrorists, but he made a total idiot of himself with his bigoted rant well beyond anything else I have heard or read about in NZ for many years.

  11. gnomic 11

    Prosser is a clown and an ignoramus. He follows in the footsteps of the great Chris Carter and even the late ‘Sir’ Paul.

    Ian Wishart was a fool long before Prosser gave vent to his most recent ravings. Not to mention a rabid bore. Along with just about all of his agonisingly boring contributors. Of late there seems to be a shift in his organ away from turgid theological discursions to lightweight advertorial, perhaps even the eyes of the faithful were glazing over.

    NZ First always has been an oddly heterogeneous collection of twattlepates, but then you have to be a bit odd to follow the Great Pretender. After all, Winston First does really sum it up. However it is an opportunity to get the nose in the trough, even if just for a little while. And to employ a rather unfortunate expression, is Winnie really going to be able to get into bed with the Greens?

    Now what Prosser did say that was perhaps correct was that the terrorists had won, referring to millions of travellers removing their shoes and grannies being groped because of their artificial knees. Strangely that point in his rant seems to have escaped attention.

    But who are the real terrorists? Could it be that they do not live in Wogistan, and are not being targeted by drones?

    • Vinscreen Viper 11.1

      “Strangely that point in his rant seems to have escaped attention.”

      Not by me.

      Listen to Shearer:

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/focusonpolitics/audio/2546593/focus-on-politics-for-15-february-2013.asx

      At 02:17. “If those sorts of comments were made in the Middle East it could incite violence. We don’t want that here.”

      So we don’t speak up about the treatment of women as little better than animals – even worse than animals sometimes as donkeys are too valuable to stone to death – in case it “incites violence”. At least Prosser said he was not prepared to stand by and say nothing. Shearer would not only stand by and watch a women being given 100 lashes for talking to a man not a relative, he clearly wouldn’t say a word about it as it might incite violence.

      I have been prepared to give Shearer a great deal of rope in remaking the Labour Party but for this moral cowardice he has lost me for ever.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        The ultimate Prosser defender turns a new leaf :roll:

        • handle 11.1.1.1

          Prosser is just defending the honour of Muslim women, that’s all. What a gent.

          • Vinscreen Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            I’d rather defend them from characters who are happy to deny them an education, whip them for talking to them wrong man or being out after curfew, and order them to be stoned to death.

            But, to be honest, I’m just like Shearer and scared to actually put my head above the parapet for them. So the whippings and the stonings will go on. Heartless bastard, aren’t I.

  12. UreKismet 12

    Yeah if Prosser had concentrated on the ridiculous anti-terror ‘security’ measures travellers are forced to endure to get from a to b and left out the bits of ignorant whitefella-ism he may have made a relevant point. Of course it is unlikely that the column would have been picked up by the rest of the press release reprinters who pass for a NZ media -altho presented correctly such an argument could gain traction.
    E.G. Everytime some blows up themselves and/or anyone else anywhere in the world it makes headlines. Why is that? The odds of being killed or maimed by terrorism are infintesimal, that is unless one is unfortunate enough to live somewhere that FukUSi has selected as being a hot bed of terrorism but NZ isn’t one of the places so why do we get subjected to so much sensationalist bullshit about it?
    In NZ one is far more likely to be killed or maimed by a medical misadventure than by a plane hi-jacker. Several orders of magnitude more likely in fact. Here are some disturbing figures about this.
    In 2010 US research stated that 134,000 medicare beneficiaries were suffering adverse events as a result of medical error each month and a 2008 report tells us that the rate of fatalities from medication errors has risen by more than 500% in the last 20 years.
    Instead of harassing travellers perhaps the guards need to be placed at the staff entrances of hospitals and nurssing homes where knowledge, skills & cognitive ‘screening’ can be run on doctors and nurses as they arrive for work.

    But seriously if all that silly money being wasted on the airport security, arms & soldiers was divirted to aotearoa’s helth budget, more lives would be saved in a month than the total number of kiwis killed by so called terrorists in a century.
    So Prosser is right to be pissed off at losing his swiss army knife but he has targeted the wrong citizens to blame for it.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Good points. 300 people die in road accidents every year, 90 drown, more than those two figures added together take their own lives annually (IIRC). No doubt several hundred people die a year from hospital acquired infections too. But we pretty much normalise all those as week to week events not worth that much attention.

    • Vinscreen Viper 12.2

      “if Prosser had concentrated on the ridiculous anti-terror ‘security’ measures travellers are forced to endure to get from a to b and left out the bits of ignorant whitefella-ism he may have made a relevant point.”

      Alleluja.

      If the press, politicians and some of the good folk here hadn’t spent so much time rushing around squarking like headless chickens (OK, I know), or swooning like Victorian maidens exposed to a naked table leg and all because he said ‘wog’ in polite company, but had actually tried to work out what Prosser was saying I suspect the reaction here would have been exactly the same as it has been from the entire Islamic world. One big yawn.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        Don’t know what you’re on about. I thought that what Prosser said was very, very informative and meaningful.

        • Vinscreen Viper 12.2.1.1

          So tell me what he said.

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1

            What he said is a matter of public record, VV.

            • Vinscreen Viper 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, but I’d like to know what you think he said. Or at least what you think he said that so offends you. Maybe I have it wrong.

              • Colonial Viper

                Personally, I’ve spent enough time on Prosser and on you. He’s political history now and I’m pleased to see that, while he’s managed to significantly damage both Winston and NZF’s brand on the way.

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  “Myself when young did eagerly frequent
                  Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
                  About it, and about. But evermore came out
                  By that same door as in I went.”

                  Well I’m a’wearied of being the witch in this particular trial, too. And of TheStandard’s windowless echo-chamber. Here, like the skunk’s, is my parting shot.

                  I was flipping through some back-copies of the Riyadh Chicken-Fancier’s Gazette and in an article discussing the proper proportions of grit to protein in chook feed I saw the author had written this:

                  “On a flight home the other day I found a copy of “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in the pocket of my seat , a blasphemous text that attributes the creation of the World to an entity named Slartibartfast. Obviously an infidel had previously used the seat I was occupying.

                  This realisation immediatly made me aware that his or her alcohol and pork-tainted body fluids might at that very moment be soaking into my clothing and about to make contact with my skin. So appalling was this prospect of pollution by an unbeliever that I had to rise and spend the rest of the flight walking up and down the aircraft’s aisle and had to undergo the landing sitting in the hostess’s lap.

                  I think our Middle-Eastern airlines should recognise our sensibilities and refrain from offering passage to any female not wearing the burqa for the duration of the flight and refuse passage to any uncircumcised male.”

                  Now gentle readers I was shocked, shocked I tell you, at this implication that we beer-guzzling, pork-scratching addicted infidels don’t know how to shower and are neglectful of our personal hygene. I am horrified that such ignorant bigotry and intolerance can exist in the Arab world. My sensibilities are so bruised that I intend to relieve the pain by marching on the Saudi’s New Zealand Embassy (if they have one) to pelt it with afghan buns and date slices. I demand our Government immediately stop the import of oil and oil-based products from any Arab country and that we stop selling them… well, anything we sell them. Let’s show our disgust at such racial stereotyping by abandoning the use of the zero and stop throwing our Afhgan rugs. We must all burn our copies of ‘The Perfumed Garden’ and return to the missionary position so beloved of our forefathers. For me the flavour of coffee will be forever tainted by the taste of racial hatred. Who’s with me?

                  Wait, who’s that banging at the door. Ohmygod, it’s the thought police.

              • McFlock

                Are you asking for a cut and paste of an Investigate article? Might be copyright issues there.

  13. mac1 13

    Listening to Nat radio this morning on the Prosser topic, two points came through very strongly.

    Firstly, Wisheart admitted that he had only skimmed the article written by Prosser. That’s either an admission of editorial/publishing negligence which could lead to legal difficulties with defamation etc; or, it’s an avoidance of being seen to agree with these views having printed them.

    Secondly, Wisheart tried to defend the use of “wogistan” by saying the ‘wog’ part only meant ‘western oriental gentleman.” Be that as it may, (I am personally doubtful as the justification I had heard years ago referred to ‘worthy’ rather than ‘western’ and I suspect is a justification after its coinage), the word is racist in usage, as one of the West Indian cricketers on the mid seventies tour of England knew and discussed when the team were disparaged by being called ‘wogs.’

    Wisheart did not do himself any favours by his obfuscations.

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  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
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  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
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  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
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  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
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  • March Against Monsanto
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  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    8 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    9 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    9 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
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    GreensBy Denise Roche
    13 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    15 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
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    15 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    16 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
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    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
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    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
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    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
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    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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