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Councillor Bruce Wilson: racist and incompetent

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, April 6th, 2013 - 60 comments
Categories: health, Maori Issues, racism - Tags:

As covered by marty mars, Councillor Bruce Wilson from the fine city of Palmerston North decided to crack “a joke” about sterilising Maaori women smokers so they wouldn’t be able to smoke in front of their kids.

Every single statement since then from him has been a bingo square: it was a joke, I wouldn’t have said it if I knew media were present, I’m sorry if you were offended, I should have thought harder.

Like marty says,

We let these people off too lightly – and trying to get out of it by using the ‘joke’ defence is as bad as using the ‘should have thought harder’ defence – they are not a defence they are just useless excuses.

The thing is, stories like this consistently get the “oh, oops” treatment, especially when it’s privileged white dudes accidentally letting us all know that they’re authoritarian racist (or misogynist) fucks.

This is bullshit.

There is no level of “hard thinking” involved in the idea that it’s not okay to:

  • joking about forced sterilisation
    • of minority women
      • especially to punish them for behaviour you don’t like
        • especially when you’re a white dude
          • in a position of civic authority

That’s not something anyone in the 21st century should believe is some kind of grey area requiring intensive meditation.  It’s an automatic Godwin-exemption because it’s something the Nazis actually did.

Councillor Bruce Wilson shouldn’t just resign because he’s racist.  He should resign because he’s not competent to open his mouth and speak to other human beings.  

If he can’t understand “I shouldn’t joke about forced sterilisation of Maaori” then how the fuck do you expect him to help run a city?  What other basic concepts of human behaviour have to be explained to him?  “Councillor, we can’t superglue all the doors shut on the buses to stop people getting on and off at traffic lights because then no one can get on the bus at all”?  “Councillor, you shouldn’t advocate castrating people who put non-recyclables in the recycling bins”?  “Councillor, shoes go on your feet“?


And a small thought to mull over:  what does it say about someone who, when “frustrated” by the lack of impact of anti-smoking policies, will go to “sterilise women” before “ban tobacco”?


60 comments on “Councillor Bruce Wilson: racist and incompetent”

  1. Morrissey 1

    “Sir” Paul Holmes lives.

  2. Roy 2

    Unbelievable that he is allowed to get away with an apology. He should be obliged to resign immediately.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1


      Actually, he should have just been fired – unfortunately, we don’t have the power of recall in NZ.

      • Jackal 2.1.1

        We might not have the power of recall, but the blatantly racist Bruce Wilson could be dismissed by the Palmerston North City council’s CEO… Their Code of Conduct (PDF) allows for such things. It appears that the only reason he hasn’t been dismissed is agreement from his fellow councilors for such sentiments, which is pretty horrendous!

        • Colonial Weka

          “It appears that the only reason he hasn’t been dismissed is agreement from his fellow councilors for such sentiments, which is pretty horrendous!”

          There may be some councillors who agree with him, but I would guess it’s more to do with the councillors who disagreed but didn’t think his comments warranted being fired. Another kind of racism mixed with a sense of self-preservation.

  3. BM 3

    Did he actually stand up in front of every one and say Maori women who smoke should be sterilised ?
    If so that’s a bit of a shocker.

    • Colonial Weka 3.1

      Follow the links if you want to be informed before expressing an opinion.

      • BM 3.1.1

        Yes, Mum.

      • QoT 3.1.2

        Now now, CW, BM is totally within his rights to just assume that I’m making things up to be outraged by. It’s what we evil deconstructionist Marxist feminists do, I’m told.

        • BM

          Yes, you people are the worst.

          On a sightly more serious note though, even after reading the article I find it hard to believe some one would actually stand up in front of others and say that.
          It’s just insane, the only excuse I can think of was that he’d had a skin full.
          Silly old bugger.

          • QoT

            That’s right, BM, desperately search for more pathetic excuses for Wilson so you don’t have to acknowledge that some people are just racist and too thick to hide it well.

            • BM

              He does look a bit like Prince Philip who as you probably know is notorious for making less than flattering comments about our darker skinned brothers and sisters.
              Could be something in the genetics?

          • rosy

            “Silly old bugger.”

            That’s what I’d say to my grandpa who split gravy down his shirt. Bruce Wilson has graduated quite a bit beyond the silly old bugger league.

  4. BLiP 4

    White mofo.

    [QoT: can we not derail these comments by pretending, even jokingly, that one Maaori man’s phrasing in a personal email is equivalent to elected officials publicly voicing support for forced sterilisation of an entire group of people?]

    • Colonial Weka 4.1

      Can we please not go down that particular path of misogyny and racist projection?

    • BLiP 4.2

      @QoT: That was my point. Perhaps I should have added: “contrast and compare” – the media went mental over the mofo private email between friends, this time the New Zealand Fox News Herald hasn’t bothered to cover this issue.

  5. Jenny 5

    So what will our, ‘I would have toured apartheid South Africa’, Squash Player, Race Relations Commissioner do?

    Publicly censure him for his behaviour and demand his resignation?


    Less than nothing?

    Privately phone to assure him that it is OK with her?

    • QoT 5.1

      She probably has to do some background reading on the issue first.

    • kiwi_prometheus 5.2

      The Race Relations Commissioner cant do anything – you think they can throw someone in prison? Get real.

      Ms Devoy is going to be there for 5 LONG YEARS, get use to it girl friend, LOL.

      • karol 5.2.1

        k_p: do you understand the difference between “censure” and “imprison? There are online dictionaries that will help with that?

        • Colonial Weka

          You might also want to look up what the RRC’s role is and what they can do.

  6. ghostrider888 6

    gist anuva lurvlee day ov homo-gene-ization “Fresh to you each day.”(retiring to a pacific island is seeming more attractive by the way).

  7. TheContrarian 7

    What a plonker

  8. kiwi_prometheus 8

    The problem is you lot have no credibility.

    A bunch of ideologically bankrupt Marxist/Social Constructivists pretending to be oh so reasonable and balanced – “We just want a more inclusive society”, batting eyelashes.

    NZers won’t agree with Mr Wilsons comments but they don’t care much for Princess of Thorns and her crazy man hating nonsense either.

    That’s why you lot can NEVER fly your true colours in democratic politics ( after all Marxists hate democracy ) instead hiding behind the mainstream Labour Party banner.

    [QoT: this comment thread is only being preserved because CV and DTB have responded well to your bullshit. Future derails on your part will be summarily deleted. If you want to have a whinge about being moderated in this way when you have quite clearly crapped all over a post about racism to attack political ideologies which you clearly don’t even understand, you are welcome to cry me a fucking river.]

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      In fact, democratic socialism is a form of socialism in both the spheres of the private sector and the public sector, which gives higher regard to the voice of the ordinary person than anything you can dream of.

      • kiwi_prometheus 8.1.1

        I said MARXISTS.

        You want to pretend that Marx was a lover of democracy? He saw it as a Bourgeoisie arrangement to maintain class control.

        Are you a marxists, CV?

        • Colonial Viper

          I’m a democratic socialist, and in terms of the theory of economics, I’m certainly a proponent of Marxian models of operation.

          • kiwi_prometheus

            Example of a democratic socialist country please.

            “Marxian models of operation.”

            You mean Dialectical Materialism?

            • Colonial Viper

              I’m quite keen on the approach taken by Richard Wolff – rdwolff.com

              • kiwi_prometheus

                I haven’t got time to look at his video tonight.

                He says Marx influences his work.

                Dialectical Materialism is the active ingredient of Marxism, and it is a failure, so if your friend buys into that, then he has failed too, if not, then there is not much of Marx in his work that is meaningful.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You need to read more – your ignorance is showing.

                • Murray Olsen

                  Before using big words, you should try to figure out what they mean. On dialectal materialism, I recommend Georg Lukács from the early 1920s. When you’ve understood that, we can try discussing how voting once every few years for someone to smooth the way for Kiwi capitalists is such a great thing, and what might be some possible alternatives.

                  But please, no batting of eyelashes.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You want to pretend that Marx was a lover of democracy?

          No pretence needed, he was, as a matter of fact, a lover of democracy. Just not the representative democracy that the capitalists had imposed upon us.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      By the way, not having “credibility” with the banksters is a good thing, not a bad thing.

      • kiwi_prometheus 8.2.1

        You lot don’t have credibility about racism because you love to indulge in Marxist class hatred.

        • kiwi_prometheus

          As for GFC, none of you lot saw it coming – how bloody useless.

          • Colonial Viper

            That’s odd – the neoliberal economists were the most highly paid and influential in the establishment both then, and now.

            And they were the ones who missed it. Turns out that their brand of orthodox economics is…hmmmm, shall we say, useless?

            Non-orthodox operators like Keen, Bass and Burry picked it though.

            • kiwi_prometheus

              Keen isn’t a Marxist. Nothing in his theory about that.

              Yeah, Greenspan et al missed it, but the point is where were you lot? – campaigning for gayee “marriage” probably – have you not noticed the neo libs don’t bother opposing you there hmmm why is that?

              Great revolutionary material you lot are.

              • Colonial Viper

                Keen’s not a Marxist, you are quite correct.

                But he does advocate for a modern debt jubilee writing off billions in bad debts, as well as taking a thermodynamic, resource limited approach to economics.

                Great revolutionary material you lot are.


                have you not noticed the neo libs don’t bother opposing you there hmmm why is that?

                Because they are solely interested in issues which affect the power of capital and the financial sector.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  “Because they are solely interested in issues which affect the power of capital”

                  That affect power full stop. Your wrong headed championing of gayee “marriage” is a joke. That’s why there is no real opposition – it is of no threat to power.

                  After all as long as you sit in your Wall Street office bundling up those debts into nice little financial time bombs, you can go home afterwards and fuck your pet gold fish for all they care.

                  “But he does advocate for a modern debt jubilee writing off billions in bad debts, as well as taking a thermodynamic, resource limited approach to economics.”

                  That’s not Marxist.

          • Draco T Bastard

            None of us? Sorry, but I predicted it back as going to happen between 2006 and 2008 back in 2003.

    • Jenny 8.3

      A bunch of ideologically bankrupt Marxist/Social Constructivists pretending to be oh so reasonable and balanced

      kiwi_prometheus channelling 1950s frothing at the mouth demagogue, Joe McCarthy

      Hey Prom, haven’t you heard, the cold war is over, we won.

      Leaving the cold war rhetoric of the 1950s behind us and returning to the 21st Century. We discover, even as we speak; Capitalist darling of the right, John Key is in Peking being hosted by his Communist buddies. Both Communists and Capitalists have a common interest in what they call “Growth” which is code for increasing the rate of oppression and exploitation of the human and natural world.

      But the writing is on the wall (literally).
      It is only a matter of time (ten or twenty years maybe) before the final collapse of Communism is quickly followed by, or preceded by its photo negative, Capitalist Collapse. Both systems are totally dependent on continuing growth in the exploitation of the human and natural world. Unfortunately for them, the age of “Growth” is coming to an end, never to return again. They have both run up against the physical limits and carrying capacity of the natural world.

      Not only this, but the mounting revolts in China, the Middle East and the West are pointing to the fact that both systems are getting close to the limits of exploitation of the human world as well.

      Both forms of global oppression and exploitation, Capitalism and Communism are intimately linked. Like two sides of the same coin, they will be linked in their decline just as they were linked in their ascendency. At some point during their mutual decline this linkage may even include war between them, as these dying global monsters in their final death throes claw at each other over diminishing resources.

      • Murray Olsen 8.3.1

        China has been a capitalist country for quite a few years now. It never was Communist in the sense that any Marxist would use the word. Marxists are not joined at the hip to the ideology of unlimited growth. Marxism is, to put it simply, a way of changing the world in order to understand it (and vice-versa). As a Marxist, I see that the unlimited growth so beloved of the capitalist economy is destroying the planet, but I also see that this is driven by the tendency for the rate of profit to fall. Once we produce for human need rather than human greed, profit will no longer be an imperative and we will actually be able to do something effective about the real problems.

        This is not to say that we can’t do anything “before the revolution”, as some would crudely put it. It is to say that we need to reorganise things completely for the survival of the human race.

        • Ennui

          I think Jenny summed it up very nicely. Marxist economics gave us such ecological marvels as the dried out Aral Sea etc, Marxist economics are modeled on industrialism and growth, and produce the same result as capitalist industrialization. The historic determinism of Marx’s dialectic proved to be a load of bollocks, which makes me wonder how any thinking person could not fail t notice the gap between theory and reality. Sitting in the gulag must have been very instructive for those who were supposed to be experiencing life in the workers paradise.

          What I say above is in no way a defense of capitalism, that as Jenny points out is the other side of the coin. A subtle thinker at that point might question the role of constructs based upon “enlightenment thinking”, Hobbes v Marx for example. And eithers consequent validity. Therein lies the basis of the ideological absolutism I see on this site regularly.

    • Colonial Weka 8.4

      “The problem is you lot have no credibility.

      A bunch of ideologically bankrupt Marxist/Social Constructivists pretending to be oh so reasonable and balanced – “We just want a more inclusive society”, batting eyelashes.

      NZers won’t agree with Mr Wilsons comments but they don’t care much for Princess of Thorns and her crazy man hating nonsense either.

      That’s why you lot can NEVER fly your true colours in democratic politics ( after all Marxists hate democracy ) instead hiding behind the mainstream Labour Party banner.”

      I know, it’s not like us nasty feminist, decolonisationist, anti-racism, gay rights, disability rights, socialist, progressive, [insert human kindness and respect of choice] liberals have achieved ANYTHING in the last fifty years, lol.

      • ghostrider888 8.4.1

        Nope. nada. not-a-god-damn thing has been achieved to slow the pace of greed that might well have left the planet gasping decades ago, before the ascendency of the Western Boomers, oh…sh*t, what has been the outcome of all these achievements again? Delay…oh well, the Asian Century is here at last; Time for Tao and Tao for two.

  9. Blue 9

    Bruce Wilson is a moron don’t give him oxygen. Like most fringe dwellers in society he’s full of shit.

    • QoT 9.1

      I am not a fan of the notion that if we just ignore hateful bullshit spouted by elected representatives, they’ll go away. Because obviously he’s not going away and he’s in a position of power where his words and attitudes can cause real harm to people.

      Also since when is a city councillor a “fringe dweller”?

  10. Blue 10

    Fringe dweller by character, his occupation is immaterial. Unless of course his views are the views of his ward?

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