There is an interesting article in the Herald this morning where Green MP Golriz Ghahraman responds to questions put by Jennifer Dann and is asked about the online treatment that she has received in the past 12 months.
It is clear that some on the right have a major problem with her and she was exposed to a baptism of fire last year. I covered some of the background in these posts, Right loses its shit after former criminal lawyer discovered to have acted for bad people and
Deranged Golriz Syndrome. Short version, the attacks were beat ups. It also looks like there was a degree of coordination happening.
Things have quietened down somewhat. But it was interesting to read her take on what happened.
On the sexual nature of online attacks she said this:
Yes it’s very sexually explicit at times. You get called a c-word constantly. It’s like that part of our anatomy is the worst thing they can think of. That’s why Marama Davidson was trying to claim it back. Other women MPs have told me about their experiences; Marama mostly gets trolled when she talks about race; Louisa Wall gets it when she talks about transgender issues. I get it all the time but mostly when I seem to be confident. They hate it when you’ve achieved something. That’s when you’ve got to be knocked down.
On the trolling she has been subject to she says:
The trolling began immediately after I announced my candidacy for Parliament. They tend to fall in two camps; one camp is the Dirty Politics commentators who are being paid to take a certain position. Their attacks are followed by a horde of their followers in a coordinated way. Then there are the people who are just really angry about where I’m from.
She was asked if allegations that she had faked her refugee status had hurt and she replied:
It did. What advantage would I get from that? Being a refugee has never helped; it’s just obscured everything else. I’d love to focus on my justice portfolio – I studied human rights at Oxford and have a decade’s experience as a lawyer – but instead I have to keep proving my right to be here. My family can never go back to Iran. My grandma died late last year. Dad was really close with her; he’s suffered the guilt and shame of not having gone back to look after her or attend her funeral. No-one wants that.
She was also asked about the attacks on her for representing a Rwandan war criminal and replied:
With these trials, one side isn’t saying genocide is good and the other side’s saying its bad. The idea is to find out who is guilty of what. Cycles of ethnic violence occur in places like Rwanda because the genocide is blamed on every one of a particular ethnicity. Being able to hold individual leaders to account in a fair and transparent way could help end these cycles. My last UN job was prosecuting members of the Khmer Rouge. The aim is to leave a legacy of the rule of law for the next generation.
It will be interesting to see if this article sparks further examples of Deranged Golriz syndrome. The attacks on her in the past 12 months have been particularly bad examples of how toxic New Zealand politics can get.