Michael Lhaws, no longer mayor of Whanganui and only fourth highest ranked councilor, is going to find life harder now he has lost his biggest pulpit. The man’s been a insecure little attention-seeker his whole life and, a lot like Paul Henry, he gets that attention by voicing his prejudices. So, the revelation of his insults against the Governor-General are hardly surprising.
Speaking on Monday over the Henry issue Lhaws said:
“He is a very large, fat man. I don’t know why but just on an Indian it seems slightly incongruous. I mean, we don’t all expect Indians to be begging on the streets of New Delhi, but it’s like Anand discovered the buffet table at, like, 20 and he’s never really left it.”
It’s not the out and out racism of Henry’s comments but it’s a dog-whistle to New Zealand’s all-too-large population of bigots and rednecks nonetheless. This isn’t simply an, uncalled for, attack on Satyanand’s size; you wouldn’t find Lhaws ranting about Gerry Brownlee’s far greater girth. By linking Satyanand’s size to his ethnicity, Lhaws is saying that Indians are naturally skinny because they’re poor (ie morally flawed in the Rightwinger’s mind) and the only way Indians get to be overweight is by being parasites on the ‘white man’ (which is what the reference to the buffet table implies).
Naturally, RadioLive has defended their ratings monkey, just at TVNZ has. The leadership culture within each of those organisations is devoid of any notion that they would want to deliver a high-quality, informative service to the public. They just want ratings. As with the Henry debacle, the ratings monkey deserves to be put down but the real blame, and the real punishment, should go to the organisations’ leadership – the organ grinders who make the monkeys dance.
In Lhaw’s case, I doubt this pathetic shock-jock stuff is working anymore. It says something about how irrelevant Lhaws has become that no-one noticed his comments at the time. It took the Herald on Sunday to finally pick up on what he said.
If a weird little freak makes racist remarks in an attempt to get attention and no-one hears, does he really make a sound?