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More hypocrisy from National

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, November 19th, 2007 - 53 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

It’s interesting to see National is attacking Peter Davis, the PM’s husband, over a letter he wrote to the NZ Herald about the Electoral Finance Bill.

Apparently Peter Davis – a respected university professor – is not entitled to views of his own and is merely parroting the lines of the ‘Clark household’. From Bill English’s press release:

“Professor Davis clearly shares Labour’s suspicion of any dollar that isn’t a taxpayer dollar, and Labour’s inability to handle any criticism.

“The letter shows the whole Clark household is out of touch.”

Given Bill English’s complaints about criticism of his son’s racist, homophobic and anti-semitic comments on Bebo, his decision to issue a press release criticising the Clark household rings a little hollow.

But more to the point, isn’t this attack on Davis’ ability to separate his career from that of his partner a little hypocritical, given National’s desperate attempts to make political capital over the Madeleine Setchell affair?

53 comments on “More hypocrisy from National ”

  1. the sprout 1

    and then there’s the incoherency of claiming on the one had he’s out of touch, then on the other saying he shoudln’t be involved in the debate.
    still, the more National tries to make itself relevant by focussing on the irrelevant the better.

  2. Daveo 2

    It’s just shameless opportunism. There are no principles at work in National’s attacks on the govt, it’s just whatever mud they can find to throw at the govt and hope it gets picked up by NZPA. Why aren’t there more journalists calling them on this kind of shit?

  3. Robinsod 3

    If Peter is not gonna spend $60k on advertising he should just STFU. I mean really writing a letter to the editor – that doesn’t cost anything! Who does he think he is?!

    Oh and this from the bottom of the Herald article:
    [Today] The Electoral Finance Bill is due to be reported back by a select committee, and the Government will again be beaten with a rod it made for its own back.

    How can they be so sure about how it will play out? I guess when they’re running stories straight out of the Nats (unlawfully) leaked minority report they probably get the inside running on their anti-govt campaign too.

  4. the sprout 4

    “from the bottom of the Herald article… Government will again be beaten with a rod it made for its own back”

    yeah that’s what i thought. so objective, so balanced, so Herald.

  5. JamesK 5

    I’m with Sprout. As much as National tries to focus on the trivial do you think anyone outside of the Molesworth precinct actually cares? Who the fuck is Hugh Logan to most people?

  6. Benodic 6

    Thing is, it’s not about Setchell at all – it’s about National furthering the line that this isolated incident represents a government that’s ‘corrupt to the core’ and is hellbent on ‘politicising the public service’.

    If National were really concerned about principles over politics then they wouldn’t have launched this disgraceful attack against Peter Davis.

    (Captcha: Capitalism Seattle – I feel a riot coming on)

  7. Billy 7

    Peter Davis chose to involve himself in the debate. He should therefore be willing to take the criticism.

    Now that Matt McCCarten has come out against the EFB, by my count it is only Tane and Pete who are for it.

  8. Tane 8

    Billy, in that case you should probably learn to count.

  9. Nih 9

    Billy, should YOUR views be individually subject to national review and scathing criticism? No? How about if you’re John Key’s lover or child?

    How about letting the guy speak as a New Zealander and nothing else?

  10. ahhh yes matt mccarten, the bastion of left political analysis. the first time i met him i thought ‘what a nice well-meaning chap, seems switched on’. that was until i realised what a self serving guy he really is. who, in their right mind, would work with mathew hooten and pam corkery on an election campaign for that sexist bigoted john tamihere? matt doesn’t care about the left.

  11. Billy 11

    Nih, once I write a letter to the newspaper, criticism of me is fair enough. If I do not want to be criticised, I shouldn’t write to a national newspaper. Simple, really.

  12. Brownie 12

    But Nih, John Boscowen has opened himself up to attack from Helen this morning by organising a march (i.e. being attacked on National TV for demonstrating his views).

    Peter does exactly the same by writing a letter in a public forum and thus opening himself (his views, that is – not him personally) to critique.

  13. Robinsod 13

    So um, Billy if the Labour party picked up on that letter and decided to personally attack you and your household because of it you’d be like, “hey fair enough”?

  14. Tane 14

    Billy, criticism of Davis is fine, though I do wonder how often the Deputy Leader of the National Party issues press statements (which are picked up by the NZ Herald) attacking people who write letters to the editor.

    But the point is this: English directly attacked Davis’ ability to separate his career from that of his partner, in direct contradiction to his previous comments about Madeleine Setchell and Kevin Taylor.

    He also attacked Helen Clark over comments made by someone else in her household, after complaining that he can’t be held responsible for the activities of a member of his own.

    Don’t you think it’s all just a little hypocritical?

  15. Robinsod 15

    Brownie – I don’t think the PM has attacked Boscowen’s “household”.

  16. Billy 16

    Robinsod, you’re all a bit sensitive of you think that the press release constitues a “personal attack”. It points out that Davis supports the legislation, and goes on to attack the legislation. Hardly a “personal attack”. And WTF did Davis think would happen?

  17. Brownie 17

    Sry all, posted without putting in the “code”.

    Even though I’m a National supporter, English often attacks the person and not the issue. I don’t look favourably on it and think it is rude – especially in the light of the slander Mr Davis has recieved in the past.

  18. Robinsod 18

    Billy – that’s the first time anyone’s ever called me “sensitive”. You’ve obviously seen right through my hard cynical exterior and into my gentle heart. Maybe there is a place for you in it.

    It’s the fact that National has thrown the weight of its media machine against a private citizen writing a letter to the editor that I have issue with. Bill didn’t like this disparity of power when the media focused on the statements his kid made but he seems pretty keen to score points here. That makes him a hypocrite.

  19. Billy 19

    Robinsod, if you can’t see any difference between a teenage boy posting on a dumb teenage boy website and the spouse of the Prime Minister writing to a national newspaper, I do not think I will be able to make you see that difference.

  20. Benodic 20

    Billy are you going to reply to Tane or are you just ignoring it in the hope that it’ll go away?

  21. Billy 21

    Jesus, Bendonic, Dad4Justice is right, we’re living in a fascist state. I don’t notice Tane responding to every stupid thing I say.

    But since I have stareted: Tane’s criticism is that “English directly attacked Davis’ ability to separate his career from that of his partner…”

    My response to that is: how?

    English said Davis supports this law, and then goes on to say how the law is bad. I can’t see where he “attacks” anything other than the law.

    Anything else I can do for you, Bendonic?

  22. Robinsod 22

    Billy – I have noticed that if you ask Tane a question he tends to answer it.

  23. dave 23

    Of course you lefties will not admit that the only reason he wrote the letter to the Herald was because of his relationship to the PM – not his job, qualifications, gender, abilities or anything else. If he did not want to draw attention to himself he could have always made the letter anonymous or left out his occupation and kept us all guessing.
    But he wanted us all to know that he was Helen Clarks husband without specifically telling us.

    It’s called spousal campaigning.

  24. Robinsod 24

    Of course you lefties will not admit that the only reason he wrote the letter to the Herald was because of his relationship to the PM

    Oh my god!! You read minds! Quick do me do me – what am I thinking right now?? Jeez Davo – you don’t know why he wrote the letter and “spousal campaigning”? You just made that up you silly boy (I can actually read minds…)

  25. Daveo 25

    he wanted us all to know that he was Helen Clarks husband without specifically telling us.

    I’m sorry, that just doesn’t make any sense.

    Peter Davis was writing in his professional capacity as a sociology professor at the University of Auckland. That’s how he signed his letter off. Not once did he mention the PM.

    Of course anyone who knows anything about politics will know he’s the PM’s husband. I just think it’s rather off for National to make out like he can’t have an opinion of his own.

  26. maybe he should have got a christo-fundy group to send the letter on his behalf

  27. Billy 27

    What a beat up.

    Davis wrote to the paper. It is precious in the extreme to object to criticism of what he wrote once he did so.

    Surely you guys have something valid to criticise National about. I’d get on with that, because this just makes you look like a bunch of nancy-boys.

  28. MikeE 28

    The difference being – National aren’t trying to make his letter illegal!

  29. Stop telling lies, Tane. Nowhere does Bill English say that Peter Davis isn’t entitled to express an opinion.

    How you can compare a political position on an issue in a newspaper, taken by a professor of sociology, who happens to be the PM’s husband, with views expressed on a bebo page by a child is extraordinary.

    Peter Davis waded into the political debate. What is bizarre is that of all the people in New Zealand, the only person the Labour Party could find to defend the Bill is the PM’s husband.

    More than 2,000 people marched down Queen Street opposing the worst piece of legislation in recent history. Defending it, are the PM and her husband. It does say a lot about how out of touch with the rest of New Zealand the Davis-Clark partnership is.

    Oh, and if you somehow think the publicly expressed political opinion of the PM’s spouse is not news, you’ve got even greater credibility problems. How very hollow of you all.

  30. Robinsod 31

    Insolent Liar – You’re back! I thought you’d read back through a few of your old posts, thought about why you bother and then decided to hang yourself. The cops (who have a bit of experience in such things) put the size of the Queen Street march at 1500 and yet you seem to want to continue using the phrase “more then 2,000”. So you are caught out lying again eh? What a surprise.

  31. Billy 32

    …and don’t forget, Robinsod, most of those marchers were white. Everyone seems to agree that what white people are concerned about doesn’t matter.

  32. Nih 33

    You’re missing the point of my post Billy. You and everyone else from that cult hideout of yours are taking Peter Davis’s comments as if it were the PM speaking through him. It’s not. His relationship with his wife shouldn’t be what you judge his personal views by.

    The summary of all this is that anything he says is immediately countered and tossed out without real consideration. About all the attention it got was to be spat upon.

  33. Robinsod 34

    Billy – who cares what colour they are? Are you a racist?

  34. Billy 35

    Oh I see, Nih. If he had been Gordon Totty from Blockhouse Bay everyone would have considered carefully the excellent points he had to make and changed his or her opinion based on his excellent argument. Just because he is married to the PM, everyone is looking past his excellent arguments and discounting them.

    I assume you are one of the Knights. That being the case, it is a bit rich to accuse me of being a member of a cult.

  35. the sprout 36

    Impotent Prick, i’d say it’s more likely that in their feverish desire to manufacture the impression of a pro-Herald anti-Government groundswell, Peter Davis’ letter to the editor is the only one they wanted to print.

  36. Nih 37

    Knights? What the fuck are you raving about?

    You’re rarely coherent although I’ve occasionally seen normal people agreeing with your posts. You can do better than deliberately misunderstanding everything you read.

  37. Billy 38

    Are you not one of the Knights who say “Nih”, then?

  38. the sprout 39

    nih, he thinks you’re one of the Knights Templar OTO. must be reading his mum’s Reader’s Digest

  39. Billy 40

    Robinsod: “Billy – who cares what colour they are? Are you a racist?”

    Sorry, Robinsod. Missed your post. Before Bendonic jumps down my throat for avoiding the question…

    I get it. You’re teasing.

  40. Nih 41

    I believe it’s “ni” and no. Nice way to appear credible with worthwhile views though.

  41. milo 42

    It may well be unwise, and probably not what the Prime Minister wanted, but Peter Davis is entitled to his view. I also think we should cut the guy some slack. Being the Spouse of a PM – and not just any PM, but a pretty dominating and somewhat controversial figure – is not easy. He’s human, give the guy a break.

  42. Billy 43

    Why so angry, Nih? Maybe you should head over to KB. Here at the Standard we pride ourselves on conducting civilised debate.

    And anyway, you started it by saying I hung out in a cult hideout…

  43. Nih 44

    What makes you think I’m angry? Oh, I get it. You ran out of arguments.

  44. Billy 45

    Sigh. Yes, Nih. That’s it. You won. You successfuly beat down the argument that it is OK to judge Peter Davis differently because of who he is married to.

    Only problem is, I don’t remember anyone actually arguing that.

  45. Nih 46

    Fuck you have a short memory. I was connecting your original comment with your buddies on Kiwiblog insisting that Peter Davis was a pen name for Helen Clark.

    Are you saying you don’t support their views?

    Anyway, keep arguing and trying to score points on me over simplistic, distorted issues. It keeps you occupied while The Standard continue to speak the truth.

  46. Billy 47

    Well you shouldn’t assume, Nih. You had no basis for making such a connection. I haven’t read KB on that topic today.

    I am not sure that whether or not Peter Davis was fronting for Helen is the point. It is certainly not a point to which I have attached any significance.

    Where are you going with all this childish chest beating? I have to say, I am finding it a little tiresome. I am starting to fear that you are obsessed with me. For this reason, I propose to ignore you for a while in the hope that you will go away.

  47. Tamaki resident 48

    no one seems to have mentioned the fact that the Herald chooses what letters to publish, and then uses one of those letters to try and make a story out of it. This seems to be a case of making the news, not simply reporting it!

  48. AncientGeek 49

    If I understand this correctly, Bill English issued a press release commenting on a letter to the newspaper. He discussed the person who wrote the letter, and then argued against the thesis of the letter.

    That is distinctly strange – did Bill English think that he was unable to write a letter that would be published? The appropriate forum for responding to a letter in a newspaper is a responding letter in the paper.

    BTW: I’ve known Peter for years. Anyone who thinks that his opinions are the same as Helen’s has never bothered to talk to him.

  49. Nih 50

    For this reason, I propose to ignore you for a while in the hope that you will go away.

    Biggest backdown I’ve seen in a while. Combine that with that soft-wristed “chest beating” comment and I’m wondering if you’re even ready for ordinary debate.

  50. richgraham 51

    The Labour Party of NZ is a fascist organization.

  51. Robinsod 52

    Yeah rich – that’ll be why you’ve had the special police come around and bust you for daying so. Get a life.

  52. Nih 53

    Robinsod, you made me think of this:


    I think having some police trained in making Very Special arrests would be ideal in the case of some of the KB inmates.

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