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Nats find freedom of speech offensive

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, October 21st, 2010 - 71 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

National’s bully-boy tactics continue. Young people are trying to voice their concern to the select committee that is looking at the extension of the Fire at Will law to all workers. The Nats on the committee don’t want to listen so they’re bullying submitters and refusing to even accept submissions that don’t toe their line.

First there was Tau Henare having a tirade at 18 year old James Sleep during his oral submission. Sleep had a number of case studies of young workers being ripped off under the existing Fire at Will law to refer to. he told one of them orally, which wasn’t the one that Henare had written in front of him. This, by some bizarre logic, led Henare to conclude that the stories were made up: “you’re lying, you’re bullshitting” (got to love that language befitting the dignity of Parliament).

The fact of the matter is that Henare simply didn’t want to acknowledge the reality in front of him: young workers are being hurt by Fire at Will. Deep down, Henare and everyone on the Right knows that Fire at Will is anti-worker, but they have to construct a narrative where it is for workers’ own good to make their employment insecure.

Now we learn the National select committee refused to accept submissions that they found ‘offensive’. What was student Natalie Williams’ ‘offensive’ submission?

“Can we put John Key on a 90-day trial and sack him on the 89th day?”

Fair point. Key and the elitist National caucus want to put every worker in the country on a 90 day Fire at Will period where they can be sacked without justifiable cause within the first 90 days but they won’t apply those rules to themselves.

Natalie’s just pointing out the hypocrisy of the situation.

But apparently it is offensive to suggest that anyone would want to sack PM-God Key.

So, there’s the lesson for future submitters: petitioning Parliament is your right under the Magna Carta but you better curtail your freedom of speech when you do so or National MPs are liable to have a tantrum.

71 comments on “Nats find freedom of speech offensive”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Deep down, Henare and everyone on the Right knows that Fire at Will is anti-worker,…

    It’s not “deep down” at all – they are actively anti-worker. The problem they have is hiding that from the voters.

    • In Tau’s defence my experience of working with him is that he rarely if ever thinks things through. He’ll choose a position based on what I can only call instinct (though I’m not sure that’s the right word) and then become quite aggressive in defending it. This I attribute to his knowing that his belief doesn’t have very deep foundations.

      However if you ignore the bluster and insist on putting the facts, he will eventually shift his position, specially if you show him a way to do so without losing face.

      I think back to the Moutoua Gardens occupation, when he caught considerable flak for heading up there to support Maori occupying the land. His response was to dig in, but he didn’t have anything with which to defend his position other than what the occupiers had told him.

      When I insisted this wasn’t enough he became quite angry, said some things which, if I’d been of a mind to I could have found offensive, and walked out of a meeting in Winston’s office.

      However when I went ahead and researched the issue and found that, in fact, both sides were “right” (settlers had been sold the land by up river Maori who actually had no right to it, but failed to differentiate between iwi when the naturally outraged owners returned) he was happy to listen, and to moderate his stance accordingly.

      In many respects he’s like Winston – a good person to have on your side but unwilling to do the reading and the thinking that a truly effective Parliamentarian must do. Unlike Winston he’s fundamentally pretty honest, so I’d put his outburst down to confusion (and his personality). Which doesn’t excuse it – I don’t think the language appropriate to Parliament either – but might explain it slightly differently.

      Convince Tau of your case and rather than toe (no pun intended) the party line, he’s actually one of the few I can imagine questioning it, and doing something about changing it.

      • felix 1.1.1

        Jeez Rex, that’s in defense of Tau?

        What does it look like when you slam him for being an impulsive but easily manipulated simpleton?

  2. Carol 2

    The undemocratic behaviour of this government is beyond despicable. They don’t even think they need to have proper discussions on, or explain, (undemocratic) laws they are ramming through parliament. This from Andrew Geddis on Pundit:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/told-you-so

    I’ve just finished watching Parliament move a step closer to disenfranchising all sentenced prisoners whilst they are serving their terms of imprisonment. It was not an edifying spectacle.

    For one thing, the chair of the Law and Order Committee, which recommended by a majority that the Bill progress, didn’t even bother turning up to the House for the debate – let alone speak up in defence of her Committee’s decision. For another, the Government MPs who voted to support the measure gave a series of one sentence “speeches” to justify their votes.

    The government is just thumbing their noses at democracy. When is the MSM ever going to step up and hold them to account for it? Do we have to riot in the streets as in France to get them to take notice?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      NACT don’t like democracy and will crush where ever they find it as it goes against their natural dictatorial tendencies. Having major riots like the ones in France would probably encourage this government to bring back the infamous Red Squad.

    • Vicky32 2.2

      “Do we have to riot in the streets as in France to get them to take notice?”
      Not a bad idea, Carol! We could do with some rioting, something to put the wind up the boss class!
      Deb

  3. Sweetd 3

    Heh, freedom of speech. Paul Henry. 8 threads of offense on The Standard. Pot.Kettle.Black.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      What the student said wasn’t offensive. What Henry said was. But you know that and are just trying the normal RWNJ distraction.

    • Blighty 3.2

      Henry’s freedom of speech wasn’t violated. No-one stopped him saying what he wanted to say and he could legally say what he wanted to say, but people who disagreed with what he said and said so too. Ultimately Henry resigned. TVNZ is under no obligation to employ anyone as a presenter regardless of what they choose to say on TV. That doesn’t curtail Henry’s right to say whatever he likes, it’s just that he doesn’t ahve a right to be employed by TVNZ as a presenter if he chooses to say those things. There are a contest of ideas and he lost. I think Danyl at Dimpost put it best:

      “we don’t ‘defend opinions we find hateful’. That would be weird. We defend the right for people to say things we find hateful. And hey, I defend the right of Paul Henry to say hateful things (so long as they’re not defamatory).

      But Paul Henry has always had that right and its never been threatened. He can say whatever he wants to and he won’t be arrested or imprisoned. That’s free speech. But it means everyone else gets to speak too – the version of free speech that Paul Henry’s defenders advocate is one in which he gets to say whatever he wants and the rest of us keep our mouths shut and take it. But the version of free speech we have in reality is that he gets to say what he wants and we get to say we don’t like it, and if enough people object and Henry’s speech starts to threaten the reputation and commercial profits of his employer then they’ll make a business decision about whether to keep him on. Which they have – and nobody’s right to free speech got violated.”

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        My boyfriend thinks we never should have apologised to India about PH’s comments as he had freedom of speech, but apart from that he thought the whole situation played out as it should’ve (apart from the media going on and on about it).

  4. Sweetd 4

    DTB, its a matter of opinion. I find what Sleep said offensive.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Ok sweetd, what did Sleep say? Give me a quote of what you found offensive, and we’ll take it from there.

      captcha: expresses

    • freedom 4.2

      Sweetd, i think a lot of us would like to hear what he said, don’t keep us in suspense.
      come on, you obviously have all the facts, or you wouldn’t state you were offended

      either tell us all what was said that offended you
      or we have no choice but to ignore anything you ever say

      • Sweetd 4.2.1

        Freedom, I didn’t know I needed your opinion or approval to find something offending. It makes my day knowing that you are looking out for my emotional welfare.

        • freedom 4.2.1.1

          don’t try to stir, i wasn’t suggesting anything of the sort, i was saying if you refer to a statement as offensive it is only normal, in the interests of clarity , that others would like to know what you found offensive, or if there was no basis for the statement then we have no choice but to ignore your statement.

          or was it that you meant you were offended by the statement of Natalie Williams, and just have trouble admitting you made a little mistake. mistakes happen, look at new coke! :]

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      What Sleep said was factual. If you find it offensive then it’s probably because reality doesn’t conform to your prejudices.

      • Sweetd 4.3.1

        Likewise the GG is overweight and a factual comment, but thats is also an apparently offensive comment that needs to be appologised for.

        • Lanthanide 4.3.1.1

          Laws was the one who said he was overweight, and he also said it was like “he’d found the buffet table when he was 20 and never left”. Now, I can see how someone might claim that that wasn’t offensive, but I really wouldn’t agree with you.

          Now can you please quote the line from Sleep that you found offensive, or forever hold your peace?

  5. randal 5

    this goveernment has become arrogant and complacent even before it has had time to become sclerotic.
    if they have to prevent submissions from a select committe then I would say the skids are already underneath them.
    and what I find really offensive is that these matters are not being reported in the msm.
    what the hell is going on?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “what the hell is going on?”
      The Hobbit dispute. The media can only concentrate on one thing at a time, if you hadn’t noticed.

      • freedom 5.1.1

        yeah the MSM has to report our glorious leader waved then he smiled, they really have trouble following that and it leaves them too tuckered to look at anything else, which is probably why the whole Hobbit fiasco is getting so muddled

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        And that “one thing” is usually chosen so as not to embarrass NACT.

  6. ianmac 6

    Is this issue the reason for the prolonged discussion with Lockwood after Questions today about 3:15? Has the Chair of the Committee written to Natalie Wiliams apologising and and inviting a re-submission? Question not answered.

    • Blighty 6.1

      not sure but it wasted 15 minutes of the govt’s legislating time – so i guess that’s a good thing 🙂

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        Given that we pay for the govt’s legislating time, and if necessary they will just declare urgency to get things done, I would rather they didn’t waste their time (and our money).

    • Natalie Williams 6.2

      No the committee has not apologised or got back to me, i dont expect one, as they seem to think they can do what ever they want and not have to face the consequences

  7. The story says Natalie Williams’ “submission” was a form supplied by a union, to which she appended the sentence the Committee found “offensive” and nothing else.

    While I don’t find it offensive, I’d’ve hoped that a young person making their first submission to Parliament on a matter which personally affects her and thousands of other NZers would have put a little more thought and effort into it rather than using it as an opportunity to be a smart arse. James Sleep managed a detailed submission and he’s the same age, so it’s not that young people are overwhelmed by the process – especially as Williams didn’t seek to appear.

    Had I been on that Committee I certainly wouldn’t have rejected it as offensive (even the indolent and not too bright are entitled to their opinions) but I’d certainly have ignored it as anything other than a tick on the “noes” side of the ledger.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      so it’s not that young people are overwhelmed by the process

      I’d question that assumption. I’d say that people who haven’t been trained in politics do find it somewhat overwhelming. This would, IMO, be due to a lack of confidence in themselves, unfamiliarity with the process and perhaps not knowing how to put down what they actually want to say.

      • Carol 7.1.1

        Well I’m not that young, and am used to writing stuff. But I’ve looked at making written submissions to Bills and find the instructions about what to address totally off-putting. It looks like it requires reading & addressing all the finer details of the Bills, and often could require far more time than I have had available at that moment. So I have used and slightly ammended some of the provided form submissions.

        I think it should be possible for ordinary members of the public to make submissions based on the main outline of the bill. Otherwise it requires a lot of time consuming research, as far as I can see. I would maybe do that for ONE bill that I had a strong interest in. But I’ve looked at submitting to far more than just one, just in the last year. And the pre-written forms are helpful.

        • Rex Widerstrom 7.1.1.1

          You make a valid point Carol. But if we want the power to change things (through direct democracy mechanisms like referenda) it’s not good enough to trust the opinion of a union (or a church, or a peak body or our next door neighbour)… we have a duty to our fellow citizens to cast an informed vote.

          I reaise a submission carries nowhere near the same decision-making import but I kinda despair when I hear informed and dedicated people like yourself – who make the time to come here and share your knowledge and opinions – saying they’re too busy to play a full role in the democratic process.

          What does that mean for the expansion of “people power”? 🙁

          (Please don’t take this personally… if it were just you I wouldn’t worry but it’s a problem shared by most people, including myself).

          • Carol 7.1.1.1.1

            I don’t always have time to post or read much here either. The problem is, campaigners urge us to make submissions, say it’s easy, but in fact, it requires a lot more time to make an individualised submission. I think they are expecting too much. However, most of us just want to add ourselves to the numbers that take a general position on a law.

    • Natalie Williams 7.2

      i wasnt using it as an opportunity to be a smart arse you arrogant git! i was simply making a point.
      there was nothing wrong with my comment. i just had the balls to say it unlike some people that like to follow the crowd and not think for themselves. but of course, you dont see the problem. the problem is that they took away my rights and still havent apologised.

      calling me ‘not too bright’ is a joke, you seem to judge on a simple statement i made, that was very valid, maybe you should leave your house and go out into the real world.

      • I was in the “real world” when you were a twinkle in your parents’ eye, Natalie. I’ve also been involved in politics for precisely as long as you’ve existed so I know what works and what doesn’t. If you want your opinions heard and acted upon you’d do well to listen to people – including many on this blog – who’ve been doing for decades what you’ve only just begun doing (and I hope you won’t let this deter you, but will learn from it).

        On another thread on another blog today you’ll find me urging people not to assume young = stupid, but adding a thowaway remark to a form submission and expecting to be taken seriously just gives ammunition to those who want to leap to such conclusions.

        The point you make is entirely valid, and I happen to agree that a similar mechanism should apply to politicians (if you took the trouble to inform yourself rather than absorbing union propaganda you’d find it’s called “recall” and can actually be part of a political system. Alternatively there’s a mechanism called “recoverable proxy”).

        If you’d made your point with reference to some sort of suggestion as to how the law (which I also agree with you in opposing) could be improved or, better yet, extend to politicians, I’d have applauded your stance.

        But you cannot do what you did and expect the political system to give your views any weight. They will assume you signed something not really understanding what it said (whether you did or not is beside the point) and, while I think it’s reprehensible they refused your submission altogether, will dismiss it if all you have to offer is what they (and I) see as an attempt to adopt some sort of hardcore pose.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Rex, once upon a time I would have looked at your remarks as being the irrelevant outlook of ‘the older generation’ but as I get on I see that dammit, you have a point. Several actually. Makes me want to give up politics and spend time at the beach.

        • Natalie Williams 7.2.1.2

          a whole group of us, like 10 people, wrote the exact same thing!

          We simply wanted them the think about the bill and to put themselves in our shoes, but i doubt you have ever had to experience the 90 day trial.

          You think that your knowledge makes you better than me- far from it. You obviously judge people by their intelligence than of their actual character.

          At the end of the day, they took away my free speech, i at least deserve an apology, or i plan to remind them, as often i get the opportunity, that this is a democracy, and because they work for the government doesn’t mean they can take away someones rights willy nilly. they were hoping i would put up with the letter and just do nothing. well i didnt. im not going to let them think they can do that, or they will keep doing it, and slowly people all over will lose that right to freedom of speech without even realising it

          • JayMal 7.2.1.2.1

            “a whole group of us, like 10 people, wrote the exact same thing!”

            10 people jump off a bridge… does this make it a smart thing to do?

            “We simply wanted them the think about the bill and to put themselves in our shoes”

            Id recommend that simply adding those words to your submission probably would have made the difference between it being dismissed and included. It just needed to clear that you had a point. Sometimes those reading these things are not as open minded as you’d like to think and you need to guide them a little.

            “…but i doubt you have ever had to experience the 90 day trial.”

            I cant speak for Rex but I am younger than him and entered the workforce when 90 day trials and fire at will was pretty common. My friends and I all lived through it, some of us even used it to our advantage. Cardinal rule with anything is don’t assume anything.

            “You think that your knowledge makes you better than me- far from it. You obviously judge people by their intelligence than of their actual character.”

            Try not to take offence so easily, you’ll go far in politics with passion but you need to temper that with a certain level headedness. Helen Clark IMHO is the epitome of this.

            “At the end of the day, they took away my free speech, i at least deserve an apology, … im not going to let them think they can do that, or they will keep doing it, and slowly people all over will lose that right to freedom of speech without even realising it”

            Well said and this is bloody important. Keep at them and keep making your point, its a good one. However, I would recommend you take on board the advice Rex offered, sometimes in order to get your message heard you need to think about how you say it.

            I only replied because I think you deserve encouragement and your passion is what this country needs. Very few would take the time and effort to stand up for basic rights. I just wanted to also add my meagre advice so maybe you can be even more effective as you go on. Good luck and keep fighting!!

            • Natalie Williams 7.2.1.2.1.1

              using the bridge reference is just plain rude. We agreed to do it, and see if someone would take notice, maybe they would think. it’s called repetition, its used in Theatre to put a point across.

              But thank you for seeing my point of view, some people seem to lack an open mind.

              Thank you for your kind words and encouragement it really does mean alot.

              It seems to be the same people that are attacking me for standing up for my rights:

              Political not it alls
              and John Key lovers who dont see my point

              Thank you for taking your time to give advice, i will take note of it 🙂

              • JayMal

                Possibly it was rude, although some might even go so far to call it stupid, I’m cool with that 🙂

                Repetition is a valuable communications tool, however it only works if used sparingly. Over use causes people to actually filter out your message, or reinterpret negatively. Just a warning for the future, its a fine line that even the pros get wrong. For example having 100 people send in the same submission won’t necessarily make it more effective… It will most likely just look like spam and annoy the guys who have to read through them. Its like paying your $100 fine in 10c pieces, makes you feel better but doesnt achieve anything! 10 is probably a safe number…

                I’d also very rudely suggest in a very friendly way you not dismiss old Rex quite so quickly. I suspect you read his opening comment calling you stupid and since then everything he says is an attack on you. It’s fine to dislike the messenger, but not always smart to throw away the message itself. Also escalating an argument, although very entertaining sometimes, doesn’t help you win it…

          • Rex Widerstrom 7.2.1.2.2

            No Natalie, I’ve never experienced a 90 day trial. I’ve just been fired or made redundant more times than you’ve had birthdays. Most recently while working for a union, having devised a campaign that increased the offer made by the government by $40 million on a budget of about $2 million, two weeks before Christmas. Because I made the mistake of thinking my success might buy some loyalty I was unprepared, and lost my house.

            But hey, you keep on lecturing us from your lofty experience of what, two or three years in the workforce and zero experience of political campaigning?

            Keep presenting your perfectly valid opinions in ways that provide politicians with the perfect excuse not to listen, and keep getting offended when they don’t. Because demanding an apology (which they wouldn’t mean even if you got it) is so much more gratifying to the ego than achieving actual change.

            And of course I judge people partly on their intelligence, as do most people (particularly those you’re trying to influence through political action). Character also, of course. But if you do something stupid in the public arena, expect to be called on it. Call that Lesson One.

          • Vicky32 7.2.1.2.3

            Natalie, I hate to say it, cos I am basically more or less on your side, but “a whole group of us, like 10 people, wrote the exact same thing” makes you sound like a teenage Valley girl from the 1990s, or the NZ version thereof… as NZ follows the USA something like 15 years later… Too much American TV, too few books. I think you need mre in the way of an education, sorry!
            Deb

            • Natalie Williams 7.2.1.2.3.1

              Well, I love to say this….are you not getting my point? Seriously, what is it with the older generation in NZ, they aren’t looking at the problem, they just see someone that may not be as intelligent as them. Yes, my choice of words was bad, but for God’s sake! are you serious? You made a comment about my intelligence and not the matter at hand to make yourself feel better.
              I read plenty, otherwise I would not be as successful at university as i currently am. I’m English, so I prefer BBC Drama’s that have much better scripts, dialogue, acting and production. But that statement is going off task.

              And don’t question my intelligence when you, yourself, can’t spell; “mre’

              ‘like’ is actually an overused word in NZ English, not American.

              • Vicky32

                Natalie, my girl, keep your temper! I made no comment about your intelligence, but about your word choice and your education..
                I am also English, and hey, I am an English teacher – and frankly, I would have hoped for a better word choice from an Englishwoman…
                “Like” is over-used in NZ English, because NZ English is becoming/has become, American English.
                “Mre” was a typing error not a spelling error. I am the Queen of pedants and I don’t make spelling errors – however I do make typing errors because of inadequate eyesight, and because of not having ever been taught to type.

                • Vicky32

                  Also, I just have to say, *again*! that plurals don’t take apostrophes – so it’s “Dramas” not “Drama’s”… The word I must be capitalised.. etc. Seriously, woman… I could spell and grammar check your next essay for you if you want… Were you educated in NZ?

                • What’s more, while “mre” is a typo, repeatedly substituting “no” for “know” and a stray apostrophe in “drama’s” is obvious and fairly basic grammatical error. And she’s “doing well” at university?! Why am I not surprised…?!

                  I suspect we’ll see Natalie, emboldened by this new found attention, emerge as some sort of protopolitician before too long. If she does, I hope she has a chat to James Sleep.

                  I admire James for the hard work and dedication he puts in, and for being engaged in politics when so many people his age are out wasting their time. But he tried the same approach – do something silly, defend it vociferously, then wail “leave me alone, I’m just a kid” – on Kiwiblog and got slapped around a bit (as you’d imagine, specially over there).

                  Credit to him he learned from it and didn’t let it deter him from taking up causes in which he believes. But he seems to have learned that adopting an aggressive posture and creating enemies of those who could be of assistance is counter-productive given that politics is, as they say, the art of compromise.

                  Hopefully Natalie will learn that too, and perhaps become an effective advocate for the things in which she believes.

                  • Natalie Williams

                    University is not easy, NZ study is much harder than it is in England. I would love to see Rex try and go through University now and get A’s. It’s much harder than most people seem to realise

  8. john 8

    Turncoat Tau knows which side his bread is buttered!

  9. Natalie Williams 9

    I have done nothing ‘stupid’ in the public arena as you say.
    I have NEVER lectured on my work experience, wow! you really must lack some intelligence, you seem to read things that haven’t been written.

    I’m not demanding an apology, i hope for one, and if i dont receive it i will act.

    Mmmmm, you really ought to learn how to READ what people actually write. Go have an English lesson. I really don’t care about your experience’s in life and in politics, you still fail to see my point. I am wasting my time on a silly old man who has nothing better to do than judge others from behind his keyboard.

    I sure as hell hope you don’t have your freedom of speech taken away, one reason being is no one would care or sympathize with an arrogant no it all, that does not care for others. Whereas , I stood up, not for me, but for others, i will continue to do so. There’s a big difference between you and I, you expect people to hear you and only you, and not answer back, you only care for yourself. I don’t, I’m out to help others, so this doesn’t happen again.

    So for once in your life SHUT YOUR MOUTH! And just take it, because i dont care at all for listen to some arrogant no it all like you.

    Bye

    • And Lesson Two would be, if you’re going to lecture someone, it carries a great deal more credibility if you know how to spell “know”.

      If you want to debate “caring for others” I’ll put my (on average) 20 hours a week pro bono (that’s “free”) representation of people in everything from the State Administrative Tribunal to the Supreme Court, fighting for their rights as State Director of Civil Liberties, against… whatever it is you do in your spare time, hmmm?

      I don’t expect people to answer back? Then what the hell am I doing on a blog? *headdesk* 😀

      • JayMal 9.1.1

        Perhaps lesson three could be don’t assume the little red line will tell you if you’ve spelled it correctly. I have formally made that mistake 😀

      • Natalie Williams 9.1.2

        i know what pro bono is.
        I do lots of charity work, and spend alot of my time organizing events to raise money to help others. I may only be 21, doesn’t mean I haven’t made an impact and helped others, at least with my work, i can see directly how i have helped people.
        Just because I’m a student you shouldn’t assume that all I do is drink.

        And might I add, I’m currently not only studying for uni exams, putting up with arrogant pricks like Rex, and organising a launch for two charities. I also have a torn ligament in my ankle. So i say bugger you! I’m helping others, i don’t need a thank you or pat on the back. I don’t have to slip in fancy words or organisations i have worked for. I know I’m doing good, and at the moment I’m doing it while I’m on crutches.

        Maybe if Rex were take your advice…..don’t insult someone then try and give them advice and expect them to accept it.

        Seriously Rex, can you not just shut up and leave this alone. I have made my point, you have insulted me and expected me to take advice from you! You would be a rubbish teacher!

        Now drop it and move on. Just accept that i’m fighting for my rights and go and insult someone else.

        good day

        • john 9.1.2.1

          Good spirited kiwi gal: We lots more like her! ( OOPs I just noticed Natalie is English, we need more passion keep going)! This communication is not meant to be patronising or sexist just supportive!

    • Vicky32 9.2

      Natalie, I have to say I *was* more or less on your side! But throwing a teen temper tantrum as you’ve just done, certainly qualifies as “Doing something ‘stupid’ in the public arena “… Really, girl! Learn to spell and write properly! For example, the phrase isn’t “no it all” but “Know it all”… I am ap\alled with Tau, and have sympathy with James Sleep, but you? No, sorry, not a chance.

      • Natalie Williams 9.2.1

        wow, you clearly don’t know the meaning of ‘teen’.

        I have every right to be offended by people attacking me, and questioning my intelligence, and not seeing the problem at hand.

        you are catching me out on spelling mistakes!? really? When YOU are doing them yourself…..WOW! one word….BITCH!

        [lprent: Calm down before you get too much of my moderating attention. You should read the policy to find out why that is not a good idea. ]

        • wtl 9.2.1.1

          Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you really shouldn’t post anything when you are that upset. Of course it is upsetting when it you are being criticised, but sometimes you just have to wait till you calm down till you respond – the last thing you want to do is say things you might regret later (and can be used against you by your ‘opponents’).

        • Vicky32 9.2.1.2

          Calling me a BITCH (all caps) is the last straw. I have now seen that you say you’re 21 so not a teen. But you come across as one, do you see?
          I’ve already dealt with your accusations of spelling mistakes. I don’t make spelling mistakes, full stop! (Or would you be happier with “period”?) It’s not very grown up to shout BITCH at someone who was trying to help you see how you appear to people…

          [lprent: And you should also calm down. You know we’ll be along to moderate eventually. Pointing it out is sufficient for us to stop an incipient flame war with out people getting personally involved and escalating it. ]

      • Natalie Williams 9.2.2

        and calling me ‘girl’? your really do have me in hysterics, silly stuck up bitch.

        NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!

        STOP JUDGING MEEEEEEEE

        and take note of the PROBLEM

        some people really cant read.

        • Rex Widerstrom 9.2.2.1

          Could it be that Redbaiter has, some 21 years ago, managed to reproduce? 😀

          • felix 9.2.2.1.1

            Oh god. Not even in jest, Rex, not even in jest.

          • Maynard J 9.2.2.1.2

            His spawn would inevitably have diametrically opposed views to him… Well that was post of the thread.

            Oh, but if this isn’t among the silliest pissing contests I have read in all my years (yes, of which I have fewer than you, Rex, so don’t start with the ‘wise old man’ schtick 😉 )

          • Natalie Williams 9.2.2.1.3

            To go and insult my parents! That’s disgusting, really? I can’t believe that you have resorted to insulting my parents.

          • Natalie Williams 9.2.2.1.4

            You have no character to go ahead and insult my parents. You say you are intelligent, yet all you have done is insult me, and have moved on to my family.
            You may be intelligent, but your certainly not a good person.

        • john 9.2.2.2

          Sounds like a raging hormone storm to me! Guys get them too: Testosterone jags, why they have to play those contact sports like Rugby!?
          I almost made a spelling mistake I typed “to” had to edit and change to “too”. We all can make spelling mistakes!

  10. Natalie Williams 10

    @JayMal

    ‘Maybe if Rex were take your advice…..don’t insult someone then try and give them advice and expect them to accept it.’

    • smhead 10.1

      hahahahahahahahahaha. If there was ever a reason why the select committee shouldn’t pay any attention to this silly little girl, it’s right here in the comments.

      • Vicky32 10.1.1

        Smeghead (that *is* your name, right? 🙂 ) she is a silly little girl, but the principle is, that she deserves to have been heard..
        Everyone has the right to be heard, even if they don’t express themselves as well as they think they do!
        Deb

      • Natalie Williams 10.1.2

        Another person that is not seeing the point. What is it with this country and judging people then thinking that if someone isn’t to a certain standard they shouldn’t be able to speak up.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1

          I think you are going to find that people make instant judgements of others all the time.

          If you wish to be involved in politics even peripherally (as you most surely must do to post here), you have to get used to it, and also consider the impression that you are giving other people of yourself.

          In this life its not just the meaning of the words which matters, it is the perceived credibility and sincerity of the person speaking them.

          Check this out for an example – a YouTube blogger appealing to UK PM David Cameron to change his path stripping away benefits for disabled adults.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2010/oct/22/disability-cuts?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

          Sorry had the wrong link there for a sec

  11. KJT 11

    Rex and Natalie. Read back through your emails. Neither of you are being a good ad. for our position at present.

    • “We” have a “position”? That’d be a first… “cats” and “herding” comes to mind (no offence, felix 😉 )

      Oddly, my position on the issue (the way Natalie’s submission was treated) is the same as hers… it shouldn’t have been rejected out of hand.

  12. Fritti 12

    This thread of discussion between Rex and Natalie really saddens me.
    If someone is old, or if someone can’t spell, or if someone is at university or not. It doesn’t matter. What I am reading from both of you is terrible expressions of bigotry.
    You are both on the same side, and lining up a list of why one of you more than the other knows better is futile and ridiculous.
    Rex you should know better, and Natalie you have to learn to be less sensitive.
    Work together for your mutual advantage and show those Nats that the people, old and young know what they are up to, and we won’t stand for it.

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