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Scratch a Tory…

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, October 22nd, 2008 - 37 comments
Categories: education, election 2008, im/migration, john key, national, same old national - Tags:

…and you still reveal a bigot, it seems. Here is National’s Immigration spokesperson, Lockwood Smith, (he who likes to swallow dead fish) on taking more Asian seasonal worker migrants instead of Polynesians:

“There are some skills in the vineyard that some people are perhaps better at, for example some of the pruning … some of the Asian workers have been more productive … because their hands are smaller. Some of them (employers) are having to teach them (Polyneisan seasonal workers) things like how to use a toilet or shower” (*)

As Samoan Studies academic Va’aomanu Pasifika, Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says:

“They bring back shades of the sorts of comments that happened in the 1970s (during the dawn raids under former National leader Rob Muldoon).”

I really don’t think I need to go into details attacking these remarks. Any fair-minded person will be disgusted that senior politicans are still so bigoted in this day and age.

Meanwhile, John Key reminds us that bigotry isn’t just confined to factors like ethnicity, gender, and sexuality:

Lessons for politicians, No. 1: Learn a little about your audience before you open your mouth. When John Key and National’s Manurewa candidate, Cam Calder, visited the former Homai College (now the Blind and Low Vision Education Network) the audience included the institution’s teachers and other dedicated employees of the Ministry of Education. Key tells them he has two children and they attend good schools – St. Cuthbert’s and King’s – then adds, ‘If you work hard you can do the same.’ Cue deathly silence, broken only by the occasional groan. – The Business Herald, p. 23, 17/10/08 (hattip: square white world)

Yeah, John, if poor kids work hard enough then they, too, can have millionaire parents.

37 comments on “Scratch a Tory…”

  1. Janet 1

    These quotes show the basic prejudices on many levels that the Nats have. Eg that good schools are exclusive private schools (that by they way have never welcomed blind or disabled kids). There is a huge amount of data to say these schools do not make any difference to educational outcomes and produce kids who do no better, and probably a bit worse than state school kids, at tertiary.. Look at some of the lower decile multicultural schools to see some really innovative teaching. And what a kick in the pants these comments are for JKey’s own state school in Christchurch.

    The sad thing is that the Nats have pledged millions more to exclusionary private schools at the expense of the public system which needs the money a lot more. This from a party which has an education spokesperson who apparently told the support staff conference (including school librarians, secretaries etc) that support staff were merely unskilled workers on rehab. At the same conference Helen Clark pledged a huge increase and more security in support staff wages.

  2. johnny be good 2

    Lockwood’s bigotry ain’t news, who didn’t know?

    But Key appears more and more disgusting as the election approaches.

    He thinks the rights of a child are solely dependent on whether or not they have the good fortune to have “successful” parents. You are wrong Mr Key, every child has the right to a good education, not just the kids of rich parents.

  3. Dom 3

    Oh. My. God. That’s even worse than I imagined!

    Lockwood should stick to what he knows best (ie. slyly checking out men at the gym – and no right wingers tell me he doesn’t or that I’m defaming him, I’ve seen him doing it on more than one occasion!).

    Captcha says who trust. It must have watched the latest Labour ad…

  4. Stephen 4

    “”There are some skills in the vineyard that some people are perhaps better at, for example some of the pruning some of the Asian workers have been more productive because their hands are smaller. Some of them (employers) are having to teach them (Polyneisan seasonal workers) things like how to use a toilet or shower’ (*)”

    But…no ones saying this stuff is untrue…? Haven’t read the article tho

  5. Ianmac 5

    Years ago a study was done on advantages or not between Private/Single sex State/Co-ed State. Exam passes were no use given as Janet said, Private Schools don’t take the disadvantaged, and take the upper socio-economic kids instead. So the study looked at success at first year University level. The results showed significant success rates for co-ed, then single sex, then private schools. It may have been because the coeds were used to living/learning in a more natural environment and being more self-reliant.

  6. Stephen. If a Nat said we shouldn’t have Thai immigrants because they’re lazy would we have to give a detailed counter-argument, lying out the scientific evidence that the claim isn’t true, exposing the basis of the claim? No, some things are so beyond the pale they don’t deserve to be engaged with in that manner. They only deserve to be exposed for the bigotry they are.

    Dom. Maybe you go to the same gym as I do. I did have a post saying ‘I see you checking me out, go away and come up with some policy… then, we’ll talk’ – but my wiser comrades dissuaded me from posting because his private life is his business. His political statements are a different matter

  7. Daveski 7

    Not that there is any bigotry towards white, old, rich, men here 🙂

    First, there is no defence for this type of comment. It shows the Lockwood Smith is out of touch.

    Second, and I realise this is deliberate on your behalf, you have not mentioned anywhere that Smith stated he was simply reporting comments made to him. It certainly doesn’t mitigate his dumb ass but it puts a slightly different spin on it.

    As for the work hard/good school thing, I realise that the bigots here (intentional flame) will decry Key. It is true that the statement isn’t wise politically. However, there is a surprising core of middle New Zealand that would not disagree with Key on this. Personally, I don’t but you’re putting your using your own value judgements to attempt to create a universal belief that simply isn’t there.

    Finally, let’s not forget that racist stereotypes are the sole domain of the Nats. Help me out someone – who was it who made fun of Pansy Wong?

  8. ziuzou 8

    How can Key defend Smith’s racially derogatory remarks as a fresh and ambitious vision for NZ? Key got off lightly with Williamson recent ‘excitable’ outburst.

  9. Tripod 9

    “no ones saying this stuff is untrue” – err, “Asians’ hands are smaller so they are more productive”… do you really need to be told whether that’s true or not?

    Dunno about the shower and toilet bit, but I do know 22 people from Kiribati were crammed into a three-bedroom house in a Marlborough vineyard under the work scheme and their employer had the nerve to complain they were lazy. But wait, Lockwood’s got the solution, Asians are smaller so you can fit more of them into smaller houses!! Hooray! Recession solved!

    I wonder if he’s into phrenology too.

    Jesus, and these people run our country. I give up.

  10. ziuzou 10

    Help me out someone – who was it who made fun of Pansy Wong?

    Look among the right-wingers first. Just glance at the faces of Nat MPs when Pansy Wong stands up in House to talk.

  11. Dom 11

    Steve – I agree, I thought long and hard before posting that and Lockwood’s private life is indeed his own concern. But his consistent anti-gay stance means that I think he’s made that portion of his life fair game. I’m over the closeted National MPs speaking one way and acting another.

    Daveski – no one is slamming white, old rich men in general the way that Lockwood and Key are slamming entire groups here so it’s hardly bigotry.

  12. yeah, it’s a fine area, Dom. And I agree, the personal behaviour can become acceptable as part of political discussion if it shows hypocrisy – Brash, for example, made his marriage a political issue when he attacked Clark on hers , so when his affairs became public it was fair game

  13. Daveski 13

    I hate doing this but let’s define bigotry so we all agree what we are talking about:

    [dictionary.com] stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own

    There is no defence for Lockwood’s stupidity. None. Not trying to. There is doubt however that these are his views (which SP deliberately omitted). However, there is no doubt that this is abject stupidity and deserving of the treatment he will no doubt get.

    As for Key, you can’t tell me that his comments are bigoted by any definition (apart from the Standards red=good, blue=bad). The article is correct – know your audience. It was an unwise thing to say given the audience. But it’s not bigotry.

    Perhaps some here would also benefit from having tolerance for beliefs that differ from their own?

  14. Stephen 14

    SP, I agree, but Smith was only referring to physical characteristics – if he said more Scandanavians would be good because they were tall, it wouldn’t be racist or anything, it’d just show how little grasp he has on what’s actually important, same with:

    “Asians’ hands are smaller so they are more productive’ do you really need to be told whether that’s true or not?

    Well, they are smaller godammit, they’re small people (he has no idea what he’s talking about though – hand size doesn’t matter a damn)! The paragraph on its own lacked context, which is why I said what I said.

    Now that comment:
    “There are some skills in the vineyard that some people are perhaps better at,”

    Is obviously full of crap. God. Again shows he knows jack.

    However his overall point:

    “My comments, regarding the extent to which employers, under the RSE scheme were being required to provide life skills training to RSE workers, were simply reporting the strong concerns expressed to me by many employers,” he said.

    Re: the showers and toilets, is certainly arguable, at the very least.

  15. higherstandard 15

    Lockwood should have been pensioned off some time ago – his comments are probably a refection of what he’s heard back from some of the large orchardists/vineyards are just a stupid thing for a politician to parrot.

    The bit regarding Key sounds somewhat like an urban legend and has a whiff of bullshit about it.

  16. Tim Ellis 16

    It was a silly comment from Smith and should rightfully be pilloried and ridiculed.

    I take offense though that you can take from the comment that all Tories as bigots, as Steve is suggesting. That’s like saying that all Labour Party people are going around saying that John Key beats his family, just because Helen Clark made an unfortunate comment that he shouted down people at home.

    This is an election campaign. Sometimes people make silly comments.

  17. bill brown 17

    Here’s an idea for the Nats:

    children have really small hands…

  18. randal 18

    Scratcha tory and you find someone who figured out very ealry inlife how the power of compound interest would allow them to dominate and extort from anyone more interested in life and people than money or things. tories are always hiding behind something else to disguise the pathological nature of their deepest psychological desires so they are basically dishonest from go to whoah.

  19. Daveski 19

    The problem of using single instances to draw conclusions is evident from the following.

    Labour MP’s are racists and anti-Asian

    I beat around the bust but I also take offence at SP’s statement that all Tories are bigots. It’s simply unsupported by any analysis or evidence.

    At one stage, I seem to recall SP’s single line of attack being along the lines of “show us your policy” when it would have been madness to do so before the election had been called and indeed before the state of the books were known.

    Labour – and SP’s – line of attack seems intent on attacking the individuals.

    It may work with the converted but the general population thinks no politicians can be trusted.

    Actually, second thoughts, help the Nats get rid of Lockwood and do us all a favour 🙂

  20. Daveski 20

    on cue, randal proves my point 🙂

  21. randal 21

    Speak for yourself daveski. I prove my own points thank you.

  22. MikeE 22

    I’m waiting for the tories to consider Phrenology in immigration policy…

    See… even us ACT folk can take the mickey out of the Nats once and a while…

  23. Daveski 23

    randal – your last post was a textbook example of bigotry

  24. johnny be good 24

    this story is now front page news … good, the public need to know who these bastards really are and what they really stand for.

  25. Daveski 25

    Johnny – so you have campaigned for Labour to get rid of Cunliffe?

  26. Ben R 26

    So you’re saying there are no group differences? Would it be controversial to say that Polynesians tend to be stronger and of larger build than the Asian workers?

    Granted that I wouldn’t think hand size would affect productivity when it comes to pruning.

  27. Tane 27

    “Lockwood Smith sorry for small handed Asians comment”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-election-2008/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501799&objectid=10538807

    Heck, I almost feel sorry for the guy. What a PR fiasco.

    Oh and Daveski, I was taking the piss out of the trolls who come on here with their prepared lines. I’m not denying there are intelligent righties out there, though you guys sure are thin on the ground.

    captcha: the Italian KNIFE

  28. Daveski 28

    Yeah Tane – I saw that.

    The Nats could really benefit from Helen’s management skills – there is a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot. The phrase sleep walking to victory is appropriate if does indeed prove to be true.

    If you were running a PR course, this could be a case study. Mind you, no one would believe it could be true!

    I may be on a different planet but I am really hoping that the Nats and MP can sort out a working relationship. It will undoubtedly be good for the Nats as this episode shows – too many are indeed out of touch.

    Conversely, it will give the MP much more negotiating power regardless of the result and will mean Labour will be forced to do more than take Maori for granted.

  29. Ben R 29

    So if Asian workers prove the most productive they can’t be rewarded for this because of political dogma?

  30. Quoth the Raven 30

    Daveski – No one’s using a single instance to draw a conclusion. Remeber Franks and Johnathan Young, recently.

  31. Daveski 31

    QTR – we agree to differ but a number of posts (not all) have tried to use this example to paint all right wingers (not just Nats) as racist/bigots – see Johnny or possibly randal altho it is hard to work out what he actually means.

    The broader issue which i think we can agree on is that it was unbelievably stupid. Interestingly, there’s plenty on That Other Blog who want to see him sacked so perhaps the righties aren’t as stupid as some here think.

    While he’s at it, he could sack Williamson too. Be careful for what you ask for!

  32. randal 32

    daveski you are big on slimy put downs but not good on rational explanations

  33. bobo 33

    Why wasn’t Lockwood gotten rid of when they planned to clean out the fuddie duddies under Boag? How times have changed when a politician gets cheered at student campus nowadays instead of being chased and having to make a stage exit left out of a campus toilet window.

  34. toad 34

    This story keeps on getting better. Listen to the reporter’s tape. I just love his comments on the “secret recordings” in the context of this. Obviously with Lockwood, the recordings don’t need to be secret for him to make an arse of himself.

  35. Lampie 35

    “Key tells them he has two children and they attend good schools – St. Cuthbert’s and King’s – then adds, “If you work hard you can do the same.’

    Another reason not to vote National. Education policy is so full of crap and I wonder if they actually know what the current system is????

  36. Roby110 36

    someone said “But no ones saying this stuff is untrue ? Haven’t read the article tho”
    But it isn’t true. I have recently worked in the agricultural sector in nelson and Marlborough. Big hands small hnds in makes absolutely no diff. In fact try spending a day in the vineyard with pruning shears and see how a big forearms an hsnds go!)
    As for the toilet issue….I just cn’t see it. i worked with dozens of people from all over….never an issue.

  37. milo 37

    Well Steve, if you regard anybody that disagrees with you as a bigot, then in my opinion you are not fit to participate in human society.

    And if that’s not what you mean … then just exactly who are you referring to by the word “Tory”. Front up and own your words.

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