Thank-you Golriz

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, November 28th, 2017 - 159 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, human rights, racism, sexism - Tags: ,

I generally like being a New Zealander, but fuck we’re an embarrassment sometimes. In the last 24 hours a national debate has broken out about whether war criminals on trial should have legal representation. Micky has covered the basics of the beat up story here.  Yes, NZ is still wondering about how fairness and legality works.

Except that’s not what’s really going on. Oh look, Whale Oil, Kiwiblog and parts of the MSM all doing hatchet jobs on a Green MP’s career. Wonder how that happened. I guess it’s time for the Greens to be on the receiving end of Dirty Politics, although what’s really strange is that none of this is news.

Ghahraman has previously spoken publicly about her career as lawyer, including as a defence lawyer in international war crimes courts. Ghahraman gave an interview to Vice in October, talking about her experiences. Here’s the subheader from that article,

Golriz Ghahraman on how escaping Iran’s oppressive regime and defending war criminals in international courts has shaped her politics.

My emphasis. Here’s what Ghahraman said in the Vice interview,

Despite coming from a strong advocacy background, she says she didn’t find it difficult defending perpetrators.

“No, I believe so strongly in the process,” Ghahraman says. “If you’re going to convict someone, you have to know what those individuals were actually responsible for. We have to have a fair process, because how we treat the worst people in our society actually does define us. Having that fair process after a war has happened really will define the kind of society that comes out of it.”

More on fairness and what kind of society we want below.

Vice has also published the full transcript from the interview today,

Golriz Ghahraman’s Work Defending War Criminals Wasn’t a Secret

Here’s a full transcript of what our first refugee MP had to say about her work in defence at war crimes tribunals.

Ghahraman has her CV on her LinkedIn profile and has given at least two other interviews with MSM in NZ where she has talked opening about her career. I’m also fairly sure that there will be all sorts of documents in the public domain internationally about her previous work. So, sorry evil doers, there is no secret or cover up or deception.

So why is this coming up now? There is an interview this week in the Herald where Ghahraman talked about her defence work. This became the centre-piece of some stupid-shit, skewed writing at Whale Oil and Kiwiblog. Now picked up on social media and the MSM.

Then there were Phil Quinn’s tweets. His general assertions about her are weird enough but the one that Ghahraman is a genocide denier as just bizarre. Hard to know what is going on there, other than it looks like the old right within ex-Labour are still thinking hatchet jobs are a good way to win friends and influence people.

We should hope that it’s just that. I have no idea if Quinn has connections into Dirty Politics, but I guess the point is he doesn’t need to. DP got exposed 3 years ago and then mainstream NZ said meh and moved on. Sure, National tidied its act up somewhat, and some journos adjusted their conscience, but I think it’s safe to assume that there are current players who are just much more careful about not leaving paper trails of their handiwork. And now that DP has been normalised people are willing to do it for free. That Farrar and co were able to create so much trouble based on so little is a real concern, but I guess when you have the fake left helping you it’s so much easier.

The other thing to understand here is the degree of harassment that Ghahraman has received on social media as a woman, refugee and non-white person, since standing for the Green Party. And the degree to which this is endorsed by people in positions of power who should know better. It’s not unusual for women, especially young, competent, non-white women with strong political voices, but it’s still something NZ hasn’t gotten to grips with, nor the left.

This isn’t just embarrassing for NZ, it’s dangerous, anti-democratic and a sure sign that NZ’s racist and misogynistic underbelly remains not only unaddressed but informally sanctioned. We have a centre left government for now, but the war is still going on and getting nastier. National seem intent on manufacturing public discontent in NZ as much as possible in order to gain power. This isn’t just normal power grabbing, it’s intentional social engineering. Time to pick a side, because by the time this shit gets Trumpian ugly it will be too late to push back. Time also to build bridges with those who want to be on the right side of history. I suspect Quinn is a lost cause, but I’m thinking we can swap him for some old school conservatives who are unhappy with what is happening on their side of the fence.

What I’m getting to here is that NZ has this kickarse MP who ticks so many boxes for progressive politics its not funny, and here we have the reactionary forces within the mainstream trying to take her down. They should be ashamed of themselves, but they won’t be. Progressives need to be doing the mahi now on how to keep NZ heading down a good path.

So, a shout out to Golriz. Thank-you for being who you are. Thank-you for being willing to stand for parliament and do all the good work you are doing. Thank-you for being willing to be on social media despite what that means. Thank-you for being brilliant and a beacon for right action and compassionate politics. Kia kaha, kia tupato, kia manawanui.

159 comments on “Thank-you Golriz”

  1. To be fair, we do live in a country that doesn’t really believe everyone should have free and easy access to a competent defence lawyer..

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/297179/lawyers-call-for-better-prison-access

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311900/fewer-lawyers-willing-to-do-legal-aid

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3152080/Defence-lawyers-say-bad-reputation-unfair

    Instead of endlessly grinding our teeth over the temper tantrums being thrown to the Right of the political spectrum, maybe the Greens could turn this issue around and use it as a starting point for a conversation and a push for a fairer, more ‘fit for purpose’ justice system.

  2. The other thing to understand here is the degree of harassment that Ghahraman has received on social media as a woman, refugee and non-white person, since standing for the Green Party. And the degree to which this is endorsed by people in positions of power who should know better. It’s not unusual for women, especially young, competent, non-white women with strong political voices, but it’s still something NZ hasn’t gotten to grips with, nor the left.

    Green MPs make easy targets for perceived “wrong doing” because they take a moral standard on issues.

    National, ACT, and other assorted right-wingers take no such moral stand. So when they are revealed to have done something wrong (and it’s not just a perception, Todd Barclay, Judith Collins, et al), people shrug; give a ‘meh’ – because it’s expected of the right. We know they dodgy pricks.

    And for the msm, it makes for easy headlines and lead-stories.

    Unfortunately, it’s going to be a nasty three years. The Nats did not take kindly to being relegated to Opposition and they will be gunning for blood. Even if they have to manufacture faux-outrage.

    • Unfortunately, it’s going to be a nasty three years. The Nats did not take kindly to being relegated to Opposition and they will be gunning for blood. Even if they have to manufacture faux-outrage.

      QFT

  3. Roy 4

    Golriz has proven to be unequivocal about human rights AND intelligent enough to explain it. Which of course enrages the idiotic of this world.

    WO is a total miscreant who has no problem engaging lawyers to defend his disgraces. What a twerp.

    • Galenz 4.1

      She should have refuted the Guardian article when it came out. Looks bad.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        Um why? If someone else says something slightly wrong about you why should you have to correct them. Besides in the middle of a campaign year time is a commodity …

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    not only unaddressed but informally sanctioned

    Well said, and thanks for saying it Weka. This is contemptible, ugly behaviour.

    And of course thanks to Golriz Ghahraman for doing the hard yards in the first place.

    And, Golriz Ghahraman is a lawyer and a politician. No need to get expectations too high 🙂

  5. Bill 6

    I’d suggest politicians up for this type of vilification could do worse than look to Corbyn for an example on how to proceed.

    It won’t make the shit stop, but none of it will stick, and over time you just look better and better in ever more peoples’ eyes.

  6. Keepcalmcarryon 7

    It’s simply a political play by national.

    I have not expectations of morality from a lawyer. They are guns for hire and recognized as such. National is playing to that public perception (reality)
    This doesn’t preclude (some) good people from being lawyers obviously.
    To me National is simply stating the obvious.

    • weka 7.1

      Don’t know what National have said (haven’t looked), but I prefer not to normalise something that has the potential to seriously harm NZ.

    • Wayne 7.2

      The issue is not whether Golriz Ghahraman can defend criminals, even of the very worst kind. It is whether she represented herself correctly on the Green website and on various interviews. Giving an impression, or indeed saying directly that she was motivated to prosecute the worst human rights offenders, when that is not in fact the whole truth is bound to lead to difficulty. That is especially so when defending the oppressed has been virtually her whole reason to become an MP.

      The defences here of Golriz and the criticism of those who dare to raise the contradictions, is reminiscent of the completely uncritical defence on this website of Metiria Turei.

      That did not end well for Metiria, and a lot of the reason for that is the way she handled the issue as more and more contradictions emerged about her situation. You knew things had got real bad when the father of the child went to Whaleoil with his story.

      [lprent: The people on this site have and had quite differing viewpoints on that incident as well as just about every other possible viewpoint. There is no common view on this site.

      So what you are trying to avoid saying is that you are talking about a machine having an opinion. There is a little section in the policy about that.

      Attacking the blog site, or attributing a mind to a machine (ie talking about The Standard as if it had an opinion), or trying to imply that the computer that runs the site has some kind of mind control over authors and commentators is not allowed. Making such assertions will often get the sysop answering you, because he considers that those are comments directed at him personally. As a computer programmer he knows exactly how dumb machines are. If you’re lucky he will merely give you an educational ban. But sometimes when time is available, he does like to point out in a humiliating manner that machines are not intelligent – and neither is the person expressing that fallacy.

      So you have been warned that you are talking directly to me. Moreover you are trying to tell me that I made a “…completely uncritical defence on this website of Metiria Turei.”. I didn’t.

      Sure, I supported her focus on the horror that is long running WINZ. But most people who actually have had to deal with sadistic WINZ or deal with its victims thinks that. Especially after National has been in with its usual ineffective and highly ineffective punitive approach. I was happy that she raised the issue. Just as I was for Winston Peters after someone, almost certainly a National minister or senior staffer, leaked private information about his superannuation.

      But that was an issue based support, not an uncritical defense. And obviously you don’t have a defense either…

      I do find that you lying about me is completely offensive and constitutes contempt of the sysop. Banned for 1 month. ]

      • Incognito 7.2.1

        The defences here of Golriz and the criticism of those who dare to raise the contradictions, is reminiscent of the completely uncritical defence on this website of Metiria Turei. [my bold]

        This is a disingenuous comment and you know it as there where quite a few who did not defend Metiria Turei to the hilt and were even critical (without demonising her, if that’s what you were after). I’m sure you could find one commenter who fits your description but it absolutely and categorically does not apply to the whole of TS. I suggest that when you make accusations you learn to be more specific rather than making these wide-ranging ones that you seem to have grown so fond of; your professional training and experience might come handy 😉

      • marty mars 7.2.2

        Yes their are similarities but more in the mode of attack. Sure we expect the gnat attack bloggers and friendly jornos to all play their part but this going for the secondary target of not telling the truth is inherently dishonest and disingenous as it was for Metiria. But it works and for desperate gnats that’s good enough.

      • David Mac 7.2.3

        Met admitted breaking the law, her defenders were on a hiding to nothing. Golriz is guilty of seeing law upheld. Nothing alike.

        Re overplaying the: ‘Bombs going off all around me.’ card. I think most are comfortable with there being elements of truth garnished with ‘extension sentiment’. Show me a politician that doesn’t gild the lily and I’ll show you a vacuum.

        • rhinocrates 7.2.3.1

          overplaying the: ‘Bombs going off all around me.’ card

          Who’s to say ‘overplaying’? You don’t expect the military to be entirely honest about where they drop their bombs or which noncombatants they shoot.

          • David Mac 7.2.3.1.1

            So the criticism goes. How on earth does one prove they have constant ringing in their ears? Maybe Golriz could gain exposure for the Greens with the public reveal of her scars. I’d watch. I have an interest in politics.

            It’s all becoming creepy, sorry. What are the right after? Drone footage of Ghoriz’s family copping it?

            She’s from a yucky part of the world, been in it up to her elbows, what matters is what she can do for NZ and so far so good.

      • rhinocrates 7.2.4

        The defences here of Golriz and the criticism of those who dare to raise the contradictions, is reminiscent of the completely uncritical defence on this website of Metiria Turei.

        Yes, it’s rather telling that you bring up another woman of colour. Yes, I know, you’re not a racist, not really, It just happens that blah blah blah reasons.

        This is just yet more paternalistic finger-wagging from the ‘voice of the establishment’ who disingenuously tries to appear so reasonable, but yet is rather selective in his phoney demands for rigour towards women of colour and spices it with a few insinuations of venal motivation. And yet somehow he happily turned a blind eye to the misdemeanour s of his mates Billshit the rorter and a certain prominent New Zealander fiddling with children in Northland.

        You weren’t clutching your pearls then were you? You weren’t making insinuations or telling outright lies to attack them then, were you. Despite your lies and nasty insinuations, she has been honest in her interviews – and you know it. As it is, your concern trolling shows you up as a hypocritical pile of shit.

        I’d be more impressed by the claims to moral authority by self-appointed aristocrats if they held their own mates to the same standards they demand for browner folk.

        Incognito, an observation. You say:

        This is a disingenuous comment and you know it and then your professional training and experience might come handy

        Oh it does!

      • newsense 7.2.5

        A former National cabinet minister creating a straw man to beat up? Surprise

  7. Baba Yaga 8

    The problem would appear to be not that she defended war criminals, but whether claims about her work were ‘exaggerated’, or even misstated, either by her by others. That is the accusation being levelled at her. Barry Soper details the claims made by the Greens about her, and highlights well the problems Golriz faces as result.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11948555

    [you’ve just done Dirty Politics apology under a post about the damage being done to NZ by Dirty Politics. That’s the problem. 1 month ban.

    For future reference, if you think that an MP has exaggerated or misstated claims about their career, make the argument and put up some evidence. Simply linking to someone running DP lines doesn’t count. As a moderator I take a hard line on commenters who expect readers and authors to go off site and read the whole of another article to try and parse the point you are trying to make where that article is apparently being used as evidence. Do your own work, make the argument and evidence explicit (e.g. cut and paste). Know also that I have very little tolerance for people making shit up about the Greens or Labour. – weka]

    • Soper repeating the shit he read on Kiwiblog isn’t adding new information or analysis, it’s just a feature of what weka describes in the OP (which you don’t show any sign of having read).

      • Baba Yaga 8.1.1

        “Golriz has lived and worked in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia putting on trial world leaders for abusing their power”

        How do you interpret that statement?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          It’s ambiguous. I’d look for more detail from other sources.

        • xanjo 8.1.1.2

          Firstly it would be helpful to read the ‘statement’ in context. Where is the source and who wrote it? Anyone can quote an unattributed ‘statement’ and ask people to spend their valuable time deciphering it for you, probably with some view to using the results to bolster some argument of yours, meanwhile roping your respondents into whatever obscure point you may be trying to make. How about you tell me what you think it means and I’ll tell you whether I agree.

    • David Mac 8.2

      Barry wants us to turn our noses up at the shit on her gloves after she has just climbed up from the pit and help clear the septic tank for us.

    • Incognito 8.3

      What a muddied mess you and Barry Soper make of this. You seem to not have read Weka’s post and links and Mr Soper has not any digging himself either – odd for a so-called journalist – but simply scratched the surface of his own perception of Ms Ghahraman. Neither of you [singular or plural?] can seem to make your mind as to whether you’re aiming at Ms Ghahraman, the Green Party, or some other nameless & faceless people as the alleged culprits of such hideous crime as to give you the wrong impression (how dare they?). Instead of doing some investigating with a magnifying glass & tweezers you fire up the good old flame-thrower to scorch everything on the left-hand side of the fence, as usual. When you consider your perceptions to be your reality you can rightfully be called delusional.

      • Macro 8.3.1

        It’s been pointed out to Yaba gaba countless times that his comprehension skills need attending too.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3.1.1

          😆

        • Incognito 8.3.1.2

          Well, it is obvious, isn’t it?

          Barry Soper/Baba Yaga seem to think that when somebody or something “gives” or “creates” an impression or perception it is actually all their own doing. What they are accusing others of is that they made them (i.e. BS/BY) think or feel something (i.e. mind-control); it is like children accusing each other saying “he/she made me do/say it!”. It is unbelievably lazy and shows a lack of self-control and self-responsibility.

    • Red 8.4

      “I have little tolerance for people making shit up about labour or the greens” , Fair enough but based on many comments on this site making shit up about national or other parties is fine

      [lprent: There is quite a difference between something asserted as a fact and one expressed as a personal opinion. Just as there are differences between people who state that they’d like to do an unlawful act compared to people who actually do an unlawful act.

      I suspect that you are talking about clearly expressed opinion compared to stating something as an incontrovertible fact and then not being able to produce any evidence to support it – as happened above. Perhaps you should learn to distinguish between these different modes by simply asking yourself what category they fall into. It may help you with your habit of whinging and whining about this topic.

      Curiously enough the laws of this country and most other countries with a strong legal framework seem to follow exactly those differences in nuance through their criminal and civil law. They also tend to have particularly strong and robust economies and freedoms down to the personal level.

      That is because they tend to constrain the mindless barbarians like yourself who’d like to think that because your personal fact free delusions are so compelling you have the right to shit them out as ‘facts’ in everyone else’s faces whilst expressing them. If you express them as your opinions as you have so slowly been learning to do, you’d probably have less to whine about.

      Perhaps you should think about that as well. ]

  8. Grey Area 9

    Good post Weka and very timely. I’ve been mulling over this aspect of our politics since the election. Many of us are enjoying having a government with a heart and brains (albeit still finding its feet and one that will still need to be watched, and critiqued as well as encouraged) but the backlash has been immediate.

    I’ve already said today that attacks will be relentless and they will be on many levels ranging from less consequential ones about parliamentary processes through to character assassinations aimed at ending political careers.

    I am a big fan of Person of Interest and have never forgotten the scene where Finch is trying to recruit Shaw and as he looks out over the city at night tells her: “The world looks like it did 10 years ago but underneath it’s become very strange indeed. An invisible struggle has begun.”

    I felt the day after we learned the shape of the current government that the fight was only just beginning. It’s going to be hard work and draining but we have to hit back at every opportunity showing we see the lies and hypocrisy and what’s really going on below the surface.

    I am encouraged to see more examples each day of people calling the actions of the National Party and their media facilitators for what they are. I find the comments on Stuff for example recently have been more balanced and in some cases recently very much anti-National. The response to English on Radio NZ this morning seemed to be swift, including my brief email pointing out his hypocrisy.

    But it’s not enough to just post here. We need to also use emails, texts, tweets, posts, comments, whatever, to call their lies. Some will do more than that but we all need to do something.

    Time to pick a side, because by the time this shit gets Trumpian ugly it will be too late to push back. Time also to build bridges with those who want to be on the right side of history.

    I couldn’t agree more.

  9. David C 10

    I find it interesting that the author of this OP feels the need to play the sexism and racism cards in defense of an honesty issue.

    [2 month ban for trolling my posts around gender and racism. And being dishonest about honesty. Read the Policy about telling authors what to do and learn how to address the points in posts instead of having a go at the author. – weka]

    [just seen I’ve moderated you for similar last month. Adding an extra month so you get the point. I suggest go looking up the historic moderation and learning how it works here. – weka]

    • Macro 10.1

      I find it interesting that you could reduce the issue to such low levels.

      • In Vino 10.1.1

        Me too. I also question DavidC’s transparent dishonesty in describing the smear against Ms Ghahraman as an honesty issue. Smear, thank you. In longer items she had clearly said that she worked sometimes as a defender, and gave a good defence of that practice.

  10. Macro 11

    So, a shout out to Golriz. Thank-you for being who you are. Thank-you for being willing to stand for parliament and do all the good work you are doing. Thank-you for being willing to be on social media despite what that means. Thank-you for being brilliant and a beacon for right action and compassionate politics. Kia kaha, kia tupato, kia manawanui.

    QFT
    So well said weka. Thankyou.

    • Marcus Morris 11.1

      My sentiments entirely. Let’s shift the debate to the disclosure in yesterday’s Herald under the heading “John Key, mass surveillance and what really happened when Edward Snowden accused him of spying”. As I read it, the article reinforces what many of us have suspected for a long time, that the former Prime Minister (I find it distressing to give him his full title) was more than economic with the truth, and that is putting it mildly. Golriz has done absolutely nothing wrong but sadly the issue is exposing once again the dark underbelly of a society that likes to proclaim to the outside world that it is one of openness and fair-mindedness .

  11. Et Tu Brute 12

    Over blown storm in a tea cup. But so is 99% of all politics. Even if she’s done wrong (and who hasn’t?) this isn’t that bad. She can save herself. Smile to the camera and come out with a full and frank discussion and turn this on its head, reminding people where this is coming from.

    Another thing she needs to be clear about is her statement; “I remember the bombs, the sirens, running to the basement. Waiting. Mostly I remember the kids, my age, who stopped speaking because of shell shock.” Her hometown was not bombed and was out of range. Did she live somewhere else during the war? It’s obvious they’re out to get her. She needs to make sure her background is watertight.

    [just seen that you are parroting DPF. You do that again under one of my posts and I’ll not consider it concern trolling but running DP lines. Contrary to what Wayne Mapp thinks, I don’t have a problem with RW views being expressed where they are considered and thoughtful. I do have a problem with smeary, undermining shit that appears to be all about making NZ politics as fucked up as possible in order to consolidate power (or maybe just because it’s nasty). You can count this as a warning that I will moderate accordingly. – weka]

    • Macro 12.1

      Oh! you were there were you?
      And she hasn’t done anything wrong in case you overlooked that fact?

      • Psycho Milt 12.1.1

        The Kiwiblog thread being parroted above has a procession of good Kiwi jokers mansplaining how Golriz Ghahraman couldn’t possibly have had any direct experience of the Iraq war. ETB’s concern trolling is mild by comparison.

        • Macro 12.1.1.1

          Oh! Well they would know – they were all there weren’t they.
          All these self righteous bastards need to walk a mile or two in the bare feet of a refugee. Every asylum seeker has a story, and that story is double checked by the authorities in the country where they first seek refuge. If that story doesn’t stack up – their application for asylum may be rejected. It doesn’t help them not to tell the truth. My daughter was one of those doing the assessments for NZ, for a time and it was a long and difficult process both for those doing the assessment and for those seeking asylum. Those arriving in NZ from Iran had as difficult a time as any.

    • David Mac 12.2

      It’s a sideshow in a saggy tent staged by a struggling circus.

      NZ at large care about what matters. Did she ace her KPI’s? Inspire others? Gets things done? Loyal to colleagues and charter?

    • weka 12.3

      You’re pretty close to concern trolling there ETB.

    • Incognito 12.4

      Over blown storm in a tea cup. But so is 99% of all politics.

      Indeed, this seems to be our modern day version (or interpretation?) of politics. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, Hannah Arendt held very highly the political arena (the public realm or polis) because this is where we plural men come together to express ourselves and be known to each other and to act and start something new by virtue of our natality. Denying or ignoring this is to deny or ignore our human condition and to live as an animal laborans and that’s exactly what we are and have become. BTW, Hannah Arendt knew a thing or two about war criminals and genocide.

    • weka 12.5

      see moderation note above.

  12. The mechanics of the way this has gone reminds me of the Metiria situation. Initial burst plus full coverage to get it on the news, as it is countered by logic and sensible retorts shift the issue to openness, and honesty. There are additional stages to come as inevitably more stuff comes out and is spun the worst way, leading to retorts (fighting on the wrong battlefield) and then the next stage of the attack – usually morals etc repeat until job done

    Hard to shut down.

    • David Mac 13.1

      Your scenario reads like the demise of a relationship I was once in…more than once.

      I think a key difference was the strength of the argument for those that would rip Met down.

      “1000’s have been charged with exactly that crime, there’s 22 up in the courts of NZ this week.”…. It’s a tough point to counter.

      But this, we ask someone to go and clean up International dirt for us and on their return accuse them of cleaning up International dirt.

  13. rhinocrates 14

    The essence of rule by law is that the prosecution must positively make its case against the defence. A defence lawyer who does not try to do their job to their fullest ability and hold the prosecution to account is undermining that.

  14. esoteric pineapples 15

    What’s the bet National and its cronies are looking for any personal dirt it can on government MPs, specially ones like Golriz. They know their present efforts aren’t really going to do the trick.

    • Freddo 15.1

      Quin said on his twitter overnight that he has “more, much more to come” on Golriz, after saying two days ago “I have some mates digging away in Kigali”. I fear there is plenty of ramping up of this to come yet, so I hope she has a very good support team around her to fight this.

  15. Carolyn_nth 16

    thanks, weka. Excellent post.

    Gee Golriz has taken a lot of abusive and angry attacks on social media since she became a GP candidate. He role as a Human Rights lawyer, an ex-refugee, and supporter of refugees, when she seemed to be on the side the the good, came under vicious on-going attacks.

    From Wireless on October:

    We were discussing Ghahraman’s experience during the election campaign, which unfortunately involved large amounts of race-hate directed at her on social media.

    “I wasn’t as surprised as I think the people around me were when some of the attacks on me personally came out, but I think the fact that they were sustained was a bit of a surprise – the fact that it just kept going for the whole election, and it’s still going now.”

    So, basically, it doesn’t matter whether she’s supporting marginalised or oppressed people, or whether she’s highlighted as someone who defended people accused of war crimes – some people (mostly from the right, I think), have been going after her as soon as her “positively stated” profile came on stream in NZ politics.

    • Incognito 16.1

      I believe that many who attack Ms Ghahraman consider or perceive her as an easy target. They are circling around looking for any potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities, which is why it is so important that we collectively make a stand because one by one we will be taken down & out till none of us are left: united we stand, divided we fall.

      • rhinocrates 16.1.1

        It’s coming in two streams according to the old dirty politics playbook. We have Wayne Blimp pretending to be ‘reasonable’ but carefully dog-whistling reference to another campaign of character assassination against Metiria that took on racist and misogynist qualities while WO and the Penguin do the dirty work of overtly racist and misogynist attacks.

        People are laughing at Brash as a fossil, but he simply lacks the pretence of subtlety. His kind are still in power.

        • Incognito 16.1.1.1

          I was rather shocked by Wayne’s comments and in particular by his language; it was imprecise and inaccurate. In other cases I’d put this down to sloppiness but in Wayne’s case I don’t think I really can use this ‘defence’ … I find this quite disturbing because I thought Wayne was a fundamentally decent guy; is he being played/led or simply misguided like so many others of his ‘generation’?

      • Heather Grimwood 16.1.2

        to incognito at 16.1 : Wise words from a thoughtful observer.

      • Ed 16.1.3

        Yes. solidarity is the key.
        I am Spartacus.

      • Sanctuary 16.1.4

        “… believe that many who attack Ms Ghahraman consider or perceive her as an easy target. They are circling around looking for any potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities, which is why it is so important that we collectively make a stand because one by one we will be taken down & out till none of us are left: united we stand, divided we fall…”

        If there is one thing that characterises old white male misogynists, it is they are vicious bullies to young women who threaten them.

      • Brian Tregaskin 16.1.5

        Yep the people who attack Ms Ghahraman are basically deep down /Racists/bigots/rednecks (30-55 years old Im guessing ) with a disillusioned belief system ingrained with how they raised were up.
        Fortunately time is against them, 20-30 years from now those sort of people will pretty much in the small majority and represent a radical fringe group.
        Results of this election is the first wake up call to them.

        • Psycho Milt 16.1.5.1

          Oh, you’re guessing way too young. Think 50-years plus for the grumpy old White men filling right-wing blogs with bile about this (which, as a 55-year-old, I find horribly depressing).

          • joe90 16.1.5.1.1

            I reckon most of Farrar’s bile spitting denizens are superannuitants with chips on their shoulders. The rest are younger, baldhead wallflowers who because they were ignored by the girls and missed out on all the fun things, carry chips that are rather large for their age.

  16. red-blooded 17

    I find it interesting that the Nats have no problem at all electing and promoting two guys – Todd Barclay and Chris Bishop – who worked as professional lobbyists to promote and defend the tobacco industry (no balancing out by promoting public health initiatives or campaigners – just sold their souls to the highest bidder), but go on the attack in this case, in which a woman participated in a legal process that couldn’t proceed without advocates on both sides. That’s how our international, and national, justice system works.

    What harm to society or to individual well-being would be caused if the tobacco industry didn’t have professional lobbyists?

    • rhinocrates 17.1

      I’m ambivalent about the death penalty and only mildly in favour of it for tobacco peddling. I hardly need mention the fatality rates associated with it – but that seems to be OK.

      Or there’s Prostetnic Vogon Joyce and his theft of intellectual property, or Billshit and his theft from the taxpayer, or a certain ‘Prominent New Zealander’ who likes children a little too much. I’m sure Wayne will have very strong opinions on them… oh hang on, they’re all white men in the National Party.

      Funny, that.

    • greywarshark 17.2

      We need to spell out for those that have forgotten, that we live under a system of law and not just the passionate fors or againsts that are exhibited often in blogs.

      So when someone is being tried for egregious internationally disproved crimes, then it is essential that the matter be properly researched and presented to Court so everyone knows as much of the relevant facts as they can. It is serious, at the heart of a society that is always trying to be just, but just can’t stop repeating behaviour that demeans us all.

  17. timeforacupoftea 18

    I think it is great people like Ms Ghahraman defend war criminals.
    Lets hope if they are war criminals she loses her case for them.
    It must be horrible working for these horrible nasty bastards, they still deserve a last breath before they continue a miserable life.
    She is a far better woman than the ex green leader who stole from the social welfare department in her youth to make her predicament easier than the normal law abiding welfare claimant.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      I just want to make sure you’re aware whose reputation you’re lowering when you parrot right wing talking points about your betters.

      You do understand that this behaviour is a stain on you, and nothing else, eh.

    • Incognito 18.2

      It was Dr Wayne Mapp @ 7.2 who drew the parallel of Golriz Ghahraman with Metiria Turei. I also think there is a parallel besides the fact that both are lawyers and with the Green Party: one of Ms Ghahraman’s motivations was that justice can only be accomplished if proper process is being followed while on the other hand Ms Turei’s motivation was that the system was unable or unwilling to allow for a proper process resulting in a social injustice, which prompted her many years later to attempt to restore proper process. Ms Turei realised that the system was not going to change (by) itself and that by confessing her youthful mistake she could possible elicit a positive change. In my opinion both women are class acts!

  18. David Mac 19

    Yeah, Golriz has the face of an angel and the name of a Tolkien sage.

    Lets bring her home to meet Mum and Dad.

  19. Sparky 20

    Sad that NZ politics has gotten so ugly but in a sense its affirming to know my loathing and distrust of the Western MSM is well placed.

    Yes lets stand up for the Greens the only party I can think of to date to actually do anything positive (that I’m aware of) about the repellent CP-TPP. Small wonder the powers that be dislike them so much.

  20. SPC 21

    It’s been suggested by some that right wing men feel threatened by her, whereas its more likely that right wing men love taking down women of the left from “their moral high ground” (which does explain the move on parental leave when National did not nothing in this area in their 9 years in government).

    • Matthew Whitehead 21.1

      You don’t think the motivation for that down-talking is frequently about feeling threatened, though? Because I do.

      • SPC 21.1.1

        Politicians exploit (right wing voter) reaction to progressive liberalism, and sure some of that reaction is to the progressives who champion it.

      • Carolyn_nth 21.1.2

        What exactly is the threat that some of these guys perceive, or feel?

        • Matthew Whitehead 21.1.2.1

          They’re worried about the structural oppression against young, brown women who are more successful than them isn’t working, and that the oppression they’ve supported against others will be turned around on them in the future. (this is how you get stuff like Men’s Rights Activism, or “Reverse Racism,” etc…, both of which are absolute rubbish)

          They’re normally the type who are careful and get super insulted if you ever imply they’re saying anything a little racist or sexist and treat it like a bigger deal than racism or sexism itself.

  21. Matthew Whitehead 22

    Thank you for jumping on this, Weka. 🙂

  22. Ed 23

    Headline on the Herald online now

    ‘Profile on party website of MP who defended Butcher of Bosnia’s now changed to be more accurate”

    This is getting tedious…….

    I despise the mainstream media.
    Is the Herald just a front for Kiwiblog?

    • David Mac 23.1

      They’re in a death spiral and floundering for relevance Ed.

      When your advertisers are getting more exposure alongside an article about Ralph Lauren’s collection of classic cars, that’s what they run up the flagpole.

      In doing so, places like this is where the news is. More and more we catch headlines at our traditional news carriers and then head straight to ‘What do people think?’

      As we move towards an interest in ‘How is this going down with the crew?’ We jettison traditional news sources and frequent places like this.

      I don’t struggle to imagine weka as a $120k pa principal Thought Provoker at The Standard.

      • Ed 23.1.1

        Kirsty Johnston from the Herald on Twitter seems to be going against the propaganda stance by her editor ( Roughan ?) .

        Good on her.

        ‘To clear things up: I interviewed @golrizghahraman about six weeks before the election, we openly discussed her time in Rwanda as a defence intern. It (like much of her story) didn’t make my final story due to space.’

        ‘The story was supposed to be part of a pre-election series, but we used it when she was elected. Call me naive but I assumed getting defence experience was normal, not a big deal, and there were other more relevant things to include.’

    • SPC 23.2

      The MSM has battered wife syndrome, they get attacked on right wing talk radio and the blogs until they do what those who attack want them to.

      And given their dire financial position they are inclined to take what (click-bait) stories they can gather off the internet (what others feed them) to keep the on-line advertisers happy.

  23. The Real Matthew 24

    Given anyone who dares speak the truth or provides a differing opinion is being banned for a month I’d like to be banned for a month in order to show my solidarity for free speech and minority opinion.

    The moderation on this thread is an embarrassment to all contributors.

    [how about we make it three. Saves all the stupid comments reappearing at the same time – weka]

    • McFlock 24.1

      protip: nobody forces you to comment here.

      Additional protip: if you’re going to parrot a bullshit line, at least provide some supporting evidence and an indication that you read and understood the post. It’s pretty simple to do, and would have prevented most of the bans I saw accrue on this issue.

    • Never a good idea to ask for a ban mate.

    • The moderation on this thread (from the perspective of someone who’s copped a ban here himself) is a well-justified and well-explained removal of liars, ignorant bigots, concern trolls and dirty-politics purveyors from the thread so that people with something to say can say it. Try presenting an argument to support your opinion, it works wonders.

      • weka 24.3.1

        the thing that amazes me is how many RWers have posted but how few have made an actual argument or useful points beyond the bigotry and DP (and the stupid shit about the site or authors/moderators). Were there any?

        • Psycho Milt 24.3.1.1

          Wayne was the only one who tried, and the argument comes down to “there was an ambiguous sentence in a brief CV, therefore Golriz Ghahraman deliberately lied to conceal the fact she’d defended war criminals.”

          In fact, that’s the entire argument presented anywhere in support of the fuss the right are making about this, and the flimsiness of the argument is probably the best indicator that it’s a dirty politics job – it’s not about the facts, it’s about the towering edifice of bullshit that can be built onto the grain of truth at the bottom.

          • Ed 24.3.1.1.1

            Sadly some people will only read the headline.
            However, they were likely bigoted Nats seeking confirmation of their prejudices.
            And Quin, Soper and the rest of the motley crew played dirty politics.

        • Macro 24.3.1.2

          Andrew Geddis has done another excellent analysis of the “controversy” and the more you look into it the more the so called “ambiguous” statement by the Greens becomes less ambiguous – here is the internship with the UN under which she went to Rwanda
          http://ictr-archive09.library.cornell.edu/ENGLISH/opportunities/internship/program.html
          Clearly this is an opportunity for those young Lawyers seeking to work in this area – as the Intro states:

          The present administrative instruction contains the rules governing the internship Programme of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The Programme has the dual function of training young professionals and providing expertise to the ICTR.

          So this was a programme run by the UN to oversee the return of Justice in a country ravaged by conflict and hatred. That she at one point worked on the defence is neither here nor there.

          • Ed 24.3.1.2.1

            Phil Quin getting every platform he wants to spread his bile.
            Maybe time to put the focus on him……

    • David Mac 24.4

      Can I have your pencil sharpener?

  24. North 25

    “No, I believe so strongly in the process,” Ghahraman says. “If you’re going to convict someone, you have to know what those individuals were actually responsible for. We have to have a fair process, because how we treat the worst people in our society actually does define us. Having that fair process after a war has happened really will define the kind of society that comes out of it.”

    Impeccable.

    Compare that to the “dishonesty” chant. It’s the chant that’s the dishonesty.

    • weka 25.1

      There’s so much in that quote. Most of all I loved it for showing up NZ and how far we have moved from a commitment to fairness.

  25. David Mac 26

    Like they did to Golriz

  26. Ed 27

    Phil Quin seems an interesting character.
    He has an agenda and has been very busy on twitter attacking Golriz for 48 hours.
    He also seems to feature on KiwiBlog and Whale Oil.
    It says he was once a Labour staffer – when and under whom? Prebble?

    • SPC 27.1

      To the right of Shane Jones and Peter Dunne, has enemies only on the left.

      It will be interesting to note the various fronts for the attack politics lines the opposition wants to run.

    • Incognito 27.2

      To me, he comes across like a zealot, somebody who’s on a personal crusade to right wrongs. His cause or quest might be noble, I honestly don’t know, but like all zealots he seems blind to the hurt, damage, and devastation he may be causing on his way. As the saying goes: hurt people hurt people.

      The Blues Brothers were more entertaining: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4YrCFz0Kfc

    • Anne 27.3

      He was/is a Rogernomics disciple who joined the Party at the height of the neoliberal era. He threw his toys around five years ago when the party membership began making its presence felt over the continued factionalism between the rogernomes of the past and the newer breed of democratic socialists. As mickysavage said in an earlier comment “he has issues”.

      • Ed 27.3.1

        Doesn’t seem to spend much time in this country but always at hand for Farrar and others.

        • Anne 27.3.1.1

          If my memory serves me correctly, he had some sort of link to the Dirty Political machine described by Nicky Hager in his book “Dirty Politics”.

          • Ed 27.3.1.1.1

            Surprise surprise.
            Time for a thread on this valiant hero.

            • Freddo 27.3.1.1.1.1

              What? We abhor personal attack lines done for political purposes such as this attack on Golriz … but let’s then go and do it ourselves?

              Surely we can do better than suggestions like that?

  27. mauī 28

    For some reason I’ve got an image of Ms Ghahraman the new kindy teacher gathering the under 5’s around in a huddle.

    “Today kids I’m going to teach you what a human rights lawyer is.

    Ok, Barry you’ve got a question. Your question next Wayne, yes then you Jenna.”

    • Yes with dirty politics you can only double down – stopping or backing out is not an option. This is why it is disgusting and filthy – you can only win (in their minds) by hurting more people, worse.

      • Ed 29.1.1

        Let’s see the left wing politicians and activists slam these vicious media types and their slimy message.

    • mauī 29.2

      This is really nasty stuff. He’s throwing in everything including the kitchen sink to make her resign.

    • SPC 29.3

      Bizarrely his approach is to slight her as a mere volunteer intern, then place responsibility on her for the defence strategy. Totally contradictory.

  28. Ed 30

    Quin also gets to write on Newroom. How many platforms does this man get? He is VERY busy.

    Who enables this?

    This is clearly an attempt on a Hatchet job.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/11/27/63852/the-green-mp-and-the-genocide-hearings

  29. AB 31

    So she was a defence intern in Rwanda and a prosecutor in Yugoslavia. Seems pretty sensible if pursuing a career in this area.
    Her political bio mentions the prosecutor role only, but in many interviews etc. she clearly mentions both, Wow – big deal. Bios and CVs are scrupulous and comprehensive right? Did she even write the bio? What would a meticulous and accurate bio of John Key have included? Maybe this: “despite having an unfortunate attraction for ponytails on pubescent girls, John Key has made a fortune in the most socially useless profession of the 21st century, currency speculation.”

    There is a photograph of her with a client who was later convicted. They are both smiling, which people have been known to do in photographs, She was an intern, no doubt happy about being getting on in the big world of lawyering.
    This is ‘no mates National’ employing the only strategy they have left – trying to drive the Greens (and maybe NZF) under 5%. They’ll fail.

    • dv 31.1

      AND also consider that Herald etc were really pushing for the greens to go with the Natz after the election!!!!

  30. Sanctuary 32

    It amazes me how so many political journalists spent ten years being Key’s good little Pavlov dogs, saying nothing while bullies like Bennett, Tolley and Collins ran rampant, now suddenly grow a spine and discover their sense of outrage when the target is a young female with no ties to the old boy network. Fucking bullies and cowards.

  31. savenz 33

    I think the bigger problem of the Greens is that they seem plagued by triviality and ‘have become the news’ not the Green issues. This seems actively supported during the election when they emailed more about voting for the MP themselves than the Green policies.

    Too me it’s a Green disastrous decline from activists to careerist types with little real life experience but seemingly “amazing” CV’s, like working for the UN or coming third for Auckland Mayor (yippee) and getting MSM coverage. (maybe because MSM could trivialise it and not talk about Green issues).

    When Chloe talks about how she once went to a decile 3 school (shock!!) or Golriz about her parents leaving Iran. Again what have they done with those experiences in terms of helping others in NZ because being an MP is representing the people of NZ (or should be) not expanding your own profile and career.

    Somehow within neoliberalism, politics has gone global and it’s just a step in the ladder to the global stage for careerist MP’s (labour) or massive wealth (National) or crony jobs and board positions (Labour and National).

    One thing I did find moving was when Golriz talked about helping defend the 14 yo kid tried for murder. That it more meaningful because it’s something local and it’s a pressing problem that she can help in NZ as an MP by changing the law.

    Greens are doing what Labour did for the previous 9 years when they flail around without any authenticity of meaning to the majority of voters, while spouting identity politics and schizophrenic policy (aka supporting developers removing democracy and trees for more housing while defending the demand side). Please make it real Greens.

    I for one don’t like, Celebrity MP, get me out of here. And Greens need to change. The new MP’s don’t know any better they are totally brainwashed by middle class lawyer neoliberalism (thinking sending Chloe’s avocado recipes is a good idea during the election or that they understand poverty or environmentalism in this country) – so it’s up to the older more experienced Greens to set them straight. After the celeb green crowd can I hear what the other young Greens are up too like Gareth Hughes?

    Please Greens be more careful to have older, wiser, more relatable NZ active activists on the list next time with NZ examples because that’s what the Greens are now missing. They needed to replace like for like. They haven’t and that’s caused friction. Just like the free marketeers in Labour vs old Labour created rifts. Green MP’s have become obsessed by their own dramas and the voter’s punished them for it because they become unrepresentative for many of the Green voters who want a wholistic approach from the party.

    Greens pretty much have the best policy hands down, but they need to get practical. They are held to a higher standard by their voters.

    Sue Bradford surprised when she became an MP by making a staggering amount of difference. Russel and Jeanette seem irreplaceable for their bravery and ideals and their integrity for this country. Let’s see more hard work and actual results from the Greens not speeches, meetings, impractical or trivial policy and hype from the newbies.

    • solkta 33.1

      So you can’t see that having an International Human Rights Lawyer is beneficial to the Green Caucus and New Zealand Parliament? Do you really think that the new MPs are Neoliberals? Have you bothered to talk with them?

      • savenz 33.1.1

        I think having a human rights lawyer is not beneficial unless they actually improve human rights and conditions in NZ because that is the charter of a NZ MP.

        If they want to improve international human rights then go work for the UN or relevant employer directly or private practise. Observing the process (aka defence of person accused of war crimes) is more a career choice by getting international experience rather than some great benefit to the NZ public.

        The new Green MP’s are good people but still young a product of their upbringing. They have been raised on a diet of neoliberalism and don’t know any different. Yes they want to change the world, but the world they know is more about individualism, survival and careers and compromise and little interest in the natural world and environment or green movement. People come first.

        That’s fine within a mix of other people representing the Green movement but many of the Green list MP’s are more socialist than environmental and like the Rogernomic neoliberal’s highjacking the Labour brand, those that value socialism more than environmentalism in the Green movement need to take care not to do the same thing and sink the party by hijacking and making it about their personal views and policy onto of the party and therefore reducing the makeup of voters that support it, who care about different things or have different priorities. It’s already happened by Greens getting 6% at a time where environmentalism is mainstream and considered vitally important by many.

        • solkta 33.1.1.1

          You are very ignorant. As i said, i think you should actually speak with those new MPs before you pass judgement as to what they may or may not believe or understand, or care about. Or at the very least offer a few quotes from them to back up your accusations. Holding beliefs about somebody solely based on their age is a form of discrimination.

          The Green Party has always been about people as well as planet. More ignorance there. You can view the Green Party Charter here: https://www.greens.org.nz/charter . Funny that you should talk about them “highjacking the Labour brand” given how Labour have so neglected that brand. And ironic given how Labour ‘borrowed’ so much Green policy during the election.

          I think too that you could give Golriz a chance to improve human rights in NZ through Parliament and not right her off after only four weeks. She has of course already improved New Zealand Common Law since her return in 2012 with one case forcing the Police to change their rules in regard undercover operations. Human rights are human rights and much of her knowledge is applicable here. If we can actually have this new government comply with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act then that would be a huge achievement given that the last government routinely passed laws that are in breach of it. The New Zealand Government also has international human rights obligations – that is the whole point of Universal human rights.

          You seemed to be quite confused on the one hand saying that the new MPs haven’t experienced and therefore can’t understand anything but Neoliberalism while at the same time complaining that they are too Socialist.

          Oh, and there is nothing neoliberal about avocado. I must ask Chloe for that recipe.

          • savenz 33.1.1.1.1

            I’m talking about the Rogernomic’s free market, globalism Labour people hijacking the Labour brand and therefore splitting Labour voters into two camps. Not the Greens hijacking the Labour brand!

            My concern is that the new wave of Green MP’s campaigning for insulation, red peak, new housing and refugee’s are not sending an environmental message they are sending a specific social message which might not (even if valid) be what a significant percentage of Green voters want the most from the Greens – hence – 6% in the last election at a time when environmental awareness is at a mainstream high. Its not the validity of these things that’s the issue, it is the prioritisation of them at a time when many Green voters might have other priorities – standards are declining in this country in air quality, water ways, employment standards, biodiversity, democracy, poor governance, privacy. Increase those and you lift everybody up.

            And Labour did talk about environmental issues in the election (stolen as you put it or another way is for the greater good of planet) and it probably swung some Green supporters more to Labour and that means it’s important to people. Even the Natz were trying to suggest they were more environmental.

            Greens need to secure the future, by representing Kiwi’s in parliament in a manner that means they are returned next election with more Green MP’s. Telling them hip hip hooray – good job – might not be the best way to support them if you want them to hit over 5% next election.

            I don’t care so much of what politicians say, but what they actually do and achieve. There are so many people out there talking the talk and looking good while other quieter people are out there pulling up sleeves doing work and achieving results.

            Now’s the time to make the difference to Kiwis here and now by doing the work and not just talking about it. I voted Green to try to get them over 5% – but I wasn’t happy with the list when people like Barry Coates who really will make a generational difference by hi lighting the problems with these trade deals – didn’t make it and people with better networking skills and next to zero environmental credentials managed an incredibly high place on the list. They didn’t make it because not enough people voted for the Green Party and that in part was due to the election messaging of what was important to the Green Party and what they achieved while in parliament (which in a decline means less people were impressed).

            Voter don’t vote for networking skills they vote for the person they want to represent them and the decline in Green voters highlights something that the Greens should be careful of – not let their ego’s and their own group think (or their aggressive supporters badmouthing other Green supporters) ideals sink the party. Even staunch supporters are asking what’s going on with some of the issues that the Greens highlight as important.

            Take the criticism – don’t be like Labour for years and tell their own voters they are wrong – because if you don’t listen to your existing voters and be prepared to change and work harder to achieve those results and not just talk abut it, you diminish your votes, Natz get back in and we have less human rights as they reverse everything, not more.

            • solkta 33.1.1.1.1.1

              You don’t think that insulation is an environmental issue as well as a social one??

              There are a number of reasons for the reduced Green vote this time. The policy and policy mix was not greatly different from the previous election or others before. Did you have a look at the Green Charter? You really should do that before continuing to claim that the Greens are not being true to their brand.

              In your first post you mentioned Sue Bradford and her achievements. I don’t recall Sue having “environmental credentials” or achieving any environmental policy. Sue has been very critical of the Greens for not being left wing enough since she left after losing the Co-leader election. There seems a huge contradiction between you hailing her achievements on the one hand and demanding that the party abandon its brand on the other.

              The Charter has not changed since its inception when the party was established other than the Treaty preamble being added in the early 2000s. The Charter is reaffirmed every year at Conference. Green Party members put in hundreds of thousands of unpaid hours to realise that Charter. Policy direction is dictated by the members and not by individuals in Caucus. The party list is created through a vote of all members of more than six months, and the Leaders elected each year at Conference via delegate vote.

              It may be that the Party is not what you would personally wish it to be, but it is being true to its brand. And it is that brand that enables the huge voluntary input that makes the party possible.

              • savenz

                No I don’t think insulation is an environmental issue – it is a social one and certainly a good idea but as a massive Green top priority – I don’t think it works.

                That’s because the lowest people in society can’t even get into a house now that the state houses are sold off or empty and there are very few private rentals that will take people with chequered history and no job. Hence installation probably not relevant to those types of renter (unless they get into a state house which has been ungraded and not sold off and actually available to rent, but state house asset sales, or upgrades has not been talked about as much as the insulation and WOF by either Greens or Labour – missed opportunity).

                Then homeowners probably also have other priorities, paying their mortgage, keeping their insecure job, constant fear of rates and mortgage rises.

                The elderly might be keen on the insulation??

                So I guess it’s the well heeled middle class renter this maybe most appeals to, (probably like some of the Green MP’s on a large salary) but many of the well heeled renters are just as likely to vote National or Labour.

                So although insulation is a good idea on paper, it’s not changing the world and after Greens 2 terms it does not have the massive appeal that the Greens think that it has. It’s a good idea but I personally expect more from the Greens than a simple policy like that being the pride and joy of the party.

                As for Sue Bradford – she is an example of a socialist that somehow managed to get the most private members bills through. She is admired because she is practical – helping beneficiaries get entitlements from WINZ for example, personal help that probably changed many lives that day. Not some policy that will come into effect in a few years if someone is lucky.

                Even though Bradford was not a staunch environmentalist she was a very active activist for years and nobody can doubt her activist credentials or her passion to make NZ a better place. She is not a careerist. At that time the Greens had Russell Norman and many other Greens MP’s who balanced her social agenda with their activist environmental ones. It’s balance that’s missing now in the Green Party.

                Greens need to be more activist – there’s too many sit at home lawyers there talking the talk but completely impractical – what have the Green MP’s done in the last few years that made an active change to the environment – going to climate change global meetings – doesn’t count. Take the government to court like Sarah Thompson (age 26), would get more browny points if she was representing the Greens because there is the alignment of Green policy and Green action and she has made meaningful change and a gutsy stand.

  32. Historian Pete 34

    Golriz defended her being in the defence team for suspected war criminals by saying”How we treat the weakest links or the worst people in our society actually does define us.” Stirring words indeed!
    She portrays herself as a human rights lawyer having studied human rights at Oxford University.
    Why then did she participate in the disruption of the freedom of speech of the rightwing national front rally that occurred recently .Some would claim they are among the worst in our society.Did it not occur to an Oxford trained human rights lawyer that they too were entitled to freedom of speech?
    Thus she has contradicted herself by acting in a completely opposite way over the two events!
    I point this out as the movement to canonize Golriz moves into full momentum in the Standard !

    • One Anonymous Bloke 34.1

      Disrupting someone else’s speech is a feature of freedom of speech.

      Your inalienable right to freedom of expression doesn’t prevent me from making fart noises in the front row, no matter how big your stage. When I time them right, people start laughing.

      Where actual Nazis are concerned however, he hit me, so I hit him first.

    • Muttonbird 34.2

      That’s a confused statement.

      Challenging neo-nazis on their current racist and homophobic beliefs is not the same as contributing to a proper international justice framework. No doubt when one of your National Front friends commit a hate crime, Ghahraman will feel a duty to defend them.

    • McFlock 34.3

      Protesting what you say is not curtailing it.

      And “freedom of speech” on occasion bumps against “self defense”. Incitement to riot, trying to cause a panic stampede, and saying it’s okay to methodically murder millions of people because you’re special but under threat are all examples of that.

      • Historian Pete 34.3.1

        I see. You are so convinced of the rightness of your cause that you think you have the right to close down and extinguish the views of those you disagree with. I have witnessed this approach on Fox news where the interviewer shouted and interrupted the interviewee to an extent that the interviewee got zero input.This is the kind of thing that you advocate,and it clearly puts you where you actually are on the political spectrum! I on the other hand am an advocate for freedom of speech, even from those whose views I despise. With more of your ilk, I dare say we are well on the way to a pseudo left tyranny!

        • McFlock 34.3.1.1

          “extinguish”? Really?
          National Front decide to attend a rally, why can’t I do the same?

          Fox news is shit, but anyone who goes on there knows it’s shit. They can go to a real news channel instead, if they want an actual interview and they have something newsworthy to say.

          • Historian Pete 34.3.1.1.1

            You Mcflock are what I would call a political primitive .During the last three or four centuries thousands have given up their lives fighting for free speech.If free speech is to be restricted, who sets the parameters ? I think you have only a dim awareness of the principles involved.Your ilk were recently running around Nazi Germany in brown shirts closing down and attacking ,if not murdering those who did not agree with their views.Suppressing free speech is generally what the right do well. It is what is happening in the U.S. right now as two right wing parties, the Democrats and the Republicans ,fight to see whose Oligarchs come out on top.It is not something that I would like to see take hold in N.Z. Unfortunately ,it is creeping in here.It is free speech for all or for none! Which it is to be is being decided by people with your mentality, and by pseudo human rights lawyers like Golriz!

  33. Ed 35

    Apologise, Mr Quin.
    Apologise, Mr Soper.
    Apologise, Mr Garner.
    Apologise, Mr Roughan.
    Apologise, Mr Hosking.

    Notice the pattern among those needing to apologise for spreading a lie about Golriz.

    Stale
    Pale
    and
    Male.

    https://scontent.fakl2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/24129812_1301998639934912_105814741450749955_n.jpg?oh=40887585ecbe2b4e645cfc97bc5f9d75&oe=5A9D5DA7

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