Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The crybaby philosopher

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  • Tom Semmens,

    However that is a terrible statement. What the hell does a “New Zealander” look and sound like to you because to me it sounds and looks like anybody from New Zealand. Dismissing someone over their looks and sounds is a bigger mugs game than trying to defend the indefensible.

    George Bernard Shaw said "... It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him..."

    Whyte has an accent - increasingly common to many of the elite in this country - that to me is a signifer not of a New Zealander, but as a member of an exploitative settler class that happens to set down here for a while because it is the best place to make money.

    You can't create an unequal society without also creating competing visions of what constitutes being a New Zealander.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Whyte carefully exempts the work of the Waitangi Tribunal from his criticism

    Very carefully indeed:

    Whyte:

    The reparations made to iwi by the Waitangi Tribunal are NOT an example of this. The Treaty of Waitangi gave Maori property rights over the land they occupied. Many violations of these rights followed. The remedies provided by the Waitangi Tribunal are not a case of race-based favouritism. They are recognition of property rights and, therefore, something that we in ACT wholeheartedly support.

    The Waitangi Tribunal almost never provides reparations. Most of its reports recommend that iwi and the Government negotiate a settlement, and those settlements are agreed separately from the Tribunal's processes. Which leaves politicians free to fulminate against the negotiated settlements while paying lip service to respecting the Treaty and property rights. I don't believe Act has ever voted for any Treaty settlement, and has a long history of opposing the process: http://web.archive.org/web/20060518141006/http://www.act.org.nz/policy_treaty_details.aspx

    Because of that history, I see a silver lining to this cloud. Act's not publicly using the rank language they've used in the past (and some of their folk still use, in some weird corners of the internet), and it's not likely to get them the same sort of success that Brash had with Orewa ten years ago. It would be nice if this wasn't a regular feature of our political discourse, but I'm glad it's now having its voice among tiny parties not likely to contribute heavily to the makeup of government, rather than being a major opposition policy platform running up to a close election.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Dobbyn,

    Pre-election, deluded politicians get to rant at us and redefine stupidity in remarkable ways. It's no wonder Jesus wept. It's no surprise that votes are waning when ignorance gets in the way of reality. Frightening that someone will vote for a complete dork.

    New Zealand • Since Jul 2014 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Really? So because I lived in England for several years, and I've lived in Australia for several more, and no longer have a true-blue kiwi accent (it even sounds "posher" than most in NZ), I no longer meet some "vision" of a "non-settler class" NZer (however that might be distinguishable from any other Pakeha)?

    You can say he sounds like a twunt because of WHAT he says, but to bag out an accent like that no different to characterizing Westies or South Aucklanders as "stupid" due to how they speak.
    (My family live in Sth Auckland, and they use the local speech patterns.)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    a member of an exploitative settler class

    Same accent as Tony Benn. Or Engels. It's what you say, not how you say it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I've studied philosophy a bit too. Quite a lot, in fact. When it comes to political philosophy in particular, I'd lay good odds that I've studied rather more that Dr Whyte has. (If that link doesn't work, FTR it takes you to my doctoral thesis in ... political philosophy.)

    What strikes me about his arguments in political philosophy is that they are largely context free ie. he sees only very minimal premises, and as a result of that a rather threadbare conclusion. He doesn't see the rich context around the premises, and as a result, his arguments just don't work. That's what makes political philosophy interesting and difficult: you simply must be aware of context and history.

    Of course, it also helps if you get the facts right. Comparing Maori to aristocrats of the Ancien Régime is bizarre.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David MacGregor,

    It's a curious that ACT feel the need to say anything at all to the electorate when the party will be gifted Epsom at the very least - like some idiot bastard child of le Comte de Cupidité, l'Avarice et la Bigoterie having an estate and title conferred in said Ancien Regime.

    For all his smug cleverness it's hard not to think of that old Twainism ""Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Feb 2007 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to David MacGregor,

    It’s a curious that ACT feel the need to say anything at all

    I'd suggest that with each utterance of stupid Act make will take attention away from the conservatives (their intellectual peers on the right) - this works for Act, their coalition partner and gifter of seats

    or perhaps he just can't help himself

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 539 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Quasi legal favouritism, like being gifted your place in parliament by the incumbents, kind of proves Dr Whytes (lack of) abilities.

    Since Mar 2010 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Whyte/white represents the very essence of libertarianism; all for free and open debate, just as long as no one contradicts or argues against his rather perverse view of the world,

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And Whyte had the nerve to describe 'overtaxed Epsom voters' as a 'minority'. He's right, if he really means 'model minority' or 'market-dominant minority'.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5426 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    Maybe we should use Paul Henry's definition of what a New Zealander looks like.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    It’s a curious that ACT feel the need to say anything at all to the electorate when the party will be gifted Epsom at the very least

    They're on 0.6% in the polls and Whyte needs about 1.2% to get into Parliament.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    That nice Mr Key has a good genuine Kiwi accent...

    Since Jan 2007 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Hill,

    Hmmm - sounds like Mr Whyte could do with reading this book: Crimes Against Logic

    ... oh, wait a minute ...

    Palmerston North • Since Mar 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    I ink Whyte got exactly what he sought: People talking about ACT and him. Many may notice the talk without reading or investigating his argument and assume the content to be their own biases. Suits him fine, although intellectually dishonest.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn, in reply to Stephen Hill,

    I don't doubt that crimes against logic will discuss petitio principii begging the question.

    In so far as Whyte assumes material privilege without properly defining or verifying it then he is guilty of the above crime. My privileged white middle class educators taught me to ignore such arguments, specifically because they have no resolution. Consequently they are a distraction from more productive pursuits. ;-)

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • ObjectiveReality, in reply to MxDEJ,

    How about because civilised, careful, fact-based debate might work a little better without the side-order of name-calling?

    To be honest, while I think that'd be true in an ideal world, I don't think Jamie Whyte's up to that. Many of the posts cited here (particularly Matthew Dentith's) are actually pretty considered and uninsulting, and Whyte's response has been to claim that his detractors are incapable of rational thought. That means his call for "civilised" debate is actually disingenuous.

    If he's going to behave like a troll, then perhaps troll-fighting techniques are a more appropriate way of conducting the argument.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    Mr Whyte also fails to understand the meaning of privilege in his own speech. He says that Maori have legal privilege but this is privilege that has been given by those in power. Any other examples of privilege he talks about seem to be privilege taken by those in power. Yet he sees no difference.

    That is a very good point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And now Mr Whyte is demanding that Susan Devoy resign for daring to disagree with him.

    I think we can now actually call this a public meltdown.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And now Mr Whyte is demanding that Susan Devoy resign for daring to disagree with him.

    I think we can now actually call this a public meltdown.

    Given that Dame Susan was probably appointed for her non-PC sensibilities, the fact that she's calling bollocks on Whyte speaks volumes.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5426 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    Whyte aside, I'm also interested in the PA community view on the way in which Susan Devoy is handling her new role.

    I seem to recall quite a few vociferous opinions being espoused about her qualifications or lack thereof, before she had even started. Wondering if anyone has changed their views at all.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    Wondering if anyone has changed their views at all.

    I think it's fair to say that the darker fears - she was being parachuted in to destroy the office from the inside - have been proven wrong.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    It's certainly courageous to call out the leader of a political party two months out from an election.

    But she's not the first in her role to do what she's done, and be attacked for it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Will the people of Epsom suck it up and vote for him, regardless?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

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