Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The son that got away

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  • ChrisW,

    Lhaws just opined on Morning Report that sending kids to kura kaupapa is child abuse. I'd say it was self-satire if he didn't sound so serious.

    It was their *politicisation* he held to be child-abuse. This truly shocks me, in relation to his abuse of 11-year-olds that they should stop all the adult problems of their world, specifically child abuse and child-murder! before daring to write an assertive letter to him on such a complex political problem as the spelling of his city's name that they can know nothing about.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The poor bugger. Insult to injury seeing his mother being splashed around the media, and him not wanting to say anything, and why would he?

    Indeed, Jackie. But there's something else that really pisses me off about outfits like this holding up people like Jimmy Mason as victims who've been "criminalized" by Sue Bradford and the PC wannabe Herods of CYPFS. Sorry for sounding like Helen Lovejoy here, but do people like McCoskrie and Baldock spare a nano-seconds thought for the message they're sending to their victims?

    At least when Louise Nicholas was being trashed as a vindictive and mentally unbalanced liar, she was in a position -- and had the strength of character -- to fight back. The same can't be said for the children of 'Timaru Lady' and Jimmy Mason who were painted as, in effect, asking for -- and richly deserving -- everything they got.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    It was their *politicisation* he held to be child-abuse.

    But definitely linked to their kura kaupapa attendance - he seemed to me to imply that sending them there was in itself politicising them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We may care to recall that the same Laws who blasted some 10 year-olds for their anger management issues had this to say about firemen who urged the use of smoke alarms after a tragic house fire in January?

    Four children died in the fire, which the firemen said might have been prevented if chips had not been left unattended in a frying pan, and smoke alarms had been installed and/or operational.

    During the attack, Mr Laws said Cocker should have the "er" removed from his name and said: "You're a cock".

    He called the firemen "dickheads in a uniform", "idiots", "morons", "arseholes" and said racism was going on.

    The BSA found Mr Laws made abusive remarks against the firemen "which went beyond fair criticism of their professional roles".

    I'm actually wondering if there's something seriously wrong with him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I'm actually wondering if there's something seriously wrong with him.

    I'm wondering if it's something to do with the amount of time there's a microphone in front of his face.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Laws had to have the school children's letters translated, because he knows less about what he's talking about than they do. That might explain his absurd outburst.

    But Steven, if they were being properly taught, they would have written to him in English!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I'm actually wondering if there's something seriously wrong with him.

    Diagnosis: Verbal Diarrhoea? A must have on one's CV for teh radio ring in shows. A pathological dislike for anything he hasnt thought of?

    They were the ones afraid of it and made sure they didn't get into situations where it could be used on them.

    Fear makes you aware of your surroundings. I thank our timid ancestors for that.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm wondering if it's something to do with the amount of time there's a microphone in front of his face.

    Remember kids, brain-dead blather is always preferable to dead air in the talkback game.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I don't wonder very much about Laws. I wonder about why people listen to him. I guess the power of trolling goes well beyond the web.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Mind you 58% of Herald Digipoll respondents think Laws is "The voice of reason".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    I'm a little curious as to how accurate the translations of the letters to Laws are; the English seems a little over the top in places and, and this might be the nascent Conspiracy Theorist in me, it's quite possible the 'I'm quite angry' comments are overinflated. If the te reo text had been released along with the English translations we'd be in position to to find out.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    I'm actually wondering if there's something seriously wrong with him.

    Narcissistic personality disorder?

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:[1]

    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love (megalomania)
    3. Believes they are "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, people (or institutions) who are also "special" or of high status
    4. Requires excessive admiration
    5. Has a sense of entitlement
    6. Is interpersonally exploitative
    7. Lacks empathy
    8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
    9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    I'm a little curious as to how accurate the translations of the letters to Laws are; the English seems a little over the top in places and, and this might be the nascent Conspiracy Theorist in me, it's quite possible the 'I'm quite angry' comments are overinflated. If the te reo text had been released along with the English translations we'd be in position to to find out.

    Roarprawn has scans of the originals. My Te Reo isn't very good, so I can't comment on the quality of the translation, but the wording I heard on the translation sounded very literal. Specifically, the "I am angry about..." bit sounded a lot like it could equally have been translated as "I am extremely concerned about...", which is the sort of language that I'd use in a formal letter all the time. I would doubt it was a conspiracy, probably just a quick & dirty translation (does the Whanganui City Council make a point of sending everything they receive in Te Reo to professional translators, or do they just have a fluent speaker knocking out a rough version to save money?).

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 709 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Irrespective of the actual translation, Mr Lhaws once again is basically telling his listeners what they want to hear.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Why wouldn't a 10 year old be angry? Every parent knows how righteous children can be.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    roarprawn's translation

    Super-depressing comments section ahoy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Super-depressing comments section ahoy.

    Oy... Someone should tell these people that the last thing you do with a toy-chucking infant with reward them with attention and encouragement.

    FFS, Laws has thrown a prolonged and very public tantrum at children over four months after the event. And he'd be the first person baying for blood if his kids were every subjected to a poo facial like that from an alleged adult.

    Fuck off to the naughty step and don't come back, Mike. Back on Planet Maturia, most politicians (or more precisely their secretaries) have on their PCs a templates for polite but essentially meaningless replies to disagreeable correspondents.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Super-depressing comments section ahoy.

    Oh, the Kiwiblog comments are way more angry than that (they're too fucking looney to be depressing).

    I really liked this one:

    Phuck the NZ Geographic Board. These parasites should get real jobs and leave NZ history alone.

    Comedy gold.

    But then this one, from "James", actually was depressing:

    Well said Michael Laws.

    A good sharp dose of “shut the fuck up and focus on your life time on the DPB” delivered to these turds.

    I'm fucked if I'd let something that poisonous stand on my website. I can hardly imagine what kind of rotten, corroded soul could bring himself to write that about children.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    roarprawn's translation

    I think that's a great letter! It's exactly the kind of letter I can imagine an 11-year-old thinking up in the context of their project. I love the end:

    So, the challenge has been made - respond!

    And I imagine it's more interesting & appropriate in maori than in english. From what little I know, maori grammar lends some valuable nuance that doesn't carry into english very well.

    I'm gobsmacked at Lhaws' response, natch. The only motivation I can think of outside "overt racism" is grandstanding.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    I'm amazed (but not surprised) that the media is turning even this into a 'he says, she says' debate. One News last night talked about "neither side backing down" and had Laws going on about how "angry" the kids' letters were. For fuck's sake: THEY'RE CHILDREN. There isn't a "side" to take here. It doesn't matter what they wrote. His response would be inappropriate even if they sent him of a picture with his head stuck up his ass (wouldn't be inaccurate, either).

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    And I imagine it's more interesting & appropriate in maori than in english. From what little I know, maori grammar lends some valuable nuance that doesn't carry into english very well.

    Definitely - just think about the importance of the challenge in powhiri. It sounds much more aggressive, rendered literally, than it's necessarily intended to be. It's one of those intersections between culture and language that renders literal translation pretty bloody useless. Whoever did the translation for Lhaws should have exercised a little more thought about the intent and feel, rather than the dictionary translations of the words used.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Heard Laws this morning claiming that the Otaki kids were being used by politically motivated adults. Personally I doubt it, but let's assume that was definitely what happened: even then, you would expect a responsible adult - let alone a public figure - to respond politely and defuse the situation, not commence a round of media-driven grandstanding and kura bashing.

    But, of course, this is Laws we're talking about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And I imagine it's more interesting & appropriate in maori than in english. From what little I know, maori grammar lends some valuable nuance that doesn't carry into english very well.

    I say again: CHILDREN. There's nothing in those e-mails to cause a sane adult to lose it like Laws did. As for his enablers down in the Kiwibog: they really do deserve a good hard dose of parental correction right up the shitter.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    ...hence my parting paragraph. I'm not trying to excuse Lhaws' actions by any stretch. Just I found the letter really interesting.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

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