This latest news about David Garrett doesn’t surprise me. Not because I think he’s the sort of person who would have an assault conviction. Or even because he strikes me as the sort of person who would fraudulently misuse the premature death of an infant for his own gain (or simply as some sort of experiment or prank, as he claims).
No, it doesn’t surprise me because he’s a human being. A fairly odious one, granted – and in fact one thing that does surprise me is his ability to reinforce that view almost every time he opens his mouth* – but a human being all the same. And human beings make mistakes. Human beings get in fights sometimes. Human beings make errors of judgement. Human beings do stuff when they’re young they regret when they’re old.
What has struck me most over the past two days, is that the words coming out of Garrett’s mouth, explaining away the assault, trying to justify the passport fraud as a youthful prank, could very easily be those spoken by a young man being convicted of his third strike, a young man facing a life in jail. It was a stitch up, the other guy started it, and he’d probably admit it too, if he hadn’t hit that table on a particularly nasty angle on the way down, and lost his life. She’d seemed happy enough about it at the time, it was only the next day she regretted it and didn’t want to get in trouble with her parents, honest. Yeah, it was a prank that had gotten carried away, and okay a broomhandle isn’t the most comfortable thing for a young man but sexual assault, that’s going a bit far isn’t it?
I wonder in all the time David Garrett has supposed used for soul searching in the past couple of days, whether any of it has been spent questioning his fundamental “all crims are bad crims” mentality.
*In discussing one of Garrett's previous political 'strikes', I asked a couple of friends what they thought of him. One told of how he'd reduced my friend's girlfriend to tears by (completely out of the blue) asking her an obscene question while my friend was in the bathroom. Because Garrett was an MP, someone she thought she should respect, she felt completely blindsided, didn't know what to do, and didn't even mention it to my friend for days. Utterly repugnant.
In my own experience with Garrett he buddied up to me after I'd made a (possibly ill-advised) joke on Back Benches. It was sexist, but I'd meant it ironically, something obviously lost on Garrett. "They're trying to stitch me up too..." he confided, beginning his story with "...there was this one bitch at The Listener...".
I'd be more diplomatic about it, but the guy is an anachronistic creep, like an ugly reject from Mad Men and the sooner the House of Representatives is without him, the better.
On a completely different note, the t-shirt entries are being judged by Mr Dave Gibson of closet.co.nz himself at the moment, winners announced next week. And Russ and I are interviewing Don McGlashan next week too for Public Address Radio, so I might pass some of your suggestions on. Stay tuned.