[Updated] Did he or didn't he? I didn't catch any of the footage, but there are mixed reports from the people who heard or watched the parliamentary recordings. What I did catch yesterday afternoon, was a Ministerial Advisor in full damage-control mode, asking me to acknowledge the denial from the Minister of any racist intent, of his love of multiculturalism and Chinese people in general, and presumably that he is not a cunt. Plausible enough that it was a slip of the tongue and a Herald beat-up - wasn't that what we all hoped? I'm rather too busy these days to go around picking imaginary fights, as one reader suggested.
Might I ask though, if there was no Pansy-mocking going on at that point (by Cunliffe or otherwise), what on earth was Michael Cullen doing drawing attention to people being amused by Pansy Wong's 'trouble with words'?
Shame on me for reading the Herald. I suppose I should have known better. I should have relied on Ministerial press releases instead. Except... there wasn't one. The 'I am not a cunt' press release the Advisor emailed me at 4:30 pm yesterday doesn't seem to be on Scoop. It only seems to have been released at 1pm yesterday (that's pretty slow for an Immigration Minister falsely accused of racism) and not to any of the three 'ethnic'/'Asian' networks that I'm constantly bombarded by. I had to put it on AEN myself. The Advisor seemed particularly unhappy that Cunliffe had put in so much time and work with the Chinese in New Lynn, and "yet one beat-up story is run and people are prepared to believe the worst". I suppose that's because Chinese people (though we're very smart, good-looking, and have great accents) aren't generally capable of just 'sensing' what all other Chinese people are thinking.
Let me try it out though: hhhnnngghhh...."Labour government... in coalition with... Winston Peters... give us a reason... to trust you."
If this has truly been a nonsensical affair, than it's more of a shame that the parliamentary questions that Pansy Wong was actually asking (link below) have been thus obscured.
yesterday's post, around 10:30 am
A class act, our new Minister of Immigration. Some in the English-language communities already refer to him as 'Silent T'; perhaps his new Mandarin name shall be David 傻屄liffe.
Caught mocking Pansy Wong's accent during Parliamentary Question Time, by asking her to 'wead' a particular document, Immigration Minister David Cunliffe "later said his remark was accidental and did not know he had said it."
Um... is this the manslaughter defense? No premeditation here, just accidentally tripped over a foreigner. Perhaps this is a job for Ms/Mr Accident Compensation Corporation.
Shall we avoid a long string of Chinese obscenities on this occasion? Yes, we shall. Predictably, this makes me fucking furious, and I don't even like Pansy Wong. I know Wong has developed a damn thick skin, because this is hardly the worst she's seen of it in the House. Michael Cullen's comment to Tau Henare who took such umbrage in Wong's defense, that National MPs were also smirking at her questions, is rather beside the point. But it's true. Wong gets shit from her own Party.
But this kind of bullshit from the Minister of Immigration of a government that is meant to care about people like me and my parents, is an insult with serious legs. Most 'Asian' communities shouldn't have any particular concern about the comments of our Minister of Foreign Affairs - we're not foreigners (we live here). But the Minister of Immigration is our Minister. And an accidental remark is all too often the measure of a man. 'Silent T' had better start sucking up to us fast, or face worse than the Silent Treatment - long strings of community-supported obscenities on Yellow Peril that he doesn't know how to 'wead'.
Okay, that's the best threat I can come up with right now. Um... how about email bombardment?
Accent is becoming the final frontier when it comes to triggering racism - more on this later, probably. But for now, one of the most pathetic things about mocking people's accents is that the people who do it in that 'Parliamentary' way, are generally monolingual, aren't used to hearing other accents, and even have difficulty understanding fluent first-language English speakers if those people are not speaking 'kiwi'. In other words, accent-mockers are likely to be hicks without a clue, who will hardly be able to communicate with anybody if they ever travel outside New Zealand. Meanwhile, Pansy Wong speaks four languages. Stick that up your chouhai, Cunliffe. Same goes to the rest of the publicly indignant but secretly snickering patronising gits in parliament.
Here's a positive angle though, on the confusing fates of the NZ First diaspora. Winston luring more Asian students to New Zealand, Tuariki Delamere allegedly corruptly importing more Asian sub-millionaires, Tau Henare defending Asians from political racism (even if simultaneously still covertly laughing at them)... I think it's safe to say that the Invasion has truly proved victorious over its original 1996 nemesis. It's just our 'friends' we have to worry about now.