The Dim-Post

July 10, 2014

Doing it wrong

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:05 am

Sometimes the politically smart thing to do is also the morally right thing to do. When the government directly wrongs one of its own citizens a politician will almost always meet with that person. Partly out of decency but mostly to get that person ‘on side’ and deter them from, say, going on national television, declaring that you’re incompetent and demanding that you resign:

The woman at the centre of a case involving an alleged sex attack by a Malaysian diplomat say Prime Minister John Key looked “bored” and insincere when he publicly discussed her case.

Tania Rose Billingsley, 21, spoke on TV3’s 3rd Degree last night, after she waived her automatic right to name suppression.

She was allegedly assaulted by Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail in her home in Brooklyn, Wellington.

Rizalman was arrested on May 10 on charges of burglary and assault with intent to commit rape.

The same day the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a formal request that Rizalman, an assistant to the defence attache for the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, waive diplomatic immunity to face charges.

Malaysia has said that at a meeting with Mfat representatives an alternative was offered for the accused to return to Malaysia.

Rizalman left on May 22, a day after Malaysia declined the request to waive immunity — asking for the police case to be sealed.

In the 3rd Degree interview, she said she was angry her alleged attacker was allowed to leave, and called for Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully to resign.

Why didn’t McCully do the politically obvious thing and meet with Billingsley to apologise in person? Presumably because he didn’t give a shit, but also didn’t think that anyone else would either. This might not be the best guy to be handling our most sensitive diplomatic negotiations.

It’ll be interesting to see how our media culture deals with Tania Billingsley. As a young woman who talked about ‘rape culture’ and critiqued John Key and one of his senior Ministers you’d expect her to come under vicious and sustained attack, with the Sensible Blokes of Talk-radio leading the charge. But in the post-Roastbusters environment things might be different.

121 Comments »

  1. The New Zealand Herald, true to form, has reported Ms Billingsley’s impressive response to the government’s cack-handling of her alleged assault but, for some reason I don’t quite understand, has redacted her critique of the Rt Hon John Key’s response, her comments as to the withdrawal of funding from the Christchurch RapeCrisis Centre and her observations on the media’s reaction to David Cunliffe’s speech to the Women’s Refuge Forum on Friday. Move right along now; nothing to see here.

    Comment by Christopher T — July 10, 2014 @ 7:38 am

  2. Not particularly the point, but Cunliffe’s remarks to the women’s refuge symposium beginning to look quite canny. And Key even more of an insensitive tool than usual. Well played.

    “But in the post-Roastbusters environment things might be different.”

    Well, we can hope can’t we.

    Comment by István Ping Clover — July 10, 2014 @ 7:39 am

  3. As a young woman who talked about ‘rape culture’ and critiqued John Key and one of his senior Ministers you’d expect her to come under vicious and sustained attack, with the Sensible Blokes of Talk-radio leading the charge.

    Before taking an approach, they’ll need to figure out whether the ‘lefty feminist’ factor outweighs the ‘good clean white woman preyed on by evil foreign darkie’ factor. What a dilemma!

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 10, 2014 @ 7:51 am

  4. “her comments as to the withdrawal of funding from the Christchurch RapeCrisis Centre and her observations on the media’s reaction to David Cunliffe’s speech to the Women’s Refuge Forum on Friday.”

    She is a possible victim of an alleged crime, not an expert in government funding of community support groups or media, hence those views aren’t really news any more than my opinions are news. Good on her for fronting the cameras though.

    Comment by Swan — July 10, 2014 @ 8:32 am

  5. Before taking an approach, they’ll need to figure out whether the ‘lefty feminist’ factor outweighs the ‘good clean white woman preyed on by evil foreign darkie’ factor. What a dilemma!

    I’m surprised David Farrar hasn’t publicly attacked this woman yet. He’s probably trying to think of a way to do it without seeming like a horrible person.

    Comment by George — July 10, 2014 @ 8:40 am

  6. Are we trying to suggest that ‘looking bored’ constitutes advocating ‘rape culture’?

    As if one proves the other?

    And this is better than talk radio because…..?

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 10, 2014 @ 8:52 am

  7. A strangely political interview. I’m sure no lines were fed to her by any political people on the left. I read her written statement – very pro-Cunliffe. Reckon the Malysian government thinks their man is going to get a fair trial in NZ?

    Comment by Mark — July 10, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  8. Mark: Criticising senior government ministers for their actions that directly affect you is one thing, advocating they be voted out in two months’ time is quite another. She did the former and not the latter.

    Comment by Robbie — July 10, 2014 @ 9:08 am

  9. Why didn’t McCully do the politically obvious thing and meet with Billingsley to apologise in person?

    Because, one hopes, he only found out who she was when she appeared on television last night.

    If I was a Detective (or the Commissioner of Police), and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or even the Prime Minister, asked about the personal details of a complainant in a sexual assault case, I’d tell them to stuff off.

    I’m not sure you realise how closely police keep details of complaints in these matters. Every time that a defence lawyer wants a copy of a complainant’s evidential video interview (something they’re pretty much entitled to under the law), police refuse, and you have to take them to Court. It’s fair though, because the Police won’t even give copies to Crown Prosecutors, insisting that everyone view them at the police station.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 10, 2014 @ 9:21 am

  10. “Why didn’t McCully do the politically obvious thing and meet with Billingsley to apologise in person?

    Because, one hopes, he only found out who she was when she appeared on television last night.”

    This is what I was wondering, but wasn’t sure who gets what reported to.

    Comment by Michael J. Parry — July 10, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  11. Robbie – I am starting to feel that this woman has been played per Bevan Chuang/Cameron Slateresque. We know she has some background in activism. If she wanted to do the interview of her own volition then good on her. However, this has very clear hallmarks of a Greens/Labour (Logie/Robertson?) set up and more information is going to come out which is unfortunate as it detracts from the focus. If this is a young woman used as a pre-Election stunt then the outcome will be very different to what teh left MPs wanted to achieve.

    Comment by Mark — July 10, 2014 @ 9:39 am

  12. mark – or it could just be shes really pissed at how shes been treated and wanted to tell her side of the story

    Comment by framu — July 10, 2014 @ 9:42 am

  13. I’m pretty sure McCully knew who she was.

    Comment by danylmc — July 10, 2014 @ 9:42 am

  14. “I’m surprised David Farrar hasn’t publicly attacked this woman yet. He’s probably trying to think of a way to do it without seeming like a horrible person.”

    And then…

    “I am starting to feel that this woman has been played”. “this has very clear hallmarks of a Greens/Labour (Logie/Robertson?) set up”. “If this is a young woman used as a pre-Election stunt”.

    So there’s the angle for counterattack.

    Sad.

    Comment by Stephen J — July 10, 2014 @ 10:05 am

  15. I’m pretty sure McCully knew who she was.

    Perhaps so, but if I was a Minister of the Crown, there is no way I would try to visit a complainant in a sexual assault complaint in these circumstances (unless, perhaps, one reached out).

    Now, as it happens, I think McCully should resign, but because he falsely accused a whole bunch of Malaysian Officials of being liars, not because he didn’t want to intrude into the private life of a sexual assault complainant, the vast vast majority of whom (I assume, and welcome contrary insight from others) would never ever want a politician to do something like that.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 10, 2014 @ 10:07 am

  16. Yes Stephen it is sad. But is it incorrect?

    Comment by Mark — July 10, 2014 @ 10:11 am

  17. The conspiracies have started. As if intelligent and empowered women never get assaulted and raped in New Zealand.

    The media are already beginning to troll this, stirring reactions by cutting and pasting her words into things likely to provoke their readers.

    Comment by George — July 10, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  18. Why didn’t McCully do the politically obvious thing and meet with Billingsley to apologise in person? Presumably because he didn’t give a shit

    It will be awesome to see under the next Labour led government that Ministers will actually meet with alleged victims to apologise.

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 11:13 am

  19. In the interests of fairness, did then Labour Party leader Phil Goff or senior MP Annette King reach out and apologise to the alleged victim after he complained to police about Darren Hughes? Danyl, you might be able to recall such an apology but I do not.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/king-speaks-hughes-scandal-4092878

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 11:22 am

  20. Right, I get this.

    McCully should have done the right thing and met with her even if he left himself open to the perception he was trying to influence a decision; but it was wrong for Maurice Williamson to write a letter even if he left himself open to the perception he was trying to influence a decision.

    This makes perfect sense.

    Comment by Nick K — July 10, 2014 @ 11:25 am

  21. “She is a possible victim of an alleged crime, not an expert in government funding of community support groups or media, hence those views aren’t really news any more than my opinions are news.”

    That said, after reading “her rant” (as she describes it), I found it to be much more well informed, insightful and well constructed than the majority of anything I’ve seen churned through the Herald’s editorial, and probably most of its columns. I guess that’s a matter of opinion, and when the publisher is the Herald it becomes the Herald’s opinion which ultimately gets published.

    Comment by izogi — July 10, 2014 @ 11:52 am

  22. Mark, do you have an actual problem with what Ms Billingsley has said? If not, how would having the support of a sympathetic MP make a difference? This is just straight up deflecting from the substance to wrangling about optics and the political game.

    Comment by Stephen J — July 10, 2014 @ 11:53 am

  23. Nick K: False equivalence strikes again

    Comment by James Norcliffe — July 10, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  24. @9: “Because, one hopes, he only found out who she was when she appeared on television last night.”
    McCulley was invited repeatedly to appear/comment but refused.
    Duncan said that an apology had been written yesterday after the program had been recorded. Funny that an apology gets written after the whistle gets blown. A bit like a dodgy dealer who gets helpful once Fair Go gets involved.
    And what a magnificent Leader Tania would be!

    Comment by xianmac — July 10, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  25. Yes Stephen I do – it was blatant political posturing by a young lady who was made a pawn. I’m sorry but “John Key looked bored”? What? She’s jeopardised getting the alleged perp back in NZ and made herself look like she was trying to do a party political broadcast on behalf of Labour/Greens. It was all very smooth and rehearsed.

    Comment by Mark — July 10, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

  26. Would the suppression order have included ministers?

    Comment by Neil — July 10, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  27. she said she was ‘a feminist and a political activist’, and they were careful to raise the fact that she identified as such, more than once. It’s not as if they pretended she was ‘just a regular Kiwi woman who likes John Key’s smile and was going to vote for him until her husband advised her to vote for Colin Craig instead’ (or whatever the opposite of a ‘feminist political activist’ is)

    Comment by kahikatea — July 10, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

  28. Where has she jeopordised getting the perp back in NZ? Is this some sort of fantasy you dreamed up ?

    The Malaysian guy was ( is ) a serving military officer and as such doesnt have a extradition process available to him, his government has decided that hes coming back.

    The TV story was careful to only cover the political side in NZ, and shes the victim here, I give her enormous credit for speaking up over her treatment by our government.

    Comment by ghostwhowalksnz — July 10, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  29. @Lee Clark – looking bored doesn’t advocate rape culture, looking bored *while someone tells you they were sexually assaulted* might well.

    Comment by ObjectiveReality — July 10, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

  30. “it was blatant political posturing by a young lady who was made a pawn”

    I think it was a brave and clear statement by someone who’s been thoroughly let down. “Young lady”. “Pawn”. “Posturing”. So patronising. As if she couldn’t be expressing her own legitimate thoughts and feelings.

    Comment by Stephen J — July 10, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

  31. Graeme E @ 9

    If I was a Detective (or the Commissioner of Police), and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or even the Prime Minister, asked about the personal details of a complainant in a sexual assault case, I’d tell them to stuff off.

    Yet, oddly, we read this:

    Mfat chief executive John Allen said he had given Billingsley a letter of apology this week.

    So the whole “how could McCully possibly know who she is?” claim seems … weak.

    More pertinently, was the Williamson example looming large in his mind? If a Minister of the Crown starts meeting with the (still alleged) victim of a crime to reassure her that “justice will be done”, does this start to mess with perceptions of a fair trial (possibly even leading to Malaysia concluding that their guy will face a stitch-up if they send him back)?

    Or, he may just be a prick who didn’t think it worth his while. Or … both.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 10, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

  32. mark – thinking that john key looks bored – on any given issue he would rather avoid, isnt political posturing. Its just a common observation.

    Or are we not allowed to notice that the PM appears to wish he was somewhere, anywhere else when its his job to take such issues seriously?

    Comment by framu — July 10, 2014 @ 3:31 pm

  33. The focus on danyl’s “meet…to apologise in person” point seems a little pedantic. Even assuming that personally visiting the alleged victim and apologising isn’t the best course of action, there are many things McCully could have done so that the alleged victim would not have felt it necessary to come forward in this manner. For example:

    He could have handled the case properly to start with.
    He could have publicly apologised to alleged victim (rather than apologising to Key) for the way the case was handled.
    He could have accepted responsibility for the mishandling of the case rather that blaming his staff.

    Comment by wtl — July 10, 2014 @ 3:42 pm

  34. I’m reluctant about diverting attention from the rape culture debate, but another part of what’s happened here which I found very disappointing was John Key’s comments on a Ministry official. It might be that an MFAT official was at fault, but the PM’s inferences about an official, who’s not allowed to respond, reek of political interference with MFAT’s independence to manage its staff, seemingly to deflect blame from the political elite. IMHO the Prime Minister should be resigning for that alone, but obviously it’s not going to happen. I do expect better conduct from the PM, though. This whole thing has been a mess.

    Comment by izogi — July 10, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

  35. izogi – not only that – key has no damn right to pass such judgments in the first place. Ministries operate independantly for this exact reason – political interference.

    Key has basically broken NZ employment law and opened the govt up to yet another legal case heading their way because JK and his merry crew dont give a shit about the rules and why we have them

    Its the rebstock/MFAT thing all over again

    Comment by framu — July 10, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

  36. Mfat chief executive John Allen said he had given Billingsley a letter of apology this week.

    So the whole “how could McCully possibly know who she is?” claim seems … weak.

    You’re assuming that Allen, or MFAT, has given Mccully the alleged victim’s name and contact details.

    It should be noted that McCully isn’t in the country, so meeting with the alleged victim could prove difficult whilst he’s overseas. However, that ignores the point that McCully shouldn’t necessarily be meeting her in the first place.

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

  37. He could have publicly apologised to alleged victim (rather than apologising to Key) for the way the case was handled.

    Isn’t that what McCully and John Allen have done?

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/2145525162-full-story-of-what-happened-with-malaysian-diplomat-still-to-be-revealed

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

  38. You’re assuming that Allen, or MFAT, has given Mccully the alleged victim’s name and contact details.

    No I’m not. I’m saying that the particular claim “McCully couldn’t have found out who the person was because the Police wouldn’t tell him” does not seem tenable when the CE of MFAT knew who it was. Whether McCully asked to know, or was told, or anything else is a different question. As is whether he should have done so.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 10, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

  39. I thought the lesson of the Maurice Williamson fiasco was “the Minister should never get involved in an ongoing police investigation”?

    Comment by SHG — July 10, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

  40. To Mark et al, I refer you to my comment (#119) on this thread:

    https://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/on-cunliffes-apology-for-being-a-man/

    It’s sad that this is all so horribly predictable. And we wonder why people don’t speak up.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — July 10, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

  41. Its a bit to claim that the pm broke employment law when he said officials stuffed up
    The public servants leak like a sieve when it suits them
    Then complain when the are callec out on their stuffs ups

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

  42. This young lady has laid a compliant with the police that’s fine
    But by allowing the Green Party to use this for political points scoring has made it unlikely this diplomat will get a fair trial
    Some I am puzzled by her motivation th

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

  43. He didn’t say officials stuffed up. He inferred that a specific official (whom he’s so far declined to name) was the cause of everything, inferred that the official possibly shouldn’t be doing that job, and stated that the Minister and the CEO of MFAT were absolved of responsibility because of them.

    That’s a very specific allegation from someone in his position when you’re not backing it up with any type of proper investigation or evidence, and it’s not his business to make it.

    At the very least when he inferred that the official should be considering their career options, the PM is dancing with the State Sector Act’s requirement that Ministers keep their noses out of employment matters, placing responsibility for employment matters with Chief Executives, not with Ministers.

    The public servants leak like a sieve when it suits them

    If they do then it’s irrelevant to the PM’s own conduct.

    Comment by izogi — July 10, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

  44. “This young lady has laid a compliant with the police that’s fine”

    How kind of you to allow it.

    “But by allowing the Green Party to use this for political points scoring…”

    The government handled this badly. Not the politics of it, the substance. If the government doesn’t want to look bad, they should be careful not to fuck things up. The remedy for politicians fucking things up, in our system, is ‘politics’. Your implied suggestion that this woman, or the Greens, are just ‘playing a game’ says more about you than it does them.

    “…has made it unlikely this diplomat will get a fair trial”

    The talking point of the day on all the RW blogs. But go on, quote the part of her statement that would prejudice a trial. And explain to me how her statement would prejudice a trial while statements from various politicians would not.

    Some I am puzzled by her motivation th

    If you have a smear to make about a 21 year old sexual assault complainant with the courage to go public, at least have the courage to fucking make it explicit, coward.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 10, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

  45. I hate to raise the spectre of cultural relativism, but how come when the victim of an alleged attempted rape by someone who was brought up in another culture, it is New Zealand that has a rape culture problem?

    Comment by SHG — July 10, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

  46. @ SHG 45 Because it was NZ officials and politicians that didn’t seem to care enough to be all over the dotting of the I’s and the crossing of the T’s.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 10, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

  47. Lol
    The anger you are showing is bullshit
    Always ask yourself if this was labour would you be upset

    Now again the reason why we have courts is so we don’t have lynch mobs
    As a father at times I would like to hurt teenage boys that come near my daughters because that’s wrong
    You either believe in the rule of law or the mob
    I will always choose law
    The problem with choosing to run a political campaign less than 90 days from a election her motivation is questioned and rightly so
    As signatory to the Vienna treaty we have to recognise diplomatic immunity
    Which everybody here knows
    By leaking to the media we have the oppunituy to send this man to trial
    But by going this next step the danger is that the Malaysia govt could be concerned about a fair trial
    So the Green Party though ms logie is willing to throw away an oppunituy for justic for poltics

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

  48. Because it was NZ officials and politicians that didn’t seem to care enough to be all over the dotting of the I’s and the crossing of the T’s.

    The official concerned is apparently a woman. Now she could be an apologist for rape but I’m guessing that is unlikely. The link I provided earlier mentioned that an official had failed to read an email, which may have precipitated this episode. If true, it doesn’t imply a conspiracy.

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

  49. From that link:

    An unread email is being cited as among the reasons our Foreign Minister was behind the eight ball. MFAT has apologised to Murray McCully today over shortcomings in advice it gave to the Government on the issue. Mr McCully says quite a number of people in the Ministry were copied in on the situation because of their responsibilities and indicates information was passed to his office.He says one of his staff did get one of the emails but didn’t open it as she was travelling in a place that had no communications at the time. Mr McCully says other members of his staff who should have been copied in were not.

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

  50. “Isn’t that what McCully and John Allen have done?”

    Not at all. Your link simply shows that McCully is sorry that he is getting criticised for the handling of the case. If he wanted to make a proper public apology he could have frontfooted the issue, taken responsibility for the mishandling of the case, apologised unreservedly to the alleged victim and indicated the he will personally talk to the Malaysian government to see if the alleged offender could be dealt with by the NZ Justice System.

    The key point is putting the alleged victim first. Instead, McCully (and Key’s) focus was entirely on shifting the blame (“it’s an officials fault for not reading their email”, “MFAT let down the minister”, “McCully let down Key” etc.), they showed no real concern for the victim, and that’s what made her want to speak out. Go on her, she is incredibly brave to come out like that, especially seeing all the criticism she is getting simply because she is speaking out against Key’s government.

    Comment by wtl — July 10, 2014 @ 7:44 pm

  51. That should be “Good on her”, of course.

    Comment by wtl — July 10, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

  52. Yes Ross, the ‘missed’ email. Note that no one from MFAT followed up on the lack of response (even if just acknowledgement of receipt) and that no one from McCully’s office followed up regarding their lack of hearing anything. No one cared. It wasn’t seen as significant enough to care about following up on.

    The line from the government is that it was up to MFAT to keep the Minister informed of developments. The idea here is that McCully had no idea at all that discussions were ongoing. If he cared though, he would have known. He would have let MFAT know that he cared enough to want to know. That didn’t happen, because no one cared enough for it to happen.

    rape culture isnt about ‘conspiracy’, or being a ‘rape apologist’. It’s about not caring about rape enough to make a huge deal out of it.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 10, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

  53. Graham, what particular quote would give Malaysia that excuse that they wouldn’t already have based on comments from Government Ministers?

    And why is it “right” to ‘question her motives’?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 10, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

  54. I’m pretty sure McCully knew who she was.

    “I don’t know who the victim was and I don’t think it is appropriate for me to try and find out…I think it is appropriate to express publicly an apology but I don’t think it is going to help her circumstances for me to go seeking her out.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11286201

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

  55. no one cared enough for it to happen.

    That is your opinion. Whether it’s correct is another matter.

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

  56. Graham @ 47,

    Always ask yourself if this was labour would you be upset

    OK. I will. Yes. I would be. Now … given that as this is National, why aren’t you?

    You either believe in the rule of law or the mob … I will always choose law

    Great! So you agree that the optimal solution, which MFAT (and the Government) ought to have prioritised from the start, is keeping the diplomat in NZ to face trial before our courts!! So you agree that the Government stuffed up, and should be criticised for that!!!

    The problem with choosing to run a political campaign less than 90 days from a election her motivation is questioned and rightly so

    Except, of course, that you are choosing to characterise a 21 year old woman loudly complaining about how she was treated by diplomatic officials and the Government as “a political campaign”, thereby trivialising her concerns and minimalising the harm she has suffered, all the while distracting from the actual fact of how she was treated. THIS is “rape culture” in a sentence.

    So the Green Party though ms logie is willing to throw away an oppunituy for justic for poltics

    Huh? You seriously saying that Malaysia might not send their diplomat back to NZ because our Government is under fire for allowing him to leave in the first place? How does that work, exactly?

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 10, 2014 @ 8:05 pm

  57. “That is your opinion.”

    Sure, you know, maybe no one followed up because they cared too much? Who’s to say.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 10, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

  58. Ross @ 54,

    That quote is a week old. Dollars for doughnuts that McCully found out in the week since. A week in which the Chief Executive of Mfat found out and was able to send a personal letter of apology.

    Ross @ 55,

    Well, yes. Everyone’s just expressing opinions here, because the “facts” have been laid out in only the sketchiest form. So given that it manifestly didn’t happen, we’re all free to express out views on why we think that is the case. It is the internet, after all.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 10, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

  59. Sure, you know, maybe no one followed up because they cared too much? Who’s to say.

    You could be right – a female official possibly thought that the idea of a male (potentially) getting away with rape was neither here nor there. Or there could be a more plausible explanation.

    Comment by Ross — July 10, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

  60. Ross, this isn’t about that aspect. We were discussing issues broader than that one person, scroll up and see. Comment 52. You could also track down the complainant’s statement from last night. If you care to of course.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 10, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

  61. We were discussing issues broader than that one person…

    Some bloody woman left the door open. Are you trying to ruin a nice bedtime story PB?

    Comment by Joe W — July 10, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

  62. To me this is a criminal case so I try to avoid the lunch mob thingie that is happening tonight
    So flashing light did you scream out loud when a young man was sexuality assaulted by a labour mp
    That’s why I believe some of the people here are useing the political sunglasses here
    What part is so hard to understand
    A diplomat made a alleged assault
    John key didn’t
    Some civil servant stuffed up big surprise
    The problem was that like the teachers
    There has been a war going on for a few years in mfat
    Because the present government wanted to close down little used embassy’s in Europe
    And open more in Asia
    To Aline with our trade and pacific focus
    So yes on a political level this lady is a victim because public servants have been playing games to try and get one over there boss who they don’t like
    In the real world if you have staff who work to rule or have attitude problems in the work force
    We would have a meeting and tell them it’s not on
    In the public service you just try and white ant your boss
    So murry is part of the problem he should have sacked the lot
    I love my part if the world here we work hard are paid well and if you don’t get on with your work mates and bosses we show you the door

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

  63. Lay off the turps, Graham. Remember, if you didn’t have an army of cheap migrant farm workers you would have to be up to milk the cows in a few hours.

    Comment by Judge Holden — July 10, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

  64. Graham,

    The accusations against Darren Hughes were pretty thoroughly investigated, with no charges laid. That’s a pretty major difference in the cases, especially given your claim to be above and beyond mob justice and avoiding the lynch mob. But, yeah – bad form on Hughes part, for which he deservedly lost his political career.

    However, insofar as I can understand what you are typing, you seem to be saying the real “problem” here is that Mfat doesn’t like Murray McCully? Seriously? This is what you think it all boils down to?

    That’s just daft.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 10, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  65. No govt minister tried to rape this young lady so the alleged crime of sexual assault was committed by this foreign citizen

    So what is john keys crime?

    What is mcullys crime?

    Name the law they have broken under the crimes act
    At a political level what is the issue
    There is a problem in mfat between the minister and his staff
    Hen the question is why

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

  66. Again I make the point by making it a political issue we are confusing it with the criminal issue
    The standard attack line tonight from the green corner is to implie that I support rape or surpression of such crimes
    I don’t and have never implied that
    All I am saying is that as regards to the criminal issue hopefully that will take its course but the danger that by attempts at political point scoring that could be put at risk
    Second you call for the minister to resign because his staff didn’t do there frigging job but get all antsy when the minster points out his staff didn’t fully inform him or the CEO
    There is from the outsider viewpoint an issue in that department maybe it’s about frigging time that public servants start being servants not political agents
    If they want to run for office do so that’s what David cunlife did
    If not do their job with out trying to white ant their boss

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

  67. I don’t have any migrant workers thanks

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 10:48 pm

  68. Also they aren’t cheep
    A week or so ago there was some crap on breakfast tv about firms paying the living wage and what hero’s they were
    So I sat down and worked out
    On a weekly basis what lowest paid staff member gets an hour based on the hours worked last season
    19 an hour is the starting point on my farm
    So typical left
    Accuse people who’s ideas you don’t like with insults either mad/drunk/evil boss
    Staff on farms in canterbury are well paid because we run large farms and need good staff

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

  69. Also to j h
    It’s winter time
    Only a few cows are winter milked nation wide for the liquid milk market
    I don’t start calving to 5 August

    Comment by Graham — July 10, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

  70. Wow, after a point tldr, but brought them all out huh?
    Williamson made the police aware of his personal interest as a Minister in an on-going investigation involving a National party donor. McCully acted poorly and without consideration of the victim in a case that required sensitivity. It was a mistake by the minister and his department. So an apology to someone directly affected by his mistake would be appropriate. The apology does not affect the police case, but is to show sincere regret for the error made by him and his department.

    Comment by sheesh — July 10, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

  71. Where did they all come from? Do they normally read and just not comment? Or did a swarm of them fly over on a mission from some other place?

    Comment by sheesh — July 10, 2014 @ 11:14 pm

  72. yeah thought the show was advertised as being about migrant worker abuse. What happened to that? Suppose the other’s a bigger story.

    Comment by oldrickmo — July 11, 2014 @ 12:39 am

  73. “Second you call for the minister to resign because his staff didn’t do there frigging job but get all antsy when the minster points out his staff didn’t fully inform him or the CEO”

    They’re not the Minister’s staff. That’s the point. The executive branch of the government is kept isolated from the rest for the same reason we don’t let politicians intefere with the courts. Departments need to be able to do the work they’re legally mandated to do, without being constantly influenced by political crap.

    If McCully or Key want to criticise MFAT, they should criticise the CEO for not running a proper ship. If responsibility doesn’t lie with McCully, then that’s where they have to place it, and it’s up to the CEO to decide what to do.

    What John Key in particular has done is effectively broadcast to 4.5 million people, from his very elevated position, that he thinks his executive branch has zero responsibility and that a specific employee at MFAT should be fired (in so many weasel words).

    This statement is irrespective of whatever context or work arrangements or agreed job expectations that employee might have been hired for, or what their employment history has been until now (maybe it’s been flawless for 30 years), or what capabilities MFAT might lose if they go. From now on, if the employee’s fired, the’ll have an avenue for big employment case to claim that they’ve only been fired because the PM wanted it for conveniently political reasons. They might not win the case it could drag for a long time and become very expensive, because fortunately the Executive Branch of the government also isn’t allowed to nuke the processes in the courts for its own polically convenient reasons.

    Comment by izogi — July 11, 2014 @ 8:04 am

  74. “No govt minister tried to rape this young lady…”

    And Graham sets a new minimum benchmark for ministerial behaviour. He should have more time to think things through given the the number of expensive migrant workers he isn’t employing to not milk his cows.

    Comment by Judge Holden — July 11, 2014 @ 8:13 am

  75. I think that the television appearance was a mistake. The young woman claims that Key ‘looked’ bored the charge against the diplomat is ‘ Assault with intent to rape’. Will a defence lawyer be entitled to ask on what level of judgement the defendant is able to claim she can make such allegations about how a person’s state of mind is, or what their intentions are? She might have better served herself and women everywhere by letting the case run its course.

    My point is, a populist hysteria (excuse the term) about ‘rape culture’ has already appeared to have ‘proven’ what at this stage, what is an allegation of intent because it appears to support the notion that all men are either rapists or if they are not actual rapists can be broken down into two groups: those who loudly condemn ‘rape culture’ or those by their silence endorse it.

    Of course, proponents of ‘rape culture’ as an idea will assert that the police will fail to investigate the allegation because they don’t really count ‘rape’ as a crime, especially when diplomats do it..

    And yet, in this case, no actual rape has occurred. My point is, that there is a danger of a rush to judgement and political posturing here which ironically may encourage an actual future rapist and actual future rape-victim to escape without conviction, and remain silent.

    Allegedly.

    Comment by Lee C — July 11, 2014 @ 8:15 am

  76. graham – its two separate but related issues for christ sake – issue 1 is the alleged crime, issue 2 is the govt handling of the fallout

    “so I try to avoid the lunch mob thingie”

    didnt stop you accusing the alleged victim of engaging in political posturing though did it. In fact youve said rather a lot on the subject

    Comment by framu — July 11, 2014 @ 8:22 am

  77. @Graham

    The standard attack line tonight from the green corner is to implie that I support rape or surpression of such crimes

    No it’s not. But the way you are portraying Tania Billingsley – an individual motivated by partisan political goals and so trying to “politicise” the issue – trivialises her experience and seeks to deny that she could actually be honestly meaning what she says. This sort of ignoring the perspective of the victim, or twisting her views into ones that are more comfortable for you to deal with, is a part of what is generally described as “rape culture”, something that an individual can do whilst still being horrified and disgusted by rape as a crime. So that’s what I’m saying outright, not implying.

    There is from the outsider viewpoint an issue in that department maybe it’s about frigging time that public servants start being servants not political agents

    Again, you seem to be implying (or even saying outright) that you think McCully’s officials deliberately set him up on this issue because they don’t like him. And so, again, from the perspective of anyone who knows anything about how Wellington (and Mfat in particular) actually works, that is completely daft.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 11, 2014 @ 8:22 am

  78. “maybe it’s about frigging time that public servants start being servants not political agents”

    the same could be said of the PM and mcCully – who are also public servants – but you cant seem to get to that truth

    Comment by framu — July 11, 2014 @ 8:23 am

  79. @Lee C,

    Read your comment. Didn’t really understand a word of it. Maybe you need to check your definitions?

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 11, 2014 @ 8:24 am

  80. Others have said it before but I didn’t really think that a rape culture existed until I saw how some people responded to the roastbusters case.

    The responses from some of the commenters on this thread have (for me anyway) further reinforced this perception.

    I think the upset over Cunliffe’s clumsy man-apology came about because some would rather not consider that they may be required to have role in addressing the problem.

    Comment by Rob — July 11, 2014 @ 11:13 am

  81. May I just say, Toby Manhire’s Herald column is pretty much required reading on this topic: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11291524. But only after reading what Tania Billingsley herself has written, of course: http://www.3news.co.nz/Portals/0/images/TANIA-ESSAY.pdf

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 11, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  82. No mp is a public servent be it Jonh key or jan logie
    They are political agents always have been
    If you can’t see the difference then I have a bridge to sell to you

    Comment by Graham — July 11, 2014 @ 11:33 am

  83. framu: “the same could be said of the PM and mcCully – who are also public servants”

    Small nitpick because I think I know what you mean, but I agree with Graham on this one. The Electoral Act defines ‘public servant’ as someone employed in the service of the Crown, but specifically excludes MPs and anyone else who gets paid under the MP Remuneration and Services act. Ministers aren’t public servants – they’re elected officials, who take responsibility for a bunch of stuff as defined in law. The Cabinet Manual also clearly describes Ministers in a clearly separate line from Public Servants.

    Graham: “They are political agents always have been. If you can’t see the difference then I have a bridge to sell to you.”

    I don’t think misunderstandinig that little semantic aspect is as bad as misunderstanding why Ministers shouldn’t be able to directly micro-manage how a government department, which is meant to be isolated and neutral, does its job.

    Comment by izogi — July 11, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  84. cheers izogi – yes its a small nitpick – im more talking about the laymans view, not the finer points of legal definitions

    and graham, im pretty sure you get the gist of what im saying there. Regardless of definitons in law they are still public servants in the publics eye arent they. Our taxes do pay for them after all.

    And as such we, the public, should be able to expect that they follow the damn rules that govern them – one of which is not butting in on the CEO’s turf

    Comment by framu — July 11, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

  85. Matters arising:

    How does Judith Collins (defender of women against violence and misogyny) feel about her friend Whale Oil’s blog now? The one she used to applaud …

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — July 11, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

  86. Of course the real basis of the problem might be that slashing of the Budget has left great holes in the capability of Foreign Affairs. (Winston didn’t have this sort of problem when he had an efficient dedicated team did he?)
    No doubt some unfortunate who was tasked with too much work inside an organisation and little direction from modified processes, will be hung out to dry. Probably in November or December.

    Comment by xianmac — July 11, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

  87. @81

    Manhire says: “The Roastbusters scandal nine months ago exposed a strain of sexual criminality and bravado in young men, as well as a negligent police response, suggesting the “culture of scepticism in dealing with complaints of sexual assault…remained.”

    There’s two points. First, it hasn’t been established AFAIK that the aforementioned scandal involved any criminality. However, that hasn’t stopped plenty of commentators from making that assumption.

    Second, research from Jan Jordan has found that many rape complaints are unsubstantiated and a proportion are probably false.

    Comment by Ross — July 11, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

  88. Second, research from Jan Jordan has found that many rape complaints are unsubstantiated and a proportion are probably false.

    And?

    Comment by Gregor W — July 11, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

  89. Goddam WordPress ate my lengthy fisking of Ross’ comment. Short version – he completely misrepresents Jordans research (which is critical of the reasons why the Police disbelieve such a high proportion of rape claims), and so you shouldn’t believe a word he says about it

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 11, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

  90. @Flashinglight, I’m starting to get it, it’s an intermittent flash, isn’t it? Hang on in there, but be warned, when I explain the truth about the tooth fairy and santy claus you might shut down altogether.

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 11, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

  91. There is several issues here as a father of 4 daughters if my daughter had been a victim of the roast busters I would have been charged with assault
    The problem there was the little shits were also underage so couldn’t be charged
    Dorm personal experience I once warned a little mini – roast buster in my area with harm if he went near one of my girls the joke was his parents complained to the police about me being mean to there boy
    A lot of sexual assaults happen when a girl is aged between 13-16
    The problem is in my view at the feet of the liberals in our society
    Who allow kids to drink and turn a blind eye to 16 year old drunk parties
    We allow schools to give our baby’s abortians without our knowledge
    Condoms and other shit at 13
    Combine that with slack parents with alcohol use we wonder why our girls are being attacked!!!!!!!
    When you have been a parent to teenage girls not little baby’s then you will understand
    Second issue
    Today I see the president of the law society agreeing with my concerns about the right to a fair trial with the media going septic like it is at the moment

    3rd issue
    I want this lady to have her day in court as is her right but remember even though we don’t always agree with our justic system you are innocent until proven guilty and the media has to be careful it doesn’t create a situation where that is impossible

    Which brings it back to a political issue that it now is
    It is clearly being used for gain by some sides
    On a green leaning blog the view proberly doesn’t care about the view of some Tory who is in the 1% of society wealth
    But sometimes I feel sorry for ministers
    Can’t sack white anters
    Can’t tell them what to do as it becomes an employment issue
    And when the little shits stuff and don’t tell you or the CEO it’s your fault
    I wouldn’t have that job for all the tea in china

    Comment by Graham — July 11, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

  92. Chill out, Graham! it’s Friday night, man and we’re Kiwis after all. Nothing to get worked up about. Sit back and have an Oyster Bay…

    Comment by AverageSteve — July 11, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

  93. Yes I’d also hate for you to be minister Graham.

    You pious fuck.

    You can’t accept that this woman is smart and courageous and has made her own choices, can you?

    Comment by jps — July 11, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

  94. Graham – did you consider to think that if this whole thing hadn’t been blown open, there would be no trial to potentially prejudice?

    Presumption of innocence is still maintained so far as I can see. It’s never been framed as anything other than an allegation. It was the accused’s choice to flee and seek diplomatic protection. Surely his actions would account for a more prejudicial perception that the alleged victim speaking on TV?

    Tell me, being an obviously conservative guy do you blame ‘liberals’ for drunk drivers who kill people on roads? Surely motorists only have themselves to blame when they must know that drunks kids are behind the wheel on some NZ road. Because that’s the problem right? Sober people putting themselves in harms way when they should know better?

    Comment by Gregor W — July 11, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

  95. Anyone else notice that if you treat Graham’s posts as free form verse to be read in a Sam Hunt style, they work a lot better than if you try to read them as actual comments?

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 11, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

  96. Reactionary art-rant?

    Comment by Gregor W — July 11, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  97. There are prices you pay in life for your decisions it’s a trade off
    If you work hard and smart at university you gain a degree if you don’t you don’t pass
    If you use your natural skills and apply hard work you accumulate assets
    If you are a feckless lazy arse you rely on the state for a handout
    Liberalising society has positive and negative effects
    If you really wanted to protect our young girls the liberals won’t do it
    Enact new laws in regards to the age of consent
    Raise it to 17
    No sex with teenagers unless a teenager
    Chuck the arseholes who break the law in jail for 6 months
    Believe me they won’t go near the girls
    But that is to harsh
    Let’s smoke drugs
    Sing kumbaya
    And apologise for being a man
    That will solve it
    Ya right

    Comment by Graham — July 11, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

  98. There are 2 sides to a story. So the court proceedings will bring out the truth. So why the hurry to condemn the government that represent the kiwis that we condon a “rape culture”? Aren’t rapists imprisioned after found guilty in our courts? I find her comments rather premature?

    Comment by BobbyNZ — July 11, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

  99. Blimmin’ heck … it’s all kicking off now!

    I’m going to suggest, Graham, that as the “father of 4 daughters” you are suffering some anxiety about their development into sexually active individuals and the consequent dangers that they may face. That’s understandable – admirable, even. But I think it is distracting you a bit from the actual topic of this thread, which was an alleged sexual attack on a 21 year old woman and the official/political response to that event.

    Oh … and what’s wrong with smoking drugs?

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 11, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

  100. The trolls coming out of the woodwork in the wake of Tania Billingsley spilling the beans has a whiff of ‘uncovered meat’ all over it.

    Comment by DeepRed (@DeepRed6502) — July 12, 2014 @ 1:36 am

  101. The trolls coming out of the woodwork in the wake of Tania Billingsley spilling the beans has a whiff of ‘uncovered meat’ all over it.

    They may be “coming out of the woodwork”, but none have the cojones to crawl out from under the burqa of anonymity.

    Comment by Joe W — July 12, 2014 @ 5:54 am

  102. http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/graham-lowe/5b/41b/437. He’s the backbone of this country and Atlas rolled into one. Don’t forget it commies.

    Comment by Judge Holden — July 12, 2014 @ 7:33 am

  103. Shame.

    Comment by Lee C — July 12, 2014 @ 8:14 am

  104. I am not hiding my name or ashamed or of what I say
    I find it ironic that a person who dosent say there real name thinks it a big score to show my real name
    And what your at it goggle my name in the company’s office

    Comment by Graham — July 12, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

  105. Just think I own 500 ha of irrigated dairy land in canterbury
    I am proud to be one of the 1%

    Comment by Graham — July 12, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

  106. Should say
    While your at it

    Comment by Graham — July 12, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

  107. Full moon sure brings ’em out.

    Comment by Joe W — July 12, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  108. Big dairy Satanist

    Comment by Christopher Morris — July 12, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

  109. “I am not hiding my name or ashamed or of (sic) what I say
    I find it ironic that a person who dosent (sic) say there (sic) real name thinks it a big score to show my real name
    And what (sic) your (sic) at it goggle (sic) my name in the company’s office (sic)

    Not a big score Graham. Just providing information you yourself have disclosed so people understand where it is you’re coming from. You’re proud of getting rich from exploiting resources plundered for free and in return polluting the waterways, and you don’t want to have to pay for the damage your enrichment causes, hence you’re a tory who hates the Greens. Good on you, chief.

    Comment by Judge Holden — July 12, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

  110. When discussion has gone from “ought the Minister have expressed an apology in person to an alleged victim of a sexual attack?” to “I’m a rich farmer and proud of it!”, its (already limited) purpose is well past.

    For the record, I fly stunt planes in an aerial circus and breed pedigree Dalmatians on the side. I’m not exactly “proud” of this, but it gives me a certain amount of life satisfaction.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 12, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

  111. I don’t want to be accused of trying to change the conversation here but jh’s lies can’t be aloud to stand

    If you have any evidence that the effluent from my cows is geting into the river or I am not complieing with my reconsent issued by Ecan ring them and they will charge me
    Since that’s not the case an apology would be nice
    Second 7 % of canterburys river flows are used for irrigation
    Life is a trade off if you were a true greenie you wouldn’t live in a city
    Or useing a product which relies on rare earths mined in China
    We don’t charge ski fields for snow
    We don’t charge for oxygen
    We don’t charge for water
    Society needs economic activity in order for people to eat and have a reasonble life
    I have never understood envy maybe that’s why I am a Tory
    My advice for the people racked by envy is to believe in your self more
    don’t seek to bring others down to your level rise up to theirs
    And in business the most important thing to do is understanding leverage
    ” borrow to it hurts and then hang on by your fingernails ”
    You find that when you owe the bank a lot of money you are at your most productive

    Comment by Graham — July 12, 2014 @ 11:49 pm

  112. 7% (i will take your word for it) for irrigation, the other 93% as an open sewer for cow shit. And who actually owns these fabled 500 hectares? By the way i read it – “borrow to it hurts” – the bank does, you have just got it until the milk price drops and bam! No more 1%er bragging rights for Timmy. But keep up the free verse, reading it Sam Hunt stylezis most amusing.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 13, 2014 @ 1:09 am

  113. “I don’t want to be accused of trying to change the conversation here but jh’s lies can’t be aloud to stand”

    I don’t know, Graham. You’re complaining about being judged because you’re a dairy farmer and yet further up in the thread you’re doing the exact same sort of stereotyping of the public service. But unlike farmers you’ll rarely hear public servants complain about all the stereotyping which goes on about their jobs, because apart from the official comms the jobs require them to stay neutral on work-related stuff and generally only speak through CE’s.

    There’s probably also an MFAT employee out there now, too, with good reason to think they’re being unfairly judged by a large portion of the population based on out-of-line politically motivated and borderline illegal comments from the PM. But hey, that’s how society rolls.

    Comment by izogi — July 13, 2014 @ 8:50 am

  114. Ah! But she’s a “taker”, meaning that people are allowed to say whatever they want about her, whenever they want. Graham is a “maker”, meaning that he should be the object of uncritical hero worship, and whatever he types is unchallengeable. Or something.

    Don’t you know he owns a lot of cows? You don’t get to do that without being a general expert on everything.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 13, 2014 @ 9:05 am

  115. Graham: your 500 hectres won’t be much use to you if there’s an international boycott of one of our primary industries, which I imagine would be especially bad if people like you attack brave and vulnerable people like Tania Billingsley to push your selfish and destructive agendas.

    Comment by Maui — July 13, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  116. This claim about Rivers being a open sewer are just lies pure and simple
    All you have to do is go to the rivers mouths and see the fisherman
    When you make such emotive lies
    Which can easly be demonstrated to be crap it just makes you look silly

    I love the jabs about my writing style
    If you saw someone in a wheel chair would you call them a loser for not walking
    I have a condition called dysgraphic
    With modem technology isn’t is bad as it used to be
    I learnt to climb though windows at times not go though doors

    It’s more widespread than you think

    My equity is 65% of 500 ha
    So you do the math

    Comment by Graham — July 13, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

  117. I will give you a hint
    It’s more than 10 less than 20

    Comment by Graham — July 13, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

  118. Fair call on the “dysgraphic” point. Sorry.

    That said, you do have a habit of ambling from topic to topic without much real point being shown. And your repeated boasting about being worth lots of money is just silly.

    However, I’m quitting this thread. Danyl’s put a new bucket of chum in the ocean.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 13, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

  119. “demonstrated to be crap” – that’s our rivers all right.
    But you believe whatever makes you comfortable, mr farmer.

    Comment by Sacha — July 13, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

  120. Flashing Light; Can you explain why people such as yourselves who speak rightiously and on behalf of the poorer peoples with green anti advancement agendas, always appear to have ugly and angry personalities, and tend to become abusive and personal in their comments ie; oh, you own 500 ha, you must be rich / wealthy therefore you don’t care what happens to the world and the people in it, or try to bring them down by insinuating the bank owns them.

    If you like those you appear to dispise, tried levergaing yourself financially to create wealth, and by consequence the jobs wealth often brings, the world might just be a better place for those withouts that you so rightiously speak for.

    Comment by Truth Prevails — July 13, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

  121. Yeah, Flashing Light – if you didn’t have such an angry and ugly personality, maybe you too could discuss your class enemies in the spirit of goodwill, generosity of spirit and mutual respect that Graham achieved when discussing his class enemies in comment 62…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 14, 2014 @ 7:30 am


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