Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: This Is Not A Complicated Issue

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  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I get annoyed about inaccuracy in media too. I wrote about it at quite some length last week. But this seems an odd one to jump on – let alone to scold me for linking to.

    It was just the latest in a long line of media and social media reports about this story, published at a time when I had the opportunity to comment.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Reply to Ian. Trev does seem to get things wrong alot.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Also, someone needs to tell Trevor that “breech of privacy” doesn’t mean what he thinks it does.

    Dear Trevor,
    It's a type of trouser.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Angela, in reply to Sacha,

    I'm echoing all of Sacha's comments. People with disabilities face constant and mostly unnoticed unnecessary battles every day and it's wrong.
    Attitudes must change.

    Waitakere City, West Auck… • Since Nov 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Angela,

    I’m echoing all of Sacha’s comments. People with disabilities face constant and mostly unnoticed unnecessary battles every day and it’s wrong.
    Attitudes must change.

    Seconded. Like I've said, the issue is far bigger than just Lockjaw Smith. The issue is a society that sees fit to park in disabled spaces and says, "well, tough shit". Charles Darwin wasn't particularly pleased about his theories being applied to humanity.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The thing that always bugs me about Lockwood is he doesn't own his shit. Cutting his teeth with an outright lie that he would remove student fees, then taking office and putting in place measures that hiked the fees 300%, thus began a long career of doing shitty things then blaming them on other people. To make blatantly racist statements, then when challenged to backpedal with claims of having been taken out of context, that he was merely reporting that other people had said those things.

    He's completely divorced from the outcomes of his deeds. This time, it's imperative that the mud sticks. Whatever he say, everyone can see that he has tremendous discretion, as the Speaker, to make stuff happen in Parliament, if he had a will, a conscience, and an ounce of diligence. For us to even be niggling over the technicalities is playing his shitty little game - the failure is far bigger than that. It's a failure of him to consider the very purpose of his role - to make sure that Parliament gives a level playing field for debate and discussion of the momentous matters of state it discusses every day. He either doesn't get that, or he's deliberately obstructing it.

    Personally, I think the latter, but there's little by way of argumentation in there, it's entirely a reaction to his body language. He always looks to me as if he likes to be the bearer of bad news, that he can barely hold back the glee with which he crushes the hopes of people with less power than him. I don't think I've ever seen a genuine unconflicted emotion cross his face, because the real emotions would always be so unseemly.

    There must be some Nats who feel the injustice of the situation. Nikki Kaye? Here's your No Coromandel Mining for this term. This is a conscience issue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    it’s wrong.
    Attitudes must change.

    What Angela and Sacha said.

    Lockwood Smith's pompous and undemocratic pronouncements would have attracted considerably more heat in Canada.

    The idea that if someone with a disability wishes to participate in the life the rest of us can take for granted, they'd better find the money to do so themselves would be considered unacceptable, inhumane, unjust and possibly insane in Canada.

    Whether the obstacle to participate is physical or conversational, it all comes down to access to what the rest of the world takes for granted. It comes down to a right to participate in this life we enjoy in the society we create. And for that last point alone, it's essential that people with all kinds of points of view should have the right to participate without facing obstacles the able bodied do not face.

    Coming from Canada people with disabilities (they still call them them disabilities I think) tend to be revered as Canada's greatest athletes inspirational national heroes. Of Canada's top 10 greatest athletes of all time, these two were disabled. They both had huge impact on both social attitudes and many pieces of legislation for a lot of different things in Canada.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a genuine unconflicted emotion cross his face, because the real emotions would always be so unseemly.

    Wow. Really, just… I’ve got nothing. I’m going to walk the fuck away from that for everyone’s sake, but in the context of bitching Smith for being tin-eared and insensitive towards a woman with profound hearing loss? (Who, BTW, has been called a “retard” and worse by the usual suspects over on Kiwibog. ’Cause, you know, she talks funny and shit.) “That boy just looks wrong” was… um, a somewhat unfortunate line of attack.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Fair enough, it's unduly personal to note that I hate him at a level that's deeply irrational. It probably does color the way I see him. You're right, it's plenty enough to stick to the things he does.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Angela,

    People with disabilities face constant and mostly unnoticed unnecessary battles every day and it's wrong.
    Attitudes must change.

    I would extend that to most people going about their daily toil. It is the nature of government and the society we have created since the mid 1980s.

    My thoughts are the situation between the Greens and Speaker illustrates how "we" fail to work co-operatively to overcome issues and play the victim card - something that both sides have played.

    I am sure it will resolve itself sensibly despite the precious theatrics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1210 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    “That boy just looks wrong” was… um, a somewhat unfortunate line of attack.

    On a deeper reading of what you're saying here, I sense an unfair equivocation. It would be an unfortunate line of attack if Lockwood Smith were disabled, and I was mocking him on account of some aspect of that. So far as I know, he is not. "Emotional cripple" is only a turn of phrase, not a recognized condition.

    But again, yes, "irrational argument" is an oxymoron. Body language arguments usually are irrational, as are all psychological speculation, really. Straightforward ad hominems. Perhaps they should never be mentioned. Then again...in the context of a debate about the language of the body, rather than the mouth...well...perhaps that's just revealing yet another kind of privilege. I don't know. A lot to think on there. The deaf are the only disabled people I can think of with a common superpower - is Mojo like Professor X?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to DexterX,

    I would extend that to most people going about their daily toil.

    Oh, I don't know. I live on the 6th floor of a building that has no ramps or lifts. Nothing stops me getting up and down the stairs. I work in buildings that have ramps to their 1st/Ground floors, but most of which have no lifts, presenting serious challenges to anybody in a wheelchair who needs to get upstairs. I see students with severe challenges to their mobility struggling with an assistant to get up and down those stairs - but they have at least minimal use of their legs. I have no idea what somebody, like one of my primary school teachers, who have no function in their legs whatsoever would be expected to do if they needed to climb any higher than the ground floor.

    If I were an MP, the only barrier to me doing my job would be my own painful shyness and complete lack of confidence in public speaking. These are purely personal issues in my head that I could overcome with practice and a bit of encouragement, certainly nothing that would require any special arrangements or extra funding. Seems to me that Mojo Mathers' problem is a complete inability to hear what her fellow MPs are saying, meaning she needs funding for equipment and personnel to allow her to take part in proceedings. Need I point out again that NZSL is an official language of New Zealand, with equal status to English and Te Reo? This is a little bit more than mere differences of degree.

    I watched the TV3 news bulletin last night, I was struck by two things:
    1: Subtitles appeared only when Mojo Mathers was speaking. What's up with that?
    2: She spoke her maiden speech. I was half expecting her to sign it. No, she spoke it. Shit, that is awesome. The one and only time I had to give a speech in Chinese was to a crowd of 30-odd and I was so incredibly nervous I forgot everything I had to say, stammerd, stuttered, trembled, sweated, and just about shat myself. But Mojo Mathers got up in front of 120 MPs, the public gallery, and, via TV and radio, the whole bloody country and spoke in a language she can't hear. I am in awe.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2190 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    But Mojo Mathers got up in front of 120 MPs, the public gallery, and, via TV and radio, the whole bloody country and spoke in a language she can't hear. I am in awe.

    And yesterday she did radio interviews in which she sat opposite the interviewer, lip read the questions and spoke in response to them. It puzzles me that some people can't see how far she is already coming to meet the rest of us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Who, BTW, has been called a “retard” and worse by the usual suspects over on Kiwibog. ’Cause, you know, she talks funny and shit.

    Once again, some people really need to move their cars out of the disability spaces. Unless they want to be granted a disability permit on the spot.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And yesterday she did radio interviews in which she sat opposite the interviewer, lip read the questions and spoke in response to them.

    A triple threat! ;-)

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It puzzles me that some people can't see how far she is already coming to meet the rest of us.

    Yep. And just how such a small step she and the Greens are asking us to make to meet her part way.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2190 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And yesterday she did radio interviews in which she sat opposite the interviewer, lip read the questions and spoke in response to them. It puzzles me that some people can't see how far she is already coming to meet the rest of us.

    Yeah totally. Although it's worth noting that her communication has been through lip-reading and speaking, until the 2000s when she learned Sign to broaden her communication. In other words, she's been coming to meet the rest of us her entire life.

    It still amazes me how the temporarily-able-bodied considered that disabled are out to inconvenience them

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2137 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Mojo M is English and so not a native speaker of NZ Sign Language. She was taught oralism in the UK - ie to lip read and speak. Most NZers were also taught that way until only about 20 years ago (to the extent of being punished for signing). Why should she have signed her maiden speech when NZSL is not her first language? Although apparently she does use it, especially with the local community.
    (I noticed the NZSL interpreter signing her maiden speech was Dr Rachel McKee teacher of NZSL at Victoria University.)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2171 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    I've been in the Geekzone thread about this (more polite than the Kiwiboggers but just as stone age in thinking, most of them) and I think it's mainly about fear - the "if we let them into our place, they might sit next to us and then we'd be embarrassed" thing. Plus the "it's taxpayers' money! Why should she have something special!!" approach, with a little bit of "she's been working for the Greens, she should have known what she was getting into!" on the side.

    I weep for the lack of empathy in my countrymen.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2208 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to dyan campbell,

    The idea that if someone with a disability wishes to participate in the life the rest of us can take for granted, they'd better find the money to do so themselves would be considered unacceptable, inhumane, unjust and possibly insane in Canada.

    No-one has suggested that Mathers must find the money herself*.

    The worst this could be described is that some people have suggested that approximately 0.5 of the 2 full-time staff the taxpayer provides her to help her do her job, or ~1.3% of the money provided to the Green Party to help its MPs effectively do their jobs could be used to help her effectively do her job.

    *I'll concede that some random talkback caller, or kiwiblog commenter may have, but no-one serious.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It puzzles me that some people can't see how far she is already coming to meet the rest of us.

    This kind of sums up the injustice. She is doing what she can to make the conversation possible, but there are some things that are impossible for her.

    The Speaker is NOT doing what he can to make the conversation possible. The things he won't do are entirely possible and as most people can see and have said are reasonable. Still he won't do them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Mojo M is English and so not a native speaker of NZ Sign Language. She was taught oralism in the UK – ie to lip read and speak. Most NZers were also taught that way until only about 20 years ago (to the extent of being punished for signing).

    I was not aware of that, and apologise for any offence.

    However, my point is that NZSL is an official language of New Zealand. I can not for the life of me figure out why provisions for interpretation between all three of NZ’s official languages are not already available in Parliament.

    As for native languages…. something suggests to me that perhaps not all of the other MPs are native speakers of either English, NZSL or Te Reo.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2190 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh can it, Graeme. She's being asked to cut a very large part of her budget just to get something that puts her on the starting blocks. Nobody who has paid this any attention is that she's paying from her salary. They've all been quite clear that her paying from it means her using her existing operational budgets.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2137 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Graeme - I would have thought that the UN Convention, ratified by New Zealand in 2008 at the same time as the NZ Disability Act was passed, provides a legal and ethical imperative for the Government to do more than just subsidise her parliamentary participation.

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Article 1 - Purpose

    The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

    Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. (United Nations, 2006)

    New Zealand Disability Strategy (2001)
    Underpinning the New Zealand Disability Strategy is a vision of a fully inclusive society. New Zealand will be inclusive when people with impairments can say they live in:

    A society that highly values our lives and continually enhances our full participation.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2171 posts Report Reply

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