Hard News by Russell Brown

Nice and Nasty

Here's something nice. TV3 has kindly agreed to let me post the audio from Monday night's David Lange interview from Campbell Live. The sound's a little ropey - it was that way on the dub I got from TV3 - but it's good enough for rock 'n' roll. The file is a 22-minute, 15MB MP3, encoded at 96Kbit/s and copyright rests, naturally, with TV3. Click the link above to listen or download for later pleasure at your leisure.

And here's something nasty: Noelle McCarthy's bFM interview with Winston Peters yesterday.

It's really worth listening to, as is the interview with Shalen Shandil from Radio Apna, the so-called "Islamic Radio station" (y'know, the kind of Islamic radio station largely run by Hindus) that Peters claimed had been broadcasting seditious incitements to terrorism. It transpires that the broadcast was a call to a talkback show that ran all of six seconds before being cut off by the host. Peters never heard it and made no attempt to contact the station and check his facts before he made his claims.

Lord forbid that mainstream talkback radio stations should be held accountable for the views of their callers. It's appalling that Apna - a real radio success story - has to be roped into Peters' mendacious fear-mongering.

Unfortunately, it looks like it's catching. The speech in which Don Brash launched National's lovely new immigration policy yesterday contains the following passage:

There is resentment that too many immigrants, and especially those who arrive as refugees, go straight onto a benefit, and live for years at the expense of the hard-working New Zealand taxpayer.

There is resentment that, when we let in one refugee, we then let in his extended family group as well. Like the case of the refugee who brought in his father, mother, two dependent brothers, two dependent sisters, a dependent sister-in-law and her four dependent children!

There is resentment that some immigrants come into New Zealand for the primary purpose of gaining access to our free education system for their children, with no intention of settling in, or paying tax in, New Zealand for the long haul.

There is resentment that some immigrants flout the laws protecting our fisheries, and are involved in much more serious crimes of a kind that, to date, New Zealand has been largely free of - kidnapping and extortion for example.

There is resentment, at least among those wanting to buy their first home, at the impact of immigration on house prices.

There is fear of Islamist fundamentalism, exacerbated when a Maori convert to Islam expresses admiration for Osama bin Laden and a Muslim (Labour) Member of Parliament contends that the Koran is right to say that adulterers and homosexuals should be stoned to death.

But of course, Dr Brash himself does not feel this resentment, still less personally subscribe to such base generalisations. Don't you know his wife's from Singapore? Just some people do. In an election campaign increasingly characterised by rank cynicism, this carefully crafted work of dog-whistle politics quite possibly takes the cake. I trust Dr Brash is sleeping well at night.

Among other things, National proposes a four-year "probation" period within which any migrant who committed a criminal offence - and that appears to include even driving offences - would be "swiftly returned to their homeland." Not could be deported - as currently happens in some cases involving permanent residents - but would be.

Meanwhile, No Right Turn points out that the proposed scrapping of the Refugee Family Quota "likely violate[s] a host of international human rights instruments and UN recommendations (as well as common human decency)". He continues:

If implemented, National's policy would undermine our excellent international reputation on human rights and refugee issues, and destroy the mana on which our whole foreign policy is based. But what I find most offensive is the subtext: in Brash's worldview, the basic human experience of having a family is only for the rich. This is inhuman, even for Brash; we should be seeking to enable fundamental human wants and needs, not restrict them only to the elite.

Over on the other side of the divide, National Party cheerleader Tim Barclay (who I thought had actually been fairly sane lately) talked about the kind of country he wants to live in a thread on Just Left:

National had to come up with a policy like this to get support from NZF and hopefully cream off some votes. The National Party has traditionally taken a fairly stern approach to immigration. I remember those wonderful ads in 1975 with pacific islanders bashing up kiwis. The Labour Party hated them but they did the trick. And good old Allan McCready as Minister of Immigration and the dawn raids. I get quite misty eyed for those good old days. Well they are back and a good thing too.

Right. Thanks for that.

Meanwhile, on the heels of the actually-we-won't-do-anything-after-all-those-years-of-bitching defence policy: another flip-flop, this time on the Maori electorates. Not a bottom line any more, apparently. It's called Keeping Winston On Board.

Finally, one of the more curious characteristics of the local right-wing blogosphere is the frequency with which its denizens need to keep assuring everyone they're getting some, oh yes they are. In which spirit, this story from Insolent Prick, which DPF thinks it is "outrageous" (presumably in a good way). I think it's sort of embarrassing, even as humour, as which it is presumably intended. An excerpt:

I have a strongly biblical heritage. That heritage serves me well. I am a moral conservative, in all things except my own behaviour. I will tell gays that they will fry at the end of Satan’s fork for an eternity if they continue to invite God’s wrath by willfully engaging in sin and decrepitude. I have a religious objection to women who go to work and get fat on big lunches, when they could be doing much more for humanity simply by keeping themselves, and their houses, much tidier. I object to feminism, as a movement, on purely ethical grounds.

Women’s liberation, as far as I’m concerned, merely means women are free to stay hot. And beauty pageants are the apex of liberation. If more young girls were put through the rigours of beauty pageantry, then I would receive far fewer complaints from feminazis who view my thoughts as misogynistic and sexist. The hot ones wouldn’t even understand that sentence, but sway and swoon at the length of my words, and assume that I must be highly educated, and ergo, earn ridiculous amounts of money, which I could use to buy them flash stuff which they could adorn my bedroom floor with, as long as they continue to please me.

Small. Penis.