Brian Edwards Media

Melissa Meets the Mob

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The New Zealand Herald published this letter from me today:

‘How tragic that the Auckland University student body can think of no better way to express disagreement than to boo, shout down and abuse a speaker. If Melissa Lee’s comments about South Auckland were stupid and offensive, they were outdone by the Hitler moustache and the word ‘racist’ scrawled across her photograph. As it happens, Ms Lee made no reference in her earlier remarks to any race, so the presumption that the ‘criminals’ she was referring to must be Maori or Pacific Islanders comes entirely from them. I would have thought that makes them the true racists. If I lived in Mt Albert, I would, needless to say, be voting for David Shearer. But I think Melissa Lee deserves points for fronting up to this mindless rabble. You are, ladies and gentlemen, a disgrace to your university.’

I stand by it. I never cease to be amazed how today’s idiots are somehow transformed into tomorrow’s professionals. Sometimes!

And has the National Party abandoned Ms Lee altogether? Certainly no-one can be giving her any media advice. Does any candidate with a brain tell the world that the best they can hope for is to come second? That’s little more than an invitation to your supporters not to vote for you and as close as you can come to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ye gods!

Michael Laws also took up the cudgels in the Sunday Star Times

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21 Comments:

  1. 1

    The Double Standard

    I feel sorry for Melissa Lee, its like she has been flung onto the national stage with minimal preparation and advice. Or perhaps she has had the prep, but has fallen short on prior political experience to call upon.

    • This may also be a case of pride coming before a fall. The Melissa Lee of a few weeks ago could fairly be described as over-confident to the point of arrogance. But, as you suggest, it may also be just another example of the failings of the MMP system which allows people to become Members of Parliament without any experience of electoral campaigning or toughing it out on the hustings.

  2. Jeez BE, I do wonder if the vociferous energetic protests aren’t aimed at what and who M. Lee represents – and their underway agenda. She is the Front. She is the one who put her hand up to sell what she (and her party) truly believes in, and for some, it is truly scary. Now AND to come.

    And surely some of the same dynamics that propelled M.Lee to pronounce her ‘commuting criminals diversion’ pitch (excitement, raised voices, passion), are to account for irascible students getting boisterous with their youthful political passion : a wee bit ‘strong’ in their use of imagery and text.

    And your letter, to me, with respect BE, has a tang of the old curmudgeon to it.

    Just saying.

    • Jeez BE, I do wonder if the vociferous energetic protests aren’t aimed at what and who M. Lee represents…

      Curmudgeon, ConorJoe! Curmudgeon! I take it as a badge of honour.

  3. I agree that there is a certain amount of hypocrisy with the Melissa Lee Uni sign, but as a brown South Aucklander, I can see how those students connected the dots.

    A clean interpretation of Lee’s comments would lead one to think there is no reference to a race or ethnicity.

    But colloquial language contains context and cultural meanings to words. South Auckland for mainstream New Zealanders is often used interchangeably with Brown/Polynesian etc.

    But as you say, it connecting those dots could be just as revealing of those student’s inherent racism.

    • I agree that there is a certain amount of hypocrisy with the Melissa Lee Uni sign…

      You’re right of course NiuZila. But the suggestion that Lee was racist or a Nazi was really beyond the pale.

  4. I may not share your political leaning (nor Melissa Lee’s, for that matter) but I heartily endorse your view that the principles of fairness and reason speak louder than the clamour of the rabble. If the students learn this and nothing else, then their time at the university won’t have been wasted.

    • Looking at this lot, it’s doubtful whether learning will come into the equation. And we had more flag-burning idiots on television tonight.

  5. It surely was beathtaking to hear Ms Lee say on RNZ that she didn’t expect to win and hoped she might come second.

    Clearly she has little media competence, but what does it say about her party that continues to let her make such an ass of herself and, by association, her party?

    • I feel sorry for Melissa Lee, its like she has been flung onto the national stage with minimal preparation and advice

      Quite agree. She’s really been hung out to dry by National.

  6. Meh. Students. Young people. The only difference between now and then is youtube.

  7. Couldn’t agree more BE. Student politics is ruined by a few (well quite a few) idiots which results in no one having a shred of respect for them. Oh well. They do tend to grow out of it (apart from those that graduate to the Wellington Workers Party)

    • Couldn’t agree more BE. Student politics is ruined by a few (well quite a few) idiots…

      You’re right of course. They do grow out of it. Someone suggested I should look back to my own student days and be a bit more forgiving. Sadly (and I do mean sadly) I was a real goody goody at university and never did anything bad. The first drink I ever had was on the day I graduated. And I was still a virgin. ‘Regrets I’ve had a few…’

  8. I too feel sorry for Melissa Lee – just as sorry as I felt for Sarah Palin.

    • I too feel sorry for Melissa Lee – just as sorry as I felt for Sarah Palin.

      Well, I think Sarah Palin was a lot more scary than Melissa Lee.

  9. Suits you sir.

    It occurs to me: is this uni-mob-lynch not suitable training for parliamentary debate?

    Surely you’d know?

    • It occurs to me: is this uni-mob-lynch…

      Hmmm. An interesting point. They’ve certainly got all the necessary rancour, but are they perhaps too intelligent?

  10. What concerned me more than National hanging their candidate out to dry was the thought that if they can do this to one of their own, someone the PM lauded as having such future potential for the party, what will they do to the rest of us over the next two and a half years!

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