Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Bernard Hickey'

Argument Wecomed, but keep it Civilised.

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For almost two decades now I have railed against the excesses of social media. I have done so on radio, on this website and on Facebook. The general tenor of my complaint has been that, across these media, intelligent debate has been replaced by frequently anonymous personal abuse.

My complaint about Bernard Hickey was not that he was a supporter of MMP, but that he derided the opinions of those who weren’t or had expressed reservations about it. They were, apparently, mere whingers and moaners. I think in this essentially fair minded country of ours we call that ‘playing the man and not the ball’. Or, if you want to be posh about it, ‘an ad hominem attack’. It was to that that I took exception.

As for MMP, my post was scarcely an onslaught, it was an expression of reservations: ‘not entirely persuaded; not entirely happy, disquiet many New Zealanders feel…’.

I’m writing this because, among many reasonable expressions of disagreement with what I had to say in the post, including several by good friends of mine, there is a sprinkling of the sort of personal abuse that I find unacceptable. I turn 80 in just over a week, ladies and gentlemen, but there is bugger all wrong with my brain.

So here’s the deal: I welcome spirited debate. I don’t welcome ad hominem attacks on anyone whether because of their age, gender, nationality or the colour of their skin. And that includes elderly male, white skinned, Irish curmudgeons.

Right! Time for a lie-down.

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Whinging and Moaning about MMP

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Just read a piece by Bernard Hickey in Newsroom in which he takes to task people like me who aren’t entirely persuaded of the merits of MMP or entirely happy with the result it has delivered in this year’s general election.

I know Bernard and am something of a fan. But I share the disquiet that many New Zealanders feel when the party that is preferred by more Kiwis than any other fails to win the election. More importantly, I do not expect to be treated as a numbskull for feeling that disquiet. It is, at the very least, both understandable and defensible.

So I take strong exception to the final paragraph in Mr Hickey’s piece. He writes:

“Job done, and let’s hope that’s the end of the whole whinging and moaning about MMP for at least another three years.”

That “whinging and moaning” is what we call ‘democracy’, Bernard. Let’s hope we aren’t at the end of it yet.

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