Friday, February 12, 2016

Speaking the truth to NZ’s powerful

Last night, three different friends shared the video above on Facebook, and all used the same word: Ouch. Others shared a post from a leftwing NZ blog that corrected a National Party supporter’s re-writing of history. If what they say is the truth, and it is, does it matter who said it, or where?

In the video above, Green Party MP Gareth Hughes responds to the Prime Minister’s first speech to Parliament for the year, and lays out all the failings of John Key’s government. He is factually accurate, including about how John Key's government uses distraction to prevent people from focusing on how badly his government is doing, as in, “look over there – pandas.” [a written transcript is available from the Greens’ site ].

As if the National Party’s distraction weren’t bad enough, and hard to overcome, there’s also the outright deception of their supporters who try to rewrite history to make their party’s failures look like progress. On The Daily Blog, Frank Macskasy makes a point-by-point demolition of a National Party supporter’s pathetic attempt at spin. He is restrained and sticks to the facts—it’s a masterful job. Frank always includes sources for his data, which is an important thing to do: We must be thoroughly transparent and completely document our facts if we are to have any hope of countering rightwing spin.

I’m not a Greens supporter, and I seldom read that particular blog, but should that matter? If what they’re speaking is the truth and factually accurate, and it is, then I think that matters far more than the source of the remarks.

Too many centre-left people get caught up in turf battles, which is entirely the wrong fight: New Zealanders love John Key, even as they hate what his government is doing. Until and unless New Zealanders understand the facts and how awful John Key is for New Zealand, there’s not much hope of denting Key’s Teflon armour. And the ONLY way to dent that armour is with truth and facts, fully documented, and never with personal attacks; those will always fail. This is long fight, and there's no way around that.

I think that the important thing is that facts and the truth become spread as widely as possible and by as many voices as possible. It seems to me that there’s not much point in battling over turf if it’s been killed by the National Party government pissing all over it.

So, bravo to Gareth Hughes for speaking truth to power, and to The Daily Blog for publishing Frank Macskasy’s giving facts in the face of wilful fiction. We need more people doing that, and I intend to celebrate whoever does so, regardless of whose turf they stand on.

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