Tuesday, May 21

Blocking, bullying and bullshit

There is some insidious behaviour going on in this country and it’s being role modelled by our Members of Parliament.

That behaviour is bullying.

Since March 2020, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in bullying from the government. From the ‘Be Kind’ narrative that quickly had former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stop doing interviews with media she didn’t agree with, and turned to coercion to be jabbed in order for people to go to work or be part of everyday life (vaccine passport anyone?). 

From former MP Gaurav Sharma blowing the whistle about bullying back in August 2022 which was followed very quickly after from a senior parliamentary staffer that said she was the victim of bullying while working for Labour MP Anna Lorck, and more recently we’ve heard allegations against newly appointed associate finance minister Kiri Allen. 

On the same day allegations came out that Allen screamed so loud through the phone, others in the office could hear, Labour MP Marja Lubeck posted a tweet about another woman on Twitter and even went so far as to go back two years to find tweets to try and fit her narrative. At the end of the tweet Marja stated it was time to mute this woman.

For a working elected representative of the people to use her work associated page to incite an attack on a lone woman while choosing to mute her at the same time so she can’t see this woman’s reply crosses a line of professionalism.

I gathered a couple of opinions around the idea of a petition to stop MPs blocking people on social media without cause and was told there would be too many issues around it, one of which being where the line would be drawn on free speech and free choice. As a supporter of free speech, I could see that point of view and after sitting with it for some time and reflecting on what was said I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t agree.

Because the speech from politicians isn’t free. It costs us millions of dollars every year to have these people represent us, so my belief is there should be some standard which they adhere to. Marja’s tweet was gutter and unnecessary from a government official.

Do I think politicians shouldn’t be allowed to block anyone ever? No, that would be unreasonable but surely there must be some way by which our politicians are held to account for their behaviour?

When schools have parents and children sign contracts around online activity and behaviour it’s hard to believe paid elected officials can just do as they please under the guise of free speech or freedom to choose. 

For me this is where it starts to get personal. I’ve had numerous MPs block me over the last few years on different media platforms and I’m confident not one of them can show evidence where I abused them.

I have asked things like “What are the consequences for Kāinga Ora, who are the worst landlord in the country?” when Tamati Coffey made a post about tough consequences for bad landlords. I also asked Debbie Ngarewa-Packer how Jacinda give her whanau back their dignity, when she put up a glowing post about Jacinda upon her resignation. 

For those who aren’t aware, it was a reference to Jacinda’s Waitangi Day speech in 2018, where she told Māori she’d done exactly that. Ask her and her government how they gave Māori back their dignity. Being that Te Pāti Māori are on this path where they are major creators of division between Pakeha and Māori, I found it hard to stomach the lies Debbie had written and called her out on it.

And more recently I was blocked by Marama Davidson when I called her out after I was made aware that Marama was potentially spreading rumours about me. In my tweet, I asked if it was true and if there was truth to it, for us to have a debate that we could turn into a charity fundraiser for ‘I Am Hope’.

Without even entertaining the idea to support a charity that supports children who need counselling (a large portion of whom, according to “trans allies” are trans kids and youth), I was taken aback but unsurprised by Marama’s actions. I had already heard rumours about some of the Green’s antics after Albert Park which leads me to believe a couple of things…

*There is truth to the rumours I’m hearing of Marama talking about me.

*Does Marama really support the Trans community like she claims? Because if she did why would she shut down the opportunity to support this community without a conversation?

My thoughts around the reason Marama has blocked me centre around the fact I’ve questioned her timeline of events at Albert Park.

News reports at the time suggested she was hit by a bike at around 10:40am. Timestamps from my own videos, show people breaking through the barriers at 11:08 am and it wasn’t until around 12:20pm that Marama was “ambushed” by Counterspin Media and made the comments about white cis men who cause violence. A claim she later put down to shock. 

Are we as a country really supposed to believe Marama got hit by a bike, went to a doctor, was diagnosed as being in shock, came back and managed to party in the pavilion in less than 2 hours on a Saturday morning when our health system is in dire straits and reports show people waiting for up to 13hrs just to be seen in A&E? 

Jacinda stood down because she said she didn’t have enough in the tank which resulted in lots of conversations around the bullying that occurs in politics but upon reflection, I think she knew things were about to implode within Labour.

You only have to look at what has happened within parliament since she left and everything that is now starting to come to light to see the worst bully in politics left under the label of being a victim of bullying, while other alleged bullies are taking other actions after issues come to light. 

At a time when politics in this country is rife with bullying and our government want to control what people can and can’t say online why then shouldn’t they be held to a higher standard when they are the ones receiving taxpayer dollars?