Thursday, 23 October 2008

now this is a personal attack

tonight was the official opening of the office of ethnic affairs in hamilton. well, the "office" will be staffed by only one person without any support staff, but it is at least a start. the event was well attended, even though it was a pretty wet evening. there's been demand for OEA to set up in hamilton for several years now, and it's great that it's finally happened.

later on were candidates meetings for the hauraki-waikato and one organised by the maxim institute. the latter was a little bizarre - they made us stand up and sing the national anthem. then we had to practice how we would show our appreciation for what the candidates were saying, by all saying "jolly good" a couple of times. it made me feel like i was at primary school! but other than that, the meeting was well run and neutral. and i tried to restrict myself to "jolly good" and "bravo" in respect of the organiser's request, though it was really difficult!

but i'm feeling a little upset today. someone has sent an anonymous letter to my parents, complaining about my behaviour at tuesday night's debate. this would be the one organised by the waikato times, and yes, i was certainly involved in heckling as were many other people. i make absolutely no apologies for that, and particularly not when candidates were using terms like "feminazi" and commenting on the childlessness of the PM.

part of my personality is that i'm a loud person. mostly it's in reaction to the stereotypical muslim woman who is supposed to be a quiet victim, walking 2 steps behind her husband. i react badly to that stereotype, and have always refused to be quiet and submissive. yes, that makes me loud and boisterous, and no doubt some people may find that offensive.

but if they took offence, they should have brought it up with me. to write an anonymous letter to my parents, personally abusing me is an act of complete cowardice. it was an attempt to silence me and it won't work. for all that the opposition make so much noise about freedom of speech, this nasty little attempt shows they only want free speech when it's about their ideas.

this move to hurt and upset my parents is something i'm finding difficult to deal with. i feel completely powerless to respond. i know most politicians will be going through this kind of thing across the country. i remember marian hobbs telling me about someone throwing a pie in her face, in front of her daughter. clare curran had to go through an awful time as the national party tried to discredit not only her personally, but her business. george hawkins had a bible thrown at him recently. this shouldn't have to be the price we pay in trying to improve this country through the political process.

so anonymous person, if you have any complaint to make about me, you can contact me through any labour MPs office or through head office in wellington. i will be happy to discuss your concerns and to explain my behaviour to you, and to apologise if there was something i said or did that offended you personally. but please leave my family out of this.

i was thinking of what to say about lockwood smith's comments that were so much in the news yesterday. but there really isn't that much to say that hasn't been said by others. i'm just glad there's little tolerance for this kind of thing, such a difference from the last campaign.

and nice to see that the reserve bank OCR cuts are passing through to customers (thanx again to kiwibank who were the first to drop their rates by 1%). any of you bunnies who have been reading my blog regularly, i hope you took my advice to ignore the advice of bernard hickey and brendan donavan back in july. now, or maybe in a couple of months, would be the time to fix your mortgage interest rates.

and thank you contact energy directors, for making the case for privatisation of essential infrastructure even stronger. the overseas shareholders have shown that they care not one whit about the welfare of nz'ers, and it's frustrating that we can do nothing about it. max bradford is responsible for much misery in this country because of his reforms, he should pay for the increase in contact directors' fees.


Deborah said...

I'm so sorry that has happened, Anjum.

Hmm... I'm seething about it, but I have just deleted some comments about the person who did it; I don't need to fill my head with thoughts like that, nor record them on your blog. So instead, I'm just offering my support, and my admiration for your courage.

Kia kaha!

stargazer said...

thanx deborah, i really appreciate it. as i say, it's pretty frustrating. there were plenty of other people there making a lot of noise, but i bet no-one wrote to their parents!

Anonymous said...

It does somewhat fill me with the urge to also write to your parents... "dear Stargazers Mum and Dad, you have an astonishingly wonderful daughter. Just in case you didn't already know. Love and hugs, Moz".

stargazer said...

thank you moz, that's so sweet. made my day!

Julie said...

Sorry I only just saw this, that is awful! Obviously someone very threatened by a talented and assertive woman who breaks their petty stereotypes. I know just how horrible it is when this stuff happens - even though you know rationally that they are wrong you still have this moment when your heart sinks and you doubt yourself. Or at least I do. I hope you didn't. Because you are fab and they are wrong.