Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Who is mainstream?

Russell Brown has written a good article about Brash's "clever, creepy" attempt to catergorise New Zealanders into "mainstream" and well, non mainstream.

I find it extraordinary that MP's who have in recent years supported the extension of rights to more New Zealanders have been accused of "social engineering", yet when the Leader of the Opposition in accordance with his own personal views, presumes to define who fits into the mainstream and who doesn't, this is somehow not.

These comments signal the start of what looks to be a pretty ugly, divisive election campaign in which National uses psychological hooks like the "mainstream" line to drive a wedge between New Zealanders for political gain. That's no better than Winston's trienial attack on immigants.

It's tough to counter this kind of garbage, but Labour's message will be to respond positively. We will be campaigning on a positive vision for the future of New Zealand in which everyone is treated with respect, and has a fair go.


Whaleoil said...

No worse than your lables of "rich", "greedy" etc that you use to get your policies across. Except i pity you guys right now, your policies seem to be changing rapidly or ceasing to exist in the face of some pressure in the polls.

Whaleoil said...

respond positively...my ass...look at this positive response from Michael Cullen
“That really is weasel word territory and anyone waiting for a hip operation, a cataract operation or cheaper doctors’ visits should be careful to read the fine print"

If that isn't scaremongering and negative WTF is.

spooks said...

"Mainstream" is anyone who wants to be. I am. And Labour has marginalised me.

Btw, it's "triennial" Are you a teacher?

spooks said...

'These comments signal the start of what looks to be a pretty ugly, divisive election campaign "

Nice strategy, announce your plan to have a dirty campaign, but make it sound like you are the victims, not the perpetrators. Labour's dirty campaign is already underway.

How is Brash's claiming to represent mainstream "dirty"? Tis you, who would turn this into something dirty. Tis you, Labour, who are the filthmongers.

And because you have a tendency to sidestep or misquote questions, I will repeat my question to avoid ambiguity.

How is Brash's claiming to represent mainstream "dirty"?

spooks said...

... ... especially considering "mainstream" is a term that was invented by Maori.

spooks said...

Just re-phrasing (and an excuse to re-emphasise) --

How is it "dirty" for Brash to claim that he represents Mainstream?

Too Right said...

Michael - look at your own mob before declaring a desire for a clean campaign. Senior Ministers Mallard and Goff are amongst the worst smearers. Here is the evidence

Too Right said...

It is social engineering when you remove socially accepted norms without mandate.

Again Michael you are in danger of throwing stones from within your glass house. Labour Ministers are very adept at using what you say are 'psychological hooks'.

michael wood said...

The reason that it is dirty divisive politics is because the "mainstream" label seeks to exclude whole groups of New Zealanders:

- gays
- maori
- presumably then other ethnic minorities like Pacific Islanders and Asians
- trade unionists
- and many others I am sure.

The "mainstream" label is about subtly saying that the above people are different to "us" and that "we" need to stick together to keep "them" out.

The problem is I suspect, that New Zealand is now so diverse, that Brash's "mainstream" is in itself probably a minority!

Labour seeks to govern in everyone's interests, National seeks to exclude those not in the fairytale "mainstream".

Sorry for the excessive use of quotation marks!

Whaleoil said...

Sorry, but you lefties really are S L O W.

Any smart person can see that it is possible to be "Mainstream" in somethings and "Radical" in others.

Case in point is Gays. No one would say that their sexual preference is mainstream. No one. yet they may be mainstream on economics, euthanasia, education etc.

Just because you are not mainstream in one area does not exclude you from the rest of sociaety as you lefties continue to keep banging on.

I mean left wing politics just 3 months ago could be considered mainstream, yet today it is clear from the polls that it is no longer.

Anonymous said...

People's views - on education, economics, euthanasia, etc - are beside this point.

The point is one of whether people are excluded or not from the mainstream by definition of what they are, not the views they hold.

A gay or lesbian might hold mainstream views in a society that vilified homosexuality - perhaps maintaining those views in an attempt to 'fit in' - but would suffer psychological damage from the self-denial involved. Many in fact did, and some still do. In such a society they are by definition not mainstream and cannot do much about.

I actually don't doubt Brash's essential liberalism on the sexual orientation matter. The problem is with the constituency he thinks is out there. On sexual orientation it's a minority. Most people have got beyond regarding homosexuality as wrong.

spooks said...

... ... but the term "mainstream" was given to us by Maori, because they wanted a PC term to describe non-Maori. This is a nonsense debate.

More important, Maori are represented in loads of parties. Maori have heaps of choice. They will end up with more representation than their proportion of population, because of our racist laws. Why should National be waste their efforts on people who are not going to vote for them. Any more than Labour caters for farmers. This debate is nuts, Mikey. Go back to politics school.

Anonymous said...

If the debate is indeed "nuts", then there is no meaning to the concept of the 'mainstream' and Brash's speech was just an empty platitude.

michael wood said...

Hold on Spooks.

The self-proclaimed basis for Brash's "mainstream" claptrap was that Labour was only catering to some groups that it hoped to get votes from.

Now you say that National should not "waste their efforts on people who are not going to vote for them".

Sounds like good old fashioned pork barrel politics to me!

spooks said...

Personally, I think that the choice of the word "mainstream" was unwise. I wouldn't have used it, but then I don't say "sign off on something" when I mean "sign something", and I never use "at the end of the day", and I even don't end my sentences with "so ... " (God, I must be old). But "mainstream" seems to be the fashion, so someone used it. Personally I'd have used the ACT term, and I would have referred to "ordinary Kiwis" rather than "mainstream".

Remember, Maori invented the current usage of "mainstream". I sense that anyone other than Maori who uses "their" term, takes their life in their hands.

A bit like dykes calling themselves dykes, but heaven help anyone else who does. Oops, I just did.

Anonymous said...

Dykes don't mind being called dykes by anyone in my experience.

And your thinking on the origins and usages of 'mainstream' is decidedly strange.

spooks said...

Then why do they parade themselves as "Dykes on Bikes"? Don't be so naive, and so contrary.

Anonymous said...

Some dykes like riding motorbikes and call themselves 'Dykes on Bikes', I suspect because it rhymes and is catchy....

And in no way does some dykes calling themselves 'dykes on bikes' equate to all dykes not liking being called dykes by non-dykes...really....

Whaleoil said...

Where is the outrage over Choudrey's utterances!!!!

HHHmmmm, waaiting!!!

Still Waiting.