The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

imagine

I know I'm a bit slow off the boat on this one, but better late than never.

I want to make it clear from the start that Don Brash has never said this, to the best of my knowledge. The words I have inserted are in italics, and the rest are quotes from Brash's now infamous "Mainstream" interview on NatRad in June.

But let's just imagine he had said the following:


Interviewer: No, I just want to pick up on something else here. You talked about the legal recognition of Jewish marriages. Does that mean you do not regard Jewish people as mainstream New Zealanders?

Brash: Well they're clearly not, they're a small minority of people, but let me be clear. I made it very clear in the debate on that issue that I thought this should be dealt with by referendum because it's a big change in the civil institutions of society. I also said that in the referendum I would vote for it because I have no problem with Jewish couples committing to live together faithfully as Chrisitan couples do.

Interviewer: You simply don't regard Jews as part of mainstream New Zealand?

Brash: Well they are clearly, by definition, a small minority of New Zealanders...



If Brash had said that, would it be up there with Tamihere's comments? So why is it different just because the group of people he slagged are identified on the basis of sexuality rather than religion?

Are people who marginalise others mainstream?

Good posts on this:
- Gay's Aren't Mainstream - Just Left
- Don Brash and the politics of division - No Right Turn

11 comments:

Nigel Kearney said...

If gay-straight is equivalent to jew-gentile then anyone who doesn't support same-sex marriage is the moral equivalent of an anti-semite.

Everyone who supported civil unions but not marriage is caught by your example. That includes Labour, not just Brash.

span said...

you are missing the point Nigel, it's not actually about civil unions, it's about attacking a group of people and casting them out from the mainstream. You can't do it to Jews (and nor should you be able to) but apparently you can do it to gays with impunity?

Phantasmagoric Political Junkie said...

Well said, Brash is a homophobe and should not be let anywhere near the government benches.

michael wood said...

Well, he's worse than that I think. Actually in his heart of hearts, I suspect that Brash is pretty tolerant of homosexuality - certainly this fits with many other public statements he has made, and his classical liberal beliefs.

The real disgrace then is that in spite of this, he chooses to marginalise homosexuals (and indeed anyone else who is a bit different) for crude political advantage. That is as cynical as you can get.

Asher said...

If Donny Boy is representative of mainstream Aotearoa (and sadly, I think he probably is), then I'm glad that I'm so far out of the mainstream.

peterquixote said...

dont be such a poofter, the word has a meaning but is not per se derogatory, i'm a fascist, not mainstream, so what

span said...

glad you wombled along pq, i was beginning to think the right had conveniently overlooked my post (beyond Nigel's wrong end of the stick comment). which word are you referring to? or is it The Word? explanations of quizzical comments are always welcome :-)

Joel said...

I think minority has taken on a bad image.

Minority is less than majority. Therefore I don't actually see what is wrong with what Brash said.

span said...

it's not really the minority label that causes offence, it's the exclusion from the "mainstream". there are gay (and jewish) people in all walks of life, with all kinds of lifestyles - the only thing they have in common is that their sexuality (or religion) and is that really enough to cast them out of the mainstream, with all the perjorative (sp?) meanings that go with that?

peterquixote said...

you are still being a poofter spanner, and you cant be a spanner and a poofter, 'mainstream' just beens ordinary average, it doesn't have a derogatory meaning as such, for instance it is 1939, and i am in the nazi party, so i am mainstream politics. now it is 2005 NZ i am still a fscist but not really 'mainstream' ; now once you get to limit the terms of reference to religion me being a jew is not mainstream [ religion implied] and so on and so on,
but the whole thing does show thre don is in trouble and i think helen will knock him around on tv, and i think i go away and have a cry for a while,now,

span said...

so by your definition of mainstream pq it must be women, who are straight, and white, who earn under $60,000 a year. not exactly National's core vote...