Sunday, February 15, 2009

What Paula Bennett needs

... is a pair of ear muffs.

I don't imagine that Bennett will, for one second, consider taking advice from the commentators at Farrar site or from Cactus Kate herself. Parenting's bloody hard without having to worry about the press or wannabes.

As for Holmes's comments, well he probably means well and has some experience to call on however he could at least have made his comments in private. Surely he'd realise public speculation and debate doesn't help. Moreover, what works for one kid might not work for another.

My recollections of Paula from student politics are pretty limited - I was leaving as she was entering (I think), but she struck me as a smart woman who'd seen enough life to navigate it herself. I'm sure she'll manage without the 'advice' from David's regulars and Kate.

17 comments:

Giovanni said...

I'll be interested to see how this plays out - aside from the predictable reactions of Farrar et al., Bennett will have to deal from pressure from within her own party. Key pretty much hung her up to dry, I thought.

David Farrar said...

Paul - you should try reading what I said before you attack me.

The main point of my post was the same as yours - that Paula and Ana have difficult decisions to make, and that they should not have to make them in public glare. I also (like you) said Holmes should have done his advice in private.

At no time did I offer Paula advice as to what to do. In fact I specifically stated "But what do I personally think? Well I think it is a decision for Paula and Ana to be made in private".

So you bitchy little line about how she will manage without advice from me, is pretty pathetic as I never gave her any advice. In fact the one constant theme throughout all my posts on this has been that I do not think this should be a public issue.

backin15 said...

David, I've gone back to read your post and I understand but don't completely agree your point. I think you're partly perpetuating this story and also enabling lots of aresholes who're barely out of high school to pass judgment on the parenting of Bennett. That said, the post that most annoyed me wasn't yours, it was Kate's. Kate's got a little thing going on, it works for her, I think it's pretty inane. Usually she keeps to the trivial issues that preoccupy idiots but on this, a matter about which she's clearly ignorant in and inexperienced, she's gone on as she always does confusing the vitriolic interest of a handful of malcontents for genuine demand for her views. That's deluded.

David Farrar said...

Paul - do you think I want idiots passing moral judgements on Paula and Ana? Of course not - it pisses me off strongly.

But there is an expectation I cover political stories. If I ignore a story that the media has, then people accuse me of only going with stories that are good for National.

backin15 said...

David, what you choose to cover and how is your business. You can't be surprised that I think you cover some issues best left alone. Neither can you be unaware that there's a huge number of misogynists who flock to any and every post that gives them license to rebuke women. On re-reading your post, I agree you've made clear your views which are not so different from mine. The difference however, is that you (a) linked to Kate's ill-informed ramble and (b) only admonished commentators when one finally called Bennett a slut.

David, you're successful doing what you're doing. Many of your posts are interesting but some predictably invite your regulars to intolerance, abuse and obscenity. I don't think you'd lose much by avoiding the issues where little constructive comment is likely

David Farrar said...

Paul again you are wrong. I did not link to Cactus Kate's post on it.

And secondly I don't read all the comments I only saw that one because someone responded to it. You can not assume a lack of action means approval. If people think a comment goes too far, I have made it clear they should e-mail me.

Thirdly I don't want to self censor me posting my views on an issue, because of what other people may say. That is a slippery slope where I let them decide what I can or can not post a view on.

backin15 said...

David, I'm not wrong. You mightn't have linked in the post on Bennett but your side bar linked to it along with the usual links to the Whaleoil and NRT posts-of-the-moment. You like her stuff, that's fine. I've since amended my post to make clear my objection's are to her piece and comments on your blog.

It was actually her post that first caught my eye. I don't visit her site, I'm not interested in the height of high heels, but was interested to see what a female blogger on the right might say. I was surprised.

Two things. Firstly, you needn't read each and every comment on your blog to know that some posts attract a particular kind of comment. It's your call how you manage it. I think it can and does reflect poorly on you. Secondly, on the issue of self-censorship, most people do it most of the time. If I'm in company I don't know, I'm initially cautious about what I say. If I'm in company I know have views irreconcilable with my own, I don't tend to bother introducing topics that'll simply lead to an impasse. If I am, however, interested to test and explore ideas, I'll happily (enthusiastically) introduce contentious ideas albeit in a respectful way. I don't think many of your regulars want to be tested or challenged or learn or understand. The want only to voice the ignorance and be validated for it. I'm not making you responsible for that, but it IS predictable.

David Farrar said...

I think we are close to the agree to disagree stage, which is fine of course.

The link you refer to is one automatically generated - whatever the latest post is from that blog, appears in the sidebar. That is very different to me deciding to place a link to a post.

backin15 said...

Fair point.

As I previously said, I've amended the post to make clear that it's Kate and your commenters that I think could STFU. I still do. I think giving anyone parenting advice is the preserve of friends and family and experts and should be done constructively and privately.

David Farrar said...

On this we are in total agreement. Also it is unfortunate that when the boyfriend does come out of jail, he will be under massive scrutiny purely because of who his GF's mum is, and such scrutiny may reduce his chances of turning his life around.

And I did appreciate the change to the main post.

backin15 said...

Indeed. Everything I've read about the young man suggests he's got a lot to learn, immense media interest won't help.

I appreciate your comments too. I was clumsy and am glad to have been able to correct the post.

Giovanni said...

So you bitchy little line about how she will manage without advice from me, is pretty pathetic as I never gave her any advice. In fact the one constant theme throughout all my posts on this has been that I do not think this should be a public issue.

Therefore you blog about it? Besides, if you write a post about how we shouldn't judge Paula and Ana then your always reliably bigoted community does just that, I'd have to question to what extent you can distance yourself from your readers without being disingenous. Doesn't Kiwiblog's position become something other than what the David Farrar's post might have advocated? The same goes for the sidebar links, to be honest: we are the company we keep with, to a not insignificant extent. You may think that what you are running is an open, democratic community, and it may true to an extent, but you're also effectively publishing people who otherwise couldn't spout their various prejudices to such a wide audience.

backin15 said...

Fanning the flames Gio? I don't disagree with what you've said, it's entirely consistent with my earliest comments to David. He is right however in saying he's been pretty consistent in his own comments but I agree your criticism; predicting the commenters views is as obvious as English football is boring.

Giovanni said...

Sorry, yes, it could be construed as fanning I guess. I just happen to think your original point was entirely valid, is all.

backin15 said...

I'm not going to argue with that. I could have been more precise, and so I'm prepared to acknowledge David's point regarding his own views. That said, I remain unclear about what responsibility he has for the discussion. I've taken this point up with him previously and we may simply disagree. My questions is why would you repeatedly post on issues about which you know there's an inevitable mysogynistic reaction?

Giovanni said...

Not sure that that's where the problem lies. There is an inevitable mysoginistic reaction whenever somebody writes something on a feminist blog as well. The point is how you manage the discussion, and I think as the owner/author of the posts up for debate on a forum it is incumbent upon you to do so. Otherwise just opening the floodgates, like not just DPF but also our major NZ newspapers do in the respective Your Views sections, could be construed as a democratic move, but inevitably devolves into a pretty disgusting free-for-all of the most bigoted and prejudiced ideas. I happen to think that the relationship between the content proper and those discussions is very problematic, and am disturbed by the airing and promotion to the national stage of those particular ideas.

backin15 said...

David's excuse on his 'management' responsibilities relates to the volume of posts. I wonder if he'd be so lax were it an issue about the National Party leadership?

There's a rather well regarded Australian QC who works mostly in the UK now by the name of Geoffry Robertson. He's a strong advocate of free speech arguing that when people are unrestrained in their racist, sexist or otherwise bigotted views their ugliness is very plain. It's when they're forced into some restraint they're more dangerous.

The problem with Farrar's blog then is that the commenters are largely anonymous (even if many of the crazier ones are known to many).

Going back to me earlier point, you have to wonder why David bothers with some posts. I've always thought it's the traffic they generate however sometimes I wonder if David wants that stuff said (though not in this case).