Shearer on homophobes and Labour

February 18th, 2013 at 8:05 pm by David Farrar

Pete George blogs audio from David Shearer on bFM:

Zac: Is there room for MPs with homophobic views in the Party?

Shearer: Oh look yes, absolutely, there are some, when I say homophobic I don’t think we’ve got any homophobes there, but, there are some people who don’t agree with, ah, um, unsection (?) marriage,  you mean you know,a  marriage between two, two people of the same sex, um, that’s ah, that’s not ah a a majority but um look you know at the same time as we, you know we’ve been at the forefront of these things, we’ve also had people who didn’t agree with it, there’s plenty of room for them as well.

I’m not sure starting your answer with “oh yes absolutely” in answer to whether homophobes are welcome in Labour will go down well with Labour MPs and activists.

As for the rest of the answer, I’m still not sure what it means.

Audio is here.

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98 Responses to “Shearer on homophobes and Labour”

  1. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    Zac: Is there room for MPs with anti-Muslim views in the Labour Party?

    Shearer: Oh look yes, absolutely, there are some, when I say anti-Muslims I don’t think we’ve got any anti-Muslims there, but, there are some people who… Etc.

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  2. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    Jimmy – further on in the interview he said that he would have stood anyone down from ‘his’ party who said anything like Prosser, until they had time to reflect on the repercussions of what they had said. He seems most concerned with inciting.

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  3. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    My god, that transcript is not kind. You can kind of understand the point he is trying to make but it would be nice if he were articulate enough to make it in one sentence with no ‘umm’s and ‘you know’s…

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  4. duggledog (1,353 comments) says:

    Yeah watch out for bFM when you are leader of the opposition. Keep your guard up.

    Remember when Noelle McCarthy fucked up Don Brash over the Brethren? Game over. This won’t be though, just another hole below the water line!

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  5. Yvette (2,690 comments) says:

    The answer, Shearer, was “No”
    Labour is the Gay Party

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  6. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    Lordy; I used to think that Parekura Horomia spoke gobbledegook as his first language, but David Shearer leaves him for dead. Imagine him coming and knocking on your door during an election campaign; he’d be on the doorstep for half an hour before he’d told you who he was :D

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  7. Andrei (2,500 comments) says:

    “Homophobic” and “Bigot” are two words that have no place in political discourse.

    Because someone believes “gay marriage” is wrong does not make them either “Homophobic” nor a “Bigot”.

    But so determined are the underminers of civil society to ram this thing down the people throats these word are flung about to intimidate the likely opposition into silence – with great success I might add.

    It is also perfectly valid to criticize the lifestyles of others and this is not infrequently seen on this blog when it comes to beneficiaries upon whom it is always open season, justly or unjustly as this may be.

    Giving any group Politically Correct cover and sheilding them from criticism is the highway to hell and you take it at your peril.

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  8. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    Most of the interview is a confused and confusing ramble. An interview on student radio must be one of the least pressured forums to speak. They were easy questions on topics Labour should be strong on. It’s really quite embarrassing, I feel sorry for Shearer to an extent but hell, he’s put himself in that position and fought to hold it.

    We can’t have a speaker like that representing the country.

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  9. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    Labour had a bigger homophone MP in their party than any of the bloggers on Kiwiblog. I cannot recall any blogger here who said he or she thought it acceptable for homosexuals to be executed because they were homosexual anywhere in the world.

    Labour had such an MP and he refused to retract let alone apologize for his comment. Does Shearer think he would have handled it differently than Clark?

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  10. wat dabney (3,671 comments) says:

    Poor Shearer. The price of having no integrity.

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  11. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    Colin Craig is a far better speaker than Shearer. You might not agree with what he says but he does not have to stop and think when you ask a simple question.

    The average talk back caller would not um and ah like Shearer.

    I must have a look at ipredict to see what the odds are for Shearer leading the party into the election.

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  12. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    In fairness to Shearer it was a completely loaded question. The better thing for him to do would have been for him to reject the premise that opposing the new conception of marriage is something called ‘homophobia’ – see, for example, the Associated Press’s sensible decision to remove the word from it’s style guide: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/334342/phobic-no-more-charles-c-w-cooke

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  13. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Im outraged, Im insulted, Im…Im….. speachless…

    …..that Labour has room for homophobe

    (can someone tell me what the hell a homophobe is please)

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  14. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    Well, Shearer’s clarity could be worse.

    Not much worse, but it could be….

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  15. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    Cato, loaded question or not any party leader (or MP) should be able to handle a questionn like that, and they should sound at least semi articulate through the interview.

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  16. AJChesswas (2 comments) says:

    Shows how stupid the word is

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  17. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “The better thing for him to do would have been for him to reject the premise”

    Politicians very seldom do this but questions from progressive media stooges are frequently outrageously falsely premised. As the question in this case clearly is.

    If it was me, I would just say “that question is utter crap and based upon a completely false premise”.

    What’s so hard about that sort of response?

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  18. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Oh dear I agree with Andrei on a point aaaaaaaaaahh.

    Because someone believes “gay marriage” is wrong does not make them either “Homophobic” nor a “Bigot”.

    Couldn’t agree more, we all have things and people that we don’t like, but what gets on my tits majorly is-because I have no problem with same-sex marriage I am perceived as a undoer of societies fabric. Many decry my view in the most vocal terms, which I can dig but when they make shit up just to try to give their view merit which it previously lacked I think is sad, and does them as commentators no good at all,

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  19. Daigotsu (450 comments) says:

    There you have it, Labour is the party for homophobes

    Thankfully homosexuals have National to protect their rights

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  20. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    Speaking as a worker like, who’s ancestors fought for the rights of t’workers down pit. I’m glad to see that the modern workers party bears nowt in the way of prejudice against them bloody poofters lad! :)

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  21. swan (659 comments) says:

    I’m starting to like Shearer – that is comedy gold!

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  22. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “Thankfully homosexuals have National to protect their rights”

    I dunno. There are some terrible homophobes in National.

    Take that Chris Finlayson for example. A complete bigot and totally against “gay marriage.”

    Some one should take him aside and tell him to get his thinking up to date and in line with popular opinion.

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  23. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    homophobe

    homo = Homo is the genus of great apes that includes modern humans and species closely related to them. The genus is estimated to be about 2.3 to 2.4 million years old, possibly having evolved from australopithecine …

    homosapiens = Humans . are primates of the family Hominidae

    phobe = Used to form nouns denoting a person having a fear of a specific thing.

    so homophobe = person having a fear of homos = ie: person having a fear of the genus of great apes

    so now I know what it means.

    I shouldnt think there is room for a homophobe in any political party – except perhaps the nazis.

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  24. greenjacket (416 comments) says:

    That transcript is brutal.
    I’d give this stuttering idiot another 6 months before he is replaced by Robertson.

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  25. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “before he is replaced by Robertson.”

    Gee really?

    Hope Robinson isn’t one of those homophobes.

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  26. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    homophobe
    1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
    2. Behavior based on such a feeling.

    (Free Dictionary)

    There’s some interesting meaniings of homophobe at Urban Dictionary:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=homophobe

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  27. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    Its a made up word commonly used by charlatans or belly crawling PC cowards to attack legitimate dissent by means of denigrating and labelling those with counter views as outliers and or insane.

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  28. Andrei (2,500 comments) says:

    Pete George’s link gives this

    homophobe
    Noun,

    Offensive Slur.

    1. Non-medical, non-scientific pejorative term used to demean and ridicule anyone who disagrees with or disapproves of aberrant, deviant, or unnatural pseudo sexual behavior, conduct or practices, i.e., aberrosexualism, bisexualism, homosexualism, lesbianism, sadomasochism, zoophilism, etc.

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  29. RF (1,271 comments) says:

    This plonker is pure gold and a gift for National. Long may he remain the leader of the Opposition.

    I can see the Labour tribe banging their heads on desk tops when their leader tries to speak.

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  30. chiz (1,119 comments) says:

    The definition that Andrei cites is clearly written by a homophobe, as becomes clear near the end, which Andrei doesn’t cite:

    Homosexuals, however, are considered by many doctors and scientists as suffering from real psycho-sexual disorders requiring treatment and/or therapy. The DSM recognized that homosexuals suffer from psycho-sexual disorders until 1973 when homosexualism was arbitrarily censored from the DSM due to the irrational fears and coercive pressures of Aberrosexualist groups, and not due to any clinical studies or medical research.

    which isn’t remotely accurate. The bit that Andrei cites:

    Non-medical, non-scientific pejorative term used to demean and ridicule anyone who disagrees [...]

    is also wrong since homophobia is in fact a scientific term, and can be measured on homophobia scales. A search on Pubmed produces nearly 600 hits.

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  31. JC (909 comments) says:

    Poor old Shearer. Of course he has to say “absolutely”.. how else to explain Trevor Mallard and the “Tinkerbell” comments, Prassad and its OK to behead homos if its a cultural thing and the many other snide comments from the Labour caucas about a National homo Minister.

    But on the other hand he has to suck up to an extraordinarily high number of Labour MPs who are homos.

    Add in the other former Labour minister and his “gaggle of gays” and Tamahere’s “front bums” and its no wonder Shearer is incoherent.. in porn parlance he’s getting it from both ends.

    JC

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  32. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (786 comments) says:

    Remember folks – This man will blast off Key in the Television debates and will be PM in 2014. So show some respect. He is back from leave – charged and refreshed and even the wily David Cunliffe couldn’t do a damn about Shearer…..he is a man of steel Tory bros.

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  33. chiz (1,119 comments) says:

    For example, from 1998:

    Cognitive inhibition in individuals prone to homophobia.
    Ferraro FR, Dukart A.

    Dept. Psychology, Univ. North Dakota.

    Individuals scoring either High, Medium, or Low on the Homosexism Short-Form scale (Hansen, 1982) made speeded decisions to neutral (N), mildly provocative (MP), or very provocative (VP) statements regarding issues relating to homophobia. These three groups did not differ on age, education, reading rate, or vocabulary ability. It was predicted that individuals High in homophobia would produce faster reaction times to the VP sentences than those individuals scoring Medium or Low in homophobia. Results indicated the opposite pattern. Individuals scoring High in homophobia actually had slower reaction times to VP sentences than did either the Medium or Low homophobia individuals. Results are discussed within an inhibitory framework related to the High homophobia individuals’ overall homophobia schema.

    and from 1997:

    Personality correlates of homophobia.
    Johnson ME, Brems C, Alford-Keating P.

    University of Alaska Anchorage, USA.

    This study explored the relationship between homophobia and several personality traits (empathy, religiosity, and coping style) in the context of respondents’ gender and age. The sample consisted of 714 college students who responded to the Homophobia Attitude Scale (HAS) and personality trait scales. Results revealed that women endorsed fewer homophobic attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors than men and that age was negatively correlated with homophobia. Empathic concern and perspective taking were significantly correlated with lower overall homophobic attitudes, less affect discomfort in regard to gays, and less likelihood to abridge the human rights of gays. Religiosity was significantly correlated with more biased beliefs about the origins of homophobia, greater affective discomfort around gays, less endorsement of human rights for gays, and greater homophobia. Use of denial and isolation as coping styles were positively related to homophobia and use of turning against style was negatively correlated.

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  34. chiz (1,119 comments) says:

    Then, of course, there is this famous study:

    J Abnorm Psychol. 1996 Aug;105(3):440-5.
    Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?
    Adams HE, Wright LW Jr, Lohr BA.

    Department of Psychology, University of Georgia.

    The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

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  35. Right of way is Way of Right (1,129 comments) says:

    If you never stand against anything, you can never stand for something.

    It’s bloody unfortunate that we now have two political parties intent on straddling the middle of the road in order to not offend anyone about anything. The terrible thing about standing in the middle of the road though, is that you stand a bloody good chance of being hit by traffic flowing in either direction.

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  36. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    That’s just a brilliant quote. I am sure you could make it into a competition

    Zac: Is there room for MPs with racist views in the Labour Party?
    Shearer: Oh look yes, absolutely, there are some, when I say racist I don’t think we’ve got any racist there, but,….

    Zac: Is there room for MPs with idiotic views in the Labour Party?
    Shearer: Oh look yes, absolutely, there are some, when I say idiotic I don’t think we’ve got any idiots there, but,….

    Zac: Is there room for MPs with alien views in the Labour Party?
    Shearer: Oh look yes, absolutely, there are some, when I say alien I don’t think we’ve got any aliens there, but,….

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  37. kowtow (7,616 comments) says:

    Labour is the party of “homophobes”.

    It’s the sisters’ party and they hate men.

    Even the girly men of New Labour hate men. They’re all supposedly about “equality” which is code for advancing the interests of all groups ,other than that of white heterosexual males.

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  38. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Everyone here should read the link at Cato’s post at 8.38…the best demolition I have ever read of this stupid invented word which makes anyone – like me – who doesn’t much like the thought of guys having it off with 10 other guys in a bar toilet during a jolly evening out a person suffering from a mental illness….

    And no, I don’t give a rats that they do it….just dont call me mentally ill for not liking it very much….

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  39. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (1,996) Says:
    February 18th, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Its a made up word commonly used by charlatans or belly crawling PC cowards to attack legitimate dissent by means of denigrating and labelling those with counter views as outliers and or insane.

    Legitimate dissent? In a free society is there another kind?

    But what is with conservatives these days? Have they always been this precious? They get called a name and suddenly their very right to have an opinion is under attack. You guys talk of being silenced while you all rave on and on and on and on…

    Also I love “it’s a made up word”… y’know as opposed to those words ordained by god.

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  40. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,216) Says:
    February 18th, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Everyone here should read the link at Cato’s post at 8.38…the best demolition I have ever read of this stupid invented word which makes anyone – like me – who doesn’t much like the thought of guys having it off with 10 other guys in a bar toilet during a jolly evening out a person suffering from a mental illness….

    And no, I don’t give a rats that they do it….just dont call me mentally ill for not liking it very much….

    If you don’t like the thought of it stop picturing 10 guys having a jolly evening :)

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  41. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    When you get through the ums, ahs, and general bumbling along, it looks like what David Shearer was trying to say was that they have some MPs in the Labour Party who don’t agree with same-sex marriage, and the Labour Party has room to cope with MPs who have differing viewpoints. He got tripped up by the loaded “homophobe” label – although I agree with all those who have said that the leader of the main opposition party who might just be out next Prime Minister should be able to cope with those loaded questions.

    But at the end of the day, if all he was trying to say was that the Labour Party has MPs who don’t necessarily agree with same-sex marriage, and there’s room for them there – what’s the problem? Most parties have MPs that have differing opinions on various matters, why should Labour be any different?

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  42. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    But at the end of the day, if all he was trying to say was that the Labour Party has MPs who don’t necessarily agree with same-sex marriage, and there’s room for them there – what’s the problem?

    If you remove the opening “Oh look yes, absolutely, there are some,” then there could be no problem the gist of the rest.

    But…

    How do we know what he actually means? We can’t just pick the bits out that we think could be sensible and ignore the rest.

    A leader of a party that could go on to become Prime Minister should be reasonably coherent. Shearer shows right through that interview that he can’t speak clearly. He sounds like he has no idea what he’s talking about. A leader should at least sound lucid and confident. After fifteen months as leader Shearer should be far far better than this, but there is no sign of improvement.

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  43. markm (98 comments) says:

    Graham

    You shouldnt have to interpret what the potential leader of this country means when he makes an unforced off the cuff speech.
    Simple .

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  44. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    Now we as a society are rightly concerned about child sexual abuse.

    But in NZ today, at KB, in National, in Labour, if you do that, that is, stand up for the welfare of children – you’re a homophobe! :cool:

    We should be doing all we can to promote and protect the institutions of marriage and family. Why? Because research shows that the safest place for a child to be, is with his or her biological mother and father.

    A Finnish study of nearly 4,000 ninth-grade girls found that “stepfather-daughter incest was about 15 times as common as father-daughter incest”.

    As one American family expert summarises, “a child is sexually safer with her father than with any other man, from a stepfather to her mother’s boyfriend to guys in the neighborhood. She is also safer with a father than without one. A child in a fatherless home faces a significantly higher risk of sexual abuse.”

    Now are there exceptions to the above evidence? Of course. But exceptions do not make the rule.
    There are abusive biological parents, just as there are three-pack-a-day smokers who live to be a hundred. But we should not base public policy on such exceptions.

    So the general rule is this:

    If we -and Labour- are so concerned about the safety and well-being of children, then we should do all we can to shore up marriage and family. Support for families must be our highest priority. Government policy must focus on delivering support to children through their families, not apart from families.

    It is a loving family, not a faceless bureaucrat, that can best look after our children.

    Amen to that. :cool:

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  45. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    The gay lobby has captured the debate on same-sex marriage. Even if you have perfectly legitimate concerns about the legislation currently before the select committee, you are instantly labelled homophobic because you dare to express those concerns, or express your beliefs. Whatever happened to the right to hold an opinion?

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  46. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    KS – the name calling is not universal but neither is it one sided. It’s just the nature of some of the online debating world.

    For example last night on Whale Oil someone posted:

    If you want to immigrate, you should assimilate into the local culture. That means leaving your bigotry and fanaticism behind.

    I said “we don’t want to have it clashing with the bigotry and fanaticism that’s already here, do we” and had this thrown at me:

    Take your rose tinted glasses off pete..maybe in your liberal lesbo homo loving terrorist cuddling world everything is all good..

    Being called a homophobe is relatively mild.

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  47. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Pete George at 4:07 am.

    How do we know what he actually means? We can’t just pick the bits out that we think could be sensible and ignore the rest.

    Funnily enough, I think we’ve been here before, you and I Pete. On the infamous post “The nature of bigotry”, we all agreed that Russel Norman moved a motion that -

    … this House affirm that all New Zealanders regardless of their religious faith or ethnicity should be treated equally before the law, and that the rights and dignity of all people—in particular, of Muslims—should be upheld …

    Some people started wondering just what that meant, and did Russel Norman wish to give special attention to Muslim rights. You pooh-poohed that idea, writing at 4:32 pm -

    As far as I’m aware that motion has no effect other than making a statement, and Parliament seems to have seen fit to balance the inflammatory statements made by one if it’s MPs. That’s all as far as I can see.

    Which is it, Pete? Do we pick out the bits that “we think could be sensible and ignore the rest”, or not?

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  48. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    Warning bells were sounded about Shearer’s difficulties with speaking during Labour’s leadership rounds following the election – and that was from within Labour’s ranks at The standard, for example:

    “Haven’t heard Shearer speak with authority once. God help Labour in Parliament in February. The Greens and Winston will overshadow Shearer for sure!”

    “We have just lost an election with our biggest defeat because the leader couldn’t communicate so what do they do put in a Bumbling administrator.”

    And Brian Edwards:

    Shearer has had nearly three years to demonstrate his skill as a debater and about a fortnight to provide some evidence of competence in handling the media. He has done neither. His television appearances have bordered on the embarrassing.

    That was fourteen months ago.

    The only surprise is that Shearer doesn’t seem to have improved at all. Shearer – communication breakdown.

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  49. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Anyway, I go back to my original statement.

    I do agree that this is a bad look for David Shearer, not so much in what he said (for, “as far as I’m aware” – (c) Pete George – it looks like what David Shearer was trying to say was that they have some MPs in the Labour Party who don’t agree with same-sex marriage, and the Labour Party has room to cope with MPs who have differing viewpoints) but in how he said it. Someone who bumbles, ums and ers his way through an interview, and gets tripped up by a loaded question such as this, will embarrass us on the world stage. We need better from someone who might just be our next Prime Minister.

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  50. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    graham, I think you’re picking bits out of that motion, more than is justified.

    Norman highlighted Muslim rights needing to be”treated equally before the law”. Note the word ‘equally’ – that suggets the same rights, not any special rights.

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  51. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Fine, Pete.

    In that case, I think you’re doing exactly the same on your blog at http://yournz.org/2013/02/18/shearer-absolutely-theres-room-for-mps-with-homophobic-views-in-labour/ where you say:

    It seems as if Shearer is saying there is ‘absolutely’ room in Labour for homophobes, although he appears to not be sure if there are any.

    Seriously, if you can’t get through that sentence and work out that he started talking before engaging brain, then quickly caught himself, you’re not as intelligent as I thought you were. Either that or you’re being deliberately pedantic in order to suit your own agenda.

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  52. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    re your 7:09 post – I’ll take note of the word ‘equally’ if you take note of the phrase “in particular, of Muslims”.

    Just how pedantic do you want to get here?

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  53. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    You’re at odds with yourself graham. On one hand you’re reading something into “in particular, of Muslims” that isn’t there, but on the other hand excusing what Shearer said when you say he was “talking before engaging brain”.

    Seems to be one standard for Norman, and a different one for Shearer.

    But there’s no point in repeating this argument, you seem intent on thinking Muslims were given something more than a special mention.

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  54. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    The reason the Key government can continue to make political blunders,

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  55. Colville (2,079 comments) says:

    I cannot believe I have just read thru 64 freaking comments and no one has called the leader of the opposition by his correct name!!

    Captian Mumblefuck!

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  56. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Colin Craig is a far better speaker than Shearer.

    So is Robert Mugabe. Can you spot the flaw in your logic?

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  57. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    * Sigh *. You really don’t get it, Pete.

    Forget the whole Muslim thing for a minute, you seem to be rather fixated on it. The point is that YOU are trying to read something into David Shearer’s comments that just … isn’t … there. He was asked, “Is there room for MPs with homophobic views in the Labour Party?” Go past the first seven words, and you get to “when I say homophobic I don’t think we’ve got any homophobes there, but, there are some people who don’t agree with mumble mumble mumble a marriage between two, two people of the same sex …”

    Honestly, it’s not that difficult to work out what he was saying. Especially if you have taken notice of what he’s said in the past. We KNOW there are people in the Labour Party who are against gay marriage (Su’a William Sio being one obvious example), but that doesn’t make them homophobic, nor does it mean that David Shearer believes there is room for homophobes in Labour. It means there is room in Labour for differeing viewpoints.

    Do you not think there is room in a political party for differing viewpoints, Pete?

    YOU are at odds with yourself, Pete. To paraphrase you, on one hand you’re reading something into Shearer’s first few inept stumbling words – even though we all KNOW just how prone he is to stumbling – but on the other hand excusing Russel Norman.

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  58. Keeping Stock (10,100 comments) says:

    @ Pete George (6.57am) – I disagree. I have found that there is almost a bullying tone from supporters of same-sex marriage; it’s almost an attitude of “but you HAVE TO agree with us”. The fact that some people have truly held beliefs and are being bullied when they express them, even at select committee hearings is disturbing.

    And for the record, I’m still to make up my mind on the issue. As a Christian, I acknowledge what the Bible says about sexual issues in general. But I also have a close family member who came out more than 40 years ago; long before it became fashionable. That leaves me conflicted. The attitude of many of those supporting same-sex marriage, and the guilt trips that they try to apply to people who cannot or will not follow their reasoning runs the risk of actually hardening public opinion rather than softening it.

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  59. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    Seriously, if you can’t get through that sentence and work out that he started talking before engaging brain, then quickly caught himself,

    I have no doubt, that was the case.
    However that is precisely the problem.

    When you are leader of the opposition and your preferred PM rating is at 15% and your party is at 33% you need to engage your brain at all times. Especially before talking.

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  60. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    The answer is simple: Shearer should be questioning the premise behind the question, but his party’s current politics depends on that premise not being questioned.

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  61. Pete George (22,809 comments) says:

    I have found that there is almost a bullying tone from supporters of same-sex marriage

    I’ve seen that too. I’ve also seen similar from opponents.

    The attitude of some of those opposing same-sex marriage…

    …and the guilt trips that they try to apply to people who cannot or will not follow their reasoning runs the risk of actually hardening public opinion rather than softening it.

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  62. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    The guts of it is that Shearer was treated as if he was David Lange – in parliament for five minutes, then elected leader. Politicians like Lange – huge intellect, brilliant orators – come along once in a generation or so. Shearer is no David Lange. Sadly for them, he is not even a Bill Rowling.

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  63. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Lange huge intellect? great orator yes , gutless yes, huge intellect, no. with out douglas and others he was very ordinary

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  64. ChardonnayGuy (1,133 comments) says:

    Problem is, religious social conservatives tend to have shot themselves in the foot in Labour’s caucus during the past. They’re widely perceived as being of dubious loyalty, calving off to the likes of New Zealand First at the earliest possible opportunity, or the early incarnation of United, or Taito Philip Field’s abortive Pacific Party non-starter. And note, if you will, that Colin Craig is attacking Key once more…

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  65. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “I’ve seen that too. I’ve also seen similar from opponents.”

    Of course you have.

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  66. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    graham (1,640) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 8:31 am

    It means there is room in Labour for differeing viewpoints.

    Do you not think there is room in a political party for differing viewpoints, Pete?

    There is always a limit to how widely MPs viewpoints can differ. Is it tolerable to have a member support rape? or incest? or racism? Surely these things wouldn’t be tolerated in Labour and they shouldn’t be.

    What this interview shows to me is that David Shearer lacks backbone. If he truly believes gay marriage, and other homosexual issues, constitute a civil rights issue, just as racism has in the past, then he should pick up his balls and make it clear that this is the belief of Labour and dissent isn’t allowed. How is any other Labour party member going to challenge him on this point?

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  67. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    then he should pick up his balls and make it clear that this is the belief of Labour

    Would be nice if he did that with other issues as well.

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  68. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    You mean speak like Richard Prosser?

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  69. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Weihana:

    Is it tolerable to have a member support rape? or incest? or racism? Surely these things wouldn’t be tolerated in Labour and they shouldn’t be.

    I would like to think that most people would take that as a given, Weihana. I think the majority of people can see the difference between having different viewpoints on issues that are discussed over the dinner table and at parties, and having different viewpoints on illegal or extreme activities.

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  70. James Stephenson (2,024 comments) says:

    (can someone tell me what the hell a homophobe is please)

    Now, let’s see, homophones are two words which sound the same but have different meanings, so I guess homophobes are two different people who share the same fear?

    Like, if you and your missus are both scared of spiders, you’re homophobes :D

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  71. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (2,005) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 10:47 am
    You mean speak like Richard Prosser?

    You mean retract and apologise when you say something stupid?

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  72. ChardonnayGuy (1,133 comments) says:

    But Eszett, if reddy did that, gravity would take umbrage and he’d vanish into a black hole of his own manufacture through indefinite retraction :)

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  73. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “You mean retract and apologise when you say something stupid?”

    No, I mean the disgusting cultural tyranny of you progressives.

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  74. kowtow (7,616 comments) says:

    The only “huge ” that could be applied to Lange was his girth.

    And talking of pussy whipped Labour men ,he’s a great example.Arguably his adulterous relationship with Pope,and concessions to the sisterhood of Labour destroyed this countrys’ relationship with two important allies.The damage remains to this day and is embedded in the media/academia discourse. National are shit scared to put it right.

    The constant reference by our lefty media to his Oxford Union debate is pathetic.

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  75. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    graham (1,641) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Weihana:

    Is it tolerable to have a member support rape? or incest? or racism? Surely these things wouldn’t be tolerated in Labour and they shouldn’t be.

    I would like to think that most people would take that as a given, Weihana. I think the majority of people can see the difference between having different viewpoints on issues that are discussed over the dinner table and at parties, and having different viewpoints on illegal or extreme activities.

    But what is, or should be, illegal or extreme is itself subjective and depending on your political preference you will find different things extreme or intolerable. A political party is a vehicle for a particular brand of advocacy it is not an open forum for philosophical discussion, it isn’t even an open forum for “dinner table” discussion. Arguably if an issue is considered a matter of fundamental human rights then dissent on that issue within the party should be intolerable and MPs should be brought into line if they deviate on that issue.

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  76. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    scrubone (1,954) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    The answer is simple: Shearer should be questioning the premise behind the question…

    He’s leader of the Labour Party, not leader of nut-job-conservative-happy-clappy-Christian Party. The question was not loaded, the premise was in line with the party’s political rhetoric, the question was straightforward it should have been given a straightforward response.

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  77. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Yesss … I think we’re getting a little pedantic here, Weihana.

    Rape is illegal.
    Incest is illegal.
    Racism is widely accepted as being totally inappropriate.

    I don’t think there’s any great need to endlessly debate those issues. If you think there’s a potential problem with whether these issues are considered acceptable or not, then I suggest you go out and poll 100 random people on them. If more than, say, 5 people indicate that they think rape incest and racism are perfectly acceptable in New Zealand society today, then come back and we’ll talk.

    Same-sex marriage – there is already plenty of discussion going on as to whether that is a “a matter of fundamental human rights”, and I don’t see the need to relitigate that here.

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  78. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock (8,592) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 8:35 am

    @ Pete George (6.57am) – I disagree. I have found that there is almost a bullying tone from supporters of same-sex marriage; it’s almost an attitude of “but you HAVE TO agree with us”. The fact that some people have truly held beliefs and are being bullied when they express them, even at select committee hearings is disturbing.

    So disturbing… it’s also disturbing how the National Front are mocked and vilified for their “truly held beliefs”. Aww the poor wee things.

    And for the record, I’m still to make up my mind on the issue. As a Christian…

    And that’s the real distinction here. You have superstitious beliefs about sexuality and for you the issue is debatable. For others it is about as debatable as whether or not it’s okay for a black man to marry a white woman and if you start voicing an opinion that blacks shouldn’t marry whites you can expect angry reactions. If you can’t take the heat of people criticizing, mocking and vilifying your “truly held beliefs” then stay at home… if it’s not too intimidating maybe you can adopt a pseudonym and logon to Kiwiblog. :)

    And no.. you don’t “have” to agree, but no one has an inherent expectation of respect simply because they have “truly held beliefs”. To compare the political rhetoric inherent in divisive and controversial political debates with bullying is somewhat pathetic and trivializes true bullying.

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  79. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    graham (1,642) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    …Racism is widely accepted as being totally inappropriate…

    And so too will anti-homosexual bigotry come to be viewed in the same manner. The point is it should already be viewed as such within the Labour caucus and the fact that Shearer can’t make that clear shows weakness on an issue for which he is assured victory.

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  80. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Weihana – you do understand that objecting to same-sex marriage is NOT THE SAME as being “anti-homosexual” or a “bigot”, don’t you?

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  81. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    graham,

    I understand that you think that. I also understand that some might argue that being against interracial marriage does not imply racial superiority. “Separate but equal” was the theory as I recall. :)

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  82. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    I just listened to a video by Colin Craig

    http://www.conservativeparty.org.nz/

    He is a far more competent and confident speaker than Shearer.

    I think even most libertarian bigots would agree if they were honest.

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  83. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Weihana – depends on your reasoning for opposing either one, I suppose.

    I happen to be opposed to same-sex marriage, but I am completely comfortable with my own feelings towards homosexuals, including those that I personally know. I am utterly comfortable in the knowledge that I am not “anti-homosexual” or bigoted against homosexuals as such. I am sorry if you believe that you know the sort of person I am better than I know myself, but I doubt anything I can say will change your mind. So far as I know, my homosexual friends do not consider me anti-homosexual, and I suspect they probably know me better than you do.

    I also happen to be opposed to two people living together outside of marriage, be they the same sex or a man and a woman. Maybe you will now claim that this makes me anti-homosexual AND anti-straight; buggered if I know quite where that leaves me! :)

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  84. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    I also happen to be opposed to two people living together outside of marriage, be they the same sex or a man and a woman. Maybe you will now claim that this makes me anti-homosexual AND anti-straight; buggered if I know quite where that leaves me!

    I believe that would make you pretty old-fashioned, graham. ;-)

    Now imagine a law that would prevent two unmarried people living together.

    Would you oppose a repeal of such law and on what basis?

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  85. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    Eszett, it was followers of fashion that brought the Germans Hitler and the Italians Mussolini.

    You keep following mindless trends. I’ll (like Graham) think for myself.

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  86. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    lol, the irony of that statement is completely lost on you, isn’t it red?
    People who you agree with “think”, people who disagree with you “follow mindless trends”

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  87. Griff (6,750 comments) says:

    libertarian bigots
    Chucks all that was wrong in the act party.
    http://www.act.org.nz/principles
    The principal object of the ACT Party is to promote an open, progressive and benevolent society in which individual New Zealanders are free to achieve their full potential.

    pwogressive dear dear
    go on chuck vote for Cristian bigotry
    Just remember the Act party died for your sin

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  88. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “lol, the irony of that statement is completely lost on you, isn’t it red?”

    No it isn’t. There is no irony. That element only exists in your mind because its so clearly crippled and unable to process logic.

    You seem obsessed with the idea that because something is fashionable of cheered on by a majority it is right. I am pointing out that in so many cases throughout history, this obsession with fashion and having a view that complies with the views of the majority has brought destruction and evil upon that “fashionable” majority.

    There is no irony at all in that observation. You’re a stupid half educated communist/ progressive. That’s why you think there is.

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  89. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    eszett:

    Now imagine a law that would prevent two unmarried people living together.

    Would you oppose a repeal of such law and on what basis?

    If we were living in such a society with that law, then yes I would oppose the repeal of that law. The reason in that particular case is that I sincerely believe the increasingly casual attitude within our society towards living together, sleeping together, one-night stands, and so on, is responsible for a sizeable proportion of the problems we see in our society today. People talk about all the problems faced by solo parents, and I agree – but why do we never try to fix the root cause of the issue, and ask WHY we have so many solo mothers? WHY do so many couples get together, have a child or two, then break up? Why do parents not feel any obligation to stay together for the sake of their children? Anyway, that’s a debate for another time …

    Back to your question – as I say, yes I would oppose the repeal of that law. But if it ended up being repealed anyway, I would be saddened, for the reasons I mentioned above (and others); but would I gnash my teeth, proclaim the end of the world is nigh, and run around denouncing all unmarried people living together as terrible people who are responsible for all the evils of the world from acne to taxes to zoo animals dying in captivity? Of course not. And nor will I do any of these things if the same-sex marriage bill is passed.

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  90. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    graham (1,645) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    …I am sorry if you believe that you know the sort of person I am better than I know myself…

    I would take almost anything you said about yourself at face value. Obviously I have no information about you other than what you provide. But regardless of any other personal attributes or attitudes I find it difficult to reconcile anti-gay marriage as anything but anti-homosexual. For me the old “but some of my best friends are black, gay, mexican etc…” doesn’t really change the fact that opposition to gay marriage implies a lesser status for gay relationships. Certainly there are shades of grey and a single characterization is never going to distinguish the variety of opinion from those who oppose it purely on religious grounds to the type of person who would assault any homosexual they encountered.

    But regardless of semantics, obviously I wouldn’t expect you (or any other person here opposed to it) to adopt the terminology I, or someone like me, might use. Shearer on the other hand…

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  91. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    graham (1,646) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    If we were living in such a society with that law, then yes I would oppose the repeal of that law. The reason in that particular case is that I sincerely believe the increasingly casual attitude within our society towards living together, sleeping together, one-night stands, and so on, is responsible for a sizeable proportion of the problems we see in our society today…

    Welcome to Aotearoistan! :)

    I live together with my partner. We are not married. Little did I know we are responsible for society’s ills. My partner’s parents have been living together unmarried for even longer… they must be even more culpable!

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  92. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Weihana, you have your beliefs and opinions, I have mine. Who’s to say whether you are right or I am?

    At the end of the day, you must live with your beliefs and the decisions you make, and the consequences that arise, just as I must. If you are comfortable with those beliefs, those decisions, and the consequences, then who am I to judge you? I expressed my opinions above, but that’s all they are – my opinions. As I said, I don’t run around preaching to people – if I did I’d turn a good percentage of my friends and my family against me. :)

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  93. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (2,022) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    You keep following mindless trends. I’ll (like Graham) think for myself.

    Based on your list of recent books that you have read I very much doubt that. Hard to see how something counts as an original thought when that same thought is repeated ad infinitum in dozens of books that share the exact same message: Jesus is dead and it’s all Obama’s fault!

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  94. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    Except, you presumptuous moron, they are only some of the books I have read.

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  95. eszett (2,334 comments) says:

    Back to your question – as I say, yes I would oppose the repeal of that law.

    Well, that is exactly the point in question.
    No one takes away your right to your opinion and you can oppose that people are living together without being married, but what gives you the right to impose that on other people.

    Simply put, if you don’t like unmarried people living together, well then don’t live together with someone unless you are married. Your choice. But why should I not have the choice if I want to? Just because you disapprove?

    Same thing applies to gay marriage.
    Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get one. But why should I not be allowed one if I wish to? Just because you disapprove?

    Furthermore blaming all those things that you list on couples living together unmarried is just pure nonsense. I would not recommend anyone to get married before they have not lived together with that person for a while. It’s just common sense to see how you get along with someone before your commit for life.

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  96. Nostalgia-NZ (4,910 comments) says:

    David Shearer has been doing pretty well, but he sure doesn’t need any help on how to wreck an answer, leave others confused and raise some hostility.

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  97. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    eszett at 4:39 – Sorry, I don’t have the time to do the points you raise true justice – work calls :( But let me try to explain why I say that I believe the increasingly casual attitude within our society towards living together, sleeping together, one-night stands, and so on, is responsible for a sizeable proportion of the problems we see in our society today.

    New Zealand society today is ever-more liberal and gives us more freedom than ever before, particularly in the area of relationships and sex. That’s a good thing, right? From an early age, our children are bombarded from all sides with information and ideas about sex. They’re encouraged to explore their sexuality and relationships. Society encourages and promotes the idea of exploring sex (in a “safe way”, natch) and relationships, and it’s basically considered pretty normal for teenagers to be having sex. It’s also considered quite normal for people to live together, to “try before you buy”, to find out if you’re compatible, as you comment. In fact these days you’re considered weird if you DON’T live together, or if you reach your twenties and you’re still a virgin. “What’s wrong with ya?!” So, unsurprisingly, the average age of first sexual intercourse is earlier both in New Zealand and overseas these days (http://www.familyplanning.org.nz/health_info_issues/information_for_parents_caregivers/young_people_their_rights). Maybe that’s why we need to have legislation which allows for people under the age of 16 to be given contraceptive information, services and prescriptions, and allows young women under 16 to access contraceptive advice and services and confidential abortion services without parental/guardian notification.

    So it’s considered pretty normal for teenagers to have sex, with whoever they want to, get into relationships early on, experiment; and peer pressure and the media pretty much say you’re weird if you don’t. So we have a lot of teenagers being sexually active and getting involved in pretty heavy relationships – before many of them are really ready for it. Sure some teenagers are mature enough emotionally to cope and do just fine. But lots aren’t; yet they feel pressured to “be normal”.

    Moving on from sex, we also have an increasingly open and liberal attitude towards living together. The general marriage rate is going down as more people live together, and de facto relationships are going up. Nowadays it’s just normal to have several sexual partners, live together, “try before you buy”, all of that, right? As you say, it makes sense, right?

    Here’s the problem – with such a casual easy-going attitude towards getting into a relationship, there’s unfortunately a corresponding casual easy-going attitude towards getting out of it. The rate of divorce has risen from the late 1980s to 2004, although it did start declining gradually and in fact in 2011 dropped under 10.0 divorces per 1,000 existing marriages for the first time since 1980 (maybe there’s hope yet!) But Statistics New Zealand projects that the number of one-parent families will increase by 48,000 (an average of 0.8 percent a year), from 219,000 in 2006 to 267,000 in 2031. This is, they claim, due to increasing numbers of separations and divorces, increasing rates of childbearing outside couple relationships, and more complex shared-care arrangements with parents residing in different households. The number of two-parent families is projected to decrease because of the continuing trends towards single parenting and fewer couples having children.

    You don’t need me to tell you this, though. Look around you – it’s quite usual to see one-parent families, solo mothers. My daughter complains that she’s in the minority of her friends because she has both parents still living together. And many solo mothers do just fine, do a great job of raising their children, holding down a job, keeping the household running. But unfortunately, a sizeable proportion don’t. We all know about the stories of teenage mothers sucking huge benefits from the taxpayer, teenage (and older) fathers who don’t support their children, children who are not raised properly because the mother really can’t cope – do you need me to point you to some of the many previous discussions on Kiwiblog around these issues?

    In short, I believe there is a direct correlation between some of the attitudes in our society, and the problems we see in our society today, which I have tried to explain above. I’m not good at writing, so maybe what I am trying to say doesn’t come across well. But there you go.

    Now, alas, I must do some work.

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  98. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    Oh, and regarding your comment that “I would not recommend anyone to get married before they have not lived together with that person for a while. It’s just common sense to see how you get along with someone before your commit for life.”

    You sound like my mother-in-law! :) (Now sadly deceased).

    All I can say is, there are other ways of getting to know a prospective marriage partner. My wife and I didn’t live together, and we’ve been married for 19 years. And many of our friends are in the same situation – they didn’t live together, and have been happily married for even longer.

    Now, I MUST do some work!!!

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