Matthew Beveridge blogs:
Steve Gibson also claims that he was not aware of the meaning of the term. However, Greg Presland, whose post the comment was made on, is a lawyer. He is claiming on Radio New Zealand that he was just repeating comments that he has heard elsewhere. However Greg Presland should also be being questioned about his knowledge of the term. Does he claim that he was not aware of the meaning of the term?
Greg Presland is a close advisor and friend of David Cunliffe and was one of the lawyers involved in the setting up of the secret trusts used to fund David Cunliffe’s leadership challenge. He has held office in the Labour Party, including being electorate chair for David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate, he is a member of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, and is descirbed by The Daily Blog as a “labour activist“. It is not like this post was made on the profile of Steve Gibson’s friend Joe Bloggs. Considering the profile and position of Greg Presland his actions, or lack thereof, in relation to this post should also be raising questions.
I don’t think you hold authors responsible for comments made on their site, unless they have previously seen the comment. for example I do not see 90% of the comments on Kiwiblog. I only read General Debate when someone complains about something. But from what I can see there were only two comments on Presland’s post, so I would be surprised if he had not seen the Shylock comment.
He notes that David Shearer said on Facebook:
I’ve been shocked and disappointed at the anti-Semitic comment and defacing of billboards over the past few days, including in my electorate of Mt Albert. I don’t want John Key to win the election because I believe NZ can do much better with a different, fairer government, not because of whether he’s Jewish or not.
NZ is a tolerant society. We pride ourselves on it. Most of what I’ve seen shows the utter ignorance of the writers. I’ve taken the worst off my page here when it crops up. I don’t want to see it.
Perhaps Mr Presland could emulate what David Shearer does. Beveridge points out:
There appears to have been no comment, from anyone, about the nature of Steve Gibson’s post on Greg’s wall, until it became public, two weeks after it was posted. If Greg had replied to Steve, pointing out the offensive and anit-Semitic nature of this post, or if he had deleted it before it became public, then it would have been a clear sign those involved in the high levels of the Labour Party take seriously the issue of anti-Semitism and their pledge Vote Positive. However neither Greg Presland nor any of his friends, appear to have made any comments, or taken any action to counter these comments. Does this lack of action, or comment, from a senior figure in the Labour Party, and his friends, suggest an acceptance of the comments and their nature?
The fact is the comment was only removed after we highlighted it.
UPDATE: Patrick Gower writes:
If Labour’s campaign really was about “vote positive”, then leader David Cunliffe would have axed candidate Steven Gibson for the John Key “Shylock” call.
Mr Cunliffe has instead put him on a “final warning”, missing a golden opportunity to look decisive and find some moral high ground in what is already a dirty election campaign. But he should have just got rid of Mr Gibson.
Mr Gibson is responsible for calling Mr Key “Shylock” – a reference to the Jewish money lender in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.
The Shylock comment is off-colour and has anti-Semitic overtones. It is also rude, nasty and incredibly politically naive. It is the worst kind of negative politics.
He went even further on the Facebook post, calling Mr Key a “nasty little creep … with a nasty, evil, vindictive sneer”.
This is not the standard of discourse worthy of someone who wants to be an MP and it is certainly not “vote positive”.
I cannot come up with a single valid reason why Mr Cunliffe should have kept Mr Gibson as a candidate. He probably didn’t axe him because he and his strategist didn’t think of it and “kicked for touch”.
But Mr Cunliffe needs to take risks. He should have got rid of Mr Gibson.
Yes, he should have.Tags: David Shearer, Greg Presland, Matthew Beveridge, Steve Gibson