I have consistently said that on a personal level I like John Tamihere, and have felt some sadness at his appalling judgement in recent times.
Today that changes.
As I heard and then read about how he said he was “sick and tired of hearing how many Jews got gassed” I realised this is the last straw. It is an appalling statement for a New Zealand MP to make.
As David Zwartz, a former Labour City Councillor, said the “comment was sickening for New Zealand Jews who suffered in the Holocaust and whose families were gassed”. The Holocaust is not some mythical event which happened centuries ago – we still have alive people whose spouses were slaughtered, and many many more people whose parents were killed.
Clark can not get away with just saying “she was certain Mr Tamihere meant no offence”. How could anyone think such a comment would not cause offence?
The Labour Party needs to decide if they want to be associated with John Tamihere’s comments. One can be a “broad church” but personally I don’t want my church to be that broad. I think it is time to say game over John. You had enoromous potential but you are a walking timebomb.
I note Tamihere has not resiled from any of his previous comments, merely said he should not have said them to a journalist. I presume likewise he stands by his words here that Jews should simply get over the Holocaust. To quote political scientist Dr Jon Johansson on this latest revelation – “The Holocaust aspect – there is no redemptive quality to that thought. It contributes nothing, it pollutes our discourse”.
It is time to clean up and end the pollution.