The vilification of Don Brash

If Labour had passed so called “hate speech” laws as they wanted to, then they would arguably by the first people in the dock right now for their language against Don Brash.

In the last couple of weeks, members of Helen Clark’s Government and party have labelled Don Brash

* cancerous
* corrosive
* evil
* malignant
* malevolent

This sort of demonisation is almost without parallel in a western democracy. Not even the US President gets described in such terms by Democratic lawmakers. In Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland, Sweden etc such language would never ever be used against a major political figure.

Even going back to the days of Muldoon in NZ, and I can’t recall Muldoon having to resort to such labels for his opponents. And Muldoon’s conduct should be seen as a low, not a high.

Helen Clark’s Government has engaged in a calculated strategy of personal vilification and destruction of Don Brash’s character. I fail to understand why – do they fear him so much?? Is the shame of having come within a few thousand votes of losing the unlosable election to him, to much to bear?

Regardless of what the motivation is, it is an ugly lowering of already low standards of discourse in politics. It is also a brutal assault on freedom of speech.

One can agree or disagree on the wisdom of the comments Don Brash made (and I’m not one who thinks they were particularly useful) but one should be able to make such comments without being implicitly compared to Adolf Hitler. Those sort of jibes are unworthy of a country’s Foreign Minister – in fact they are unworthy of even a 12 year old.

How can one have a debate on issues around the Treaty when saying something the Government disagrees with gets you labelled cancerous, malignant and evil? This is the speech of hysteria and hatred which Chris Trotter should be concerned about.

New Zealand deserves a better Government than one which labels its primary opponent as evil, sinister, cancerous, malignant, corrosive and malevolent. They are unfit to hold office, if that is their means of trying to retain such office.

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