19 people to hear Gareth

The Herald reports:

The views that propelled the National Party close to government a decade ago were “harsh and intolerant,” philanthropist Dr told a small audience in Orewa today.

The man who gave those views – Dr Don Brash – sat in the audience to hear his famous 2004 speech described as being a “harsh and intolerant view that is intolerant of anyone who is different”.

“We still have a faction in our midst who see admitting culpability… is giving Maori the upper hand. This section of the community is clearly filled with fear.”

As Treaty of Waitangi celebrations began in the North, the two Pakeha men attempted to solve the problems of the past 175 years in front of small audience of people largely in the same age range. A total of 19 people gathered to hear the pair speak -and almost the same number of media representatives.

I’m not surprised only 19 people turned up. Responding to an 11 year old speech by someone no longer in politics seems rather pointless.

What is not surprising, but sad, is that 19 media turned up to hear a speech by someone who has no special status or knowledge talk on an 11 year old issue to a rotary club. Why do the media think that every utterance of Gareth Morgan is newsworthy?

I’ve spoken to over a dozen rotary clubs, and often have many more people than 19 there. Would two dozen media turn up for my rotary club address? Of course not, but why for Morgan?

Don’t get me wrong. I think it is commendable for someone to take an interest in public policy. And there are a few areas where I agree with what Gareth Morgan says, as well as some such as North Korea where I vigorously disagree. But his propensity to declare himself an expert on almost everything, and have media lap up his every utterance is inexplicable to me. Usually people get reported only in an area they have some specialist knowledge of.

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