On Burqas and Waitangi Day

That Dame Susan Devoy is a top lass. She hit the nail square on the head on both counts with recent statements following her appointment as race Relations Commissioner.
1. Burqas are funny and 2. Waitangi Day isn’t our national day.
She is right – we don’t actually have a New Zealand National Day yet.
We know that Waitangi Day is not a National Day because there is nary a whiff of festivities in the air. Pageants for the wider public are notably absent and it becomes a good excuse for a barbie and a few beers.  The only people who really celebrate Waitangi Day are expats and tolerant types.
BTW, I love Waitangi Day, but as a National Day for New Zealand it rates a complete F for ‘Fail Burger’.

Queue the bleating from the usual suspects. From Gordon Campbell:
“It is hard to tell which aspect of Susan Devoy becoming Race Relations Commissioner is worse. Was it the selection of someone who plainly has no skills for a job requiring tolerance and empathy – or was it the rationalisation offered by Justice Minister Judith Collins, who said that Devoy would ‘tone down her views” once she was behind the desk? Memo to Collins: the prime quality required in a Race Relations Commissions is not the ability to learn on the job how to avoid embarrassing the government by speaking your mind. At least part of the requirement should be having a mind that doesn’t need to have its contents “toned down” in order to function properly.”

Oh Fer. 
What Campbell is saying is that Devoy doesn’t DO politics and that she should be able to function politically to perform the expected role. 
He is right in part. Devoy hasn’t yet mastered the art of political speak. Thankfully it sounds like she doesn’t want to.
Political speak is where you never  say what you are thinking for fear of offending the voters. This means the public and the media have to play “Join the Dots,” which makes democracy a very unsatisfying and fraudulent exercise.
Politics is a sham and should be relegated to the domain of PTA’s and Playcentres only. Politics is a terrible way to run a country but the only current alternative is using religion to guide us.
so we suffer on.
But this doesn’t mean that commissioners who are appointed to act in the interest of the public should kowtow to a third party.  There is no part of the job description of Race Relations commissioner that says Devoy has to toady to any commentator or ethnic group. she should endeavour to resolve issues arising in her term and comment on issues that arising. So far she is doing really well.

Former commissioner,  de Bres, an acquaintance of mine, and a hard case, used to get up the nose of rednecks. It looks like Devoy is going to piss off the liberals.
 It’s going to be an interesting appointment.

Discuss and share:
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00544270179709140332 Pete George

    Yea. It isn’t suppposed to be a political position, but most of the criticism seems to be political pissiness.

    Common sense and an ability to consider a wide vairty of views is what should be required. Give Devoy a chance to prove herslef.

Become enlightened.
Get the newsletter: