Wednesday, 15 June 2005

Graham Kelly, diplomat

Well , Graham Kelly is clearly no diplomat. And we might remember that as Labour Housing spokesman our present High Commissioner to Canada called for all State houses to be lifted up and turned north to face the sun. So apart from causing offence, being an idiot, and being a Labour party hack, is he any sort of historian?

Well, if you read his comments in the speech he gave to the Canadian Senate -- the one that has now got him in so much trouble -- you might well wonder why he chose a senate inquiry as a place to break into stand-up comedy (perhaps he thought that compared to the Canadians he might be considered a humourist), but apart from the usual exaggerations for comedic effect I can't see that he's historically incorrect in what he's reported to have said.

So is it now 'racist' to tell the truth and to joke about it? Are we all just too bloody ready to be offended?* As Stephen Fry said in the 'Blasphemy Debate,' when someone says to you as if it's the final word on a matter 'I'm offended by what you said,' the correct answer is "So fucking what?"

But Stephen Fry is not a diplomat either.
A list of those in a lather about being 'offended' includes (in no particular order) Aaron Bhatnagar, Sir Humphreys, Tariana, the Green Party, Kenneth Wang, Whale Oil, Kiwi Pundit, Pansy Wong, John Tamihere, Georgina Te Heuheu - and Uncle Tom Cobley and all are queuing out the back to take seconds.

Kelly's full testimony can be found here.


XXX said...

From Graham Kelly:

Our new immigrants from Asia are one of our biggest problems, with their lack of understanding of conservation and the environment. We often see them strip mining a beach of periwinkles and having a boil-up. If you are interested in the next generation, you cannot do that.

I'm curious at how 'often' have we seen them doing as mentioned above (seing them on TV or other media doesn't count ofcourse). I personally never seen it myself, but that's probably because I don't go to beach that often.

Berend de Boer said...

I'm a lot at the beach and I've never seen it. They like catching crabs and can prepare them deliciously. Thanks for sharing Asians.

But PC, what exactly did you think was "the truth"? All you can say about Maori history is that they fought with each other? And when the white man came he learned them to live peacefully together? You think that is what a representative of NZ can present as the summary of their history? Isn't that extremeley condescending?

That the man talks like that in the pub, ok, no one requires exactness there, but this clearly does do the Maori no justice.

Craig Ranapia said...

With a name like that, Kelly sounds like a good working-class Irish Catholic boy. I guess his ethnic history can be summed up as: "Breed like rabbits; drop like flies. Pissed off when the tater crop failed sometime in the 19th century. Always drunk but good for a song and a yarn. U2 is cool. James Joyce a bit wanky. Disturbingly large proportion are lunatic religious bigots and fond of joining paramilitary terrorist organisations."

I don't think any of the above is inaccurate, but what the hell pertinence it would have to the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries is beyond me.

For the record, I'm enormously proud of my Irish heritage but if I had to choose between Jerry Adams & Sin Fein or Tariana Turia & the Maori Party, well, I don't think the Horis come out of it badly.

He-Hole-ad said...

So it's okay because it's "historically correct"? Leaving aside the question of how you actually come to that conclusion, Kelly is at least guilty of (in the lingo of statisticians) using a small sample to make generalisations of a population.

Not only is this kind of abuse of language disingenuous, it is also well below the standard we should expect of our representatives. For f**k's sake, this guy is a VERY senior official and an ex-MP. When he took on the job did he think Diplomacy was a board game?

Anonymous said...

graham kelly diplomat,now theres a tui billbourd if ever i saw one