A lot of media comment today on Phil’s speech to Grey Power in Palmerston North. Some of it does not bear much relation to the actual content. It is vital that we can have a mature debate about difficult and challenging issues, and the media have an important role to play in that. This does not mean agreeing with every word, just that it is reported fairly. Please do follow the link above, have a read for yourself and make up your own mind.
For an example have a look at Gordon Campbell’s take on the speech. He does not agree with all of it, but he debates the substance. A sample
The one area where Goff’s speech did hit home cleanly was over the failure of the ETS deal to meet the environmental challenge. The rewards for big polluters, Maori and pakeha, are indefensible. So however is the response that calls Goff’s speech an instance of ‘playing the race card.’ Unlike Don Brash at Orewa, this speech dealt with specific and substantive issues – and if its faults are also substantive, they should be attacked on those terms.
After all, if the Maori Party are going to become the kingmakers in future New Zealand elections, they – and we- are going to have to learn how to debate their shortcomings without being called racists for doing so. The fact racists will undoubtedly prey on such criticism is not a reason for remaining silent, or for giving the Maori Party a free pass.