Jamie Whyte an interesting ACT to follow

New ACT leader Jamie Whyte discovered how shallow, petty and brutal social media and main-stream media can be following his philosophical musings on the Government role in incest.

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff gives Whyte an opportunity to explain himself on that and a range of issues in  ACT leader Whyte can’t be grey.

It’s very refreshing to hear a political leader who is prepared to think things through and explain his way of thinking. Most politicians present as carefully packaged PR puppets.

This doesn’t mean I support or back the ACT party – but I do support openness and honesty from politicians. This leaves them vulnerable to media misrepresentation and opponent attacks but if Whyte sticks to his principles I think he’s worth watching.

“The problem is being a philosopher, I have some bad habits. I kind of felt obliged to answer.”

To the contrary, politicians should be obliged to give open and honest answers.

“I’m not apologising for what I think.”

But apologising for talking about it? That seems odd.

In reality, he claims, acts of corporate charity were really just a marketing tactic. “In a way, if it’s fake, it’s okay. If it’s genuine, it’s robbery.”

In a way he’s quite right.

He had described Christianity as a “mixture of wilful ignorance mixed with an air of assumed moral superiority”.

There’s some of that but most Christians in New Zealand are just ordinary people mingling amongst the rest of us.

Despite believing his clearly thought out views would be a virtue, he admits it may count against him that everything is written down. “That may be the sort of thing that people like in a politician, but it seems it isn’t. I get trashed for this, and everyone else gets away with being vague and woolly. Why don’t you go out and trash them for that?”

Good point – but it may be a forlorn hope. The media tend to pick up on trivial things and blow them up, especially when misled and pushed by political opponents. And they often ignore detail and subtleties.

But if Whyte sticks to his principles and his openness it could define him as a refreshing addition to our political mix. It may take time to get through to the media (maybe not, Rutherford seems to get it already) and won’t be without risks but I hope Whyte stays true to his words.

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1 Comment

  1. Brown

     /  1st March 2014

    I confess I think his view on Christianity is shallow and disappointing. Many Christians are smart and well educated. People like John Lennox are hardly wilfuly ignorant. Real Christians do not assume a smug superiority and that is how it should be. When it sinks in what shits we are yet still have value it should make you humble. Someone on the outside doesn’t see this but its why imperfect Christians may not like gay marriage and legalised hookers. They know that such things are not to be encouraged and their own sinfulness is not an excuse to allow more of it.

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