The recruitment and selection of Greg O’Connor to stand for Labour in Ohariu and Willie Jackson to stand on Labour’s list, both promoted by Andrew Little, have been controversial.
O’Connor has been strongly criticised on the left for his backing of things like arming the police (as head of the Police union).
Jackson has copped resurrected flak for the part he played in the radio ‘roast busters’ controversy.
Willie Jackson can be really annoying. In fact, that was one of the reasons we divorced about 16 years ago.
On the Roastbusters:
Like many overpaid talkback hosts, they often crossed the line themselves. When their mouths ran away from them during the “Roast Busters” saga, genuine offence was exacerbated by everyone else with a historical beef piling in. You need a whiteboard to work out the various agendas.
Similar comments that week by Sean Plunket and Andrew Fagan barely rated a mention, but I guess there’s only one thing more offensive than “a cheeky darkie” (to quote Paul Holmes): it’s two. Instead of creating a golden opportunity in a follow-up show to explore sexist attitudes among all blokes, an unforgiving and highly vocal lynch mob demanded Willie and JT be fired.
I thought the comments in their interview were unacceptable, and I told Willie that. He took all the criticism on board, apologised then, and is still apologising three years later. There are still those who frame him now as less a devil’s advocate and more the devil incarnate.
But given the failure of Willie’s most vocal critics to deal to star Pākehā broadcasters with a history of consistently spouting crap stuff about women, and Māori in particular — I’m putting racism near the top of my whiteboard, next to power plays.
Or maybe the left are much harder on their own if they stray outside political correctness.
And Greg O’Connor responds at The Standard after being on the receiving end of a lot of criticism.
Some of the comments on the blogs about me and my candidacy for Labour in Ōhāriu have made for interesting reading. The theme running through much of the discussion seems to be that I’m a right-wing fascist who makes Kim Jong-un look like some sort of pinko liberal pacifist.
Having been highly visible in the media for a few years discussing a pretty narrow topic, namely frontline policing, it’s understandable people have judged me on that segment of my life and views. I’m taking up this invitation to show you there is another side to me – which will come as no surprise to those who know me well, and regard me as a bit of a lefty.
Labour was the natural choice for me as a political party.
On arming the police:
I have previously advocated for police to be armed, the result of a remit being passed to that effect in 2010 at the Police Association conference. That happened because police and government took no action, no review or enquiry even, following the shooting of 9 officers in 2008/09. The resulting build-up of frustration was inevitable, hence the motion.
It likely could have been avoided if the Police had done then what they did subsequently, which was to make firearms available in the Norwegian style: locked in the car instead of back at the station.
My position is that arming is inevitable unless we, New Zealand, get on top of the illegal gun situation. The decision will be a consequence of a serious and preventable public loss of life in a shooting situation.
My personal priority is to use any influence I have to make sure that we stop the flow of firearms to those who should never have them, while at the same time protecting the rights of legitimate users . That would negate the need for arming. I know this is a very long winded explanation, but it’s one those who are judging me deserve to have.
Most people’s perceptions of prospective political candidates is based on headlines (often sensationalised) and social media banter and argey bargey.
There is more depth to both candidates at the respective links.