Both as bad as each other

I love it when politicians bicker and argue and call each other names in the house. It fills me with such an endearing sense of pride in our political system.

My last complaint about a politician was directed squarely at Tau Henare for once again being a poo. But now ACT are accusing Labour’s out gay MPs of being complicit in their own party’s homophobia.

Labour’s Trevor Mallard says he shouldn’t have called Attorney-General Chris Finlayson “Tinkerbell” but denies there is problem with homophobia in the party.

ACT’s Wellington central candidate Stephen Whittington yesterday accused openly gay Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Charles Chauvel of covering up prejudice among their caucus.

Hutt South MP Mr Mallard likened Mr Finlayson to the Peter Pan fairy during a parliamentary debate in October 2009. Waimakariri MP Clayton Cosgrove twice called Mr Finlayson Tinkerbell in the House in July 2009.

I do believe ACT are blowing this somewhat out of proportion (and can’t really talk so long as Banks is in their party), but if Labour MPs are going to call out people like Tau Henare for calling Charles Chauvel “Miss Daisy”, then they also have to own the shit within their own party, and both the names “Tinkerbell” and “Miss Daisy” are on the same level.

Labour MPs responded to the news by pointing out that Mallard was one of the stronger proponents of Homosexual Law Reform. This doesn’t change the fact that he called an openly gay MP a name belonging to a female fairy. They may support our rights to exist, but they’re still making homophobic slurs, which makes me question the validity of their support of our rights — especially since Cosgrove voted against Civil Unions.

It would be nice if we had politicians who would focus on the arguments at hand instead of reducing the discourse to a series of ad hominems and personal attacks. Unfortunately, in this political climate, we have to take the allies we can get — I’d rather take an arsehole who will vote for us over an arsehole who won’t, but the lesser of two evils is still evil, and just because you voted for our rights, doesn’t make you not a douche.


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