I was somewhat shocked by this article in The Herald this weekend.

No, it was not the poor spelling and grammar displayed on the placards. What do you expect from a “world-class” education system that teaches to the curriculum,  not to the learner, and that doesn’t adequately meet the needs of the lower socio-economic groups in society? Moreover, having been on a protest where an ECE teacher held up a home-made placard that said “No to National Standars”, I understand how easy it is to make errors.

Maybe it was at this quote?

Busloads of Tongan Christians arrived in Mangere yesterday for the demonstration.

Well, yes, how ironic that busloads of followers of a religion that preaches tolerance should descend upon Mangere to demonstrate intolerance, but no, it was not that.

It was this:

Sio, told the crowd many people were not capable of understanding the objections to gay marriage. “Many New Zealanders will say: ‘What’s the big deal?’ You and I don’t necessarily have to defend that, because you and I have a perspective that is perhaps beyond most people’s perspective.”

That’s right, Labour MP, Su’a William Sio, the same MP who said Labour would lose Pacific Island votes if gay marriage was legalised, is now telling me that the reason I support gay marriage is because I don’t understand his reasons for opposing it. Oh, but he’s not going to tell us what those reasons are, because he doesn’t “necessarily have to defend that“.

We can debate the strategy and issue management involved around this issue, and we have, but what Sio is attempting to do is scare Labour into a U-turn for fear of losing votes, because he says so!

Sio must think he is untouchable and irreplaceable. Well, he isn’t!

If all Sio and his followers can bring to Labour is religious intolerance  then I, for one party member, would be happy to show them all the door and wave them goodbye.

If these people are willing to sacrifice the larger ideology of Labour and the left (a better education system, a fairer tax system, more jobs, a more equitable society… ) for the sake of what will equate to roughly 250 same sex marriages a year, then we can live without them and they should all go and vote for the other guys and see how that works out for them.

Surely the 8500 divorces a year do more to harm the sanctity of marriage than more marriages would, but hey, I clearly don’t share his perspective.

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  • Stuart Nash

    This is a most interesting dilemma. I fully understand an MP standing up for his / her constituents and their fundamental beliefs – and that is what Su’a said he was doing when he initially came out against gay marriage – but this takes things to a whole different level. There is supporting constituents but then there is promoting intolerance. Su’a, who I believe is a good man, has crossed the line. He didn’t have to turn up at this rally and he shouldn’t be wasting his political capital on an issue the vast majority of NZers are either ambivilent about or support. We know his views, so now he needs to steer clear of this debate and start concentrating on the real issues that matter to those in hie electorate; like jobs, education, health care, child poverty and the growing inequality gap.

  • Paul Bailey

    And there in lies the challenge for the Labour Party. How do you get rid of someone like Su’a William Sio?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kjjurczakowski Karla Jurczakowski via Facebook

    Lol Nigel Latta’s 9yo son could see that more marriages would be better for the whole married family thing. Why adults can’t see the logic too is beyond my comprehension. Sio fail.