When John Tamihere is complaining about civility in political discourse, we are all in trouble

John Tamihere wrote a sharp critique this week of the manner in which our political discourse has denigrated into malicious abuse and bad faith debate.

He’s right.

The volume of hatred passing as political comment has reached a toxicity level that makes Chernobyl look vegan approved.

Neither Right nor Left can hold any moral high ground in the algorithm of spite and nastiness that is our social media footprint but brothers and sisters, we are all New Zealanders and this country is too small to be this polarised. We are less a nation and more just a big family, we can’t harbour such ill will and cruel intent towards one another and pretend that’s normal.

We must disagree and we will disagree, but no one need to be dehumanised in that process, we have shared values in this country that go beyond our skin colour, our gender, our faith or our class.

These egalitarian Shaky Isles where the tyranny of distance leaves us fragile and isolated means we must work together because no one is coming to save us.

We must not allow difference of opinion to amputate ourselves from each other, there can be no peace in such mutilation and abuse.

The saying, I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it has been modernised to, I disapprove of what you say, and I will threaten, cancel, block, dox, harass, revenge porn and smash to death your rights to say it.


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