2 Sep 2009

I'm a Victim therefore my argument is correct.

I'm a victim therefore my argument is correct and you're a big bully for challenging me.

While including the statement that perhaps the pupils' teacher deserved to be fired was extreme and unwarranted,there are not many times that I agree with Michael Laws for I regard him in the same light as Tom Scott portrayed him back when he was an M.P. - an opportunistic opinionated shallow individual- but to read that he is being accused of "bullying" because he gave a group of primary school pupils the courtesy of a reply to their letters arguing for a change to the spelling of Wanganui and chose to point out, very frankly, that their argument was based on somewhat tenuous grounds and that there were more urgent and deeper matters affecting Moaridom that they could be justifiably concerned about is unbelievable.

One of the problems in New Zealand society is the lack of robust, rational debate on issues that affect our lives (ironically the shallowness of that debate is partly attributable to the talk-back hosts, like Michael Laws, who do not encourage rationality on their radio shows, favouring, instead, the emotional, argumentum ad homenum as it gets better ratings.). The lack of robust, rational debate in the media and in our classrooms means that when pupils and teachers are faced with a frank and pointed rebuttal of their favoured position they immediately cry "BULLYING!!!" and then retreat into their corners to stroke their belief convinced that now they have painted themselves as victims their position is now even more correct and deserving of total public support.

So it is with this response to Mr.Laws' letters to the pupils of Otaki School.
The episode is a beat up, a proverbial storm in a tea-cup, that serves none of the "victims" of the "bullying" well.
Let's encourage robust, informed debate and, perhaps, our society can focus on real issues with a greater sense of arguing based on substantial and substantive information.

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