So I just received this charming missive, presumably in response to my recent post about Labour President Nigel Haworth making bullshit claims about the party's current strength. The post got an unusually high amount of traffic for some reason (this is, for the most part, a thoroughly unvisited blog) so perhaps this we have a brand new troll in our midst.
Just a few points in response to whomever this is:
- I thought the subject heading — "Arsehole" — was the highlight. Punchy, eye-catching, evocative. Well done.
- "Your" is a possessive pronoun (e.g. "Is that your car?"). In each case, the author of the email meant "you are" which is accurately abbreviated to "you're". It should therefore read "you're a mental case", "you're no better than Slater...", and so on.
- I am not even remotely bitter, and haven't been since Gwyneth Paltrow won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, but I guess you'll (short for "you will") have to take my word on that one. Or ask any of my friends.
- Helen Clark, whom I greatly admire, never fired me. After the failed coup in 1996, when I found myself on the losing side, her chief of staff, Heather Simpson, flirted with the idea of doing so, but decided against it. My arrangement at the time was as a temporary placeholder in the Labour Research Unit as health researcher — in fact, I only took it on as a favour to Lianne Dalziel whose former advisor had quit at an inopportune moment. My contract was only ever meant to go through until the election, which it did. If Helen and Heather didn't have the UNDP to run, this could be verified with them.
- It's true I fled to Melbourne but this was not because Helen Clark "crushed me like a piece of dogshit"; it was because I had come out as gay, left my wonderful ex-wife, felt unspeakably guilty about the whole thing, and couldn't deal with the shame. At that time, given everything else going on, my feelings about the Labour Party were not (or weren't) among my top 100 concerns.
- As a matter of fact, I returned to NZ during the 1999 campaign with a group of Young Labor activists from Australia where we helped out in the marginal seat of Hamilton West. We all worked tirelessly and had a ball. From memory, we helped Labour achieve one of the biggest swings in the country. Hardly supportive of the bitterness thesis.
- As for me being "a mental case with a drinking problem", this is not without some basis in fact. It's true I have major depressive disorder, blissfully in remission as I write, and I was a raging alcoholic for a decade and half until I gave up nine years ago. Not a drop since. I have written at length on both subjects at length — here on depression and here on booze. But if you think mood disorders or past addiction disqualify a person from having an opinion, then I guess that's your call.
- I have recently spent a fortune on dental treatment (thanks, past alcoholism!) so I could do with some dough — but I would rather spend a night in a lukewarm spa pool with Kim Dotcom than accept a cent from the National Party or whatever unspecified source of right-wing money to which the correspondent refers. The reason I regularly express frustration at the state of Labour is because I want them to, in my correspondent's memorable phrase, crush the Nats like a piece of dogshit.
- Not sure one typically crushes dogshit. There are better metaphors.
- Is Yahoo! still a thing?