Thursday, March 23, 2023

Karl du Fresne: That dull, clunking sound you just heard

The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges memorably described the Falklands War as two bald men fighting over a comb.

The parallels may not be immediately obvious, but the same phrase could be applied to the confected outrage over the speaking tour of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, aka Posie Parker.

Okay, we’re not talking about war here. Nonetheless, Borges’ description fits a situation where a rational person can only wonder what all the fuss is about.

It should have been simple, straightforward and wholly uncontroversial. A woman virtually no one in New Zealand had heard of a few days ago intends to hold a couple of public meetings where she will make what should be an utterly unremarkable assertion: namely, that a man cannot be a woman.

It seems to me that the most damning thing that can be said about Parker (and I’m using her silly pseudonym here only because it’s quicker to type than her real name) is that she’s an accomplished self-promoter who appears to revel in her notoriety. But that doesn’t negate her basic premise – nor, crucially, her right to freedom of speech. As far as I’m aware she’s not advocating violence or persecution.

But Parker’s rally in Melbourne was gate-crashed by publicity-seeking neo-Nazis and noisy trans-gender advocates (pardon the oxymoron) who demand that society accept, contrary to biological reality and all human understanding, that men can be women.

Stir in some hysterical and brazenly misleading media coverage, add a liberal sprinkling of political opportunism and cowardice, and presto! What should have been a one-day wonder – and a minor one at that – has blown up into a full-on moral panic.

Parker has rightly been allowed to proceed with her visit. That should never have been in doubt in a country that professes to be a liberal democracy.

The other side of the same coin is that LGBTQI+ activists are entitled to stage protest rallies (as are any local neo-Nazis, as long as they keep it peaceful). But the trans-gender advocates should realise that by drawing attention to Parker’s visit, they are giving oxygen to someone they despise.

They probably do realise that, of course, but it’s outweighed by their desire to parade their outrage. To ignore Parker would be to pass up an opportunity to engage in what they do best: exhibitionism.

The most depressing aspect of this three-ringed circus was the haste with which politicians rushed to denounce Parker for expressing an opinion shared by all but a tiny, ideologically deranged segment of the population.

Chris Hipkins, Grant Robertson and Michael Woods, anxious to demonstrate their woke credentials, all wanted to let us know how much they detest Parker, even as they grudgingly acknowledged her right to speak. It would have been better all round if they had kept out of it, but of course that would have deprived them of a chance to signal their solidarity with the legions of oppressed trans-gender people being callously trampled underfoot by mainstream society.

Even Christopher Luxon apparently felt obliged to distance himself from Parker’s views, obviously regarding the radical idea that only women can be women as altogether too subversive to contemplate.

What sort of Alice in Wonderland world have we ended up in? Is the leader of the National Party so intimidated by the wokesters that he has to show he’s onside with them? Is it possible he thinks his craven equivocation might convince them to vote for him?

It’s far more likely that he will drive more disillusioned National voters into the welcoming arms of ACT. That dull clunking sound you just heard was Luxon’s popularity rating dropping by another couple of points.

Karl du Fresne, a freelance journalist, is the former editor of The Dominion newspaper. He blogs at


hughvane said...

It's more than a "desire" Karl, the socialist ideologues and their riffraff followers are obsessed with demonstrating both their extraordinary prejudice, and their woeful ignorance of what a liberal tolerant society accommodates and supports.

But ... only the suffocatingly self-righteous are right (Left?), the rest of us are doomed to perdition.

Anonymous said...

And what an absolute pack of hypocrites. Just listen to what the likes of Hipkins was saying on TV the other day about the right to free speech, but not to incite violence - blah, blah blah. Yet just days earlier, we had the vitriol of Tusiata Avia doing just precisely that - with its state funded promotion and all, and with our Race Relations and Human Rights Commissioners turning a blind eye. What a joke, but just as well Immigration pulled their heads.

Anonymous said...

It's pathetic isn't it, deeply stupidly sad! I've spent a bit of time lately worrying about the NZ kids I have just learned can demand to have their bodies mutilated from age 16, and have just callously concluded that as long as I make sure it doesn't happen in my family, we can do without their DNA in the gene pool. Parker as Interviewed on the Platform, came across as unexceptionally common-sense.

OL said...

Grooming children to transgender is a form of conversion therapy. It's homophobic. Leave the kids alone. Don't mislead them to some messed up solution let them find out what life can be like first.

Robert Arthur said...

As was the case with Molyneux and co, from the msm coverage it was doubtful if any reporters had directly viewed any material but simply built on the prejudiced reports of others. As is now so often the case it was necessary to resort to The Platform for an objective coverage. RNZ managed no better than the plebian rest. But considerable time was allocated to a trans apologist.

DeeM said...

If anyone thought that Hipkins had turned over a new leaf and was actually going to act like a real PM and govern fairly for everyone then this confirms he is still as woke and divisive as Jacinda.
It's now trendy to hold ridiculous, plainly wrong views about things that seem obvious to the vast majority.

This does only one thing. It shows that most of our "leaders" hold the majority in contempt and regard themselves as the font of all knowledge.
If only they'd stop pontificating their woke garbage and look down they'd see their font ran dry ages ago and is starting to stink.

Unknown said...

Dear Karl -- Haven't you got it yet? It's not that "the leader of the National Party [is] so intimidated by the wokesters that he has to show he’s onside with them". It's that the leader of the National Party is ONE OF the wokesters.

See, NZ is actually just like the USA. We actually don't have what we always used to think we had -- two opposing political parties. What we have is one "uniparty". All of the supposedly left wing parties (here Labour/Greens/Maori; there Democrats) are card-carrying members of this uniparty. But the point I want to make is that a large percentage -- the ruling segment -- of the supposedly right wing parties (here National -- ACT I don't know; there Republicans) are also members of the uniparty. Here it's still the case that any Nat who dares step out of line is immediately forced to retract and kowtow. There, mercifully, an increasing segment of the Republicans are exiting the Uniparty. That NEEDS to happen here too. It's possible that ACT already represents that chunk of practicing politicians. I don't know.

The policy of the Uniparties of the world is simply to do anything they're told to do by a group of international uniparty coordinators. This coordinating group includes the WEF, the United Nations (prominently including the WHO) and the Bank of International Settlements. The sole desire of this group is to engineer the effective formation of a global government, run by them. So far they're doing pretty darn well at achieving that. But they can still be stopped.

Now, I realise that this reading of the situation is still so far outside the Overton Window that it is likely to be dismissed with a wave of the hand as "conspiracy theory". But in truth, it's not so much conspiracy THEORY as actual conspiracy. And unless enough serious people start taking it seriously, the coordinators are quite likely to achieve their desire within the foreseeable future. With the help, of course, of an utterly bought-and-paid-for media.

So please at least think about it, Karl. Does this fit with all currently available evidence? Does it MAKE SENSE of what's been going on? Hmmm ....