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Monday, September 05, 2005

P Wong, MP



12 sleeps to the general election

Early spring air, Grey Lynn villas, quiet street.

John A Lee and Richard Prebble, and fast Eddy Isby* may have stood where we stand, and addressed the faithful as local MP. Now I stand alone waiting for the scheduled street corner "powwow" and for the sub five foot Chinese carpet-bagger from Christchurch to tell me why she's National.

Wong was in full chinglish imperspicuity, in search of the perquisite street corner mob represented entirely by someone intent on heckling her. She said she got ten in Herne Bay at the weekend. Whatever.

All three of the casual Pakeha small business owners listened and questioned. "Nothing from Judith Tizard," complained the woman with the large dog - and of course I nodded having had the underwhelming occasion to have been graced with her presence and nothing at all in the letterbox from her despite 12 individual pieces of political material from everyone else. It seems the crank parties are more organised than her.

We departed assured her tokenistic representation afforded us lower rates, and amidst the concern for where we'd be if we built Robbie's system, some vague promise about finishing the motorways in eight years time.

31 years - that's her level of spoken English! As a native English speaker I find it insulting she only uses it as a minimal tool of necessary communication with the locals - no need to learn syntax or plural terms for words when you can use a txtg versn stble locl wht pepl. ok? Y

No votes changed here.

*I worked for Prebble as an electorate agent, did political studies at Auckland University with Isby and was a Grey Lynn bookshop proprietor as John A Lee once was. With that awareness of history and therefore, I think, an adequate judge of local moment I venture to say this was not a moment.

11 Comments:

At 5/9/05 4:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps there are enough Pansy's in the house already Tim?

 
At 5/9/05 4:34 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

Hi Graham.

 
At 5/9/05 9:51 pm, Blogger Cathy Odgers said...

31 years - that's her level of spoken English! As a native English speaker I find it insulting she only uses it as a minimal tool of necessary communication with the locals - no need to learn syntax or plural terms for words when you can use a txtg versn stble locl wht pepl. ok?

>> I find Pansy's English easier to understand than many of the cuzzie bros out da back from Kura...and what day tag on dem walls down in da hood.

Or Tizard speak: how now I am a stupid white caaawww.

Pansy may not be a shining star but I think her lack of "Keeewiiii" language is the least of her faults.

Or have you just got something against Asians Tim?

 
At 5/9/05 10:51 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

I must live in a better educated part of the hood because the tagging all over my fence at the moment is unfortunately quite legible. They don't like the police either so I'm not disagreeing with the sentiment, and after some recent posts I can hardly start complaining about the word fuck or bitch. But I did think the choice of electric blue was garish. But then again the roof is smurf blue so I can't really complain about that either.

Tizard is a joke - that's a given.

For Wong English is not a priority for her, she's obviously achieved the level she feels comfortable with, and enough to not attract adverse reaction from native speakers. That standard is too low for me given she's had 31 years. It's not an accent thing either, entire words and parts of sentences are bypassed completely. Either she doesn't care about trying to speak English properly (or as she says "pop-er-lee") or she's too stupid to. Despite being a backbench National MP it didn't strike me that all her brain power was taken up with personal ambition that nothing was left over, so I think she just doesn't care. If we want to encourage low standards of English - Kenneth Wang for example - then we seem to be going the right way about it. Parliament's primary form of public communication is spoken English. It is painful to hear them mangle it. Wang is worse than Wong in that regard. At least you know with Wong that she thinks in English, but Wang is translating everything in his mind by the pauses he seems to take. That's a severe barrier to communication.

I know Act had a petition to encourage poor English by seeking an exemption from the English standards for migrants - in Chinese and Korean!

 
At 5/9/05 10:55 pm, Anonymous Ryan said...

Tim, I know you aren't a fan of Ms Tizard, Helen confidant. And perhaps you don't like Pansy either. That's up to you.

I'm no fan of tokenism, but I'd rather someone makes a geninue attempt at speaking an official language, English -- the sole official language of the country when she immigrated -- then not at all.

I would have thought you would have admired Pansy for speaking in a tongue other than her native one.

Would you be so down on her if she spoke Maori with a Chinese inflection?

 
At 6/9/05 5:39 am, Anonymous ToaBoy said...

The price of hot air is free, ne! At the risk of treading in the same muck, check this pebble out:

"I find Pansy's English easier to understand than many of the cuzzie bros out da back from Kura...and what day tag on dem walls down in da hood."

Wow! Then the old girl (back)steps it up:

"Or have you just got something against Asians Tim?"

Cher! I suppose when one is foaming, x will trip up before y. Opps, I said "cher" - damn cuzzie bro tongue of mine!

Nuff of my hot air!

Now I'm gonna sound gross and sappy, but... you know, in these ugly times (is this happening within our beautiful country?) when waving dollar notes and poking a pitchfork at the inferior race has majority heat, Tim, your little brown blogy rants amongst the crazy racial swirlings (and hurlings!) are cool! And although, I don't always agree with cut of pen - at times your tone is shrill and your themes' overheated; however, most of the time you rock, e hoa!

Are there any other minority bloggers: Maori, Pacific, gay, Chinese, et al, out there?

 
At 6/9/05 12:20 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

There is an excellent minority ethnic migrant worker blog here.

 
At 6/9/05 3:08 pm, Anonymous ToaBoy said...

Kia ora, Tim. Thanks for the link. I checked out the blog-site, but no thanks. Too much beef for my minority tastes!

Keep up the good work, e hoa!

 
At 6/9/05 3:52 pm, Blogger stephen said...

"she's obviously achieved the level she feels comfortable with, and enough to not attract adverse reaction from native speakers. That standard is too low for me given she's had 31 years. It's not an accent thing either, entire words and parts of sentences are bypassed completely."

Not enough to attract adverse reaction from native speakers.

Well, that's a pretty high bar already. You try mastering a language very different from yours as an adult, and see how well you do. How fluent's your Maori, Tim? Can you do any better than a re-lexified English?

"Either she doesn't care about trying to speak English properly (or as she says "pop-er-lee") or she's too stupid to."

Perhaps she doesn't care about achieving your standard ("properly") and has settled for reasonable intelligibility.

You really do have a bee in your bonnet, Tim. Face it.

 
At 6/9/05 4:25 pm, Blogger peterquixote said...

alway been suspicious abouts that woman ts, we should just soon as theys peoples start talking native just send them home to where ever, redneck says

 
At 7/9/05 3:36 pm, Blogger Cathy Odgers said...

Too funny Tim. I have just changed the title on my blog, have thought about a new one for a while - your suggestion is perfect.

 

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