Paul Henry’s Mo-chismo (the blind leading the deaf)
A lot of righteous criticism has been heaped on Paul and his decision to mock Stephanie Mills on Breakfast last week. Stephanie had been on the show to discuss the death of a French agent who had been involved in the Rainbow Warrior bombing and ended up being mocked by Paul for having facial hair. How base, how ugly, how very NZ, we seemed to have forgotten being under Labour for 9 years that there is a garden variety bigotry that stalks these fair isles, the out of town drunk Uncle who you have to put up with at Christmas once a year with their ‘bloody maaaaaaaaaaaoris get too much’ dinner table speeches is not only alive and doing well, but is currently the Government. The resentment of education is back and Political Correctness book burning is the new fad. The rednecks have been in full bloom on talkback on this facial hair issue (very much in the same vein their sickening attacks on Helen Clark’s UN appointment) that remind us that the view has narrowed with National and ACT in power. The white males who under FPP were never challenged for cultural power have felt that under MMP their cultural power had been rubbed raw, other people get to have a say in the decision making process meaning their voice wasn’t the only one, that really rips the nighties of the Paul Henry’s of this world. That perception and insecurity of a loss of male power has been the driving backlash against ‘political correctness’ and has given our redneck friends the talkback justification to cry about how hard done by they’ve all been for just being blokes. Well sadly that backlash has found political voice and for all the Paul Henry’s out there who have felt alienated at those Christmas dinners, it’s all their dream Christmas dinners come at once – they and their ilk are in power now and the facial hair of a woman is much more important than what that woman has to say. Paul Henry represents more than just Paul Henry, he represents all well to do old white males who feel the same ‘social engineering’ resentments and who now think under their Government being in power that they can go back to the racist jokes and sexist crap with the sly winks and devil may care smirks that give them the self esteem boost their Viagra pills can’t seem to match.
I leave the last word to a much more dignified Stephanie Mills
"It's trademark Paul Henry and there are bigger issues in the world to worry about - like people dying of leukaemia from French [nuclear] testing. I think he likes being controversial - that's a polite way to put it. This is who I am and people make choices about who they are. "I have a really wonderful family, three gorgeous kids, a loving husband, great friends, really challenging job that I do part-time around all the other things I do in my life, and I love my life. "I'm secure with myself and I feel sorry that these people are so insecure about either their own appearance or mine. This is not about me, it's about them."