This is my second day at home feeling horrible. Yesterday I spent it lying down feeling horrible. Today I am sitting up feeling horrible so I am probably getting better. It’s been very hard to concentrate on anything or form coherent thoughts. Well, harder than normal. While listening to the Cocteau Twins in a sweaty delirium and reading and finally finishing 1927 by Bill Bryson in my short windows of conscious coherence I came to a few conclusions.
- Why do we run First Past the Post, American style leaders’ debates? Don’t we have MMP? Even if you changed the rule so that any party with more than 5% of the party vote had to appear it would be better. Shouldn’t we be hearing from a range of people who are more than likely to form the next government? It feels very much like the television networks have not clicked to what proportional representation is. I don’t know what that means for new parties, but I’m pretty sure we could figure something out – it doesn’t strike me as too complicated.
- What on earth is going on? Every time I go on Twitter there is some new horror show unfolding. Today we had @whaledump’s Twitter account being shut down, and then the posting of a disgusting Facebook exchange between Cameron Slater and Jordan Williams. Stuff carried a story in which Judith Collins called David Cunliffe a moron. A moron? I don’t really think that you should call anybody a moron. I might be silly, but I’m pretty sure that this kind of thing is not helpful.
- Then you go and read Jordan Williams’ apology on Facebook and you get this kind of stuff: “However, my heart sunk when reading my potty mouth Facebook messages”, “If there is one thing that I’ve really learned with all this is, just like with email, Facebook messages are an ever lasting record. The mantra that “if you wouldn’t want your mum reading it, don’t write it” holds true. Lesson learned. I’m so sorry Mum.” Potty mouth? As for mantras when communicating with other people how about “act like a decent human being”?
- I’m not a fan of @whaledump. I think what they’re doing is pretty much exactly what Slater delights in. Releasing this information is either for the public good or it’s a game. A salacious game. I have the feeling that the media should be giving this hacker a harder time. The Herald won’t of course because they appear to have a special relationship with the source of the information. All of this drip feeding of little morsels of scandal seems to be going nowhere. Is there something serious that we need to know for the good of our democracy or is it just more of these nasty, toxic exchanges between contemptible people. I really don’t want to read more of that. It gets me down.
I think that reading 1927 has reminded me of how fast time is to erase yesterday’s scandal from the popular consciousness. It worries me that all of this horrible, horrible stuff might just fatigue us before we create some meaningful change. 1927 also reminded me that the people of a society have power. What is normal at any given time can be bizarre twenty years later. We create our normal. I hope we do. That we act. That the inquiries are thorough and open, and the recommendations acted on.