Lead by example, please…

Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, DR Congo, France….

Being bombarded by images of the cruelty, destruction, mutilation and murder in other places can too easily leave us numb.

I wake each morning, and remember to be grateful.  I’m grateful for living here, in Aotearoa, where  as our refugee friends say, “you can criticise the government and no one shoots you.  And they don’t send soldiers to put you in prison, and torture you.”

I feel deeply grateful for all those who have helped to create a more inclusive society, and those who try to create a fairer one.

The front page of the NZ Herald recently said that the biggest threat facing us was terrorist attacks from within our own country

Terrorism thrives on discontent, on alienation, in people who feel marginalised or treated with contempt.

We all share the responsibility of ensuring that each person we meet experiences respect rather than ridicule, 

generosity rather than greed, kindness rather than cruelty, and compassion rather than contempt.

Basic human decency, in fact.

We expect no less of our leaders, John Key and David Carter.

It’s long past the time for our Parliament to have rules about decent behaviour.  The shouting and smart-alec interjections, the rudeness and point scoring, have no place in a civil society.  Thank goodness for the Greens and the Maori Party – please continue to set the example of sensible, courteous  political debate.  Our Parliament is the public face of our society.  If we want to live in a country  where democracy is respected, and all citizens feel proud to be part of society, we have to model a respectful and effective democratic process.

As for you, John Key,  your comment about the Labour Party “supporting rapists and murderers” last week is absolutely untrue and unacceptable from a Prime Minister.  And, Mr Speaker, you failed all women, and all standards of decency, by not demanding an apology and supporting the women who protested. 

This sort of leadership is intolerable.


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