Apr 14, 2021

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Lazy Maoris and idle words | Reading the Maps blog

4 min read

I picked up a copy of the New Zealand Herald this morning to find Paul Holmes in a very grumpy mood. The protesters who joshed with cops and shouted down the Prime Minister on Waitangi Day symbolise, for Paul, all that is rotten in Maoridom.

What is remarkable about Holmes’ column is not so much its grumpiness but its spendthrift way with adjectives and abstract nouns. Not only were those protesters at Waitangi ‘hateful’ – they were, Paul tells us in the same sentence, ‘hate-fuelled’. And, wouldn’t you know, they filled Waitangi Day with ‘hatred’. The day was ‘ghastly’. And it wasn’t simply ghastly – it was, Paul quickly adds, a thing of ‘ghastliness’. What ghastly ghastliness!

Ghastly things tend not to be attractive things, but Paul has to use another adjective and tell us, just in case we haven’t gotten his drift, that Waitangi Day is ‘repugnant’. It is so repugnant, in fact, that Paul has to use ‘repugnant’ twice to describe it.

Paul goes on to explain that Waitangi has become a ‘bullshit’ day. Now, the word ‘bullshit’ long ago become a synonym for ‘untruth’, but Paul uses his next sentence to explain to his readers that Waitangi has become ‘a day of lies’.

Paul elaborates on the theme of dishonesty by suggesting that every Waitangi Day Maori show they are in ‘denial’. Just in case this point is a little too abstruse, Paul uses another sentence to explain that Maori are in denial because they are failing to address things. Thanks, Paul.

Paul’s orgiastic outpouring of unnecessary adjectives and limp abstract nouns is rather unfortunate, because he wants to use his column to complain about the ‘hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children’. Paul is of course a known authority on child-rearing, having helped bring up that model of scholarship and sobriety Millie Elder-Holmes, but I’m not sure if I’d trust him to teach kids journalism, or for that matter English as a second language. In fact, if I were the editor of the Herald I’d hand Paul a copy of that favourite of right-minded journos since the days of Hemingway and Orwell, Fowler’s Modern English Usage, and ask him to copy out the entry on Redundancy twice. Paul complains about the number of Maoris sitting about idly on the dole, but what about the idle words in his column? Isn’t it cruel to allow them to lounge about on the fringes of his sentences, living meaningless lives, knowing that, without nouns of their own to qualify, they’ll never do any useful work?

I do find it curious how the people determined to defend European civilisation from the depredations of brown barbarians seem so often to be short of the finer trappings of European civilisation. I’ve looked at footage of protests by groups like the National Front and the English Defence League and seen beer-bellied skinheads with swastika tattoos on their necks chanting about the need to defend the honour of the white race, and wondered whether they might be engaged in some elaborate joke. Perhaps Paul’s column, with its succession of awful sentences, is also some sort of practical joke.

Perhaps his piece is a satire intended to show how will awl rite in da fucha, if dem brownyz wif there PC kohunga rayo skool nonsenz ar alowd 2 take ova? I enjoy Waitangi Day, and think it a fine expression of our nation’s character and values.

New Zealand is a country founded by dodgy property speculators from some of England’s second-rate public schools on land seized from Maori by Celtic and Yorkshire soldier-settlers who were pushed out of their own whenua by enclosures and poverty, and who soon found themselves in hock to the same landlords and bankers that had bothered them back home. Maori have tended to have a rather half-hearted attitude toward the nation founded on their dispossession, and so have many of their dispossessors, who have often identified more with their class, religion, or region than with their nation.

On Waitangi Day the chief executive of the nation, who made his fortune betting against the New Zealand dollar for an American company, and who flies out to his holiday home in Hawa’ii every chance he gets, travelled to one of the poorest parts of the country and attempted to lecture a group which has lived there for a thousand years about the virtues of patriotism. Curiously enough, his words were met with derision.

The confusion, disunity, and rambling, intemperate arguments which are such a part of Waitangi Day seem a fair enough symbol of a disunited, confused, and argumentative nation. Waitangi is certainly more honest than the false shows of unity and harmony that the Aussies and the Americans turn on for their national days.

I like seeing Prime Ministers being mocked and harangued on Waitangi Day, and the subsequent fulminations of columnists like Holmes are (if you’ll excuse me resorting to what Fowler’s Modern calls, with its usual magisterial contempt, an ‘exhausted metaphor’) icing on my cake.

[Posted by Maps/Scott]

Original Post – http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/lazy-maoris-and-idle-words.html

7 thoughts on “Lazy Maoris and idle words | Reading the Maps blog

  1. This is a great blog. I am a journalism student in Wales, and it never fails to surprise me how our largest newspapers are just straight out racist. Here in Wales, we have to fight for our language and culture too, as we have been under English occupation for many years. Yet whenever there is any kind of protest, it is either misrepresented, or ignored completely by the media!

  2. Very interesting comments Paul Holmes. It is a pity that you forgot to mention that “a” reason for Maori being “Ghastly” is simply because like our whanau, our lands are still being “perpetually leased” compliments of “Pakeha legislation” that still exists today. This leasing methodology ensures that my whanau will never get the chance to get back our lands to work. One block is approx 810 acres of prime pastural land in South Taranaki. The land is valued at Millions of dollars, we in turn get paid after the leasee has paid his feeble rental. This year was a record payout considering that these leases have been in place since approximately the early 1900. we got paid $1.00 per share which in my whanau case equates to 1 per acre. I honestly thought you were an onto it honest person Paul holmes. Looks like you have been totally ill informed or your true colours of prejudice are coming to the fore. Either way i rest my case.
    Kia kaha koutou Ngaai Maaori

  3. I actually wondered out loud about whether Mr Holmes was slightly senile, as his rantings and ravings seemed so… preposterous and vicious! This was more than just a “cheeky darkie” slip of the tongue – it was a no holds barred attack on the rights of Maori to be heard, and of the intelligence and pride of Maori in general.
    I wondered “where the heck were the editors and moderators of NZ Herald”, that a substandard article such as this could even make it to print? What exactly were the intentions of the NZH when they let this article run without even a hint of a fair un-biased opinion to balance it out?
    Holmes writes with a hate spurred frenzy, sentences describing Maori who attend Waitangi as “hate-fuelled weirdos who seem to exist in a perfect world of benefit provision”. This implies that Maori are lazy and benefit reliant does it not? Yet he continues with his rant saying “as I lie in bed on Waitangi morning…” I’m sorry but he who lies in bed and can’t be bothered getting his arse to Waitangi is ten times more lazy in my eyes, than the people who are at Waitangi being proactive and vocal from the crack of dawn. The man lies in bed and criticizes Maori? Don’t get me started!!!
    He rants about Maori not ‘educating’ our children, for ‘abusing’ our children, for blaming ‘the whitey’s’… yet it’s not like his children have become pillars in society – tread carefully Paul Holmes – next you’ll be blaming your daughters rampant P addiction on the Maori warrior gene. And let’s not forget the reasons Paul’s son carries a Maori name of such high regard (Reuben Thomas Apirana Holmes) – for the second that boy step’s out of line Paul would probably blame the “Apirana” name that was bestowed upon him at birth. Although I must give the boy props for issuing an edict that his father may not mention him in interviews (shunting the limelight and disassociating himself from his father’s public persona – perhaps he saw this day coming)?
    Paul’s racist track record and public gaffs have well and truly caught up with him – let’s not forget that the Broadcasting Standards Authority ruled against Holmes for lack of balance and journalistic integrity in 2001. Not learning from that he (in)famously blamed ‘tiredness’for repeatedly referring to then-United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as a “cheeky darkie” in 2003. Fast forward to 2004 when he called the then-Israeli Prime Minister the “butcher Sharon.” AND described Tariana Turia as a “confused bag of lard”… not to mention the mess he made of the Q & A current affairs programme during the “Hobbit” debate in 2010.
    Get yourself together Paul Holmes! Your opinions is that of a minority, it’s disgusting and obnoxious. In spite of the amazing journalism you achieved in your prime, your name will now be forever tainted with this nonsensical article. You should have given up while you were ahead.

  4. Ah yes but will he ponder? Or will his defensiveness, ignorance and superiority complex not allow him to?

  5. Well said Maps/Scott, and Paul Holmes says Maori are in denial? That’s the problem with people like Paul Holmes, always wanting to victimise the victims and not wanting to see themselves as the perpetrators!! So who is really in denial?

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