Pae Kōrero: Sue Bradford & Chris Finlayson call for civil discourse and respectful debate
Political Figures
Political Figures

Pae Kōrero: Sue Bradford & Chris Finlayson call for civil discourse and respectful debate

Former Green MP Sue Bradford and former National MP and former Attorney General Chris Finlayson have expressed their dismay over recent incidents of hate speech and violent behaviour.

On Tova O'Brien's Monday Pae Kōrero, Bradford and Finlayson discussed the importance of civil discourse and respectful debate.

Finlayson criticised the events in Auckland over the weekend involving anti-trans-rights activist Posie Parker, in which tensions boiled over and physical altercations occurred during a protest in Auckland.

"I thought that Saturday was most unfortunate, that's putting it mildly," he said. 

"I'd like to think that we're able to debate things in a mature and sensible way without indulging in personalities."

Bradford echoed Finlayson's sentiment, saying, "It's a real pity that things came to this, I think."

However, Bradford also expressed her support for the trans community and their right to protest, adding that it was important for them to express their feelings about participation.

"I do agree with Chris that being able to debate across the lines in an intelligent and deep way is the best way through to dealing with very difficult debates."

Moving on to the topic of hate speech, O'Brien raised a recent incident where a Hamilton businessman sent out an email to 48 contacts (which he says was private) saying three female councillors and others like them should be taken behind the bike shed and have the “living sh*t beaten out of them”.

Finlayson acknowledged that the language used was inappropriate and outdated. 

"I gave this a lot of thought, on one level you wonder how anyone could be so stupid as to send an email like that, on balance I agree with one of the councillors who said it was just an old man speaking in his language.

"It's pretty unfortunate stuff, times have moved on, you do not speak in that way about people," he said.

Bradford also condemned hate speech, saying, "I think it's awful and I hope that the police do look at it."

"It's because this culture of impunity that still seems to exist around threatening, especially women, politicians, media people too, for that matter, threatening acts of violence.

"Some people say, 'oh, it doesn't really matter' but when you're on the receiving, it does and it's happening all too frequently and not only from that gentleman's generation."

Listen to the full interview between Sue Bradford, Chris Finlayson and Tova above.

You can also download the full interview on the Tova podcast, and listen on the go. 

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