So last night I was on Closeup in one of those primitive “race debates” with John Ansell and Hone Harawira. I agreed to go on the show under the impression we were going to talk politics – how naïve is that.
With John Ansell in the room, I should’ve realised the discussion was never going to be informative and reasoned, of course that was never the intention. The intention appeared to be to get John Ansell and Hone Harawira together, play them off against each other and then have me pipe up occasionally as the token “moderate” or “young person”. Of the panels I’ve done, last night’s was the most venal. It achieved nothing other than to provide John Ansell with a platform to parrot his flawed and offensive views on Maori and New Zealand society.
I was, more than anything, stunned and confused with what was said last night and, I think understandably, angry with Mark Sainsbury’s unwillingness to shift the conversation towards reason, as opposed hyperbole, misrepresentations and lies which is where Sainsbury directed the discussion.
I guess it teaches me a lesson – a lesson not to be so naïve and to also prepare accordingly when in the same room as John Ansell or any other like minds.