- Chlöe Swarbrick called “crybaby” sparks an investigation within the Green Party.
- But Marama Davidson, as minister, saying “white cis men” are responsible for “violence in the world”, then claiming she was in shock, warrants no investigation.
- Why is the media not drawing obvious comparisons between the two incidents? Why does Davidson get a pass?
- Do Greens have their priorities straight?
A tiff between mates
The Green Party launched an internal investigation into an incident in which first term MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere reportedly called fellow MP Chlöe Swarbrick a “crybaby”.
It’s widely reported Kerekere is said to have accidentally hit send on the offending text after Swarbrick’s Alcohol Minimisation Bill failed on first reading in Parliament.
Kerekere, who’s just behind Swarbrick on the list MP rankings at number four, has denied calling Swarbrick a “crybaby” in the text, which apparently appeared in a group chat of about 19 Green MPs and staffers.
Irony, thy name is Marama
Green co-leader Marama Davidson is “disappointed” by the comments and the party will be “fully investigating”. She added, “on the face of it, the message looked to be ‘mean’” and the Greens are “taking this really seriously”. Davidson says she “suggested” Kerekere not be at the office the day following the offending text.
The other party co-leader, James Shaw, stressed that Kerekere’s alleged insult appears to “breach the standards with which we like to hold ourselves accountable”.
However, neither those standards nor accountability seem to be in play for Davidson herself. Davidson gained notoriety recently for comments she made in her capacity as Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, where she blamed “white cis men” for “violence in the world”. She’s failed to apologise publicly and disingenuously blamed her irresponsible statements on a minor traffic accident she claims left her in shock. In the clip circulating widely online Davidson appeared smiling and at ease while making the offensive remarks.
There is no evidence the Green Party has launched any kind of investigation into Davidson’s conduct despite calls for her resignation from opposition parties and almost one hundred complaints to the Human Rights Commissioner.
Davidson to not contest her seat in the general election
Davidson has announced she will not campaign to win re-election of her Tāmakai Makarau seat. Instead, she’ll campaign as a list MP. The move virtually guarantees Davidson will return to Parliament and allows her to avoid facing voters directly who may be incensed by her conduct.
Is there a double standard here?
Neither Newshub nor any other mainstream outlet seemed to pick up on the party’s seeming double standard. Davidson gets a pass for her remarks that insult a large proportion of the country, while Kerekere is held to account for her relatively innocuous jab at Swarbrick.
Newshub reports that the investigation into Kerekere’s text is to see if there’s a “broader problem here”. It beggars belief that the same questions are not being asked of Davidson’t comments.
Reporter Jenna Lynch seemingly covers for the Green Party MPs by arguing the party has made a “concerted effort to look like a stable, mature coalition partner”.
Are Swarbrick’s feelings (or potential feelings, since she isn’t complaining) towards being called a crybaby more important to the party than the co-leader using her ministerial pulpit to make hateful and untrue remarks aimed at hundreds of millions of decent people?
Voters will have to decide if the Green Party has its priorities straight.
Feature image from Green Party NZ