CAPTION Green MP Golriz Grahraman.
I am ambivalent about the Green MP Golriz Grahraman and questions about her refugee background.
Simon Jeans – A high-profile Australian immigration lawyer – has questioned her take on freedom of speech, and her refugee status. It is not my intention to work out what is right or wrong. She should answer the claims.
But if you are going to ride a high horse, you have to be prepared to show you belong there. Some disagreed with Jeans’ claims. The co-editor of Newsroom – Tim Murphy – is one sceptic who is non-partisan.
“That thing by the Australian lawyer about MP Golriz Ghahraman: -tries to be all magisterial on a case built from a few news clippings makes assumptions about assumptions and argues with them to give a verdict no one sought. Odd.”
In partisan country, Golriz’s colleagues on the Left see a spate of criticism as part of a Right Wing conspiracy. I can guess that in their mind the notorious “old white men” are responsible..
Yesterday, on twitter, the Auckland Councillor Richard Hills blasted Grahraman’s critics.
“This unhealthy obsession of Golriz Grahraman nfrom mostly men on the right is ugly. I don’t follow most of them so don’t see it much. Noticed a spike again at the moment. It’s creepy and quite disgusting. Grow up and stop the bizarre schoolyard bullying of an elected woman.
Hills is entitled to support Golriz. But surely people have the right to question an activist MP and immigration spokesman – especially one who rides a high horse morally. She is a list MP. so in my opinion, she is not directly elected. On paper she has an impressive CV, having studied at Oxford University and worked with the UN . Golriz has branded herself as the refugee MP. As a result. She has enjoyed fawning publicity from adoring journalists who believe that she is something special. As a result she may be the most promoted backbencher in New Zealand history. More activism and speeches from On High means she is going to be questioned more. Some humility might be useful. In November she was also criticised for her role at the UN when it transpired that she helped defend someone who had been accused of inciting genocide. Most people will acknowledge the role of lawyers in representing unpleasant people who have a right to a defence, But it takes the shine off her claims to be friend of the weak and defender of human rights. Comments by Cr Hills are worrying in the current zeitgeist. Criticism of Golriz was ”creepy” and “disgusting,” he said. Creepy is a dog whistle – like fascist and Nazi – that commenting about her is misogynist. Who is next in the elite group that is above questioning? Is it creepy or disgusting to question people with power and who lecture us on our obligations? Politicians are not above the hoi polloi.