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Beyond "MacMovements"

Mon 14 Aug 2006 In: Comment

Fortunately, non-Wellingtonians probably won't be familiar with the tiresome whingeing conservative Catholic zealot Karl du Fresne, who whined about the iniquity of LGBT-inclusive modern New Zealand society in a recent INL/Fairfax newspaper column. Read on... He labelled this 'identity politics.' Like its fellow cliche 'political correctness,' 'identity politics' is taken from the fundamentalist "workerist" left, whose social conscience is limited solely to industrial relations, ignoring feminism, LGBT rights, the peace movement and anything since the seventies. In the mouth of tiresome religious fanatics like du Fresne, the term is used to attack the pluralism of contemporary New Zealand society. Social conservatives are shameless hypocrites when they trot out this tired old rhetoric. They're also guilty of size queenery. For one thing, consider what passes for social conservative 'macmovements' these days. The New Zealand anti-abortion movementis shrinking as its elderly members succumb to disease, disability, death and migration. The male backlash fanatics shot themselves in their collective feet over their rowdy protests against unsupportive Family Court judges. As for the pro-belting brigade, it's the old familiar story- their alleged 'expert' from Sweden turned out not to be a qualified lawyer after all. And the Society for Prevention of Civil Speechkeeps whingeing and trying to ban film festival fare... Fortunately, as the centre-left continues in power, these unpleasant little sects are shrivelling and dying off as they realise that mainstream urban liberal New Zealand is unsympathetic to their harangues, tirades and cheap publicity stunts.All that is, except the National Party, much of which has deluded itself into thinking that these unrepresentative little militant pressure groups somehow represent mainstream New Zealand society. They don't. And if the Opposition continues its self-delusion that they do, they're going to deserve the public backlash that results from exposure to the problems of ideological obsession and pressure group hijacking. May it arrive soon... 14AUG06 Karl du Fresne responds: I have no idea who Craig Young is, and don't much care. But where did he get the idea that I'm a "Catholic zealot"? It's a long time since I darkened the doorstep of a Catholic church (or any other type of church for that matter). "Religious zealot"? It's so far removed from the truth as to be comical, as anyone who knows me will confirm. - Karl du Fresne. 14AUG06 Subsequently, Craig Young responds: Mr du Fresne, I did a little digging, and guess what turned up? It is gratifying that you class yourself as an ex-Catholic, although readers may find your fond reminiscences about Silverstream Marist College below revealing. I did like the article in question, though (see link below). Moreover, Mr du Fresne, your neurotic obsession with things LGBT is well-known. For example, you are cited in a recent academic journal article accusing the former Auckland Hero Parade of "glorifying the lifestyle" of "homosexuality." (Granted, c1997, but still...) While I actually do agree with you about censorship and hate speech, I wish you'd tell our readers about your frequent attendance at former ON:/Fairfaxcolumnist Agnes Mary Brookes' "Summer Sounds" get-togethers during the nineties. Mrs Brooke is a former member of SPUC/Voice for Life. Mr du Fresne, it may be the case that you don't currently attend a Catholic church, but you voice current views that are not terribly different from someone who is still a conservative member of your former denomination. Perhaps you are a social conservative zealot these days, of a generic kind, but it is somewhat hard to tell the difference... - Craig Young Not recommended: Anti-abortion fanatics Pro-censorship fanatics, founded by a dead ex-nun Pro-belting maniacs Maxim Institute- best of a bad lot? Pro-belting maniacs Maxim Institute- best of a bad lot? Fringe fundamentalist dominated political party Whingeing male backlash fanatics Weekly fundamentalist and conservative Catholic newspapers Craig Young - 14th August 2006    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Monday, 14th August 2006 - 12:00pm

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