Taking offence has become much too easy

Act’s David Garrett would be advised to brace to make another apology. To the Tongans.

The poor bugger seems to have a gift for putting his foot in it, in this mamby-pamby era when blokes are expected to refrain from using language or making remarks that some delicate souls might regard as lewd.

Actually, Alf is astonished at the fuss being made about Garrett, and is perplexed that he has been given a bollocking by Rodney Hide for whatever inappropriate comments he made about a female Act staff member to another staffer. Can’t imagine a few raunchy remarks ever hurting anybody; they merely expose the affably challenged and/or those prone to being snitches.

But Garrett has been publicly humiliated.

He has had to apologise.

And he has explained himself: he says he has been on a steep learning curve since being an oil rig worker for 10 years , although the Herald points out today he subsequently practised as an employment lawyer.

But Alf sniffs more trouble and expects further demands for apologies, because –

He referred to time practising law in Tonga, saying he had learned “the kind of thing that might have been okay in a law firm in Tonga is not okay in Parliament”.

The Herald’s focus today is on Garrett’s legal work in this country.

Mr Garrett actually specialised in employment law for 15 years before becoming an MP. He has previously told Parliament he was an “aggressive employment lawyer who knew my stuff”and got results for employees “like shooting fish in a barrel, because of hapless employers who got one little detail…wrong”.

But the remark about Tonga looks likely to prove problematic, too.

At least one Tongan community leader is warbling about being outraged by the remark.

Dunno what oil riggers think of Garrett’s explanation. If they complain, too, then Alf will know it’s all over for civilization as he knew it.

UPDATE: Actually, Cactus Kate summed things up (and did a better job of it than Alf) in her blog posting on Sunday.

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