A fellow blogger ran into a bit more turbulence than he would have expected after posting some stuff about Charles Chauvel’s disapproval of noisy kids on a flight from Auckland to Wellington.
More than a few of the comments in response to the posting are chiding the complaining blogger.
One of them says –
… I appreciate the difficulties in keeping little children quiet for any kind of extended period of time but also it might pay to appreciate how freaking infuriating it is for everyone else to share a flight with them. Mr Chauvel’s comments are well within the realms of reason in my opinion, I probably would have said something similar (I’m a taxpayer, a voter and a citizen).
Chauvel is a Labour MP, which should disqualify him immediately from getting any sympathy from Alf, and he happens to have some other predilections which further disqualify him.
But on this occasion, Alf is on the Labour feller’s side of the argument. So, too, is the Busted Blonde, who blogged on this yesterday.
The Herald further explains what the fuss is about today –
A Wellington man is angry that Labour MP Charles Chauvel said his children should “shut up” during a flight at the weekend – even though his wife, two rows away, did not even hear the comment.
Fred Phillips – a surgeon, former Act Party member and regular blogger – said his children were well behaved and Mr Chauvel’s comments were inappropriate.
“It was a petulant act from a public figure who should know better.”
Mr Phillips said he heard Mr Chauvel voice his anger three times, culminating at the end of the flight with a comment of “I don’t know why they let them up here”.
Fair to say, Chauvel disputes this but admits he said once on the flight that he wished the children would “shut up” to his partner, and any normal person would have said the same thing.
Phillips version of what happened has no corroboration in the Herald’s account because –
Mr Phillips’ wife, Stephanie, was sitting in the front row with two children, aged 1 and 4, and she did not hear any comments from Mr Chauvel.
But Mr Phillips said the comments were “loud enough for me”.
“I was sitting in the row in front of him and I could hear what he was saying very clearly. If I hadn’t heard anything I wouldn’t be upset. I was going to ask him to act more maturely, but my wife said it could have escalated into an argument.”
On the other hand, there is support for Chauvel’s account.
A person on the same flight said yesterday: “I was sitting in the aisle across from Charles and I actually said to my husband that I wished the parents would tell their children to ‘shut up’. They were pretty loud.”
Philips admits his children were making noise. Nothing of any consequence, he insists.
“It was less than the noise being made by the engines of the aeroplane. And they calmed down, it was infrequent and there was no one else around us that was remotely concerned.
Less than the noise being made by the bloody engines?
What the hell does that tell us about the level of decibels reached by his troublesome spawn?
There’s more in the Herald account to suggest that most of us might have been bothered, too by the kids’ antics.
Mrs Phillips admitted her 1-year-old was difficult for about a minute during the descent, but apart from that the children had not been particularly disruptive.
Oh, and she is upset at subsequent implications she was a bad parent.
But it should be noted she refrained from saying the kids were not disruptive. Only that they were not particularly disruptive.
As a traveller whose equilibrium too often is thrown out of whack by noisy brats on airliners, Alf has great sympathy for Chauvel. The airlines should stick kids into a container with some Noddy books and stuff and carry them in the cargo hold.
Chauvel is right, furthermore, to despair that this incident has become the focus of so much media attention, whereas he strives long and hard (as does Alf) to get the media to take seriously the issues he raises.
Oh, and just a final note.
Why would a red-blooded surgeon and former ACT Party member want to take his family to Auckland?
It was to see some outfit called the Pixies.
And on the way home he encountered Chauvel.