One MP lost his balance – so why get a re-assertion of religious tolerance from the rest of us?

0 a tightrope

Oh dear, was this really necessary?

Alf refers to a bit of pottiness from the Green party, which has asked Parliament to re-assert its position on religious tolerance.

It seems to have happened while your long-serving MP was preoccupied on the back benches with checking his email.

He has a great gift for switching off, when anyone in Green stripes gets to their feet.

And his bench-mate has just nudged him to say the motion was passed unanimously.

Asking Parliament to re-asssert its position on religious tolerance came in the wake of the controversial comments by NZ First MP Richard Prosser and his proposal to ban Muslim men from flights by Western airlines.

As Stuff advised in a report here,

The motion will re-iterate that all New Zealanders, regardless of faith or ethnicity should be treated equally before the law, and their rights and dignity upheld.

A spokesman for the Greens said it was important Parliament sent a message to New Zealand’s Muslim communities.

And he said it was an attempt to mitigate some of the economic damage Prosser had done

But what damage has Prosser done, exactly?

None to the nation, that is immediately apparent.

But he has made a dick of himself with his somewhat extreme scribblings.

These would have required him to sit down and think about what he was writing, or rather, they would have required most people to sit down and think about what they were writing.

Fair to say, Richard Prosser may be more inclined to go with his stream of consciousness (a technique which is described here).

In literature, stream of consciousness writing is a literary device which seeks to portray an individual’s point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character’s thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue, or in connection to his or her sensory reactions to external occurrences.

Prosser further made a dick of himself by sneaking into Parliament today and avoiding waiting media.

Leader Winston Peters (see here) told reporters he believed Prosser would be turning up in the House for Question Time.

But the MP, who this morning apologised for calling for a ban on Muslims from Western airlines, took a back entrance to avoid being confronted by the press.

“I think he has been given a kick where the sun don’t shine and he’ll probably be eating his meals off the mantelpiece for the next week. And at the end of the experience he’ll probably be a better MP,” Peters said.

He said the NZ First caucus were “as mad and as disappointed as I”.

But it was “an in-house family matter” and there will be no further action against Prosser.

Finally, Prosser made a dick of himself by apologising for the words that flowed from his PC, or typewriter, or quill, or whatever, while his consciousness was streaming into the column about terrorism.

Alf caught up with the apology here

The list MP’s remarks provoked outrage yesterday, although NZ First leader Winston Peters refused to sack him and said he did not have to apologise.

However, speaking on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon show this morning, Prosser apologised.

“I’m sorry … to the majority of peaceful, law-abiding Muslims who are not involved in terrorism.”

He conceded he was “only talking about a very small extremist minority”, but his article would not allow the reader to separate the fact that most Muslims were honest and law-abiding.

”That’s obviously caused some upset, and for that I’m sorry,” he said.

The head of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, one Anwar Ghani, said the apology was not good enough.

Dunno about that.

It’s much more an expression of regret than anything he said yesterday.

What’s more he has acknowledged he had been unbalanced.

Prosser conceded his article had “a lack of balance” in calling for Muslim men to be banned from Western airlines.

”I concede that some of the language that I used wasn’t appropriate,” he said.

He blamed his approach as a ”shock-jock” columnist.

”My style as a columnist is perhaps something not appropriate any more for my role as an MP.”

Indeed, the style may not be appropriate.

But it’s always refreshing to hear exactly what a bloke thinks, and Prosser makes no secret of his thinking – at least on these matters.

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