It helps to get words like “nun” and “masturbating” into your lobbying pitch to grab public attention

The Family First mob – an admirable outfit in most respects  – should consult with the Taxpayers’ Union on the small matter of  attention-grabbing.

Both organisations are complaining (and rightly so) about a t-shirt that some tossers regard as a legitimate museum piece.

Alf will be going out to argue for a t-shirt burning, should his help be needed, and he will certainly be asking questions in Parliament of our Minister of Arts, Culture and What-have you and/or Minister of Local Government.

He will also be thundering his outrage in a speech to the House, should he be given the opportunity.

But he knew nothing about any outrage,  despite  Family First being the first to post a press statement on the matter at Scoop.

Not until the Taxpayers Union posted its press statement on the same matter.

The Taxpayers Union alerted Alf by kicking off their statement with a headline expressed in a language to which he instinctively responds with profound curiosity.

Masturbating Nun a Poor Use of Ratepayer Money

His good friends at Family First were unduly coy, preferring to head their statement with:

Family Group Lays Police Complaint Re Offensive Shirt

A complaint about an offensive shirt could have been occasioned by a Labour MP failing to apply his deodorant earlier in the day (and Alf could name several suspects) .

But the issue had nothing to do with smelly armpits.

The Taxpayers Union put their finger on it with their reference to a masturbating nun.

Family First NZ, good for them, will be  laying a complaint with the police over the t-shirt which is on display at a Canterbury Museum exhibition.

The shirt features wording and objectionable imagery that Family First regards as highly offensive.

Based on what he knows about it, Alf is bound to suppose he would find it highly offensive too.

Indeed, it has already been deemed unacceptable by both the Internal Affairs Department and in the Invercargill District Court in 2012.

Family First reminds us that in 2008, the chief censor banned t-shirts with the same wording, making it illegal to wear it or sell or distribute it after they were deemed to be demeaning and degrading to women and Christians, especially involving a highly offensive word.

“Canterbury Museum is funded by the good people of Christchurch and they deserve far better. The Museum should show some respect to the many families who will be horrified and offended by this and remove the offensive material. Sinking to these low levels is an insult to many families,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

Family First has a good track record in this sort of battle against the forces of licentiousness, smut, lewdness and evil.

They were  successful in getting the Advertising Standards Authority to uphold their complaint and ban the Internet Mana party’s ‘Join the Revolution’ advert on YouTube which includes a crowd chanting “f*** John Key”.

They also slammed Auckland hip-hop crew @peace for their release containing lyrics that threaten to kill Prime Minister John Key and have sex with his daughter.

“Museums should be places that local communities are proud of as they reflect the history of their area. This shirt and its message is nothing to be proud of.”

Actually, Alf is inclined to wonder why we bother to have museums at all.

But that’s another argument.

Family First has found itself an ally besides Alf.

The Taxpayers’ Union is backing their concerns and – much more effectively than First First did with their statement – tells us:

 The t-shirt features a semi-naked nun masturbating.

The Taxpayers’ Union is bothered more by matters of money than morality, it is fair to say.

It has received confirmation from the Museum that ratepayer money has been used to support the “T-shirts unfolding” exhibition. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Our objection isn’t to the t-shirt per se, our objection is ratepayer money being used for what is, at best, an item with little cultural or historic value.”

“In matters of taste there is a higher onus on publicly funded bodies to avoid funding matters of a highly dubious nature. One can argue that restrictions on freedom of speech and blasphemy are unjustified, while also acknowledging that higher standards should apply to what public money is used to promote.”

Alf shares the outrage about public money being used, even if it is the money of Christchurch people in this case and not his money.

He is just as outraged by the imagery and language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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