Minto had me fooled
I’ve tended in the past to take a charitable view of John Minto. The worst thing I could find to say about him was that his devotion to left-wing causes was so wide-reaching and so passionate that he had become an almost comical fixture – a caricature – in the political landscape.
In a Dominion Post column in 2012, I wrote that I almost felt sorry for him. “His brain must hurt when he wakes up every morning. So many downtrodden people, so many heartless capitalists, so many injustices – which one will he deal with today?” I described him as a compulsive serial protester and said that images of him addressing rag-tag gatherings with a megaphone were one of the few constants in a chaotic universe.
Beneath this mockery I felt a degree of respect for him. There was no doubting the sincerity of his convictions, or his commitment. Besides, a democratic, pluralist society needs to make room for people of every political shade. There might even have been times when I felt Minto had a valid point to make, even if he did himself no favours by coming across as intense and uncompromisingly dogmatic.
Now I realise I’ve been wrong all this time. What caused me to reassess Minto was a column he wrote for the far-left Daily Blog last week on the result of the Brexit referendum.
It reveals him as an unreconstructed Marxist, which is hardly surprising. He uses the tired, anachronistic rhetoric of class warfare – language that I thought had died with the passing of the People’s Voice. But more tellingly, it’s the language of malice and hate. Read more »