Herald Editorial Slams Fenton

The NZ Herald editorial slams Darien Fenton for her outburst against Sir Peter Leitch.

This petulance spoke volumes. The Mad Butcher has been a working man selling his meat in working-class areas for more than a generation. Despite his own wealth, he has stronger blue-collar credentials than Ms Fenton and her Opposition backbenchers combined.

He has for years been a prominent “mate” of the former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark and, among many acts of charity over a lifetime, provided and cooked meat for the barbecue held after former leader David Lange’s funeral.

For Ms Fenton, though, his broadcast utterances were political treason. That any member of the country’s working class could speak well of a “Tory” leader is anathema. Unthinkable. Unforgivable.

Fenton’s outburst has been followed up by one from Louisa Wall.

The Fenton comments would have been politically dumb and personally reprehensible at any time, given Sir Peter’s record for serving the communities the MP purports to represent.

But her timing, amid Sir Peter’s well-publicised but tentative recovery from cancer and the joy of all league fans at the Warriors’ late season success, was particularly damaging. The general election is in less than two months. Her party is at historic lows, Mr Key’s National Party at historic highs in the opinion polls.

Ms Fenton apologised late in the week. She had to, as her display of “he’s either with us or against us” is an unlovely insight into the tribal, old-school politics of some on the left. More than that, it threw a spotlight back on Sir Peter’s personal comments in favour of Mr Key.

The mysteries of the Prime Minister’s appeal run deep, leading to bewilderment within Labour at his “smile and wave” success, now publicly winning over a stalwart of the South Auckland and rugby league communities.

They must fear that in the words of the Mad Butcher’s radio advertisements, Mr Key could soon be seen as “everybody’s mate”.

Labour will be in panic mode. I doubt they will have the wisdom to lockdown Facebook and Twitter lest more gems fall into the vigilant hands of the Whale Army for publication.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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