(another) Comment of the Day

eight_col_bitchThe Taranaki journalist at the sharp end of threats of violence for writing her column, has commented on my article where I reminded her she used to be part of the problem herself.

I’m somewhat grateful, pleased and honoured to have found this comment by her

Rachel Stewart:

Cam, your article above is level-headed and fair.

Yes, I did tweet that, and can assure you it was NOT anything other than joining in with the twitter herd on some relevant news story about you on the day.

But, you are right. Knowing what I know now, about how receiving relentless threats and abuse feels, it is something I will never do ever again. Please accept my unreserved apology for ever doing so in the first place.

By the way, I’m thoroughly enjoying your views on the Ruataniwha!

I can put up with people who have intellectual honesty.  There are too few on the left as they allow themselves to be driven by ideology and a pure us versus them approach.   (Not to mention the “I’m against anything Whaleoil is for…”)

Rachel just has gone up in my book:  there are few people who  have the stones to apologise to me, especially in public, preferring to wear the transgression as a badge of honour instead.

Perhaps Rachel is a journalist first, and a leftie second?   Either way, she’s now on my list of people I can respect, in spite of the fact we can’t see eye to eye about most politics.

I accept your apology, and you have my thanks.


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  • SlightlyStrange

    Well, I am impressed.
    With Rachel, of course. Not with the dimwit who wrote that note (is that the original death threat she got?) – its basically illegible. Although perhaps that’s on purpose? And whats with the poor English? Punctuation and spelling, people!

    • 1951

      Just looking at that hand writing ( I’m no expert) I’m guessing that it is not written by one annoyed bloke out there in the back blocks (who hasn’t had time in his life to develop his motor-skills) but rather a woman pretending to be one.

      • johcar

        I suspect it’s written by someone who is the product of the
        National Certificate of Educational Achievement system, possibly by someone who actually struggled even in that system…

      • Betty Swallocks

        I’m glad someone else thought that – it was my first reaction when I looked at it yesterday. I don’t have any particular expertise, but I did spend nearly 8 years reading literally thousands of complaint letters from health service patients. It certainly looks like a woman’s hand to me.

        • 1951

          It is supposed to be from an upset farmer yet most men on the land have little time to develop a confident style to writing as seen with the ‘D’ & ‘B’s. Then the flick on the ‘W’ is opposite direction. It seems contrived.

  • Well done Rachel. You’ll discover, if you haven’t already, that in spite of the diatribe against Cam and WO, he is totally fair. You were treated unspeakably and as such the WO community got right behind you. I hope the perpetrator(s) get their just deserts as intellectually and morally they’re not that far behind IS

  • cows4me

    Good on Rachel, I rarely agree with what she says but she’s gone up a heap in my books. It’s all to easy to be clever and be wrong but it’s much harder to admit that maybe I was wrong. She deserves a chocolate whale.

  • Souvlaki

    Refreshingly honest ! Well done Rachel :-)

  • If the left are true to form, they will now vilify her for apologising to Cam. They turn on their own with the same viciousness they use on the right. They turned Josie Pagani into a pariah just because she had the nerve to ask if Labour was actually doing the right thing. (hint: check the election result, she may have been onto something).

    I like what Cam says about intellectual honestly. Few commentators on the left display it.

    • Hard1

      “Few commentators on the left display it.’
      That would require a social conscience and a moral compass.

      Few on the left would be aware of that responsibility. They are all far to comfortable under Key’s stable governance to understand the world beyond Bali.

  • pak

    Admitting being wrong and offering a gracious and honest apology sets a good example for other lefties. Good on Rachel Stewart but imagine hell will freeze over before any of her colleagues follow suit.

  • symgardiner

    I hold people who see the error of their ways and change more highly than those who were right in the first place. Big ups to Rachel.

  • Priam

    Yes, Rachel. A true apology which can be respected and accepted with grace.

    Not like many clayton’s apologies of these times which conclude with “…but [and then an explanation of why they were right all along and you, the apologee, were really to blame]..” With those sort of apologies everything before the “but” can be discounted. Not so with yours, Rachel

  • Eddie

    It does seem to be the right who are more able to apologise and admit mistakes. Fitzgerald was the only one who admitted he was duped by some activists last year while Dunne dug his heels in and a long list of Greens did likewise.

    Well done Rachel for having the integrity to do the right thing, regardless of political affiliation. I hope that colleagues respect you as much as we do for it!

  • Pharmachick

    As far as I am concerned, this has nothing to do with “left” or “right”. This is a speech issue. We have columnists (and bloggers, and editorials) to present an opinion. Sometimes these opinions are fair and balanced, sometimes not. Likewise, sometimes they’re well researched and sometimes not. Ms. Stewart presented an honest opinion as she has been doing for some time. The backlash she got was hysterical, uncalled for, unclassy and yes; downright feral. Although Ms. Stewart piled on to a terrible social media campaign a year or so ago, it is obvious that she never realized the reach and import of what she did. I am *incredibly* sorry that she had to find out the hard way, but I respect the heck out of her for posting what she did and for apologising. What an outstanding person. To Ms. Stewart, if you’re reading this – most everybody here stands with you in standing up to these bullies and frightening threateners. None of us believe you deserve this treatment and all [well almost all] of us are appalled. I hope the NZ Police can help you here and that you can regain a sense of safety and peace.

  • steve and monique

    Good on her for doing that. Threats of violence etc, are the most gutless form of bullying out there. Just shows how unintelligent some folks are.

  • Jaffa

    This is not about “Left” and “Right”.

    It is not political!

    This is about “Right” and Wrong”.

    The Left are too often just plain Wrong!

  • kiwirog

    “In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that
    I have always found it a wholesome diet.”

    Winston Churchill.

  • Lord Evans

    Big ups to Rachel for her honest response. For what it’s worth, those who resort to intimidation, are mostly just cowardly bullies, who wouldn’t dare to front up and tell you what they think to your face. As such, they are not worth responding to or worrying about because they don’t matter, and they rarely achieve anything worthwhile in their lives. Can’t resist a pushback though…

  • Krauss (Waihi NZ)

    “NOT anything” and this from a Journalist.