The Eleanor Catton Saturday Series: Part IV

Today we’ve seen my good friend Brian Edwards explaining Catton’s views away as totally justified and not requiring the kind of response we would give an All Black who, after being part of a World Cup winning team, turns around next year to say the coach was crap and he never really got much out of the process of being an All Black.

That of course ignores the problem that Catton attacked the government.  This was political, and had very little to do with a writer not being allowed to criticise the country that claims her achievement as part of their national identity.

But I get it now, Catton doesn’t want to share the reflected glory with any of us.  She did all the hard work.  We “New Zealanders” did nothing, and as a result, as a bit of a pseudo-New Zealander in her own mind, Catton feels uncomfortable when having to speak “as” a New Zealander or “for” New Zealanders.

At best, we can say she isn’t dealing well with fame.  After all, writing is a solitary inward looking pursuit, not necessarily suited to someone who is then asked to go on a huge publicity circuit where she isn’t just there for what she wrote, but because she’s assumed to be there as a New Zealander.

Where she made a mistake was to politicise her frustrations by attacking the uncaring right-wing government.  As we’ve seen from the Tax Payers Union, it is demonstrably untrue.  Catton has received more financial and career development support than I could possibly have expected.  In fact, given a different slant on the situation I would have pinged her for being a tougher.

Explaining is losing, and her own public statement simply confirms her initial intent was to attack the government – never mind that the facts don’t support her assertions.

Basically, She’s just a stuck up liberal elite bludger on the whinge. A Canadian ungrateful; for all the taxpayer support, she can kiss goodbye to getting any more.  Whinging tart.

A perfect example of why subsidies are evil, and the following truism holds:

“Things given for free have no value”.

But the whole issue would have been worth a serious discussion.  There is something to be said about putting people on pedestals and countries taking ‘ownership’ of achievements that they haven’t really earned themselves.

It would have been a good point to deliberate, if Catton hadn’t just turned it into a toxic left-versus-right Government bashing opportunity.


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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.

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