Trotter on Hooton and why he wants better dinner guests

Chris Trotter sums up Matthew Hooton nicely.

[Simon] Wilson has a newshound?s nose for a shift in the political winds. As a Metro writer, he?d correctly predicted John Key?s comprehensive electoral victory in 2008, and two years later used his new position as Metro?s Editor to deftly reposition the magazine as the voice of the socially liberal, economically conservative and aggressively acquisitive Auckland middle-class. Nowhere was this repositioning more in evidence than in his choice forMetro?s political columnist. Where the magazine?s founder, Warwick Roger, had turned to New Zealand?s best left-wing journalist, Bruce Jesson, for political commentary, Wilson?s choice was the National Party?s leading ideological skirmisher, Matthew Hooton.

Those skirmishing skills were displayed to considerable effect from the get-go on Tuesday night (9/2/16) when Hooton accused the writer of seeing the 4 February anti-TPPA demonstrations as ?the beginning of a revolution?. It is precisely this acidic mixture of smile and sneer that makes Hooton such a formidable opponent. That, and his ability to master a complex political brief very quickly and then fashion it into a political argument that is at once simple and subtle. Hooton, when he?s in control of himself, is both a superb manipulator of the truth and a master at identifying his opponents? weak spots.

Hooton is very good at that, and the left just dismiss it as spin, but they miss the point. Matthew Hooton can easily argue both sides of the ideological coin, mainly because of his intelligence and his ability to retain facts. The left wing would do well to learn both sides of the argument. They never do and it is why, when confronted by a well-informed opponent with the ability to turn their arguments inside out, they resort to calling for bans.

Out of control, Hooton can be rabid. One of the reasons the numbers were down for Ika?s first Table Talk for 2016 was that many people simply refused to be in the same room as the man who has constantly and viciously impugned the integrity of Professor Jane Kelsey. This penchant for abusing progressive New Zealanders publicly has turned Hooton into something of a hate figure, and it seriously undermines his political credibility. If he ever learns to control it, he will instantly become an even more deadly opponent of the Left.

As it was, the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine of Wilson and Hooton was deflating enough. Between them they succeeded in making their left-wing audience wince, sigh, squirm and shake their heads in disbelief. A different set of panellists may have blunted some of the worst thrusts from Hooton, but the one we ?bourgeois? leftists had to endure on Tuesday night left Lockwood Smith?s political adviser; the man who makes RNZ?s Kathryn Ryan sound like a moderate; in undisputed possession of the field.

The left-wing audience should squirm. They have old-fashioned ideas, outmoded political methodologies and mostly they are just political retards, especially when compared with the abilities of Matthew Hooton.

What is a good pinko to do when confronted with cold hard truths?

Now the more hard-headed leftists amongst us would no doubt say that Tuesday?s Table Talk was an important wake-up call for the Left. Unused to the punishing performance that Hooton excels at delivering, an hour-long pistol-whipping at his hands might be exactly what the Left needed if it is to muscle-up and become politically competitive.

But if the only way to defeat a dragon is to become a dragon oneself, then what?s the point? What distinguishes the Left from the Right is its belief that the world should be ? and can be made ? a better place. Against all the contrary evidence that the cynics and trimmers delight in throwing in their path, the world?s progressives must somehow continue to muster the faith, hope and love to continue fighting. That?s why Laila Harr??s gatherings at the Ika Seafood Bar & Grill are so valuable. They provide an opportunity for the beleaguered Auckland Left to recommit itself to a more just and equal future. The cause that Simon Wilson long ago abandoned, and Matthew Hooton openly despises.

So, Laila, please. No more dragons!

Yep, go straight for the ban hammer. No more uncomfortable dinners listening to how weird your thinking really is to middle New Zealand. Just keep on hanging out with the same losers, saying the same losing things and then scratch your head in wonder as to why you keep on losing.

Meanwhile, I’m sure Hooton enjoyed a fine dinner even if the place was filled with filthy commies.


– Bowalley Road.