Fashionable fictions from former newspaper of record

It’s become so very fashionable among our betters to denigrate all remnants of this country’s British legacy. Their sniggers and sneers echo across their columns and social-media pages. In-jokes that wink to their collective self-loathing, their contemporary self-flagellation and heroic in-their-own-mind displays of modernist self-martyrdom and look-at-moi mentality.

God! They’re pathetic. All of them.

Lately, their displays have turned to utter untruths, willful lies that speak to their own integrity, or rather, lack thereof. Gobshite candidate for this week is Paul Little, from a newspaper, displaying his mirth, his own juvenile jollying, at the prospect of the new British High-Commissioner; Laura Clarke’s intention to learn the language of Maori: quote.

Let it sink in. This is a Pom speaking. And not just any Pom, but the official representative of the Queen herself, that Crown whose representatives were responsible for almost wiping the language from the face of the Earth. The people who tried to beating the language out of the race are now having to play catch up. end quote.

Anzac Day 2017. Pukeahu National War Memorial Civic Ceremony, Wellington. The Governor-General of New Zealand, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM QSO DStJ delivering an address and paying her respects at the National War Memorial.

Such a sad wee man, such ignorance, but maybe, just maybe, he is completely stupid; it’s the only possible mitigation for his misinformation. The proof of his powerful dullness can be gleaned by examining his droppings: “not just any Pom, but the official representative of the Queen herself”. Mr Little seems unaware that the official representative of the Queen in New Zealand is actually?the Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy. Most ten-year-olds are well aware of this fact but a skilled and trained senior reporter from our largest paper isn’t. How very tragic; but so telling.

Since it’s clear Mr Little cannot distinguish his ‘R’s from his elbows it’s hard to know who he means when hissing the following histrionic quote.

that Crown whose representatives were responsible for almost wiping the language from the face of the Earth.?end quote.

Sir George Grey (age 49 in 1861)
Artist: William-Wolfe Alais

Perhaps he means Governor George Grey, the man who embraced all things Maori, the culture and the language and who assiduously collected and preserved his learnings in several publications including, in 1853, just eight years after dedicating himself to learning of these new people and their culture, a book of close-to six-hundred pages of traditional poetry completely in Te Reo. A feat that an ignorant man like Little would find impossible to achieve in a lifetime.

Or, perhaps he means representatives of the British in general; men like Thomas Kendall who published the first book in Maori tongue over two-hundred years ago and accompanied powerful chiefs Hongi Hika and Waikato to London, introducing them to renowned linguist Professor Samuel Lee who helped codify and legitimise their language in unique simplicity and beauty.

Perhaps he means William Colenso who, after arriving in 1834, had by 1840 published over 78,000 pages purely in Te Reo or maybe Robert Maunsell who published in 1842 a 230-page aid dedicated purely to understanding and improving the grammar of the ‘New Zealand Language’. Maybe one of them, hell; all of them, were secretly “wiping the language from the face of the earth”. Crikey, they were cunning; those British, hiding their intention to wipe the Maori language from the face of the earth with ruses like those.

Little’s final manure-spread is an allusion to the complete fiction, fashionable amongst self-sanctifying nouveau Te Reo warblers, of the Native Schools Act of 1867 whereby children allegedly ‘were beaten’ for speaking Maori. It’s a fabrication, folks. It is completely untrue.

Those schools were required to offer English as a subject, but pupils were not required to speak it in the classrooms at all times, or sometimes ever, if an English-speaking instructor was not available. From the act: “Provided always that it shall be lawful for the Colonial Secretary to contribute to the maintenance or salaries of such Native teachers as shall conduct Native Schools in remote districts when it may be found impossible to provide English teachers.”

The truth of this is in the School Inspector’s reports of the early-1890’s, fully 25 years after initiating the Native Schools legislation, where consternation is expressed: “The weakest point appears to be the teaching of English”. So much for “beating the language out of the race”.

Welcome to the surreal world of 21st century journalism; where lack of facts means Little.