July 22, 2021
OPINION: I agree with Mark Richardson & I’m as shocked as you are!
Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury: I don’t think there have been many moments in my political life where I have agreed with The AM Show’s Mark Richardson, but when he’s right, he’s right!
Richardson’s commentary defending Harry Tam calling on his gang fraternity to engage politically is spot on.
Mark argued, "I think you're entitled to tell the group that you feel you represent and campaign, as long as you're doing it off your own back, to vote a certain way because you think it will benefit your group", and in this Mark is right.
As members of a liberal progressive democracy, we have intrinsic civil liberties and human rights.
Even if you are a prisoner.
Even if you are a gang member.
Even if you are a criminal.
These rights are extended to all and protected for all because that’s the sacred obligation of the State, to protect the individual, regardless of who that individual is.
Harry Tam has every right to call his associates into the democratic process because this is a democracy! We want all members of society believing they are inside that process rather than alienated and excluded.
This is what reaching out to the fringes looks like.
National have released the video of Tam speaking because for some, the temerity of a man like Tam, looking like Tam with the history of Tam speaking fundamental truths of democracy anger and terrify.
Tam’s leadership is to be saluted not condemned. This is how communities heal.
It is also a reminder that you can find common ground with even Mark Richardson sometimes and that we should always build on what we can agree with.
In this case, if gangs want to have their political voice heard, that’s their right because civil liberties in a democracy are extended to all. That’s the power and legitimacy of democracy.
Editor – TheDailyBlog.nz
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