• Wayne Perkins

Play the ball, not the man!

“When you are up to your arse in alligators, it’s easy to forget your initial objective was to drain the swamp” goes the famous quote and I’m pretty sure David Clark is finding out right now just how true that saying is.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I have no doubts that David has been endeavouring to do the very best he can for the country, but sometimes things, rightly or wrongly, just don’t work out the way you wanted.

Now make no mistake, I am not a raving fan of David Clark. I think the responsibility for the border shambles ultimately lies with him and I think he should be removed from his position by the Prime Minister to show that actions and consequences matter.

And like most of the country, I quite like Ashley Bloomfield and don’t like to see him being made to shoulder all the blame for the border debacle.

But I am quite frankly astonished and deeply disappointed by the vitriol and outright hatred directed at David by the general public of New Zealand.

It is one thing to make comment on whether someone is fit for a role and to criticize their performance, that is the sign of a healthy democracy.

But it is quite another to say downright nasty things and deeply offensive comments about them, and resort to despicable name-calling.

Do I think that David should be removed from his role? Yes, absolutely but the demonisation and vilification of him by a wide section of New Zealanders is disturbing and makes me realize once again that Kiwis are just as prone as any other nationality to having a really nasty streak in them.

David’s mistake, when commenting on Ashley’s responsibility, was that he played the man and not the ball, and it’s something that Kiwis inherently don’t like.

But it is also something we Kiwis could reflect on when it comes to commenting on David Clark.

Are we playing the man or the ball?

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