So, there's this footage of Trevor Mallard calling another MP "Tinkerbell" during a Q&A session in Parliament. Obviously this is pretty shitty, but I wasn't going to comment on it for a couple of reasons - one, No Right Turn already did, and two, the footage was dated 2009 and he hasn't shown a consistent history of equal shittiness.
Then Labour MPs started getting dismissive and defensive on Twitter.
I mean, I understand the reaction. Homophobia's bad, you don't want to be painted with that brush, especially for something that someone else did two years ago. But the way they're downplaying what Trevor said is actually pissing me off more than the fact that he said it in the first place. There's a very easy way to do it:
"Look, internet, we know what Trevor said sucked. We don't condone that. That's why that footage is two years old - it's not something we would allow one of our MPs to do consistently."
Then Trevor Mallard could say something himself about how he regrets it and he was wrong.
Very simple. Instead we have Clare Cullan calling criticism "ridiculous" and Jordan Carter announcing, "News alert! Homophobia and saying stupid things arent the same thing."
Actually, they are the same thing. And dismissing criticism about it instead of apologising and pointing out the age of the footage looks kind of dickish to the LGBT people who are pointing out that even super awesome people who are strong proponents of homosexual law reform can say homophobic things.