I’ve copped a bit of a mauling over at Kiwiblog because of my post here on Friday evening suggesting the social and economic policies Ruth Richardson imposed on New Zealand made her the most evil New Zealander of the 20th century.
David Farrar suggests I am comparing Richardson with the likes of Clayton Weatherston and Graeme Burton (despite most of their crimes being committed this century, not the last one).
I am not. The difference is that these two individuals are sociopaths who had no political motive. They acted only out of their own warped perception of what would get them what they wanted personally.
Since I’ve been called on this on the Kiwiblog thread, I’ve given some more thought to it. And I was wrong.
The most evil New Zealander(s) of the 20th century have never been identified – the person / people who bombed the Wellington Trades Hall in 1984, killing caretaker Ernie Abbott.
That was New Zealand’s only home-grown act of politically motivated terrorism.
I’m all for academic freedom, and tertiary institutions are entitled to honour whoever they choose with honorary degrees, but surely an honourary doctorate for Ruth Richardson is a step too far:
Former Finance Minister Ruth Richardson will receive an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury in December. Announcing the honour today, the University said Ms Richardson, a UC alumna, had made significant contributions to the political and business communities both nationally and internationally.
Richardson was the author of the Mother of all Budgets, slashing welfare benefits and introducing charges for healthcare and massively hiking fees for tertiary education.
Today, the oldest of the Children of the Mother of all Budgets are in their late teens or early twenties. They are frequently those who have never had paid employment, those whose families have been devastated by poverty, and the suicide victims who Te Ururoa Flavell now wants to be buried outside the entrance to the urupa, where they can be condemned forever.
Ruth Richardson caused this. She is the most evil New Zealander of the last century. She should be vilified, not honoured by the University of Canterbury with a doctorate she didn’t even study for.