We have the utmost respect for the well argued debate that is lit by Rosemary McLeod in her columns. Her skill as a journalist forms the bedrock of everything she writes.
But today we think that what she writes is a crock of crap. She thinks that blanket man represents our collective shame and failure as a society . What liberal crap.
We wrote about Blanket man just the other day after he was blatantly breaking the law in broad daylight. And the authorities did nothing. They left him there with his alcohol to drink in a public place - something that is illegal. Something that a brash 18 year old could find leaves him with record.
Rosemary thinks that society has failed Blanket Man - wrong he is failing to live up to his responsibilities in society by abiding by the law. He exists because we dont treat him like a normal citizen.
He is treated like the law does not apply to him so by inference the council and the police are saying that he is okay to do what he likes. He has a status not accorded to any other citizen.
He is not , as McLeod asserts, some modern day image of the old blanket wearing Maori.
He is a lazy shit who now has an uncommon status because we dont treat him like we treat everyone else. He is now deemed to be someone special.
And Ms McLeod needs to see the disgust drip from the faces of the Maori I know who find Blanket man an appalling embarrassment.
Maori need to start taking control of their own destiny - too many are doing well, are law abiding, taxpaying, culture enhancing citizens. So the ones that aren't don't have any excuses any more. And the signal for change must come from Maori leaders themselves. They must say that the behaviour of Maori is unacceptable. That it must change. No more dope for breakfast, no more 5 day alcoholic benders. We need to see the focus of Maori leaders shift from grizzling about the foreshore and seabed and looking at what they can do to support their own people and give them direction.
So to Ms McLeod we say that Blanket man can be a part of society but when he breaks the law as he currently does then its time for him to accept responsibility for his actions and its time for Maori to take responsibility for his actions as well.