John-HowsonIt seems that John Howson, KCDC Councillor, who has jumped on its bandwagon against Cr David Scott by his condemnation of a live art display, is not without his own controversy in regard to questionable taste.

Mr Dale Evans, well known ‘stunt-man’ and live art practitioner in regard to drawing attention to Council folly, waste, ineptitude and general tom-foolery, organised a bit of street theatre outside KCDC premises to highlight what he regards as ‘PC over the top’ at council. This gimmick was prompted by the concern felt by Mr Evans and others regarding the sick allegations made against David Scott, the only remaining thorn in the side of miscreance at Council, in regard to ‘sexual harassment’.

Cr Howson seems to have seen this as an opportunity to join the self-righteous in condemning the display. He vented his spleen on his Facebook Page, presumably to ingratiate himself with what appears to be a faction within Council staff who want to destroy the untarnished reputation of Kapiti’s hardest working Councillor at the behest of a complainant whose actual motives are very dubious.

Cr Howson stated that those involved in the mannequin display were at neantherthal level. One suspects that the actual reason for feigned outrage by a few members of the community, if Kapiti can still be called a ‘community’, is that it offended P.C. sensibilities. Street theatre is usually something one sees emanating from this P.C. sector, in addition to very many vile so-called ‘art’ exhibits such as ‘Virgin in a Condom’, ‘Piss Christ’, Ofili’s ‘Virgin Mary’, ad nauseum, which receive fulsome praise from the same types that condemn as ‘neanderthalic’ any manifestation not in accord with their ideology.

To return more specifically to Cr Howson: he claims that Mr Evans’ display is a “blot upon humanity”, no less. Is one to assume that this ‘blot’ on the whole world should sit alongside or even above millennia of human suffering? I suggest that Cr Howson is not displaying here a judgement that by any criteria could be called ‘balanced’.

Cr Howson further claims that Council staff were obliged to walk past the mannequins, in order to undergo offense, and furthermore that staff were subjected to abusive and ‘moronic’ comments by those present, which implies myself and my wife. Well, since Cr Howson is so easy with his defamatory slurs, I assume that he cannot object should I call him a liar?

Two staff members came out of the KCDC premises in the quest to become ‘offended’. The first woman took photographs of the mannequins. Since these are the only photographs that were taken, I suggest it is fair to assume that one of these was used by Cr Howson on his Facebook page. Did Cr Howson, less than chivalrously, ask this female staff member to go outside and take a photo for him? Was becoming abusive part of her agenda? Did she lyingly tell Cr Howson she had been ‘abused’, or was that part of Cr Howson’s own inventive process? How does he know that ‘moronic’ comments were made? Was he hiding somewhere within earshot? Perhaps he is becoming confused as to identities, as his photographer was the one who responded crudely with fingered gestures and shouted abuse. However, such behaviour from Council towards ratepayers is not a first. Does he even have the intellectual capacity to define what is ‘moronic’, or is he, to use terminology he might understand, just ‘mouthing off’? Certainly, there seems to be no empirical justification for his assumptions.

The only other staff member who came outside to become ‘offended’ was on contract with Council. She interrupted a discussion my wife and I were having with our elected representative, David Scott, ironically, on the matter of getting these mannequins removed, and as a result they were actually on display all of five minutes at most. There is no need to thank Cr Scott, my wife and I, Cr Howson; that would require a measure of courtesy on your part, and that is not expected. This woman staff member frenetically berated Cr Scott about matters of which he was not involved, whose response was to quietly ask her to move away from him. She only left when asked to do so by the Mayor’s secretary.

So when Cr Howson states that female staff members were abused and offended he is regurgitating nonsense. One might wonder whether such drivel reflects his usual performance as a Councillor?

Finally, and this comes to the matter of the moral hypocrisy to which I alluded above, in 2013 when Mr Howson was head of Radio NZ programming he was involved in controversy in regard to an expletive-laden segment by Robin Williams that was broadcast, which included the ‘F-word’. His response to that was, reportedly: ‘Howson says expletives have been broadcast on Radio NZ before, but always in a context, for example, in a drama. ‘”We’ve accepted it, but we always consider it very carefully.”‘ (‘Expletive-laden wake up call on Radio NZ’).

The same might be said about Mr Evans’ mannequins – ‘in context, in a drama’?
Which brings to mind another drama: ‘Much ado about nothing’.