Clare Curran stirs blog controversy

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 11:20 23/08/2011
BITING REMARKS: Labour MP Clare Curran blasted the Greens, National and her own supporters online.
CRAIG SIMCOX/Dominion Post
BITING REMARKS: Labour MP Clare Curran blasted the Greens, National and her own supporters online.

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Labour MP Clare Curran has let rip with a bizarre online rant railing against the Green Party, National - and her own supporters.

Curran, MP for Dunedin South and the party's communications and IT spokeswoman wrote three posts on the Red Alert blog site.

In three dispatches, she complained about the Green party's attempts ''to encroach on Labour territory.'' She said she had a ''gutsful of the white-anting [undermining] of Labour from both the right and the left of politics.''

When she drew heavy criticism - most from left-wing supporters - she blasted back:

''Listen to you all. Go and knock on some bloody doors will you and stop pontificating. Get down to South Dunedin and see what it's really like. Foodbanks are empty.
People are desperate. Yes I am angry and it shows.''

In her first post, yesterday, she blamed China for the loss of 1000 jobs at a blast furnace in Australia. ''Strong Labour policies focussing on our economic sovereignty; owning our own future are what this country needs.''

Labour leader Phil Goff signed a free trade deal with China in 2008.

After the post drew 11, mostly critical, comments, Curran penned another blog, attacking the Green party.

This post attracted 70 comments - many attacking Curran for assuming voters on the left should support Labour. One called it a ''silly and sanctimonious attack.''

One, using the name Regan, said: ''As a Labour Party member, to make such a blatantly uninformed comment is exactly the reason why we're doing so poorly in the polls, because Labour MPs are arrogant enough to assume they "own" votes.''

Polls at the weekend had Labour on track for defeat at the November 26 election.

Veteran left wing commentator Chris Trotter weighed in and blogger ''Idiot/Savant told her: ''Wake up. There is no Divine Right in democracy. Votes don't "belong" to your party - you have to earn them. And if you can't, if other people are doing a better job of appealing to your traditional constituencies, then you have no-one to blame but yourself.''

But the criticism only served to irritate her more and she bit back, telling them to ''stop pontificating.''

Later she posted another blog, this time telling the story of a constituent made redundant, whose wife is suffering from inoperable cancer.  Curran alleged he has lost his job ''as a direct result of this government's policies.''

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However, this post drew more abuse - with one commenter accusing her of ''using a tragic situation involving terminal cancer to score a political point.'' and a few asking her to spell out what policies she was referring to.

One said: ''At least this post makes more sense than your two previous, Clare; and less likely to alienate all those people you dealt with so spectacularly yesterday.
Though may I join the chorus and ask which policies have caused this man such distress? It appears it isn't evident to us how this is all evil national's fault.''

Another said: ''I'm angry too Clare! I'm angry that your party is doing so badly that you start blaming voters and the Greens when they should be your friends. I'm angry that when the foodbanks are empty, your solution is to get people to knock on doors for you. If the foodbanks are empty I would much rather spend my time and energy helping out the foodbanks, not helping you out, your party hasn't done anything to deserve my vote so I'm voting Green.''

However, a number praised her, saying she was right to be angry.

Curran today said she didn't want to comment. ''I'm not taking it any further. I think there has been enough in the blog-osphere about it, with people going feral, so I'm not going to fuel that further.''

- Stuff

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