January 20, 2013 by Doug Coutts
Media commentator, wireless announcer and politician-for-hire Michael Laws is fuming today after the publication of his latest column in the Sunnynook Times-Argus. The piece, called “Failed towns attract losers”, describes the bustling seaside community of Kawhia as a failed community that attracts “the losers in life – attracted by cheap living and the complete absence of jobs. Those who live in [towns like Kawhia] have largely been left and forgotten by the country’s economic and social progress.”
Throughout the country people have been outraged, although this tended to diminish after they realised he wasn’t talking about their town so property values, for the time being, are safe. But others see Law’s article as yet another right-wing diatribe, unfairly attacking the poor and disadvantaged, lacking empathy yet oozing an air of superiority.
Laws denies this vehemently. “It was a light-hearted piece, and completely balanced,” he says. “I was using Kawhia as an example of how the John-Key-led National Government has let the poor and disadvantaged of this country down badly, and how they need to increase benefits, work-schemes and free medical care throughout the country.”
Mr Laws says he employed several literary devices such as hyperbole, , irony and paradox, not to mention English, in the writing of the story, which made it, he claims, a witty and enjoyable read. He asserts the published article was nothing like the one he faxed through.
“I assume the subs butchered it,” he says. “I sometimes over-write so I’m used to them trimming my stuff down, but they went too far. None of the jokes I put in appeared in the printed column.”
Mr Laws is unable to supply a copy of the original article as he says the west wing and billiard annex of his study burnt down earlier this week and all his notes were destroyed. But he can recall part of it. “I think it started with ‘knock-knock’,” he says. He also confirmed his next work, a study of the poor and disadvantaged of Mission bay, will go ahead as planned, “once I get new research material from Les Dawson.”