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Silenced in the House

assaulted mps [1]
Photo via Twitter from Katie Bradford

Extraordinary scenes in Parliament yesterday when a group of women MPs walked out of the debating chamber after the Speaker refused to allow them to question the Prime Minister about his shouted allegation that they were “backing rapists.” [2]

And after they had walked out, each of the women MPs told their personal stories [3] to TV3’s Story programme, explaining why the Prime Minister’s words were offensive to them because each had been a victim of sexual abuse.

The NZ Herald reported [6] that the MPs said their treatment in Parliament – being cut off by the Speaker, thrown out or dismissed – reflected the treatment of abuse victims in New Zealand.

In its editorial this morning [12], the DomPost this morning rightly criticises the Prime Minister for his accusations about his critics backing rapists and murderers.

This is not just offensive and untrue. It demeans his office, and betrays his position as champion of New Zealanders’ rights…The core issue has now got lost in a dirty fog of rhetoric. The problem is a profoundly unfair Australian law which detains and deports people who might have relatively minor convictions. They are not all rapists and murderers. What’s more, they might have little or no connection with New Zealand.

The SpinOff: Complete video and transcript of question time [15]

Bryan Gould: Does John Key think he can get away with anything? [16]