Jo Holmes, Generation Zero and “Hitler youth”

I just recieved a tweet from Bryce Pearce:


Now as much as I try to stay on top of things, I cannot keep up with everything. I rely on people bringing things to my attention. Had I seen the blog post I am about to talk about at the time it was posted, I would have commented on it.

Ben Ross of Talking Auckland replied to my request to Bryce to expand with a link to a blog post by Jo Holmes. Jo is the former deputy chair of the Waiheke Local board in Auckland. I have been thinking about if I should comment on this. Jo isn’t currently an elected office holder, nor is she a candidate (as far as I am aware) for elected office. But on the other hand she has used her blog, and her profile (I assume she has one) to attack a group of people who are involved in the current election campaign. I have decided to comment because I think the point to be made is well worth making.


The blog post concerned is an attack on the state of Auckland, and the desire of Len Brown to make Auckland the most livable city in the world. Part of the plan that she has an issue with is Sky Path. She claims that Sky Path is a Generation Zero idea. According to Ben Ross, the idea of Sky Path has been around since before the inception of Generation Zero, but they do endorse it. This is all rather dull and not really worth a blog post. But she then goes on to make the following statement:


I am on record questioning the intentions of Generation Zero as part of their involvement in Rock Enrol, I also find the fact that when I signed up as a test to Rock Enrol I got added to the Generation Zero mailing, without that being made clear, questionable. I can’t find the words to explain how wrong any attempt to compare them to the far right or far left totalitarian movements of the 20s/30s to 80s/90s is. If your first, and only, recourse in debate is to compare a ground of young adults, trying to advance a legitimate policy position, to groups responsible for some of the worst, totalitarian groups in human history, then I think you have failed as a leader in the community. The actions of Generation Zero, even those that I have issues with, are nowhere near what the fascist and communist groups are accused of.  Comparisons like that are totally unhelpful to informed, rational debate. If you are an elected official, or a former elected official trading of that experience, you should hold yourself to a higher level of debate.