An asshole complains | The Jackal

2 Nov 2012

An asshole complains

The Jackal has received its first complaint about an article concerning former Zespri director Ray Sharp. Strangely the complaint letter is from a person calling themselves Miriam Kutia, a name that's not registered anywhere. It could be that this person isn't on the electoral roll, but it's more likely to be a complaint from Ray Sharp himself. He's obviously a bit peeved at winning an asshole award.

The blog post about Mr Ray Sharp, the ex director of Zespri was offending and false. The way the media has portrayed this situation is false and does not help the growers that already have so much stress going on in their lives at the moment, especially Ray. Knowing Ray, and being a business partner with him for many years, He is the most genuine man you will ever meet and once he found that his orchard tested positive to PSA, he panicked.

I don't think the defence of "he panicked" is all that effective.

He has had a rough last few years and this news did not come lightly. The fact that this tiny little bacteria could ruin his only source of income, life and family was a huge shock and he acted in defense to try to save his orchard. At the time, he only injected male plants (which do not grow fruit), and when he realized that his actions may effect people that ate the kiwifruit, he took every single fruit off the block that he had injected the plants to avoid the fruit being marketed (although of course the media would forget to mention that wouldn't they).

Clearly two wrongs don't make a right. Contrary to what this deluded individual believes, the media did mention at the time that Ray Sharp had made such a claim that he only injected male plants, but there's no way to confirm this now. Personally I think it's unlikely he removed any plants until it was inevitable that he would be caught.

I find it saddening that you go around bad mouthing every person you can find without knowing the entire story. Mr Sharp is not afraid to admit that he did make some bad decisions during the time period that the block was diagnosed, but imagine if a project that you have spent 17 years working on, and spent every single penny you earned into, being washed down the drain because of a single bacteria epidemic.

Actually, I don't go around bad mouthing every person I can find and enough of the story was reported to make a judgement call. I do however bad mouth people who intentionally break the law and in so doing put people's lives in danger. I hate the fact that Ray Sharp and his cohorts have broken the law and will not be properly held to account in a court of law. As usual there's one law for the rich white guy and another for the rest of us.

The question is: Why is the government not being blamed. Of course it was the growers who injected the plants, but it was the government that let this bacteria into the country! It is killing our industry!

Although MAF's Pathway tracing report (PDF) doesn't specify exactly where PSA came from, it's likely that a Kiwifruit grower imported contaminated pollen. It's therefore equally the fault of the industry and it's inability to self-regulate as it is the fault of the governments lax bio-security.

Ultimately it was people who worked within the Kiwifruit industry that intentionally broke the law in using the antibiotic streptomycin. Even if the government was to increase oversight dramatically, it wouldn't totally inhibit irresponsible Kiwifruit growers who ignore the law.

The public in fact needs to be assured that growers can self-regulate. Obviously within the Kiwifruit industry, that assurance cannot be given. Their lack of responsibility will be highly detrimental to all our export producers, not just Kiwifruit growers.

Therefore I announce YOU asshole of the week, for bad mouthing people, publishing things without knowing the full background of the story's, and following the medias bullshit stories that they come up with because they have nothing else to talk about.

Congratulations asshole, you should be proud!

My advice to Ray Sharp is that he shouldn't break the law even if his livelihood depends on it (which is doubtful). Only then will he remain out of the media spotlight. Clearly Ray Sharp has nobody to blame but himself for winning an asshole award... A joint award that goes out to all Kiwifruit growers who illegally used the antibiotic streptomycin. What a bunch of assholes!