Metiria Turei is not Jesus, and the media is not to blame for the heat under her feet.

On Monday night, David Clendon and Kennedy Graham announced they would stand down if Turei doesn't resign. She's so far refused, and James Shaw said that he would seek to formally expel the two MPs from the party - a step further than suspension. Shaw said this was possible within the Green Party rules for MPs who brought the party into disrepute.

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So Turei hasn't brought the party into disrepute? Oh, the naivety.


(Shaw later toned down his position and said he was happy for the pair to remain in the Green Party.)

Yes, I totally get that poverty is real, and that beneficiaries are often treated like the shit on someone's shoe. I get that white-collar crime is frequently considered more acceptable than benefit fraud. I fully grasp that there's one rule for the rich and one for the poor.

I also acknowledge that Turei's actions have started a (mostly non-constructive) discussion about those issues, while also dividing a nation. Because, whether the Greens like it or not, the nation has pretty much said "yeah, nah" to the political acceptability of what she did.

She dropped her benefit bombshell apparently voluntarily and yet her partisan supporters are all up in everyone's grill - not just media's - if they dare to challenge her decision to do so.

It has become apparent that if anyone questions the ethics, the timing, or the premeditation of it all, they are verbally pitchforked. I thought the Greens were bursting with love hearts and rainbows. Apparently not.

Indeed, poking a rattlesnake nest on a West Texas August afternoon would be safer than interacting with hardcore Greens right now. I have watched Turei's social media adherents abuse anyone who disagrees, then five minutes later quote Bible passages to ram home the angelical nature of her ways.

Last time I looked, benefit fraud involves a degree of premeditation and follow through - like filling out forms and signing them. All the while knowing you lied. Officially. But the latest ploy is to blame the media. I don't understand how Turei outs herself and suddenly it's all the media's fault. How does that even work?

I mean, they bring up Bill English and his 2009 "double-dipping" on his Wellington house. They talk about Todd Barclay and how shocking that was, and how the media have gone lightly on him. Really? What planet are these people living on?


You see, that's the thing with pure partisanship. Proponents can't even recognise that they wouldn't even know about such things if the media didn't bring it to them.

But more to the point, it's insulting. The media's obsession with male sport thoroughly pisses me off, but I'm not going to write the entire industry off based on that. That would be like writing off the entire Green party for the questionable actions of Turei. Wouldn't it?

It would also be a mistake to write off Graham and Clendon as "stupid, old white men", as some quickly did. Not only is it lazy and nasty, these men symbolise a time, not that long ago, when voters believed the Greens represented the environment.

Bottom line: Metiria Turei made a miscalculation when she freely revealed her past. It looks and feels like it was a cynical decision solely designed to move the Greens forward in the polls. It's backfired.

Now, the Greens see it as everyone else's fault. Those who disagree with the morality of her past lies are written off as racists, misogynists, haters of the poor, lovers of the rich, white, privileged - you know the drill.

For me, it comes down to this. Dress it up as a morality play all you like. Rich, poor, rightwing, leftwing, tax evasion, benefit fibs. Nobody should steal from taxpayers. And no amount of diversion tactics changes that fact. Turning Turei's voluntary pronouncement into some virtuous act of heroism is so far off the mark, the Greens have ended up shooting themselves in the foot. Which may explain why they are limping.

Blaming the media - or anyone - for a political misfire of the Greens' own making, is about as pointless as expecting sharks to stop liking blood. Not going to happen.