I sat in Sir Bob Jones' office once, and he regaled me with a story of jury duty and what a shock it was to him to find such a large collection at the courthouse of downbeat, poorly dressed no-hopers lining up alongside him to deliberate on some poor sod's future.

It was classic Jones. Acerbic, brutal, yet colourfully accurate and funny. That's who he is, that's who he's always been, and I love him for it.

He's in trouble of course at the moment over a column he wrote for the National Business Review, in which he suggested Maori should be grateful for colonisation and maybe they'd like to mow our lawns or bring us breakfast in bed to show their appreciation.

Once again, classic Jones. Except Jones in 2018 is subjected to upset 2018-style. And that includes the obligatory petition. The petition is calling for him to be stripped of his knighthood.


Now as I said, Jones is in some trouble. He isn't of course, not really. Because Jones couldn't care less. Never has, and that's also why I like him, and what we really need are more people like him. Not necessarily to be as acerbic, but to be confident enough in their own skin. To not be worried, upset, or kowtowed by a world in which more and more people get up every day full of vengeance, angst, upset and a full-on desire to make noise and trouble.

What Jones was doing in his column was being satirical. Now you might not agree, and by the way you should look that word up and read it and see what you think.

You might not find it funny at all, you might find it offensive. But guess what - that's okay. You're allowed to be offended, and you're allowed to be offended without requiring someone to hang for it.

You're allowed to be upset, ropable, infuriated and exasperated. You might even tut-tut in despair, but it still doesn't mean we need a petition, a complaint, a march, a protest or a boycott.

The woman who launched this particular petition to have him stripped of his knighthood didn't look like she would have read the NBR. She would have alerted to it undoubtedly via social media, from the collection of angsties she almost certainly shares time and fury with.

Nor, indeed, did she look old enough to know Bob Jones historically and understand who he is, what he's done and how this column is no different to - broadly speaking - what he's been doing for 50 years.

And what she clearly doesn't understand is that in launching a petition and being naïve enough to think any of it is leading anywhere, she fails to see the arrogance of her own actions, of her inability to accept not all people think and act like her.

And guess what? That's okay too.


This doesn't endorse the Jones column, it endorses his right to be Bob Jones. In the great hope that the Bob Jones of the world trump those who would have them obliterated from making any contribution for fear - heaven forbid - someone somewhere might get upset.