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David Seymour snapchats minors

Here is the video interviewing them. Should politicians be allowed to solicit minors for any reason, including political ones ?

Seymour does not see “any issue with directly messaging young people without parental permission or oversight."

While it’s been clear that David Seymour did not write “inappropriate” words to kids in his Snapchats, the real question at hand is whether we condone an environment where minors are not off-limits to politicians with vested interests.

Sexual grooming is not the only type of grooming, despite it being fairly synoymous with the word.

As a criminal justice expert explains, “The common aspect of grooming is that a perpetrator manipulates a victim by building trust and rapport (to enact their objectives.)”

And in fact, in the cases of sexual grooming, it inevitably starts with “normal activities” and interactions that don’t invoke suspicion.

”Groomers placed themselves in roles that allowed them access to children, such as club leaders, carers and teachers. Investigators found that the grooming process involved ‘normal’ adult-child interactions, such as playing games, buying gifts and trips to the park (which isolated victims). On the surface, these behaviours would not necessarily flag any concerns.”

Do I believe David Seymour was grooming the children?

No, not in a sexual sense.

But I do think he was trying to win affection from youths, as part of his political role. And clearly had enough time and capacity to snapchat so many students around Auckland, that he gained a solid reputation for it.

I also think that if it was Shane Jones or Christoper Luxon doing the same, it’d look much worse.

Seymour’s relative image of youth is an asset here.

But from where I stand, I don’t want any politicians soliciting any minors - I think there should be clear guardrails and guidelines to protect them.

Snapchatting for example - where messages disappear after some seconds - would be off limits. The whole affair smacks of a lack of respect for parents, and specifically opens up avenues of risk as well.

In Seymour’s case he has specifically pushed back against parents needing to know or approve, saying he does not see “any issue with directly messaging young people without parental permission or oversight."

For people who intend to groom minors for sexual or ciminal purposes, the strategies align. ie. separating their carers from the youth is par for the course.

That’s why Mr Seymour should be careful.

Ostensibly, Seymour gained Snapchat followers from going around to differnet schools in Auckland and handing out his Snapchat to anyone who would listen to him.

Think of the comparables:

Hipkins trying to win the popularity stakes at high schools by handing out his mobile phone number for texting and photos (anytime!) Shane Jones bogeying with 16 year olds to convince them Fast-Track rocks and is hip. Maybe Luxon can join in at BBQs with the 14 year old girls and boys to recruit for Young National.

Would that be viable? Or desirable?

And that’s why parents asking for guidelines in this area are justified to do so.

Despite constantly inferring that young people aren’t capable of responsibility, good judgement or maturity, David Seymour shows himself to be a hypocrite - once again - in soliciting anyone - let alone minors - for political gains.

And there’s always been a huge degree of questionable indoctrination from ACT around children.

Here they are earlier this year - informing year 5 and 6 students that ACT are “honouring Te Tiriti” as they decline to converse with, and explicitly disrespect, Maori.

If that is not explicit propaganda, I do not know what is.

The video of the snapchats is above. But some of the accounts of those he engaged with include:

"It was kind of talked about between high schools in Auckland that if you were to Snapchat David Seymour, he would reply basically no matter what. And, you know, the rumours were true - he would reply to everything."

"I sent him a selfie of me and a bunch of my girlfriends at 15, drinking Vodka Cruisers. A selfie with us all holding them, saying 'oh - come to my party - come to my party'. This was his response."  It was a selfie of Seymour, with the message "Can't I'm afraid but you guys have a great night and be safe".

Seymour replied to one invitation from her: "Hope you are not in trouble! Awww, thanks for the invite!"

Her mother had no idea about the messaging at the time and said any parent would be uncomfortable with their teenager messaging a 30 or 40-year-old man.

The story corroborates Newsroom’s report last month.

“It was pretty clear for me from the get-go that it was odd that a Member of Parliament was Snapchatting random girls in high school, when it was really evident that they were in high school."

“He just came to my school when I was 15, I was in Year 10.“I’m not sure for what, it was a long time ago, but some sort of political event that the school had organised. I remember afterwards everyone was real keen on chatting to him and he was handing out his Snapchat.”

During the 2017 election campaign, in the midst of this Snapchat craze, Seymour sent a picture of a condom with ACT-branded packaging to his Snapchat followers, along with the text: “Be safe kids.”

The irony is strong.

Mountain Tui
Tui Takes
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