Maurice Williamson is being lionised as some sort of international celebrity for his speech in Parliament in support of the same-sex marriage bill. He has become an improbable hero in the eyes of the media, which abandoned all semblance of professional impartiality on Louisa Wall’s legislation. (I say “improbable” because Williamson has been more whipping boy than poster boy for the media in the past. It’s just that on this occasion, his politics happened to align with those of most journalists.) But I see nothing to admire in Williamson’s grandstanding. On the contrary, I think it was a contemptible speech – contemptible because it mocked and ridiculed people who had merely exercised their right to express a view on the bill. That’s called democracy, a point apparently lost on the ego-tripping MP for Pakuranga. Democracy confers the right to hold unpopular, silly and even offensive views without being smugly derided and held up to contempt in Parliament. Others may regard Williamson as a hero, but he confirmed my impression that he’s a clown and a buffoon – and worse, a clown and a buffoon with no regard for the right of constituents to freely communicate their honestly held opinions to their elected representatives. And while he may boast of having a degree in physics, I’m curious to know how anyone could get to the age of 62 without learning how to pronounce the word celibacy. Thank God ministerial rules prevented him from accepting Ellen DeGeneres’ invitation to appear on her TV show. I shudder to think of the harm that might have been done to New Zealand’s reputation.