Best of 2005, Part II
29/08/2005: Awatere-Huata's jailing racist?
"Should convicted offenders (like her) be sent to jail immediately on a pre-emptive basis, without the need of a pre-sentence report, on the presumption that the sentencing judge will definitely give a jail term?...
Now having intimate and unfortunate personal knowledge of how the system works I have a great appreciation for the American system (from what I understand through television programmes!) whereby the convicted offender remains on their current bail terms until the appeal time expires at which point they must present themselves at the jail to be taken into custody. This allows for family matters, children, finacial affairs etc. to be put in order. This is very important as our system of immediate jailing makes victims out of family, children, business partners etc. who have their stakeholder suddenly removed...
The chances of rehabilitation or reintegration after release are going to be harder if the offender has lost their house/flat/children/business/job only for want of not being given a few weeks to sort everything out. If the courts think that part of the punishment is the shock and family/financial trauma they are peverse indeed. If an offender must serve time in jail then would it be unjust for it to start at the expiry of their appeal time? Awatere-Huata didn't even have time to appeal her conviction let alone her sentence! They would still serve the same amount of time behind bars, so why the unseemly rush?"
And later on the racism angle:
"The problem with throwing the term "racist" around is that it is too often boys crying wolf and dilutes the many real instances of racism. I've been accused of that too, but it is utterly incorrect (and anyone who says different is an apartheid-worshipping, indigenous baby-eating, genocidal, skin head, Nazi racist.) "
25/08/2005: Treasury forecasts
Here's how the coalition system works:
"Cullen allocates $10-20m annually for each coalition or supporter to do with as they like on their pet projects. And the cheap whores whore their whoring whore votes for that whoringly whorefully risible amount like the filthy whores of whoredom they are. For Anderton it is a crony-capitalist lolly scramble "regional development" circus. For the Greens it was the energy efficiency conservation authority thingy quango thingy that puts stickers on appliances to say whether it lives up to Jeanette's puritan standards. For the Family Common Sense Christian Worm party it was a flakey Families Commission."
23/08/2005: "Race relations" on the TV1 head-to-head leaders debate
"Brash: When asked "who is a Maori?" Instead of saying: "I don't care about race" or "unlike under Labour's policies that won't be the question National will ask when making policy..." or even "That's a question that a Pakeha can't really answer" etc. instead, right on cue, the slow motion car wreck that Sainsbury dreamt, starting happening. He said (probably with a prolonged "Errrrr") "Well, legally..." and ended up about percentages etc.- at one point he looked like he might be going to pull out a phrenology kit. What an idiot. If he says he doesn't care about race and then starts telling Maori who they are and aren't, like a racial hygiene quack from the 1930s then what credibility does he have? Idiot. He's like a human muppet.
On Maori Party compromise on abolishing Maori seats he refused to rule it out. Ha!
On immigration: Clark belted him with probation idea is treating them like "criminals" - and he left it hanging with a series of denials. The guy is such an amateur. He forgets she's not human: it's a vampire zombie in a lifeless, disfigured, humanoid husk."
And in a follow-up post:
"Don fails to fire, equivocating and qualifying, allowing himself to be walked all over by the heavily made up Zombie Queen. Prebs just said "ate him alive" on the post analysis - good call. Brash almost said he would vote for her when asked by the moderator to quote their good points to each other. As far as landing punches goes - Mark Sainsbury landed more than Brash and he was being a good neutral host. "
21/08/2005: Our unsuccessful democracy
"When the English-accented leader of the Liberterianz Party says he wants to abolish the Treaty of Waitangi, when Michael Cullen and Dale Jones - both originally English nationals (and maybe still are) - write the Foreshore and Seabed Act so that it implicitly imputes that if a Pakeha has touched Maori property it becomes the property of the government and thence can be leased off in perpituity to Pakeha, when we have both major parties trumpeting the sale of Crown land to Pakeha farmers as policy but make it tourtuous for Maori to regain property taken unjustly from them, we have to wonder if we have really made any progress at all in liberating ourselves from such a disgraceful situation. When we have members of Parliament who are also citizens of other countries what credibility do they have in forging our future when they are fundamentally conflicted?"
"The reason I wrote ill of you, from time to time, was because you could never live up to the high expectations you had made it possible to believe in.
His works live on.
Let some order of public service occur - it would be appreciated by many."
And Gosche organised a service at Mt Smart's Supertop which I attended. It was a very fitting occasion despite the Samoan Finance Minister giving an infomercial for his book.
11/08/2005: Constitutional convention blog now live
"The site for the constitutional convention is now up and running. All contributions welcome. They should be brief and to the point. Please make sure your comments are anon. or else they will be deleted. This is to allow participants to discuss the issues rather than each other.
It's a bold new experiment in on-line participatory democracy and anything in the current agenda can be discussed including the timeline and format etc. as well as the listed suggestions for discussion points. Whilst I intend to moderate it to start with I hope that can be circulated to others in time. We'll see how it goes."
I have to move the agenda forward and will be doing so shortly.
10/08/2005: If I was standing for Auckland Central...
"The key message would be:
I'm asking only for your electorate vote so we can get rid of the useless, time-serving, lacky, Judith Tizard and elect someone with a long-term plan to solve Auckland's transport crisis and will have that plan as the sole non-negotiable item for joining a government. Oh, and all the other socially liberal stuff you would expect with the only fascistic items being of a nationalistic rather than conservative rationale... The "Minister for Auckland." She is an insult to the collective dignity of the electorate."
04/08/2005: Time to cut the M-FAT
"Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The most useless of all our government departments. Take a knife to these bastards now...
MFAT chooses almost exclusively Masters graduates as staff. MA's in particular. This creates a class of academics that are expected to conduct our affairs overseas and provide policy to the government. Academics are good at using, formulating and proliferating jargon, writing reports that no-one is expected to actually read let alone action, having no sound grasp of reality, and finally, being well over-paid for the services provided. In short they are professionally adept at the art of doing nothing...
* The Solomon Islands starts it's descent into anarchy with spiralling inter-ethnic violence. The Solomon's government begs us for help because they cannot solve the problem themselves. MFAT advises Phil Goff that we should studiously do nothing until they have solved their problems themselves at which point we will provide the support that they no longer need! This sounds insane but this is exactly what happened. It was the Australians that finally decided to do something, initiated the dialogue and organised everything, even inviting us along - at which point the NZ media crowed about how we were doing something on the assumption that we had something to do with it - but we were an afterthought and had in fact made the situation worse by our inaction despite the retrospective lie that we had not done nothing....
* The French colonial territories in the Pacific, despite being the scenes of massacres, forced de-population and , nuclear testing and general oppressive policies that occur with colonies, a scurge that the UN was mandated to deal with, is openly congratulated and welcomed by us because our policy is to do nothing. We encourage French aid to even our own territories! The PM goes on about how France has a great role to play in the Pacific! Straight out of the MFAT bible, that one.
* Last, and the worst of all by any standards was our culpability for the Rwanda genocide. We spent days furiously lobbying and pulling in favours to get that spot on the Security Council back in '93. This would be Don McKinnon's crowning achievement. Brought up in America as the son of a diplomat (and now Commonwealth Secretary-General) Don, though a politician, was a natural MFAT man. During our month chairmanship in April 1994 (shared with Colin Keating) on April 7th to be precise the 100 days of genocide in which almost a million Rwandans were massacred began. In January The Canadian peacekeeper reported to Kofi Annan (the useless head of peacekeeping operations) that genocide was imminent. By mid-April at least it was obvious what was occuring. For the record:
April 15 was the first of two days of UN Security Council debate on next steps in Rwanda—for which the Rwandan ambassador was present and about which he reported back to the interim government in Rwanda. Over that same weekend, aware the UN Security Council was in retreat, the interim Council of Ministers, the genocide’s architects, met in Kigali and decided to take the program of extermination to the rest of the country.
So America's little helper chairing the UN's highest body. What a proud moment. I bet almost everyone reading this has no idea that the fate of Rwanda affectively lay in our hands. As an MFAT nadir, this was just unfathomably monumental. Oh sure, it's not our fault, America and France would have blocked anything... whatever. We had our chance, on the world stage, and we did nothing and almost one million died."...
There is this absurd notion floating around, although never stated overtly in print that I can find - a sort of a myth - that not only was NZ one of the founding members of the UN, but that Peter Fraser had a strong hand in it's foundation and strongly advocated for smaller states in the UN. I find that all rather hard to believe. Given the fact NZ still had not cut the "official" apron strings of British dependency (The Statute of Westminster) the idea is somewhat laughable. We have no track record of independence of thought or action whatsoever.
We like to think we are a little battler nation and can be proud of our record and hold our heads high in the great pantheon of nations... blah, blah, blah. But the truth is quite different. We are not willing to sell our vote because we simply give it away. We have no international sense of our own position as an independent state and even less, negligently less, of our own regional position and responsibilities let alone the moral fortitude to swim against the weakest tide."
Our seeming co-operation in the Indonesian annexations of East Timor and West Papua remind us of this also.