Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Te Qaeda and the God Squad

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  • Russell Brown,

    Well ... I don't know if I'd go so far as "talking out his arse", but I did think this was quite a bold statement to make without really having any facts:

    "This is about scaring the community to enhance state power and restore a police force beset by scandals"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Merc - He's bigger than I am and his leather jacket intimidates me.

    Stephen - I defy you to say that after reading 3 or 4 of the man's Sunday Star Times column.

    Russell - this is hardly new for the respected head of department. Therein lies the affront I feel, that academia is primarily a matter of facts and objectivity. I still painfully recall his blaming of Maori child abuse statistics on colonisation (making a very peculiar comparison with Glasgow and the Highland clearances in the process) and his ever popular refrain that Maori lived in utopian peace harmony and aroha until the arrival of the European (feel free to read any of his past articles for confirmation - I am not exaggerating). He is a blinkered apologist, and Fairfax's go to "Maori perspective".

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Universities should be places for intense and vigourous debate. Critic and conscience and all that. Of course academia is primarily a matter of facts and objectivity, but many matters are debatable.
    If you have a problem with his point of view go into detail, don't just make snide comments about how his leather jacket intimidates you. I for one don't think he is talking out of his arse. In fact this perspective provides some balance because in any case we don't know what the truth of this situation is yet.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    I agree that Universities should be places for intense and vigourous debate and that many matters are debatable, but if you want some examples, by all means. I findthis statement supremely obnoxious. There is nothing funny about molotov cocktails, and nothing light hearted about any violence. I doubt he has any more facts than the rest of us, but these are very bald assertions.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    And if I started running around calling all Maori child-murdering dole-bludging terrorists, I hope someone would be kind enough to point out to me I was talking out of my arse.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    APW: I had no idea he was an SST columnist. I don't read it regularly, except for the business section when my partner buys. Funnily enough that's because the regular columnists annoy the hell out of me...

    But if it comes to that (I'm assuming this is the passage you refer to):

    Tame Iti is a master of theatre, not a terrorist. He showed his bum to the Waitangi Tribunal, and has spat with great aplomb and even greater accuracy in the direction of a governor-general, a prime minister and the assembled Labour Maori MPs. He shotgunned a flag because he is a freedom fighter for rights, not a killer. He may have some Molotov cocktails but who would he throw them at? No Pakeha train passes by, and 737s fly too high. Iti co-hosts a boys' agony programme for emotionally distraught brothers once a week on Maori TV and then hangs about in Ponsonby cafes. He wears camouflage gear, but doesn't have the body type for special ops.

    ... I bet I could find you something more inflammatory from Michael Laws every Sunday. I personally don't find that an obnoxious thing to say.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    And I reiterate, there is nothing ammusing about anyone being in possession of Molotov cocktails, regardless of who or what they are.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    I just got a whole post deleted : (

    I agree Andrew that none of us have any facts but it seems to me that all Rawiri Taonui is doing is suggesting alternative explainations to the "Military Style Training Camps!" "Molotov Cocktails!" headlines.

    ... I bet I could find you something more inflammatory from Michael Laws every Sunday. I personally don't find that an obnoxious thing to say.

    Pretty much. I did find the 737s quip funny and maybe that is a matter of taste. I have been enjoying his columns, there are many things in life that I don't feel qualified enough to have set in stone opinion about and I enjoy his strong perspective. (Don't worry I am not getting all post-modern wishy washy on your arse I just don't see what makes him so radical).

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    I'm not calling him a radical, I am calling him to task (and not for the first time) for very bizzare statements given in the national media without much, if any, context - and him not being held accountable despite being the head of a major department at a major university. There has been no debate - which I find a little ironic given Canterbury and the whole Joel Hayward incident.

    And yes Michael Laws froths at the mouth, and quite often the other orriface as well.

    I particularly blanche when the media is so lazy that in most stories they rarely canvas more than one prominent Maori opinion as if all Maori were part of some vast gestalt Borg-like collective that all thought the same way.

    I like strong perspectives as much as the next person, but I reserve the right to call them out on it when I think there is Lepetomainesque ventriloquism going on.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    APW: well, reasonable people can differ. I personally think your views of acceptable discourse are a bit narrow.

    The Haywood comparison? Gimme a break. Taonui is on his own time, doing his own thing, just like Laws isn't speaking for the people of Wanganui. And he's writing an opinion column in the paper, not presenting a thesis in fulfilment of a degree. And he's making jokes in poor taste, not citing holocaust deniers as serious sources for academic credit. I don't see any relevant analogy.

    He's writing from a world view that is fundamentally different to mainstream Pakeha thinking. You may not share it, and there may be a lot to criticise in it, but I think there is great value in giving it an airing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Dr Taonui is a rising star.

    As violence is a learnt behaviour and most of the kiddies stories I grew up on had nasty ends for little kids or pretty scary possible threats to kids. Hansel & Gretal, Little Red Riding Hood, The Pide Piper. Yeah European stories & attitudes to kids weren't healthy at all.

    The thought being as survival was so hard back in the day therefore children & women were to be cherished & protected in order that life/lineage continues.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    ... I bet I could find you something more inflammatory from Michael Laws every Sunday.

    Well, yes... you know, like Messers Shipton, Scholum and Rickards being on trial earlier this year for the kind of 'sensual excesses' we'd all cop to if we weren't so blinded by PC prudery. But come on... if you've got to defend a piece of work by taking Michael Laws as a baseline...

    Hell, I wouldn't say my work on PA Radio is a string of flawless pearls, but I at least try to work at a marginally higher level than Laws'... um, more excitable radio work.

    In the end, I guess the piece may be "fundamentally different to mainstream Pakeha thinking" - I personally found it a rather banal attempt to épater le honky bourgeois that might, just, fill a page in Critic on a slow week, but not really a sterling case study of the academic as public intellectual.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Absolutely what Stephen said.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, anyone catch the footage on Three of a Labour conference delegate bringing the biff to a peaceful protest - and the Police doing absolutely NOTHING - then flat out lying about it when quizzed by a reporter?

    Couldn't. Make. It. Up.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Yep saw it too, bald faced liar he was. Provided the trigger point for the ensuing violence.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Not to mention that the three arrested were later released without charge. As well, the north shore police commander stating that they were "protecting the right to freedom of speech" by arresting protestors.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Posted on the Moron thread but will Len be promoted to Party Prez?
    & who is Gill - the face that launched a flying megaphone?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I don't understand whose fault it is, and I wouldn't like to speculate, but it's really clear that the police and a certain subset of activists regard each other as enemies. That's what's behind today's bizarre behaviour, and I wouldn't be surprised if it explains a few other things as well.

    they were "protecting the right to freedom of speech" by arresting protestors.

    I don't think Orwell is spinning in his grave, because by now he must have drilled through to the centre of the earth.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Posted on the Moron thread but will Len be promoted to Party Prez?

    I doubt it, given that until last year, he was co-leader of the Alliance. He's very left-wing.

    Further irony: last week he had this statement published:

    The first question that arises is; did the police act judiciously in their 'invasion' of the Tuhoe country, given the past history of the Maori of that area? The second question is; are draconian anti-terror laws that could potentially outlaw hitherto legitimate political activities necessary to deal with such a threat, whether real or perceived?

    The answer to both questions must be a resounding; No!

    Apparently he got angry when the protestors wouldn't let Jill Ovens address them with a message of support for their grievances, and shouted her down. Hence his "you've destroyed the Left!" in the ensuing screaming match. The guy who advanced on Richards jabbing his finger needed to calm down a bit, but what Richards did was inexcusable. He could have broken bones with that megaphone. Fortunately, it appears from the video that the guy knocked it away with his arm.

    The TV3 video's not working very well for me, but the Socialist Worker blog has a YouTube version.

    They should terminate Richards' membership. It'd be good riddance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is sort of grimly funny. It's what happens when reporters report things they didn't see:


    TVNZ Report 1:

    The violence erupted when Labour Party member Len Richards went into the crowd and allegedly hit a protestor following a struggle with the megaphone he was using.

    TVNZ Report 2:

    Richards allegedly struck a protester who was trying to intervene in a scuffle.

    Scoop:

    [SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: During a heated exchange a Labour party delegate, identified as Len Richards, was seen to pick up a megaphone and strike two protesters in the face (see video below). Scoop can confirm the woman who was struck in the face, Bronwyn Summers, has made a complaint against the alleged assault.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    They should terminate Richards' membership. It'd be good riddance.

    The sad thing is that if he is going to be expelled from the party, I'm cynical enough to suspect that it's not going to be for what he did - but that he's upstaged the Prime Minister's tax cut pledge in (quite literally) the most graphic way imaginable.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    SFWU did a dodgey deal a year or so back (defending the bloody bizzar) & Ovens is on Indey media as a "class traitor" (I don't buy into that - the lady has no class at all).
    But to try and address a crowd protesting your party while wearing the colours & ribbons (ribbons for f*ck sake) within swinging distance (either sides) your asking for trouble. As for Richards & Ovens - Rats and the Alliance ship?
    or are they reptilian shape shifters?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Len Richards quoting Jill Ovens 28Jul06

    The workplace culture in the Northern Region was described as “hostile, dysfunctional, divisive, chaotic, political, intimidating and unprofessional.”

    http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/display/51409/index.php

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    SFWU did a dodgey deal a year or so back (defending the bloody bizzar) & Ovens is on Indey media as a "class traitor" (I don't buy into that - the lady has no class at all).

    If you could get off Channel Angry for a moment (or even read your own link), Michael ... Ovens beat the annoited Labour candidate -- ie, Darien Fenton's protege. Do you know now even the first thing about her, or are you just going with the mob? If it's the latter, perhaps you should stop defaming people people as a reflex. It lacks class.

    But to try and address a crowd protesting your party while wearing the colours & ribbons (ribbons for f*ck sake) within swinging distance (either sides) your asking for trouble.

    Michael, she was one of the prime movers in the Council of Trade Unions resolution calling for the repeal in its entirety of the Terrorism Suppression Act. She thought -- foolishly, in retrospect -- she could point this out to the crowd, but couldn't make herself heard.

    Look, even some of the Indymedia types are realising that was crazy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I don't understand whose fault it is, and I wouldn't like to speculate, but it's really clear that the police and a certain subset of activists regard each other as enemies. That's what's behind today's bizarre behaviour,

    Actually, the police seemed to exercise great restraint. The kid who spat in the cop's face is lucky not to be spending a night in the cells. If I'd done that in the course of a night on the town I don't think I'd have fared so well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

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