Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Cold, calculated and cynical

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to chris,

    reprehensible reptilian…

    22 murderers etc

    Including Key’s newly coined criminals ‘child molesterers’…
    He can’t even muster the right words
    wake the flock up people!
    That ain’t no good shepherd,
    something ‘crooked’ this way comes!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And here’s the video of one of Key’s DPS guards pushing Kelvin Davis after he told Key he was “gutless” in the foyer earlier.

    It’s not the worst assault ever, but that’s beside the point. Key was in no danger – he was already on his way. And Prime Ministerial security guards do not get to lay a hand on Members of Parliament who are doing their jobs.

    I'd read this before I read any other accounts of it. Both Audrey Young ("MPs should have the freedom to walk the corridors of power without being verbally assaulted by anyone, the public, the media, or political opponents.")and Tracy Watkins ("It's one thing to have your opponents yelling insults across the House, and quite another to be waylaid by a fellow MP in the corridor and verbally abused.") paint Davis as the assaulter, and Key as the assaulted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    paint Davis as the assaulter, and Key as the assaulted.

    Gower did the same thing. It's bizarre. Davis's first words were a polite "excuse me, Prime Minister". He did use the word "gutless", but he wasn't at all aggressive, or obstructive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Danielle,

    instead of

    Human rights issues in Australia ! Big Topic. Well out of reach of the New Zealand Parliament. Overcompensate they will.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    To summarise:

    Four of the 199 Christmas Island detainees are sex offenders and a further six are separately classified as child sex offenders (which includes pornography). The 40 New Zealanders on the island may or may not be among them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And people sometimes wonder why the Twittersphere runs on raw anger right now. It’s an outlet for people to let off as much steam as they like, in the absence of a proper platform to hold the powerful to account.

    It’s normal for political journos to be biased to one degree or another, but there’s something abnormal about repackaging such bias as impartiality. In Britain, for all the underhanded news-gathering methods used, the political colours of journos are at least clearer to readers.

    The way things are going, NZ needs Justices Leveson, Finkelstein and Fitzgerald on the same Royal Commission.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to kw,

    Toby Manhire’s Spinoff interview with the mayor of Christmas Island here is interesting…

    The whole idea of deporting people because they’ve committed crimes, versus not deporting people who are citizens who’ve committed the same crimes, is abhorrent.

    We are all responsible for the care and nurturing of everybody that forms our society – we can’t sort of cleanse it from time to time by deportation or exile. That’s a couple of thousand years old, that idea.

    Thanks for that link kw.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    an outlet for people to let off as much steam as they like, in the absence of a proper platform to hold the powerful to account.

    But is it real steam if it’s not RL? The streets are empty.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to SHG,

    Joe Wylie- Christmas Island Detention Centre was opened by the Labor Govt in late 2008.

    I'm aware that the current facility was set up by the Rudd Government to handle people attempting to enter Australia by boat. When I said "repurposing" I was referring to the practice of using it as a holding centre for all potential deportees, incuding New Zealand citizens. That happened under Tony Abbott.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to lynne walker,

    no one should be detained on Christmas Island in such horrible conditions. ITS SO FAR FROM anywhere, there is no way of getting direct consulate support. Australia should not be allowed to treat people like this

    This is what's bothering me most about the latest exchange.

    The resulting conversation, including from Labour and the Maori Party, is already falling into the narrative set by the PM.

    We (meaning the media and commentators generally) are not talking about whether it's okay for the foreign state of Australia to subject New Zealand citizens, or anyone, to inhumane treatment without due process, without fair representation, without monitoring, and without any clear relation to whatever punishments a court process might have imposed on those people in the past (if any).

    We're instead talking about whether the disgustingly cruel situation above is somehow magically acceptable if those people had previously been convicted and punished for certain offences. To top it off we're also talking about just how many New Zealanders on Christmas Island were previously punished for those offences, implying there's a possibility that the Christmas Island treatment could be somehow acceptable because of it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • SHG,

    The whole idea of deporting people because they’ve committed crimes, versus not deporting people who are citizens who’ve committed the same crimes, is abhorrent.


    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to SHG,

    True, deportation is not an option a country can take for its own citizens: where could they be deported to?
    I would guess kw’s point is that, if two people have been tried for and convicted of the same crime by the same country’s justice system, they should face equivalent sentencing options.
    I think I would agree that deportation should not be an option for non-citizens in cases where their country of origin would impose an unreasonably harsh sentence for the same crime (extreme case, capital punishment).
    I also think how much of a disruption to life and livelihood deportation would entail (not just for the convicted criminal, but for their family) should be considered: here the issues are whether deportation itself would be an additional unreasonably harsh punishment, and/or whether innocent people would also be punished.
    But I’m not seeing the decision to deport a convicted criminal as automatically “abhorrent” in every case.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • simon g,

    Here's the Stuff story which probably sums up the view from and for Middle New Zealand.

    I assume Key has got the poll results and they've told him his voters wouldn't mind if Christmas Island was a permanent gulag.

    On the other hand, Herald editorials and other "establishment" voices are less supportive. So he might restrain himself a little, if only because going nuclear-nasty every day tends to produce diminishing returns.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to SHG,


    Question to Gordon Thomas('Mayor' of Christmass Island)...

    How do you feel about New Zealanders being held there?

    I come at from this point of view: If somebody is born into our community, or is raised in our community, whose life is shaped by our community, whatever they do in our community, however they behave, however they function – we have to take responsibility for the shaping and outcomes of all our people, whether they’re born here or not.

    from Toby Manhire's interview, from the link supplied by kw


    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Alfie,

    Here's a kiwi being held in a maximum-security prison in Perth, even though he hasn't committed a single crime. This guy has three medals of honour for serving in Afghanistan and his only 'crime' is an affiliation with the Rebels motorcycle gang. The Rebels are not a criminal organisation in Western Australia.

    Decorated former Lance Corporal Ngati Kanohi Te Eke Haapu, better known as Ko Rutene, has been detained because his visa was revoked on the grounds that he is a member of a motorcycle club.

    Maori Party MP Marama Fox had brought up Rutene's situation to Prime Minister John Key during question time on Tuesday, to which Key replied "I don't have the details of his case."

    Fox had said Rutene's family had contacted her saying he had committed no crime.

    "He is barely a member of the Rebels motorcycle gang, he is a decorated serviceman and he is being held in a detention centre," said Fox. "The Prime Minister's got it wrong and he needs to do more."

    She said there were people being detained in Australia for minor crimes such as shoplifting and traffic offences, and now, "questionable character".

    "This is not just about rapists, this is about Kiwis who have been held and detained in breach of their human rights, having already served their time and much less."

    Shoplifters, rapists... they're all tarred with the same brush on Planet Key.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    Here’s the Stuff story which probably sums up the view from and for Middle New Zealand.

    On the other hand…

    Two stories which neatly illustrate the Australian & NZ deep state attempt at controlling the narrative vs. actual verifiable stories of real people. It pays to bear in mind the Australian government has total news control from Christmas Island. I don’t believe a single word they say, especially when that controlled narrative – parroted in the Aussie press – is punctured by compelling phone calls from the facility and interviews with families that are replayed on NZ media. One of the media stories here is how complaint and complicit the MSM is on this issue in Australia – they are part of the bi-partisan political lockstep over there that means this issue is not discussed.

    Let’s get real here. Australia is running concentration camps on these islands, designed to break the will of the inmates with brutal, lawless repression and indefinite detention. Like previous owners of concentration camps they’ll have you believe the happy faces of the orchestra playing at the railway station is representative, and when asked of reports of chimney smoke they’ll deny there is even a fire.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Alfie, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Both Audrey Young... and Tracy Watkins... paint Davis as the assaulter, and Key as the assaulted.

    It's good to see that RNZ have the story straight. They point out that when it comes to acting more like thugs, the Diplomatic Protection Service has form.

    It is not the first time DPS have stepped in to protect MPs from uncomfortable questions, most notably when they blocked reporters from asking then-National Party leader Don Brash about the Exclusive Brethren during the 2005 election.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Nihikai,

    Dead cat. Just as the Flag is a diversion from real governance. In business when top management has no idea of what to do, they change the logo, the stationary, reshuffle people, redesign the website. Makes them look busy but produces damn near nothing. Key knows these tactics intuitively.

    Akl • Since Nov 2015 • 1 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    a three ring sercos?

    Here’s the Stuff story which probably sums up the view from and for Middle New Zealand.

    I think it is noteworthy that there is no mention that National's poster-boys for privatising prisons, Serco, 'runs' this facility...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    From Danyl’s post on the matter:

    Here’s an example. Mid-way through Key’s performance he yelled ‘Labour can back child molesterers (sic) and murderers, I’m backing New Zealanders.’ The line doesn’t make any sense in the context of the debate, because – as Key has pointed out – the detainees on Christmas Island are New Zealand citizens who can come back to New Zealand whenever they want, and Labour are arguing for their right to stay in Australia. But the line was great theatre so it made the news on both TV stations where it no doubt sounded pretty good to the majority of viewers who don’t know the details of the issue. The only reason Key said something so non-nonsensical is because he knew the gallery TV journalists would play the line without analysing its non-sensicality.


    Things aren’t all bad though. TV3’s Patrick Gower read from a list supplied to him by Key’s office numerating the number of murderers and child molesters, etc, that they claim are on Christmas Island. The list didn’t stack up for an instant and my twitter feed became a flood of outrage. TVNZ was almost certainly given the list too – their audience is many times larger than TV3’s – but they didn’t cover it, presumably because they knew they were being played. So there is some judgement going on, sometimes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace,

    This is both a clever and desperate tactic by the PM. By labelling people in this way he portrays them as less than human, therefore not worthy of rights or even empathy. He has to persuade the public and commentators of this.

    If this doesn't work, not only the detainees but all those other groups facing discrimination and demanding rights and resources will have to be considered officially human and therefore have rights. These include people with mental illness (such as those in jail denied their medication), refugees, beneficiaries, disabled people, and my current interest - children with special educational needs.

    (By the way the new Australian minister for disability issues has helped with this othering by calling disabled people a burden on the state)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Just said “the psychos are coming”.

    It does seem to me that that line in particular is a breach of the broadcasting standards.

    That in addition to the blatantly deceptive reporting of the numbers is well outside the standards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Just said “the psychos are coming”. It was about as bad as Gallery reporting gets. You can watch it here if you like.

    And bingo it worked. The PM has successfully turned all the Kiwis in Australia awaiting deportation into degenerate criminal scum. It doesn't matter that many are simply not accounted for on the list of villainy, there is a a big scary number of bad criminals and they're coming here!

    The narrative is changed, now Labour and others who want to defend the human rights of those citizens will have to explain why they are so interested in helping criminals instead of [insert unrelated social issue or group].

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report

  • Craig Young,

    Like hell. Here's a backgrounder by yours truly on (a) Serco, which mentions its record of cumulative mismanagement of its privatised penal facilities:


    (b) Australian refugee and asylum policy:


    The Prime Minister will *not* get away with whitewashing Serco's incompetence and Australian's repressive approach to human rights and civil liberties for refugees and asylum seekers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    Amy Adams (who increasingly sounds like she went to a home counties public school, yearning for the mother country I guess) was wound up set off to do the clockwork constant repetition of the rapist murders etc etc thing this morning. Farrar is running the same dishonest line. So it seems the government got it's strategy into place after a bit of urgent overnight polling/focus groups by Curia.

    The biggest winner will be be David Farrar, who can now probably afford to upgrade from a Gnu to an Elephant for his trophy on his next safari.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

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