The Dim-Post

December 9, 2013

Being on the wrong side of history is awkward

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:32 am

Via Judith Collins’ twitter feed:

mintoAs far as the right is concerned John Minto is just about the worst person in the country. He’s down there in the frozen lake of National Party hell being chewed on by Satan along with Hone Harawira and Sue Bradford. Minto is a Marxist who got the shit beat out of him during the Springbok tour and damn well deserved it!

So this whole ‘Death of Mandala’ thing is really problematic. Right-wing politicians know that they have to be nice about Mandela and praise him as a hero. But it’s awkward to be reminded that Minto was actually getting beaten up because he was protesting to try and get Mandela released and to get our country to break ties with apartheid South Africa, a regime that right-wing governments here and around the world enthusiastically supported. If Key takes John Minto to Mandela’s funeral it means swallowing the gigantic rat that Minto – who they regard as the epitome of left-wing idiocy – was completely right, and the National Party was completely wrong. So no trip for Minto.

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92 Comments »

  1. Hmmm, another oppotunity for Key to be a statesman, rather than just a National Party PM, and he blows it. I bet there was a real shit fight in the National Party over who gets to go and rub shoulders with the world’s bigwigs.

    Comment by Deliberately Anonymous This Time For a Very Good Reason — December 9, 2013 @ 9:45 am

  2. When Thatcher (the closest thing the right had to Mandela) died the left had the decency to spit on her grave, rather than pretend that we’d supported her policies all along.

    Comment by pete — December 9, 2013 @ 9:49 am

  3. There is also no political downside in not inviting Minto, which is probably just as pertinent.

    Key can be sure that the ‘repectable’ Left wont make an issue out of it lest they be charged with making hay.
    He will get to look statesmanlike when he desperately needs to, without the risk of a potentially unmanagable Minto being near a microphone.
    No one will dare point out that Mandela’s political legacy is a nepotistic, one-party kleptocracy infested with neo-lib parasites.

    Comment by Gregor W — December 9, 2013 @ 9:57 am

  4. Key understands his voters. National’s base hates Minto more than apartheid. Simple as that.

    He also understands that if he says a few honeyed words in South Africa (like his anti-nuclear pose at the UN in New York), then a chunk of soft-headed liberal New Zealand will forgive him. That’s why he wins elections.

    He sells it because we buy it. More fool us.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 9, 2013 @ 10:07 am

  5. Minto is on record as being strongly opposed to the contemporary South African government, ironically.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 9, 2013 @ 10:07 am

  6. It’s a state function probably including the likes of Putin and Mugabe.

    yes Mandela’s death is a a problem with some on the right but the willingness for some on the left to see this as a mere opportunity to be bitchy has been pretty sickening.

    Comment by NeilM — December 9, 2013 @ 10:09 am

  7. I guess people are “sickened” by different things, Neil.

    For me, it’s shameless whitewashing of decades of history. For you, it’s something else, not clear what.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 9, 2013 @ 10:19 am

  8. Every now and again that foreign country that is the past gets in its time machine and pays us a visit. The debate about whether or not to take Minto is a fascinating, if only because it makes New Zealanders consider uncomfortable truths – like how so many of us were completely wrong in our support of the 1981 Springbok tour. Like a double entendre in comedy, Key’s lack of recollection of his position in 1981 can only mean one thing. After all to have beeen anti-tour in ’81 is to now be on the right side of history, and I doubt our PM would forget that. Yet now he has to go and represent us at a gathering of the great and the good to celebrate the life of someone he would have blithely dismissed as a terrorist when plenty of his fellow New Zealanders stood up and were counted.

    My view is that Minto was anyone other than who he is he should go, but the nature of John Minto, his utter refusal to be tamed by the estabishment, means his status as establishment outsider makes it impossible that he should go as part of a government party. Perhaps he should have been be offered a free trip in an unofficial capacity. But there is no excuse not to take at least one representative of the heroic anti-apartheid movement in this country. Trevor Richards springs to mind. Someone from HART or CARE need to be there.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 9, 2013 @ 10:29 am

  9. The UK has the same problem with fawning conservative amnesiacs http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/06/follow-nelson-mandela-laugh-rightwing-fawning

    Comment by peg — December 9, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  10. John Key said on Firstline this morning:

    “…I was about 20 years of age and I had a whole lot of other things to do at the time…”

    Remembering a bunch of scared about 20 year olds from good, law abiding families resolutely march towards the blue line of Meurant’s thugs reminds me that they had some things to do at time as well, John.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 9, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  11. It was always interesting on reflection that all these left wingers saw the South African regime as abhorrent (which it was) yet gladly supported contact with the Soviet Union. There seemed to be no protests about the 1980 Olympics by Minto etc… Minto is a nut case and the vast majority of the public see him as a professional protestor. Heck how many times has he recently failed miserably to win at elections.

    Comment by rjs131 — December 9, 2013 @ 10:59 am

  12. I don’t recall Minto ever protesting about piracy, which clearly makes him a fellow traveller.

    Comment by Gregor W — December 9, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  13. “Remembering a bunch of scared about 20 year olds from good, law abiding families resolutely march towards the blue line of Meurant’s thugs reminds me that they had some things to do at time as well, John.”

    The politically committed from any part of the political spectrum find it hard to imagine people who do not have intense feelings about or take strong stands about political issues. In general, it’s a failure of the imagination. It was even possible for people not to think about the issue of sporting contacts with SA. That doesn’t mean John Key is not being diplomatic about his own views at the time, just that there are a large number of people – from all socio-economic and ability levels – who don’t feel intensely about politics and for whom politics is rarely a topic of conversation or thought. Commerce students – which Key was – rarely spent any time in student movements or on the issues of the day in student life. On the other hand Key did want to be PM from a relatively unhealthy early age, something usually associated with the left. Against that he did not appear to have done anything about that ambition – join the Young Nats or Young Labour – until he was in middle life. The circumstantial evidence about his political views at the time points in both directions.

    Comment by Tinakori — December 9, 2013 @ 11:33 am

  14. Anyone with a pulse in New Zealand in 1981 had a strong opinion on the Springbok tour, so don’t try and rewrite history and try to make glib excuses for Key.

    At the end of the day, as Shakespeare put it, John Key was a “gentlemen in England now-a-bed”.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 9, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  15. A few years ago, when Key was still opposition leader, he appeared on the (unmissed) “Game of Two Halves”, and showed a remarkable memory for rugby stats and facts from the 1980′s. He also told Audrey Young in the Herald that he remembered seeing Robbie Deans at Canterbury University. There’s nothing wrong with his rugby-related memory of those times … when it suits.

    Nobody would give a damn if he just said “I was a teenage student, I wanted to get laid, pissed and watch sport”. It’s the weaselly wriggling that grates.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 9, 2013 @ 11:43 am

  16. Taking part in the anti-apartheid movement was its own reward. This current round of bitching serves no purpose – no-one in SA will be better off for it.

    Comment by NeilM — December 9, 2013 @ 11:45 am

  17. If Key takes John Minto to Mandela’s funeral it means swallowing the gigantic rat that Minto – who they regard as the epitome of left-wing idiocy – was completely right, and the National Party was completely wrong. So no trip for Minto.

    What… the… fuck…?

    The reason Key is not taking Minto is beause he is a complete non-entity when it comes to representative political delegations. He’s a nobody and has no more right to be part of a parliamentary delegation that you or I do.

    Also, Minto has a history of failing to recognise the difference between ‘solemn formal occasion’ and ‘political protest’. He has no decorum.

    Comment by Phil — December 9, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  18. When Mandela was in NZ for CHOGM in 1995 did he call then-PM Bolger out for his support for the Springbok tour back when he was Muldoon’s Minister of Labour?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 9, 2013 @ 11:58 am

  19. What’s the saying? A broken clock is correct twice a day. Minto had his moment of being correct in 1981, and he’s been broken ever since.

    Comment by SHG — December 9, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

  20. Minto is on record as being strongly opposed to the contemporary South African government
    This. Who actually thinks he wouldn’t do something overtly political if he was over there?

    Comment by Auto_Immune — December 9, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

  21. When Mandela was in NZ for CHOGM in 1995 did he call then-PM Bolger out for his support for the Springbok tour back when he was Muldoon’s Minister of Labour?

    No! But at the same time, Bolger didn’t say, ‘I think the people who campaigned for you to be released from prison are laughable morons.’ So there was restraint on both sides.

    Comment by danylmc — December 9, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

  22. Dear Nelson

    We know it’s your funeral, and it’s supposed to be about honouring you, but it really isn’t.

    We don’t like John Minto and that overrides everything else – including your heartfelt thanks to him and all who fought with him, for you. They don’t matter any more, and you’re dead, so … too bad.

    Love
    New Zealand 2013

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 9, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

  23. I’m actually somewhat surprised that Kevin Hague wasn’t asked to attend. He was very involved in the ’81 protests (from memory there is footage of him protesting at Eden Park in the v. excellent documentary ‘Patu’). He is a current MP, is well spoken and very measured – highly unlikely to offend. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — December 9, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

  24. I was at St Matthews in the City in 1995 when Mandela went there (during his CHOGM visit) to meet the 1981 protesters. Minto berated him for not introducing communism to South Africa and attacked him for allowing capitalist companies to stay in business. A near-speechless Mandela responded: “But who do you think will employ our people?”

    Until that moment I had thought Minto was an anti-racist of high principles. I then realised he was an extreme Marxist.

    Minto also refused a South African honour from Mandela’s successor, attacking South Africa for retaining capitalism.

    Comment by Dave — December 9, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

  25. Key understands his voters. National’s base hates Minto more than apartheid. Simple as that.

    You’re way too kind. A more accurate version would be:

    Key understands his voters. National’s base hates Minto and didn’t have any problem with apartheid. Simple as that.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — December 9, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

  26. You’re way too kind. A more accurate version would be:

    Key understands his voters. National’s base hates all that is good and would re-open the gas chambers of Auschwitz if it could in order to exterminate the poor, non-white, gays, the disabled, and women. Simple as that.

    Comment by SHG — December 9, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

  27. This post from the US is a thing of beauty, with the author updating until it all gets worked out. That Reagan and Thatcher are the real heroes, and the left were, and are, despicable pricks who supported Hitler:

    http://datechguyblog.com/2013/12/05/nelson-mandela-the-man-mugabe-castro-putin-could-have-been/.

    Comment by Alex Coleman — December 9, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

  28. Sanctuary,
    ” Anyone with a pulse in New Zealand in 1981 had a strong opinion on the Springbok tour,… ”

    Really?. Many of my workmates and friends didn’t really care in 1981. They were more polarised in 1986? when the Cavaliers toured SA – players were perceived as venal and arrogant, given the previous year’s tour had been quashed by a legal ruling. That tour hardened attitudes in NZ, with stay-at-home All Blacks Kirk and Kirwan suffering serious abuse from hardliners, but that tour certainly hardened my attitude that we should not play the Springboks. I can’t speak for others…

    Comment by Bruce Hamilton — December 9, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  29. Minto also refused a South African honour from Mandela’s successor, attacking South Africa for retaining capitalism.

    Bullshit. Minto copped a lot of flak from business-as-usual apologists for turning down the offered honour, notably from the credulous Poneke, who was too cowardly to even use his own name. Around a year later the Marikana massacre occurred, with 34 shot dead by police. Minto has plenty of justication for refusing an honour from the Government whose forces carried out the biggest massacre since Sharpville.

    Comment by Joe W — December 9, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  30. Actually yes Mugabe will almost certainly be at Mandela’s funeral, because when it comes down to it, Mugabe was on the right side of that fight in South Africa, just like Castro, and, for that matter, Putin’s predecessors in the Kremlin, (just like pretty much every centre-right party in the West was on the wrong side, the side of the murderous police state that was apartheid-era South Africa) and you know what? The ANC remembers.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — December 9, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

  31. Sanctuary wrote: “Anyone with a pulse in New Zealand in 1981 had a strong opinion on the Springbok tour

    I didn’t, and I don’t know if anyone else at my kindy did either.

    Comment by kahikatea — December 9, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

  32. 31.Sanctuary wrote: “Anyone with a pulse in New Zealand in 1981 had a strong opinion on the Springbok tour”
    I didn’t, and I don’t know if anyone else at my kindy did either.

    Accoding to some quick math, it’s entirely possible I was conceived the night the Springboks arrived in New Zealand…

    Comment by Phil — December 9, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

  33. Re: Phil. Indeed I was born in April 1982 which leads to some interesting calculations.

    Comment by jarbury — December 9, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

  34. For El-ahrairah to Cry

    Maybe I need to go somewhere and bury my head. So that I don’t accidentally read things like that from Il Judy above or this from No Minister:

    http://nominister.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/get-life-you-parasitic-rent-mob-trougher.html
    “In 1981 you and your rabble trampled all over my legal rights to see the best two rugby nations entertain me.”

    That I should be deprived of entertainment thusly! Oh wail and gnash your teeth sweet earth did you ever see such perfidy!

    It’s hard to believe that such people are real, or to have any view of the intrinsic worth of your country if you do.

    Comment by sheesh — December 9, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  35. It’s a commemoration of Mandela’s life, it’s not referendum on in NZ in 1981.

    Comment by NeilM — December 9, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

  36. “Anyone with a pulse in New Zealand in 1981 had a strong opinion on the Springbok tour, so don’t try and rewrite history and try to make glib excuses for Key.”

    Ah, Sanctuary so often your response immediately and unthinkingly confirms the point I was trying to make.

    Comment by Tinakori — December 9, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

  37. “Ah, Sanctuary so often your response immediately and unthinkingly confirms the point I was trying to make.”

    Kind of ironic; I was thinking about how well the comments reflect the post. Though the kb thread is really letting fly with ‘omg Minto is such a wanker’ routine. Like it makes the blindest bit of difference. Wanker or not, he was right about the tour, so he’s catching hate for it.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — December 9, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  38. …your response immediately and unthinkingly confirms the point I was trying to make.

    Your point seems to be that it’s actually unsurprising that Key can’t remember having an opinion on the ’81 Springbok Tour. I’m the same age as Key, was also a student at the time, also not particularly politically active, had friends on both left and right, and I find the idea of a 19-year-old of that time without an opinion on it ludicrous. I laugh at him every time he spouts that “can’t remember” bullshit, and I expect many others of his cohort do the same. He’s a liar, plain and simple.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — December 9, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

  39. I remember the Monday after Hamilton arguing about things with another student. His family were political refugees but he thought that what we had done was completely wrong.

    Most other students weren’t even engaged with what was going on.

    I remember feeling quiet hurt by the lack of engagement of some of my family.

    I remember numerous arguments about all of that at the time.

    Some soul searching might be of benefit but score settling seems out of place.

    Comment by NeilM — December 9, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

  40. Just for the record, the South African government claims it never offered Minto any honour.

    But I think it’s quite likely that he would not be interested in going.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 9, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

  41. Stunned to hear Jock Anderson on the Panel say (along the lines of) after reflecting on Mandela’s example of forgiveness, he thought perhaps John Minto could go because that would show that he had been forgiven for the disruption he caused in 81! Obviously Anderson missed the part about Minto being on the same side as Mandela.

    Comment by Viv K — December 9, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

  42. “…Though the kb thread is really letting fly with ‘omg Minto is such a wanker’ routine…”

    Farrar has got a stonker of a post, where he busily plays the man for all he is worth, pointing and yelling “He’s a communist! He’s a communist!” which has got his keyboard McCarthyists in quite a tizz (contrary to want the KB sewer seems to believe, being a communist isn’t actually a crime). He also makes the hilarious statement “Mandela eventually outgrew his communist upbringing”. LOLOLOLOLOLOL

    That would be the Nelson Mandela who in 2003 called George W Bush a “small man” who had “no foresight”, and who was “wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust”. The Mandela who called Israel a “terrorist state” and embraced Yassar Arafat. The “once” communist who lavished praise on Fidel Castro and called Cuba “a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people”… Sure, Nelson Mandela was just a big cuddly symbol of hope, or at least that is how the right is busily trying to sanitize him so they can fawn at his funeral and offer their crocodile tears to his followers.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 9, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

  43. Sanc, whatever his stance on Palestine, Iraq or Cuba, he certainly didn’t govern South Africa in anything even remotely approaching a communist fashion.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 9, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

  44. kalvarnsen – you are certainly right, but it is a long stretch of the bow to claim he had ‘outgrown his communist upbriging”. That’s just rubbish from a white right winger trying to sanitize Mandela so he can snuggle up to his memory.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 10, 2013 @ 7:09 am

  45. Why not have a whip-round? – Let’s be honest here, the whole ‘Mandela-funeral thing’ thing would be rendered, well, just meaningless without the internationally acclaimed anti-apartheid icon that is John Minto being present to represent all who ‘got bruised’ in the fight against apartheid.

    I’d be happy to donate a $1.00 help Minto get to the funeral. Who is with me?

    Comment by Lee C — December 10, 2013 @ 7:24 am

  46. Apparently Hone’s going, so the I’ve-still-got-Ross-Meurant’s-bootprint-in-my-face demographic will be represented.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 10, 2013 @ 8:19 am

  47. Minto’s opinion piece in the NZ Herald today is a model of considered reflection, IMHO.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 10, 2013 @ 9:48 am

  48. > the credulous Poneke, who was too cowardly to even use his own name.

    If you don’t know who Poneke is, you need to get out more. :)

    More importantly, I’d take what Poneke says with a grain of salt.

    Comment by Ross — December 10, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

  49. > I find the idea of a 19-year-old of that time without an opinion on it ludicrous.

    Well, Key has said he’d have gone to the matches. That suggests he was in favour of the tour. He hasn’t got the guts to admit that.

    Comment by Ross — December 10, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

  50. Solely equating Minto with the anti-apartheid movement in New Zealand is reductionist and probably pretty insulting to a large number of NZers with a social conscience who stood against the tour.

    Comment by rsmsingers — December 10, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

  51. Who is solely equating Minto with the anti-apartheid movement in NZ?

    Comment by Gregor W — December 10, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

  52. If you don’t know who Poneke is, you need to get out more. :)

    Frankly sweetheart I couldn’t give a shit who the unfortunately unstable “Poneke” is in whatever passes for his real life.

    Comment by Joe W — December 10, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

  53. not giving Minto the credit for his commitment and work is even more so rsmsingers

    Comment by sheesh — December 10, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

  54. So it turns out leaders can only take one person to the event and Key is taking Cunliffe.

    Probably not going to please all but is probably the best choice.

    The Key detractors appear to have overlooked the fact that this is a state-run event where we will be guests and don’t get to make the rules.

    It’s not about us settling old scores.

    Comment by NeilM — December 10, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

  55. @Neil: Not true, Key’s also bringing McKinnon and… someone else, I forget who.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 10, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

  56. Apparently to the event itself only 2 can go.

    Comment by NeilM — December 10, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

  57. “probably the best choice”

    Sharples would have made more sense.

    Comment by Sacha — December 10, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

  58. Right, Sharples, he was the one I forgot. The official party is Sharples, McKinnon, Cunliffe and key.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 10, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

  59. Cunliffe has offered his spot to Sharples, RNZ reports – http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/230389/pm-forced-to-cut-back-delegation

    Comment by Sacha — December 10, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

  60. If it’s “the head of state, plus one other” shouldn’t it be the Governor General who’s going, not Key?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 10, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

  61. No, Kalverson. I think it’s much more healing to discuss a the fantasy of a ‘far-right’ conspiracy to block Minto from attending the funeral.

    Comment by Lee C — December 11, 2013 @ 6:26 am

  62. “No! But at the same time, Bolger didn’t say, ‘I think the people who campaigned for you to be released from prison are laughable morons.’ So there was restraint on both sides.”

    I should have pointed this out earlier, but… it’s perfectly possible to give Minto credit for his anti-apartheid activism but to criticise him for all the other things he’s done. Even Minto’s staunchest enemies would have to admit he is much more than just a guy who opposed apartheid. I mean, are we all obliged to permanently refrain from criticising Minto because he was against apartheid? I’m pretty sure that logic would take us to some pretty bizarre places.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 11, 2013 @ 7:54 am

  63. And you know, I’m pretty sure that John Minto and I would agree on most substantive political issues. It’s just that I would like to retain the theoretical right to criticise him, even if I choose not to exercise it.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 11, 2013 @ 7:55 am

  64. I think it’s much more healing to discuss a the fantasy of a ‘far-right’ conspiracy to block Minto from attending the funeral.

    Given that Key’s handling of this whole matter has been roundly criticised by numerous editorials (NZ Herald, Southland Times, other Fairfax papers, etc) and numerous commentators (TV3′s Gower, Herald’s Armstrong, Stuff’s Espiner, Radio Live’s Garner, etc) – none of whom invoked a “far right conspiracy” – then I’d suggest your “fantasy” is much closer to home.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 11, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  65. The US delegation included Obama, former presidents, and 26 current congress members.
    The Canadian delegation was the current and some former PM’s. Opposition leaders will also be in attendence at some events.
    Prince Charles is attending on behalf of the Queen.
    The Indian delegation has the current president, as well as Sonia Ghandi (current congress president) and leaders of opposition/coalition parties.

    All these countries have a history of anti-apartheid protest and/or peaceful demonstation that at least match (if not exceed) New Zealands commitment to the South African cause. They’ve chosen to send delgations that primarily represent the current political make-up of the country. Had Key turned up with Minto, we would have looked ridiculous.

    Comment by Phil — December 11, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

  66. Erm. The thing about India is that the Indian delegation, by virtue of including Congress politicians, is representative of the fight against apartheid and is in fact a highly loaded gesture of solidarity between two sister parties, the Indian and African National Congresses, in their linked struggles. India (and Congress) were staunch opponents of apartheid, and the actions of the west in supporting it. Likewise from America — John Lewis, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, etc, the first black president — these are people who fought on Mandela’s side, who struggled against the same enemy. Those countries did take protesters, they did take activists.

    Comment by Keir — December 11, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

  67. >Had Key turned up with Minto, we would have looked ridiculous.

    Well, it might have been embarrassing for the other countries, who only sent dignitaries.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 11, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  68. Had Key turned up with Minto, we would have looked ridiculous.

    Managed just fine without Minto. Murdoch’s NY Daily News has Key as an unidentified guest. Source album here.

    Comment by Joe W — December 11, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  69. Those countries did take protesters, they did take activists.

    I think Peter Sharples is a fine example of both those categories.

    He was a leading figure in the post- tour maori renaissance.

    And it seems everyone had their favourite protestor they would have sent. Was Key, at short notice, supposed to undertake some popularity contest, to adjudicate as to who should or shouldn’t represent the protest movement?

    Comment by NeilM — December 11, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

  70. I would have voted for Ripeka Evans.

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/document/29815/wahine-toa-donna-awatere-and-ripeka-evans

    Comment by NeilM — December 11, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  71. “at short notice”

    I know MFAT have had some cutbacks lately, but you’d hope they still had somebody in the office who noticed Mandela wasn’t too well.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 11, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

  72. Bolger, really? ‘Brave’ choice.

    Comment by Sacha — December 11, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

  73. John Key can’t recall his stance on the 1981 Springbok tour – yeah right http://wp.me/s22Gib-421

    Comment by sleepdepriveddiva — December 12, 2013 @ 3:10 am

  74. This is pathetic.

    What we have ended up with is essentially a pissing contest between folk arguing over which comparative nonentity should represent NZ at the funeral. Just buy a t-shirt if you really need to let the world know how ‘aware’ you were twenty years ago, or are today.

    The greatest lesson Mandela taught the world was that of redemption, forgiveness and moving on.
    People who exploited, shot at, tortured, and killed other people in South Africa were given the opportunity (not, compelled) to confess and redeem themselves so that the nation might have a fighting chance of getting over their woes to some small degree. As far as I can see, John Minto has been stoically silent on this issue and good on him. At least he has the good judgement to let history speak for itself.

    How depressing that, before Mandela’s corpse is cold, people have been clamouring to resurrect old scores and restart old fights, too wrapped up in their own desire to disregard Mandela’s fundamental message of forgiveness and healing and thereby dishonouring his life’s work.

    Comment by Lee C — December 12, 2013 @ 7:20 am

  75. “…Mandela’s fundamental message of forgiveness and healing and thereby dishonouring his life’s work…”

    And the right wing Princess Di-ification of Mandela continues apace….

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 12, 2013 @ 8:42 am

  76. I’d rather be that than a wanker, Sanctuary

    Comment by LeeC — December 12, 2013 @ 8:55 am

  77. Whoops Apologies for that, Sanctuary.

    I think I’ll just have to accept that not only am I pissing in the wind here, but that on occasion, I too can fall short of the ideals that Mandela proposed.

    I’m under no illusons about his flaws or imperfections or his history. In a way your response illustrates my point – is it possible that to disagree with someone who has a ‘left’ point of view automatically makes that person ‘right’ wing’?

    I thought the point I was making was about Mandela was that he considered it better to overcome tribalism and try to find common ground.
    In a way my response illustrates too that it is easy to lapse into negative thinking.

    Apologies again. I think I’m going to stop coming here, it’s not working out so well for my emotional health.

    RIP Nelson Mandela, is my final sentiment – label it how you like.

    Comment by LeeC — December 12, 2013 @ 9:04 am

  78. Judith Collins just called, she has misplaced her copy of Every Bad Thing Done By Black People Ever, anyone got a spare?

    Comment by Michael — December 12, 2013 @ 10:07 am

  79. Apologies again. I think I’m going to stop coming here, it’s not working out so well for my emotional health.

    I’m less and less inclined to take part in these sorts of internet forums.

    I’ve gemerally found Danyl’s site less irritating than others. There’s much less of that unpleasant in group/out group dynamic one sees on other sites.

    But this sort of argument doesn’t do much for me.

    Comment by NeilM — December 12, 2013 @ 11:29 am

  80. But this sort of argument doesn’t do much for me.

    Welcome back, Pete George!

    Comment by Gregor W — December 12, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  81. National’s biggest weakness is the arrogance that prevents them seeing they are wrong from time to time and openly acknowledging it. I don’t get along well with individuals who behave that way…and don’t vote for political parties who behave that way.

    No one should. You just can’t trust them to be fair if they can’t first be intellectually honest.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — December 12, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

  82. @Steve: While that’s true, I’m not convinced it’s a unique flaw to National. When did the Greens or Labour last admit they were wrong and openly acknowledge it?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 12, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

  83. Um. Labour’s quite open about the mistakes made post-84, these days. And those mistakes were nowhere near “supporting a fascist, racist police state”.

    Comment by Keir — December 12, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

  84. @Keir: Labour has never apologised for Rogernomics.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 13, 2013 @ 1:03 am

  85. I’m not the only one to notice the attempts of the West’s capitalist elites to sanitize Mandela into a new Princess Di. – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/11/mandela-sanitised-hypocrites-apologists-apartheid

    We forget that in the struggle against colonialism and racism “our” side, accustomed to believing it is righteous, was on the wrong side of history. In is an inconvenient truth that the country that did the most to end apartheid in South Africa was communist Cuba, when Cuban soldiers helped defeat the invading South African army in Angola in 1989. Because the soldiers were communists, we never hear of of the Cuban heroes Cuito Cuanavale, we never hear their dead fêted for sacrificing their lives to end apartheid. But Mandela did, because he understoond the realities of how the west operates.

    @Kalvarnsen – As Pablo constantly points out over at Kiwipolitico the New Zealand ruling establishment – which includes the Labour party – is incapable of admitting error, and would rather engage in obfustication and cover-ups rather than admit to a mistake and open up itself up to the possibility of reform.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 13, 2013 @ 10:16 am

  86. Obfustication?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 13, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  87. Pablo on Kiwipolitico also constantly points out that foreign students pose a security threat to New Zealand, so I tend to take what he says with a grain of salt.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 13, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  88. Obfuscation. Damn Danyl and his lack of an editing feature.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 13, 2013 @ 10:43 am

  89. Like many Americans, Pablo suffers from a touch of the American style of paranoid politics. But as an antidote to the often asinine belief generally held by Kiwis that if we are nice and keep quiet then everyone will love us and no one will want to harm us he is very good IMHO.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 13, 2013 @ 10:49 am

  90. There are better antidotes. Less offensive ones, too.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 13, 2013 @ 11:12 am

  91. Well I’ll see all the shit you are all whinging about, with regard to how ‘people are totes appropriating tsk tsk’, and raise you this:

    http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/publications/opinion-editorials/article.asp?id=1197#.UqovuSd62Sp

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — December 13, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

  92. it’s a mixture of obfuscation and fisticuffs

    Comment by Sacha — December 13, 2013 @ 8:03 pm


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