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Who should cast the first stone?


Who should cast the first stone?

Marc Alexander United Future MP

There have been huge lapses in logic and reason, backed up by a chronic shortage of moral spine lately. At best, idiocy has reigned supreme and at worst, there has been a dearth of common sense.

The first piece of lunacy was Miss World New Zealand Rachel Huljich’s claim that by attending the upcoming Miss World contest in Nigeria, opponents of that nation’s death sentence dished up to Amina Lawal’s adultery (by stoning no less), would somehow be better served. It is an odd belief that the parading of women folk like a prized heifer can, or even should, have any impact on the laws of some far flung country!

Forget that such a competition trivialises and belittles women, leave aside the naivety of 18 year old Miss Huljichs…our repugnance at even the possibility of a women being stoned for adultery should have made us threaten to cut off all cultural exchanges until such barbarity is relegated to the dustbin of history.

Rachel Huljich should know that she did not go to Nigeria as an individual but as a representative of New Zealand. As such, she has an obligation to put aside her personal ambition to wear a sash, a tiara and a smile, and place the interests and concerns of our country to the forefront. Listening to our Prime Minister would have been a good start. Had she done so, she would have set aside her 18 years of worldly inexperience in deference to Ms Clark’s comparably vast repository of knowledge of foreign relations. Rachel would then at least have gained our respect.

The second bit of nonsense to hit the media was the extremely ill advised visit to Michael Choy’s killer, Bailey Kurariki, by two All Blacks. By all accounts our youngest killer thinks of himself a celebrity…one that, in his mind at least, has been boosted by the visit.

Most real celebrities in New Zealand understand their social responsibilities as role models. As such, visits to hospitals, public meetings and charitable events are part and parcel of that responsibility. It has always been taken as a measure of support that such luminaries conduct visits outside the confines of their initial source of fame. But what can we make of the visit to this killer? For many of us such a visit would confer a sense of validation, an awareness that in New Zealand the shortest distance between our role models and the rest of us is our sense of community and our spirit of connectedness. Such a sense does not come with the breaking of a law – especially one that supposedly emphasises the sanctity of life.

But the most contemptible and telling reminder of our moral vacuum was reported in the Dominion Post (Tues, Nov 12, 2002) where Kurariki’s mother had placed a framed photo of her killer son with the All Blacks on the mantelpiece of her living room. Mrs Choy will never have the opportunity of such a photo of her son.

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