Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Robson-on-politics


robson-on-politics

Iraq

"I am his mother" she whispered. Nothing else. I held her without a word. This is from Jo Wilding, a British peace activist and law student in Bagdhad in her daily email. The scene: a mother with her dying son after he had been hit in a missile strike. Cluster bombs too continue to kill and wound civilians for days and weeks after armies have moved on. This is the reality of the invasion of Iraq for its citizens.

And what an irony. Saddam Hussein and his party were imposed on Iraq in 1968 by violence, supported by the Western powers who proceeded to arm him and teach him the techniques of murderous repression. Now the very same powers have removed him with violence over the bodies of the people.

It is imperative that New Zealand work for reconstruction led by the United Nations under which the free will of the people can be expressed. And lets remember Palestine.

Visit of the Australian Defence Committee

Our Foreign Affairs select committee (yours truly is a member) met with our Australian counterparts recently. Sparks were expected to fly, by some, as we squared off on our respective defence positions. For National, the ineffable and egregious Dr Mapp went to extraordinary lengths to please the "traditional ally." But actually our Australian friends did not want a grovelling act, did not demand that we had to agree to the same defence and foreign policies, and guess what? With a multi-party delegation from a democracy they also had split views. Hopefully Dr Mapp learnt something.

The Not So Pacific

A recent UN Study Small Arms in the Pacific by Philip Alpers and Conor Twyford alerts us to the fact that the Pacific nations, including us, have a worrying amount of small arms - legal and illegal. New Zealand has 22 legal guns per 100 people, twice as many as Australia. The tiny Pacific nations are awash with guns with plenty of nations willing to sell them more. With unstable social and political systems, issues of corruption, ethnic rivalries and land disputes, guns, legal or illegal, are literally lethal. A small number of arms in a small population can be devastating. This is a crucial area for New Zealand leadership. Think of Tonga, corrupt and unstable with an army of almost 400 men, heavily armed and hostile to the democracy movement. I am glad that as Minister I was instrumental in stopping them receiving $10 million dollars worth of small arms. But I am told they are out shopping again.

Progressive achievements this week . . .

Jim Anderton announced $5.5 million in Budget 2003 support to address drug abuse and youth suicide. Sadly ACT MP Muriel Newman that day claimed we are doing nothing on drugs. See: www.progressive.org.nz/media/releases/pr20030409-ja-suicide-drugs-support.htm Getting Things Done: Budget 2003 on the front page of www.progressive.org.nz will feature announcements as they are made over the next month. We are making progress as a constructive coalition partner with Labour, in a way that parties outside Government are not. One more example of getting things done is removing asset testing on the elderly: http://www.progressive.org.nz/media/releases/pr20030402-ja-asset-testing.htm And the Herald printed an opinion piece on Four Weeks leave: http://www.progressive.org.nz/media/articles/ar20030408-mr-stress-productivity.htm

and around the country

On Wednesday night I met with 35 people in Porirua to talk about building the Progressives in their area. Saturday finds me in the Hutt Valley with local supporters, Sunday delivering a major foreign affairs speech (check www.progressive.org.nz on Monday) and Monday and Tuesday in Dunedin. To maintain a balance between work and life I will be heading to a quiet beach for the holiday weekend.

robson-on-politics will take a break for one, perhaps two, weeks of the Parliamentary recess and will then be back refreshed and revived.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news