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

 


Dunne Speaks

Dunne Speaks

26 March 2014


Am I alone in feeling that aspects of search for the missing Malaysian airliner, Flight MH370, have taken on the form of an international Dance of the Seven Veils?

From the initial denials of responsibility, through to the drip feeding from various countries of what their satellites had disclosed, followed by the almost shameless rush to the southern Indian Ocean to see which country could get there first and claim the prize of spotting some wreckage, this whole affair has been more about the prestige of the nations involved in the exercise, than the plight of those on the aircraft and their anxious and distraught families. Every country now seems to have known something – more than it was prepared to let be known originally – that it now seems keen to suggest was the real turning point in the hunt for Flight MH370.

Through this whole debacle, the strong impression is left that more was known sooner about the fate of this flight, but that the countries involved did not want to let that be known, for fear of possibly harming their wider surveillance and intelligence gathering operations. However, as more and more information seeped out, those same countries realised they ran the risk of being caught out and therefore, with almost quite indecent haste in recent days, deemed it desirable to share more and more information about the most likely fate of the aircraft, and how long they had known about it.

This cynicism and wariness (“my satellite is better than yours”) approach may have its place in the field of international espionage, but surely has no place in the world of international rescue, where the lives of victims and the circumstances of distraught families ought to hold sway.

The analysis of the particular circumstances of Flight MH370 will continue for years yet. The motivations of the crew, the scouring of the passenger list and cargo manifest for anything suspicious are far from complete. Aircraft engineers and designers will pore over all the data gathered to learn what lessons they can. And the likely legal fall-out will no doubt parallel that of other tragedies like Lockerbie in 1989, or the Korean Airlines flight shot down near Sakhalin Island in 1983.

One area that does require ongoing examination and perhaps the development of new protocols regarding operations and information sharing is that of international rescue. As this case has shown, the international rescue and recovery exercise has been somewhat unclear, with authority being assumed by a variety of countries at different stages of the operation as fresh information became available and aircraft and ships swooped to the newly identified sites, while Prime Ministers took their chance of glory. There must surely be a better way in the future.

However, there is one aspect of all this we should never forget. The bravery, determination and commitment of the rescues crews (our own RNZAF P3 Orion crew especially) who carried on day after day was remarkable. Even more so was the ongoing focus – stated so eloquently on television by a young RNZAF Flying Officer – on the families and their determination to help them find certainty if they could. In the midst of all the other bizarre features of this story, that was inspirational heroism at its best. A focus others could perhaps have done with.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news