Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

On The Right: George Speight's Demise Cheers

A couple of weeks ago, that Helen Clark threatened to resign if her boy Parekura Horomia wasn't promoted to Cabinet. Unfortunately Labour didn't take the opportunity presented, and Horomia was duly elected.

My disappointment at this however was tempered by the recent news that the South Pacific has managed to get rid of another know-all so called 'leader'.

Yep, the Fijian army has finally grown a pair and arrested George Speight. The self-righteous prat is finally behind bars.

To say I'm surprised would be an understatement of massive proportions.
Since the coup began, the army has shown little interest in bringing Speight and friends to justice. They have instead been treating him as if he had a right to be heard. And he would, had he not taken over Parliament, seized power from a democratically elected Government, trashed the country's TV station, caused a ton of violence which resulted in the death of a policeman, and called on other indigenous races to rise up and wreck havoc on the Olympics. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

Even though Speight has now been arrested, it might be wise to take this with a pinch of salt. He is being detained due to his breaching of the Muanikau Accord. Speight is in trouble for carrying weapons on his person, not for anything else. He will likely get off early and go back to his trouble-making ways.

What the President and army should have done from the start was to treat him in the same vein as the world treats any hijacker, suicide bomber etc. You do not give in to their demands. And you certainly do not allow the media to have access to them. Speight's ugly mug was on TV every night, telling the world just how noble his cause was. We got to see just how ‘intelligent’ this businessman was, especially when he thought our PM's name was Jenny Craig (okay, I had to laugh at that).

The question has to be asked, how the heck was Speight allowed to be treated with this much respect? The more attention that was paid to him, the more powerful he became. While the army sat around and twiddled their thumbs, his supporters increased in numbers and got increasingly violent. Even after the Muanikau Accord was signed, the rebels seized several locations and took hostages. The blame for all this can be laid at the feet of not only Speight, but also the ratings-hungry media and the spineless Fijian army.

In addition, army chief Lt. Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini only acted after an indigenous Fijian school was taken over, raising question marks in this columnist's mind about his real motives. His words: "If this is all done in the name of indigenous Fijian aspirations, then it is a shame on us Fijians if we let this carry on."

Others that have displayed pro-Speight tendencies are New Zealanders like Tame Iti and Ross Nepia Himona. Iti, known as the only Maori radical to have a completely Maori name, went over and offered his personal support to the terrorists. With Speight's knowledge of foreign affairs, he probably thought Iti was the King of Tonga.
Himona's editorials at maorinews.com have been full of anti-European rhetoric and little else. He suggests everyone ignore what's happening in Fiji. Just like we did in East Timor. Enough said.

Meanwhile, for weeks Phil Goff and Jenny Craig (sorry, couldn't resist) have been on the news every night giving us their thoughts on the Fijian situation. Quite frankly, it was all a waste of hot air. What is needed is action, not words. The Government has to treat these terrorists with the disdain they deserve, and are yet to receive. At the same time, any sanctions they impose must not hurt the ordinary people - they have already been the victims of too much.

On the whole, the last couple of months in Fiji have been characterised by politics of the worst kind, that of opportunism and populism. Now that things have settled down for the time being, the real issue might be dealt with: a democratically elected Government has been deposed and not reinstated, and the country’s Constitution has been ripped up. Call me a pessimist, but it is unlikely in my view that Fiji’s problems will be solved anytime soon. After all, it took ten years for Fiji to have democracy restored last time; how long will it take this time?

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Testimony was given that damning evidence had been culpably ignored, lost or (deliberately?) mislaid. The systems for handling secret material from our allies were – to be charitable – only loosely observed.

Moreover… vital evidence was only belatedly made available to the inquiry, and former NZDF officers later found to be central to the events under scrutiny were strangely missing from the original witness list offered by NZDF. In short, last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>

 
 

Guns, Lobbying: National Has Wish List For Arms Bill

National has today outlined the 13 changes we want to see in the second tranche of gun reforms before considering our support, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says. More>>

ALSO:

Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>

ALSO:

First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels