Green And Labour Politicians Launch East Timor
Last evening in the Beehive foyer politicians that do not always see eye to eye came together to help launch a book on the plight of East Timor following Indonesian annexation in 1975 and the attitudes of Western powers to that annexation (pretty much hands off).
Surprisingly given his desire to keep an eye on what the Green Party and Government would be getting up to following Taito Philip Field's expulsion from Labour United Future Leader Peter Dunne was nowhere to be seen. This absence would have allowed all manner of off the cuff chatting between peace activist Green MP Keith Locke and New Zealand's Defence Minister Phil Goff.
Mr Locke kicked proceedings off for the author of the book Maire Leadbetter, who also happens to be Mr Locke's sister. Next came current Defence Minister Phil Goff whose speech was interrupted briefly by a young man with a neither funny nor stylish approach to heckling. Thankfully the young rapscallion shut up for most of Mr Goff's speech which traversed more recent events in East Timor's history – events which Mr Goff and the book's author Maire Leadbetter have rather diverging views on.
When Ms Leadbetter took the stage she pilloried the attitudes of the New Zealand and Australian foreign affairs officials to Timor during the 1970s and 80s– soaking up this tongue-lashing was former Foreign affairs official and current National MP John Hayes.
It was however pointed out that following the killing of a young New Zealander in 1992 in Timor by Indonesian forces there was widespread sympathy from politicians of all political persuasions in New Zealand for Timorese independence.
Ms Leadbetter's book - titled Negligent Neighbour - is published by Craig Potton whose most recent success has been Nicky Hager's book about the National Party under Don Brash 'The Hollow Men'. Scoop understands that while not likely to be as popular as Mr Hager's tome 'Negligent Neighbour' is likely to sell well.