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 Where The Politically-donated Bucks Should Be Stopping

By now, it seems crystal clear that something is deeply amiss with the way that New Zealand political parties solicit, receive and report their funding. Evidently, the nominal threshold of $15,000 that requires public disclosure of the donation and its source is…shall we say…vulnerable to manipulation by all and sundry. Moreover, as Otago law professor Andrew Geddis has pointed out, unless political leaders have been stupid enough as to explicitly tell their own staff and/or donors that they’re aware that certain practices break the law but intend to pursue them anyway, then the law has not been broken – not by the political leaders at least... More>>


 

New Zealand Government: Action On Fuel Market Competition

The Government has released a comprehensive response to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump. This follows the Commerce Commission fuel market ... More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: 18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, ... More>>

ALSO:



Vaping: Government To Regulate Products

No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure ... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels