Ken Shirley Talks About Our Nuclear Sun
Peace Movement Aotearoa
Kia ora, we have received the following transcript of comments made by Ken Shirley MP, Deputy Leader, ACT New Zealand at a public meeting in Westport. Many thanks to Peter Russell (Native Forest Action) for taping , transcribing and sending us this message.
ACT public meeting
White Star Rugby Clubrooms, Westport
15 September 1999
Hosts: Ken Shirley MP, Deputy Leader, ACT New Zealand (Spokesman for the Environment, Conservation, Forestry and Fishing) & Richard Cox, ACT candidate for West Coast- Tasman
Present: Ian Borlaise (logging truck driver), Chris Heath (logger), (another logger?), Jim O'Regan & wife, John O'Connor (Damien O'Connor's father), (a young farmer), Peter Russell (Native Forest Action), Peter Lusk (Buller Conservation Group).
KS: "... I got back [from East Timor] on the Sunday.... I immediately flew first thing Monday morning down to a Grey Power meeting in Invercargill. It was Jim Anderton, Winston Peters and me. 1,200 there. And I couldn't believe it, I had people saying oh we don't live in a democracy anymore, oh, New Zealand's you know, we're an impoverished, terrible country. Having just come from two weeks in the, East Timor, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. Just a bunch of wingers and grizzlers wanting more."
KS: "... Naziism is state dominance. ACT is the antithesis of that. We believe in smaller government, community control, individual property rights."
KS: "... Fascism, and Naziism is all about big government, central control, government control."
PL: "Yeah, for big business isn't it? For big business."
KS: "No. State dictatorship."
PL: "Yeah, on behalf of the biggest, richest people."
KS: [On New Zealand armed forces] "... What we need to do is a major review in terms of what is a strategic objectives of an armed force in New Zealand. I do think we should have a well equipped, well maintained, highly trained, ready reaction force that can serve as part of peace-keeping and peace-making deployment, under the United Nations as we've done in Kosovo, Bosnia as we will be in East Timor, next week."
[Unclear who asked]: "What about ANZUS?"
KS: "Yeah, ANZUS, I think we were foolish, on reflection. While I supported our stance on the nuclear weaponary, the nuclear propulsion is absolute garbage. Absolute grbage. And we've done ourselves immense harm as a country. I always laugh when I get out at Wellington Airport they've got a sign up there, Wellington is a nuclear free city. Garbage. You go up to the hospital and the whole x-ray unit is based on nuclear science and nuclear physics. The sun is actually one big nuclear reactor. Solar energy is nuclear energy. To say you're anti-nuclear is to say you're against the sun actually, you know against nuclear energy, which sustains life. So, you know, the anti-nuclear nutcases and some of the extreme eco-fascists that are sort of their running mates are just out to lunch. I can't believe it."
KS: "... I'm against nuclear weapons. But people who are totally anti-nuclear in terms of propulsion, energy are just out to lunch because ultimately sunlight is nuclear energy."
PL: "It's a reasonable distance away though isn't it, the sun? The good thing about the sun is it's a long way away. It's not as though... [unclear]."
KS: "... When it bursts into a red nova it will probably envelope the earth."
PR: "Well we might as well have nuclear weapons then."
KS: "Well we might as well use our beech forests because the next glaciation will pound them all to dust."