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The Standard

Nelson Mandela has died

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, December 6th, 2013 - 158 comments
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Nelson mandela

From the Guardian:

Nelson Mandela, the towering figure of Africa’s struggle for freedom and a hero to millions around the world, has died at the age of 95.

South Africa‘s first black president died after years of declining health that had caused him to withdraw from public life.

The death of Mandela will send South Africa deep into mourning and self-reflection 18 years after he led the country from racial apartheid to inclusive democracy.

But his passing will also be keenly felt by people around the world who revered Mandela as one of history’s last great statesmen, and a moral paragon comparable with Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

It was a transcendent act of forgiveness after spending 27 years in prison, 18 of them on Robben Island, that will assure his place in history. With South Africa facing possible civil war, Mandela sought reconciliation with the white minority to build a new democracy.

He led the African National Congress (ANC) to victory in the country’s first multiracial election in 1994. Unlike other African liberation leaders who cling to power, such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, he then voluntarily stepped down after one term.

No doubt lots will be written about him in the days to come but for me his combination of eloquence and principle made him stand out as a leader.  And his willingness to forgive held South Africa together after apartheid was toppled when chaos could have been the outcome.

The last word should be his:

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

158 comments on “Nelson Mandela has died”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Obama to speak at his funeral? Let’s hope his acting is more convincing than it was in this performance…..

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/jul/01/barack-obama-nelson-mandela-robben-island-video

    • happynz 1.1

      I don’t get your negativity here. Obama apparently isn’t to your liking, but what exactly from that clip ticked the wrong boxes for you?

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        You don’t get the supreme irony of someone who is a declared enemy of Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange—to mention only the most celebrated—pretending to be moved when he visits the cell of a great freedom-fighter? You “don’t get” it?

  2. Ad 2

    To me at least as impressive for his endurance, courage and idealism, as for sustaining peace and civic continuity rather than bloody revolution when apartheid fell.

    To make transition the principal measure of success, rather than upheaval that most other post-colonial countries had gone through at cost of millions of African lives. A stunning leader that delivered peace.

  3. TheContrarian 3

    Having spent a lot of time in SA I can tell you there are two sides to this. Some people think the nation will mourn in unity, anothers think there’ll be carnage. I hope for the best

    • TheContrarian:

      I think people pull together in time of mourning. SA will come out of this with their heads held high.

      • TheContrarian 3.1.1

        I hope so. There was an under current that felt Mandela was what stood between an uprising of some sort.

        Anyway it’s a real pity that the party he left behind a his legacy is corrupt to the core

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    Who or where is the next Mandela? We sure need them.

    • Arfamo 4.1

      Well a saffa friend reckons the lid will blow off the pot over there now. She says the younger activists for change and democracy want to change the way things have gone RIGHT NOW! They respect Nelson but think that he has had his day and that it is time for stronger action to redress the ills and corruption that he distracted people from seeing. She reckons his passing will be the signal that it is time for massive changes to be demanded. Time will tell I suppose.

      • swordfish 4.1.1

        “They respect Nelson but think that he has had his day…”

        Well, yeah, I mean, given that he’s just died, I think that would probably be a reasonable conclusion.

    • Martin 4.2

      he can be all of us, he can be everywhere. All that is needed is for people to have clear insight to see and the will to act.

  5. LynWiper 6

    What an amazing legacy he leaves. Thanks for closing with that particular quote Mickeysavage. Particularly encouraging for those who remain committed to improving the lives of others despite situations seeming insurmountable. To optimism and moving forward with heads pointed towards the sun. Nelson Mandela RIP.

  6. Beautiful heartfelt sincere speech by President Obama.

    • Morrissey 8.1

      Beautiful heartfelt sincere speech by President Obama.

      Rubbish. You really are the most gullible twit on this forum.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Can we please, for once, not make this about us?

        If you don’t feel a certain degree of reverence or need for care in this thread, perhaps you could take the issues to Open Mike?

        • Morrissey 8.1.1.1

          Sorry, weka [Weka is right. How about we make this post flame free – MS]

          • Will@Welly 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes, we all know Obama’s speech was prepared by a speech-writer, but as the son of a white woman and an African man, Obama would have faced a certain amount of prejudice growing up in America. As a politician in America, he would have been aware of Nelson Mandela.
            Here in New Zealand we have a leader who is going to South Africa, representing us. The guy didn’t give a fig about apartheid. “I can’t remember”, what a dip-stick!! Now listen to him – full of B.S. Key isn’t even fit to wipe the floor where the funeral will be held. A disgrace.
            Today, New Zealand lost a friend.

  7. greywarbler 10

    This seems right for Mandela. From brainyquote.

    Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad.
    Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.
    Will Smith

  8. fender 11

    I feel privileged to have been on this earth at the same time as this legend. R.I.P. old boy.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Yes indeed.
      Whenever I get particularly down about humanity, Mandela is on the shortlist of folks who remind me of the immense potential we have as a species.

  9. North 12

    Two types of tears in this household – tears of sadness – tears of celebration – sadness at the loss – celebration that he lived.

  10. i had the privilege of meeting him briefly (handshake/smile/shoulder-touch) at the private thank you he gave to anti-apartheid activists here in nz..at a church here in auckland..(i was there for bfm..one of the few media organisations invited..)

    ..and i have been in the presence of quite a few powerful/charismatic/leader-types in my life..

    ..(and been impressed by few..)

    ..but there have been none that filled a room with their very presence..as did mandela..

    ..phillip ure..

    • Lucky you P.Ure .Now watch Key and his National mates try and score points .Like Bolger did when Mandela paid us a visit.He forgot just how much the Nat’s under Muldoon condemned Mandela
      and the actions they took against the ant-tour demonstrators . As for Key he can’t even remember Whether he was for or against the rugby Tour.

      • yabby 13.1.1

        As for scoring political points Pink Postman can you spot the irony here???

        I am on now on the right of NZ politics, but was always actively against apartheid and have had the privilege of visiting SA many times and visiting Soweto, Mandela’s house, the Apartheid Museum and his cell at Robben Island. Regardless of one’s politics surely these can be set aside while we reflect on a man whose humility and passion for his fellow man, his strength, power for forgiveness and vision of reconciliation is undeniable. I am personally inspired and elevated as a human being to have shared the earth while he lived, admired his struggle, albeit from afar, and I am the wiser for adopting some of his principles and applying them in my life.

      • Delia 13.1.2

        Yes that is true and Muldoon was happy to see New Zealanders against apartheid abused and beaten in the streets. That is the truth of National’s fine history on apartheid in South Africa. However Muldoon at least had a position on South Africa – John Key admits he did not have one..or did he, and he thinks it may now be unfashionable and unpalatable, to say what it was.

  11. Ad 14

    It’s worth reading his full speech from the dock to get a sense of his moral development into harder shades of resistance. Eloquent and hardly a rhetorical note.

  12. Rogue Trooper 15

    “Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints in the sands of time.”- Longfellow- A Psalm of Life

    “They’re only truly great who are truly good”. – Chapman- Revenge for Honour

    • vto 15.1

      Amen.

      RIP Mr Mandela.

      Someone who in such a natural manner set out the boundary pegs of the best we can be…

  13. greywarbler 16

    Nelson Mandela would want us to remember Steve Biko also. Steve was a student leader and followed a practice called Black Consciousness.

    Steve Biko – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Biko‎
    Stephen Bantu Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977)[3] was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.

    This description of Steve’s end illustrates the sort of brutalised, dehumanised place that religion-
    based South Africa had become.

    How Steve Biko died | News24
    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/How-Steve-Biko-died-20120919‎
    At Walmer Police Station Steve was kept naked and manacled for 20 days before being transferred to the notorious Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth. The security police there resented the respect Steve enjoyed from the King William’s Town security police. Stories had reached them that Steve had, in a previous stint in detention, even fought back and had punched one of the senior officers in King William’s Town, Warrant Officer Hattingh.

    When he arrived at the Sanlam Building the security police told him to remain standing. After a while he sat down. That was when one of the policemen, Captain Siebert, grabbed him and pulled him back onto his feet. A “scuffle” ensued, and true to what he had told Sonwabo Yengo, Steve would defend himself.

    On 6 September Steve sustained a massive brain haemorrhage. The cause of his death was not disputed: complications resulting from a brain injury. Steve suffered at least three brain lesions occasioned by the application of force to his head; the injury was suffered between the night of 6 September and 07:30 on 7 September.

    In their amnesty application the policemen who killed Steve tried to evade spelling out what exactly had happened in the same way that they had during the original Biko Inquest in 1977. The details are not fully known. However, they admitted that after Steve had suffered a brain injury, they still kept him in a standing position. They shackled his hands and feet to the metal grille of the cell door. The police noticed that he was speaking with a slur but would not relent and continued with their interrogation.

    Equally complicit in Steve’s murder were three doctors involved in the case, the district surgeon Dr Ivor Lang, the chief district surgeon Dr Benjamin Tucker and Dr Colin Hersch, a specialist from Port Elizabeth.

    On September 7, one day after Steve suffered the brain haemorrhage, the police called in Dr Lang. Lang could find nothing wrong with Steve, despite the fact that he found him in a daze with a badly swollen face, hands and feet.

    Instead the doctor alleged that Steve was “shamming”. Lang’s more senior colleague, Dr Benjamin Tucker, was called in for his opinion on what should be done. Tucker suggested that Steve be taken to hospital, but the police strongly objected, and Tucker subordinated his Hippocratic oath to their wishes.

    Lang, even though he was acutely aware of Steve’s condition, recommended that Steve be driven 700 kilometres to the prison hospital in Pretoria. By 10 September Steve’s condition had deteriorated alarmingly. The following day, September 11, the police put Steve in the back of a Land Rover and drove him for more than twelve hours from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria – naked, manacled and unconscious.

    On September 12 Steve Biko died, in the words of Sydney Kentridge, “a miserable and lonely death on a mat on a stone floor in a prison cell”.

    The minister of justice and the police, Jimmy Kruger, issued a statement that Biko had died from a hunger strike. Addressing a National Party Congress, Kruger proclaimed to laughter:“I am not saddened by Biko’s death and I am not mad. His death leaves me cold.” Kruger’s remark reverberated around the world.

  14. CnrJoe 17

    in the 80’s this was always a highlight of an evening dancing

    and what made me cry today to watch him dance towards the end of the song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGS7SpI7obY

    its Jonny Clegg and Savuka with Mandela

  15. vto 18

    weka said above to try and not make this about us, which is right, but if I might diverge and run against the grain…..

    wtf is Key doing representing us on this.. John Key says that he cannot remember his position during the ’81 Springbok tour …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    extremes beget extremes

    • freedom 18.1

      Yup, even today, as the world mourns one of its greatest, Key’s ego is in full effect :(

      “I think it’s appropriate that, given the stature of such an incredible man and his deeds and achievements, that New Zealand should be represented by myself.” – Stuff
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9485534/Mandela-mourned-by-Kiwis

      • amirite 18.1.1

        I can’t even

      • gobsmacked 18.1.2

        To our Prime Minister:

        I do not vote for your party, but I – and probably many more – will respect you if you can do what your friend David Cameron did in Britain, years ago …

        http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/images/theobserver_1.gif

        That would be a true tribute to Nelson Mandela.

      • Richard McGrath 18.1.3

        I think Key means NZ should be represented by the Prime Minister of the day, not by John Phillip Key.

        I respected Mandela for his restraint and moderation after taking power in South Africa. From a background as a political agitator in league with the local Communists, and with the ANC who took lessons in bombing from the IRA, and in interrogation from those nice humanitarians in the East German Stasi.

        And before anyone gets their panties in a lather, the above information came from:
        http://www.trevorloudon.com/2013/12/mandelas-passing-lets-not-deceive-ourselves/

        Unlike Key, I clearly remember where I stood in 1981. I had no time for the vandals and anarchists from the anti-tour faction who rejoiced in property destruction. While respecting the right of people to protest, I supported the Springbok tour and went to the Otago game. New Zealand had, earlier in the year, played Romania at rugby and I can’t recall protestors flooding the streets in disgust with the Ceaucescu dictatorship. I opposed the multi-nation boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics as I believe in freedom of association and was annoyed that athletes had had their careers affected by grandstanding politicians.

        Back to Mandela – the world has lost a great man, an icon. We will never see his like again. He makes President Zero look very ordinary indeed (which he is). I’ll raise a glass to him tonight.

        • Anne 18.1.3.1

          Just a point of clarification Richard McGrath:

          The vast majority of anti-apartheid protesters who went on those marches in 1981 were NOT vandals and anarchists. Indeed they were equally condemning of the bad behaviour and wanton property destruction. The problem at the time was that you and your pro-tour ilk attempted to paint all protesters as irresponsible vandals when the actual perpetrators could be numbered only in the dozens on each occasion. A misconception that was happily advanced by the police at the time resulting in serious physical harm to many innocent people.

          More than 30 years later and the police have still not said sorry to those victims.

          • Richard McGrath 18.1.3.1.1

            Actually, Anne, I have never said that the vandals and nihilists that were part of the anti-tour movement formed the majority or even a substantial part of that movement. But it must be conceded that there was property destruction and violence emanating from people on the anti-tour side of the fence. Please don’t generalise about pro-tour New Zealanders, just as I haven’t about anti-tour New Zealanders.

            • Colonial Viper 18.1.3.1.1.1

              There were also a lot of smashed faces and injuries caused by peeps on the pro-tour side of the system. For you to take the high ground over a few dollars worth of busted property would be typical, however. But thus is the nature of civil resistance, do you not understand?

            • Anne 18.1.3.1.1.2

              Please don’t generalise about pro-tour New Zealanders, just as I haven’t about anti-tour New Zealanders.

              Well, you certainly intimated as much by what you did say.

              How come just about every pro-tour person I knew… or heard on radio/television made a huge meal out of the property destruction etc. that took place, but conveniently ignored the far greater violence carried out by the police against many of the protestors?

              You will never admit it, but there was far more violence coming from pro-tour factions than there was from the protestors. Institutional or establishment violence is always seen as OK by political conservatives like yourself, but guess what… its no more okay than it is from the other side of the ledger.

              • Anne

                To back up my claim there was more violence on the pro tour side of the ledger…

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11169041

                ” I think that all those New Zealanders who got bashed by police, who got beaten up by pro-tour thugs and who went to hospital, who went to jail, and even the 12 brave people who marched in Nelson in 1981 – all those people can take real credit for the fact that in the darkest days of apartheid, little old New Zealand was able to punch a hole in the system and let some light through,” Mr Minto said.

              • Richard McGrath

                Don’t forget, the police were not part of the pro-tour faction, they were there to maintain law and order. When people start smashing the property of others, the police force’s job is to prevent further destruction and to arrest the perpetrators. As CV has commented, that’s the nature of civil resistance, do you not understand?

                • McFlock

                  Yes, clowns should be hit in the head with metal pipes (sorry, “batons”) to protect property.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I think you need some context re what the clowns were doing. If they were violating the rights of other New Zealanders, then the police have a duty to bring any alleged perpetrators to justice (i.e. before a court) using an appropriate level of force. If said clowns are expressing themselves in ways that don’t hurt other people or their property, then there is no reason for the police to assault them with batons or in any other way.

                    I’m not altogether sure whether your comment meant people should not be brought to account for breaching the property rights of other people, or that police should not use inappropriate levels of retaliatory force in apprehending alleged criminals. I will assume the latter.

                    • mickysavage

                      So how much knowledge do you have about what the clowns were doing Richard? Knock yourself out. Detail everything that you know about their activities that day.

                    • McFlock

                      assume what you want, bucko.

                      The fact is that you keep mentioning “hurting people” and “hurting property” in the same breath as legitimate reasons to hit someone repeatedly with a metal bar. I reckon your perception might be a bit off.

                      Besides, you blather as if either people or property were in danger when the cops started hitting protestors. Mind you, the protestors were in the street, so next you’ll be saying that it’s okay to club people for jaywalking.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      [Off topic – MS]

                    • McFlock

                      [edit] gah my bad, sorry forgot the post topic. I’m a dick

                      [No problems, we all get trapped in these sorts of arguments – MS]

                • Anne

                  Had the misfortune to be associated with your kind before RM. How about you shove off and take your supercilious (everybody, I am just so superior) and arrogant attitude with you.

                • greywarbler

                  The Simpsons cartoons could be spot on for dialogue and situations. This matches the police attitude encouraged in the OTT display of authority to the anti- tour protesters.

                  They came to let Bart ride with them. Homer lets Bart go. “Maybe this’ll
                  straighten the boy out.”
                  Bart: Wow! Can I see your club?
                  Cop: It’s called a baton, son.
                  Bart: Oh. What’s it for?
                  Cop: We club people with it.
                  — Just conduct yourself properly and nobody gets hurt.

                  “Well, it’s about time!” notes the across-the-street neighbor as she
                  watches the two cops taking Bart away.
                  Bart: So, you guys like being cops?
                  Cop: Oh, it’s great. You get to run red lights, park wherever you please,
                  hot and cold running chicks…
                  — The perquisites of power,

                  It would be funny if it only occurred in cartoons.

              • swordfish

                Spot on, Anne.

                Very little violence from the anti-Tour side until the final Test in Auckland (and, even then, only from a relatively small element surrounding the gangs). In stark contrast, violence from the Police and Tour supporters was brutal and systematic throughout July, August and early September.

                At the age of 17, I marched during the Second Test in Wellington. It was only through a stroke of luck that I missed being layed into with batons by the Red/Blue squads. Many ordinary citizens – including late-middle-age women, for instance – were violently assaulted by the Police that day.

                Then once the game was over, as we headed back to central Wellington, the Blue Squad allowed the mass of the rugby crowd to move in ahead of us and hurl a rain of broken-beer-bottle-missiles down on protesters, including women, the elderly and children (many of whom, like me, were not protected by crash helmets).

                Both the police and the pro-Tour brigade came across as self-righteous thugs, doing God’s work by beating the flying shit out of protesters.

                • Anne

                  Thanks swordfish.

                  I watched with horror as the Red Squad (I presume) laid into a group of protestors at the final test match in Auckland. I saw several being assisted away with bloodied heads and in one instance blood pouring out of his ear. It so shocked me to see the police behaving like that I quickly departed the scene shaking like a leaf. I might add they looked like decent young men – probably students – and I did not see any of them acting violently in the lead up minutes to the attack. Doing a lot of shouting perhaps but that was all…

                  • mickysavage

                    Yep my father witnessed the clown bashing. He still shakes his head today about what happened. Despite his recording the number of one of the police officers involved no officer was ever penalised although the police were successfully sued by the clowns.

                    And that afternoon was one of the most interesting afternoons of my life …

                  • swordfish

                    Cheers, Anne.

                    I should, though, slightly correct John Minto (in the quote you’ve given).

                    When Minto mentions “… the 12 brave people who marched in Nelson in 1981…”, he’s obviously confusing that city with the notorious incident in the little Taranaki town of Eltham, where 12 lone protesters were set upon by what appeared to be the whole town. Nelson, by contrast, was quite a hive of anti-Tour activity, with polls suggesting it was one of the great strongholds of anti-Tour sentiment in the Country.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Can we agree that there were individuals in both the pro-tour and anti-tour factions, and the police, who were less than angelic, and leave it there?

              • Richard McGrath

                I’m afraid you’re wrong there, Anne. Violence is unacceptable from whatever source. Libertarians include in that statement violence by the state against the smallest minority, the individual.

                I can’t be sure where most of the violence in 1981 emanated from, but it was ugly and unforgettable.

                • lprent

                  In my case the only violence I saw was from a police baton thumping me after a rather boring few hours at the third test. I also saw the aftermath when some drunk rugby supporters in Hamilton decided to attack a student halls after the game got cancelled there.

                  There was quite a lot of padding put on after the first times that the police decided that a good batoning was all that citizens needed to stop protesting. Didn’t use it myself.

                  And I heard a lot of pathetic dickheads like yourself trying to tell me that I shouldn’t be allowed to express my distaste for those in NZ who were supporting a arsehole regime in South Africa. But that was mostly from fools watching TV selectively reporting the exciting bits.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I’ve repeatedly tried to make it clear I support the right of people to protest peacefully, which you appear to have deliberately ignored. And supporting individual rights in New Zealand does not equate with opposing them in South Africa, not that you would ever acknowledge that.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Treating your odious dogma with ridicule and contempt is a direct attack on your freedom of speech I expect, and means we’re all fascists.

                      Somewhere, there’s a violin small enough to play that tune.

                    • Arfamo

                      @ OAK :)

                    • lprent

                      Hell I protested peacefully. Got batoned for it in Auckland apparently by a police officer who was on duty in Christchurch – at least that was what the police complaints said that was where that badge number was that day.

                      Your tone throughout the discussion here has come across that the act of peacefully protesting is an incitement for others to act violently. Why? Just as an observation – you haven’t mentioned a single thing that indicates that you have *any* actual personal knowledge of any case where protesting has been violent. You’d just going on your gut feelings that have no basis apart from a simple bigotry.

                      I haven’t seen protesters indulging in violence during almost any of the innumerable protests I’ve been in (the exception being the Queen Street one in the early 80’s that I got caught in). What I have seen a lot of is genteel dickheads like yourself (and Jock Anderson) excusing the idiot rugby supporters spitting and throwing things, walking over peoples properties, police indulging themselves with batons, arrests of silly charges, etc etc. I’ve also seen probably 95% of all charges laid against protesters completely fail in the courts. Meanwhile

                      Meanwhile morons like yourself keep saying the same stupid things over and over again… For instance.

                      If said clowns are expressing themselves in ways that don’t hurt other people or their property, then there is no reason for the police to assault them with batons or in any other way.

                      Any half-literate person can look up and find out exactly what those clowns were doing on that day. You don’t have to speculate.

                      They were standing on the side of the road making a mockery as a statement. That included of the police. You can find video footage in the links on the right of this site. You can find journalists who made statements. You can find histories detailing their every move on that day. Presumably the mockery was why the police batoned the crap out of them – just as they did to me and everyone else on that street that day.

                      It takes a particular kind of pompous git to so blithely pontificate and comment on things that are so easy to look up. So with all of your theoretical wankery, I guess you’ll have a problem understanding the contempt for you that the people who have been doing crap for social and political change forever have for your pious waffle.

                      I’m tired of all you bods being nice to this fool.

            • Arfamo 18.1.3.1.1.3

              Please don’t generalise about pro-tour New Zealanders, just as I haven’t about anti-tour New Zealanders.

              Yes you did, you just did it very subtly. There was no need to mention “the vandals and anarchists from the anti-tour faction who rejoiced in property destruction” to make the point you say you wanted to make. It’s called dog-whistling I believe.

              • Richard McGrath

                [Last chance oh libertarian party one – MS]

                • Richard McGrath

                  MS – thanks for acknowledging that I am libertarian; someone on this thread labelled me a conservative. Heaven forbid.

        • greywarbler 18.1.3.2

          Richard McGrath
          NZ protesters didn’t come out against Romania. You thought they should as people (not you) should sacrifice their time and lives fighting all the wrongs in the world, and risk injury and loss of jobs and living plus the time and cash required to participate.

          While you sit back and from your rational elevated perspective gaze on the spectacle and critique it from an aesthetic, ethical and legal viewpoint. Not only a padded fence sitter, and unwilling to make any sacrifices of your favourite things, you consider yourself superior to those moral protesters.

          You ‘believe in freedom of association’ and you were annoyed that athletes couldn’t do what they wanted in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, ie to compete for their nation and achieve personal and national honour.

          When the nation decided it was the right political thing not to compete, that was for the nation to decide, not the athletes who perform as their nation’s citizens. It is good you agree with freedom of association – most of the anti-tour protesters would not wish to be forced to mix with you

          • Richard McGrath 18.1.3.2.1

            Greywarbler, firstly the grammatical style of your post makes parts of it difficult to understand.

            You seem to have misread what I said – I thought anyone concerned with breaches of civil rights in South Africa might also be concerned with civil rights violations in Romania.

            [This is meant to be a flame free discussion Richard. And it is a left wing blog so expecting people to agree with a far right view of the world is a real stretch. Please moderate your comments and leave out the communist theory stuff – MS]

            • Pascal's bookie 18.1.3.2.1.1

              Or maybe the iron curtain and the fact of the cold war meant that protest action was kind of futile.

              SA was under a fairly widespread sporting boycott, which the tour was breaching, that could be a part of it too. Context is kind of important Richard.

              But if we are talking about consistency, I’ll just note that you didn’t care to highlight the organised state violence against persons involved in tour protests, seemingly more concerned about violence against property.

              But I suppose that’s perhaps a blind spot of your libertarianism, I’ve noticed before that with regard to SA under apartheid so called libertarians seemed more concerned about potential ‘communism’ than the actual existing deprivations of rights.

              And I suppose that’s just a coincidence with the history libertarians have in the US of supporting, and seeking support from, those who try to rewrite the history of that country’s civil war.

              And while Loudon may or may not be racist, he is most certainly a swivel eyed loon, as anyone familiar with either his history or work can attest. I understand he is making a living on the US loon circuit these days pimping birther theories and the like to the right wing’s more gullible credit cards holders.

              • Richard McGrath

                PB, for the record I absolutely support the right of people to protest peacefully, and abhor violence by agents of the state against peaceful people. Nowhere have I come out in support of indiscriminate violence by the police against civilians, so I’m afraid your conclusions are rather ill-founded. I notice with some disappointment and surprise that your apparent ad hominem attack on Trevor Loudon stands unchallenged by the moderator, but that is his/her prerogative.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “Nowhere have I come out in support of indiscriminate violence by the police against civilians”

                  I never said you would be so foolish, I merely noted that that aspect was missing from your telling.

                  Just as you noted that people didn’t mention Romania. I also provided reasons why there were no protests against Romania. primarily because there was no equivalent of the Glenn Eagles agreement in play. We had signed this agreement and the tour was a clear breach of it. Context, Richard.

                  My observations are not conclusions, they are observations.

                  And anyone can check Loudon’s output. It’s a matter of public record. calling him a swivel eyed loon is an attack on that work. It may be an ad hom attack, but it is not an ad hom argument:

                  1) Bizarre conspiratorial work is produced by people who can fairly be described as swivel eyed loons.
                  2) Members of sects too out there for the Scientologists can fairly be described as swivel eyed loons.
                  3) Loudon produces Bizarre conspiratorial work and is a member of a sect too out there for the Scientologists.

                  ergo

                  4) Loudon is a swivel eyed loon. (1,2,3 via modus ponens).

                  note that there is nothing actually wrong with being a swivel eyed loon. Let a thousand lunacies bloom. But quoting them as authorities is an exercise in freedom of association that comes with consequences to one’s own credibility.

            • Richard McGrath 18.1.3.2.1.2

              MS, I accept your decision as moderator (I support private but not public censorship) but am disappointed not to be able to advance arguments that might allow me to then read responses which could challenge my political standpoint and force me to re-examine my premises and assumptions. I do, however, feel that your refusal to allow dissenting comments leaves this blog open to accusations (often made about other blogs) that it is an “echo chamber” for a particular political point of view. I enjoy political debate, but can see that The Standard is not a forum for debate. I thank you for publishing the comments that did pass moderation. I regret “flaming” anyone; if I did this was unintentional, as I meant to play the ball and not the man so to speak.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Before you martyr yourself, this is nonsense:

                ” I do, however, feel that your refusal to allow dissenting comments leaves this blog open to accusations (often made about other blogs) that it is an “echo chamber” for a particular political point of view. I enjoy political debate, but can see that The Standard is not a forum for debate. I thank you for publishing the comments that did pass moderation. I regret “flaming” anyone; if I did this was unintentional, as I meant to play the ball and not the man so to speak.”

                there is no refusal to allow dissenting voices here, as can be seen on any given thread. You’ll note that most of those other blogs who claim that about the standard are far more monolithic in their own comment sections, with the debate that is to be had mostly revolving around biblical interpretation, who hates Muslims the most, National party tactics, or a rehash of climate science had between the same people everytime.

                As for you playing the ball, you suggested that people didn’t protest against Romania because they had sympathy for communism. That is almost a text book definition of playing the man not the ball, and it is what you were called out on by the mod.

        • Murray Olsen 18.1.3.3

          Nelson Mandela was possibly the greatest and most noble human being who I am aware of during my lifetime.
          Trevor Loudon is not worthy of Madiba’s navel lint, nor his toe jam. Why, in a thread in homage to Madiba, are we inflicted with the ravings of the lunatic fringe? Loudon is a racist moron who found a home with the vilest elements of the American TeaBaggers. What are his filthy words doing here, despoiling this solemn occasion?

          • Richard McGrath 18.1.3.3.1

            Which parts of Trevor Loudon’s commentary do you find “filthy”, “vile”, and please cite evidence of his racism – a serious charge. Please provide links to racist statements from Mr Loudon, or withdraw and apologise. Put up or shut up.

            Mr Lprent, why are you not moderating Mr Olsen’s unsubstantiated utterances?

            [Unsubstiantiated and extreme right wing views will be moderated – MS]

            • Colonial Viper 18.1.3.3.1.1

              Richard McGrath, is this your blog? No? Why are you telling lprent how to do his job then?

              • Richard McGrath

                Please read my comments again, Mr/Ms Viper. I am not telling the owner of this blog anything; I am asking him a question in the hope that like me, others will expected to back up their claims by way of a reference. Your indignant tone is completely unnecessary at this point. Please stick to the subject of Nelson Mandela, as you do appear to be taking this thread elsewhere with your comments above.

            • Richard McGrath 18.1.3.3.1.2

              Just for interest’s sake, MS – will extreme left-wing views be tolerated?

              [You occupy a strange world where there are extremists to the left and right and some mythical correct position in the middle. Your trumpeting that Mandela was a communist is an example of this, as is your misinformed claim that protestors against the Springbok tour were law breakers and property damagers. I corrected Morrissey and he accepted it. I would invite you to do the same – MS]

              • Richard McGrath

                MS – thanks for your comments. I guess there are various ways of representing differing political points of view and agree with you that a two-dimensional line is an inadequate paradigm. The three dimensional left-right and authoritarian-libertarian plane allows more accurate representation of the overall flavour of an individual or political party. But I feel I must point out that it was in fact you that used the phrase “extreme right wing views”, implying (to me anyway) that far away lurked a number of extreme left wing views.

                I’m not sure I ever claimed Mandela was a communist (though some people do make this claim, and I’m aware that Mandela rejected this assertion) – there is little doubt, however that the ANC and SACP were very close in their objectives and there was a fair degree of co-operation between the two organisations. To claim that ALL anti-tour protestors were violent thugs would be ludicrous, as a comment I made (unfortunately censored out) tried to illustrate.

            • Murray Olsen 18.1.3.3.1.3

              I find all parts of Loudon’s commentaries filthy and vile. As for racism, I doubt that there is a definition that you and I could agree on, so I can’t be bothered providing links. You wouldn’t recognise the racism in them, although you possibly think Te Tiriti imposes apartheid on our society and Maori seats are racist. It’d be like discussing quantum mechanics with someone who had never read anything but Harry Potter.

    • expatriot 18.2

      This Guardian article from June sums up both the Tory’s in Britain and, by proxy, the Nats here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/26/remember-tories-nelson-mandela-apartheid

      As per Philip Matthews on Twitter (copied from Bryce Edwards at http://t.co/buPL0JFuBP):

      Philip Matthews (‏@secondzeit):

      How many current NZ politicians supported the 1981 Springbok Tour? Gerry Brownlee was one. I interviewed him in 2009. He said “I supported the tour. I have to say that towards the end of that tour I was of a view that perhaps it wasn’t worth the effort. But you can’t give in to the mobsters who went from one end of the country to the other wreaking havoc. There are a lot of people who try to justify what I consider to be totally irrational behaviour by saying this was a seminal moment in New Zealand history and they were part of it. It’s absolute garbage.” (Brownlee, 2009)

      • Murray Olsen 18.2.1

        “But you can’t give in to the mobsters who went from one end of the country to the other wreaking havoc.”

        Does this mean Gerry Brownlee wanted to see the Red Squad prosecuted for their assaults? Or is he talking about the NZRFU?

  16. amirite 19

    Nelson Mandela becomes the first politician to be missed

    http://bit.do/eLbQ

    • ghostrider888 19.1

      tear-promoting link

    • Morrissey 19.2

      Nelson Mandela becomes the first politician to be missed

      Wrong. Another massively popular democratic hero died in March—Hugo Chávez. Although, like Mandela, he was vilified and scorned by leading politicians in the United States, the United Kingdom and the rest of the gang, including—to our shame—New Zealand.

      I wonder if Jim Mora and his guests are going to snicker and guffaw about Mandela like they did after Chávez’s death.

      • Rogue Trooper 19.2.1

        attention to differentiation; helpful with diagnosis.

        • Morrissey 19.2.1.1

          The only differentiation here is that Mandela was no longer an official US/UK target—the U.S. still classified him as a “terrorist” until a few years ago. If he was still an officially sanctioned target, you could guarantee that Mora and his guests would be chortling and guffawing and trying to outdo each other in cracking irreverent jokes about him, just as they did on the day Hugo Chávez died.

          • fender 19.2.1.1.1

            Did you read it Morrissey?
            This sums up the reasoning behind the statement: ” “Certainly people have felt a sense of sorrow at the deaths of politicians in the past, but Nelson Mandela’s death is the only one on record that people everywhere unanimously agree has left the world notably worse off. I miss him, we all miss him—and that’s entirely unprecedented in the world of politics.”

          • greywarbler 19.2.1.1.2

            You have already been asked to stick to Mandela Morrissey, I brought up another black South African. Let’s stick to thinking about South Africa and its freedom from aparthheid, not South America. Two different places! One particular man and his time is what it’s about.

      • Richard McGrath 19.2.2

        Morrissey I think some of the vilification of Chavez following his demise may have been

        [Richard – please read my note above. This is meant to be a respectful discussion about Nelson Mandela’s life and attempts to sideline it into arguments about South America or anywhere else in the world is off topic and will not be accepted – MS]

        • Richard McGrath 19.2.2.1

          Sorry – I assumed that because Morrissey was permitted to post comments re Chavez, that some latitude was being given re the subject matter of the thread. Clearly not, and I will confine further comments to the subject of Nelson Mandela’s life and death. Morrissey’s comments above comparing an entity such as Hugo Chavez to Nelson Mandela will therefore have to sit unchallenged. I accept your call on this.

    • Richard McGrath 19.3

      “Nelson Mandela becomes the first politician to be missed”

      I have to disagree – what about Michael Joseph Savage?

  17. Rosie 20

    Thank you Mickey. The quote was beautiful and perfect, I have some tears.

    Much respect.

    RIP Great Man.

  18. Tracey 21

    Title:
    I am prepared to die
    Sub-title:
    Nelson Mandela’s statement from the dock at the opening of the defence case in the Rivonia Trial

    http://db.nelsonmandela.org/speeches/pub_view.asp?pg=item&ItemID=NMS010&txtstr=1963

    I put him ahead of Martin Luther King, as seemingly a genuinely selfess leader. They are rare indeed.

    being appointed leader is not the same as being a leader. We do not need look farther than Mandela and our own country to see this.

    Includes

    “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

  19. Tracey 22

    will any journo have the balls to re-ask key where he stood on the 81 tour?

    “* “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is people who have made poverty and tolerated poverty, and it is people who will overcome it. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life” – Ambassador of Conscience Award Acceptance Speech, November 01, 2006″

    • Richard McGrath 22.1

      Not sure I agree that “poverty is not natural”. For any individual, good health, nutrition and the acquisition of material wealth require purposeful work, i.e. effort on the part of each individual (or someone on their behalf) to accumulate the means to address issues of hunger, poverty and disease.

      Poverty is the default position of every person unless he/she or someone else makes an effort to alleviate it.

  20. North 24

    There is something seminally wrong about the great photo-opper Key representing this Kiwi (and every other Kiwi of course) at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. There must be hundreds on hundreds of thousands who know that Key lies when he says he can’t recall about what he was thinking in ’81.

    Worse when accordingly we just know what he was thinking when the psychotic Thatcher denounced Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.

    I’ll be mollified somewhat when he takes John Minto with him. Formally announced as an official representative of Aotearoa New Zealand.

    Now that WOULD be honouring Nelson Mandela !!!

    • LynWiper 24.1

      +1 I like this suggestion North.

    • ScottGN 24.2

      John Minto to represent Aotearoa NZ would be my pick too.

    • Murray Olsen 24.3

      One way to honour Madiba and his spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation would be to send John Minto and Ross Meurant as representatives. Key should not go at all. If he couldn’t make it to the next country for Hugo Chavez, why should we pay for him to travel half way across the world for Mandela?

      • greywarbler 24.3.1

        MO
        It seems that Ross Meurant has gnme through some great changes. He has been affected too by the Mandela magic. Good idea about him and John Minto. But no. It will be useful for Key to rub shoulders with other nations reps and possibly he’ll look at his soul but is more likely to hope for a diamond on the sole of his shoe.

  21. Maybe we can honor Nelson Mandela by having two threads, one thread for genuine posts honoring the man, and one to take political pot shots at people you dont like.

    • North 25.1

      I’ve taken no pot-shots at you Brett Dale.

      And I certainly don’t like you.

      Bad case of projection there BD.

      You are SO mealy-mouthed John Key.

      Fuck off with your well thumbed Crosby Textor manual !

      You needn’t bother coming back with war stories.

      ‘Bout what YOU did in 1981.

      Makes no diff’.

      You’re the solemn John Key

      And pompous

      All wrapped up

      In one

      Mind own biz’.

    • gobsmacked 25.2

      How should we honour the man, Brett? By pretending he was non-political? Just a nice old fellow, who everyone loved.

      Your comment is the 2013 equivalent of “Sport and Politics don’t mix”. If you believe that, you need to read Nelson.

      • Morrissey 25.2.1

        He does not read anything, gobsmacked. Isn’t that obvious?

      • Brett Dale 25.2.2

        GobSmacked:

        Honor the man by mentioning his achievements and what he did for the world. Perhaps Open Mike is the best place to mention the politicians and the people who didnt stand for what he stood for.

        • North 25.2.2.1

          Open Mike ? Why ? To comment re Thatcher and others who screamed “Terrorist !” fails to honour ? Is disrespectful ?

          Good wishes for Sunday sermon in that rural Dutch-named church, Vicar Afrikaaner.

          Why the fuck should I oblige you pompous one ? When to do so would be to miss the man and play ritualistic little sympathy card games. And allow you to “play”. Go away !

    • North 25.3

      PS Brett Dale – surely you understand that Thatcher was a vivid portrayal of everything Nelson Mandela stood seminally hard against ?

      Mention of Thatcher and John Key’s thinking in 1981 is indispensable to remind that Nelson Mandela was if not the greatest then certainly amongst a handful few of the greatest of the 20th century.

      Waddya want ? A thread full of sympathy cards and lilies and John Key Solemn on TV3 News few hours ago ?

      With a dead straight face telling us he had “a quite intimate relationship” with Nelson Mandela. Little Churchil smells aircraft fuel and foreign air and rears his fucked little head again !

      I do honour Nelson Mandela. I’m not sure you truly do.

      • Richard McGrath 25.3.1

        Please elaborate on your interesting claim that essentially reads that Thatcher was the antithesis of Mandela.

  22. Again RIP Nelson Mandela, you had Dignity.

    • North 26.1

      Ha, you don’t respond except to paint a caraciture of yourself as an unctuous vicar believing he drips with dignity fulsomely delivering condolences. But ya still support all the stuff Nelson Mandela stood hard against. Piss off fool. This is no more than a royal wedding in the true hearts of you and John Key.

      How could you purport to honour Nelson Mandela from a twisted right-wing mindset ?

      [OK Flame wars can happen over at http://thestandard.org.nz/hypocrisy-watch/ Because of the subject matter of this post I expect the discussion to be civil although I agree that Key’s particular episode of amnesia is a relevant topic of discussion – MS]

      • Brett Dale 26.1.1

        North:

        I was a kid but i protested against the 81 tour.

        I was against the Iraq war.

        Please provide an example of me standing for things that Mandela was against.

      • Brett Dale 26.1.2

        North:

        Pro Choice
        Pro Gay Marriage
        Anti Iraq War
        Believe in man made climate change
        Pro anti Nuclear stance
        Believe everybody should have the right to join a union.
        Believe the minimum wage should be higher.

        Al the Americans I admire are all democrats, so how am
        I right wing?

        • North 26.1.2.1

          Noted your bold at 26.1 above MS. Fair enough. One final thing. Don’t think my soul has no sense for de Klerke.

          [May he rot in hell! – MS]

          • Morrissey 26.1.2.1.1

            Mickey, with the greatest of respect, why is your comment about de Klerk—“May he rot in hell!”—acceptable on this thread, which yesterday you insisted was not for anything other than “respectful comments”? You peremptorily excised three of my posts on this thread yesterday; not one of them was as disrespectful or inflammatory as your “rot in hell” quip.

  23. mac1 27

    When my father died my older brothers gave me the chance to give the eulogy at his funeral. One of the things that brought me closer to my father was his chance comment that Mandela was a great man. My father has never discussed apartheid or South Africa in any way that gave an inkling of his regard for Nelson Mandela. I was quite surprised.

    In the eulogy, I spoke of this admiration and echoed the words of one of the psalms where ‘deep calls to deep’- that is, the depth of Mandela’s humanity spoke to that same depth within my father, a depth which we all enjoy and which prickles my eyes now when I think of both my father and the father of the South African nation, Nelson Mandela.

    That is why I will honour any positive comment about Mandela from Obama, or Key or any other on this blog. Whilst the depth of Mandela’s spirit and character speaks to any of these people, even if we might disagree with what they believe or stand for, it does reflect our common humanity and gives hope that such people might too encompass more of that humanity and that spirit of compassion and peace.

    That I hope is Mandela’s legacy- deep calling to deep.

  24. Anne 28

    At the beginning of the last but one millennium there was a gentleman called Jesus of Nazareth. He stood up for the poor and dispossessed and was loved by his people who regarded him as their saviour. At the beginning of a new millennium there is another gentleman called Nelson Mandela. He stood up for the poor and dispossessed and is loved by his people who regard him as their saviour.

  25. rhinocrates 29

    I can’t say that I’m mourning, exactly, because I’m not shocked… He was a great man, he did great things… and he was very old and unwell, so this was inevitable.

    I think that what I feel is a kind of amazement that I saw history unfold, that I saw the life of a great man.

    Everyone dies, but Nelson Mandela lived a long and good life, became and exemplar and saw his triumph in his own time – which is very rare. Fate rewarded him.

    We should not be sad that he has at last died, but thankful that he lived so well.

  26. TheContrarian 30

    The leader of the DA (Democratic Alliance) Lindiwe Mazibuko, is South Africa’s only true opposition party. Here she is on HardTalk – South Africa’s future is not with the ANC, but with the youth…

  27. Outofbed 31

    no point in Key going to the funeral as he wouldn’t be able to recall if he went or not

  28. Morrissey 32

    BBC obituaries for Hugo Chavez and Nelson Mandela

    A perfect salvo of BBC propaganda, the hero gets slated and the good friend of global capital eulogised.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22892784

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-13928049

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1386366295.html

  29. Rogue Trooper 33

    “…he accepted that fate had decreed he be a servant of the people…”
    -John Armstrong.
    ( The Herald )

    • rhinocrates 33.1

      Oh fucking Hell, Armstrong once again jerking off about how he was thiiiiiis close to someone IMPORTANT. Give me a break.

  30. greywarbler 34

    What a man Mandela was. All that struggling, the oppression of the black people, the lies, discrimination and violence of the majority in power yet he and all the others persevered. The ANC kept on with their plan for betterment despite many differing personalities and opinions. The differing opinions arose just as on this thread with some straying from concentrating on Mandela, South Africa and what NZ did to advance his cause and all South African black people.

    He was a unifying symbol working along with those who brought into being the Truth and Reconciliation approach to lance the boil of the legacy of poison made up of hate and anger and vicious defiance of the mainly white forces of power, torture and oppression.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_and_Reconciliation_Commission_(South_Africa)
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Mandelas-precious-legacy-saluted—234738431.html

    The transition to a mixed race democracy was done with a minimum of violence. The crime rate rose as the never-had aspired to be the haves. That was inevitable. But the beautiful music that always came from South Africa celebrates the good that has come. The music endures and Mandela enabled it to become a celebration of happiness, and hope for better things. Sing sweetly, sing joyfully for Mandela and all the fighters and seekers for a positive future.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP9bYfsbTU4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGPuKwj0GNI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pVzWtkKZ-I
    Ladysmith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkRWNrfXJaQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCa4SfyY42Y&list=PL28915B84D8213941&index=5

  31. I have been privileged to have lived at the same time as two of the worlds greatest men/

    • Gandhi and Mandela .Will there be another man or woman like these two before I go?

      • Colonial Viper 35.1.1

        Don’t forget MLK. And perhaps the Dalai Lama. It’s not many.

        Edward Snowden reminds us that there are bright stars amongst the younger generation too.

      • greywarbler 35.1.2

        Would the long nightwatch on democracy in Burma give Aung San Suu Kyi that distinction?

  32. The introduction of neo-liberal reforms by the ANC, created, as they have in New Zealand and every other country that has gone down that path – ‘economic apartheid’ ie: ‘war on the poor’.

    For your consideration – another view – from South Africa.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/mandela-led-fight-against-apartheid-but-not-against-extreme-inequality/5360540?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mandela-led-fight-against-apartheid-but-not-against-extreme-inequality

    Patrick Bond is the Director of the Center for Civil Society and Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Bond is the author and editor of the recently released books, Politics of Climate Justice and Durban’s Climate Gamble.

    “Mandela deserves great credit for ending racial apartheid in South Africa, but his legacy includes the continuation of mass poverty

    ‘The mood here in South Africa is terribly somber.

    This was the day that everyone knew would come. And in the last few months Mandela’s been in hospital four times.

    But it’s hard to come to grips with the loss of someone who has ruled in a moral and spiritual way just as much as in a political way in his first five years as the president of the Democratic South Africa in 1994 to ’99.”

    Penny Bright
    1981 Springbok Tour protestor

  33. Papa Tuanuku 37

    not remembering 1981 would be like not remembering your 21st or your wedding. everyone old enough to remember 1981 will remember the vibes of division. anyone that can’t say where they stood is lying.

    • Richard McGrath 37.1

      I agree, and think it’s bizarre that Key either can’t remember or didn’t form an opinion at the time.

      • Arfamo 37.1.1

        It’s not bizarre, it simply lacks any credibility at all.

        • Richard McGrath 37.1.1.1

          It is bizarre AND lacks credibility!

          • Arfamo 37.1.1.1.1

            It’s not bizarre. It’s too typical of Key to be bizarre. He obviously perceives revealing his view to be a threat from either side of the argument so has a brain fade. Standard Operating Procedure for Key when faced with a question the honest answer to which could be a problem.

          • felix 37.1.1.1.2

            “It is bizarre AND lacks credibility!”

            Indeed Richard, I think the bizarre part is that he thought “I don’t remember” was a credible answer.

  34. greywarbler 38

    R McGrath has had about 25 comments on this thread of 142. A sizable amount and it is interesting that his little nit-picking brain regards a thread mainly devoted to commemorating Mandela as an opportunity to spread his lacklustre view of the world. Interested in the tales of protesters trying to overcome aparthheid and celebrating that success, he is not.

    It all demonstrates the struggle and difficulty of getting the self-centred to feel concern for others and to sacrifice anything in a fight largely symbolic rather than with violence, even to make a strong potest that was known would bruise the South African government.

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    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    5 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago

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