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Anger and compassion

Written By: - Date published: 6:07 pm, September 21st, 2017 - 40 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags: , , , ,

There is a lot to be angry about at the moment. And it seems like in the week or so leading up to the election we’ve been overloaded with news that is both shocking and more of the same from the government and the MSM. That anger is important, but we need to also be compassionate and thinking about how we can live together.

It’s being reported that this afternoon a man set himself on fire in the grounds of parliament. The man is now in a critical condition in hospital. There is very little information, but you can see an interview with the police controller at the scene here.  Police are asking for anyone that was there to contact them to help them understand what happened. The front of parliament has been declared a crime scene and has restricted access.

Media are reporting this as a protest, as placards were at the scene with the man, and one media outlet says he was a regular protestor at parliament.

I’m not particularly hopeful about the media coverage on this but am open to being surprised. Stuff are already putting things in their report about burn marks on the grass and have random footage of people standing outside the grounds. Fortunately there are no images of the man during the fire but RNZ has images of the smoke and of the man being treated by ambulance staff. I think a description and the police interview would have sufficed, but drama sells.

It’s almost inevitable at some point some of the MSM narrative will be about mental health, and that any politics involved will be reported along establishment lines. We don’t know anything about the man’s story, and I know there will be much speculation, but let’s try and work with him as a human being first, and let’s take some care in how we talk about what has happened.

I don’t know whose ‘side’ this man is on or if he even has one. But there is no escaping that we are in a very tense time in NZ right now and that some kindness wouldn’t go amiss at this point.

40 comments on “Anger and compassion”

  1. james 1

    As you say its not the time for speculation trying to use a tragic event for some small political gain. *

    Its extremely sad.

    *as in Im agreeing with you – not saying that is what you are trying to do.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    Under a real government injustices are resolved.

    This man was apparently dissatisfied with the judgment of the family court.

    A regular at Parliament evidently – regularly ignored by the MPs paid and sworn to represent him.

    • Mickey Boyle 2.1

      Yes apparently the placards said as much, its obviously sad and part of me hopes he goes in his sleep, especially if his injuries are as severe as being reported, feel for him and his family.

      • savenz 2.1.1

        Yep, sounds like some poor kid/s don’t have a father anymore.

        Horribly sad.

        The fact that he tried to kill himself at parliament and was a regular there, says a lot about what he wanted to draw attention to.

        Cutting off his voice doesn’t do him any justice.

        Just speculating here, but the placards sounds like he felt he did not get justice with the child courts. Co incidentally there has been huge amounts of restructuring there by National including taking away people’s right to free counselling, a ‘bank’ approach to the courts, orders going from 3 days to 10 days and basically anything to take money away from the services to people in that situation.

        • Steve James

          Actually, he had been pursuing Grant Robertson around all day and wasn’t allowed access to him. Sad to say, this actually DOES sound like a disaffected father with mental health issues. You might like to ask GR for a comment on why he wouldn’t talk to him.

  3. mauī 3

    Wish this guy all the best. One thing a very public incident like this does do is draw out people’s empathy. That is really nice to see. It also puts a face to self harm and suicide that is such a private/hidden thing for people struggling with life, and it will have many people thinking about mental health right now. Those are some positives.

  4. Doogs 4

    Kindness is a concept entirely unknown among the bureaucracies run by this soulless and careless government. In fact the title of government is a complete exaggeration when applied to this current lot. They run us like a business, where the unproductive fringes are ignored or cut off as being no use to the core process of making and retaining wealth – for the few.

    Governing is managing resources in a fair and equitable way for all.
    Gnatski Gnasties know nothing of that. Time for a change. Let’s do this.

    • tracey 4.1

      The Bureaucracies reflect their leaders which are Ministers. Sadly accountability flows from the bottom up in NZ. No wonder people lie and back stab to get to the top… that is where least accountability and greatest reward lie. The exact opposite of life as a poor or vulnerable person.

      • Janet 4.1.1

        Yes, bureaucracies do reflect their leaders.
        I believe our government departments have become quite dysfunctional in resolving grievances with the public; often because of ill considered regulations, but also through a deliberate procedure process. Over the last decade there has been an obvious change in the way government departments are inter-acting with public. This is not just based on my observation and first hand non – treatment but many other people have experienced the same “culture”. To begin with “fobbing off” by the lower ranks. Then longer and longer “delays” in communication. Then the problem (the persistent person) is passed on and on through a line of slow deflecting report writers and finally to someone who then starts talking about “reviews” and then more “reviews.” Resolution is to be avoided at all costs it seems. Keep dragging the chain and they will give up.

        Why are government departments not just getting on and fixing the problem these days?

  5. cleangreen 5

    Hi Weka; – We will see worse than that if National stay in power!!!!!!

    Try life under the next National Government (credit to John Campbell on tonights Checkpoint.

    Just watch this clip tonight from Radio NZ as they cover the urgency of no housing for our retired folks now.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint at about -52 mins stage

    Absolutely disgusting how the Government treats us elderly today, we hope labour does better for the elderly.

    Also note the issues of elderly with this Radio NZ clip also when the dental urgent repairs are now beyond any hope of most elderly getting any dental treatment.

    Dental was part of health treatments funding by the Canadian government in Ontario when I worked there and now I cannot afford dental repair so I have now blood poisoning!!!!

    Great isn’t it? – as National want us dead so they don’t have to pay any super any more to us, the sick bastards they are.

    I want Winston’s ‘seniors care for the elderly,’ do I have any choice?

    At least Winston will save our East Coast rail now closed so I can get a train when I cant drive again and rail is better for our environment.

    If we can have a Labour/greens/NZ First Government all will be good for us oldies too we hope.
    BREAKING: LAST TV3 POLL – Nat 45.8% Lab 37.3% Green 7.1% NZF 7.1%

    • Mickey Boyle 5.1

      ”We will see worse than that if national stay in power!!!!!!”, really?.

      • cleangreen 5.1.1

        Sick are you Mickey?
        National are a train wreck so who are you voting for or are you to young to vote?

        By the way just watch the Block tonight as NZ is now the worst health record in the developed world now so it supports what we are saying so enjoy the Block tonight. ta ta.

  6. McFlock 6

    The thought occurs that it’s the ultimate sense of futility when it seems that the best service you can do for a cause – any cause – is to be firewood.

    Poor guy.

    • cleangreen 6.1

      Yes McFlock we should be ashamed of this now as our suicide rates are so high, they are the highest in the world according to a report on tonights TV3 block.

      • BM 6.1.1

        What a load of bullshit, more facebook linked nonsense


        Honestly, the media is NZ is shite, the suicide rate has been pretty much static for the last 20 years

        I hate the msm with a passion, it’s all lies and clickbait aimed at manipulating the naive and lazy.

        • WILD KATIPO

          ^ Denial , folks.

          Just like the Stephen Joyce ‘ hole’.

          Where’d that jolly Jason Ede go ?

          And my ,.. didn’t Key make a handsome profit on his mansion?… We’ve got to hand it to him , … he sure pulled the wool over every other battler getting them all thinking he was just one of the boys,… they say the buyer of his mansion was from mainland China,…must’ve got the wind up with Labour clamping down on foreign speculators, then…

          And wee Toddles seems to have learnt a thing or two from Ede and Key about making a buck and then scarpering…

          They teach em young in the Nats party ,…. dont they.

          • BM

            Key sold his family home for more than he paid for it, whoopty fucking doo.

            Do you have a problem with Turei getting 3 months extra pay after she loses on Saturday?

            • WILD KATIPO

              And do you have a problem with DSW persisting in illegally using pseudonyms AFTER they had been told not to?

              Who’s govt have they been operating under , BM?

              A lot like illegal tape recording’s, … isn’t it…

              Oh dear ,… that just go’s to show ,… that’s one more for the list…

            • mosa

              BM i think you should leave and go and live in Aussie or Trumpmerica.

              You would be much happier there and they might just make you a citizen….Might

        • Stuart Munro

          The naïve – that would be you.

          It takes a childlike innocence to not only swallow the poorly reasoned bullshit that dribbles out of the 9th floor of this government, but to repack it and try to sell it to your intellectual superiors.

          Governments measure what they care about, and suicide is a mark of shame no government wants. Coroners’ findings of suicide are extremely conservative – a holdover from the days when it was considered a sin that would deny anyone found guilty of it a proper burial.

          Had the suicide rate been static that would’ve been truly remarkable, given our rapid population growth. But it has not. Even the traditional supporters of incompetent far-right governments, the farmers, have been dying like flies.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Inequality is inversely proportional to mental health. The only reason that statement is political is because vested interests deny the facts.

    Austerity has been visited upon the mentally ill.

    • Stuart Munro 7.1

      I imagine austerity has created a lot of mentally ill. Stress, insecurity, hardship, lack of community – all things that create or worsen conditions in people who, without those factors, can function handily.

  8. mosa 8

    I am lost for words.

    We need to learn more about what happened.

    I hope the victim is not badly burned.

    • Barfly 8.1

      He most probably is badly burned and will die painfully from it …if you intend to end yourself that way, you need to inhale deeply to die quickly from suffocation or drowning.

      • JC 8.1.1

        Hey B.

        Hoping the dudes’ OK.

        In good hands. In EC, On Morphine, and his whanau are there.

        Sure they will be!

  9. … ” While I agree with the general points about austerity and stress, I’d like to point out that someone trying to kill themselves doesn’t inherently mean they are mentally ill ” …

    You know you are quite right , Weka,… many Buddhist monks in Myramar have done exactly this in protest. It does not lessen the horror ,… it leaves me at a loss,…

    I can only think it is ,… along the lines of an emphatic, statement, expressing frustrations , of deeply held sentiment, of a sense of this shocking display will demonstrate more than words my stand… one cannot say…

    For some reason I kind of … respect Buddhist priests / monks ,… not for that form of protest ,… but because they seem so ,… less inclined towards the material , the temporal in so many cases,… not all of course , – some would be right roaring charlatans , – but many / most are very earnest. So even more the shock when they do protest in this way .

    And we may never know the reason or the motivation of this individual in NZ,… but shocking it would be if it was indeed political. It really is a private issue , … I just hope that he comes through. Its quite distressing.

  10. greywarshark 10

    This was in the Mirror paper. It i hard to believe but it appears to be true.

    “Woman who can’t use her legs and left arm was told to ‘find work’ and had her benefits stopped”

    But on another page in a story about one of the 39 women agents Pearl Witherington Cornioley, who worked with the Resistance during World War 2. She took responsibility for her family when she was only 19, having not gone to school till 13 and having an alcoholic father in no way supportive.

    She lived to to her 90’s and said in later life,
    “Pearl says: “Life isn’t easy but never lose hope. Never give in, have courage and believe in your destiny, as I believed in mine when I jumped out of that plane one night.”

    • tracey 10.1

      Ruth Dyson’s review led to the fear of this in 2007. And Nats have kept it going. My bro in law with cerebral palsy, physically and mentally impacted, keeps being reviewed… he never gets more money or entitlements so I assumed it is in case CP got cured and we told no one.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        Everyone else is on the fiddle except for the government and its profit takers.
        There is no such thing as trust in NZ. And government is pure, like the police who are so busy trying to prevent crime that they incite it or cause it, ie driving faster and faster away from the cops in car chases.

        • Tracey

          And so many are buying i to the idea that trust doesnt matter nor does honesty. Yet savvy businesses know they need customer trust and employee trust to really fly….

  11. mosa 11

    It is the ultimate sacrifice to set yourself on fire to make a political point.

    I don’t condone it but can understand the fury and disgust of three more years of Key- English – Bennett, vested intrests– Corrupt National party rule.

    The prospect is unthinkable but will happen on Saturday and the weeks to follow.

    Imagine more victims taking the same action.

  12. Cinny 12

    Deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones, sadly he passed away overnight

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