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Bridges will talk tough to the Philippines but not China

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, January 20th, 2020 - 18 comments
Categories: China, human rights, International, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags: ,

National has been rightfully criticised for its obsequious approach to its Chinese relationships.  I guess having someone in your caucus with strong Communist links and who taught English to Chinese spies but somehow managed to omit saying this in their Immigration Application can have a bit of a chilling effect on the desire to criticise.  But having your Trades Spokesperson buying into Chinese descriptions of detention camps as vocational training centres suggests that something is amiss.  But hey Chinese are easier to deal with than farmers and two Chinese Parliamentary candidates are worth more than two Indian candidates.

So Bridges is on a trip to the Philippines and he is going to show how tough he is by telling off President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte is a Trump style local strongman and has overseen the indiscriminate killing by Police Forces of tens of thousands of alleged drug traffickers.  Bridges is not actually meeting Duterte but he is still going to show how tough he is.

From Radio New Zealand:

Bridges said he would raise concerns over the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers with the Philippines government where appropriate.

“Clearly there’s some differences in opinion between New Zealanders as a whole and the Philippines administration where it comes to issues of penal policy and drug offenders and death penalty and the like.”

Robert Reid from First Union visited the Philippines last year as part of an International Human Rights Mission and said he heard more than 27,000 Filipinos have been killed since President Duterte came to power four years ago.

He said Bridges needs to get a good grasp of the local situation.

“It’s all very well to go there and to have nice meetings, but I think he does have a responsibility and should take the time to understand what’s happening in the Philippines, there is still an insurrection.”

Reid claims the war on drugs in the Philipines has moved to a war on the people.

Bridges is being accompanied by National list MP Paulo Garcia who is famous for standing for a West Auckland electorate and for publicly saying that recreational fornication is wrong.

It appears that Garcia does not have the same power as Jian Yang even though Garcia has met Duterte in the past and was the Philippine Consul to New Zealand.

Having said this Garcia’s selection as a candidate by National was strategically a smart decision.  The Filipino community in New Zealand are well networked and a very cohesive group.  And they make a huge contribution to our society.  Our hospitals and rest homes would fall apart if it was not for a number of very dedicated and talented Filipino nurses.

I sense a pattern here.  A trip to China and it is all sweetness and light.  But a trip to the Philippines and Bridges gets out the tough rhetoric.

18 comments on “Bridges will talk tough to the Philippines but not China ”

  1. tc 1

    man barks at passing car

    • Enough is Enough 1.1

      Are you referring to MS or SB?

      • tc 1.1.1

        Bridges to nowhere of course, MS makes salient points.

        Soimon seems to be running on the principle of throw as much BS as you can produce everywhere and hope for the best.

        Not a bad strategy given the limited attention span and national MSM in tow

  2. Cinny 2

    Still bemused as to why mark mitchell is going. 🤔

    • I'm pretty sure it's like this: someone like Duterte is likely to regard Simon Bridges as the kind of milquetoast he'd normally treat with contempt as being not a proper man. Mark Mitchell, on the other hand, worked as a civilian contractor during the occupation of Iraq, providing security to US companies engaged in exploiting sorry rebuilding the country, so is obviously OK with extra-judicial killings and may well have done a bit of it himself. That's much more Duterte's cup of tea, so best bring him along.

  3. NZJester 3

    The only tough talk you will hear will be the PR people’s words written up in the papers they will try to pass off as Simon’s own words.

  4. Andre 4

    … Paulo Garcia who is famous for standing for a West Auckland electorate and for publicly saying that recreational fornication is wrong.

    Micky, please please stop describing our local wannabe-but-failed MP that way. Every time you do I have a hell of time getting rid of this flashback

  5. Gosman 5

    Why are you making this as if Bridges is on some sort of official government business? He's an opposition politician. This holds little weight in the wider World.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Because technically Bridge's is one election away from being our PM. Of course his actions are subject to scrutiny, would you have it otherwise?

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Not at this level no. His actions on the international stage as the leader of the opposition will never be the same as his actions if he was PM therefore they should not have the same sort of scrutiny. It would be like trying to state that someone's action as a University student during orientation week should reflect their ability to apply for an internship at the end of their degree.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.1

          I wonder if I did search through this site would I find you holding previous Labour Leaders of the Opposition to such a friendly standard?

          Or Green Party co-leaders who unwisely over-shared about their past? No scrutiny there?

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.1

            I wonder if I did search through this site would I find you holding previous Labour Leaders of the Opposition to such a friendly standard?

            Not a hope. Gosman is rather notorious for his highly specific double standard… But quite how he balances his ‘flexible’ mortal standards with his quite apparent holier than thou viewpoints just speaks to his personal levels of hypocrisy.

            Of course that is mostly his problem. I’m sure that like me, most readers just look at his pronouncements with the appropriate assessment of judgement of his foibles.

            • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1.1

              No hypocrisy at all. I have never stated that a Leader of the Opposition (regardless of their political allegiance) should be held to the same standards in relation to international diplomacy as the Prime Minister.

              • Incognito

                That’s not what you wrote @ 5. Moving goalposts is not hypocritical but deceitful. I know which one I find more despicable.

              • lprent

                So you're saying that you haven't held previous Labour, Green, or NZ First opposition leaders to a higher standard than you're asking of Simon Bridges.

                Tell you what, let us make this interesting. If you give me an incentive – say a voluntary ban until after the election, I'll refresh your memory with a few links.

        • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.2

          His actions on the international stage as the leader of the opposition will never be the same as his actions if he was PM therefore they should not have the same sort of scrutiny.

          He's applying to become PM and these actions help give voters an idea of what he'd do as PM, so they should be subject to scrutiny, not least by people who are thinking of party-voting National at the next election. His visit to China alone should be scaring the crap out of centre-right voters. To be fair though, they're less likely to have concerns about him hanging out with a regular murderous authoritarian arsehole like Duterte – for most Nat voters that would be right up their alley.

        • Incognito 5.1.1.3

          Likening Simon to a student during Orientation Week is an apt comparison.

  6. GT 6

    Who is paying for it? Bridges is a dangerous narcissistic lawyer.

    Bridges will talk about how he can gain more influence and power. Time to discuss how this BS’er can still be leader of the opposition.

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