Chinese democracy

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, June 20th, 2010 - 142 comments
Categories: International - Tags: ,

The Key government has secretly apologised to the Chinese dictatorship for allowing Russel Norman to protest new vice-dictator Xi Jinping. Since when was a peaceful protest something we apologise for? No apology from the Chinese for their security thugs manhandling one of our elected representatives on the ground of our Parliament appears to have been sought or received.

Shameful, cowardly behaviour from our kowtowing government.

Here’s the article on the “authorized government portal site to China published under the auspices of the State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group (CIPG) in Beijing.” – ie. an official mouthpiece of the dictatorship:

A spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry made remarks on Saturday on a demonstrator’s harassment of a Chinese delegation outside New Zealand’s parliament building on Friday.

At the invitation of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping paid an official visit to New Zealand starting on June 17. He was warmly welcomed and well received by the government and people of New Zealand. The visit yielded positive results.

When the delegation arrived at the entrance of the parliament building in Wellington Friday noon, it was hostilely harassed by a New Zealand demonstrator within close distance.

The demonstrator’s behavior posed a threat to the security and dignity of the delegation, and far exceeded the boundaries of the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

Such an attempt to spoil the atmosphere of Xi’s visit and damage the Sino-New Zealand relationship is doomed to fail. It also runs against the common wish of both Chinese people and New Zealanders to enhance bilateral friendship, he added.

New Zealand has apologized to the Chinese side for the incident.

What are we coming to? Once this nation stood up to international bullies. Now foreign thugs can manhandle one of our MPs at our Parliament and we apologise? Is this what we are undr the Key government? A country that bows and scraps to bullies?

(ht: gobsmacked)

[Update: Just seen the transcript from Q+A. McCully blames Norman. Doesn’t think Chinese security was over the line. Doesn’t say they should apologise. Doesn’t tell Guyon that his government has apologised to China. Basically concludes that nothing should be done to upset a dictator ‘an important overseas visitor’ even if that means constraining the rights of our elected representatives at our Parliament:

GUYON In the last couple of minutes Minister I’d just like to turn to a domestic issue, or a domestic incident as it turned out, the Chinese security guards actually getting into something of a scuffle with the Green Party Co-Leader, Russel Norman. How did you read that incident?

MURRAY Well look I’ve only seen the media reports of it, but I find it massively disappointing. Of course we have freedom of speech in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean we have to use that freedom of speech to cause offence to people, particularly to overseas visitors. It seemed to me that what Dr Norman was doing was calculated to give offence to the Chinese Vice President who’s an important overseas visitor. It seemed to me that he abused parliamentary privilege, because he was in a situation where no member of the public could have placed themselves, and so it was only his role as a Member of Parliament that enabled him to do so. When we have differences of views with other countries, and we do frequently, I think it’s important that we express those views in a way that is respectful and courteous. That’s what we do on a regular basis. The other political parties in our parliament do understand this, we work together to promote New Zealand’s interests internationally, and particularly in the area of trade.

GUYON Sure but is it okay Minister for a Chinese security guard to manhandle a New Zealand parliamentarian on the forecourt of parliament?

MURRAY Yeah I’m not gonna buy into what actually happened there, because as I say I’ve only seen the media reports and there’s a process I guess under way in New Zealand involving the police and others to ascertain who was to blame for that. What I’m saying is that Dr Norman shouldn’t have actually been in that situation in the first place, if he’d have shown good judgement, and if he’d have put New Zealand’s interests to the fore.

GUYON So we are not placing any blame on the Chinese. You haven’t talked to any administration officials and said hey this isn’t on?

MURRAY Oh look I’m sure that those who have been dealing with the delegation at home, they’ve had their discussions about what actually happened. I haven’t been able to participate in them, I simply make the wider point that I would have thought that a member of the New Zealand parliament, dealing with any international visitor of note, would want to avoid causing offence. I think Dr Norman went out of his way to cause it, and I think that’s an act that’s unworthy of a member of the House of Representatives in New Zealand.

[Update. The Herald reports our PM personally called the Chinese to apologise. Jaw-dropping]

142 comments on “Chinese democracy ”

  1. toad 1

    Of course, Marty, the Chinese Foreign Ministry might have just made up the apology. Also of note, they don’t mention that Russel Norman’s protest was about the Chinese occupation of Tibet the anti-democratic and totalitarian practices in China, and they don’t mention that he was manhandled by Chinese security personnel.

    The “apology” aspect is definitely worth following up though.

    • Marty G 1.1

      Well, one can only assume that the media will ask Key whether his government has apologised to the Chinese. If the Chinese made up NZ’s comments, that’s a serious incident in itself.

      Maybe Norman could ask in the House….

      I’m waiting for the righties to come on and say ‘Norman’s’ protest wasn’t peaceful. The authoritarian loving Right seem to think that anyone who disagrees with them should stay quiet and out of the way. Of course, legitimate peaceful protest can be loud and in your face without being violent. And if you watch the video you see that it was the security guards who interposed themselves in Norman’s face first….

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Well, one can only assume that the media will ask Key whether his government has apologised to the Chinese.

        Well, if we had actual journalists we could assume that but, since we don’t, I’m not expecting them to.

      • Bob Stanforth 1.1.2

        There was no violence, or at least from what was shown on the idiot box. Chinese ‘guard’, whatever you want to call him, was standing front of the Fearless Green Leader, in between a legit protester and his charge. i.e. doing his job. Fearless Green Leader elbows him out of the way. A tad provocative, don’t you think? Thats the start of the physical stuff, initiated by the FGL, or at least thats how it appears on camera.

        Chinese guard does his job, gets back in front of protester, situation escalates.

        Guard is doing that: keeping a protester away from his charge. Thats what he is supposed to do.

        And until a creditable source is quoted for the apology, it never happened – isnt that at least fair and reasonable? So as opposed to the virtually baseless claim that its kowtowing on behalf of the Government, why not gain a credible source and then make the judgment call. Or is that not inflammatory enough?

        Oh, and as for FGL, I will have forever printed in my brain his febrile, nasal whining “Give me my flag back”. Dolt. Agree with his protest, but the utter lack of dignity and manufactured photo opportunity lost his cause right there. IMHO of course.

        • A post with me in it

          You have written extensively, passionately and very narrow-mindedly on this and other posts on the topic. Verbose would not quite cover it.

          Not sure what your motivations are for smearing the green leader as much as possible and to defend an undemocratic country, but I dare say it is kind of sickening.

          You are now saying that the leader of the green party, advocate of peace, picked a fight with a Chinese security guard.

          Christ almighty you have a lot of nerve. But more likely you just have a lot of ignorance and anti-green.

          • Bob Stanforth

            Right, so you’ve attacked me, but not what I said – can I expect something sensible or are you only fit to play the man, not the ball?

            • Pascal's bookie

              nah Bob, he called the ball, and made a conclusion about the man based on it. It’s called a ‘syllogism’.

              i)Doing y is pretty x

              ii)z just did y

              iii)We have reason to believe z is x (i,ii)

              As for your complaints about the credibility of the apology, do you think our government should object if the Chinese are just making it up? If we do not complain, why should we not believe it? Not complaining about a falsely reported apology would in effect be the same as apologising.

              • Bob Stanforth

                Yes, Im well aware that he inferred based on what I had written, but yet again – recurring theme here it seems, not reasoned debate, vitriol when alternate viewpoints put forward – the facts are bent. You can bend all you want. Any leader in the world is entitled to protection. FGL did elbow one of the guards out of the way, there is video evidence of that. And his first actions led to what happened next. Again, Im not defending the Chinese regime, for those of you who are incapable of argument, merely able to throw sloganed rhetoric, Im saying that FGL made the first use of bodily force – can anyone prove me wrong on that score?

                Answer this – if a protester elbowed a DPS member out of the way to get at a Labour MP, would there be any difference? If, say for instance, Murray McCully elbowed past a DPS member, around the bus (mind the bus Murray! 😉 ) and started shouting slogans at Helen when she was PM, attempting to jostle her, would you be holding the same view? Or would McCully be lacking in grace, ignorant, rude and not fit to hold office?

                Come on, try reasoned debate, not name calling, or is that all (some) of you are capable of? I give a rats fat arse if you call me ignorant, you dont know me and therefore your argument is tenuous at best. But you do know the position Im holding out. And its not about arguing the alternate each time.
                AS Word: unwanted. Like fair minded debate around these parts.

                • gobsmacked

                  Why do you keep going on about this bus?

                  Jenny Shipley was PM when that incident happened. Not Clark.

                  • Bob Stanforth

                    Because its symbolic – buses, guards, you name it, there is always something that must be between the left and the right. Finally someone gets it 🙂 And I refer the honorable etc to my answer re: my politics. Lots of assumptions around here, interspersed with assumptions and name calling.

                • Puddleglum

                  Hi Bob, I guess summarising someone (not their actions) as a “Dolt” and describing their voice as “febrile, nasal whining” is not attacking the man rather than the ball in your book? It is in mine, which makes your subsequent posting complaining of ad hominem attacks on you acutely hypocritical.

                  In light of Bill’s post below, perhaps I should mention that I didn’t vote Green at the last election so what I’m about to say shouldn’t be written off as middle-class, liberal mincing.

                  The security officer was not protecting the Chinese VC from Norman, he was attempting to screen Norman’s protest from him (otherwise, why place an open umbrella in front of Norman and the flag? Hardly an effective form of physical protection for the VC.). If the security guard had any concerns that Norman was about to attack the Chinese VC I would expect him to have overwhelmed Norman directly and pushed him flat to the ground. Clearly, the officer had (correctly) deduced that Norman was simply protesting volubly and was in no danger of attacking the VC. Nevertheless, he persisted in trying to screen the protest – which he had no right to do in this country, on Parliament’s forecourt.

                  Norman had a right to be where he stood. As several people critical of Norman have pointed out, he was within the secure area by virtue of being an MP. That is, he was cleared by whatever security procedures were in place and permitted access to a position that would be in direct line of sight of the disembarking VC.

                  As for the elbowing, Norman was not moving, he had repeatedly asked the security guard not to stand in front of him as he wished the VC to see the flag and his protest. The security officer was not simply standing in front of Norman at a distance of separation but was walking to and fro, presumably calculating how his position could best obscure Norman.

                  Norman did not ‘elbow’ the security officer out of the way (how could an ‘overgrown schoolboy’, prone to pathetic ‘nasal whining’, achieve such a feat of strength against a Chinese security officer for the VC?). What I saw was Norman remaining with his feet planted and putting his arm firmly in front of the officer (while telling the officer to stop standing in front of him) in order to ensure that the flag could still be seen. Then, the officer moved on (he wasn’t pushed out of the way).

                  I agree with much that Bill says below about the ‘safe option’ of protesting against China while not, for example, performing a similar protest when US officials, UK officials, etc., etc. turn up on Parliament’s grounds. I also agree that the Tibet issue often has a ‘save the whales’ or ‘stop the baby seal cub clubbing’ sanctimony surrounding it. But what I do support is our MPs using their positions to highlight issues (whether they’re from the left, right, up, down or wherever). I support, in fact, a harder edged, activist kind of representative (and population) over one who plays the game of politeness as an excuse to provide succor to the powerful.

                  I have no idea what Norman’s ‘necessary and sufficient’ motives (or calculations) were for this protest. Frankly, if we had to depend upon ‘correct motives’ in our politicians we’d be waiting a long time to get effective representatives. If we don’t want our politicians protesting to foreign officials then let’s be explicit about that. Let’s prohibit it. If we do then we (I’m speaking of the government) need to defend that right, even if we disagree with what was being protested.

                  What I’m not about to claim is that protesters need to pass some nasal whining or baby-face test before I’ll support their right to protest. We need more people protesting in more ways about more things; not fewer.

            • RedLogix

              play the man, not the ball

              Whining when someone whacks your own ball out of the park is called ‘sore loser’.

              • comedy

                sore loser – Yes that’s a very good description of Chris Carter, Russ Norman and Felix the tame troll.

            • A post with me in it

              I have attacked what you said and you.

              I really don’t care what you think of what I have said. I find you and your opinions reprehensible. That is my opinion.

              • Bob Stanforth

                LMAO, you find me reprehensible? Um, how so, when did we meet? Wow, you base all your relationships on that? Lonely?

            • Bill

              Kind of with Bob on this one. And the Greens got my party vote last time around before anyone starts with the jumping up and down ‘you must be a righty b/s’.

              Russel Norman looked to be reeking of fear and pumped up over grown school kid bravado. And he did elbow his way in front of the Chinese chap who was looking to stand between him and his charge.

              And Russell degenerated from being an over grown school kid to a snivelling, snotty nosed little kid with his pathetic whimpering of “Give me my flag back. Give me my flag back”. I mean really, what the fuck was that about? Had the Dali Llama personally wiped his arse with it before making a present of it to Russell; that why he was all so fucking precious over it?

              The Chinese are being pretty diplomatic over all this. They report that an apology was received. So what if they are lying? End of story. Far more important matters to spend energy on. Surely.

              But no. The anti-Chinese bandwagon rolls on and on. But in the scheme of things, China are no worse and in many ways a lot better on the human rights front than nations our governments consider as allies are. China ain’t bombing seven shades of shit out of the general populations of various countries for the sake of oil…or to teach them all about democracy and freedom depending on which story you prefer.

              China ain’t threatening a handful of other countries with the same treatment unless said countries kowtow to their foreign policy goals.

              China ain’t vilifying every country in Latin America that is looking to make a break from under the yolk of a particularly rabid form of imperialism that has left no-one knows how many tens of thousands dead and disappeared.

              China doesn’t and didn’t manipulate the International Financial Institutions to impose Structural Adjustment Programmes that have resulted in the deaths of who knows how many and the impoverishment of millions and millions.

              But here’s what China is.

              China is an ‘official enemy’. China is the bogey man our governments and officials pull out the bag whenever they want a distraction from their own nefarious actions or policies…Copenhagen comes to mind. And China and Tibet is a distraction for naive liberals and kids to sink their milk teeth into.

              If all you out there think that China occupying Tibet is so fucking wrong and bad, then why ain’t you agitating for the sovereignty of this country to be handed back to Maori? And why aren’t you immersing yourself in some make belief fantasy of what Maori culture and spirituality was all about so that it can be appropriated…colonised… in the way that Buddhist doctrines have been…( you are seeing the irony and hypocrisy stacking up here all you ‘fighters for freedom’ and ‘independence’?)….and made safe…and innocently nice…and packaged and sold just for you and on the main street for you to take home and lift the lid on so you can share in the experience and almost really be there….really there?

              Meanwhile, back in the reality of really here, is China all dinky and good?

              No. Not by a country mile. But the vilification that people reserve for China and other safe, ie officially designated enemies of ‘our’ good state, while our own governments and their ‘friends’ perpetrate much, much worse with no comparable outpouring of anger or outrage from those same people who prefer to be lost in a fug of incense and beautific smiling is really beyond the fucking pale in terms of rank and deeply disturbing hypocrisy.

              • Marty G

                don’t be a fuckwit Bill. The US gets far more criticism here than China.

                • Bill

                  I wasn’t referring to ‘here’ as in ‘thestandard’ Marty if that’s what you’re saying. Must be.

                  ‘Cause we all know that the US and other ‘official friends’ get sweet fa seious criticism levelled at them by mainstream news sources and do not generate the general levels of hostile opinion that official enemies like China or N. Korea, Iran or Venezuela do.

                  Right? I mean, you can’t seriously contend that saying as such is tantamount to fuckwittery, can you?

                  • infused

                    Looks like you upset Marty. Doesn’t seem to take much. Bill and Bob share the same view point as myself on this subject.

  2. Rharn 2

    This has got to be one of the most ‘shamefull’ episodes of Key’s government. As I have mentioned in another post from an ‘international’ position we just look silly and have lost our self respect.

  3. ak 3

    ..febrile, nasal whining “Give me my flag back’

    Hate to agree with Bob but ae, horror week for the left PR-wise and can’t really blame the media for once….what with Goffy’s bizarre impersonation of a “Thunderbirds” puppet and this woeful display resembling a nine-year-old throwing a tantrum….look at some old clips of Hels – or even Holyoake – and consider the phrase “dignity of office” for gawds sake…..

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    McCully says …but that doesn’t mean we have to use that freedom of speech to cause offence to people, particularly to overseas visitors.”
    Duhhh .. Freedom of speech is exactly when it does cause offence

    Based on this , dont expect McCully to say anything ever that will upset a foreign country. he must be the most supine Foreign minister we have ever had.

  5. ianmac 5

    “Did the PM aplogise to the Chinese delegation for Mr Norman’ exercise of freedom of speech on the steps of Parliament?”
    Simple question.

    Yes. Then his stand on freedom of speech is hypocritical.

    No. Then his word must be taken and the Press report made it up.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Key giving a simple answer to a simple question?
      Dont rely on it.
      Im sure Norman will ask in Parliament and they will duck and weave and give the same bullshit McCully has said.

      Expect something like ” I cant recall “

  6. Carol2 6

    Nah, you are a bit behind the times.

    ‘Kowtowing’ went out with the Chinese revolution.

  7. illuminatedtiger 7

    Blimmin heck. Now we all know that the state run Chinese media is corrupt but I don’t think this would be outside the realm of possibility given our Prime Ministers general sliminess (anyone remember the backroom wheeling and dealing over the SIS in Afghanistan?). If he did indeed apologise then he has no business running a country with firm democratic principals including an inalienable right to free speech.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    That is an extraordinary statement from McCully. Our Foreign Minister, no less. He reveals himself to be even more authoritarian than I’d ever imagined. He doesn’t even pretend to care about matters of principle – not even lip-service.

    Of course we have freedom of speech in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean we have to use that freedom of speech to cause offence to people, particularly to overseas visitors.

    “Have to” – No. “Allowed to” – Yes. That’s what freedom means, Murray.

    It seemed to me that he abused parliamentary privilege

    Are you the Speaker now, Murray?

    it was only his role as a Member of Parliament that enabled him to do so.

    It’s his role as an MP that makes it all the more important that he is allowed to do so. He is a representative of the people, and not – try and get this, Murray – the New Zealand government.

    When we have differences of views with other countries, and we do frequently, I think it’s important that we express those views in a way that is respectful and courteous.

    Like “the butchers of Burma”, Murray? Is that courteous? No. But it was true. Which is why you said it. Except … when you said it, you were in opposition. Like Russel Norman is now.

    if he’d have put New Zealand’s interests to the fore.

    And our interests are decided by who, Murray? Once upon a time, we were told that we had to be nice to apartheid South Africa. Or Indonesia in East Timor. Or Reagan and his nukes. It was in our “interests”. Except, some people said it wasn’t. They were right.

    And even if they were wrong, they were entitled to take a different view. Were you sick the day they did ‘Freedom’ at school, Murray?

    He is New Zealand’s Foreign Minister. He is our national shame.

  9. sk 9

    Marty G,

    In the past I have liked your posts. But this is offensive – with an underying racist tone. There is no way you would react this way to an incident involving a ‘white’ country. Same with Russell Norman. China is a ‘soft’ target. What about the US and UK in Iraq? Was he set to protest when Hilary Clinton came to town?

    Kowtowing is a word that comes from the 19th Century, when the Emperor rejected Western attempts to colonise China. The image of a kowtow is of a superior white person (opium trader) having to bow before the Emperor – which is why we react so strongly.

    China is a complex country, with its roots in a different civilization. If we resort to slogans from the 19th century – as your image does – then there is no way we are in position to embrace the complexity of the 21st century.

    Yes, Chinese security overstepped the mark. But this reaction is hysterical .. . and pathetically ignorant.

    • illuminatedtiger 9.1

      How was his post racist? My Chinese partner and I are curious, sk.

      • sk 9.1.1

        look at image. The white man having to prone himself. . ..

        Completely unnecessary.

        And the use of the word ‘kowtow’ itself speaks volumes. Maybe you and your Chinese partner want to read a bit of Chinese history. It is this implicit linking that is going to cause offense to someone in China. . .

        • illuminatedtiger

          They both have the same skin tone. And I think linking the use of the word “kowtow” to race is a bit precious.

          • sk

            Kowtow reflected the colonial objection that white colonists had to lie prone when being received by the Qing Emperor, so it is absolutely tied to race

            • Marty G

              I’m telling you this time and one time only – I am not making a racial slur and this is not a racial argument in my view. You claim I’m using race again and there will be consequences for your rights here. I’m perfectly happy for you to debate the issue but accusing me of racism crosses the line.

              • sk

                wow. Threaten me like that and I will never comment again. Look at my comment history Marty G, and decide whether you want me commenting here. Your call.

                In the meantime, you are showing a lack of respect to the Chinese people. In the 1840’s the Chinese encountered the brute force of British Imperialism – just as the Maori did at the same time – and the suffered subsequently catostrophic consequences (the Japanese invasion from 1931 merely reflected the Japanese aping British behaviour). The word ‘kowtow’ and the images associated with it stem from that period. It is a word intricately tied with imperialism and the age of white anglo saxon dominance – a period that is now receding.

                It is the 21st century and we need to treat China with respect. Images of a kowtow and calling Xi Jinping the vice dictator are offensive and do cross a line.

                We have every reason to mourne the victims of the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1948, the victims of Tianamen, the price paid by reformist leaders such as Zhao Ziyang and still by Bao Tong. But we need to assert of ourselves with dignity, and from a position of understanding. Russell Norman did not do that, and frankly made a hash of it, as did Chinese security.

                I stand by my comments.

                • Marty G

                  “In the meantime, you are showing a lack of respect to the Chinese people”

                  No I’m not. there is a difference between the people and the government. Especially in a dictatorship.

                  And you had your warning. So take a week off.

          • Wayne

            Maybe you have a chinese woman because you cannot score among your own race.

            Most white guys with Asian women are bottom of the barrel losers.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Wow. Care to explain why you think that?

            • felix

              Wayne do you reckon heterosexuals are also just losers who can’t score among their own gender?

        • gobsmacked

          There has been plenty of criticism on this blog directed at Israel, USA, etc. So SK’s opening statement is demonstrably false. Check out the “International” tag for more.

          • sk

            My objection is to the use of the word – and image – of a kowtow. Kowtow is a 19th century relic. The Chinese deserve it to be dropped, given what the Qing were fighting .. .

            • Marty G

              sk. The image is of two people of the same skin colour.

              And NZ is kowtowing to China. That’s not a racial issue, it’s a geopolitical one.

              • Ari

                I don’t think sk is saying it is a racial issue. I think they’re objecting to the racial undertones to the word that you used, and finding it problematic in the context of an article about a white man protesting against an asian government, completely independent of the rest of the post. I think it’s absolutely valid to criticise the way people say something independently of what they actually said, which is exactly why I so often object to the insensitivity of the right to racial issues, even though it’s often pretty clear that there was no real malice involved.

                Personally speaking, I have no idea if the word “kowtow” has problematic racial meanings- we have any members of the asian community here who’d like to unpack that? Might be useful.

                New Zealand is certainly sucking up to China, and I think your argument in general is a good one. (and Murray’s opinion that one shouldn’t offend foreign leaders as an MP is so much horseshit- we should reserve offense for people who deserve it. Like say, representatives of a brutal totalitarian regime) Might be easier for all involved to pick words carefully, though.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.2

      Piffle.. the kowtow has a long Chinese tradition.
      Yes the extreme version went out with Emperor but was common in everyday life as well.
      The 19th century had nothing to do with it, in previous centuries the Korean or Japanese kings had to kowtow.
      For westerners the problem that it wasnt just a mark of respect, it meant submission: in effect rejecting your own nationality and submitting to the emperor

      • sk 9.2.1

        So you can wiki as well. But that article does not capture the meaning and associations of the word in English

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          So a word that means knock your head against the ground, and the word literally has been transferred into English.
          It means in English what it means in Chinese.

  10. clandestino 10

    Come on, that was a bit of a pathetic protest. No problem with the cause, but really, compare this with the footage of Rod Donald a few years ago and how to conduct yourself with dignity. Norman comes across as a desperate opportunist who does anything for a bit of publicity. He needs to learn Nzers see through that.

    • illuminatedtiger 10.1

      I don’t.

      I think the majority of NZers would prefer Tibet to be a free and independent nation.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        And what would the majority of Tibetans wish for? Or does that not come into it?

        • gobsmacked

          Jeez, Bill, you’re like a guy roaming the pub on a Friday night, looking for a fight.

          Illuminated Tiger replied to a comment about NZers. So he referred to NZers. OK?

          • Bill

            My point is a valid one Gobsmacked.

            If New Zealanders are going to jump up and down in he faces of Chinese officials over Tibet, then the least, the very least they could do is find out what Tibetans want.

            It is no small matter that the views we receive are those of the exiled elites which western ‘Free Tibet’ protesters merely echo and amplify.

            What if the majority of Tibetans…the peasants, prefer Chinese rule to the old Theocratic rule of the Dhali Llama and the Monasteries? What if they are better off now than they were before?

            Again…thought provoking and informative article

            And that aside, the Free Tibet campaign would presumably see the Dalai Lama installed as leader which would do what for followers of Dorje Shugden? Maybe you should look that name up and reappraise ideas you have about that peace loving, harmonious old (biting tongue) Dalai.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              The Dalai Lama may only be one of the leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, but he is acknowledged as the primary one.
              The Tibetans would back the Dalai Lama in a heartbeat. As opposed to an alien atheist culture, what would you think.
              And to go back 50 years , lets look at what Maoism was like 50 years ago as well

              • Bill

                “The Tibetans would back the Dalai Lama in a heartbeat.”

                No they fucking well would not. And did not. Apologies for the lengthy cut and paste..

                “When the current 14th Dalai Lama was first installed in Lhasa, it was with an armed escort of Chinese troops and an attending Chinese minister, in accordance with centuries-old tradition. What upset the Tibetan lords and lamas in the early 1950s was that these latest Chinese were Communists. It would be only a matter of time, they feared, before the Communists started imposing their collectivist egalitarian schemes upon Tibet.

                The issue was joined in 1956-57, when armed Tibetan bands ambushed convoys of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. The uprising received extensive assistance from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including military training, support camps in Nepal, and numerous airlifts.27 Meanwhile in the United States, the American Society for a Free Asia, a CIA-financed front, energetically publicized the cause of Tibetan resistance, with the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother, Thubtan Norbu, playing an active role in that organization. The Dalai Lama’s second-eldest brother, Gyalo Thondup, established an intelligence operation with the CIA as early as 1951. He later upgraded it into a CIA-trained guerrilla unit whose recruits parachuted back into Tibet.28

                Many Tibetan commandos and agents whom the CIA dropped into the country were chiefs of aristocratic clans or the sons of chiefs. Ninety percent of them were never heard from again, according to a report from the CIA itself, meaning they were most likely captured and killed.29 “Many lamas and lay members of the elite and much of the Tibetan army joined the uprising, but in the main the populace did not, assuring its failure,’ writes Hugh Deane.30 In their book on Tibet, Ginsburg and Mathos reach a similar conclusion: “As far as can be ascertained, the great bulk of the common people of Lhasa and of the adjoining countryside failed to join in the fighting against the Chinese both when it first began and as it progressed.’31 Eventually the resistance crumbled.”


                • felix


                  With respect, whether Norman is on the correct side of the Tibet issue is neither here nor there.

                  • Bill


                    So Tibet isn’t the issue. So then, neither is China. So what’s the issue? Some one is waving a flag in your face. He has already jostled you out the way. You grab said flag out his grasp and give it back when he starts girning.

                    Okay. How do we get from there to ‘the oppressive Chinese’ and their trampling of free speech and so on and so on unless a wider context is being considered? But why is any reasonable analysis of an important component of that broader context within which a flag was waved, snatched and returned out of bounds or neither here nor there all of a sudden?

                    Are you saying that a Jew as a part of a German delegation (say) confronted by a slogan chanting swastika flag waving MP on the steps of parliament should have his/her reaction judged on an assumption that it might as well have been a McD logo pendant that was being waved with imprecations to buy a big mac?

                    And are you saying that the MP should be immune to the veracity of his/her actions or motivations being scrutinised and debated?

                    • Marty G

                      one reason people avoid Godwinning is how dumb it makes them look.

                      You just said “as Nazi is to Jew, so Tibet is to Chinese”

                    • Ari

                      Tibet itself is less of an issue as opposed to China’s treatment of Tibet.

                      And you know what? We totally would judge a Jew based on how they reacted to people protesting with Nazi imagery. I was impressed recently when Barney Franks was approached with that sort of thing in the American healthcare debate, and did nothing to shut down their hate speech- all he did was tell them that was what they were doing. That’s how a person who respects freedom of speech acts- they don’t try to steal or destroy a prop to someone else’s message, even if it’s a completely disgusting one to them.

                      And that’s ignoring how far off-base you are with your comparison. I don’t think people working under a Tibetan flag ever gassed millions of Chinese civilians.

                    • felix

                      And are you saying that the MP should be immune to the veracity of his/her actions or motivations being scrutinised and debated?

                      No, I’m saying that’s a different argument and nothing to do with how visiting officials and their security forces should be ezpected to behave on our soil.

                    • Bill

                      No Marty. That is entirely your inference.

                    • Marty G

                      you made the comparison champ

                    • Bill


                      Not a comparison. I’m trying to put up a situation where an exploration of the context would not be so blithely cast aside as some argue should be the case in this instance.

                      And I’m not against Norman making a prat of himself….sorry, protesting.

                      And I just don’t think the reaction was anything to be writing home about.

                      Unless, and this has just crossed my mind, there is some special reverence for the building and grounds of parliament and so maybe a feeling that something special was sullied or what not.

                      So I’ll ask. If the flag had been snatched at a one man show MP’s protest on the pavement somewhere, would the level of outrage be similar?

                      And if it was a protest being made by a non-MP?

                      And if it was a non-MP who had somehow got on to the steps of parliament?

                    • Bill

                      Is the lack of clarification to be taken as…well lets say the four stars on the graphic are representative of the Southern Cross then, shall we? And those two figures are the proles (that’s us) prostrate at the feet of ‘big man’ democracy? Kind of captures the patriarchal element of ‘our democracy’ rather well, don’t you think?

                      Don’t know why anyone’d want to feel any reverence for any of it, but there you go.

                      You have that right and I have the right to protest the colonisation of my mind and other’s minds by the orthodoxies and holier than thou rightnesses that sit behind the symbolism, imagery and pomp of ‘our democracy’.

                • Marty G

                  bill. this isn’t about whether Norman’s protest was for a good cause or not.

                  If you’re standard is that a protest must be about what you think is a good thing before you support it being allowed you’re no better than the Right.

                  • Bill

                    I haven’t commented that he shouldn’t have been allowed to protest Marty.

                    • Marty G

                      maybe not but you’re running a classic line of undermining the legitimacy of an action to justify the response.

                      it doesn’t actually matter what Norman was protesting about.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  You are making a fool of yourself repeating this drivel.
                  Tenzin Gyatso could hardly have done anything differently at his installation as the Chinese had invaded 2 months before and he was only 15.
                  The han chinese had a long subjugation under the invading Manchu so they would know what its like

                  • Bill

                    In accordance with centuries old tradition, ghost. The Chinese invasion changed nothing in that respect. They had been playing the same role in that ceremony for hundreds of years. Why would the Dalai Lama to be want to change anything about a tradition stretching back hundreds of years? And why would he seek to challenge the very authority that had established ( and probably lent legitimacy to) his position?

                    “In the thirteenth century, Emperor Kublai Khan created the first Grand Lama, who was to preside over all the other lamas as might a pope over his bishops. Several centuries (sic) later, the Emperor of China sent an army into Tibet to support the Grand Lama, an ambitious 25-year-old man, who then gave himself the title of Dalai (Ocean) Lama, ruler of all Tibet.

                    His two previous lama “incarnations’ were then retroactively recognized as his predecessors, thereby transforming the 1st Dalai Lama into the 3rd Dalai Lama.”

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      Kublai, a grandson of Ghengis , was of course Mongolian, his empire went from the Urals to the pacific.
                      So that makes rule from Beijing by Han Chinese Ok in Lhasa .

                      By the way the present system in China dates from 1949.
                      British rule in India went back a tad further than that. Just as well the Indians still prefer to be ruled from London like they all ways have

      • sk 10.1.2

        Sure, we would all prefer to see Tibet as a free and independent nation. But that is not going to happen. Even the Dalai Lamma himself looks for a Hong Kong SAR solution . .

        Tibet is a running sore, but we owe it to ourselves to conduct ourselves with dignity. Norman’s protest, and the reaction evident here, conveys a strong anti-Chinese bias

        • toad

          What is wrong with a strong anti-Chinese bias, or more correctly “stance”, as long as it is clear that it is against the Government of the Peoples Republic of China, rather than against the Chinese people themselves.

          I suppose you would also be one of those who is always harping on about the Greens having a strong anti-American bias when they have been critical of the imperialist excesses of the US.

          That the Greens are prepared to speak out against oppression in all its forms is one of the reasons I am proud to be Green.

          • Bill

            And do the Greens speak out against the attempts by the Dalai Lama to shut down religious freedoms when he and his followers oppress the followers of Dorje Shugden?

            The problem I see with this Tibet nonsense is that it’s all based on wishful thinking. Tibet was a fucking terrible place to be if you were not a member of the elite. And the free Tibet crowd basically fall into the same trap that the old school c’munist party members fell into …they defend and promote a reality that they would not wish on anyone because they are operating from a position that is unrealistic….romantic, deluded.

            • RedLogix

              Nice distraction Bill. Of course you are allowed to debate the complex merits of the Tibet question to your heart’s content…but that is tangential to the issue here. That is:

              1. The right of an MP to protest in the grounds of Parliament. (Not whether you agree with the content of his protest or not.).

              2. The question of whether the Chinese VP was embarrassed or not is inconsequential; the whole point of protest is to embarrass or shame another party to change their behaviour or policy.

              3. The revealing overreaction of Chinese security. Clearly these people are accustomed to acting with impunity, in a totalitarian environment with little democratic accountability. For all the smiles and polite nodding, we got a momentary, unscripted glimpse of the real fist.

              4. And we should now fully understand our helplessness as vassals of the new Chinese sphere of influence. The Chinese, far from being embarrassed, will likely be pleased with how well this has worked out; that their real message has been so fortuitously conveyed in such an unexpectedly elegant manner.

              • Bill

                “That the Greens are prepared to speak out against oppression in all its forms is one of the reasons I am proud to be Green” was what I commented on. That unreasonable? A distraction?

                See, I haven’t made any comment in connection to your number 2. Meanwhile, grabbing a flag from somebody’s grasp is hardly an over reaction is it?.

                Been on any protests lately that NZ authorities have taken an active interest in? Been held in a throat lock simply because you were there? Roughed up beaten up and hand cuffed just for being there? How’s about being deliberately run into by a police car? All actual incidents and all ‘run of the mill’ at legal protests.

                Or what about those bouncers last Friday? I’d warrant there were far more robust engagements up and down the country last Friday…all technically assault and all passed over as par for the course by all involved.

                As for being vassals, well that just stacks on top of the ridiculous over reaction being exhibited by some. Next we know it’ll be ‘Yellow Peril’ all over again at this rate.

                Oh gawd, I get you now that I’ve re-read your comment. This was all a cunning Chinese plot to convey to NZers that they are to be colonised by brutal Chinese body guards who collect flags….which means of course that Norman must have been in on it too. ( I guess they forgot to tell him about their vexillology bent though?)

                • RedLogix

                  This was all a cunning Chinese plot

                  I did use the words ‘unexpectedly’ and ‘fortuitous’…but clearly I need to make my signals a little less subtle even for such an experienced China watcher as you Bill.

                • Ari

                  Bill- if the Chinese government withdrew from Tibet and let people make their own decisions about how to govern themselves there, and the Tibetans chose religious oppression… don’t you think the Green Party would also protest that?

                  Freedom of (and from) religion is a core right of a democratic society, and everyone is entitled to it. But if we’re against the white side, it doesn’t mean we’re unreservedly for the black side, to use a chess metaphor. 😉

                  • Bill

                    You saying if the Tibetans freely chose religious oppression the Greens would protest that right?

                    If that’s what you’re saying then you really need to check out Manderlay . Maori TV has shown it recently.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  You dont get it do you.

                  Its ‘his’ freedoms, not yours to describe when or how he can exercise them.

                  What are are saying is called authoritarianism

                • RedLogix

                  Meanwhile, grabbing a flag from somebody’s grasp is hardly an over reaction is it?.

                  Well yes it is, after all simply waving a flag is scarcely something to get all that upset about is it?

                  Been on any protests lately that NZ authorities have taken an active interest in?

                  umm yes…and the old two wrongs making a right argument still doesn’t work even here.

                  Or what about those bouncers last Friday?

                  In case you hadn’t noticed this is Parliament, not a pub. Different standards do ordinarily apply.

                  • Bill

                    Norman seemed pretty upset when he couldn’t wave the flag any more, so maybe it is a big thing for some. And if Russell can have a bit of an emotional reaction, then why can’t the security detail?

                    And my NZ protest comment was to draw attention to the level of reaction to the actions of authorities. Not the acts themselves. Which I thought was pretty obvious, but anyway,

                    Your third point intrigues me. Parliament is, to your mind and way of thinking some place special and different then, that deserves a different application of human behaviours and laws? Why’s that? I posed the question before ( through pasted link) but nobody responded. Sure, it’s not a pub, but it is just a place…a building. No?


                    • RedLogix

                      And if Russell can have a bit of an emotional reaction, then why can’t the security detail?

                      Contradicting yourself some? First of all you tell us that “grabbing a flag is hardly an over-reaction”, now your ok with the idea that everyone was getting all emo.

                      The flag is of course symbolic, it’s presence so close to such a senior CCP person was a likely a significant matter of face for Xi Jinping.

                      Equally the right to hold a flag as a legitimate means of protest is highly symbolic to most New Zealanders in terms of our political freedoms.

                      Well of course there was more to it than just ‘grabbing a flag’. That’s the whole point of protest.

                      Sure, it’s not a pub, but it is just a place a building. No?

                      Again you point to the concrete and literal, and by ignoring the obvious symbolic significance of Parliament as the seat of government, strip the real meanings from things and thereby seeking to distract and derail the discussion.

                      It is plain common-sense that when visiting places of cultural, religious, or political significance to your host, that you behave with restraint, even when you feel you own customs and dignity are being a little dented. Failure to observe this ancient practise is always interpreted as being disrespectful.

                    • Bill

                      Nah Red.

                      You tried to say that there was no reason for anybody to get up set over a piece of flag waving. I just pointed out that that evidently wasn’t the case. Just you were solely focussing on the security detail and holding him to a different standard to the one you were applying to a provocative and emotional NZ politician.

                      As for there being more to it than somebody grabbing somebody else’s flag, I’ve been trying to explore and discuss that all day and been told by person after person that the broader issues and the context are irrelevant.

                      As for the significance of parliament or the meaning that people imbue it with…you being serious? People attach significance and have a degree of emotional attachment invested in a parliamentary building and what it supposedly represents? I mean, if it was a church or something I could see that although I’m not religious. But a building dedicated to very narrow expressions of politics? It matters?

                      Okay, so why is it that expected behaviour is dependent upon who you are for all these people who regard parliament buildings as being imbued with special significance? Like, why is Norman allowed to act like a spoiled kid, but not the Chinese security guard? At least in a church or whatever the expected standard of behaviour would extend to all.

                      Meanwhile, the Chinese were invited by the government. No? So it is as incumbent upon the host to be respectful as it is for the guest. No? Anyway. The only person whose dignity was dented…nay, trashed…was NZ’s own petulant wee stormin’ Norman. And the only political entity damaged, the Greens.

                  • Marty G

                    so strange, we’re used to Bill the anarchist, whereas this bill is saying foreign security guards can do whatever they like and we shouldn’t let people protest near them if it hurts their feelings

                    • Bill

                      That’s complete bullshit Marty.

                      Haven’t said any of those things, have I?

                      In fact, somewhere I did state that Russell should be allowed to protest if he wants. ( The fact that he’s a fucking clown and an amateur who has, apparently no fucking idea about tactics, is his look out.) What I’ve questioned is the reaction of others to the whole incident and why it is that all of a sudden context is to be ignored.

                      And then there is this strange (to me) notion that parliament is somehow sacrosanct. Which is why I asked what people would make of the same protest…the exact same incident…
                      a) taking place on the pavement with MP as protester;
                      b) taking place on pavement with ordinary citizen as protester and
                      c) taking place on parliament steps with ordinary citizen as protester.

                      And honestly, Marty. Just because I don’t see the snatching and returning of a piece of cloth…a flag, as a much of anything, doesn’t translate into saying that foreign security guards can do as they like, does it?

                      edit. And btw We do know for certain that that guard was Chinese? I mean, there were non-Chinese security guards in attendance too and just because somebody looks like they might be Chinese….

                    • RedLogix

                      So it is as incumbent upon the host to be respectful as it is for the guest. No?

                      Absolutely; but of course Russel Norman is NOT a member of the govt. A subtle point that could well have been easily lost on the one party CCP.

                      In fact, somewhere I did state that Russell should be allowed to protest if he wants.

                      No-one is asking you to agree to the purpose, manner or effectiveness of the protest, that being of course largely irrelevant to Russel Norman’s RIGHT to protest. That is all that matters here.

                      Just because I don’t see the snatching and returning of a piece of cloth a flag, as a much of anything, doesn’t translate into saying that foreign security guards can do as they like, does it?

                      No you can’t go back there, we’ve already established that there is a lot more to this than a ‘piece of cloth’ and that the premises of Parliament are not ‘just another building’.

                      You’ve already failed to minimise the issue by trying to strip the symbolic meanings from the protest and it simply doesn’t work.

                    • Bill


                      “No you can’t go back there, we’ve already established that there is a lot more to this than a ‘piece of cloth'”…stripped of context (the context which might shed some explanatory light on various primary and secondary reactions to this incident but which is not to be debated or explored according to numerous comments) means that we really are reduced to talking about a piece of cloth being snatched and returned. A flag with symbolic meaning or emotional import is straying into that territory of context. Not allowed. Apparently. Irrelevant. Apparently. And yet you still want to bring ‘symbolic meanings’ into the discussion. How does that work if context is off the cards?

                      “and that the premises of Parliament are not ‘just another building’.”

                      Why are the premises of parliament more than just a building? That really does strike me as peculiar. That you have it established in your mind that parliament is worthy of elevation to a place in the psyche that earmarks stuff and places as ‘special’ is something I keep questioning hoping for some explanation in order I might get my head around such a perspective. You don’t have to attempt an explanation, but it would be appreciated.

          • Justin Liu

            “as long as it is clear that it is against the Government of the Peoples Republic of China, rather than against the Chinese people themselves”

            but how fast does that line get blurred in an argument. Besides the attitude towards Tibet amongst people in China is overwhelming anti-independence. Even Chinese people in Taiwan, a full-fledged democracy with a free press and decidedly anti-communist/anti-authoritarian attitude would vehement be against a free Tibet. What do you do then?

        • gobsmacked

          Sk, you clearly know something about Chinese history and politics, so you must also know that “Chinese” means – well, almost every shade of opinion there is. Pro-Beijing communist, pro-Beijing capitalist, pro-Taiwan, pro-democracy in HK, and so on for another one and a half billion.

          Protesting against the current government of China is entirely legitimate, and no more “racist” than protesting against Chiang Kai-Shek or Mao or anybody else who has been in power.

          Anti-Chinese racism has been around in the West for centuries. It has included mass slaughter and every kind of horrific persecution. But that really has nothing at all to do with this topic, and nothing to do with Marty G’s post.

          • sk

            Before Marty G bans me, one comment. Protesting against the Chinese government is of course legitimate. But we do need to appreciate that we carry the ‘white man’s burden’ and we need to remember that when criticising China. All that means is that we should respect them, but express our perspective strongly, but from a position of understanding. Russell Norman did not do that, and this post certainly does not do that.

            • Bill

              That graphic.

              Blue suit (western business) kowtowing to pinko commie bastard shirted one to keep that there market bailed and afloat.


            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Position of understanding ?

              Now what position could that be.. a kowtow perhaps

      • clandestino 10.1.3

        I’m sure most NZers would love for Tibet to be free and independent and have control over a billion+ people’s water supply. There’d be good money in it for sure. But more pertinent to my post is the tactic used by Norman. Blatant attention-seeking, coupled with the impotent ‘give me my flag’ and I think many will be embarrassed for the party.

        • Marty G

          do you think protesters should stay nice and quiet and out of the way? Weird.

          And if someone took my flag I would say ‘give me my flag’ would you cry or kiss their boots?

          • clandestino

            Mate you can get your point across and be heard without trying to disrupt a delegation. I don’t see you managed to infer I think protesters should be silent from my comment, troll behaviour.
            Maybe you’re right about the ‘give me my flag’, perhaps I just like to think I wouldn’t sound like a petulant kid.

  11. Carol2 11

    gobsmacked: Actually, I used to be part of a China Studies Assn some time ago – and I’m glad that Sk is trying to add some cultural and historical awareness to this isolated part of the antipodes.

    Like it or not, the world is changing. There is a place for an exchange of differences, and also one for building relationships with an emerging power.

    Norman might have gained short-term publicity for himself, but has lost credibility as a political player. Do the Greens have anyone with the experience and gravitas of Jeanette in the wings ? Keith Locke, perhaps ?

    • Marty G 11.1

      Carol2. Are you saying that we should allow Chinese security guards to manhandle one of our MPs because they’re a superpower?

      There’s a word for slavish obedience to authority.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2

      As McCully crawls on his knees from one super power to the next.
      The Russians are after a free trade agreement , then the Saudis….

      I can see a billboard campaign… you know how it would work out

    • toad 11.3


      …Sk is trying to add some cultural and historical awareness…

      The cultural and historical awareness should be observed by the Chinese officials, when in New Zealand. After all, they were the manuhiri.

      I wouldn’t go to China and demand things be done my way and take matters into my own hands if they are not; just as, as a Pakeha, I wouldn’t go onto a marae and demand things be done my way.

      The actions of the Chinese officials disrespected the principle of free speech, which is very much a part of New Zealand’s culture and history.

  12. Tigger 12

    Let them stifle dissent. It’ll be the death of this govt eventually.

  13. coolas 13

    Maybe the Chinese security thought it was ‘hug a ginga day’

    The incident is farce with Norman’s ‘gimme my flag back’ whinge.

    The Chinese will never ‘free’ the Tibetan people as they haven’t ‘freed’ the Hong Kong people, but it’s close enough for Western liberals to refocus and pressure the Dalai Lama to accept a ‘one country, two systems’ solution.

    Like Hongkong, Macau, and aspirations for a unified Taiwan, China looks for peaceful solutions, but those who challenge Beijing’s authority and processes are crushed.

    As others have said 1/3rd of China’s water comes from Tibet. Get it.

    Supporting the ‘Free Tibet’ movement, giving hope to Tibetan ‘Freedom Fighters,’ is funding their torture and death.

    • Marty G 13.1

      “The Chinese will never ‘free’ the Tibetan people as they haven’t ‘freed’ the Hong Kong people,”

      um, Hong Kong is part of China, it’s people are Chinese. It was taken by the British as a prize after the Opium Wars. Totally different from Tibet.

      “Like Hongkong, Macau, and aspirations for a unified Taiwan, China looks for peaceful solutions, but those who challenge Beijing’s authority and processes are crushed.

      As others have said 1/3rd of China’s water comes from Tibet. Get it.”

      So, what are you saying ? China is in the right? we shouldn’t object?

      “Supporting the ‘Free Tibet’ movement, giving hope to Tibetan ‘Freedom Fighters,’ is funding their torture and death.”

      guess you would have been saying that about the french resistance in 1941.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.2

      1/3 of their water ? Really. So the Tibetans would keep it ? This is so silly. 1/2 hour ago its was half their water.
      Its only become your water once it crosses the border
      I suppose its Chinas oil as well and not belong to the Uighers

  14. coolas 14

    I’m saying China will never give up occupation of Tibet and the best way forward is a ‘one country two systems’ solution. Supporting the notion of a Tibet free of China is ignorant and perpetuates the suffering of the Tibetans.

    • Marty G 14.1

      how is it ignorant to support the notion of a free tibet?

      were the people of tibet ignorant when they had their own country before it was invaded?

      were they ignorant when they rose up in 2008?

      you just love authoritiarianism, like all the right.

      • Bob Stanforth 14.1.1

        LMFAO, that last line drew a snort of derision. And the left (in any country in the history of the world, like ever) has never provided an authoritarian let alone a totalitarian regime.


        I sense a Tui moment coming on.

        I have simple proof that you contention is wrong. You state *all* – my wife voted party act last election (piss poor choice of candidate, she finds Key loathsome etc etc), hey, dont blame me I married a red neck, go figure. Anyhoo. She also likes freedoms, protests at just about bloody anything. HATES authoritarianism with everything she is worth.

        Your contention is wrong. She is ‘of the right’. The exception that proves? I think not. I think a stupid statement that is meaningless, laughable and makes a mockery of your post.

        But there you go.

      • coolas 14.1.2

        Authoritarianism is equally loved by the Left if Mao and Lenin and Castro still qualify as Leftists and I’m intrigued the way you label me which is a fascist tendency.

        I’ve been to Tibet and seen the Han Chinese contempt for the locals, and soldiers walking around the Mandala the wrong way. Seen the vids of mass executions. I abhor the occupation of Tibet.

        I know it appears best politics on the left to remonstrate on behalf of a ‘Free Tibet,’ but my opinion is it’s better to come to a peaceful solution under the ‘one country two systems’ solution rather than see more Tibetans killed and the culture further destroyed, because China will destroy Tibet completely if need be.

        If Tibet can keep it’s culture and people in tact a time will come for liberation. Forcing it now could mean their doom.

        Yeah … I’m saying ‘know your enemy.’

        • Marty G

          what you’re saying is its better for an occupied people to live on their knees than risk dying on their feet. That line of logic sees us all lying down in the face of bullies

          • coolas

            Yeah I am saying that … better to survive on your knees than die on your feet … if it means fighting another day.

            If you support Tibetans taking up arms against the Chinese you’re naive and irresponsible. Safe for you, obliteration for them

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              They will never get their freedom , if they agree with you. Then again its easy for you to say, its not your culture and country you see as being occupied by a foreign people.

              The Irish were controlled by the English effectively from the 1600s , and yet it all changed because a few hundred in Dublin in 1916.

              If China, follows what apologists like you want and starts a brutal crackdown, then the sting of sanctions from the west might hurt more than you think

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.2

      Who would have thought there would have been an independent Ukraine.
      They were part of the Russian Empire for a lot longer than modern Tibet

      In fact part of the Russian far east was part of the Chinese Empire way back .

      Then of course the Manchus controlled China for a long time, how do they feel about their ‘lost’ sovereignty over the Han chinese.

      • felix 14.2.1

        Yeah it does offer a window into the underlying thought process of the right, doesn’t it?

        They’ve never been capable of factoring time into their equations.

  15. mike 15

    Norman looked like a prize muppet on the news tonight. The whinging little aussie cry baby tried to provoke and got a bit of press but its back fired on him badly. Even Trotter slagged him for being disrespectful!

    • Marty G 15.1

      trotter’s a racist old authoritarian

      • gingercrush 15.1.1

        Trotter may be a racist old authoritarian and some of his posts are absolutely bonkers, but one should never simply dismiss his opinions. No matter how crazy they may get on occasions.

        • RedLogix

          After all Trotter correctly predicted why the left would loose the 2008 election; that South Auckland would react to the S59 repeal and stay at home to punish Labour.

          Moreover Marty, I see you getting all heated when sk labelled you a ‘racist’ and you gave him a weeks ban, yet I see you have little compunction about abusively dishing out the exact same term yourself.

          Or using ‘manic depressive’ as a term of abuse. Hell I recall a long heated thread around here a while back where Whaleoil was given a whole lot more respect than that.

          Stinks badly of hypocrisy and something else nasty. Dissapointing. Maybe it’s just late at night and we should all get a decent nights sleep.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.2

      Trotters been kissing right wing arse for some time now.

      • Marty G 15.2.1

        he’s a manic depressive and he thinks the way for the left to win is to get back the conservative pakeha vote by attacking maori. he’s yesterday’s man and has no connections.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Exactly , I know a few ‘Waitakere men’ and they were Robs mob but had nowhere to go until a new ‘everyman’ type like just like Muldoon came along

  16. Justin Liu 16

    This kind of incident that happens all too frequently with the CCP and it’s kind of exasperating. China as it is right now is still very status or “face” conscious and on the thin-skinned side. I see this episode as more a reflection of these usual short-coming than a culturally arrogant way to bring state control and authoritarianism with it abroad as you perceive it.

    and while China does need to learn some tacit and be tolerant of protests, you’ve done your best to shout down any dissent here by taking anything anyone says and turning it into a hyperbole.

  17. Carol2 17

    “Carol2. Are you saying that we should allow Chinese security guards to manhandle one of our MPs because they’re a superpower?”

    That is not the point. My understanding is that they were unexpectedly provoked – a bit like blaming a bull for charging after waving a red rag.

    I understand that Keith Locke is the Greens foreign policy spokesperson. Why did Norman suddenly decide to do this ? Was he put up to it ?

    He normally plays a more restrained and intellectual role. For a party in coalition with Key’s government it looks strange, unless they are trying to distance themselves from it.

    • outofbed 17.1

      “For a party in coalition with Key’s government”
      If your Aunt had balls…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 17.2

      Sudden ? Its long been a Green Party issue

    • felix 17.3

      Actually, Aunty Carol, how when reacts when provoked is right at the nub of this issue.

      The Chinese security guys? Doing it wrong.

      • felix 17.3.1

        Oops, that’s a semantically null sentence. Should say “how one reacts…”.

  18. Carol2 18


  19. Carol2 19

    outofbed: “If your Aunt had balls ”

    To quote Pauline Hanson .. “Please Explain”

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      “For a party in coalition with Key’s government it looks strange, unless they are trying to distance themselves from it.”

      As it happens, the Greens are not in coalition with key’s government.

      Also, as it happens, one’s Aunt, generally speaking, does not have balls. If she did, she would be your uncle, and if the Greens were in a coalition with Key’s govt their actions might look strange.

  20. Tigger 20

    Protest was squashed under George W, ultimately you couldn’t even put anti-govt signs along his motorcade route,

    McCully’s words are a steer in they direction. It’s undemocratic and a dangerous path. Between this and the Bethune situation we’re subtly being told that any protest is wrong. The hypocrisy (‘mad cow’ signs on tractors anyone?) is breathtaking.

  21. Adrian 21

    Headline: ” Chamberlain Apologises to Hitler after Protest over Polish Annexation” .

  22. Carol2 22

    Pascal: thanks for the anatomy lesson. As it happens, I have a pretty ballsy aunt.

    • Bill 23.1

      That’s not fair Carol2.

      Your links undermine any liberal attempt to ‘white hat/black hat’ the situation…something that will not go down too well if previous comments on this thread are anything to go by.

      Tibet is not up for question. It must lie outside any reasonable analysis or comment concerning the actions of the member of the security detail…who may not even have been Chinese (there were non-Chinese personnel around too.)

      Seems to me, the rather precious and fairly disturbingly nationalistic reaction of some seems to be driven, at least in part, by an implicit acceptance that the Tibetan cause as vocalised by Russell Norman is a worthy one and beyond reproach (white hat) and therefore anti-Chinese (black hat) sentiments fully justified.

      Nobody has actually stated that as such, but the only stated rationale on offer so far has been that parliament is somehow sacrosanct…what that might mean in practice and any explanation of that sentiment/belief haven’t been explained though. Just stated as somehow established.

      Meanwhile, I can’t recall any extra outrage being expressed over any behaviour within parliament (punch ups or what not) based on the fact that it occurred within parliament as opposed to elsewhere.

      I suppose if the security guard turns out to have been a Kiwi, then everything will be deemed to have been okay?

      Wonder what actions a foreign security detail are allowed to take in the minds of some? Reasonable force? No force? They to be subjected to an invisible line in the sand drawn by whoever regards their reactions/behaviours?

      It’s been interesting and educational. Thanks all.

  23. Carol2 24

    Not fair, Bill ? That was the whole point. The issue can’t be reduced to stereotypes once you have a broader appreciation of its history.

    I like your suggestion that the security guard might have been a local with Chinese background.

    Parliament undoubtedly has had its share of bunfights, but some of its security measures strike me as extreme. I once had reason to use the parliamentary WC, only to find 10 or 20 from parliamentary security standing in a row outside waiting for me to come out. Intimidating.

    Those who guard dignitaries, however, have to fear the worst.

    • Bill 24.1

      The ‘that’s not fair’ comment was meant to be understood as dripping irony.

      The thread has repeatedly iterated that context is beside the point…a distraction. I’ve stated why I believe some are compelled to see that as a preferred approach.

      Take away any implicit ‘white hat/black hat’ dichotomy and a fairly nasty nationalistic vitriol is left squirming naked in the sun.

  24. Carol2 25


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