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Geddis on Key’s guts

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, September 7th, 2015 - 10 comments
Categories: Ethics, human rights, john key, Syria, war - Tags: , ,

A very strong piece by Andrew Geddis last week, especially for the extensive and damning quotes from Key.

Guts, guts, got no guts

New Zealand is a country that stands up for its values – unless it involves the inconvenience of bringing a few more desperate people into New Zealand for a new life.

When it comes to sending other people to fight:

Back in February of this year, the House debated a Prime Ministerial statement on New Zealand’s contribution of some 143 military personnel to help combat ISIS in Iraq. … John Key justified the National Government’s decision in this way:

New Zealand is a country that stands up for its values. We stand up for what is right. We have an obligation to support stability and the rule of law internationally. We do not shy away from taking our share of the burden when the international rules-based system is threatened, as it is today.

Gerry Brownlee was dismissive of those who questioned the likely effectiveness of New Zealand’s contribution, emphasising that no matter how small it may be it remains our moral duty to act:

People over there can say: “What difference does it make?”, yet I know that in other circumstances, they will come in here and talk, in all number of other cases, about how one person can make a difference. Well, what we are doing here is simply sticking our hand up and saying: “We want to get rid of this. We do not see it as being legitimate.”

… John Key returned to have the last word in the discussion by using words that have become somewhat well known.

I will not—will not—stand by while Jordanian pilots are burnt to death, when kids execute soldiers, and when people are out there being beheaded. I am sorry, but this is the time to stand up and be counted. Get some guts and join the right side.

Fine words indeed, acknowledging an obligation to act despite our small size. But when it comes to refugees:

So where is our moral leadership now? Apparently buried deep beneath an abundance of risk-averse caution. John Key told Radio NZ:

Everyone accepts the enormity of the challenge of what’s taking place, but New Zealand can pride itself on the fact that it’s one of the countries that’s consistently taken refugees for a long period of time. There are quite a few countries that don’t take refugees.

If we were ever going to increase that number, I’d have to be convinced that we can make sure we can give the same level of service. Because I think you do a disservice to people if you just bring them in and literally just half dump them on the street.

We will have a review in 2016. We will assess our capacity and capability and whether we think it’s right to keep it at 750 or change it, and we will make the call.

To which I really have only one thing to say. Get some guts and join the right side.

Thank you Andrew Geddis. Go read the whole piece on Pundit.

10 comments on “Geddis on Key’s guts ”

  1. cogito 1

    Good post.

    Key does not care one jot about “what is right”, only about what keeps up his membership of whatever Club he wants to belong to, and what keeps his critics at bay. The lives of Jordanian pilots and countless others are meaningless unless they tick those boxes for him.

  2. Stephen Dickson 2

    Interesting that liar key worries about some beheadings but not others. I suppose it depends on who is being bribed this week?

  3. linda 4

    May be now john key. Can feed and house. New zealanders
    With 305 thousand nz kids in poverty. It will. Be good to see john key in action

  4. Johan 5

    Key only sees things in numbers. If each of these refugees has $1 million in their bank account, they would be here in New Zealand tomorrow.

    • mary_a 5.1

      @ Johan (5) – bet that will be the major question asked which will be asked before being processed for NZ!

  5. cogito 6

    Would be good if the extra GST the govt will get from taxing online shopping from overseas was allocated to assisting refugees.

  6. aerobubble 7

    If you have no compassion when young you have no heart, if you have no love of freedom in old age no brain. Loving the rich at anytime, you have no soul.

    The right loves liberty, the left cooperation, but the neo-lib hates both putting growth above all else, means liberty is ignored and co-operation assumed.

    Key is a neo-liberal, our liberty is the liberty of refugees, our humanity is the humanity of refugees, yet Key asures us he is protecting our liberty aka tax revenue and has our co-operation assumed.

  7. Freedz101 8

    Great piece! Truly shows how much John Key contradicts himself. This is truly disappointing to see John Key not having the guts to pull his weight and help with the refugee crisis as much as he should. This has been an ongoing issue and the urge to increase the the intake has not only been around this year. He has had enough time to review the plan to increase the intake of refugees permanently, yet his priority and efforts are going towards the flag? and let’s not forget his plan to change the design of the New Zealand currency. All these changes, which are not important at all as much as the lives of others are going to cost millions. This can be going towards bringing in refugees, increasing the resources and services, providing much more resources towards resettlement programmes which help refugees with housing without the assistance from government. Certain organisation, such as red cross assist refugees with settling in NZ, guiding them when they seek for jobs and education.

    There are only 5 cities where refugees are being resettled to in New Zealand and not many known places where refugees can get the support that they need. We do definitely need to take in more refugees as this is an emergency crisis and delaying any further assistance will put more innocent lives in danger. While the numbers should be increased, there should also be aid sent to Syria and other countries dealing with such tragedies where people are being displaced. We must take in people and help rebuild the country they once called home and we must increase the resources in our own country to help refugees settle in here with much more comfort. Some may say that it is not our duty, but it is what I call showing signs of humanity, which I believe the world is severely lacking in sadly.

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