Peters ought to stop playing the race card

Written By: - Date published: 1:59 pm, February 11th, 2008 - 35 comments
Categories: nz first - Tags:

Winston Peters vexes me. He has a long list of worthy achievements, including free doctor visits for under sixes and crippling the last National government when it tried to sell Wellington Airport. He has also fought for ordinary kiwis against corporate might and those who would flog our assets to foreign owners.

Unfortunately, mixed with economic nationalism is anti-immigrant prejudice. On Breakfast this morning he argued the mid-air stabbing of two pilots by a mentally unstable woman was the fault of our refugee policy because she happened to be Somali, and we should re-examine whether we want Somalis refugees here.

Two responses:

1) There are many people who are mentally unstable and believe that society or the government is out to get them (many voice themselves here). This woman happened to be a traumatised Somali refugee; it could as easily have been a Paheka man who lost his job or a Maori woman whose business went bust.

2) As a prosperous country we have accepted a moral and legal duty to provide a home to 750 UNHCR refugees a year. We cannot pick and choose of the refugees we take for their ethnicity or mental state or skills. Some refugees will be traumatised and unstable. It is our human duty to help them.

Peters shames himself by using these events to appeal to xenophobia.

(over at blogblog they report that Paul Henry, who lost the then safe National seat of Wairarapa to Georgina Beyer in 1999, was just as bad later in the show when he interviewed the PM.)

35 comments on “Peters ought to stop playing the race card”

  1. Santi 1

    Are you talking about the Minister of Foreign Affairs of YOUR government and distinguished statesman of long parliamentary career?

    The poodle Peters appears to have reached a deal with the Labour Party, by which they support each other at critical times (for example, the passing of the EFB).

    The phrase “baubles of office” comes to mind.

    [lprent: Read the About page. I gather that a number of the posters here are actually green supporters, who are not in government. Some of my opinions on economics would make Act look like wimp’s – my background is in science and management. Whacking a label on people and expecting them to act like automata is a sign of a weak mind.]

  2. BeShakey 2

    “…it could as easily have been a Paheka man who lost his job or a Maori woman whose business went bust.”

    I disagree with this bit. The trauma experienced by this woman far exceeds losing a job or having a business go bust (not to ignore the effects of those, but living in a war zone, seperated from family, then raped is a world away). The issue is, whether we as NZers only want to help refugees who need our help a little, while refusing to help those who need it a lot.

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    Santi. The Standard is not aligned to any party. So, no, I have no problem criticising Peters or anyone when I disagree with them whether they are part of the government or not. You would have noticed for instance last week that even the writers of the Standard had differing opinions around how wages should be increased.

    Oh and NZF does have “a deal with the Labour Party, by which they support each other at critical times” it’s called the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

  4. Historian 4

    Santi

    There is nothing to stop National, at any time, announcing that they would not accept such an arrangement with Winston Peters. But just as Don Brash tried to do a deal with NZ First and the Maori Party after the 2005 election, John Key knows full well that he would accept Winston as Foreign Minister in an instant, if that was the price of power. In fact, he has said so.

    At least Peters is not in charge of the nation’s economy. Only National were willing to give him that. Clark refused.

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    BeShakey. Yes, her experiences were worse than those hypotheticals, but the point is that people could become mentally unstable or feel the world is against them for many reasons.

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    but the point is that people could become mentally unstable or feel the world is against them for many reasons.

    We’ll have to deport emos soon 😉

  7. And pretty much the entire kiwiblog right…

    [lprent: and they’re not monolithic either ‘sod. Well maybe RedBaiter]

  8. Billy 8

    That’s right ‘sod. Anyone who doesn’t think like you is mentally unstable. No other possible explanation.

  9. Um Billy, I’m not the loon throwing bricks through office windows or complaining that I’m living in a communist state.

  10. Seamonkey Madness 10

    “It is our human duty to help them.”

    Indeed it is, I agree.
    But what happens when your offers of help and support get thanked in this way.

    “Can the Minister explain why we have a fistful of letters of complaint that have never been acted on by his department, and will his investigation of Asha Ali Abdille deal with her treatment of staff at the Red Cross in Wellington and Christchurch, which involved threatening to pour petrol on one person and spitting in another receptionist’s face, and the bizarre circumstances at the Hastings police station in which she threw a bucket of faeces over a constable.”

    So what do you do when you get it all thrown back in your face this way? Turn the other cheek? What if that has got feaces on it already?

    Cross-quoting from KBB: what would you do if the neighbours kids you had taken in started spitting at you, abusing you, throwing feaces at you? Then to top it off, you’re taking them to school in the car with your kids and all of a sudden stab you and threaten to kill you if you don’t take them to McDonalds.

    I would kick the little shits out! (or hand them to CYFS, where they would possibly get abused and turn out to be a great member of society when they grow up.)

    Captcha = about ANNETTE!!

  11. Billy 11

    Yeah, you’re right. No-one on the left is a lunatic.

    http://capitalismbad.blogspot.com/2006/07/beautiful-boy.html

    Can we have a whip around to deport Maia?

  12. Billy 12

    Lyn said:

    “Some of my opinions on economics would make Act look like wimp’s”

    I will forgive the misplaced apostrophe, and am willing to revise my opinion of you. Tell me more.

  13. East Wellington Superhero 13

    I saw the Paul Henry’s interview. Wasn’t that bad. Gee. You can’t expect people to be nice to her just because she’s the PM. Furthermore, even IF he was biased, it hardly compares to the partiality of some RNZ reporting.

    I largely agree with you on the mental health side of it. You can’t just get rid of them because of poor health.

    Henry had a good point though. Do we expect people coming to out society to adopt our values? Equality before the law, religous freedom, freedom of association and respect for property right. Or, do we allow it to come to the point where, for example, Sharia Law is established in ghettoised parts of our cities – as it IS happening in other parts of the world.

    Actually, here’s the question I want you to answer – If, after a change in demographics, a majority of NZers wanted Sharia Law, would you be opposed to that? Would you fight to defend Western values?

    This is a genuine problem that NZ has to face. It is not serious yet but it will be one day. What is the Labour’s repsonse to the problematic result of so-called multiculturalism? Nothing. It can’t respond because Labour gets mileage by playing this different type of race card – painting National, or anyone else, that mentions this issue as a racist or xenophobe.

  14. Historian 14

    Yes, I’m sure one lone, demented woman in our midst is a precursor to Sharia Law.

    Try to get out more.

  15. East Wellington Superhero 15

    Actually clever clogs, I’m refering to the content of Paul Henry’s questioning of Helen Clark – which is what this post was talking about.

    Furthermore, you’ve just proved the point I made above: Instead of answering the question and dealing with the issue, you just tried to portray me as a racist, or a loser.

    Nice one.

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    If, after a change in demographics, a majority of NZers wanted Sharia Law, would you be opposed to that? Would you fight to defend Western values?

    EWS, I would fight (mentally, not phycically!), and probably be very activist because I don’t feel Sharia law is relevant in modern society – but if that’s what a majority of New Zealanders voted for then I would have to realise I was in the minority.

    Your line of questioning is very reminicent of Israeli policy, however. They refuse to give rights to the Palestinian people because that would change the “Jewish” (I prefer Militant Fascist, but that’s another kettle of fish) nature of the state.

    This is, in of itself, a combination of racial profiling, social engineering and xenophobia (please ignore the negative connotations of the latter – I mean it simply as a dislike of “different” values) – is that a path you wish our country to embark upon?

    To answer your question, albeit very idealistically, I would hope that we can adopt the better parts of other cultures – their customes, music, cuisine, traditions and so on, that add value to our society, whilst I would hope migrants are given the opportunity to do the same and adapt to their new home.

    To do that, refugees and migrants need support, compassion and openness – not an inquisition and a ostracisation (I’m not sure the last word is a word and can’t be bothered onelook-ing).

  17. Historian 17

    What issue? One you’ve invented? What’s to answer?

    Provide evidence that there is a problem that “New Zealand has to face”. Otherwise it’s just “if my auntie had bollocks …” I’m not here to help with figments of your imagination, there are enough real issues out there to deal with.

  18. Phil 18

    If I were the one making the final decision on this – she’d be on the next boat back to Somalia (no more Aircraft for you lady…)

    We have an obligation to provide refuge to those of other nations that need it, and the appropriate health services to help them through what are clearly traumatic events.
    But, IF those services are provided, the refugee has an obligation to remain within the confines of the laws that exist here. Break those laws and we send you packing.

  19. Ben R 19

    Last year security guards were appointed to the Newtown Flats & the residents actually supported Black Power who protected them:

    “Ms Taylor-Kerr said most residents supported Black Power.

    “We protect this place from outsiders, like the Mongrel Mob or the Somali gangs.” http://uk.blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-KY.mr1I2aaOutqRvr.nwHmk-?cq=1&p=609

    Unfortunately, overseas experience suggests that Somali gang problems aren’t uncommon.

    “the easy answer for some is to adopt a readily available, aggressive street persona, largely based on “gangsta rap” culture.

    “I think many of these young people try to find a group they can ally with,” says Dr McDowell. “Gangsta culture provides that identity because it’s about male power, is about making people scared and it seems that some Somali boys gravitate towards it because it allows them to be in control.”

    http://www.australian-news.com.au/Ethnic_crime_African.htm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5029390.stm

  20. Murray 20

    To quote Theodore Dalyrymple, “immigrants have enriched our culture, will enrich our culture, but they should do so by addition, not division or subtraction”. Personally I think we should send the nutty bitch back to where she came from. You know, a bit like Turia wants to do with all us whities.

  21. Jeez Muz, “Dalyrymple”? You must be some kinda intullectual or something. (I’m gonna go with “something”).

  22. Personally I think we should send the nutty bitch back to where she came from.

    Good luck trying to get elected on a platform of withdrawing from the UN Convention on Refugees.

  23. Seamonkey Madness 23

    PM,

    I think Murray would, given that just because of this one crazy Somali, we might have to go through metal detectors on flights between Picton and Paraparaumu.

    A pity it is the one of many ruining it for the rest of us.
    I concur with Phil: send her on a slow boat back to Somalia.

  24. Phil 24

    There’s a big difference between sending her home, and not letting her into the country in the first place… I credit you as being smarter than that, Milt

  25. I took Murray’s “we should send the nutty bitch back to where she came from” to be fairly unequivocal about which of the two he meant, Phil.

    In any case, how exactly would not letting her into the country in the first place work? Picture it:

    “We have reason to believe you have been subjected to potentially mentally destabilising trauma in the country you’re fleeing from, so we’re going to have to deny you refugee status.”

    It certainly would solve our refugee problem, but remaining a signatory to the convention under those circumstances would be a bit tricky.

  26. Seamonkey Madness: it’s not because of a deranged Somali that we’re now facing security bullshit in domestic airports. It’s because of dumbass journo scum, and dumber-ass opportunist politicians – please sheet the blame home where it best belongs.

  27. PM – you’ve got to understand bro, SMM and his ilk only understand personal responsibility in terms of those it can be imposed on.

  28. Seamonkey Madness 28

    Robinsod,
    You have soooo got the wrong end of the stick on this one. If I had been on that flight, I would have made it my personal responsiblity to lay the smackdown on the fattest Somalian I have ever laid eyes on.

    PM,
    You’re not getting the argument either. I’m not saying ‘no refugees’. I’m saying if, within a certain time period, a refugee has failed to integrate sufficiently into the society which the UN has dumped them in (i.e. abused Red Cross workers, police, MotP), then they are free to bloody take refuge somewhere else. In this case: she wanted to go to Australia, let her go!

    “it’s not because of a deranged Somali that we’re now facing security bullshit in domestic airports. It’s because of dumbass journo scum, and dumber-ass opportunist politicians…”

    Shit, you could have fooled me!
    I swear it was a fat, insane Somalian woman being escorted off the plane, not Peter Dunne, Colin Espiner, Winston Peters or Audrey Young.
    😉

  29. The fat insane Somali “caused” only a dangerous altercation on an aeroplane, for which she’s been arrested. This one-off incident has no bearing on security at our domestic airports, until journo scum decide to beat it up, and opportunist politicians feel pressured into acting. These are the stupid fucks who will “cause” unpleasant bullshit security measures to be put in place in our airports, not the one who’s been arrested.

  30. Seamonkey Madness 30

    Fair enough PM.
    But we take shit-for-brains hype media and opportunistic scum pollies as par for the course in NZ (or anywhere really). But not a crazy, knife-wielding, blubberguts refugee who decides to do something stupid.

    We can’t deport the media and MPs (however much we would want to) but we can deport troublesome UN-appointed refugees. (Okay, well we can’t, but in a “perfect world”, I daresay we would like to.)

    I think we agree on these points though: Asha Ali Abdille is fat, crazy, a danger to herself & others and came from Somalia.

  31. Matthew Pilott 31

    OK SMM, you’re all about Personal Responsibility and Choice.

    Let me ask you:

    Did Abdille choose to be born in Somalia?

    Did she choose to be involved in a large scale civil unrest and war?

    Did she choose to be a refugee?

    Did she choose to be suceptable to mental illness as a result of her experiences?

    If the answer to any or all of the above is a “no”, can I ask you Personally Choose to piss off, or refrain from making obnoxious and facile comments.

    Cheers.

  32. Phil 32

    Matthew;

    New Zealand does have an obligation to help out nations less fortunate than ourselves – on that I think we all (almost all) agree.

    However, it is clearly the view of some of us, myself included, that those refugess lucky enough to arrive on our doorstep, have an equally significant obligation to remain within the confines of the law. If they choose to step utside those laws (ie; been found guilty of criminal activity) I fully condone an immediate deportation.

    While SMM may have put that point across in a crude manner, the conceptual underpinnings of the view are neither obnoxious or facile.

  33. Matthew Pilott 33

    Phil, I agree there to some extent.

    I suspect where we differ is in where the failure lies – in accepting refugees, we must realise that they are, by definition, people with troubled backgrounds and are likely to have more difficulty adapting. More so when contrasted with voluntary immigrants from stable nations.

    To instantly call for deportation is to accept our failure to assist with integration and/or assimilation, and is also often an effective sentance of rape, torture, deprivation or death, given the state of the various nations from which we accept refugees.

    Our energies could be better spent on assessing how we treat refugees, rather than forming lynch mobs.

  34. Phil, look up the Convention we signed, and check out Article 33. We don’t get to deport refugees back to be tortured, raped and murdered just because they commit crimes here. Having accepted them as refugees, we are now responsible for them. Much as you might personally wish to send them back, that’s not a legal option.

    Unless National would like to campaign on withdrawing from the Convention? Would certainly pull votes out from under Winston, but overall, really not a good look.

  35. Seamonkey Madness 35

    PM,

    When does a person stop being a refugee?
    Is it when they apply for residency?

    Forgive me for being ignorant (as I am sure you’ve assumed I am by now), but is Asha Ali Abdille a NZ resident?
    If so, can’t she just save up and move to Australia like any other person? I mean, she could afford a flight to Chch, its not that much more expensive to fly across the ditch. (yes, and all the other associated costs of moving…)

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