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Some are more equal than others

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, April 14th, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: activism, democracy under attack, democratic participation, law and "order" - Tags:

They took away work rights to suit Warners. Now, they’re spending a fortune deploying the Police, the Air Force, and the Navy to defend Petrobras from people in dinghies.

Next time some righties are protesting in Queen St, will the government call out an army LAV to clear a path for my car so I can go about my lawful business without being blocked by protesters?

Or do only foreign multinationals have this government at their beck and call? And is our right to peaceful protest forfeit when big money talks?

41 comments on “Some are more equal than others ”

  1. Shane Gallagher 1

    Where will this government stop with its abuses of democracy?

  2. Steve Withers 2

    Shane: They won’t stop while Colmar-Brunton has them on 54% support in their poll. Even remembering that C-B typically gives National 6%-8% too much through over-sampling conservative areas (unless we’re within weeks of an election), National’s support is still quite high. It seems to me that many Kiwis either don’t understand the issue or don’t care…(probably both). 

    National’s approach appears to be consistent with that of conservative elites in the US, probably best expressed by this quote attributed to George W Bush’s brother, Jeb: 

    “The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can’t deposit the truth in a bank. You can’t buy groceries with the truth. You can’t pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another thing coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don’t have any money.”
    – Jeb Bush

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Lynn – I wonder if you should put some sort of checking in place with the Bold tag, that counts the total % of words that are in bold and complains or strips the tags before submission.

      • Steve Withers 2.1.1

        Lanthanide: I don’t use bold often, but I do use it when I feel it is appropriate. In this case I was just trying to make it more visually coherent as the default mode left the quote looking flat and difficult to distinguish from my comments.

        I’d be interested in Lynn’s view and will be guided by it. I don’t want people to get annoyed by trivial issues. There are so many much larger things to get annoyed by! 🙂

        • toad

          Try blockquote Steve – much easier on the eye for large chunks of text.

        • lprent

          Yeah, the block quote or italics are the best.

          One of the weird things about bold is that it is actually harder to read.

          It’d be easy to fix the problem of over use though. I can just turn it off of the user interface in a couple of seconds (and maybe put in an alternate like selected font sizes)

    • RobertM 2.2

      Shows Jeb and the Bush families are pygmies. But McCain is an even greater fibber.
      The greatest politicians do tell half the truth- Churchill, Hitler, Reagan, Lenin. They distort it through a prism and use it as a weapon.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Now, they’re spending a fortune deploying the Police, the Air Force, and the Navy to defend Petrobras from people in dinghies.

    The “people in dinghies” are putting their own lives at risk with the actions they’re taking of deliberately getting in front of the other ships (and breaking maritime law in the process). This in turn would cost money and risk other people’s lives in rescuing them. The same logic was used to prevent people entering the Pike River mine and is currently being used to prevent people entering damaged buildings in CHCH.

    Personally I think people should be able to summarily waive their rights to rescue if they are willing to take risks to their lives. But unfortunately such systems do not exist in NZ.

    • prism 3.1

      About protesters.  As far as the protesters against oil drilling and exploration are concernd we who sit on our bottoms salute them (I do anyway).  People at sea put themselves in harm’s way all the time.  Small boats may get run over by big ones on self-pilot.   The sea can coldly flip your boat and take you.  We try and help both the feckless lightweight boaties and the serious sailors.   We can’t interfere with protest because there might be some problem to them, but of course there is big money involved which tends to swamp ideals of citizenship.

      Shane Ardern drove his tractor up Parliament’s steps and probably caused damage.  He was making a silly protest about trying to reduce methane from cows.  He was allowed to make his assault on Parliament’s steps and on the convention of politicians holding Parliament in respect.

      I think people should be able to sign a document confirming they have read it, which would explain that they are proceeding in a dangerous area despite being advised against it.  They might have to make some contribution according to their means, to the costs of rescuing them if needed.  They won’t be cut off from forms of support because of the dangerous action, ie still get ACC,  hospital.
      This would apply in Christchurch where people would be advised of the safest areas to visit then monitored during their time there.   It would have allowed Pike River families to seize a window of opportunity when gas levels were not likely to produce explosions.

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        Thanks prism – I too salute the courage of people to stand up for what they believe in.  Lanth is right, sending in the armed forces is all about money, but it ain’t about the money it might cost to possibly rescue someone if they by some chance needed it…

  4. higherstandard 4

    Aren’t they just doing 2D and 3D seismic surveying at present ?

    I support GreenP’s right to protest but not when it infringes a company going about their business in an ethical and legal way.

    • lprent 4.1

      From what I can gather, much of the reason that there are protesters out there is more due to the governments low ethics and marginally legal approach to getting the permits through for the company. Of course with Brownlee being involved, it could have just been simple incompetence rather than deliberate.

      Do you support the government acting unethically as well?

      • higherstandard 4.1.1

        Bullshit the protestors are there because they don’t like oil.

        • lprent

          Not according to the protesters from local Maori that I was listening to on nine to noon yesterday morning. Nor according to the minister (Parata) who was saying that the process wasn’t well handled.

          I gather that was the impetus that made this survey permit the focus rather than one of the many others.

          But I guess you heard ‘greenpeace’ and your intellect shut down? It seems to me that is your reaction to them.

      • grumpy 4.1.2

        Nah, they are there because that’s what Greenpeace does, soft targets and a lot of media whining.  It’s not that they are real protesters anyway – when the going gets tough (against the Japanese whalers for example), they hide in port and leave it to Sea Shepherd.

        All to rake in the donations baby…..

        • south paw

          Green Peace  – cowardly and whining?:

          “Two Greenpeace activists known as The Tokyo Two were convicted after having exposed a whale-meat embezzelment scandal there and we are currently involved in an appeal process.”

          “Our radiation monitoring teams have discovered high levels of contamination in crops grown on the outskirts of Minamisoma city in Japan.”

          And Sea Shepherd accepts donations too.

      • RobertM 4.1.3

        But surely there’s a legal right to drill in the exclusive economic zone. Its concern about the Grey Lynn and Herne Bay liberals vote that is stopping Collins, Mapp, English and Key ordering the HMNZS Pukaki or other naval vessels to escort Greenpeace and the crew back to Auckland .
        If we have economic rights in the EEZ, NZ must have the full legal right to stop any interference with offshore exploration. International Law to a significant degree is created by the will to enforce occupation and use as Iceland demonstrated in the development of 200 mile economic zones.
        I’m not a great fan of greenpeace, because I believe coal and oil are an important part of NZs future and greenpeaces opposition to using real physical force means it is only effective against weak nations and over liberal democracies. Sea Shepherd in contrast are immensely desirable acting to conserve fish and whale stocks and prepared to do whatever is required. Watson and the Steve Irwin sail in grand tradition of the Royal navy’s great pirate admirals, Drake, Morgan and Raleigh. They sail in defence of the interests of the west. I see Greenpeace doing the opposite.
        Ultimately Labour will have to show at least as much support for coal and oil mining as did Clark.

        • wtl

          So basically you support disproportionate force being used against protests, as long as they are protests you don’t agree with?

    • Bright Red 4.2

      “I support GreenP’s right to protest but not when it infringes a company going about their business in an ethical and legal way.”
      so, you do support deploying a LAV to clear a path through rightwing protesters for Zet?

      • higherstandard 4.2.1

        “so, you do support deploying a LAV to clear a path through rightwing protesters for Zet?”

        No, but I would support the police removing them if they’re purposefully blocking his legal activities over a prolonged period.

        • Bright Red

          “I would support the police removing them if they’re purposefully blocking his legal activities over a prolonged period.”
          oh, now we’re down tot he hair-splitting!
          OK, obviously a protest on Queen St is purposefully blocking others’ legal activities. So it is just a question of time for you.
          How long may a protest be in my way before the armed froces should be called in to clear it? Is it a longer or shorter period if I’m a multinational corporation?

          • higherstandard

            BR as an e.g.

            Protest marching down Queen St and then having a rally in Aotea Square or britomart fine. 

            Protest marching down Queen St and staging a sit in on the street or entering shops and making pricks of them selves not fine.

            • Bright Red

              so, you would have opposed the nuclear-free protests and the springbok tour protests and the uni fee occupations.

              • higherstandard

                No I opposed the protestors occupying the field in Waikato, staging running battles with the police and dropping flour bombs from low flying airplanes.

                And my stance is similar for the other two examples you have proffered.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You do understand that the whole point of protest is to cause a disruption?

          • south paw

            Right wingers / conservatives don’t understand the concept because they are nearly always on the wrong side of it. Whether it was women asserting their right to vote or ending the racist white South African regime and its support from the West.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Pretty much.

              Which is why I was unsurprised by the failure of even 1 EFA opponent to just flagrantly break the law and dare the government to arrest them over it. There were a few little toss-potty badges put on blogs, and some t-shirts, but nothing actually confrontational.

              And that was an issue that had them all het up and talking about their freedom as if they cared about it, and putting up pictures of despots and generally carrying on. 

              All just play acting.

              1 full page ad in the Herald saying “Don’t vote Labour The EFA sucks” and I might’ve thought they were serious.

              As it was, the only polling I saw said that the issue was well beneath the radar. Something less than 10% thought it was a serious issue. Probably because the most vocal opponents of it were shouting and marching in their snazzy Hit1er suits, but not prepared to do anything more. It was a laff is all.

              1 ad, from 1 person and it would have been an actual story, rather than just a story actually.

          • higherstandard

            Yes – So why do protestors have a cry when they get arrested ?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Usually because the police are breaking the law and/or being their usual repressive selves.

  5. Big Bruv 5

    Drill baby drill!

    • grumpy 5.1

      Dunno who makes the most money out of this, the oil company or the Greenpeace donation industry.

      • south paw 5.1.1

        You going to back up your claims with any evidence about the Greenpeace “donation industry”?

  6. infused 6

    That’s what you get when retards put themselves in front of boats.

  7. vto 7

    So has anyone in NZ’s increasingly authoritarian government explained why the military was used in a civil matter?

  8. south paw 8

    We know what you get when retards allow deep sea drilling.

  9. vto 9

    The government in New Zealand, as I keep ranting on about time and time again, simply has too much power.

    Too much power.

    Too much power.

    Too much power is deadly. It has been proven time and again through history. Which party will pull that power back?? Ay? Ay? Vote Them Out. Out.

    Give the power back to the people.

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