The more things change

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 pm, June 21st, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

C. Colin Espiner (today):

And it’s not appropriate for a politician to be a protester, either.

Russel needs to choose, just as his colleagues have done. Sue Bradford was a veteran activist and protester, but she put down the megaphone during her years in Parliament.

NZ Herald (2000):

Possibly the last thing New Zealand needs right now is for one of its MPs to be on the CNN satellite news service as a voice of the protests outside the World Economic Forum at Melbourne.

Sue Bradford, as New Zealanders know, is well accustomed to the role of speaking for street protests. But those around the world who caught her comments on television yesterday would have noted only that she was a member of New Zealand’s Parliament. She and her Green Party colleague Nandor Tanczos ought to have considered their position as MPs before they went to join the melee in Melbourne.

I guess there are two things we can take from this:

one: Despite his flash new job Colin can’t even get basic facts right in his “specialty” subject.

two: The establishment media have always put trade ahead of freedom of speech.

33 comments on “The more things change”

  1. Tigger 1

    Did he say any of this when Nats were driving tractors up Parliament step and waving those vile ‘mad cow’ placards?

    • Fred 1.1

      Mad cow placards v2.0 coming to NZ parliament steps tomorrow Tuesday 22nd

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      Espiner mentioned the Ardern tractor protest in his ‘final’ column. Go figure

  2. logie97 2

    Given Smile and Wave doesn’t appear to have a point of view about the plight of Tibetans, and couldn’t recall having a position on the ’81 tour, I think we can anticipate that he will welcome the 1981 Springbok Old Boys next year. (What are the odds he will apologise to them as well.) Watch this space.

    • His statement about the Springbok tour convinced me that he was and is a liar. I can remember with exquisite detail the dates of different games, protests, meetings that I attended and the colours of various squads of police officers who brutalised protesters. I can recall clearly the test matches, especially the Auckland one, the flour bombing of the field and the bashing of the clowns.

      For John to not remember this suggests one of the following:

      1. His memory is severely deficient. He should seek IHC assistance immediately.
      2. He spent 1981 in a cave in a foreign country without access to any media.
      3. He is lying.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Or, actually, none of the 3 options you’ve listed, and he just genuinely doesn’t remember because he wasn’t much interested in it at the time.

  3. American Gardener 3

    This isn’t really about trade versus freedom of speech : its about politicians maintaining respect for the position by not bringing it into ill repute. That means no Groser’s draining the mini bar at the taxpayers expense, no Jones watching porn on the company credit card and no protesting while an MP. If Norman wants to protest he should resign or wait till he is out of parliament.

    • Macro 3.1

      Absolute tosh! The reputation of Parliament was enhanced! Those thugs from China need to be told we don’t agree with their lack of human rights and the only one doing it, it seems, was Russel.

    • Matt 3.2

      How is being an MP contrary to taking part in a protest?? I am amazed its even being questioned, as long as he is not grossly breaking the law (I get the impression from one of the Standard writers that legality gets bendy when police deal with protesters) and he isn’t breaching cabinet responsibility its fine. In fact, considering his and his party’s position on the issue I’d be pretty disappointed if he wasn’t protesting. Geez, get off the pompous ill informedness and do some research about what representative democracy is all about.

  4. it’s not appropriate for a politician to be a protester

    WTF!? what a cock. Espiner should be ashamed of himself.

    This isn’t really about trade versus freedom of speech

    No, actually that’s exactly what this is about, and it’s exactly why corporate media are so keen to villify Norman over this (and anything else he might do that could reduce their profits).

  5. American Gardener 5

    Politicians have access to channels of communication ordinary people don’t. It is uneccessary and rather egotistical for them to protest. No doubt for Green and Maori MP’s it is mana building to protest but it is very tacky.

    • spoken like a true bourgeoise twat

      • IrishBill 5.1.1

        They do have channels ordinary people don’t. In this case Norman was able to protest where ordinary people couldn’t. If you think he would have had a chance for a more formal channel of communication you are wrong.

    • Macro 5.2

      “Politicians have access to channels of communication ordinary people don’t.”

      I wonder when the Chinese delegation were going to call on the Greens?

      “No doubt for Green and Maori MP’s it is mana building to protest but it is very tacky.

      The illegal occupation of Tibet by China is more than “Tacky” – but I guess you don’t care about that.

  6. American Gardener 6

    I would happy to see an entire army of greens protesting about Tibet but Russell has a position to uphold, he needs to act in a dignified manner.

    • Marty G 6.1

      like Shane Ardern and Bill English riding myrtle the tractor up Parliament’s steps and holding a sign saying ‘the mad cow shouldn’t have signed’?

      very dignified

      what about Key dancing at the big gay out or singing on the edge, or lying on TV about his Tranzrail shares or talking about his vasectomy? Dignified?

      Or is it only undignified when it’s your political opponents doing it?

      • American Gardener 6.1.1

        No Shane Ardern & Bill English were equally guilty of disrespecting the office they hold.

    • Puddleglum 6.2

      Is there something undignified about protesting?

      Or are there just certain kinds of protesting you find undignified?

      And, therefore, are you saying that the “entire army of greens” that you are keen to see protesting about Tibet would be acting in an undignified manner by doing you this service? (Or, that they wouldn’t be acting in an undignified manner because they aren’t MPs?)

  7. American Gardener 7

    I would happy to see an entire army of greens protesting about Tibet but Russell has a position to uphold, he needs to act in a dignified manner.

  8. tc 8

    Geez this is just sad…watching our ‘punch above our weight’ reputation been tossed on the fire for the sake of some shonky alliance or whatever with a nation that can’t be trusted.

    Nice to see the msm monkeys are doing their chimply best for the gov’t rather than pay attention to history/the facts/etc…..what do you expect from an Espiner anyway they are both featherweights.

  9. Fred 9

    I do find it slightly ironic that a Green MP is standing up for democratic rights when the eco-fascists such as James Lovelock are calling for a “suspension of democracy” to combat the “climate crisis”

    • Marty G 9.1

      why? James Lovelock doesn’t speak for the Green Party

      By your logic, I should damn Key on the basis of what Glenn Beck says.

      • American Gardener 9.1.1

        James Lovelock seems rather more qualified and less mentally unhinged than Glenn Beck.

  10. Marty G 10

    irish mate, did you realise this is the third post we’ve had titled ‘the more things change’? – very subtle irony. nice

  11. WOOF 11

    Woof! I think the guy’s barking mad 👿 How could be be so ruff on him. Of course Russel was
    howling, wouldn’t you! This guy is like a dog with a bone when it comes to this, if he had his way, we’d be sending Russel out into the doghouse! Methinks he’s being a mongrel. Woof! 😯

  12. Bunji 12

    I thought we were egalitarian in this society? Why should an MP be “too good” to protest?

    If you have principles like the Greens do, you do your best to act upon them. Russel won’t have got a meeting to quietly complain to the Chinese, and this will have been much more effective anyway. Why should we not upset militarist authoritarian thugs about their wrongdoings? Were we wrong to send a frigate to Mururoa in 1973? We have a long and proud history of official protest. We should always speak to power, not kow-tow.

    I don’t know how John Key can feel it is good to apologise to an aggressor for them having to assault a representative of the NZ people. Disgusting.

    • WOOF 12.1

      He can’t just submit and expect the rest of us to roll over and play dead! 👿 Especially since Russel was on his own territory.

    • fermionic_interference 12.2

      Does anyone notice any corollaries to Chamberlain ahead of WWII?
      To make this more obvious, bowing down to an aggressor?

  13. ianmac 13

    If Russel hadn’t protested, then Phil wouldn’t have have a reason to explain to the delegation the importance we place of freedom of speech. Phil must be pleased.

  14. WOOF 14

    He’s a good dawg 🙂

  15. Ron 15

    Espiner is wrong. Key is a gutless prick.

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