The Sydney siege finishes

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, December 16th, 2014 - 84 comments
Categories: australian politics, International, Syria, war - Tags:

The Sydney cafe siege has ended.  At about 4 am today local time Australian forces moved into the Lindt Cage after gunfire was heard.  As I type this three people including the gunman have been confirmed dead and others are injured.

The gunman has been identified as Man Haron Monis.  It seems pretty clear that he was acting on his own rather than part of a larger organisation.

He was well known to the authorities.  Over the past couple of years he had been charged with conspiracy to murder his wife as well as more recently with multiple sexual assault charges allegedly committed while performing “spiritual healing” and had achieved some notoriety by writing poison letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.

He had been in Court last week and had failed in an attempt to get charges against him dropped.

He also had a Facebook page where his posts had become more and more bizarre over recent days.  Clearly he was unwell.

His actions in harassing the families of dead families, although bizarre, is not something exclusive to members of the Muslim faith.  After all Reverend Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church used to picket the funerals of dead soldiers.  All religions have their extremists.

The Sydney experience eerily matches the Canadian experience where Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed a Canadian soldier before himself being killed.  Behalf-Bibeau had been living on the street and had been described by his mother as being “a very troubled and disturbed man who had turned to Islam and often talked of demons.”  He was another person with personal problems acting alone influenced by the hatred and despair caused by military action.

The incident has the potential to ignite hatred against Muslims.  Twitter has responded with the hashtag #illridewithyou started by a young Australian woman called Tessa Kum who proposes that Muslims be befriended on public transport to make them feel safe.  Well done Tessa.

No doubt there will be a call for increased surveillance powers.  Tau Henare has already tweeted that the recent law changes were justified.

Given what we now know he was clearly wrong.

But you have to ask, would increased surveillance powers have made any difference?  After all Mr Monis was well known to authorities and anyone with a Facebook account could have followed what he was doing and predicted his descent into chaos.  The problem is not a lack of state power, it is that in a city of 4 million there will always be mentally unwell people who engage in tragic behaviour.

What can help these people on the edge is to create a society based on tolerance and respect.  Instead of fighting wars for political advantage our political leadership should engage peacefully with other nations and support a society where diversity is respected and cherished.

I hope that everyone including the Kiwiblog commentators get this incident into perspective.  It is noticeable that they leapt to the conclusion the siege was part of an organised attack and they condemned a religion out of hand rather than wait for more information and make an informed decision.  This sort of mind set only makes matters more dangerous, not less.

84 comments on “The Sydney siege finishes”

  1. karol 1

    Well said, micky.

    Extra surveillance laws will not protect people from such lone perp incidents. It requires that the criminal justice system is efficient and effective, and that disturbed people get the treatment they need.

    • Colonial Rawshark 1.1

      And health and social services need to be properly staffed, funded and active. Further, local communities need to be close knit enough to know when people are starting to teeter over the edge.

      In other words, pretty much the opposite of pouring money into the security and surveillance state, and opposite to the propaganda designed to drive wedges of fear and suspicion between people.

    • Sabine 1.2

      Panotpicon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon

      surveillance was never designed to protect citizens, or to apprehend terrorists, but are designed to obtain compliance and obedience.

      If one believes that they are under surveillance by the body of authority at all times it matters not if they are actually not under surveillance.

      An old german lady back home told me that the scariest thing during the 3. Reich was not the bombs, the war and the hunger but the sound of nailed boots on the woodden staircases in the middle of the night.
      Everyone stopped breathing and hoped to god that they would not stop in front of their house door.

      And yes, it pisses me of to no end that the Labour Party capitulated and signed on to that odious ‘all our people are terrorists until we prove otherwise surveillance bill’.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.2.1

        +1
        The NSW police knew the Iranian lunatic was dangerous. He’d posted a heap of garbage on Facebook and been arrested numerous times. The money saved by not getting him to a mental health specialist would have been spent thousands of times over last night. And three people are dead. Our security services couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery and giving them more powers will not help. It’ll make the useless pricks even more useless.

        FJK and FAL too.

  2. Colonial Rawshark 2

    Very sad that innocent people were killed. Authorities treating the unfolding incident like an anti-terrorist operation (instead of a more typical hostage situation) probably contributed.

    Was the man even a practicing Muslim?

    • The government’s responsible! The security apparatus is responsible! The cops are responsible! Have you considered that, just maybe, your pet hates might not be to blame for something bad that happens?

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        @ Psycho Milt
        Have you considered that, just maybe, your pet hates might not be to blame for something bad that happens?
        Is the Milt short for Milton Friedman? The man who doesn’t want any governance and to have our lives governed instead by the desire for money and advantage. Which is not the way that most Standardistas seem to view things. Which makes us and our critical comments your pet hate. You don’t express much more than attack on what we put forward here. You don’t offer thoughtful progressive substance to the blog.
        Consider yourself and your pet hates then.

    • Bob 2.2

      From the pictures I saw they seemed to be treating this like a hostage situation right up until the big wave of people fled together just prior to the raid, perhaps there is more to come on why they stormed the cafe the way they did.
      Also, there were reports of 4 explosive devices planted around the CBD, so it is way too early to be condemning authorities at this stage.

      “Was the man even a practicing Muslim?”
      TV1’s Breakfast was reporting he was a self proclaimed Sheikh, so this coupled with the flag the hostages were holding up stating “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” would suggest he was.

      • Ian H 2.2.1

        “Was the man even a practicing Muslim?”

        Sounds like he didn’t practice hard enough.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2

        If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

        • Bob 2.2.2.1

          Please elaborate OAB, that comment is weak even by your low standards.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.1.1

            I suggest you have a close look at the nature of his recent “conversion”: it looks as genuine as a tv preacher.

      • Tracey 2.2.3

        It is looking more and more like he is a very violent man who craved attention from his magical healing and self professed muslim leader to his barrage of letter writing and radio calls and used the ISIS thing to get the attention he craved. He may be violent and deranged but if that turns out to have been his motivation he has played the media like fiddles.

        His wife was burned to death…

        “Monis was on bail on a charge of colluding with his girlfriend, Amirah Droudis, to murder Noleen Hayson Pal.

        Ms Pal was lured to the Werrington apartment block in western Sydney where Monis was living in April last year and allegedly doused with accelerant, set alight and then stabbed 18 times by Droudis.”

        Interestingly no one has suggested the murder is connected to ISIS.

        “40 sexual assault charges.

        Additional charges were laid against Monis two months ago, and conviction for sexual assault would have ruined Monis, who was outed as a bogus Islamic cleric by Australian Shia scholars in 2009.”

        No one has suggested a link to ISIS for these crimes either

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2874295/Police-investigate-Sydney-siege-gunman-calling-Brother-lone-wolf-fanatic-wider-terror-network.html#ixzz3M1Kbu5xh

        The police on the other hand appear to have handled it as a gunman holding innocent people hostage.

      • Murray Rawshark 2.2.4

        There were no explosive devices. That was all bullshit started by someone on social media. I’ve got no idea why they’d make stuff like that up.

  3. vto 3

    Mr Micky … “What can help these people on the edge is to create a society based on tolerance and respect.”

    So true so true. Respect and caring for those at the edges of society, those often rejected, or who have failed for whatever reason and feel left out…. these are the ones in most need of care …. I personally bottomed out through something similar once and it is a sick and helpless time and feeling.

    unfortunately we currently have a government, and corresponding large part of the population, who vilifies these people and seeks to keep them out of wider society. In evidence see numerous commentary and policies by Bennett and Key etc, not to mention their uncaring nasty tory supporters who constantly refer to these people as bludgers and wasters.

    It is no wonder that such people react in such an extreme and violent manner – that is what they are subjected to themselves …..

    Not only have we become unequal, we have also become uncaring. No wonder the tories get re-elected. Shame.

  4. vto 4

    “Prime Minister John Key says it would naive to think that an attack similar to the Sydney siege couldn’t happen in New Zealand.”

    Yes, because, Mr Key, you send us to war in the middle east, that is why. Wtf do you expect?

    Dishonest dirty warmonger and propaganda propeller.

    • Paul 4.1

      and sanctioned spying using the NSA
      and sent troops to Afghanistan.

    • Andrew Welsh 4.2

      You are letting your ‘left wing delusions’ cloud your thought process, it was Clark who sent military troops to Afghanistan.
      ‘Dishonest dirty warmonger and propaganda propeller’ should be aimed at your own icons, not the present government.

      • vto 4.2.1

        Do you recall what I said at the time about Clark doing that? Or are you just making big stupid assumptions?

        And the dishonest dirty warmonger and propaganda propeller stands – your comment has no effect on that, except to maybe enhance it you silly egg.

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        was that by invitation of the UN?

  5. locus 5

    Prime Minister John Key says it would be naive to think that an attack similar to the Sydney siege couldn’t happen in New Zealand.

    Edit…Snap VTO

    This for me is the last straw. I never liked the dissembling slurring sneer of a man, but now… politicising this and building a case to go to war in the ME.

    Mr Key – you deserve to go to the front in Kobani, before you consider sending any of NZ’s young men there

    • Bob 5.1

      How do you know this kind of thing isn’t being plotted by a organised group here? Did you stop to think that maybe this type of situation could be the reason for Andrew Little supporting the surveillance legislation last week? It was a big change of heart for a man that was so opposed to spying last year, something had to have changed his mind!

      On another note, was Helen Clark sending troops to Afghanistan or East Timor the last straw for you? In the 6 years National have been in power, where have they sent troops too? (where Aunty Helen hadn’t sent them already).

      • lprent 5.1.1

        Pretty pathetic even for you. The guy had even more court dates than Cam Slater has had over the last few years, far more coming up, and the offenses are somewhat more serious. You don’t need much more explanation that that.

        I’m sure that after Tony Abbott posturing around like a pillock, that the ASIO will pick this guys life to bits. Given that he is dead and going to be unable to protest ‘evidence’, they may find something to cover Abbott’s embarrassment.

        But he looks like the other other random nutters like David Gray and many others in a long chain of non-conspiracies. BTW: is your leg *still* damp?

        …was Helen Clark sending troops to Afghanistan or East Timor…

        You mean in answer to requests from the UN to keep the peace and try to rebuild countries devastated by internal strife and civil wars?

        As opposed to helping the US invade a country because of a lie of WMD? Or helping the US clean up that mess yet again?

        What do you think the difference is?

        • Bob 5.1.1.1

          “Pretty pathetic even for you. The guy had even more court dates than Cam Slater has had over the last few years, far more coming up, and the offenses are somewhat more serious. You don’t need much more explanation that that.”
          I was asking if Locus had some information that I don’t, I agree this guy seems to be a one-off case of a guy, potentially with mental health issues snapping, however this does not rule out the fact an organised group could still try something similar in NZ, and based on Andrew Little’s massive change of heart from his speeches last year against spying, can you say with certainty that the legislation passed last week was not required?
          Also, this guy seems to have gone off the radar after missing his latest court case, with his history, couldn’t the SIS have used the new legislation to try and ascertain a similar occrance if something like this happened in NZ?

          “What do you think the difference is?”
          I think the BIG difference is, John Key hasn’t sent any troops into any new war zones, UN sanctioned or not! He has said he would monitor the situation and send troops if he felt they were required, do YOU see what the difference is?

          • batweka 5.1.1.1.1

            I’d like you to apply that same kind of risk assessment and management to road toll deaths. What restrictions are you prepared to accept in order to prevent people being killed by cars? You good with the state putting monitored GPS and CCTV in every car in NZ and heavily fining everyone that exceeds the speed limit? Or putting people in prison if they do something dangerous? How about a recording device in every car so that they can catch people making cell phone calls while driving? Wouldn’t need to actually listen to all the recordings, but they would have them in case they needed them.

            • Bob 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Good example, under that situation, everything would stay exactly as it is now (Police control the speed limit/drink drive limits), but if you were suspected of being a recidivist drunk driver the SIS could spend 24 hours finding out where you were going to be partying next, set up a police stop to check if you were drink driving, and if you were doing nothing wrong then leave you alone for good.
              You would go on with your life as though nothing had ever happened (because as far as you know nothing had happened), and we could get more recidivist drunk drivers off the road.
              Most idealogues here would hate this idea, but I for one have no problem it. It only targets those suspected of being the worst of the worst, and isn’t overly intrusive into anyones lives.

              My one concern would be “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” As long as there are sufficient checks and balances to make sure that these powers were being used for political reasons, they weren’t being used in a blanket fashion (i.e. there had to be sufficient reasoning to target someone to start with) and there were regular independant reviews to keep on top of the process, then I have no issues.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Fuck everyone just look at Bob the Security State Authoritarian here.

                He’s just decided that he is OK with a secret police/surveillance state where the Government turns agencies designed to deal with foreign enemies, against their very own citizens.

                He’s also decided to ignore the clear revelations from Snowden, Greenwald, Manning, etc. that you cannot trust these people with power. The whole idea of effective “checks and balances” has been shown time and time again to be a farce: the pantomime of restrictions when there are in practice no restrictions.

                They literally will intercept the emails, txts and phone calls of the EU Parliament, Angela Merkel, their friends families and lovers given the chance.

                • Tracey

                  he is so convinced of his law abiding righteousness. amazing to think he never got or paid for anything in cash to avoid the tax…

              • Ad

                Positively chilling.

                The degree of invasiveness would be far greater than having an ankle bracelet on every citizen.

                The volume of information gathered and sorted would require a Minority Report scale of personal files on every single citizen contemplating any kind of law breach.

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.2

            …and based on Andrew Little’s massive change of heart from his speeches last year against spying, can you say with certainty that the legislation passed last week was not required?

            Can you say with certainty that it was required? If so could you explain to me what it was targeting? After weeks of “information” I still haven’t heard anyone coherent on the subject. It amounts to “trust us we won’t abuse the powers”, which based on past experience both statements probably amount to complete bullshit.

            As far as I can see Andrew Little took the best exit out of political vice play. I haven’t heard anything from him beyond “trust me….” and that Labour was up for a complete review of the security apparatus whenever they get the treasury benches. I believe that is still the plan.

            BTW: I don’t let politicians from any party make up my mind for me. I leave that kind of bleating sheep mentality for those on the right – they seem to have a monopoly on that type of stupidity.

            UN sanctioned or not! … do YOU see what the difference is?

            Yeah – when he does it, he is planning on doing it without a sanction and probably in violation of international law.

          • Tracey 5.1.1.1.3

            I have been reading up on the aussie laws off and on for about six months. This bit caught my eye in light of Key recently saying he couldnt release information on why the heightened risk. Surely we could also call on previous “conflict data” and release that?

            “..has of course waved the terrorism scare stick, claiming that a few tens of “jihadists” who might eventually return from Syria — a figure cited by ASIO chief David Irvine — pose a national security threat, comparing them with those returning from Afghanistan a decade ago.

            “During the Afghan conflict, about 30 Australians travelled to Afghanistan to link up with the Taliban and engage in jihadist war-fighting on behalf of the Taliban,” Brandis told ABC Radio. “Of those 30, 25 returned to Australia. Of those 25, 19 were involved in preparing and planning mass casualty terrorist attacks within Australia and of those 19, 8 were actually prosecuted and convicted. So there is a very high incidence of returning jihadists who engage in terrorism.”

            And, by those figures, there’s a 100 percent chance of those jihadists being caught before anything happens. So why does ASIO need any more power? It already seems remarkably effective.. …”

            http://www.zdnet.com/article/beware-the-spin-behind-australias-new-surveillance-laws/

      • framu 5.1.2

        ” It was a big change of heart for a man that was so opposed to spying last year, something had to have changed his mind!”

        give us a friken break bob – just how star struck are you?

    • batweka 5.2

      “Prime Minister John Key says it would be naive to think that an attack similar to the Sydney siege couldn’t happen in New Zealand.”

      The PM is a dumb fuck. It’s already happened in NZ, most recently in Ashburton this year. Are they monitoring WINZ clients now?

  6. saveNZ 6

    If anything, unwarranted increased surveillance would make things worse. The debate is pushing some Muslims over the edge. A lot of mentally ill or deranged people feel “persecuted” before they attack others – in the case of Muslims the persecution is on every newspaper and TV so is actually real, whenever they fly or go anywhere. After September 11, these types of attacks did not occur in non US countries, it is by the constant media attention and other countries involvement in a religious war in the Middle East which the majority of people feel was illegal (just like the torture) in particular Iraq that is creating a 4th War based on Religion. Just like Northern Ireland – only dialogue will create peace. You can’t kill and lock up all your own people based on Religion (unless you are Hitler and that did not work out for him). So rather than spending more on Arms, torture and mercenaries funded by the state and gaining huge political power maybe invest in the much cheaper and more effective method of diplomacy and inclusion, and NOT transfer the debate into local countries like NZ to instigate a feeling of a religious war here.

  7. Maisie 7

    Fully agree with all above, but nevertheless can’t help thinking what a field day ShonkyJohnkey would be having if Labour hadn’t voted along with that bill. Whatever the rights & wrongs & unfairness of it, the message that Labour doesn’t care about NZers’ safety would very likely have been permanently branded on the populace. Given that Little clearly wants to reassure NZers that their ‘social security’ is his top priority this would have been seriously damaging.

    • saveNZ 7.1

      Disagree with Maisie. If Labour had voted against the bill they would have looked much better. Rather than the useless NationalLite bills rushed through for political gain against any normal democratic process instead of actually taking the issue seriously and researching it to get it right. Face it, our government and the opposition are just involved in pretending to face security issues which are in fact are most likely just instructions coming from the US. NZ would be a safer place if they kept out of it all. The last ‘terrorist’ type attack was John Tully who killed two WINZ staff. I don’t see Labour or National making it easier for beneficiaries to get food and accommodation this Christmas to stop a repeat attack. Nope apparently the opposite, desperate people can’t get through on the phone. It is an absolute mockery of human rights in this country. The Muslims in Australia are saying – don’t cancel their passports let them go, don’t keep them in this country to do domestic attacks. And of course with all the surveillance in OZ they did not manage to prevent the deaths in Australia, even through the guy was well known to police. I wish more people could use their brains in this country and actually look what is going on instead of rhetoric. Surveillance will not save lives here. It is just taking human rights and funding away from more important areas, and even worse is more likely to be used as Attack Politics, or against environmental activists and union officials or anyone else, to further erode people’s rights in this country. The last politically motivated terrorist attack was the Rainbow Warrior from our Allies.

    • lprent 7.2

      Maisie: I agree.

      But The legislation was bad, stupidly conceived, rushed, and outright thoughtless.

      However it was played as a pretty good political move by National because it appeared to have been done that way specifically for internal political posturing. Labour had few realistic political choices. They did reasonably well at watering it down.

      But the legislation was still pointless, irrelevant to any realistic concerns, and it’s intent is simply dangerous. If some idiotic jerks want to go offshore and get themselves killed, then why should we stand in their way. I prefer that they go offshore to grow up rather than them sitting here in frustration looking for weapons – like a car…

      • Maisie 7.2.1

        Fully agree lprent – bad, bad legislation, and am one of those who feel Labour made the best choice in an extremely difficult situation, hard though it was to swallow.
        I just thank god that, although many lefties saw it as treasonous, at least their vote for this bill prevented Johnkey from crowing about Labour’s naivety/ignorance/foolishness/incompetence – and however else they would have played it – over the Sydney tragedy.

  8. greywarshark 8

    I note that the gunman in Sydney was someone who had been involved with violence and was out on bail. He was referred to as a cleric I think. It was an angry, violent man who should not have been out on bail. The justice system in Oz has failed in allowing bail. The people bear the consequence. Inflating it as a terrorist attack is hogwash. The authorities allow people like this out on bail at the expense of our safety and peace of mind. It seems there is a risk approach when deciding on bail along the lines, ‘that not many commit more violent crime while they are on bail,’ so percentage wise it is okay to let them out.

    We have numerous cases in NZ when some violent disturbed angry nothing-to-lose young fellow has committed a grievous crime when out on bail. It is the sort of thing that prompted Sensible Sentencing to get started because it is so upsetting that the justice system does not take a precautionary approach and society and often women, often suffer attacks from these low-life predators who are known to be violence-prone

    I object to having our Radionz news on Morning Report filled with every little detail about it. Everyone involved in handling this is closely questioned and on it goes throughout the time slot, into 9toNoon, through the days. It happened elsewhere, not NZ. The bias towards tragedies in English speaking countries being reported ad infinitum by RadioNZ and I am sure the private stations too, results in swamping other facts of life we would otherwise learn about. I noticed the same with the recent and past USA shootings. We hear the same victim comments, the onlooker comments, the school comments, the police comments, as if it happened on our doorstep. All that is needed or wanted is one 30 second cover, then further 20 second covers of the original report, then a little more detail as it emerges. But spare us the sifting through all the detail. If the police want to learn how to handle such events, they go to training sessions with the crime-rich countries like the USA.

    • Paul 8.1

      There are many NZ and world stories which will have much more impact on our lives that are not being reported.
      e.g. Why is the world price of oil being forced down?

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        probably to hit russia hard. i heard the other day they cant sustain a barrel price of less than 100 per barrell for long.

        • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.1

          That’s western propaganda as well. Nigeria, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq and the entire US oil shale economy will fail due to low oil prices before Russia does. The reason being that Russia has stored up hundreds of billions in hard currency reserves, gold bars etc.

          Further, China and India are quite prepared to provide Russia anything manufactured it wants without Russia having to pay in hard western currency.

          What I find fascinating is Saudi Arabia going along with this ploy to seriously depress oil prices: it is also hurting them every single day.

          • greywarshark 8.1.1.1.1

            cr
            you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground. authors can’t dream up better stories than our reality coming up with great scenarios every day.

            Mind you there was a very good series from the BBC called Mogul then changed to Troubleshooter went to seven episodes 1965-1972. Wikipedia notes say that in the end the leading actor playing the hard-nosed top oil executive was invited to a dinner held by real oil men where he enjoyed warm hospitality.

            (Apparently much of the series has been wiped under the then BBC practice.)
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubleshooters

        • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.2

          Russia fifth largest gold reserves in the world

          Seems like the Ruskies figured out that the US would be trying this financial shenanigans and prepared well in advance.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-29/russia-buys-most-gold-for-reserves-since-financial-crisis-of-98.html

      • greywarshark 8.1.2

        Sorry about getting off thread. I was referring to the practice of giving us news blankets when there is overseas crime as in this Sydney story and that other important news was then not adequately covered.
        @ Paul
        I guess you know the answer about the oil price drop and it was a rhetorical question. I heard as Tracey says that it was to squeeze Russia, and of course to trample on every other country that is vulnerable to the USA oligarchy (oiligarchy?).

        Venzuela ?
        Opinion piece on that country and oil from CNN Money.
        http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/14/news/economy/venezuela-debt-default-citgo/
        Opinion: Venezuela squandered oil riches, now faces default
        The government, first under the self-proclaimed revolutionary government of President Hugo Chávez and now under his handpicked successor Nicolás Maduro, has managed to squander one of the longest, greatest oil booms in history, not just misspending the oil windfall that at one point reached $133 per barrel, but also destroying the country’s domestic economy.

        From National Review On-Line
        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/394654/use-low-oil-prices-upset-foes-john-fund
        Use Low Oil Prices to Upset Foes
        a lot of hand-wringing among oil-producing nations that are also America’s adversaries. The distress is afflicting a group of thugs who well deserve it.

        It’s been amusing to see anti-U.S. demagogues rail at low oil prices. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, the Mini-Me of the late dictator Hugo Chávez, took to state-run TV last week to blame U.S. fracking technology for the collapse in prices. “We’ve got to get oil back to the price where it needs to be,” he whined. “The oil they’re taking from [shale deposits] and the gas. They’ve flooded the international market to batter Iran and to hurt us, Venezuela.”

        It is enlightening to read a USA analyst talk about other nations that are “America’s adversaries” as a group of thugs. Frail, virgin USA must defend herself from these nasty adversaries so anything goes seems to be the excuse!

        • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.2.1

          The interesting thing is that the US is willing to be complicit in low oil prices which is seriously damaging their shale oil economy throughout the interior United States.

          I’m starting to wonder if low oil prices isn’t an attempt by the US to bolster up their internal economy ahead of presidential elections in 2016.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.1

            The interesting thing is that the US is willing to be complicit in low oil prices which is seriously damaging their shale oil economy throughout the interior United States.

            After one of their biggest shale oil reserves got cut by 96% I think that the US government realises that the US doesn’t actually have a shale oil economy.

            I’m starting to wonder if low oil prices isn’t an attempt by the US to bolster up their internal economy ahead of presidential elections in 2016.

            Ah, now that would make sense. Would also help a number of their allies as well who are being constrained by high oil prices. NZ comes to mind considering that all the oil we use is imported and our economy is heading into a go slow.

  9. b waghorn 9

    Shipping him to his home country at the 1st sign of trouble would of stopped this particular nut , it don’t matter how you look at people are dead that shouldn’t be he was well known to the authorities I have no problem with immigration or refugee’s but believe there should be zero tolerance of law breaking .

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      I have no problem with immigration or refugee’s but believe there should be zero tolerance of law breaking .

      Nah mate, you’ve got it wrong. The more inhumanely you treat people, the less social support you give them, the more you view them as potential criminals, the worse these kinds of incidents will be.

      By the way we are in a new western society which tolerates law breaking by the 0.1%. Steal $100 from a dairy go to jail. Steal $100M don’t even get prosecuted.

      • b waghorn 9.1.1

        You could chuck as much social services as you want at a nut like that one and he’d only hate you more , some are broken beyond repair.

        • Murray Rawshark 9.1.1.1

          We don’t know because nobody even tried. The mental health budget in Australia has been slashed, but the toys for cops budget certainly hasn’t.

          • b waghorn 9.1.1.1.1

            I’m sure if he wanted it there would of been help so unless the state starts forcibly locking people like him up its still unlikely to stop them.

            • Colonial Rawshark 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Forcibly locking up criminals is one thing the state is very good at doing, in case you haven’t noticed.

              As I said, if you continue to treat people as inhuman and as outcasts to be ignored or marginalised, you are going to get more and more of this kind of thing.

              Far more people choose to commit suicide and not take anyone else with them (and our society totally ignores them too) but occasionally you will get someone who is angry enough to make a scene and harm others as well in the process.

              It actually surprises me that western culture and leadership behaves as if it has no idea how people work, feel and think. Too many sociopaths amongst the 0.1%.

              • b waghorn

                That’s another whole can of worms the causes and cures of his kind of behavior , but my original comment was around people being allowed into a new country and causing trouble being shipped home . I have since read that he spent sometime in the oz detention camps so it’s possible this fallas problems come from there.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Well I agree there is no way that you want to be importing problem people. Once someone is resident or citizen here however I also do not believe that we can just wash our hands of them.

              • Northshoredoc

                “Far more people choose to commit suicide and not take anyone else with them (and our society totally ignores them too)…”

                More of your lies

                http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addictions/suicide-prevention

                http://www.spinz.org.nz/page/5-Home

                http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/suicide-facts-2011-jan14_0.pdf

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Which part of my statement was a lie? Every part of it was entirely factual as far as I can see.,

                  • northshoredoc

                    I suggest you visit an ophthalmologist.

                    You commented that society totally ignores pesos who choose to commit suicide/self harm – that is demonstrably untrue.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      “totally ignores” was an exaggeration on my part, accepted. But for something which claims significantly more lives every year than road deaths it doesn’t have more than a tiny fraction of the resources and attention that it deserves.

                    • northshoredoc

                      The last two decades have seen
                      • a significant increase in investment in mental health and addiction services, from $270 million per year in 1993/94 to $1.2 billion per year in 2010/11, when the total spending on mental health and addiction services was 9.5 percent of the total Vote Health budget
                      • 51 percent growth in access to specialist services, from 87,724 people in 2002/03 to 132,682 in 2010/11

                      • the closure of the institutions and significant expansion of community-based services. By 2009/10, 76 percent of mental health and addiction funding was being spent on community services, with the remainder spent on inpatient services

                      • the development of a strong non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector. By 2010/11, the total number of people accessing NGO service was 31,792 and 24 percent of mental health and addiction funding was being spent on these services.

                      Today NGOs provide a wide range of support and clinical services and play a significant and integral role in addressing people’s mental health and addiction issues

                      • the development of culturally specific services
                      • a focus on supporting recovery for people with the highest needs
                      • strong involvement of service users in service planning and delivery
                      • increased support for and involvement of families and whānau in service planning and delivery
                      • the development of a range of primary mental health and addiction initiatives throughout the country
                      • the roll-out of Like Minds Like Mine, a national programme to counter stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness.

                      Yes more can always be done – but much like your disdain for western medicine to suggest that nothing is done in the area of suicide/mental speaks more of your inherent bias than any objective reality. It is also hugely disrespectful to the many thousands of people that work tirelessly in this area.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      northshoredoc:
                      Whilst acknowledging you responded to a charge of unmet need in mental health, reeling off the magnitude of resources involved in treating the problem somewhat misses the point.
                      As Anthony O’Brien writes in New Zealand’s Mental Health Act in Practice (an anthology marking an anniversary of the Act; published 2013):
                      ”In the context of growing social inequality in New Zealand, greater use of mental health legislation in population areas of high deprivation may represent, to the decision maker in the compulsory treatment process, a rational allocation of resources toward a group with high needs”.
                      O’Brien’s point in chapter 17, which is about the link between social deprivation and the mental health act, is that determinants of health and wellbeing often lie outside the health sector – e.g employment, housing, freedom from violence.
                      It’s to the extent that clinical studies frequently do not even report on deprivation, according to O’Brien, because it is seen as social, rather than medical.
                      ”Research into compulsion [under the Act] and social deprivation appears to have fallen into the ‘too hard basket’, perhaps because it is neither wholly clinical nor wholly social.
                      ”The problems, and the methodologies needed to address them, may be complex, but the issues involve some of our most vulnerable citizens, and cannot continue to languish.”

            • Murray Rawshark 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Sure, but how many people do you know with untreated mental illnesses that know they should look for help? Most that I’ve come across, and especially ones like him, have no idea that there’s anything wrong with them.

              • b waghorn

                That leads back to the state having to force people into mental health facilities and I Havn’t heard of that being to successful.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  It could lead to that if it was done wrongly. On the other hand, waiting until they go apeshit then spending hundreds of times more and ending up with three people dead is a weird definition of success.

                  In any case, this lunatic had already been up on any number of charges. Surely a judge or a probation officer should have noticed something and sent him for evaluation? It’s not as if he needed to be chosen at random.

  10. McFlock 10

    I agree with most of the above comments, but what I also suggest (apologies if someone upthread mentioned it) is that the fixation of governments on “organised” terrorism has created a focal point for disturbed individuals to also fixate upon.

    As soon as one becomes a “terrorist”, even in one’s own mind, one is guaranteed importance and notoriety.

    The guy didn’t even have the planning ability to remember his own damned flag, ffs.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    I hope that everyone including the Kiwiblog commentators get this incident into perspective. It is noticeable that they leapt to the conclusion the siege was part of an organised attack and they condemned a religion out of hand rather than wait for more information and make an informed decision. This sort of mind set only makes matters more dangerous, not less.

    A couple of links I posted in response to CV a few days ago showed that conservatives strongly react through fear.

    • Ad 11.1

      The political response to fear on a community scale is to call for unity around the nation.
      i.e. people who persecute ethnic minorities would become un-Australian.
      Enable people to aspire to something greater than the sum of their fears.

      From that base of unity – tinged with a little shame – you would build positive virtues around inclusion, tolerance, etc.

    • lprent 11.2

      As I may have noted, after I read some of the comments at kiwiblog, I realized that when I named them “the sewer” it was for occasions such as this. The amount of urine that they’d leaked down their legs in their trembling fear was palpable.

      You’d hope that the hysterics over there would learn to use their brains once in a while rather than their dicks. How much terror can the sewer floor absorb?

      • Colonial Rawshark 11.2.1

        It’s interesting isn’t it, the conservative passive-aggressive authoritarian is actually driven at its core by a very fearful and anxious mindset.

        • Ad 11.2.1.1

          In the modernist absence of a common God, appeal to the nation is the best substitute still going. Rally round the flag. Done really, really well, we can actually get to project utopian nation-builder character onto such events.

          Imagine the counterfactual speech from President Gore on the rubble of the Trade Towers. The left can still cloak themselves in a flag, but to quite different effect. For those familiar with the Shell Scenarios, we would have had a different one than the one we are now in.

          We can’t simply write off fear and anxiety of people. It’s real. But it needs its own formula for engaging and turning.

  12. Ad 12

    Mickey I am struck by how different the commentary is on TS than on most other popular sites.

    It’s a helluva freight to carry, but I hope that the left broadly holds the humane, restrained, tolerant, contra-militant, slow-to-judge virtues as examples for the media and public to keep as a ready conscience. This site is aptly named.

    Maybe this tolerance will get further tested in the years to come – making this a great place for people of good conscience to gather and share movements that protect common rights and common responsibilities.

    I would hope that if Muslims felt under threat in New Zealand, we would form our own hashtag and prepare to ride with them.

    • Tracey 12.1

      i will ride with them if they did.

    • greywarshark 12.2

      @ Ad
      I would hope that we could maintain a humane and objective discourse on behalf of their wellbeing and encouraging all to respect their human rights and vice versa. And that our laws should protect them from victimisation or discrimination from bad NZs and from bad people and practices from amongst themselves to their own people or others.

    • Murray Rawshark 12.3

      I’m going to a picnic to welcome refugees on Saturday. None of the people I know who are also going are Australians. I hope at least some will be there.

  13. Michael 13

    I’ve no doubt Henare reflects the views of the National Party. Perhaps his tweets were written for him by Honest John’s office? As for Mitchell, he seems to be applying Stephen Lusk’s lessons, the ones he paid for from the money he made working as a mercenary in Iraq. Again, another representative of the National Party trumpeting the destruction of fundamental rights and freedoms in New Zealand.

  14. Ian H 14

    Surveillance won’t help if action cannot be taken as a result. This guy was OUT ON BAIL facing serious charges of murder and rape. If we bail people even in those circumstances what chance is there of getting the court to lock someone up because surveillance detects that he presents a credible threat to the community. The problem is not lack of intelligence. It was clear this man was a threat. The problem was that even knowing that, the system was unable to take any action to protect the community from the threat that he posed.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      This is the solution for murderous sex predators: once we declare them terrorists the justice system will take their crimes more seriously?

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.2

      Well why don’t you start asking some sensible questions around the social services, health services and criminal justice system which was supposed to be keeping an eye on this man.

      Right wingers seem to want to keep cutting all these things back and then acting all surprised and outraged when shit like this happens.

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    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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