More on China incident

June 21st, 2010 at 11:10 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister telephoned the most senior minister in the visiting Chinese delegation to apologise for the scuffle during the arrival of Vice-President Xi Jingping at Parliament.

I can understand why the PM felt it was necessary – because the screaming yelling protester was not just a member of the public, but a leader of a parliamentary party.

But having said that, I don’t think it was appropriate for the PM to apologise. He is not responsible for Norman, and by doing so may confuse the difference between the Government and the Parliament.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has also called for a full report on the incident from his ministry and he would like to see a protocol developed between the Speaker and protesting MPs for future visits.

This I think is a very good idea. The right to protest must be protected, but this doesn’t mean you allow protesters to get within a couple of metres of visiting VIPs – even if an MP.

If Norman had not been advancing on the Vice-President, this incident probably would not have happened. As a contrast Chris Trotter remembers Rod Donald:

My abiding memory of this remarkable man – my friend – , will be of him standing alone at the foot of the parliamentary steps, his face a mixture of sadness and defiance, holding up the forbidden Tibetan flag. It was a noble protest – and all the more effective for being conducted not by some raggle-taggle band of New Age anarchists, but by a senior Member of Parliament and party leader, dressed proudly and patriotically in his best, New Zealand-made, suit.

No advancing on the Vice-President, no shouting, no scruffling. That is the way to do it if you want to be an MP making a protest.

I am no fan of ’s repression. I think there should be protests when their VIPs visit. If the Greens had organised a Free Tibet protest outside Parliament, I might have even gone along to it.

Now having said that, it is clear that engagement with China is the only sane course of action. Refusing to trade or talk to them would be stupid. The trick is getting the balance of engagement and protest right.  And broadly you expect the Government to engage and civil society to protest. There is a time when Governments also protest – but that tends to be in response to specific events.

UPDATE: Colin Espiner blogs:

I know it’s fashionable to hate the Chinese, and everyone wants a free Tibet.

So much so you’d think they were handing them out in Weetbix packets.

But while I’ll probably get into trouble with the Left for saying this, I’m sorry, but Green Party co-leader was an embarrassment to himself, Parliament, and New Zealand with his protest against the Chinese vice-president’s visit last week. …

When I heard that Norman’s flag had been “trampled” I thought that was a bit on the nose, too, so I took a look at the video.

Strange how none of the many cameras there – both still and TV – managed to capture the so-called attack, or the flag trampling.

What they did capture, though, was an MP behaving in a way that no self-respecting member of Parliament with any dignity should behave.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully support Russel Norman’s right to have his say. This is a free country, unlike China.

But sometimes, I think the RIGHT to and EXERCISING it are confused.

For example, I can walk down the street and tell someone I don’t know that they’re fat. I have that right. But to do so would be impolite and irresponsible.

One of the deals of having freedom is the responsibility that comes with it over how you use it.

A point well made.

If Russel Norman was a private citizen he’d be banned from the steps of Parliament as a protester. He’d be behind the gates further down, where he could yell and scream to his heart’s content.

But he’s not a private citizen. He’s a member of Parliament. An employee and a representative of the people.

That meant Norman got to go right up to the Chinese VP, yell in his face, and wave a flag at him.

Unless the video I saw has been doctored, I saw Norman lunging at the VP and then yelling “give me my flag back” after one of his security guards grabbed it.

Colin makes the same point I have made – it was a long way removed from what Rod Donald did.

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70 Responses to “More on China incident”

  1. petulantpacifist (12 comments) says:

    I find the PM quite insulting when he apologises. As someone who shares Norman’s beliefs over Tibet, I feel that Norman should be commended, publically, for his stand. Whether the best way forward could include talking to the Chinese seems arbitrary when at the moment the balance is so obviously in the Chinese’ favour, we have such little negotiating power. In contrast, look at what nuclear-free did, as official government protest

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  2. wreck1080 (3,865 comments) says:

    The fact is , NZ govt is willing to swallow a few dead rats to assist economic success.

    The dead rats being, overlooking significant human rights abuses, ignoring their slave labour environment.

    But , then again, many countries we trade with have such issues.

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  3. American Gardener (556 comments) says:

    I think it is inappropriate for a government minister to protest in this way. It is very disrespectful.

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  4. big bruv (13,701 comments) says:

    I think it was entirely appropriate for the PM to apologise, we invited a guest into our nations house, when you do that you do not expect those guests to be assaulted or abused.

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  5. petulantpacifist (12 comments) says:

    Would we disrespect Hussein? Mugabe? I would, and would encourage my leaders to do like wise. And its not so much that we are swallowing dead rats, its more that we are condoning others being forced to swallow (fatally infected) dead rats

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  6. david (2,571 comments) says:

    Can’t you just imagine the “apology”

    “Hey Fred, sorry if that idiot Norman caused your boys a spot of bother when the VP arrived. They did well not to have given him a kick in the teeth the silly bugger. Tell them I appreciate their restraint and you just gotta realise that tolerating a few fruitcakes is one of the prices we pay for being a democracy and while we try to keep them on a reasonably tight leash, one of them gets away from time to time. No need to escalate this to diplomatic exchanges, lets keep the pen pushers out of it, otherwise we will end up having to explain to that Clark woman at the UN FFS. See ya at dinner!”

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  7. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    1 China behaves appallingly re human rights to our eyes
    2 Norman has right to protest
    3 Norman should have made his protest in the way Rob Donald did, silently and with dignity, Norman sought the scuffle and uproar for his self aggrandisement
    4 Norman has the luxury of being forever unlikely to have to deal with the realities of government
    5 Much depends on the nature of Key’s apology, but repellent though it might be, it was probably the correct ‘realpolitik’ gesture
    6 I suspect that for many Chinese increasing living standards and prosperity count for more than what many would regard as alien concepts re freedom as they have never known them

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  8. flipper (3,947 comments) says:

    Mmmmmnn … , DPF.
    1. Norman deserves a good kick in the butt.
    2. But JK would not have made that apology call without taking heed of advice from some indolent, overpaid, shiny suit, probably from MFAT.
    3. This reeks of “departmental capture” and smells as bad as the advice he is getting and accepting on the ETScam.

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  9. david (2,571 comments) says:

    Adamsmith1922, the alternative would have been that the MFAT overtime and coffee budget for the next 6 months would have completely blown out. Cables with Beijing would have been exchanged and explanations sought and given.
    You are correct, the “apology” shut the whole diplomat-thing down immediately and I’m sure that Key won’t suffer domestically for being a bit inventive in the Foreign Affairs area.

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  10. davidp (3,575 comments) says:

    If I’d invited someone to visit my home and my deranged neighbour had jumped over the fence, attempted to rush the visitor, and then shouted out slogans in a whiny high pitched voice then I’d ring the visitor up later to apologise. To not do so would be considered rude.

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  11. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Sucking up to Communist thugs. Disgraceful and unprincipled.

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  12. ben (2,419 comments) says:

    If you look closely at the footage you can see Mr Norman’s elbow strike the head of a man as he tries to retrieve his flag. Perhaps not intentional, certainly the product of his boisterous attempt to get his precious flag back.

    I should very much like to see Mr Norman tried for assault.

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  13. KevinH (1,200 comments) says:

    It’s a surprise an old Trotskyite like Trotter empathises with the Greens when Norman insulted his masters.Such conflicted people are communists.
    After viewing footage of the incident it quickly becomes apparent that Norman has contravenned Parliamentary rules by staging a protest whilst being protected by Parliamentary privilege.His conduct was unbecoming as a Member of the House of Representatives and totally compromised security detailed to protect the visiting delegation.
    The Speaker of the House will investigate this incident so don’t be surprised if Norman is censured.

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  14. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Why don’t all you pro apology fuckers rush down to Wellington and line up to kiss the arses of these commie scum? They’ll like you then. Might even throw you a few crumbs of trade.

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  15. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    I agree with many of the above.. If MPs want to protest fine… but do it in the area provided for the public… not public prohibited security areas.

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  16. Positan (386 comments) says:

    To me, the most amazing aspect of this matter is that not only do we have Russell Norman, a non-elected “party-only”-representative in parliament who seems to have not the faintest idea where the right of freedom of speech ends, and behaviour that is appropriate only in certain circumstances begins.

    I have several difficulties with the Greens and with Dr Norman. The Greens are non-representative – their popularity is so very low – yet they behave as if they speak and act for all of us. If there’s one obviously substantial flaw in the concept of proportional voting, it is that it over-empowers undeserving minorities. The majority votes for substance and hoped for performance – minorities (excluding ACT) vote for ideals, irrelevance and inconsequentialities. Further, Dr Norman is an Australian, a recent import, which wouldn’t normally count against him – but when he starts to behave as an individual protestor at an official New Zealand parliamentary welcome, and then tries to fall back on to our hard won “freedom of speech,” he abuses our rights, our tolerance, and our intelligence. I hope parliament will see fit to issue severe disciplinary measures.

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  17. Mike (3,234 comments) says:

    KevinH (19) Says:
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:52 am

    True and rightly so.
    If all the Greens had suits made of the Tibetan flag they could have all stood there in a line for the photo op and went to every function he is at as well.
    What a colourful lot they will be, think of all the other countries they can protest at too when they visit.
    Saudi Arabia, Burma, Iraq, Iran, Russia, China, Israel, Laos, Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria, USA, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Mexico, North Korea.
    Have I left anyone out?

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  18. ben (2,419 comments) says:

    Positan: well put.

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  19. NOt1tocommentoften (436 comments) says:

    Successive government do no more than pay lip service to human rights in New Zealand. Freedom of expression as long as it is polite and inoffensive to the Chinese. Talk about miss the point.

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  20. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    just what is the problem with kissing chinese arse…?

    ..our leaders have kissed american arse since forever…(for those same trade/cargo-cult reasons…)

    (..no matter what atrocities america was perping on whoever…)

    ..i am sure chinese and american arses look pretty much interchangable..

    ..from down there…

    and as i noted on whoar this morning..

    ..cartoonists must be falling over themselves to do a compare and contrast…with..say..lange..?

    my rough outline would have a supine key….alongside a standing-tall lange..

    (kinda obvious..but potent nonetheless..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  21. Robert Mapplethorpe (125 comments) says:

    You are all, as usual, missing the point. In your haste to excoriate Norman, in your attempts at self aggrandisement and in your blather, why do none of you seem concerned that unlawful actions were caried out by foreigners?

    yep, the Chinks were guests, and guests do not have the right to impose their own dictatorial attitudes on their hosts.

    IF there was a threat to the Big Chink, then it is the duty and the responsibilty of the Diplomatic Protection Squad and the NZ police to act. Not thugs. Not goons in suits. Not men who would probably already be in jail in any civilised nation.

    THAT is all the argument should be over – why the NZ Police, backed by the spineless Key government, permitted a bunch of Chinks to trample on New Zealand law.

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  22. Grendel (993 comments) says:

    Freedom of speech does not mean that the person you want to talk to has to listen or give you a soap box to do so.

    if i come into your place and start ranting about something you don;t like, you have every right to tell me to stop, or leave. thats not suppressing freedom of speech, its the right to not listen. what i cannot do is come into your house and tell you to stop talking about something, as that is your soapbox.

    in this circumstance russel had every right to protest, but the chinese had been invited into our house, and did not have to listen to russel having a go at them. but he tried to force them to listen, he tried to interfere with their right to not listen, and tried to drape a flag over them.

    This is not about freedom of speech, its about trying to force someone to listen to your views when they clearly don;t want to.

    i suspect the security detail were very restrained, the kind of people who protect heads of state tend to have no sense of humour and in the heat of the moment if someone is rushing your charge you just react to protect your charge. he is very lucky to not have been laid out completely.

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  23. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Would we disrespect Hussein? Mugabe?

    They aint invited..

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  24. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    You are all, as usual, missing the point. In your haste to excoriate Norman, in your attempts at self aggrandisement and in your blather, why do none of you seem concerned that unlawful actions were caried out by foreigners?

    Who the fuck are you? The inventor of Scrabble?

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  25. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Who the fuck are you?..”

    he is that strange self-hating jewish gay ‘chap’ who was here for a while..a while back..

    ..i forget his moniker..but he used ‘chap’ ..and several other similar vocal-pretensions…in almost every comment..

    he is back using a ‘new’ name…

    ..and a slightly watered-down persona..

    hello there..!

    we know who you are..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  26. JamesP (76 comments) says:

    JK should have kept his nose out of this.

    You can argue all day about if doing the right thing trumps doing the appropriate thing. Dr Norman made his choice and JK had nothing to do with it.

    NZ already has too many people making half arsed apologies for things they didn’t do.

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  27. nadir (101 comments) says:

    Its been quite a few years, even decades since you could describe the chinese government as communists. Sure thats what they call themselves but communists they aint.

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  28. Grendel (993 comments) says:

    James, John Key is the head of the NZ goverment, and by extension is the highest ranked parlimentarian.

    one of the muppets in his group (parlimentarians) tried to assault a visiting dignitary, that JK invited into the house he is ‘in charge of’.

    he has decided as the senior person to apologise for the lower ranked idiot doing something stupid, which imho is a good thing.

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  29. david (2,571 comments) says:

    Robert Mapplethorpe (16) Is that your age or your IQ?

    In your unseemly haste to rush to Norman’s defence and attempt to mount the high horse of “Freedom of Speech” while slagging off a population by using the racist epithet “Chinks” so freely, you seem to have overlooked a couple of things. Either that or you never knew them to start with which goes back to my first question.

    1. There is an International Convention, to which NZ is a signatory, around the treatment of foreign dignitaries. Clearly Russel ignored that convention with the approach he took.
    2. The leaders of important nations travel with extensive security details whose role it is to protect their man against all possible threats. The host government permits these “bodyguards” to do their job.
    3. NZ is not an important nation and we do not have sufficient resources to offer adequate protection to people such as Xi.
    4. No bodyguards = no visit would be the outcome if NZ said no protection. That would be an even greater insult.
    5. The video quite clearly shows Norman to be the instigator of physical contact and thus he was not an innocent party
    6. As an MP, Russell has certain freedoms in Parliament’s precinct that are not enjoyed by the people who pay his salary. Is that not a restriction of my “rights”?
    7. The ability to roam as he does within the Parliament is a privilege, it is not a right.
    8. Norman abused the privilege offered to him as an MP.
    9. Norman is a hypocrite by protesting about other’s “rights” while abusing the privileges the people of NZ have offered him.
    10. If Norman cannot act in a civilised manner then he does not deserve to have any respect offered to him by either the police, the people of NZ or the Parliament. Respect needs to be earned and he is not doing much of a job at it.

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  30. NOt1tocommentoften (436 comments) says:

    We invite people here on the understanding that they abide by our laws and respect our freedoms. It is not open slather to treat New Zealanders how you think they should be treated.

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  31. tvb (4,322 comments) says:

    New Zealand -China relationships are not going to be determined by Tibet and nor is NZ’s relationship with Japan going to be dictated by Whales. And noisy protests at Parliament by Russell Norman should not be allowed to compromise important international relationships over side issues. Hence the apology from the Prime Minister. If Dr Russell merely see these important Diplomatic relationships through these side issues then he will deal himself out of the game so far as any involvement in international relationships.

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  32. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @ben 11:52 am

    The flag was Russel Norman’s property, and the Chinese security had no legal right to take it from him (arguably, theft – certainly interference without colour of right). Russel had every right in law to use reasonable force to attempt to retrieve it (see section 53, Crimes Act).

    53 Defence of movable property with claim of right
    (1) Every one in peaceable possession of any movable thing under a claim of right, and every one acting under his authority, is protected from criminal responsibility for defending his possession by the use of reasonable force, even against a person entitled by law to possession, if he does not strike or do bodily harm to the other person.

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  33. cabbage (455 comments) says:

    A two bit Chinese thug employed to protect his vice president is not going to know the difference between a two bit australian MP and a two bit ozzie activist. Potential security breaches will be dealt with immediately. His (very serious) job is to protect his leaders life. Period.

    Norman knows this, and got just the result he was looking for.

    Norman is a disgrace and should have his citizenship revoked and be deported!

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  34. curia pigeon (204 comments) says:

    “Colin makes the same point I have made – it was a long way removed from what Rod Donald did.”

    Reading this makes one feel like they have slipped into a parrallel universe. David Farrar, who with Trevor Loudon, tries to draw connections between the Green Party and the authoritarian left, defends the authoritarian left against the Greens’ criticisms of it. What a strange world it is these spin masters live in.

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  35. big bruv (13,701 comments) says:

    “A two bit Chinese thug employed to protect his vice president i”

    Ha ha, with over a billion people to choose from I doubt that this person is a “two bit thug”.

    I suspect he could have dealt with Norman in a far more permanent manner within seconds had be so wished.

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  36. big bruv (13,701 comments) says:

    “The flag was Russel Norman’s property”

    Hmm, I wonder who paid for it Toad?

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  37. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    I wonder if the reaction from some here would have been the same if it were some two-bit despot like Mugabe or Bainimarama, instead of a despot who runs NZ’s second largest trading partner.

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  38. backster (2,141 comments) says:

    We are fortunate the uncouth Aussie Lout did not pressgang the insane Delahunty woman to assist him in his insulting behaviour. We may not agree with a Nation but if its’ leader is invited here he is entitled to expect to be greeted courteously. The Greens official spokesman for Foreign Affairs Keith Lock endorsed the policy of Pol POT so it seems odd the Aussie Lout is so offended by a more benevolent if still obnoxious administration.

    BIG BRUV….The answer to your query is probably CREDIT CARD

    As another commenter said Its a pity someone didn’t yell out “hes got a gun’

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  39. big bruv (13,701 comments) says:

    Nothing wrong with Bananarama Toad, the man is doing wonders with Fiji.

    As for Mugabe, well who the hell is going to invite him?

    One more thing Toad, do you not see how hypocritical it is for Norman to shriek like a school girl about free speech and human rights when the Greens have a track record when it comes to removing the rights of Kiwis.

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  40. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    “..i forget his moniker..but he used ‘chap’ ..and several other similar vocal-pretensions…in almost every comment..

    Elijah Lineberry?

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  41. American Gardener (556 comments) says:

    China GDP $4.33 Trillion , New Zealand GDP $130 Billion , if Russell Norman wants to keep on drawing an MP’s salary he should apologize.

    Is China really a communist state ? It seems to be more capitalist.

    “China shows that when it comes to economics, the dividing line among the world�s nations is no longer between communism and capitalism. Capitalism has won hands down. The real dividing line is no longer economic. It’s political. And that divide is between democracy and authoritarianism. China is a capitalist economy with an authoritarian government” – http://www.commondreams.org

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  42. questlove (242 comments) says:

    It’s quite simple really. If Norman’s expression of his freedom of speech was outside of what parliament deems as acceptable; then it shouldn’t be hard for him to be held accountable and penalised for his wrongdoing.

    If not, then his expression was fine.

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  43. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    “China is a capitalist economy with an authoritarian government”

    /facepalm

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  44. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “It seems to be more capitalist.”

    You commies from way back in time who post your stupid uninformed opinions here and back them up with links to websites run by other retarded commies need your damn heads looked at.

    What possible impact do you think such subjective and partisan expressions of opinion can have on informed people??

    Dumbarses. Just utter utter utter dumbarses, and it stands out like dogs balls in everything you do think and say.

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  45. gravedodger (1,545 comments) says:

    Toad @ 1 40 you would be well placed to know, but I would not be at all surprised if the Flag at the center of this was not actually paid for by me and the other citizens of our nation.
    If you see the very disrespectful behavior of the “irrelevant aussie ginga twat” who has all the moral authority of a head louse for what it was then you only reinforce the total inanity of himself and the party he heads.
    He was only able to be where he was on the grounds of the position he holds and all other citizens who may have shared his view Tibet would have had a snowballs chance in hell to be that close.
    What part of the difference and gravitas between the gingas actions and the contrasting action of the late Rod Donald escapes you.

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  46. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Red Russell, poor little Aussie battler, such a great shame the bodyguard didn’t hand him his sorry arse on a plate. Another lefty that squeals like a little girl when someone actually triers of his crap and hits back. The Melons and their supporters are the frist to get into someones face but are just as quick to hide behind the law and squeal persecution if they look like they have picked on someone who will bite back. I say good fucking job, it’s karma.

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  47. Pete George (23,429 comments) says:

    Red Russell

    ??

    poor little Aussie battler

    Aaahhh, I don’t think Redbaiter is Aussie.

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  48. American Gardener (556 comments) says:

    Russell – so China being a communist state would explain it’s exponential rise in GDP since structural reforms in the 1980’s ?

    Here is a link to some data published by that great champion of communism – Google:
    http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:CHN&dl=en&hl=en&q=china+gdp#met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:CHN:NZL:JPN:USA

    There is no doubt that China is a one party authoritarian state that would have zero tolerance for the views expressed by your name sake with his flag waving. It is hardly a surprise that their security forces would be quick to protect their vice president.

    I suspect that the US Secret Service would take a similar approach if the target was Joe Biden.

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  49. Grendel (993 comments) says:

    Toad you seem to have missed the bit where russell was giving them his flag by trying to drape it over them.

    infact being that he physically pushed someone out of the way and then tried to force the flag physically onto the group, thats assault.

    if he wanted to keep his flag he should have kept it to himself, not tried to provide it as a poncho for someone else.

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  50. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    That wasn’t a protest, it was a whinge. Protest is the daily vigil Falun Gong maintain outside the Chinese Embassy on Glenmore St.

    As my children might say: “epic fail!”

    Key did the right thing by apologising. Norman’s behaviour was disgraceful. Unseemly.

    Mind you, from another perspective Norman did us an absolute favour – As long as he and his small band of friends act like that the Greens will remain a small and barely relevant political force in NZ.

    (I use ‘barely relevant’ and not ‘irrelevant’ as they are just relevent enough to get a few seats in Parliament. It’s very handy for us that those votes are merely redistribution of left leaning votes.)

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  51. davidp (3,575 comments) says:

    What I wonder is why the Greens support Tibetan independence, alone of all the disputed border and administrative situations in the world? The situation with regard to the sovereignty of Tibet is ambiguous, to say the least. But what isn’t ambiguous is that before the Chinese takeover, Tibet was a feudal country that still practiced slavery.

    So why Tibet, and not the Kurils. Or Belarussian occupation of eastern Poland. Or Russian occupation of East Prussia. Or Turkish occupation of Kurdistan. Or Russian occupation of bits of Georgia. Or Russian occupation of bits of Moldova. Or Indonesia occupation of West Papua. Or Sri Lankan occupation of Tamil Eelam. Or Pakistani occupation of Kashmir. Or Indian occupation of Kashmir. Or Bangladeshi occupation of East Pakistan. Or Iraqi occupation of Kurdistan. Or Iranian occupation of Kurdistan. Or Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus. Can we expect Norman to rush an Indian leader shouting “freedom for Kashmir”, followed by “give me back my flag”? Or is Tibet a special case for some reason?

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  52. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Here is a link to some data published by that great champion of communism – Google:”

    Gawd, you are so unbelievably out of touch. You just time warped in on some space ship from some other galaxy, or else you live in a burrow down the back of Jim Anderton’s garden.

    Click here

    If they’re (China) not communist, why are they ruled by a totalitarian dictatorship, a murdering military junta and why don’t they hold elections?? Like India?

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  53. Pete George (23,429 comments) says:

    “Or is Tibet a special case for some reason?”

    I think Tibet just panders to already Green votes. This little exhibition will stop that vote expanding. When I first heard about it I was slightly sympathetic (possible strongarming of protest), now I’ve seen and heard what went on it just seems pathetic. And embarrassing, slightly to NZ, mostly to the Green Party.

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  54. curia pigeon (204 comments) says:

    “why don’t they hold elections?? Like India?”

    Apparently the redbaiter program hasn’t been updated to recognise that the state of Kerala in India has had a communist government for most of the last 50 years, yet holds regular legitimate democratic elections. Someone should get around to making redbaiter mark 2. The present one’s so riddled with bugs.

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  55. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Someone should get around to making redbaiter mark 2. The present one’s so riddled with bugs…”

    (heh..!..)

    and davidp does have a point…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  56. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The present one’s so riddled with bugs.”

    At least it not so knuckle draggingly gape jawed stupid it reads GDP for GNP.

    “yet holds regular legitimate democratic elections”

    Hhahahha.. yeah sure it does. Fuckwit.

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  57. American Gardener (556 comments) says:

    Note to self: do not feed the trolls.

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  58. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Note to self: do not feed the trolls.”

    Note to American Gardner.

    Good, you’re fucking off then?

    Your contributions will be missed the way the Russians miss Stalin’s speeches in Red Square.

    Definition of troll- Any poster who write stuff the left find too challenging to deal with. This is usually achieved by stripping the left of their great bluff of legitimacy.

    There’s one thing leaves the left bereft of any answer, its exposing just how dirty their history is and how deceitful they always are.

    They’re crooks liars thieves and tyrants. Totalitarianism is all they have ever brought to the political table, and always the end game of any political strategy they follow.

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  59. davidp (3,575 comments) says:

    Pete G>I think Tibet just panders to already Green votes.

    I’m inclined to agree. Tibet is synonymous with the Dalai Lama who, for reasons that completely escape me, has a bit of a cult following. He’s Buddhist, and we’re all supposed to like Buddhists because they’re all spiritual and eastern and peaceful. He’s a celebrity. And he hangs out with the cool Hollywood crowd. I hope the Greens aren’t making foreign policy on the basis of celebrity and image, and it’d be nice to have someone like Toad explain the process that arrived at making Tibet a policy cause.

    (I was in Melbourne a few years ago when the Dalai Lama visited. The city was full of his minions. A genuinely Buddhist friend from Taiwan wasn’t at all interested… “different type of Buddhist”… but every 20-something white hippie girl was in town for some spiritual advice. He must have made an absolute fortune, charging them to attend his rallies in sports stadiums.)

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  60. curia pigeon (204 comments) says:

    “it reads GDP for GNP”

    Not at all. If anything the government accounts for less of GNP than GDP as the private sphere owns much more overseas capital than the Government does.

    In any case, only a propaganda bot would try to assert that the Govt accounts for 70% of NZ’s GNP.

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  61. annie (540 comments) says:

    What happened to keeping non-essential onlookers behind barriers and well away from the action?

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  62. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    curia pigeon – “Apparently the redbaiter program hasn’t been updated to recognise that the state of Kerala in India has had a communist government for most of the last 50 years, yet holds regular legitimate democratic elections. ”

    That makes no sense. Kerala is one state within a larger country which is a democratic country, and wouldn’t be able to change that without starting a civil war with the central government. As much as the communists would like to, they can’t declare themselves a one-party dictatorship any more than one state of Australia could. Interestingly, like china, they have halfway abandoned communist economics and allowed private enterprise and foreign investment and are now, unsurprisingly, doing well. Although a large part of their income comes from expat workers sending money home from more completely capitalist countries…

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  63. curia pigeon (204 comments) says:

    PIA – sigh, the point was that communism and democracy aren’t mutually exclusive. The redbaiter programme stated that China is communist because, amongst other things, it isn’t democratic…

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  64. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    curia – you still don’t seem to see that your exception proves the rule. Your only example of a communist state that holds elections, is one that has no choice but to hold elections. All your example shows is that communists can tolerate elections when they have absolutely no choice but to hold them, due to forces beyond their control. They would be a dictatorship in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it. The Chinese, on the other hand, answer to no-one, and they’ve been a dictatorship since day one of the revolution.

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  65. francis (712 comments) says:

    Elections in China:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

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  66. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Anyone hear Red Russ on Notional Radio just now?

    How can this hypocrite pontificate about “freedom of speech being unless without the right to protest”?

    He and his Marxist mates did their best to shut down such freedoms with the EFA while demonizing the EB’s who had the temerity to use their free speech to voice objection to Green policy.

    Norman is a hypocrite and a fraud.

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  67. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “while demonizing the EB’s who had the temerity to use their free speech to voice objection to Green policy”

    Good point Krazy. Hardly any difference in the way the Greens carry on to how the Chicoms carry on.

    But of course do not forget that the purpose of Norman’s protest was China’s attempt to destroy the culture of Tibet.

    He said nothing about the state of things in China during his “protest”.

    Proving two things- he cannot even present a coherent argument and he’s not really bothered about the Armed Forces General’s oppression of China’s people. Or their indoctrination of Chinese children by means of a politically focused school system.

    Why isn’t he bothered? Because he damn well agrees with such methods and this is no more accurately demonstrated than in the Greens actions in attempting to indoctrinate NZ school children with their Marxist rubbish in exactly the same manner as the Chicoms do with their Maoist rubbish.

    Just a posturing fraud.

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  68. Positan (386 comments) says:

    I said earlier that, to me, the most amazing aspect of this matter was how much Norman’s conduct was so conveniently at odds with his ideas as to propriety when it came to our freedom of speech.

    Actually, every bit as amazing has been the expressed mindsets that have sought to excuse Norman’s disgraceful conduct and his shocking disregard for the interests of this country – which are far more tangible and of far greater importance to us, than what he was seeking to uphold. Some of the submissions to this blog have been so uninformed as to render only contempt for the left-leaning, closed-mindset stupidity of the views.

    Equally contemptible has been the putting forward of assessments of the incident by very much slanted news-media and TV reports. The bias against the Chinese was palpable, right or wrong – and all before our police had determined the substance of Norman’s squeals. Some editorials today are unbelievably bIased.

    Freedom of speech demands that it be exercised with responsibility. In this case, it wasn’t. Norman seems to owe his primary allegiance to issues and matters outside our shores – but expects that he will be protected by the hard-earned rights of this country.

    I’m sorry, but that is not the way it is supposed to work.

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  69. JayMal (29 comments) says:

    Norman is smart, he understands that in order to get his cause debated he must be controversial. Had he not made an arse of himself we would not even be debating the issue. Xi Jingpings visit would have gone by with narry a mention of Tibet. So Norman achieved his aim, he behaved badly, exaggerated the facts by making wild claims BUT got on TV and got people talking about it. Job well done Norman. Key apologising however was an error in judgement, clarifying Norman was not a member of the government sure, but not to apologise.

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  70. curia pigeon (204 comments) says:

    pia – it’s unknowable as to whether there would be elections or not. Perhaps elections have not been held in many communist states, because the communists were aware that, as soon as they lost an election, with the help of US interests, their opponents would end up armed to the teeth, which would result in them being out of power perminantly, or dead.

    i.e. “The United States and British governments, supported by Australia, were deeply complicit in the murder of more than half a million alleged communist sympathisers in the wake of the 1965 Indonesian coup, a prominent historian told an international conference in Singapore last month.

    Brad Simpson, Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at Princeton University and author of “Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and US-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968”, said the US and British governments did “everything in their power” to ensure that the Indonesian army would carry out the mass killings.”

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