One of the world’s great men passed away last week and he can be proud that he made a difference. I would venture to say that any of us who can go to our graves knowing we have made a difference (for the good that is), then we should be able to rest in peace.
Nelson Mandella is a man who has been celebrated in many different ways during his life and he will no doubt also be celebrated in many more ways in the future. He was a man who showed how it is possible to forgive even some of the most heinous of crimes. His humanity should be an example to all of us.
However (and didn’t you just know I’d have one of them lurking somewhere?) I have to say something about the appalling hypocrisy of the New Zealand Government in regards to Mandella’s funeral and what he stood for in general.
Madiba would probably not be impressed with me getting stuck into these guys over this, but I am a less evolved person than him and I haven’t yet learned to be as forgiving.
I cringe at the make-up of the ‘New Zealand delegation’ that has been ‘chosen’ to attend the funeral in South Africa. Let me dissect it (and them) one by one.
First of all we have little Jianqi. Well I have to grudgingly concede that this greedy little money grubber is the Prime Minister and as such he has ONE qualification for attending. I am however extremely uneasy about the fact that he has managed another of his famous brain-fades regarding where he stood in 1981.
I can tell you where he stood in 1981; in a corner somewhere counting out his money and plotting how he could get even more of the stuff for as little effort as possible. As for his views regarding the Springbok tour, I think I can safely say that he didn’t give it a moment’s though and if he had he would have backed the stance of the Muldoon Government and said that sport and politics don’t mix which was of course the right-wing platitude du jour at the time. If it were otherwise he would be proudly (or in his case, boastfully) proclaiming it from the hilltops for all to hear.
However, be that as it may; he is the leader and should go. I could add that he might want to consider not coming back, but that would be mean. To the South Africans, that is.
Next batter up to the plate is James Brendan Bolger, a former Prime Minister and eternal rider of gravy trains. This pillock was a member of that Muldoon Government in 1981 so he helped facilitate that tour by his lack of vocal opposition to it. I am also worried that his presence might lead to further embarrassment for us all when he attempts to adopt a South African accent for the tour.
Then there is Don McKinnon – he of the permanently upstanding hair and surprised look. Don was also a member of the Muldoon Government in 1981 and he has also been a leech on the public purse ever since riding every gravy train that has come to town. This genius caused something of a stir (and an embarrassment to all good Kiwis) when he proclaimed that economic development and free trade are more important than democracy. Mind you that was at a CHOGM meeting (Chaps Hanging Out on Government Money). I KNOW Nelson Mandella would not have shared that sentiment and would have shuddered at the very thought that money was more important than freedom, but then that is the manifesto of Jianqi isn’t it?
Pita Sharples is going of course and I guess he does have the cred that he opposed the tour, although I think it is fair to say he has long since traded away most of his principles to be a part of the Jianqi Government. This leaves him as a poor candidate and probably a token one since he is the only non-white member of the delegation. He really has developed into an “Uncle Tom’ or a ‘Benedict Arnold’; or perhaps a Faustian clone selling his soul to the devil for a little time holding awe corner of the reins of power. Mandella stood up for moral principles and was prepared to die for them. This wooss wouldn’t know a moral principle if it bit him on the nono.
And speaking of token members; David Cunliffe without the ‘t’ has only been chosen because even Jianqi knows that the leader of the opposition is usually expected to attend such events. He probably has the pedigree for this event and he opposed the tour.
So looking at the delegation it stands out like the proverbial ‘dog’s nuts’ that it is with one solitary exception comprised of old white guys, only one of whom actually stood for what Mandella did and one token Maori who has spent the last two parliamentary terms selling out his people so he could rub shoulders with the latest batch of power brokers.
I don’t necessarily think John Minto should have gone at the nation’s expense although he would have been a better choice than Don McKinnon or Jim Bolger, but I would have thought at least somebody with good Human Rights creds should have been included. It might not have been a bad idea to include a woman as well.
But definitely not our Racist Relations Commissioner who is another lacking any suitable qualifications for the trip or her job for that matter.
And just to make matters worse; the Huffington Post has picked up on Jianqi’s brain-fade as well. Oh the shame of it all!