Tame Iti is a good bloke
“Will you apologise to Tame?” I asked Ronnie Mark on Close Up last week when we debated whether Tame Iti should be allowed out of the country while facing firearm charges. “No way!” said Ronnie. “Tame’s a dangerous and violent criminal who smacked one of his mates on the head with a taiaha a few years ago.”
Now while I can’t deny that, in my book it doesn’t make Tame a dangerous and violent criminal.
The real story about Tame is that he is one of this country’s true characters.
He’s been called a terrorist, which is rubbish. He’s a provocateur, stirrer, entertainer – someone who makes society think and pushes issues to the edge.
Okay he gets a little carried away sometimes, like when he bared his backside to the Waitangi Tribunal, and unfortunately for us that scene is repeated far too often on TV.
He also shot at a flag and spat at Labour MPs during the foreshore protest march.
Sure those actions shouldn’t be applauded, although the flag ended up being an Aussie one and the MPs he spat at had just sold out Maoridom over the foreshore and seabed issue.
It probably wasn’t right, but it certainly doesn’t make Tame the Maori Osama bin Laden, as Ronnie would have you believe.
No, Ronnie’s descriptions are based purely on getting his mates and himself back into Parliament.
They’re down in the polls, so it’s race card time. They went after the Asians to no avail so now it’s boot Maori, in the shape of Tame Iti.
Some might feel – not me of course – that Tame should seriously consider pulling out that taiaha again. • Listen to Willie Jackson at 10am on Monday on Radio Waatea 603AM.
Listen to Willie Jackson on Monday at 10am on Radio Waatea 603AM