‘… and the near win­ner was’

Auckland City Harbour News - - OPIN­ION -

‘‘He wuz robbed,’’ as sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of Hol­ly­wood tough guys have said.

It only needed a few hours de­lay in the awards and world opin­ion could have hon­oured the mo­ment, tak­ing the whole drama from the red car­pet to the han­dover of an Os­car stat­uette.

It was well-de­served and well­re­hearsed, that sud­den burst of vol­ume, arms wav­ing, eyes flash­ing, the ap­pear­ance of a world leader in full flight.

Yes, the Os­car em­blem might have lacked a win­ner’s name en­graved on it – but that could be over­come, lit­er­ally in a few min­utes back­stage.

It then might have read: ‘‘Best ac­tor in a so-far undis­tributed po­lit­i­cal pro­duc­tion: John Key’’.

That ap­par­ently the­atri­cal, spon­ta­neous ‘‘get some guts and join the right side’’ to his po­lit­i­cal en­e­mies was merely the empty cli­max to a tac­ti­cal script.

I just wish ap­par­ent par­lia­men­tary anger like his would burst out ev­ery time shock­ing de­tails sur­face over bru­tal beat­ings and/or sex­ual of­fences against this coun­try’s ba­bies and the young.

Par­lia­men­tary par­ties could and should act to­gether and with real pur­pose against those mak­ing for­tunes and ru­in­ing young lives.

As it was, the po­lit­i­cal cha­rade over send­ing New Zealand mil­i­tary tu­tors and their body­guards to Iraq has been played out for months – thinly dis­guised by the need to tell our al­lies what and why not.

That script in­cluded the visit here by the Iraqi war/for­eign min­is­ter Dr al-Jaa­fari who, ac­cord­ing to the Cab­i­net chat at the time, was put through the sus­pect for­mal­i­ties of ac­tu­ally mak­ing a re­quest for help be­fore the Prime Min­is­ter and oth­ers ac­knowl­edged a de­ci­sion made in prin­ci­pal weeks ago.

As it is, while New Zealand trains to train the out­rages go on, the beat­ings, the in­juries, the sex­ual as­saults – and the mis­placed en­ergy to save vic­tims half the world away and to thwart sa­tanic bru­tal­ity prac­tised crim­i­nally in the name of a proud reli­gion.

Poser: Was that tiny sil­ver fern on his dark suit lapel a ‘‘we’re on our way (sort of) to Isis’’ or a pointed nudge to Key’s pref­er­ence in the dis­tant new flag vote?

About re­cent col­umn ling­ton: Don’t do it!’’.

Fiona Allen, Pa­p­a­toe­toe writes: ‘‘I agree 100 per cent. When I saw a TV news piece late last year where Hutt City mayor looked very flum­moxed af­ter a meet­ing where me­dia were sup­posed to be present but weren’t (the may­ors hadn’t been told) at the meet­ing about ‘su­percity ben­e­fits’ I emailed both may­ors’ of­fices.

‘‘My emails ba­si­cally gave 20 rea­sons why NOT to amal­ga­mate based on what we, in Pa­p­a­toe­toe, are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing (or more ac­cu­rately, not ex­pe­ri­enc­ing) plus the gen­eral feel­ing of a lot of Auck­lan­ders.

‘‘I’m orig­i­nally from Up­per Hutt so I’m al­ways in­ter­ested in what’s go­ing on down there. I cor­re­sponded over a few days with staff from both may­ors.

‘‘When my hus­band and I went to Up­per Hutt for a fam­ily wed­ding over the long week­end the topic

‘‘Memo Wel- came up with fam­ily and friends from Up­per Hutt, Lower Hutt, Welling­ton and Waikanae – plus a cou­ple soon mov­ing to Carter­ton.

‘‘Let’s say I bent a few ears! Len Brown has for­got­ten where his of­fice used to be at Manukau city and by what I saw on break­fast news, Sir Bob Har­vey has for­got­ten where his of­fice used to be at Waitakere city.

‘‘He was try­ing to con­vince peo­ple in Master­ton that Wairarapa should be part of Welling­ton amal­ga­ma­tion (short mem­ory maybe?).

‘‘Must go to make my monthly call to Auck­land Coun­cil to re­mind them that the rub­bish bins (all two of them) at Puhinui Park are over­flow­ing again and still haven’t been emp­tied – again.

‘‘Last month it was 11 days, this time 13 days – so much for emp­ty­ing ev­ery cou­ple of days.

‘‘And then there’s the half­hearted clean­ing of the pond plus the ig­nored in­let and out­let con­crete ‘canals’ that once were full of tid­dlers and eels but are now so weed­choked the wa­ter can’t be seen.

‘‘Lucky old Kohi and Mis­sion Bay where the pub­lic bins are emp­tied ev­ery day and the beach is well­main­tained.’’


The de­tails: John Key out­lines in Par­lia­ment de­tails of the planned Kiwi de­ploy­ment to Iraq.

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