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Green lizards

  • August 12th, 2008

A Maori friend once told me that we all have a lizard near our hearts that can flash out to bite others, and sometimes yourself. Some keep their lizard under tight control, others are ruled by it.

Russel Norman’s lizard must live half-way up his throat.

My Saturday post was deliberately circumspect about the extraordinary appearance of the lizard in St Andrews Church Hall on Saturday afternoon. That was partly because we all say and do things we regret in the course of election campaigns. I did not know whether his display   was his usual self, or an aberration.

From his comments in today’s DomPost he deserved no forbearance.

My  comment that triggered his lizard was not an interjection. It was a genuine reflection to Murray Smith beside me, who’d also worked with Rod Donald, on how I thought Rod Donald would have handled the situation. Still, I should not have made it then, however sincere it was.

I said so when I apologised to the audience (at least 40 people – not the 20 Norman seems to have suggested, presumably to minimise the offensiveness of his outburst). People I did not know came up to me afterwards to thank me, though most had not heard my comment. Russel did not attempt to apologise to them (and of course not to me).

I’d previously wound Norman up by describing as "fake protections" the Green amendments to our Bio-fuels bill to require that the fuels come from sustainable sources. They must know that in a global market, what we take from dubiously "sustainable" sources will just increase the price for similar ehanol from other (grain) sources. Their amendments do not sanitise the bill. They should ask that it be deferred until the science has caught up. I’ve been concerned about this law for some time.

I’ve heard Green spokespeople excusing eco-terrorism (against GM food research) because of the terrible risks they’re opposing. But Russell Norman seems to consider the fate of the millions whose rice price has doubled to be trivial, compared to his desire not to hear harsh words in an election debate.

To me the the continued Green demand for this law is a deplorable instance of political embarassment triumphing over genuine concern for the environment, not to mention the 300 million starving as grain is turned into fuel.

Rod Donald  was a genuine role model for the Greens. He was a hard political fighter. But he had a debating integrity I trusted. My first Select Committee minority report was signed by us both. When he and I served on the MMP review committee, we both thought the issues were worth debating seriously. Sure he brought his party’s preconceptions to the table, but he wanted to argue the substance.

Nor would he have wasted the Forum’s time point-scoring with false descriptions of the Building Act before the knee-jerk and expensive "leaky buildings changes.



  • sally
  • August 12th, 2008
  • 3:01 pm

Crosby/Textor 101 Stephen – when caught out, accuse your opponant of dirty campaigning.

Rod Donald was a great man, but you didn’t say that. You used his death to attack Russell Norman. That is gutter politics. Pathetic.

Frankly, I think Russell was quite controlled in his response considering you were making light of his friend’s death.

  • Sue Wilson
  • August 12th, 2008
  • 3:32 pm

Nothing to do with this post, but I have just read in Woman’s Day an interview with Harjunder Kaur, the widow of the man who was shot in South Auckland in his liquor store.

It shocked me to the core.

She heard that he had been shot and ran down to the store, where the gunman had fled.

Woman’s Day:
“I ran all the way to the shop,” she says. “My husband was on the floor, begging for help. He kept saying: ‘Call the ambulance, call for help’, but I couldn’t do anything.
In a further cruel twist, she says she was also forced to stand helplessly by – unable to hold Navtej or comfort him – because of telephone instructions from the authorities not to move him.”
End quote from Woman’s Day

What sort of Police force or “Authorities” do we have in New Zealand where a wife cannot cradle her dying husband who has been shot by a gunman who has fled?

Who makes these rules? It must come from the top. You guys have to change this inhumane stuff.

  • jcuknz
  • August 13th, 2008
  • 9:27 pm

It is a problem which most of us have contributed to by wanting to hang people when something goes wrong. So we invent safety rules to avoid responsibility. There is a thread in July about this on this blog.

  • peterquixote
  • August 14th, 2008
  • 9:24 pm

Interesting, I think certainly Jeanette will have to carry most of the weight as we enter campaigning

  • Craig Bellamy
  • August 16th, 2008
  • 1:45 am

Franky my man.

I just smoked a fat joint. I know your typical green supporter aye. Not so. In fact in my bleary eyed state i think you should just keep on keeping on.

You just remember us little people when you win huh.

  • Jessica
  • August 24th, 2008
  • 6:30 am

Honestly, I think you’re full of it. I am sick of national’s petty politics and lies.

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