Gordon Campbell on UN hypocrisy towards Richard Prosser 5 Mar 2013
- Fish, eels, punts return to cleaner Avon River News
- Failed Feltex case costs litigation funders $3.1M in costs Business
- H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Rises for Jazz Living
- Finlayson delivers Crown apology to Ngaruahine News
- Oil Free Wellington Delivers Message to Norwegian Consulate News
- Inflation target at 2% risks overheated economy, BNZ says Business
- Hallenstein lifts profit 40% as it claws back market share Business
- PM to attend the Cricket World Cup Final News
- RESEND: NZX launches three new ETFs Business
- Gordon Campbell on a funeral in Asia and Northland Columns
Gordon Campbell on the UN’s hypocrisy towards Richard Prosser
So the United Nations has reprimanded Richard Prosser for his “Wogistan” comments.
The United Nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination described Prosser's comments as "inflammatory" and urged a stronger line from the Government.
"The committee regrets the recent inflammatory remarks by a member of parliament vilifying persons from Central Asia or the Middle East based on their skin colour and country of origin as well as their religion," it said in a newly published report on New Zealand's record on racial discrimination.
All well and good. Yet offhand, its hard to think of anything more likely to create sympathy for the New Zealand First MP. That’s because the UN has such a chequered record on human rights. In the latest example, the UN has just ruled itself immune from any claim for compensation for the way one of the ‘peacekeeping’ teams that it sent to Haiti (after the recent earthquake) then proceeded to carelessly contaminate a major river with its own faecal wastes, thereby triggering a cholera epidemic that has so far killed over 8,000 Haitians.
As the Economist magazine recently pointed out, if a business tipped industrial waste into a river in the United States, you could hope at least to sue them for negligence. Not so with the United Nations. Although 5,000 Haitians have tried to sue the UN for its lethal negligence, the UN has ruled itself above all that:
The UN said that no action against it was possible. In a terse statement, the office of Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general, declared the claims “not receivable” because of the organisation’s privileges and immunities. Apparently, there is no legal mechanism for redress against the UN, whern it violates human rights.
Immunity protects it from most courts. Although its agreement with Haiti provides for a claims commission to hear grievances, that commission has never been set up. So the lawyers for the cholera claimants brought their petition directly to the secretary-general. They demanded that the UN pay damages, accept responsibility, set up the claims commission and build the sewage systems that Haiti lacks.
Although the UN’s legal office took 15 months to declare itself beyond the reach of the claims, it offered little explanation. Its letter to the claimants’ lawyers said “consideration of these claims would necessarily involve a review of political and policy matters.” So is dumping faeces in rivers UN policy? The answer seems to be, as one of the claimants’ lawyers put it: “We make the rules, we interpret them, we enforce them, and therefore, whatever we say is right.”.
On that basis, Richard Prosser should get on pretty well with Ban Ki Moon, next time they’re out and about together in Wogistan.
Using Gold to Sell the Silver
Whenever the government wants to spend money on itself or its investor friends, all that talk about the need for austerity flies right out the window. Past example: bailing out South Canterbury Finance speculators. Latest example: the financially foolhardy partial asset sales programme. Apparently there will now be a million dollar advertising campaign piled on top of the tens of millions already spent on consultancy fees etc… in order to sell the government’s plan to unload Mighty River Power.
"Tomorrow will also see the start of a substantial advertising and communications campaign covering television, print and online media which will raise awareness of the initial public offer," said [Finance Minister Bill] English.
Right. So we need to spend a million dollars to whip up public enthusiasm for a partial sale that will lose money (compared to the cost of borrowing the same amounts and retaining the entire revenue stream). The partial selldown is opposed by most of the public, and only a relatively few and relatively affluent New Zealanders stand to profit from the share float, eventually at everyone else’s expense:
Key this afternoon said the share sale would be a "highly political process" and his Government intended keeping its promises about ensuring a high level of New Zealand ownership.
Earth to Key: there’s an even higher level of New Zealand ownership right now. What Key and English are about to do will actually reduce ownership by the New Zealand public, and render most of them vulnerable to price gouging on their power bills. Key is right on one point though. It is a “highly political process.”
26 Mar 2015 News
Legislation modernising rules applying to Royal succession to the throne came into force today in New Zealand and in the 16 Realms... more
27 Mar 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk NZ milk powder futures drop as Fonterra lifts GDT volumes, signalling prices will fall By Tina ... more
26 Mar 2015 Business News
NZ commercial property lending less risky now due to lower debt funding March 26 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank said New... more
13 Mar 2015 Lifestyle
Fusing light, music, mobile and one of Auckland’s most recognisable landmarks together – 2degrees launched another Kiwi... more
12 Mar 2015 Property
NZ house prices rise 3.6% in February, led by a 14% jump in Auckland prices March 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand residential... more
2 Mar 2015 Migration
Prime Minister John Key says he is not aware of any suspected war criminals from the former Yugoslavia in New Zealand. The claim that... more
17 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss is welcoming a move by the rental vehicle industry to establish a Code of Best Practice to... more
6 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Sustainable workforce solutions were at the centre of discussions between Government Ministers and tourism industry representatives... more
ICC World Cup 2015: Sunday doesn’t guarantee success but it gives the greatest chance, says McCullum
28 Mar 2015 Cricket
Q. Who won the real battle of big brother against little brother?BRENDON McCULLUM: I think he won, but I definitely had some mad... more
28 Mar 2015 Cricket
The International Cricket Council today announced the match official appointments for the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015,... more
28 Mar 2015 Opinion
Former New Zealand captain says the team will be focusing on enjoying themselves, knowing they are part of something that will be the... more
27 Mar 2015 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on a funeral in Asia, the Northland by-election, and news priorities Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny... more
18 Mar 2015 Appointments
Tower names Seniors Money's Brett Wilson as CFO, replacing Boggs March 18 (BusinessDesk) - Tower, the listed general insurer,... more
6 Mar 2015 People
Glassjar, the kiwi software start-up whose app provides people an easy way of sharing bills, has launched in the United States. The... more
26 Mar 2015 Recruitment
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse today announced a package of measures to strengthen enforcement of minimum... more
20 Mar 2015 Recruitment
RESEND: Warehouse says 63% of permanent staff now on 'career retailer wage' (Fixes fourth paragraph to show Warehouse is... more