Gordon Campbell on UN hypocrisy towards Richard Prosser 5 Mar 2013
- MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall amid MSCI changes Business
- UPDATE: Carbon farmer sues MRP over $34.7 mln in ETS credits Business
- Super Fund's Orr sees rising tide of responsible investing Business
- CORRECT: Methven lifts 1H profit 3.4% on cost-cuts Business
- Methven lifts 1H profit 3.4% on cost-cuts, lower tax bill Business
- Pumpkin Patch may breach convenants if Xmas sales struggle Business
- Green Cross Health first-half profit falls 2% as costs rise Business
- UPDATE: ERoad 1H loss in line with forecast Business
- Cavalier chair James defends management, board at AGM Business
- Government Inquiry report released News
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.”
25 Nov 2014 Politics
Prime Minister John Key has today released the findings of the Government Inquiry into allegations regarding Judith Collins and a ... more
18 Nov 2014 Business News
Every year, several dozen butchers make an epic commute - from provincial New Zealand to rural Iceland - for just two months' work.... more
17 Nov 2014 Lifestyle
WAITANGI, New Zealand – When intrepid Hokulea crewmembers first sailed to Aotearoa (New Zealand) 29 years ago using the ... more
14 Nov 2014 Lifestyle
A University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship team is set to compete in this Sunday’s Round the Bridges. The team of... more
18 Nov 2014 Property
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett is impressed with Housing New Zealand’s progress in building, redeveloping and repairing... more
24 Nov 2014 Migration
NZ net migration rises to fresh record in Oct as more kiwis return, Indian students arrive Nov. 24 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's... more
3 Nov 2014 Migration
Australians and New Zealanders should be granted special status to live and work in the United Kingdom without restriction, a new... more
12 Nov 2014 Travel & Tourism
Nov. 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest nights rose 1.1 percent to a record for a September month, driven by a rebound in ... more
7 Nov 2014 Travel & Tourism
Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse say Indian nationals travelling to New Zealand... more
24 Nov 2014 Golf
NAPLES, Fla. -- New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko was an instant millionaire even before she went into a three-way playoff Sunday in the... more
24 Nov 2014 Netball
The most promising young shooters from across the Netball Central Zone are being given the opportunity to learn from the very best... more
24 Nov 2014 Opinion
The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism... more
20 Nov 2014 Opinion
Could this news report serve to explain – in a nutshell – why Prime Minister John Key has not ruled out the SAS... more
25 Nov 2014 Appointments
R.Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust Dame Anne Salmond appointed Patron of Northland-based Sail Training Trust Former New... more
12 Nov 2014 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk Smiths City starts search for new CEO after Hellings signals exit By Paul McBeth Nov. 12 (BusinessDesk)... more