Gordon Campbell on UN hypocrisy towards Richard Prosser 5 Mar 2013
- National Well Ahead On Early Results News
- Final Forecasts for Election 2014 News
- MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares follow Wall Street higher Business
- Amid Dirty Politics ‘Another Free Election Bites the Dust’? News
- Gareth Morgan: Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies News
- The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary News
- Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable News
- NZ 2014 Election Index - 13-18 September News
- Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT News
- Prime Time with Sean Plunket - Tonight 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.”
19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Gareth Morgan: Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus... more
19 Sep 2014 News
iPredict IPREDICT LTD 2014 NEW ZEALAND ELECTION DAILY UPDATE #12 www.ipredict.co.nz more
19 Sep 2014 Business News
Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand consumer confidence rose in September from a 10-month low, as households adjust to a more... more
19 Sep 2014 Business News
Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust, which is selling assets to fund development, will spend $33.4 million on four ... more
15 Sep 2014 Environment
Sept. 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand visual marketing software company Shuttlerock has added Lady Gaga to its client list. While... more
3 Sep 2014 Property
Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house sales fell for a third month in August and the number of listings remained muted in the... more
19 Sep 2014 Migration
NZ net migration at annual record in August on big inflow, fewer departures Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand’s... more
11 Sep 2014 Migration
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank is keenly watching the impact New Zealand's decade-high net migration inflow is having on... more
11 Sep 2014 Travel & Tourism
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Plans for a $350 million runway extension for Wellington International Airport would provide the capital... more
19 Sep 2014 Rugby
Prince Harry Announced as Honorary President of England Rugby 2015 on One Year to Go to Rugby World Cup 2015 With One Year to Go to... more
19 Sep 2014 Netball
Netball New Zealand National Selectors have chosen 19 players in the Silver Ferns Squad for the 2014/2015 international Netball... more
19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on a campaign that is ending as it began This election campaign is getting no less... more
19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Opinion - Martin Doyle Martin Doyle Cartoon: Election on a fork 'n' knife-edge more
10 Sep 2014 People
The New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) -the largest membership association for psychologists in New Zealand, offers awards... more
11 Sep 2014 Recruitment
Paramedics in New Zealand jump at opportunity of a clinical career in London Paramedics hoping for a chance to work for the... more
22 Aug 2014 Recruitment
The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale... more