Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One of life's little pleasures...

... is strolling into the store at Opo and picking up a copy of a previously unencountered magazine.

In this case it was the Derek Fox published "Mana", issue 79 featuring two most interesting articles; "Guerillas in the mist" and a feature on "Moko kauae".

The second is a detailed (a great pity that Mana does not publish on the 'net but I fully understand why not) series of interviews with modern women who carry the tradition of the chin tattoo. It is an intensely written and quite moving (for me at least) narrative.

The cover story though is Derek Fox' personal wend through the events that I outlined in my series "There are terrorists in NZ". At some 10 pages, it would take a month to transcribe (copy) all of it. The following quotes though are pivotal.
In the Ruatoki valley you will occasionally hear the word "idiot" associated with his (Tame Iti) name. But the stocky heavily moko'ed mercurial character has caught the attention of the media, government, police and public for many years. To those with little understanding or sympathy for Maori grievances or the deeply ingrained pain of Tuhoe for the trampling of its mana by Pakeha, Tame Iti's is the dangerous face of MAori radicalism.
Now he's facing problems of his own waiting for the next drama to unfold as he goes to court to face the firearms charges that emerged from the police swoop of 'Black Monday' October 15.
One of the saddest things to come out of this botched operation is the fear sown about terrorism in this country where nothing [none?] exists, and the prejudice that followed from that.

Yes, on that last point, I heard echoes of it at work, and in the clubs I belong to...

Under the heading "A threat to democracy?" Fox has this to say.
On the morning of October 15 Commission of Police Howard Broad must have felt supremely confident. He and his senior officers had unleashed the biggest armed police operation in years against people he referred to in his news conferences as participating in "terrorist training camps".
[His] words shocked the nation. When pressed for more information he said he couldn't say more at this stage and that people should wait for the evidence.

Fox continues and points out that the only evidence published has been carefully and selectively leaked from "confidential and secure" files. He concludes -
Terrorism of the sort we have seen around the world would be a very serious threat to our democracy. As big a threat would be the actions of a police force that didn't get its way under the law stepping outside of it to try its case in the ill-informed 'court of public opinion'. Working outside the law is what police in fascist states do.

Now any who read my thoughts on this as it happened will know that Fox is writing (somewhat more elegantly) the same vein as I was trying to follow. But he has hidden his brilliant best in the middle of another part - easily missed.
One of the interesting pieces to come out of the Solicitor-General's decision [to not proceed with the terrorism charges] that the police and politicians and media people too have highlighted is that "something was happening in Urewera and the police put a stop to it before it could". It's an interesting approach to policing. If this became the norm we could arrest all motorists - that would certainly put an end to drink driving, speeding, running red lights and so on.

Nice one that.
Arresting all accountants would prevent a whole range of crimes

Hey now, hang on just a cotton-picking there Derek. That includes me!!!

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