Monday, June 21, 2010

Kowtowing to China

On Friday, Chinese security goons attacked and assaulted a New Zealand MP in the heart of our democracy. In these circumstances, where they have clearly broken the law and infringed upon the right to free speech (not to mention parliamentary privilege), you'd expect the Chinese government to say they're sorry. Instead, John Key is calling them to apologise.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully was critical of Dr Norman's action and last night told The New Zealand Herald that Mr Key had telephoned the most senior minister in the visiting Chinese delegation to apologise on Friday night.

He "conveyed his regret that there had been this encounter and expressed the hope that it had not unduly affected what has been a very positive visit," Mr McCully said.

"I understand that the fact that the Prime Minister picked up the phone was appreciated."

A spokesman for Mr Key, who is in South Africa, confirmed that Mr Key had made the call.

"He apologised for the incident," the spokesman said, but Mr Key had not spoken to the vice-president directly because of translation problems.

The craven, snivelling little rat. But I guess he doesn't want "little things" like democracy and freedom of speech to get in the way of farmers selling milk to China, right?

As for McCully's idea that

"Of course we have freedom of speech in New Zealand, but that doesn't mean we have to use that freedom of speech to cause offence to people, particularly to overseas visitors"
Freedom of speech means precisely the right to cause offence. If it does not, then it is no freedom at all. And if we must tiptoe around the sensitivities of murderous dictatorships in the name of trade, then we might as well live under one already.