[Edit: Not original headline]
Is Divide And Conquer The New TPPA Strategy?
Why did the government offer to host the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement? (TPPA)
Why at an Auckland Casino and not parliament?
Why on February 4th before parliament sits for the new year?
Why do it just 2 days before Waitangi Day which has often been a focus of protest over Treaty related issues ( and knowing that the TPPA raises significant concerns over Treaty obligations and Sovereignty)?
Have these decisions been the result of sheer stupidity with no thought to pressure and unnecessary costs it puts on our police over security issues ?
Or the result of political cunning?
While stupidity can’t be ruled out, those of us who remember the 1981 Springbok Tour protests against sporting contacts with apartheid South Africa, haven’t forgotten how the then Prime Minister -National’s Robert Muldoon- was able to turn peaceful demonstrations into a law and order issue through the use of baton wielding riot squads.
Why? Because he had his eye on the election later that year and he wanted to present himself as a strong leader.
It put the police into the invidious position of behaving like Muldoon’s private army and it damaged their relationship with the New Zealand public (that is so dependent on trust) for a very long time.
Does the Key government want to spin legitimate concerns over the TPPA into a law and order issue?
Or has National simply blundered in their timing and created a security nightmare for our police?
I don’t know.
What I know is the police are practicing their riot drills and that if protestors confront the police on February 4th with anything but peaceful demonstration, the TV pictures of violent clashes will allow Key to paint the protestors a an unruly mob of radicals who want to stop ‘what’s best for New Zealand’.
So let’s not give him that opportunity.
Let’s not get arrested.
Let’s remember what a previous National Prime Minister did
By all means let’s protest on the day, but let’s be clever about it.
Bryan Bruce Bio:
Born in Scotland in 1948, his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1956. He grew up in Christchurch and attended the University of Canterbury where he graduated with an M.A.in Sociology and Philosophy. He now resides in Auckland New Zealand.
His feature length documentaries range in topic from natural history to crime, justice , poverty and inequality issues.
He is also an author.Some of his published non-fiction works include:
A Taste of History ( Batemans 2007) A history of everyday foods.
Hard cases (Random House New Zealand 2008
Historia Smaku ( Cartablanca Poland 2008).
Jesus: The Cold Case Random House New Zealand 2010
Jezus: Dowody Zbrodni (Cartablanca Poland 2011
He is an advocate for the rights of children and administrates the face book pagehttp://www.facebook.com/InsideChildPoverty
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.