Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NZ Herald letter of the month #2

To mark 11.12.13, here is the wonderful Marti Friedlander in today’s issue of the Herald:
Anti-apartheid voice
I cannot comprehend why John Minto feels he should be part of the New Zealand delegation at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Many of us had been protesting against apartheid for years before the 1981 protests. I remember, particularly, that first protest I attended in New Zealand at Myers Park in 1960. It was a very moving and heartfelt one.
The exceptional lawyer Frank Haigh articulated our mutual concern. Such protests continued for years around New Zealand, and Hart and Care reallied people together in unity for this cause.
Mr Minto should stop believing he gave voice to our anti-apartheid movement in New Zealand.
In other Minto-related news, BK Drinkwater tweets about the online fuss about the government not inviting Minto and/or Trevor Richards to what’s basically a state funeral with world leaders. I was interested in BK’s view because he is far too young to remember 1981, so is unsentimental about it. I lived in Auckland then, went on every protest march, drove down to Hamilton for the game there – fortunately I arrived a couple of minutes too late to get on the field: it was frightening enough outside – and at the Eden Park game got whacked by a cop from, I think, the Blue Squad. And, like Marti, I had been an anti-apartheid protester long before 1981. So I was present and engaged, but am unsentimental about it. Anyway here is BK with a bunch of tweets about what he sees on Twitter:
Dear people my age and younger: it is moral complacency, not moral sensitivity, to assume you would have been anti-tour had you been alive.
 I’m seeing a lot of talk about 1980s new zealand and not much about apartheid south africa.
 1. I am sympathetic to the people seeking to use Mandela’s death as an opportunity to relive the discord of their New Zealand youth...
2. it must be nice to look back and feel that you once meant something and were a part of something more important than yourself...
3. It is a pity that these people’s lives have clearly not since meant anything or been part of anything but more important than themselves.
4. So out of pity, I’m prepared to let them feel alive again, even if their way of doing this involves...
5. appropriating a dead man’s struggle for their petty partisan ends. But I won’t engage.
So here is a snippet of Neil Young on 21 March 2013 in Auckland with “Danger Bird” from his 1975 album Zuma. Frank Sampedro’s good, isn’t he:

1 comment:

Graeme Lay said...

Marti Friedlander's letter is both timely and true. There was a strong and courageous anti-apartheid movement in New Zealand from the late 1950s onwards, when John Minto was only in primary school. His constant, carping self-righteousness has gone well beyond the tiresome, it has become nauseating.

I well remember his and his blind followers' attempts a few summers back to persecute a young Israeli woman tennis player who was playing at the Stanley Street tournament here in Auckland. How Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels would have loved John Minto. He is that most obnoxious of political persons - a left-wing fascist.