Ghahraman reveals domestic violence, gets abused

In an interview Green MP Golriz Gahraman has revealed she has been the victim of domestic abuse – ‘I got strangled’ – and has again been the victim of reprehensible abuse on Twitter.

In an interview with Vice, the Green MP discussed the disproportionate amount of threatening messages she receives online – more, she says, than politicians much more powerful than her.

She said she’s had first-hand experience with how verbal abuse can quickly spiral into physical violence because she was once in a deeply unhealthy relationship.

“I’d go out with my friends, there’d always be a massive fight,” she said.

“I couldn’t turn on my phone because every time I’d turn it on I’d just get a barrage of messages that would just be something like, ‘slut-slut-slut-slut-slut,’ or ‘bitch-bitch-bitch-bitch-bitch-bitch’. And I’d just be like, ‘oh well I’ve got to turn my phone off’.”

The relationship got worse and worse, to the point where her partner began hurting her.

“Eventually, it got really physical. It was just like pushing and shaking and whatever. And then it got to a point where a couple of times I got strangled.”

This is awful, but if you follow court news in New Zealand you will know that this sort of abuse and violence is not uncommon (and gets worse than as described here).

Here is the full interview:

Some of the responses:

It wasn’t just on Twitter. SB at Whale Oil: Great News: Social Justice Warrior & virtue signaller extraordinaire may quit

It seems that the Green list MP we love to hate for her mistruths, incompetence, general stupidity and activism has finally seen the writing on the wall. However, given this nobody list MP’s penchant for the limelight I suspect that she has zero intention of actually quitting. 

In the article, the criticism and the facts revealed by critics were dismissed as baseless trolling likely fueled by racism. Golriz is portrayed as a poor widdle immigrant who just wants to be loved. A  fragile figure, who needs protection from the harsh reality of life and who seems astounded that her words and actions have consequences in the real world. Why can’t everyone just be nice?

The article also reveals another reason why we should be sympathetic towards a woman who spent her time as an intern helping defending violent and murderous men. One of her previous relationships was with a violent man and she is a survivor of domestic violence.

Atkins quotes the Vice account of the domestic abuse she has been subjected to and responds:

Her lying by omission and the role the Green party played in the deception is explained.

Given how much ‘lying by omission’ and deception Slater et al have been involved in this is hypocritical, and also sick.

And highly ironic given his recent post playing the victim and seeking sympathy and donations.

In comments, Nige:

She describes anyone who asks her about her past as a right wing troll.

Given Nige’s prominence in supporting and promoting Whale Oil as  self described ‘super-blog’ and still claiming to be ‘the fastest-growing media organisation in New Zealand’ perhaps it’s time to starting asking questions about his past.

There are a number of typically nasty comments, with blog manager Spanish Bride joining in (in reaction to “Is she predicting the Greens will be wiped out at the next election?”):

If she and her fellow Gunts keep up with the economy wreaking and activist behaviour it just might happen ( fingers crossed).

She is deeply involved in an activist blog often intent on political career ‘wreaking’ (sic). There are a few fingers crossed that Whale Oil may be wiped out before the next election (I think it may survive in some form).

The Whale Oil post became a part of the Twitter attack on Ghahraman:

This is a crappy indictment on social media and political blogging in New Zealand, albeit just an extreme portion of it.

I expected some nasty comments on Kiwiblog, but there are no posts and no comments I can see in General Debate – perhaps David Farrar is moderating on this topic. If so, good on him, it should happen more there.

I’ve been critical of Ghahraman as an MP, and I have my doubts she will succeed in politics unless she learns from her mistakes and improves somewhat.

But I think there is no excuse for the levels of abuse (the latest being just more of the same old crap that has been thrown at her) that she has inflicted on her.

Domestic abuse is a huge problem in New Zealand. There are many victims scattered across all demographics. Abusing people who publicly reveal the abuse they have suffered is despicable, and with an MP it is dirty, dirty politics.

It is difficult to stop individual cretins using via social media (confronting and standing up to them is one way that may help).

‘Media organisations’ and blogs that join the fray – and lead the baying bullshit – should also be confronted for their crappy behaviour and their promoting of crappy behaviour.

 

Unreasonable demands of Gahraman and Marvelly

Golriz Gahraman is active on Twitter and attracts a lot of attention, including criticism and personal attacks. Some of her tweets leave her open to valid criticism, but some of the attention is way over the top, and some of it is unwarranted. Like this:

This sort of attack is common. I’ve been criticised for not posting on things I haven’t seen or haven’t had time to deal with. It can get to ridiculous levels – I’ve been criticised for being not ‘balanced’ for not mentioning a whole lot of historical stuff in posts.

Replied to him because he was being a dick. That doesn’t mean they should react to whatever someone else says they should.

@HarrtBStard responded:

I asked about your outrage and was quite right suggesting there was none. Your deflected guilt towards me is outstanding. Noting not once during this brief exchange have I attacked you.

This is pathetic. And wrong.

He (presuming it’s a he) attacked them (with connotations of stalking) for not commenting on one of a huge number of stories in the world. Rather than address the story himself he tried to turn it into a lame attack on people with no responsibility for the story.

Gahraman and Marvelly put themselves out there in social media so should expect criticism, but being criticised for not commenting on something you haven’t seen is just ridiculous – and I think can be seen as a form of harassment.

Q+A: Golriz Ghahraman on increasing refugee numbers

Golriz Ghahraman, Green Party spokesperson on Immigration and Human Rights, was interviewed on Q+A on increasing refugee numbers. Jacinda Ardern announced last week the number was being increased from 1,000 to 1,500 in 2020, but Green policy is to increase it further to 4,000 (over 5 years), something that is unlikely to be agreed on by NZ First.

“There was such an outpouring of support for refugees from community groups and individuals”.

“Countries that take the most refugees are in fact from the Middle East and Africa, they’re the neighbour countries, they take millions, and in Europe we’ve seen you know millions come across and be integrated and housed because there’s been that need and it’s so close for them”.

“I think that New Zealand has always been a country that likes to do our share, you know we like to do our fair share when these things happen around the world.

On Winston Peters saying “I can show you parts of the Hokianga and elsewhere, parts of Northland, where people are living in degradation, we have to fix their lives up before we start taking on new obligations”. On problems we need to deal with here:

“And we do. And who doesn’t feel that. You know we’ve had nine years of being told we’ve got a rock star economy…

That’s a bullshit claim. The last Government took over as New Zealand was heading into a recession and the world economy tanked, and a couple of years later the Christchurch earthquakes struck, so the New Zealand economy was under aa lot of pressure for years, only gradually recovering. One person at one stage mentioned ‘a rock star economy’.

…while people struggle to find homes, they’re sleeping in cars, the congestion on the roads, you know joblessness. So we need to get back to investing in people, and we’ve got enough to do that, we just need to take care of everyone, and we do want to do our fair share when disasters happen, when wars happen.

“We’ve got enough to do that” depends on what and how much is done.

From the Labour-Green confidence and supply agreement:

18. . Review, and adequately fund and support, the family re-unification scheme for refugees.

Ghahraman:

“So that was a Green Party win in our confidence and supply agreement. We’re going to look at the definition of family. At the moment it’s very limited to dependant blood children and spouse, which doesn’t quite fit the situation of where refugees are coming from. That kind of excludes orphaned cousins who have been adopted and now they’re left back in some refugee camp.”

Won’t that increase the number of people coming in?

“Not significantly, but it would certainly help those families to resettle better without the anxiety of having been ripped apart from their families. And we know that if grand parents were allowed to come they would do a lot of the child care for example and both parents could go out and work and contribute and integrate.”

“So we’re having a review of the definition of family, and also the resourcing for family members being reunified.”

It could be a challenge getting Winston Peters to agree. A review is just aa promise to discuss, not to change.

Iraq, Afghanistan ‘peacekeeping’ and the realities of international ‘leadership’

Jacinda Ardern has been promoted (or has promoted herself) as one of a radical new breed of young progressive wanting to lead the world in a new direction. But the realities for a small distant nation is that the leader largely has to follow along with allies, even in war situations.

So despite in Opposition promising to pull the troops out the Government has just announced an extension of New Zealand’s deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Greens remain opposed.

Official announcement: New Zealand to extend NZDF deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and 3 peacekeeping missions

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, and Defence Minister Ron Mark have announced an extension of the New Zealand Defence Force military training deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a renewal of three peacekeeping missions in the Middle East and Africa.

“The decision to deploy defence force personnel overseas is one of the hardest for any government to take, especially when these deployments are to challenging and dangerous environments,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The Government has weighed a number of factors, including carefully considering the risks to our servicemen and women based on advice from the New Zealand Defence Force. The decisions themselves were taken following careful Cabinet deliberations.”

The Iraq deployment will be extended until June 2019, and the Afghanistan deployment will be extended until September 2019.  This allows New Zealand to fulfil its current commitment to both missions.

In the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan the Government will be using the coming year to consider all options for New Zealand’s future contributions.

The three peacekeeping missions are to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Golan Heights and Lebanon and the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.

“The Government has decided to continue with our current commitments to three peacekeeping missions in the Middle East and Africa, where we have an established presence and proven track record,” Winston Peters said.

A quite length explanation of all the deployments and their histories then followed.

This would normally be seen as a pragmatic decision with New Zealand being seen to contributing to international peacekeeping obligations, which it is. But this is a reversal of Labour’s position. National found themselves in a similar position.

Labour press release (June 2016): Iraq mission extension case not made

The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

“Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, even after years of training by the American and other armies. Having visited Camp Taji, my view on this has not changed.

“It was always obvious that the Iraq deployment would not be complete within the two years originally set for the mission, and the Prime Minister has not been open with the public about the demands being made on our troops by Coalition allies.

“Today in his post cabinet briefing Key could not even confirm the troops would be home in 18 months. He has not been straight with New Zealanders, nor has he made the case for mission creep. He owes it New Zealanders to explain why we’re committing our forces to an ongoing volatile theatre of war.

The Government has announced an extension to the two-year deployment, keeping up to 143 personnel in Iraq for an extra 18 months.

John Key admits it’s a change from the initial promise, but said there’s still work to do. He said the other options are to “do nothing”, or do “something that in hindsight may be more dangerous”.

Labour leader Andrew Little…

“We can be a good global citizen by looking after the civilians who are displaced. What we don’t want to be is caught up in a conflict that goes way out of control.”

“The fact that he’s now completely indefinite about how long we might be there – we could be there for a long, long time. The real threat then is of civil war and who knows where that will go.”

Green co-leader James Shaw…

…said we shouldn’t have our military in Iraq at all

“This is mission creep, and it’s extremely dangerous. He’s broken a promise about how long we were going to be there in the first place, it could easily get extended again, both in terms of the length of time we’re over there and also in terms of the scope of the mission.’

“Our good global citizenship role would be much better deployed as part of the humanitarian effort, rather than part of the military effort. We’ve got a lot more skill in humanitarian aid.”

SBS News/Reuters (November 2017 just after Ardern became Prime Minister): NZ could pull out of Iraq deployment

Australia may lose New Zealand as a partner training Iraqi security forces to fight Islamic State militants next year.

Ms Ardern said her government will review NZ’s commitment of just under 150 military personnel in November next year.

“We will look again at the circumstances when that mandate comes up again,” she told reporters at Sydney airport before her departure.

“It’s a complex conflict and things could change dramatically between now and then.”

Former NZ Labour leader Andrew Little, who Ms Ardern replaced, has previously cast doubt on the benefits the country’s role in Iraq and had vowed to bring the troops home.

Incline (February 2018): Groundhog Day for New Zealand’s Iraq Deployment?

National’s decision might have been broadly predictable, but the same cannot be said for Jacinda Ardern’s Labour-led coalition. What the Prime Minister and her Cabinet colleagues choose to do on Iraq presents a series of challenges in the weighing of international and domestic expectations.

For New Zealand First, which holds both the Defence and Foreign Affairs portfolios, the shift in position is a slightly easier one. Ron Mark prides himself on his commitment to a Defence Force that is ready to undertake missions in difficult conflict zones. At a time when his portfolio is not among the government’s top spending priorities, he needs a win for his view of the Defence Force. That Mr. Mark has been in Iraq, and has reported that the New Zealanders are doing “vital tasks” in the national interest, says all we need to know about his position on the issue.

His New Zealand First boss also seems a very likely supporter of extension. As Foreign Minister, Peters will be keenly aware of Australia’s interest in seeing New Zealand commit to a further six months and more.

We can be certain that if Jacinda Ardern announces that New Zealand will extend its mission she will not use the “price of the club” argument which landed John Key in political hot water. Explaining New Zealand’s involvement as a consequence of its five eyes connections would be exactly the message that would fire up opposition from the Greens and the Labour left.

…the Iraq decision is a more difficult test. Unlike the TPP, where significant parts of New Zealand’s business community have been strong supporters, there is no comparable domestic constituency for the Iraq deployment.

This raises an obvious challenge for the government if it does choose to extend. How does it show this choice is consistent with an independent foreign policy? Labour may think it owns that concept by virtue of its nuclear free push in the 1980s. Will Ardern be tempted to repeat the Key-English argument that New Zealand has made its own (i.e. “independent”) choice to work with traditional partners in Iraq? That will hardly convince many of the people who brought her to office.

Newshub (yesterday): Jacinda Ardern’s U-turn on pulling troops out of Iraq

The Labour-led Government is extending New Zealand’s deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan despite promising in Opposition to pull troops out.

The Prime Minister is refusing to comment on whether New Zealand’s elite soldiers, the SAS, will or have joined them.

This is another example of Labour leaning towards NZ First preferences, with Greens opposed. The Green Party doesen’t seem to have put out an official statement, but…

In the context of the ‘War of Terror’ & ‘peace in the Mid East’, one thing we know is more foreign military presence is not working, has never worked, & has made things far worse. Bring on the sustainable, non-military led humanitarian, conservation, restoration focus.

Stop spending Mills$ joining failed military campaigns that only help weapons manufacturing nations/corporates. Instead invest in helping victims access medicine, rebuild schools, roads…And flex our diplomatic muscle to tell everyone we won’t stand for them profiting from war.

She has a point – Iraq and Aghanistan seem to be bottomless pits and graveyards when it comes to military involvement, and perhaps futile: Seventeen years after September 11, al-Qaeda may be stronger than ever

In the days after September 11, 2001, the United States set out to destroy al-Qaeda. US President George W Bush vowed to “starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest.”

Seventeen years later, al-Qaeda may be stronger than ever. Far from vanquishing the extremist group and its associated “franchises,” critics say, US policies in the Middle East appear to have encouraged its spread.

New Zealand is now extending support of US policie.

What US officials didn’t grasp, said Rita Katz, director of the Site Intelligence Group, in a recent phone interview, is that al-Qaeda is more than a group of individuals. “It’s an idea, and an idea cannot be destroyed using sophisticated weapons and killing leaders and bombing training camps,” she said.

The group has amassed the largest fighting force in its existence.

It is a dilemma. Pacifism would also not have contained Al Qaeda nor ISIS. But a seventeen year military approach hasn’t solved Middle East problems either.

Ardern, Peters and their Government are doing their bit, but it’s very debatable whether that is going to help anything other than their standing in the US and it’s military industrial complex.

Nigel Farage’s ‘populist revolt’ not very popular hear

Nigel Farage is in New Zealand. He claims a populist revolt is going to “sweep the entire western world”. Going by the response to his visit there is not much sweeping going on here.

An Entertaining Evening With Nigel Farage | AUCKLAND

Newstalk ZB: Nigel Farage arrives in country, says populist revolt is here to stay

Nigel Farage will be telling New Zealanders tonight that the rise of populist movements won’t be going anywhere fast.

The former British politician, who founded the UKIP group that pushed for the Brexit referendum, is in the country tonight as part of a tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Farage says his speech tonight will cover Brexit, Donald Trump, global politics, and – a global revolution.

He told Larry Williams that since 2016 there’s been a populist revolt throughout the Western World.

“Everyone thinks it was a very short term outpouring of anger, they are in for a big shock, because my view is, you haven’t seen nothing yet. This movement is going to sweep the entire western world.”

In the United Kingdom politics and politicians may not have been less popular. UKIP has improved in polls recently, up to 5-7%, but that is comparable to Greens and NZ First here, hard populist revolt levels of support.

Farage’s visit has prompted inevitable protests.

More garble from Gharaman. The anti-populist revolt is unlikely to get very popular with that sort of confused messaging.

Newstalk ZB:  Protests greet attendees at Nigel Farage show

About 50 protestors jeered and booed at attendees, who had to walk a walk a gauntlet of opposition at the only entrance.

Some of those going inside smiled and waved at the protestors, while others kept their heads down, as people yelled “shame” at them.

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman, who attended the protests, says they’re standing with the communities who are under attack by Nigel Farage.

“It’s really important that we stand here and say: we are against race hate, we are against religious division, and we stand with minorities.”

Ghahraman’s ‘we’ don’t stand with the minority that was interested in what Farage had to say.

What was Farage here to talk about? It’s not easy to find much out about it. I have managed to find his website:

This looks as spicy as a wet Weetbix to me.

LANDMARK AUSTRALIA & NZ TOUR

ABOUT NIGEL FARAGE

Nigel Farage is co-founder and long-serving leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He was the face of BREXIT – the successful campaign to take the UK out of the European Union in the 2016 Referendum, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment.

Farage has been a Member of the European Parliament for South East England since 1999 and co-chairs the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group. He has been noted for his sometimes controversial speeches in the European Parliament and his strong criticism of the euro currency.

Farage has been described as ‘the most important British politician of the last decade” and one of the most influential. Farage has become the great “disruptor” of British and European politics and is widely consulted for his views on the changing nature of western politics.

Sounds like a promotional self description rather than an unbiased assessment.

Ticket prices (for Sydney’s Thursday ‘show’, I presume Auckland was similar)”

  • General Admission $89
  • VIP Meet/Greet $295
  • Backstage Pass $495
  • Private Dinner $995

This is similar to the tickets for the Molyneux and Southern shows (their Auckland one was cancelled).

Farage’s Auckland show was at the Auckland Pullman Hotel. The maximum capacity there is 900 in the Princes Ballroom Theater. It’s hard to imagine a huge number of people being interested.

I doubt he will have much success exciting a populist revolt here in New Zealand. Brexit is of interest to some, but most here will have little interest and probably little idea about Farage’s crusades.

These speaking tours seem to be more about making some money than being realistic revolution rousers.

 

Ghahraman fettering free speech, links Farage to UK MP death

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has raised free speech eyebrows even higher after linking Nigel Farage to the murder of a UK MP in trying the fetter his free speech.

(fetter v. restrain with chains or manacles, typically around the ankles)

This follows her selective application of free speech to people she agrees with versus those she doesn’t.

But she was challenged on this:

Let’s see appeal for Nigel Farage’s right to speak when he comes to NZ I won’t hold my breath

Her response:

Picking those she things ‘free speech’ and who’s tongues should be chained is controversial enough, but linking Farage to Cox’s death is just about jumping the shark territory.

Gharaman has become a bit of a loose cannon on Twitter, which doesn’t reflect well on the Green Party.


A comment from Missy (from the UK):

She shows her complete ignorance with that tweet.

She obviously believes the left’s spin on Farage, his Brexit campaign was not that much more dishonest than that of the Remain side, and since the referendum hate from the pro EU has risen more than the other way. As for hate crimes rising exponentially, they haven’t, many of the so-called hate crimes have since been proven to be either made up, or not so much hate crimes but normal criminal activity but because the victim was a migrant they were reported as hate crimes.

This is dishonest and misleading from Golriz.

I am not really a fan of Farage’s as such, but he is fair and he gives everyone a chance to air their views whether they agree with him or not – in fact on his show he regularly gets annoyed that no-one who disagrees with him calls in and constantly asks for those that disagree to call in. He is a believer in free speech.

This woman just keeps making stuff up to suit herself.

 

Green climate refugee policy lacking support, refugees

Green leader James Shaw was keen on a new refugee category for people adversely affected by climate change, but has no support from Labour and no potential refugees.

Green Party policy: Welcoming more refugees

The Green Party will:

  • Create a new humanitarian visa for people displaced by climate change in the Pacific.

Climate change will only make the global refugee crisis worse. We’re committed to providing new homes for some of the people who are forced out of their own communities and countries by rising seas and extreme droughts, particularly in the Pacific.

There was no mention of this policy the Labour-Green confidence and supply agreement.

Stuff:  Humanitarian visa proposed for climate change refugees dead in the water

A proposed “experimental” visa for climate change refugees is dead in the water, with the idea gaining little traction among Government officials and Pacific leaders.

Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced the Government would consider a special visa for Pacific peoples displaced by climate change in October 2017, after a tribunal rejected refugee status for two Tuvalu families.

Shaw, who was overseas and unavailable for comment, told RNZ in October the Government would consider an “experimental” humanitarian visa category as “a piece of work that we intend to do in partnership with the Pacific islands”.

The families argued rising seas would make their lives unsustainable, but climate change is not a recognised ground for refugee status under the UN Refugee Convention.

Minister for Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway said on Friday that Pacific peoples have expressed desire to continue to live in their own countries, and current work is primarily focussed on mitigating the impacts of climate change.

“Responses to the impacts of climate change would likely be considered as part of future discussions on Pacific immigration policies, but there is no specific plan for an ‘experimental visa’ at this stage.”

Not surprisingly, people prefer that problems are prevented or fixed so they can stay in their own countries.

Green Party immigration spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman​ said it was still party policy, but research on the ground showed a visa was likely unsuitable to address climate migration.

“The climate migration issue looks like it’s much broader than us coming up with a visa … Tuvaluans want to continue to be Tuvaluans.

“That became apparent fairly quickly when we started looking into it.”

It looks like the Greens first came up with the policy, then “started looking into it”, research “showed a visa was likely unsuitable to address climate migration” but the climate refugee policy remains.

Perhaps the Greens could do some looking into some of their other policies and see whether they stack up.

 

 

 

Justice summit and “unless we’re willing to decolonise”

Green MP continues to attract attention on Twitter. On Tuesday she said “We can’t fix our justice system unless we’re willing to decolonise. That begins with handing the mic over to tangata whenua.”

Someone else asked the obvious question: What does willingness to decolonise mean?

Ghahraman:

It means acknowledging this prison industrial syndrome existed before colonisation.

I have no idea what she means by that.

It means prioritising Māori tikanga at every level so tangata whenua have the outcomes they deserve in health, education, employment…Mostly, that they get to say what those systems looks like.

Certainly Māori should have a say in what health, education, employment systems should look like, but those systems have to cater for all New Zealanders – better for Māori for sure, but for everyone else too.

Ghahraman wasn’t the only person referring to colonisation.

Sio is an Labour MP (who migrated to New Zealand from Samoa when he was eight years old).

Sure, the effects of colonisation need to be considered amongst all other factors in which (some) Māori are adversely affected.

But decolonisation?

This was mentioned by two speakers at the justice summit. Newsroom: Systemic concerns outlined at justice summit

Former police officer and Te Puea Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis…

…spoke about “the big brown elephant in the room” which had in the past been ignored but was now front and centre.

“I have to say I’m extremely encouraged by the language that you’re using, the audacious position that you’ve put yourselves in, and the direction – tena koutou.”

Dennis said one of his concerns was the lack of a consistent strategy by and for Māori across the entire justice system, setting “terms of engagement”.

“We’re talking about a 30-year system focused on punitive and colonial attitudes and now we’re saying we need to change that – this is not going to happen overnight, it will take time.”

Laura O’Connell Rapira, the co-director of ActionStation…

… said the campaign group had carried out a survey on Māori perspectives of the justice system, with 90 percent agreeing that structural racism, colonisation and intergenerational trauma were the reasons for their over-representation in the prison population.

“It speaks to the need for systemic change, really transformative change, and my hope is that is what comes out of this hui because it’s been called for pretty much my whole life from Māori communities.”

Associate Justice Minister Aupito William Sio agreed that colonisation was an issue that could not be ignored, but warned there was no quick fix.

“We’re talking about a 30-year system focused on punitive and colonial attitudes and now we’re saying we need to change that – this is not going to happen overnight, it will take time.”

Justice and prison systems largely based on British systems certainly have flaws and need to be improved, as do outcomes for Māori – not just involving crime, but their whole family and social systems, including education, employment and health.

But the current system can’t just be replaced. It somehow has to be improved, and Māori  need to play a significant role in how that is done.

Talking about the effects of colonisation is important, but  I don’t think that throwing potentially divisive terms like decolonisation into the discussion help. We all have to work together on this, an us and them attitude is unlikely to fix anything.

However as Māori   are a big part of the justice problems, they need to take prominent roles in looking for solutions.

Learning from the past is fine, just blaming the past is unlikely to lead to positive change,.

 

Shades of Green – “cracks in the green revolution”

Greens have not been united on everything in the past, but in opposition they were at least able to appear to be largely working together.

A simple reality of being in Government means that those MPs who are ministers – James Shaw, Julie Anne Genter and Eugenie Sage, and to a lesser extent Parliamentary Under-Secretary Jan Logie, have heavy workloads, and have had to make decisions that follow the will of Government rather than the ideals of the party.

The other four MPs have much more of a free rein, and three of them in particular are fairly prominent doing their own things on social media.

Image result for shades of green

It is now effectively a party of two halves.

And party has been particularly divided over their historic strong opposition to ‘waka jumping’ type legislation and their current opposition, and their decision to vote in favour of Winston Peters’ controversial bill.

Green supporters often react badly to criticism – some of them fervently believe their own hype and can’t countenance any possibility they and their ideals may not be perfect.

So they are not likely to take Matthew Hooton’s column in the Herald today very well – Cracks in the green revolution

True Greens are not concerned about climate change, poverty or endangered species per se, but see them as mere symptoms of the real problem, which is capitalism and the population growth it allows.

I wouldn’t call them ‘true Greens’, that’s a label more appropriate for Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald, but there is a strong green mantra that social revolution is the main aim, with the claim that that will somehow fix environmental problems.

Hooton describes the current shades of Greens. James Shaw:

Far from having Norman’s True Green whakapapa, Shaw is a Wellington technocrat more at home at his former employer PwC than at a radicals’ rally.

He is part of a three-strong faction in Parliament but the other members are Labour’s David Parker and National’s Todd Muller, with whom he is trying to establish a multiparty consensus on climate change that might not save the planet but would certainly destroy the party.

Many Greens seem to abhor any attempt to work with ‘the enemy’, National.

Recently appointed co-leader Marama Davidson:

Davidson joins Hone Harawira as the only genuine radicals to have become party leaders.

It’s unsurprising that Davidson declined to participate in post-election negotiations with Labour.

Such processes are far too bourgeois for someone who deeply believes the New Zealand state is illegitimate.

Davidson may lead a faction of one in Parliament but she is a cult figure among Green activists who plan to insert her disciples into key party positions at its AGM this weekend.

The rest of the Green caucus:

Julie-Ann Genter is the smartest Green Minister and a genuine expert on transport and urban planning but her American heritage is a problem among the base.

Eugenie Sage is a genuine environmentalist rather than True Green but gets no credit for her wins on oil and gas, conservation funding and plastic bags.

Jan Logie worries more about the spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi than about the details of the Paris Climate Accord.

The party’s longest-serving MP, Gareth Hughes, is on the outer, having been overlooked for promotion despite more than eight years in Parliament.

Hughes has a very low profile. He has championed environmental issues, but seems to have lost any drive he may have had – and that’s debatable. He is perhaps best known for his ‘Hey Clint’ moment, asking a staffer what he should say.

Chloe Swarbrick, 24, and Golriz Ghahraman, 37, compete to be the darling of the party’s millennials with their eyes on the longer term.

Swarbrick seems to have taken on her job as MP seriously and has been prepared to work with any other MP or party to try to achieve some wins, especially on cannabis law reform. I think that her efforts so far have been impressive, more so because she is a first term MP.

However Ghahraman has stumbled from controversy to controversy on social media. She joined with Davidson and supporters this week claiming to be female and non-white victims.

Are Davidson and Ghahraman a serious threat to ‘the establishment’? Or are they more of a threat to the Green Party.

While the Green ministers have low profiles buried in their portfolios, the party revolutionaries have time to get attention. I’m not sure this face of the Greens is attractive to the soft Green voters they need to rebuild party support.

All the Green MPs are learning the realities of being a part of Government, and this will evolve over the current term.

They have major challenges in trying to avoid being split by fights for power that any political party (ok, except NZ First and ACT) have.

If Davidson and her supporting faction see a revolutionary takeover within the Greens as necessary on the road to drive out ‘the establishment’ then the Greens are in for challenging times.

Will they split or grow?

More questions asked of Golriz Ghahraman claims

An Australian “accredited specialist in immigration law” who claims to have been working in refugee law since 1990 has raised some serious questions about Green MP Golriz Ghahraman.

Ms Ghahraman is not a refugee or a “child asylum seeker.

Her claims of war and persecution do not stand up to scrutiny.  Her claim to be a “refugee” is disrespectful to the victims of the regime and the millions of Iranians forced to leave the country under threat of torture and death.

MPs have many challenges, often from anonymous people with questionable (or obviously ulterior) motives, but this looks to be a more credible challenge of Ghahraman’s back story and claims.

I think it’s fair to say that, after being touted as a new Green MP with a lot of promise, Ghahraman has had a fairly chequered political career so far. Her activities on social media keep raising questions about her capabilities – and her truthfulness, or possible lack of. I have seen her challenged a number of times for incorrect claims including for repeated incorrect claims.

Some attacks on Ghahraman, particularly in social media, are nasty, reprehensible.

But have been and continue to be valid questions about some of her claims. Her party profile was changed last November after it was questioned: Profile on party website of MP who defended Butcher of Bosnia now changed to be more accurate

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman worked as part of the legal defence team for Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadžić, who was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

…her profile page on the Green Party website has now been changed to more accurately reflect the legal defence work she did at the Rwanda Tribunal and The Hague, and the prosecution work she did at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Her profile page on the Green Party website has now been changed, following her admission that it “could be clearer”.

It previously said: “Golriz has lived and worked in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia, putting on trial world leaders for abusing their power.”

Now it says: “Golriz worked for United Nations Tribunals as part of both defence (Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia) and prosecution (Cambodia) teams.”

Her Green Party current profile begins:

Golriz is an Iranian-Kiwi refugee, lucky to escape war and persecution as a child.

After becoming a list candidate (Newshub May 2017): Ten things you need to know about Golriz Ghahraman

2 She’s a former refugee, and fled Iran with her family without telling anyone

She arrived in New Zealand when she was nine years old, and left Iran with her family not telling anyone that they were leaving forever. “We essentially escaped one of the most oppressive regimes in probably modern history, which is the Islamic Republic of Iran and the repression was just a backdrop to a very bloody war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq,” she says.

Some of this has now been questioned by Australian lawyer Simon Jean in GOLRIZ GHAHRAMAN, GREEN PARTY NEW ZEALAND MP

The Green Party MP, Golriz Ghahraman, came to my attention on 3 August 2018 after she posted a video on Twitter saying, “No human right is absolute.  They are all subject to lawful limits.”  I responded that in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there are many human rights which are absolute, such as the right not to be tortured or suffer cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.  She blocked me on Twitter.

In a NZ Herald article, Meet Golriz Ghahraman, the Green Party’s newest Member of Parliament, 7 October 2017, Kirsty Johnston writes, “Most of Golriz Ghahraman’s childhood memories are of war.  She remembers howling sirens, sending families scurrying into basements.  She remembers people being trapped.”  In her Maiden Speech to Parliament, she said, “I remember the bombs and the sirens, running to a basement and just waiting.  But mostly I remember kids my age who stopped talking from the shell shock, and I still don’t know what happened to them.”

Ms Ghahraman stated in June 2017 that “I’m from Mashhad in the north of Iran”

The significance of Ms Ghahraman’s statement is that she has an affinity with Mashhad, which indicates she was living there and not in Tehran.

Mashhad is the largest city in eastern Iran, near the border with Afghanistan.  It was unaffected by the war, except as a safe haven for many people displaced by the Iran-Iraq war in the west and south.  There were no missiles attacks.  It is 900 km east of Tehran and 1500km from Iraq, well out of Iraqi rocket range.  If she was always living in Mashhad until 1990, the claim of war memories is fictional.

Jean gives more details which suggest at least a lack of completeness in Ghahraman’s Iranian past, and also on her claims to be a war refuge.

Ms Ghahraman makes much of the claim that she is a refugee.  In her Maiden Speech to the Parliament she said:

“I never intended to run as the first ever refugee MP but I quickly realised that my face and my story mean so much to so many, so my fear of tokenism dissipated.”

The claim that she is a “refugee” does not stand up to scrutiny[6].

The claim to be a refugee from Iran is a significant claim, historically and morally.

Ms Ghahraman has described in the NZ Herald and Stuff online how her parents supported the Islamic Revolution, like many people at that time from all sides of politics who came together to oppose the Shah.

She described how she left Iran, with an orderly departure at an airport.  The family was issued with passports, given permission to leave the country and allowed to take a holiday in Malaysia.  The regime had a watch list to stop opponents obtaining passports and departing from an airport.

This indicates that Ms Ghahraman’s family were viewed by the regime as their supporters…

The issuing of passports, permission to leave for a holiday and an orderly departure, is not consistent with people who were persecuted by the regime.

Ms Ghahraman is not a refugee or a “child asylum seeker[7]”.  Her claims of war and persecution do not stand up to scrutiny.  Her claim to be a “refugee” is disrespectful to the victims of the regime and the millions of Iranians forced to leave the country under threat of torture and death.

I think this warrants a response from Ghahraman. Perhaps she can refute Jean’s claims, or clarify.