Thursday, February 18, 2021

Barry Soper: Scott Morrison seems determined to turn NZ into a penal colony


If you've ever wondered whether the commonly held belief that Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison was responsible for the slogan 100% Pure New Zealand, then forget it.

ScoMo did work for Tourism New Zealand in the late 90s when the slogan was conceived and has claimed credit for it but those of us who were around at the time knew it came from those whose job it was dream up slogans of that sort,  M&C Saatchi.

ScoMo was brought to Wellington by the former dark ops Tourism Minister Murray McCully but ended his contract a year early after a whispering campaign with his political boss got rid of the three top men at the organisation.

Ask Queenstown's current Mayor Jim Boult who was called in to try and plug the leaks in the ship's hull. At the time ScoMo called it quits, the place was in a mess with the new Tourism Minister Trevor Mallard, no less, blaming Morrison for it.

Perhaps it's utu but since becoming Prime Minister Morrison's hardly been a friend of New Zealand, determined to tarnish its pure image by turning the country into the penal colony Australia once was.

Up until a few years ago the Comancheros bikie gang was unheard on in this country. The policy of deporting so called Kiwi criminals, some of whom have never spent time in this country, is changing the tattooed face of crime here.

A year ago Jacinda Ardern stood next to a smirking Morrison with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background telling him our relationship was being tested because of their "corrosive" policy.

Clearly Morrison wasn't swayed because, unbeknown to us,  these two had already talked privately about this woman who had taken off to Syria.  This woman was born in New Zealand, went to Australia with family when she was six, became a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand, but travelled to Syria on an Australian passport.

They were talking about a strategy to deal with it when she was inevitably arrested, or that's what Ardern thought. But without consultation Australia revoked her citizenship and when our PM was told, she was on the phone to ScoMo, saying when the woman's arrested she'll have some strong words to say publicly the revocation.

So the woman's now incarcerated in Turkey as a terrorist, she and her two children are now our responsibility.

The strong words from Ardern: "Any fair minded person would consider this person an Australian and that is my view too.

"Australia has abdicated its responsibilities in relation to this person and I have personally made that point to Prime Minister Morrison."

Well, at least the phone's still on the hook, even if the recipient of the call is deaf.

Morrison knows, with two children involved, Ardern will have no choice but to bring her much repeated slogan into play - be kind to each other - and allow the terrorist to return to the country she left as a child.

There's one word absent from the Australian vocabulary - responsibility!

Barry Soper is a New Zealand political journalist, and has been featured regularly on radio and television since the 1970s. Currently, Soper's main role is political editor at Newstalk ZB, a radio network in New Zealand.


Peter said...

Time to rethink the idea of dual citizenship. When this woman headed off to Syria New Zealand should have disowned her. Now she gets to come back and join our welfare queues. We're suckered again!!

CAP, Napier said...

So if Australia can give us their criminals, why can't we send the Australian Mosque terrorist/killer back to Australia NOW, not when he's completed X number of years in our jails, at the NZ tax payers expense. Why don't we play ScoMo's game too? Just saying.

DeeM said...

Jacinda likes to play the humanity card and claim the moral high ground so this will probably become all about the kids of this woman who happily went off to join one of the most infamous terrorist groups ever.
Bottom line is that Australia deal in realities and don't want a known terrorist back on their soil regardless of what nationality she is. Luckily for the terrorist, good old NZ will almost certainly come to the rescue. She'll probably get a new-build state house, full benefits and end up becoming a Labour or Green MP. The hypocrisy will really kick in when she starts accusing the NZ majority of being racist and intolerant of terrorist minorities. Just wait!!