is handling the situation in Wellington, commendably.
Police are the meat in the sandwich.
This not the first time in recent history that police have found themselves in the middle of civil disobedience created by politicians and which, in the case of where Red Squad found themselves in 1981, civil war.
Commissioner Coster did not create the problem in Wellington.
The Government created the cause for the original protest in Wellington last week where former National M P Matt King was the stand out among a crowd of mostly reasonable Kiwis registering their disapproval of MANDATES.
To the dismay of many among those who had gathered to put pressure on the Government by lawful democratic protest, National sided with the Labour Green Maori cartel.
Speaker Hon Trevor Mallard exacerbated the situation by turning on water sprinklers and music. An Irony if ever, for Trevor pre parliament pedigree, as I recall my days in the police, trod perilously close being labelled a protestor of his day.
Some of us, grow up.
Commissioner Coster could invoke the Red Squad Solution.
During the 1981 Springbok Tour, Red Squad was at the fore of the largest enduring streel brutality (including 1951 Wharf strikes) this country has ever witnessed.
Red Squad, as with the rest of the police were, the meat in the sandwich.
I know, from discussion with former, Prime Minister Rob Muldoon in Parliament after I became an MP, that based on what I told Muldoon when I was summonsed to speak with him on the telephone (at a mess military dinner in Taranaki following the 1981 Hamilton Rugby pitch invasion precipitated by default of the police), he told Commissioner Walton to invoke the “Red Squad Solution”. (1)
From that point in history when I as a mid-rank cop and second in command of Red Squad, assured Rob Muldoon that if Red Squad was let out of the cage we would win every encounter henceforth, Red Squad DID JUST THAT.
Red Squad won every battle thereafter – and some were extremely brutal. (2) (3)
The problem with the Red Squad Solution is, that half the country loved us and half the country hated us.
The problem for the police is, that the hatred endures to this day. As the profile name for Red Squad, I can assure all, that the Golden Chalice of Victory – was filled with poison. (2)
If Commissioner Coster unleashed today’s version of Red Squad, I have no doubt that the police will win the battle. But as with Red Squad, he will lose the war.
I have no doubt that half the country will cheer the police and half the country will condemn the police.
Damocles Sword lingers above Commissioner Coster like a guillotine.
Do I favour the Red Squad Solution?
In my view, the solution is political – and fast. Prime Minister Ardern must remove the mandates. The justification for the regime she has imposed on New Zealand, as well intended as it was, has evaporated.
And, in my view, it’s time for a new political party. Watch this space.
Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies & V.I.P. security; currently Honorary Consul for an African state, Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interest.
(2) Photo Onslow Road, One of two breaches of discipline by a Red Squad section.