From protester to MP


Hone Harawira has been found guilty of failing to comply with police instructions during a protest over state housing last year.

There are similarities between his actions at the protest and those of Green MP Russel Norman in his infamous give me back my flag scuffle in his one-man protest against then Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping at the entrance of parliament.

The actions of both men showed they were guilty of not making the transition from protester to MP.

MPs have rights, privileges, means and ways to make their points not available to other citizens.

Norman abused his privilege as an MP in making his protest where he made it.

Harawira apparently forgot he was an MP with the responsibility to uphold the law, or simply didn’t care, in taking his protest to the extent of failing to comply with police instructions.

Both were guilty of making a fuss rather than making a difference as those who make the successful transition from protester to MP can and do.

Xi Jinping Chian’s new leader


The Chinese Communist Party has anointed its, and the country’s, new leader – Xi Jinping:

Fifty-nine-year-old Xi is the son of reformist former vice premier Xi Zhongxun, and therefore branded a “princeling”, one of the privileged sons and daughters of China’s incumbent, retired or late leaders.

He watched his father purged from power before the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, and Xi himself spent years during the chaos in the hard-scrabble countryside before scrambling to university and then power.

Xi had crafted a low-key style and wears a cautious public mask almost uniform to China’s Communist Party leadership.

The Party’s careful control of information about Xi means that even Chinese who follow politics closely know next to nothing about his opinions, or what kind of a leader he might be.

A native of the poor, inland province of Shaanxi, Xi Jinping studied chemical engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing, an elite school where Hu also studied. Xi later gained a doctorate in Marxist theory from Tsinghua. . .

China’s new president isn’t facing the same tough decisions which newly re-elected President Barack Obama faces in the USA but China’s growth is slowing.

The new president could well face tougher challenges in the next decade than his predecessor did in the past one.



Lack of responsibility may lead to restrictions


Russel Norman had the right to protest when Chinese vice-president Xi Jinping entered parliament last week.

But he also had a responsibility to do so in a manner befitting his status as an MP.

He was able to get much closer to the VP than the general public because he’s an MP, but he abused that right by not exercising it responsibly.

As a result John Key is seeking a security review  and Speaker, Lockwood Smith, is looking at new rules to govern protests by MPs..

Oh the irony, a protest against a lack of democracy in Tibet may lead to more restrictions here.

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