Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just Who DOES Palmer Represent?

anti-nuclear protesters in Auckland Harbour, 1976A driving force behind New Zealand's nuclear-free legislation, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, says it's time for US Navy ships to return.
You'll recall our banning of US nuclear ships damaged relations in the mid-80s: the US refusal to confirm/deny nuclear weapons on its ships led to our exiting the ANZUS military alliance with Australia and USA. Geoffrey Palmer alongside then-Prime Minister David Lange
Palmer, deputy prime minister under leader David Lange at that time, says the legislation was important and symbolic in its day, but the world has changed: "NZ could have ship visits now. I think it's something you could get through without too much difficulty. It would be both possible and desirable."
I'm appalled that Palmer assumes kiwis desire visits by US warships, when they've not been missed or needed over the past 25 years. The overwhelming majority of NZers are very proud of our nuclear-free policy, and don't want the possibility of a nuclear-propelled or armed vessel having an accident or being a target of a terrorist attack in our ports. Part of the kiwi identity is an anti-whaling no-nukes clean and green society: commercial whaling and nukes are not part of New Zealand.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer now...who IS he representing?So just who IS Palmer representing on the world stage? Recently he supported a resumption of commercial whaling...and now this! And as Sir Geoffrey is a government spokesman, is this the NZ Government's feeling too?
PS: 12 April 2010 - Acting PM Bill English says the return of US Navy ships to NZ ports has never been discussed and the NZ policy remains unchanged. It's certainly an emotive issue and one that National promised during the election not to change. So if Sir Geoffrey is THAT out of touch with the government he's representing, should his position be questioned?

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