Bogus Equivalence: As anyone who's actually read C.K. Stead's novel Smith's Dream, or seen Roger Donaldson's Sleeping Dogs will tell you, the desperate political situation prevailing in their fictional New Zealand bears absolutely no resemblance to the real New Zealand of either 2007 or 2012. Sam Neil's heroic "Smith" has nothing in common with Tame Iti or his embryonic Maori militia.
THE POSTER featured at the top of this posting indicates how very far from reality the Far Left in this country has drifted. So far that they can no longer even distinguish the salient differences between C.K. Stead’s 1971 novel Smith’s Dream (which Roger Donaldson turned into the 1977 New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs) and Tame Iti’s embryonic “private militia”.
In Stead’s/Donaldson’s fictional setting, New Zealand finds itself in the grip of an authoritarian dictatorship - complete with secret police, imprisonment without trial, torture, military tribunals, executions and lethal violence meted out to protesters on the streets. Not surprisingly, this leads to the formation of an armed resistance movement, which in turn spurs the government to invite in American "advisers".
Were any of these factors present in 2007? No.
So, the equating of Stead’s/Donaldson’s fictional New Zealand with New Zealand as it really was in 2007 is completely bogus. No one was being fatally beaten in the streets by murderous riot police. No one was being tortured. No one was being tried and sentenced to death by military tribunals. No American “advisers” were clambering through the New Zealand bush.
Yes, there was an unnecessarily heavy-handed raid on Ruatoki by armed police. But this was the culmination of a year’s worth of observation and evidence-gathering directed at apprehending a group alleged to be organising covert, military-style training camps in the Urewera Ranges, and undertaken on search-warrants lawfully issued. It resulted in the seizure of 18 firearms.
The persons arrested as a result of “Operation Eight” were not held incommunicado, denied access to legal advice and tortured until they confessed. Nor were they tried and executed in secret. On the contrary, they were given a fair trial in an open court and only convicted on a number of firearms charges. Two of the accused were jailed for two-and-a-half years. Their convictions and their sentences are now being appealed.
So, no. The "real life" Tame Iti is not the same as the fictional hero "Smith" played by Sam Neill. He was not fighting a murderous dictatorship. He was not being hunted down by US “advisers”. Nor were he and his followers being strafed and bombed by RNZAF Skyhawks.
What Mr Iti does appear to have been doing, however, was giving practical effect to the numerous discussions, extending over many decades, in which Maori nationalists and their far-Left Pakeha allies have weighed the pros and cons of organising a revolutionary Maori army.
Inspired by the Mexican “Zapatista” model, in which indigenous issues are fused with issues of environmental despoliation and globalisation, was Tame Iti attempting to turn the Ureweras into Mexico’s Chiapas province, and himself into Tuhoe’s own “Subcomandante Marcos”?
Finally, as bogus as it undoubtedly is, the poster’s comparison remains potentially very dangerous. People who construct a fantasy world, and then decide to live in it, very rapidly place themselves beyond the reach of arguments grounded in reason and evidence. And, as the images emerging from Syria over the past 24 hours make so tragically clear, those who forsake reason for violence are capable of doing just about anything.
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.