Convicted for asking a question; Geert Wilders won’t be silent

In what can only be described as a politically motivated trial, the popular leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert Wilders has been convicted for asking a question of his audience at a political rally. He and his party will contest national elections in three months time and the party according to a nationwide poll holds a narrow lead at the moment. His conviction for asking people if they would like fewer Moroccans in the country will only make support for his party stronger.

Using legal jihad to try to silence a political opponent is a new low in politics. The Dutch government are running scared and have shown their cowardice by attacking him in this manner. Cam and I know personally what it is like to be dragged through court for the crime of telling the truth so all my sympathy is with Wilders. You have to admire someone who leads a party despite serious death threats, who has lost his personal freedom because of 24/7 security in order to keep him alive and who is targeted by his political opponents with trumped up legal charges.

Geert Wilders was accused of committing hate speech but they failed to convict him for it. Since it was a politically motivated trial they had to find something so, in the end, he was convicted of migrant discrimination.No fine was imposed by the judges.

‘In this case, the most important question is whether Wilders has crossed a line. This judgement has answered that question,’ the judges said in their verdict.

‘Therewith, the chamber finds that justice has been done. Consequently, no punishment is imposed.’

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Map of the Day


Countries by population growth between 2005 and 2015

Click here for larger view

Key – a man for the times

Jono Milne explains why Key was right for the country then, but no longer now

Those less generous than me have asked, what of a legacy? Did you make New Zealand a better place – or did you, in the immortal words of your predecessor Robert Muldoon, leave it “no worse off than you found it”?

What they fail to recognise is that you were, proudly, a conservative leader. You never sought to be recognised as a progressive, as a visionary.

The task of a conservative (whether on the left or the right) is to conserve that which is good, to protect the best things about New Zealand, to keep HMNZS Aotearoa on course through sometimes choppy waters.

Inheriting the premiership in the depths of the global financial crisis, confronted with the enormous and wrenching tragedies of the Pike River mine disaster, the Canterbury and the Kaikoura earthquakes, you kept us sailing through and out the other side.   Read more »


The National bun fight has only just begun

Think of Key leaving as a 7 point something earthquake.  Nobody died, but there is lots of damage and continuing aftershocks.

Rodney Hide, who clearly wrote his article before Bill English and Paula Bennett were confirmed. explains:

The backbenchers have been asking, “Why not me for Cabinet?” Cabinet Ministers have been asking, “Why not me higher up the pole?”

Every National MP gets a vote on our next Prime Minister. No one else does.

Yes, they will be casting their vote for the good of the country and the party. But as the week has worn on it has become less about the country and more about the individual MPs. Their position is something real, something tangible, something they can understand.

National MPs have cleared their diaries and spent the week in Wellington. For once their vote is theirs. For once their vote is worth something – to them.

There have been meetings upon meetings. There have been coffees, drinks, dinners. Two MPs in the corridor is a meeting. There are only two things to discuss: who is to be Prime Minister and what it means for them.

There are MPs that have been severely damaged by Key standing down.  Either by not picking the winning side, or by having the temerity to oppose a Key-endorsed coronation, or by different forces acting to lay bare stresses that were previously well managed. Read more »

HDPA pitches for redemption

Always upvotes and likes in kicking Andrew Little

On the day John Key resigned, Andrew Little’s face flashed with something most of us hadn’t seen on him in years, if ever.


He smiled at the journalists and their cameras.

Privately – I’m told – he behaved in a manner that can only be described as excitement.

It’s pretty clear he reckons next year’s election is now in the bag.

Andrew Little needs to get a grip.

John Key’s resignation does not mean Labour is going to win the 2017 election. Read more »

Photo of the Day

Ranavalona I. Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar wasn’t known by the warm-and-cuddly nickname “Ranavalona the Cruel” for nothing. In 1845, the queen felt she needed a break from politics and the palace. She wanted to go on a buffalo hunt. Naturally, she brought along her entire court and slave community. About 50,000 people marched for four months on the wild and completely unprofitable expedition. One-fifth of the party dropped dead from exhaustion as supplies ran low. Photo Getty Images.

The Serial Killing Queen of Madagascar

A Queen Can be just as Bloodthirsty as a King Can

‘She is certainly one of the proudest and cruel women on the face of the earth, and her whole history is a record of bloodshed and deeds of horror.’

– Ida Pfeiffer (explorer)

Ranavalona I (1778 – 1861) was the infamous ruler of the Madagascar Kingdom of Merina. When Queen Ranavalona I. suspected someone of disloyalty, she invited them to a “meal” consisting of three servings of chicken skin and a dose of poison from the tangena tree. If the guest regurgitated all of the chicken, he was absolved of the alleged crime. But if the accused failed to vomit up all three pieces of skin, or keeled over dead, guilt was established and the survivor was hauled off … for execution.

Once upon a time in the Indian Ocean, there was a magical land called Madagascar located off the south east coast of Africa. This lush, ravishingly beautiful tropical island, ‘a paradise on earth’ which is now known mainly for its vanilla beans and cuddly cartoon animals, was teeming with vast tracks of rain forest and rich arable land. But there was a serpent in this Garden of Eden, and her name was Ranavalona. In her 33 year reign, she proved to be just as ruthless and cruel as any male tyrant that had sat on a throne. She established a reign of terror in the name of preserving its traditions and independence which resulted in the death of more than a 1/3 of her subjects.

Read more »

The fall and rise of Winston Peters

The Herald on Sunday editorial looks beyond the spectacle.

Last Sunday, the Government was at 50 per cent support in the polls and sailing towards a fourth term. The Labour Party was dredging some comfort from retaining the Mt Roskill seat at a byelection and Winston Peters? Well, if Winston can be believed, he was expecting something like the bombshell John Key dropped just after noon on Monday.

Winston cannot be believed, of course. Not even his supporters take him that seriously. They dote on him despite – or perhaps even because of – the outrageous claims he makes. Does that remind you of someone else?

If there is a reckless spirit afoot in the voting world this year, and it continues in 2017, New Zealand might not be immune to it. All bets are off for the election next year anyway with Key’s departure. Read more »

Whaleoil Music Quiz

Spare a thought for Nige who had to do this to prove he wasn’t just doing music he liked.

Media party still hating on Trump, calling his ex-military appointments the “junta”

It seems the media party hasn’t learned a thing. They are going all in because Donald Trump has now appointed 3 ex-Generals to key jobs. They’ve decided to call it the “junta”.

They’ve decided to call it the “junta” in a shabby attempt to further denigrate the guy who slew Hillary.

He’s not yet finished picking, but President-elect Donald Trump already has named three retired generals to top posts, raising questions as to why there will be so much military brass in Cabinet-level jobs.

Trump on Thursday named retired four-star Marine general John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees several critical areas including immigration and border control – signature issues for Trump.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kelly would join retired Marine General James Mattis as Defence Secretary and retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

Mattis also needs Senate approval.

While the men bring broad depth of knowledge to the cabinet and considerable expertise, some worry their numbers threaten a cornerstone of American democracy – that civilians control the military and the government.

Read more »

Being Ad-free is as easy as one two three: Whaleoil tutorial

Subscribing to Whaleoil and becoming google ad-free is as easy as one, two, three.

STEP ONE: Click on the register link

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