MP Marama Fox walked off the set of The Nation this morning after calling a spokesman for big tobacco a “peddler of death”.
She told Imperial Tobacco spokesman Dr Axel Gietz: “You make billions of dollars every year profiting off misery and death. You are a peddler of death.”
Before getting up and walking out, she said: “I’m not going to listen to you. I think you should crawl back into the hole that is reserved for corporate executioners.”
She also compared him to a leader from Nazi Germany.
Gietz is in the country as a result of New Zealand’s moves to bring in plain packaging for tobacco products like cigarettes, something the industry is opposed to.
…During the debate, Fox likened Gietz to “Dr Goebbels” – referring to Joseph Goebbels, the head of propaganda during Adolf Hitler’s rule in Nazi Germany.
Gietz – who is German – said the attack was a first for him.
“I get called a lot of names,” he said. “What happened to me this morning, that was a first.”
“Yes, I get called names, but you know what, my experience is it doesn’t help to do a tit for tat. I try to do the voice of reason. I try to put forward my arguments.”
Fox admitted she had gone on The Nation to give Gietz “a bit of a telling off”.
But, she said, likening him to a Nazi leader “might have been a step too far”.
She said Goebbels was known as Dr Death, and she saw both as peddlers of death.
Gietz didn’t appear to take offence at the insult.
“Nobody gets anywhere by ranting at people and losing their tempers.”
He joked Fox’s outburst could go viral.
Face of the Day
“The EU is failing, the EU is dying. I hope we’ve knocked the first brick out of the wall, I hope this is the first step towards a Europe of sovereign nation states. Trading together, neighbors together, friends together.”
-UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage
Independence Day in Britain ~
The man who ‘frankly, had the balls’ to demand that the voice of the British people be heard. He has waited 20 years for this moment. Kudos to you, Nigel Farage. Democracy owes a great debt to you, and to your dedicated team. The free world thanks, and salutes, you.
Today’s face of the day, Shawn Ahmed, is an openly gay liberal Muslim in Canada with a huge online following. Shawn made an attempt on Twitter to bridge the gap between the gay community and Islam after the Orlando terrorist attack
What happened next led him to comment that he felt broken.
“Every day starts with me not being dead, and what a fantastic way to start each day,” Jake Bailey says.
“I did not pray to live. Instead I asked if this was going to be the thing that killed me, that I faced it with strength.
“If it was going to kill me, it would do it on my terms, and I would not die a coward. Not wanting to let fear dictate my death anymore than it had dictated my life.
“But no, no way, there was not a chance in hell that I was going to die of this.”
Lita Cabellut is one of Spain’s most successful artists, but she’s barely known in her home country. What’s more, the woman whose paintings now sell for six figure sums spent her early years living on the street.
“My childhood was like that of thousands of street kids around the world,” says Lita Cabellut. She used to roam the streets of Barcelona with other homeless children and slept in the open air.
“We looked after one another – we did whatever we liked. We took coins out of the fountains, begged Zippo lighters from sailors and stole tourists’ wallets. We used to go into restaurants and say our father was in the toilet when they served us, before wolfing down the food and running off.”
Cabellut was born in a village in Aragon, north-east Spain, in 1961. While she was a baby, she and her mother moved to Barcelona. Her mother ran a brothel in the city and Cabellut was left with her grandmother – but in reality she spent most of her time out on the streets.
“I ran errands for the prostitutes. They gave me money to buy packs of cigarettes, sandwiches, condoms or jewellery, and I kept the change.”
Today’s face of the day is Lt Col Bill Blaikie, an Afghanistan veteran, father of 3, battling with the effects of PTSD and needing treatment that is not available here, but is available in Australia.Lt Col Bill Blaikie has been forced to make a Public Appeal to raise the $42,000 needed for his treatment because he has been rejected by Veterans Affairs for support because they do not fund overseas treatment.
The President of the RSA was sympathetic but no funds were forthcoming.It may be relevant that the Head of Veterans Affairs declined to attend or send a representative to the last 1RNZIR The Originals Meeting earlier this year. Given that this was the largest group of Malaya/Malaysia/Borneo/Vietnam Veterans who meet only every two years, the response of Veterans Affairs drew much negative comment.
… isn’t it time that you and I start asking the hard questions of why not Veterans Affairs? And to the RSA, what happened to the thousands of dollars collected on each annual poppy day especially for the welfare of our Veterans?
Brazilian tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho has come up with a way to mask the physical scars that life leaves on us. Through a project she calls “A Pele da Flor” (The Skin of the Flower), Carvalho is changing the lives of women in Brazil by giving them tattoos free of charge to cover up their old scars.
Today’s face of the day, Siavosh Derakhti, is a Swedish Muslim who fights anti-Semitism. He says:
“It is absolutely terrible to be Jew today in Malmö.
“If you are a Jew, people blame you for everything going on in Palestine. Everybody hates Israel. I don’t accept this and do everything I can to build bridges between Jews and Muslims through education.”
Derahkti, director of Young People against Antisemitism and Xenophobia, is considered very unusual in Sweden. Among his activities are organizing demonstrations in support of Jews and organizing delegations of young Swedes—including Christians, Muslims and Jews—to the Nazi death camps. He has a good relationship with the Israeli Embassy in Sweden and even takes part in various programs run by the embassy.
…”Anti-Semites believe in conspiracy theories that (Jews) rule the world. I organized pro-Jewish demonstrations and helped protect our cousins. If Jews can’t live in Sweden I feel it’s a personal failure.”
Derahkti met with US President Barack Obama during his visit to Sweden in 2013. He won the prestigious Raoul Wallenberg award for this activities, and was recently selected by Forbes magazine to be included in the list of 30 most influential people in the world until the age of 30. He’s a public figure in Sweden, and frequently appears in local media.
He was invited by Forbes magazine and the Schusterman Foundation to deepen his relationship with Israel in April, as well as his knowledge of the Holocaust and the fight against anti-Semitism. “My special relationship with the Jews began when I was 13,” recounted Derhakti. “My best friend in school was a Jew and I always protected him.”
“My friend suffered from anti-Semitism, and one day he came running to me and said, ‘there are five people who want to beat me. I told him, ‘There is absolutely no way we are running away. I physically fought with those guys for my friend. I told him I would fight for him, and this story has been etched in my memory.”
Six years ago, Derhakti read articles about how Jews in Sweden were being attacked just because of their religion. “I decided to do something in my city, Malmo. I founded an organization against anti-Semitism and xenophobia. We organize tours of young people, including Muslims, of the extermination camps. After they return to Sweden, I see a big change in their attitude. At first, some of them tell me they hate Jews, but after they see what happened to the Jews in history – they tell me they love Jews. I sympathize with the suffering of the Jewish people.”
Because of his decision to take the Jews’ side, Derhakti gets many threats from Muslims. “They threaten to kill me, I get hate mail. When I walk down the street they shout at me, ‘You Jewish swine, we will kill you’. I now have someone guarding me due to my activities, I have no intention to surrender.”
Regarding his visits to Israel, the young Swede said “I love your country, the girls, Tel Aviv, the parties. I swear to you that Israeli women are No. 1 in the world. There is an enormous amount of ignorance in Europe as to what is going on here. They think you are killing Palestinians, but they don’t know that 20 percent of Israel’s inhabitants are Arabs. I told them that there are Arabs in the Knesset and an Arab judge on the Supreme Court. It is not just war…there is a thriving society here.”
What do you think about Swedish Muslims who attack Jews?
“I am ashamed of Muslims who act like that towards Jews. They do not represent me. There were once 2000 Jews in Malmo, now there are less than 400. This is shameful and should be dealt with. There is an American rabbi now in Malmö who receives lots of threats. We’re cousins and we are of the same family. We must protect the Jews.”
Today’s face of the day, Thomas Mair, wasn’t the politically motivated killer the media initially made him out to be. He didn’t yell “Britain first” when he killed Jo Cox and he wasn’t a member or follower of the political party blamed by the media for the attack. He was mentally ill, attending mental health services and had received both psychotherapy and medication in the past.
Scrabbling to find a way to label him a white supremacist, media dug up a subscription to a magazine that he had stopped subscribing to ten years ago. It was a South African magazine called ‘South Africa Patriot’. Failing to link him to the British political party called Britain First they built their flimsy case for it being a political killing on a decade-old magazine subscription.
The organisation Britain First, which was founded by former members of the British National Party, has denied that Mair was associated with it and say they condemn the killing.
Today’s face of the day, Robert Martin, was our face of the day back in 2014 when his biography had just been released.
History was made on Wednesday this week when Robert was notified that he has been elected to the UN Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the first learning-disabled person ever to be elected to a UN committee.