Matthew Hooton points out the obvious…that Andrew Little has sided himself and Labour with head-hacking terrorists.
As Mr Minto and his comrades argued at the time, it would not do to claim apartheid-era South Africa was a long way away, that what happened there didn’t affect us and that it would be dangerous to put oneself in harm’s way against the Red Squad. They argued that to go to a game was to tacitly support the South African regime even if one claimed to oppose apartheid. For those young enough, fit enough and brave enough (like Mr Minto and Murray McCully, now John Key’s foreign minister) it was seen as an important withdrawal of consent to be bloodied by Ross Meurant’s PR24s.
For his efforts, Mr Minto was labelled a “principled fanatic” by the SIS. With his background as a bland, middle-of-the-road union bureaucrat, no one will ever use that noun to describe Andrew Little. And now, after his despicable conduct over the training mission to Iraq, no one will ever use the adjective to describe him either.
Under Mr Minto’s formula, it is not enough for the Labour leader to say ISIS is evil but a long way away, nothing to do with us and too dangerous to oppose anyway. His failure to support even the minimal contribution Mr Key has authorised – falling well short of what the Iraqi government sought – is to tacitly support religious barbarians so extreme that even Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from them. Were he a Michael Joseph Savage, a Peter Fraser or even a Helen Clark, instead of bleating that Mr Key’s decision might put New Zealanders at risk, he would instead be attacking the prime minister’s minimalist response as cowardice.
Mr Little had a choice to stand beside Mr Key or Mohammed Emwazi, Jihadi John. He chose the latter.