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Father Damien

and the Forgotten Leper Colony

The sandy beaches, tropical forests, and volcanic mountains of Hawaii provide a beautiful scene that often distracts from the darker periods of the island state’s history. The native population was ravaged by disease during its colonization, and among those illnesses was leprosy.

Cut off from the rest of the world by 1600-foot cliffs on one side and ocean on the other, Kalaupapa, Molokai, is a naturally beautiful prison. When Hansen?s Disease, historically known as leprosy, struck Hawaii in the mid-1800s along with other trade-borne eastern diseases, the government of Hawaii followed what was then common practice: they formed an isolated quarantine and moved the affected population there.

When Father Damien first arrived at the Kalawao leper settlement on the isolated Hawaiian island of Molokai in 1873, he caught the attention of the press almost immediately. As the first western religious missionary, Catholic or Protestant, to live within the leper settlement despite being free of the disease himself, Damien was something of a sensation. He was praised for his Catholic sense of self-sacrifice and even dubbed a ?martyr,? particularly towards the end of his life when it became clear that he had contracted a severe and ultimately fatal form of Hansen?s disease.

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El Jefe set for prosecution

No not for his corrupt dealings with immigrants but for illegal alterations to a house he used to own.

[quote]Manukau City Council officers have identified unauthorised alterations at one of several properties currently and previously owned by Field and his wife, Maxine. They recommended prosecution to council members in a confidential meeting last week, but the outcome of that meeting remains secret.[/quote]

Not for long, Whaleoil will winkle this one out.

Speaker Wilson is a disgrace

Speaker Wilson, quite possibly the worst Speaker in the history of the world, has predictably refused to send El Jefe to the Privileges Committee.

She says if any evidence had been presented to her showing that Mr Field used Parliamentary processes, such as a question or debate, to advance the immigration applications at the centre of the case, a question of privilege would have arisen. She says no such evidence has been presented.?

Oh for crying out loud, he is a Member of Parliament, of course he used Parliamentary processes, he spoke to a Minister. If that is not a parliamentary process to speak to a minister as a Member of Parliament then what the fuck is.

Gerry Brownlee is suitably indignant.

[quote]"Outside those formal procedures – the parliamentary questions process or select committees – Margaret Wilson has effectively ruled that anything goes.

"What does it take to get an MP referred to the Privileges Committee? If the Field case isn't strong enough, what will be?"[/quote]

And the Greens don't hold back either.?

[quote]"In future, as the Speaker indicates, it is up to Parliament to devise and pass a code of conduct for its members, in line with those already in place in similar Parliaments overseas. However, such a development cannot apply retro-actively and address the case of Mr Field. All it does is identify a legal loophole that evidently allows Mr Field, for now at least, to escape any Parliamentary sanction for his actions.

Given the lack of any other meaningful way of addressing the damage to perceptions of Parliament's integrity, the Green Party would support any motion for select committee scrutiny of the various issues raised within the Ingram report."[/quote]

Well National it is up to you now, you have the Greens (6), plus ACT (2) and yourselves (48) that is 56 so far , see if you can get the Maori Party (4) and we could be looking at a real good emabarrasment for the Government. Of course if Peter Dunne could find his spine then all the better.