Alf must confess to some bemusement at accusations being levelled at the Greens’ co-leader, Russel Norman.
Some National and Act MPs are saying Norman was the aggressor in his bust-up with Chinese security guards accompanying Vice-President Xi Jinping to Parliament last week.
Alf has been observing this Norman bloke in Parliament ever since he came in on the Green list, and must say he does not look capable of aggression.
Come to think of it, he doesn’t look capable of much beyond carping and whinging, especially about matters that are vital to this country’s economic well-being, such as dairy farming.
He most certainly does not look capable of carrying, let alone waving, a Tibetan flag in protest, unless it was a very small flag.
But looks can deceive, and – a grudging acknowledement here – Norman does have a doctorate, which is something Alf does not have.
Moreover, Norman is giving more than a modicum of credence to the proposition that maybe he can build up an aggressive head of steam.
The Herald gives a fair account of the points he conceded yesterday after four days of indignation.
“It looked a bit undignified and that isn’t ideal,’ he said in a personal explanation he prepared to read to Parliament.
He also acknowledged that one of the New Zealand diplomatic protection squad officers had actually been trying to keep a member of the Chinese delegation away from him at the time – even though Dr Norman pushed him during the fracas and accused him on the day of not doing anything.
“I apologise to him for suggesting otherwise at the time,” Dr Norman’s statement said. Government MPs denied him permission to read the statement in the House.
Act leader Rodney Hide reckons he has been watching full footage of the incident on TVNZ’s website.
Mr Hide said it showed Dr Norman “clearly elbowing a Chinese official and the Green co-leader assaulting the official before the scuffle over the flag”.
Acting Prime Minister Bill English accused Dr Norman of harassing Mr Xi and suggested maybe the Chinese were expecting an apology from Dr Norman for the force he had used on them.
Another account of these goings-on comes from the PM, who said on Radio New Zealand yesterday that Norman had “charged” at Mr Xi.
Dr Norman denied that.
And Alf can only express his astonishment at the allegation.
It is his understanding, gleaned from listening to Sue Kedgley, that a good Greenie should be a muesli muncher at breakfast time, and nosh for the rest of the day largely on vegetables, fruits and nuts, organicially grown with labels to show they are products of New Zealand.
Alf’s own experience of noshing largely on muesli and rabbit fodder – a very limited experience resulting from Mrs Grumble reading some silly diet book – is that it does not provide a bloke with the protein and red blood needed for aggressive behaviour.
Maybe someone slipped Norman a bit of black pudding or something. It’s the sort of trick Rodney and his henchmen would pull just to see Norman make a dick of himself.