A very puzzling media statement came Alf’s way yesterday.
It was issued by an outfit called Concerned Citizens and it called for Invercargill residents to be banned from Parliament Grounds.
Such a ban would not matter a toss to the good people of Eketahuna North, so Alf did not pursue it.
He thought the Southland Times might delve further, however.
The Southland Times has become preoccupied with delapidated houses and – good grief – the menace posed by the mice they attract.
Alf is grateful to Robert Guyton for bringing this to his attention.
There are several decrepit houses in Invercargill and one person saw mice moving in one of them!
The entire front page of today’s Southland Times is devoted, headlines in bold, photographs of … decrepit houses and the breathless write up.
Oh, and in a matchbox-sized column fragment down the left-hand side, notice of a New Zealand SAS soldier killed in Kabul.
Alf had thought the newspaper would have tapped into its SIS sources to find what’s going on among the The Concerned Citizens.
CC sound suspiciously like a mob of subversives.
They blocked Parliament grounds with large cardboard ‘checkpoint towers’.
These towers declared:
“Concerned Citizens Ban Invercargill Residents from Parliament Grounds”
The statement said –
A nationwide group of more than 60 artists calling themselves ‘Concerned Citizens’ blocked Parliament grounds this morning with large cardboard ‘checkpoint towers’ bearing the face of Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
Politicians were forced to provide documentation proving that they were not from Invercargill before they were granted entry to the Beehive, because the Concerned Citizens do not recognise Invercargill as a legitimate city.
“We refuse to recognise the legitimacy of any politicians from Invercargill.” says spokesperson Ben Knight.
“It’s clearly not a real city, so how can people from there be expected to represent us in Government?”
According to the statement, Greenie MP Keith Locke was dismayed to be refused entry due to a lack of proof of address.
But that’s not all, insofar as Invercargill is being sorted out for special treatment.
The group has made it clear that Invercargill residents will also be banned from the ‘Unrecognised’ series of human rights photography exhibitions in Auckland, Hamilton, Whanganui, Wellington and Dunedin, opening tonight at 5pm. The exhibitions seek to draw attention to Murray McCully’s upcoming vote in the UN General Assembly in September, deciding whether or not New Zealand recognises Palestine as a state.
By banning them, CC is doing Invercargill folk a big favour.
The ‘Unrecognised’ exhibitions – which Alf, you can be sure, will be avoiding – commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Springbok tour anti-apartheid movement in New Zealand.
Contributors include veteran human rights campaigner John Minto, which is reason enough to stay away in droves.
The statement does explain why McCully’s face has been used.
Knight says “the checkpoint towers have Mr McCully’s face, because he has taught us that sometimes it’s hard to recognise whether or not somewhere is a real place, even if most people think it is.”
But that’s as much as Alf knows about this nonsense.
The reason for Invercargill being denied city status by this bunch of tossers is unclear.
Alf is grateful, of course, that they did not pick on Eketahuna North.