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Friday, August 06, 2004

David Lange 

Well, Dunedin might have no international cricket, but last night we had the now rare opportunity to see David Lange speak, this time on the topic of "New World, Old Faiths." The lecture theatre held 550 people, and they had to turn at least 20 or 30 extras away - a full house. Unfortunately it was reported on TV1 news last night as "more than 300 people" ... when there's a bloody great sign outside saying "Seating Capacity 550" it wasn't hard to calculate that there were over 500...

Pretty bloody amazing - he really took the arguments for invading Iraq one-by-one and totally demolished them, and then really emphasized the importance of not misuing religion to justify terrorism or these wars ... plus he was funny of course. Australia received some deserved criticism for undertaking a venture that isn't even tenuously connected to its national interest, while New Zealanders would have been interested to hear his view that "nothing good" could come from our Army Engineers being in Iraq. Indeed, their presence implies our support for the whole bloody (literally) enterprise, and may be seen to lend some legitimacy to it.

I don't want to focus on Lange's ill-health, as opposed to his message. When he slowly shuffled in the audience gave what I thought to be a totally spontaneous standing ovation. This was followed by another after his talk, and a third as he left. I think he appreciated it., just as the audience appreciated the tremendous effort he'd put in.

Update: I remember thinking last night that Helen Clark & others could take a leaf from Lange's book, and be more willing to have the courage of their social democratic convictions. Let's see Helen get on the front foot and really take National to task on its narrow-minded, ill-thought out policies. Like its on-again off-again support for the Iraq war ("Brash would have sent young New Zealanders to die in Iraq" would make a memorable headline come election time).

Comments:
Reading between the lines, did he struggle to get through the speech??

Such a shame.
 
I think it sapped a tremendous amount of his energy that's for sure. The audience appreciated the effort almost as much as the content I think.
 
Hey 'see maon', are you a Korean living in NZ?

Your name there isn't Korean, but I was just curious.

right, off for an extremely brief run in the 28 degree heat and it's flaming 7:10pm for craps sakes, we're melting here!
 
Even worse; I'm a NZer living in NZ!
 
See-maon is actually mis-spelt. I mean to make it see-moan. This kinda seemed appropriate for a poster; I see and the I moan.
It was also an attempt at making a semi-masculine tilt to the late great Nina Simone.
 
well moan away. That's what we do best round here.

I think (or don't) therefore I moan.
 

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