A New Zealander, Bruce Robinson, is stuck in a Polish jail and is losing his mind, according to his parents.
Robinson was jailed as an employee of a British company connected with the Katowice international trade hall collapse, which killed 67.
His parents have have contact from the Foreign Minister outside Cabinet, Winston Peters, who says he will not interfere with the legal proceedings of another country. Essentially, New Zealand has abandoned Robinson.
The Foreign Minister might need to review his position. Because it is his job to interfere with the legal proceedings of another country. It is his job to interfere with others’ sovereignty. At least, that is what I am led to believe. Or, at least, that is what I would be doing in his shoes.
Otherwise, all we would need is a Home Secretary or Minister of Internal Affairs, as we call him in New Zealand.
A normal foreign minister would negotiate with Polish authorities to hold Robinson in a New Zealand prison pending trial, perhaps on humanitarian grounds.
A normal foreign minister might even go so far as to suggest that Robinson could be tried here under Polish law.
A normal foreign minister would do more than send some cop-out message to Robinson’s distraught parents who, knowing the New Zealand Government would not help, are ﬂying to Poland to see their son.
If he has no place in affecting others’ sovereign decisions, then Mr Peters should not have gone to Washington to see Dr Rice or Sen. John McCain, to persuade them to change their stance about free trade with New Zealand. He should have simply left well enough alone.
I had thought having a foreign minister outside Cabinet had no constitutional basis. The guy cannot speak for the government, because he is not part of the Cabinet. As far as I can tell, he is irrelevant.
With the Robinson incident, he does not need critics to point that out. He seems to be fairly successful at demonstrating that he is little more than ornamental.
But for an ornamental guy, I have to hand it to him for his techniques at swaying a line of questioning, and to appear as the calm, collected minister when being grilled. Part of the charm, I believe. But I wonder just how much longer than can last, as the audience becomes cleverer, and the illusion is revealed more frequently as his mistakes grow.
The Winston Peters act is in danger of becoming painful re-runs. Like that time I saw Bruce Almighty ﬁve times because it was on ever single transcontinental ﬂight I took. But that is another story. Posted by Jack Yan, 08:54
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Could you please send me the email address of Mr & Mrs Robinson. I'd like to send them a support message.
# posted by Anonymous: 10/11/2006 12:15:00 PM
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