I feel sick…



“I feel sick” was the subject line in an email from an acquaintance sending me this media report on Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman’s visit to the US:

In an amiable press conference at the Pentagon the New Zealand Defence Minister, Jonathan Coleman, handed his American counterpart, Chuck Hagel, an All Blacks jersey and a three-decade military chill between the two nations appeared to be consigned to history.

US secretary of defence told reporters, “Today, I authorised a New Zealand navy ship to dock at Pearl Harbour… This will be the first time a New Zealand navy ship will have visited Pearl Harbour in more than 30 years.”

“We’ve made great strides in the defence relationship over the last two years on the back of the Wellington declaration and then the Washington declaration,” said Mr Coleman. “We greatly appreciate the lifting of restrictions on New Zealand ships docking in US ports. And I want to thank you for that waiver.

“We’re also very pleased to see the resumption of mil-mil [military to military] talks after 30 years. And where we’re getting to, really, is the resumption of a tempo of contact, whether it’s at the political level, the officials level, or the mil-mil level, which we haven’t seen for a number of decades.”

Mr Coleman said New Zealand was not concerned at the prospect that the US might be spying on it, as it has been upon other friends and allies according to recent reports.

“New Zealand’s not worried at all about this. We don’t believe it would be occurring.

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If you’re feeling nauseous – join the club. It would be a tight contest between Coleman and Foreign Minister Murray McCully as to who was the more toadying towards the US.

Coleman couldn’t care less at the widespread anger across Europe at revelations the US National Security Agency spies on EU citizens and their leaders.

As more of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s cache of documents were released it’s been the turn of the Germans and Spanish to be up in arms. It’s now confirmed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone has been tapped for a decade while mass surveillance of Spaniards’ emails and phone calls has been occurring across the board – 60 million calls in just one month being cited as an example.

This follows similar revelations of spying on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto while Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched a scathing attack on the US and cancelled a meeting with Obama earlier this month after she too was found to have been spied on by the NSA.

European concern over NSA spying has been simmering for many years and now confirmation of the full extent of the surveillance has boiled over into outright fury – fuelled in part by allegations that US President Barack Obama has known all along despite his previously pious denials.

So a high ranking European Union parliamentary delegation is off to Washington on a “please explain” mission determined not to be fobbed off with the usual cover story about hunting for terrorists.

Merkel might be many things but she’s an unlikely car bomber.

It’s worth repeating here the critical point that this NSA spying has nothing to do with the so-called “war on terror” or keeping the US and its allies safe. That is simply the cover for a much broader objective – political and economic surveillance to enable the US to maintain its sole-world-superpower status.

That’s why the NSA spied on United Nations Security Council members in 2003 on the eve of the Iraq invasion. It’s also why the phones of world leaders are bugged to give US delegates the upper hand in international negotiations such as over the TPP and why multinational companies outside the US are spied on to give advantages to US companies competing for contracts.

So here are some questions for the hapless Jonathan Coleman:

1.      In light of the revelations that the leaders of US allies around the world have been spied on by the NSA has he sought a US assurance that New Zealand’s elected representatives are free from the same surveillance? If not why not?

2.      Has he sought an assurance from the US that it hasn’t spied on New Zealanders involved in negotiating the TPP agreement? If not why not?

3.      Why does the New Zealand government facilitate the NSA’s wholesale spying on New Zealander citizens as the NSA does with EU citizens?

4.      Why has the government not yet launched an independent inquiry into the NSA spying on New Zealanders? Is toadying to the US more important than our national self-respect and the privacy rights of New Zealanders?

Watching the toady squirm in answering would be the best anti-nausea medication.

(Click here for the full transcript of the Jonathan Coleman and Chuck Hagel press conference, on ForeignAffairs.co.nz.)


  1. My reaction to that toadying appearance at the Pentagon was exactly the same as yours John. Coleman looked like one of those cartoon “Okies” with a single tooth who guffaw at everything. The “joke” about a string of Zs was pathetic and demeaning. Do we really have no secrets worth stealing? Like what our bottom line is on deep-sea drilling… Or the dreadful TPPA… Or pulling our troops out of the quagmire in Afghanistan… etc etc? It’s little wonder that everything this senior minister touches turns to custard!

  2. Ahhhhhh yes… land of the free, home of the brave.
    Free if you dont mind being spied on, manipulated by the media and incarcerated to make slave wages in a prison workshop.(just like China)
    And as brave as blowing up grannies, weddings, mothers and children from a drone at 20,000ft.
    The USA administration has gone rogue state, they may have helped us in the ‘good ol days’ stopping the Japs.
    But they are in the business of war and creating terrorism to fatten arms sales and steal resources now.
    We have taken a side!(should say our Govt has in our name) no wonder Don Key says he knows the international threats to us – its our network tarring us with its sticky brush.
    Make no mistake the ‘good ol days’ are gone, the USA is not a friend of anyone except the USA.
    Just wait till the TPPA is signed and we get force flooded with untested unlabeled GM foods.
    Yay I cant wait.

    • how do you test GM food PhilDC. What do you test it for . Do you test it to see if we will grow three eyes and four breasts .

      • Pesticides and herbicides for a start (Genetically Modified to be herbicide resistant)- secondly problems that may rise (or have) due to eating GM… Clue yourself up on lab rats that may have cancer due to GM corn – and this what I have read is MSM too and that’s only what they are saying, what is not being said, well who knows…
        Thirdly is there any animal genes in my vegies – i prefer my vegies without animal genes thanks
        … and then there is the copyright issue if non GM farmers get crops infected with pollen from GM.
        This may still be forced on us thanks to Natz and this TPPA … quite a bit to chew on over your cornflakes,

        Just label GM so if you want to eat GM fine but so I can side step it thanks. Better safe than sorry…

      • As far as I’m concerned if YOU want to eat all the filthy contaminated GM food you like but don’t expect the rest of us to. I DO NOT want veges with animal genes. If I had my way Monsanto products would be banned.

  3. Thank you National Party and John Key … You`ve proved your point , New Zealand is now the laughing stock of the World.

    • John Key and his cronies are killing us, literally and physically. He needs to go now, not next year! The rate of his destructiveness towards our beautiful clean country is speeding up so rapidly. By the time elections happen next year there will be nothing left to defend! John will walk out the door, tip his hat and say so long and thanks for all the fish 🙁 He knows he wont get back in, he’s making a clean sweep of everything. He’s going to leave us nothing 🙁

      • I wish I could remember who it was – it was some fat cat or other – who worried that without we pursue the neo-liberal ‘policies’ of Roger Douglas and (later) Ruth Richardson, New Zealand ran the risk of becoming ‘a funny little country in the south-west corner of the Pacific.’

        Well, I believe he sold out since then to a Japanese – or it may have been a Korean – outfit. And New Zealand? New Zealand is now this funny little country in the south-west corner of the Pacific…

  4. Thanks for this post John, his actions are cringe inspiring. While most of Europe stands up to the US, this fool is gifting a rugby jersey and sucking up. Shamos.

  5. Mr Minto: I would like to send an email to Mr Coleman’s (and Mr ‘Millenium’ McCully’s) parliamentary offices concerning this matter. May I attach the four questions you have asked?

    In doing so I would, as is my occasional practice, be sending copies to representatives of all the other parties represented in the House.

    My attitude to emailing MPs is that if I am going to be ignored anyway, it might as well be by email as by any other medium. At that John Key and John Banks were the only non-respondent in my last email concerning the GCSB legislation.

    Ion A. Dowman

    • Here is a copy of the email I sent to Mr Coleman (CC Murry McCully and John Key, and to other Party leaders.

      “Dear Mr Coleman,
      I have read and seen with fascination of the meetings between yourself and the Hon. Murray McCully with your counterparts in the United States government, with the resulting joint announcements concerning ‘thawing’ of relations between our respective countries. I understand that a New Zealand naval vessel is being ‘allowed’ to dock in a U.S. seaport.

      However, I was more than a little astonished to hear of your public remarks to Mr Chuck Hagel expressing confidence that, far from spying on New Zealanders and its citizens, as the U.S. government agencies have been exposed as carrying out against its other allies and friends, the United States will have refrained from any such practice in this country. Do you feel in retrospect that that might have been just a little naive? Surely you would understand that from this distance, New Zealanders might be inclined to think so?

      Perhaps you and your colleagues would be so good as to respond to these questions to which more than one New Zealander would be glad of an answer.
      1. In light of the revelations that the leaders of US allies around the world have been spied on by the NSA have you sought a US assurance that New Zealand’s elected representatives are free from the same surveillance? If not why not?
      2. Have you sought an assurance from the US that it hasn’t spied on New Zealanders involved in negotiating the TPP agreement? If not why not?
      3. Why does the New Zealand government facilitate the NSA’s wholesale spying on New Zealander citizens as the NSA does with EU citizens?
      4. Why has the government not yet launched an independent inquiry into the NSA spying on New Zealanders? Is toadying to the US more important than our national self-respect and the privacy rights of New Zealanders?

      I will be honest with you here, and say that I am not the original author of these questions. I would be none the less intrigued to see what you have to say to them. I shall, of course, be sending copies of this email to your colleagues, the Hon. Mr McCully, and the Rt. Hon. John Key, and to leaders of other Parties in the House.

      Yours sincerely,
      Ion A. Dowman”

      I wasn’t sure whether to acknowledge John Minto’s authorship of the 4 questions, or simply ask them as if they were my own. I’m not sure the compromise I came up with is satisfactory either! At any rate it will be interesting to see what responses come my way.

  6. The next thing it will be the nuclear free legislation. “Time to be put behind us.” Don’t think they wouldn’t do it. And with the outlawing of peaceful sea-going protests, they will steam up the Waitemata before you can blink.

  7. Their attitude ( Key, Coleman, McCully ) reminds me of the sort of nasty little suck up that would hang around with the school bully. Smug and safe as long as they did what they were told. I’m ashamed to be a New Zealander. These men are an absolute disgrace

    • No. I’m not ashamed to be a New Zealander on account of these snivelling, toad eating little snirps. I’m ashamed to think that New Zealand could produce such people to run the place.

  8. nice read John – however if you read nicky’s book “other peoples wars” all this would not come as such a shock

  9. Yes so utterly cringeworthy and I too am ashamed to be a New Zealander..
    (Mind you , if you ever take a look in on a typical parliamentary session, you’d cringe anyway. So crass.)
    As for Coleman…he needs to be bagged up and sent to a potato farm..
    But the damage is done really aint it.. (Cringe) & nearly too awful to bear..

  10. “New Zealand’s not worried at all about this. We don’t believe it would be occurring.”

    Mr Coleman, I do believe your nose is wedged firmly up Uncle Sam’s butt-crack…

  11. Coleman is a professional butt-li**er of the US establishment and system, same as John Key, and he does not give a shit about what NZers think. Both are habitual liars also, and they get away with it, as nobody asks the hard questions, and nobody can prove anything anyway, as it is all “secret” stuff.

    Well, after all Coleman does not really have that much to worry about, he knows, as the over commercialised, dumbing down media here, misinforms and dumbs down the public to degrees that are unknown in most comparable countries.

    Listening to the radio and television, which most people still do regularly, same as sitting in front of a computer and looking up so many media and other websites, there is an incessant bombardment of aggressive commercial advertising. Kids are exposed to it from an early age. Only a tiny minority listens to commercial free radio like National Radio.

    The result is: The minds of the listeners and viewers are “corrupted” and manipulated, so that they know nothing else, and it reflects in their thinking and behaviour. Most New Zealanders thus have a mindset of a “chronic bargain hunter”, as that is the result of constant “temptation” and enticing to shop, shop, shop, consume and buy the many praised products and services. This thinking filters through into other thinking and day to day behaviour.

    Brainwashed like that, the snippets of “real” news with substance do hardly get noticed or even analysed, and hence all this stuff, about the mass surveillance, all this 24/7 spying, the “normalisation” of this, is going almost unnoticed by people or shrugged off.

    Most walk around with blinkers on and eyes, ears and minds fully shut. Whether phone calls get listened in to, metadata collected, whether browsing behaviour, emails and more get checked, tracked, traced and gathered, most do not seem to worry, as otherwise there should and would be an outcry.

    The system that dominates the brainwashing and dumbing down works here, and Key, Coleman and all others in this corrupt government, which works closely with the US, Australia and the UK in all this “investigative” work, they rely on this, and they get away with it.

    So much for an “informed” and “empowered” public, which is non existent, and therefore proves, this society is anything but a true democracy.

  12. Where on the above map is “Germany” (“Deutschland”), Scandinavia, Holland and so forth, it must be lands sunken into the sea, or not on the horizon of “Yankeezees”, that is their “governmantle”?!

  13. I’ve got a great idea to save the Ross Sea! We’ll make a joint submission with the USA and present a united front to the rest if the world. Hahaha. If NZ is serious about international credibility you would not associate with u no who.
    What is this Government thinking? Or is it just bending over?

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