Louisa Wall: Rebel In A Wrong Cause

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I WISH I could like Louisa Wall. I really do. Labour has so few mavericks in its ranks these days. Following the historical contribution of the late, great Jim Anderton, they’ve rather gone out of fashion. And, no, I’m not forgetting the exploits of the hapless David Cunliffe. He did, indeed, show every sign of being a gutsy maverick – right up until he won the Labour leadership and self-destructed. (Albeit more slowly that Todd Muller!) Certainly, Labour’s due a rebel or two. Someone to recall the party to its core principles. Which it needs. Unfortunately, Louisa isn’t that person.

Which is not to suggest for a moment that Wall hasn’t made an important contribution to New Zealand political history. Her Marriage Equality legislation fulfilled a long-standing goal of the LBGTQI community – on whose behalf she has been a tireless fighter.

Wall’s staunch advocacy on these issues has not been without cost. In the South Auckland Pasifika communities she represented there were many who harboured deeply-held religious objections to the causes she espoused. Wall’s outspokenness saw her fall prey to the internal machinations of Labour’s factions. That she faced them down, and forced them to back-off, bears testimony to her courage and resilience. As Jacinda Ardern discovered, Louisa Wall is one tough cookie.

Tough to the point of pig-headedness. It’s the greatest weakness, as well as the greatest strength, of the maverick. Once they get hold of an idea, or attach themselves to a cause, they will not let it go. Neither, sadly, will they suffer anyone to interrogate their adherence. Mavericks are not very good at seeing both sides of the story. They are even worse at admitting that their version of the story might not be the right one.

Hence my unwillingness to join Wall’s fan-club. Brave though she undoubtedly is: and tough as an old Rugby boot; on the crucial issue of China, Louisa Wall is just plain wrong.

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If you intend to make your next big stand on the field of foreign affairs, then the very first thing you have master is the art of due diligence. In the fraught field of geopolitics, claims and counter-claims fly back and forth like artillery shells – with almost as much destructive effect. Before committing yourself to one side or the other, it is absolutely imperative to discover who is making those claims – and why.

Nowhere is this more important than on issues relating to China. Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China is asserting its interests in ways that make the rest of the world – especially the United States – uneasy. For more than a century, China was on the receiving end of Western and Japanese imperialism. Weak, and prey to foreign exploitation and conquest, it had not been in a position to assert very much of anything. The rest of the world is neither accustomed to, nor comfortable with, a powerful China. Predictably, it is resisting its resurgence.

China’s treatment of political dissidents and ethnic minorities has provided her enemies with extremely useful propaganda targets. Rather than examine the reasons for the Chinese Government’s behaviour, which, in its essence, is indistinguishable from that of all other great powers when confronted with internal challenges to their imperium (think of England’s treatment of the Irish, or the United States’ treatment of Native Americans) China’s enemies accuse her of committing the most appalling atrocities – up to and including genocide.

Wall has proved herself to be an eager consumer of these horror stories. She has been convinced that the Chinese authorities are “farming” political prisoners for their organs. Rather than believe that the Chinese state is willing to use the organs of executed criminals to either save or improve the lives of desperately ill citizens, she has accepted at face value the claim that officials are murderously “harvesting” the organs of innocent civilians for profit. Rather than accept the Chinese authorities’ explanation that it is incarcerating Uighur nationalists and Islamists in re-education-through-labour camps in preference to going after them militarily, Louisa has bought into the USA-driven accusation that the Chinese are engaged in “genocide”. Given that the Uighur population of Xinjiang province is roughly twice as large as it was 50 years ago, one could be forgiven for observing that the Chinese definition of genocide is somewhat different to our own!

At the heart of just about all of these accusations against the Chinese Government one finds the virulently anti-communist cult known as Falun Gong. It is from Falun Gong that supposedly independent groups like End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) and The China Tribunal are fed the outrageous and unproven charges of organ farming, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

It is highly instructive that prior to the election of Xi Jinping as China’s head-of-state, Falun Gong’s horror stories were largely treated with the international disdain they deserved. It is only since China’s new assertiveness began manifesting itself around the world, that the cult’s claims have been accepted as admissible evidence. The United States has ceased to treat China as a friendly off-shore manufacturing platform, and begun portraying it as a disruptive and increasingly aggressive force in world affairs. In this new endeavour, set in motion by President Barack Obama, the gruesome propaganda of Falun Gong has proved invaluable. So much so, in fact, that one could be forgiven for thinking that it was created for just such a purpose!

Given Louisa Wall’s political achievements, her descent into the murky waters of anti-Chinese propaganda is deeply regrettable. (Especially so, given the Falun Gong cult’s vicious homophobia.) There are already more than enough New Zealanders busying themselves in fomenting the next Cold War, without this hitherto formidable Labour MP joining their ranks.

The well-being of hundreds-of-thousands of New Zealanders depends upon this country’s diplomatic and economic relationship with China remaining strong. China’s enemies will not reward New Zealand for engineering a break with Beijing. Their local helpers will be cast aside with as much dispatch as they were recruited.

It is a great pity that Louisa Wall appears to have forgotten that mavericks are called mavericks precisely because they refuse to be driven in the same direction as the rest of the herd.

41 COMMENTS

  1. Wonderful piece of clarity Chris. I hope all the sinophobes go fuck themselves before they cause problems with our best international bilateral relationship.

  2. The night Wall’s marriage bill went through Parliament, she stood with tears in her eyes saying that the most important thing in the world for her, was same sex people being able to marry. I thought that was pretty rich coming from a person representing some of the poorest people in the country and I have regarded her with profound cynicism ever since. Further, rightly or wrongly I thought that she was a girl spoiling for a fight, and perhaps taken aback that the bill passed easily -my best memory is of Maurice Williamson’s brilliant rainbow speech. I was slightly annoyed with Maori in the gallery bursting into song – more cultural appropriation of an issue which impacted tragically upon, in particular, the homosexual Pakeha men of my generation, including being a successful murder defence with the shameful Hagley Park gay bashing thugs, by a now deceased young lawyer who had reason to know better than to take the stance which he did.

    Wall’s China stance looks like the ignorance of history which afflicts far too many contemporary New politicians, is careless, but worse, a track record suggesting her having a greater interest in sex and gender issues than the children of the poor, also suggests that she may be more concerned with promoting herself, rather than looking at the bigger picture which impacts upon the whole country – but there’s always a chance that she might have been got at.

    • More a case of having been on the David Cunliffe team (backed by party members) against team Shearer backed by the caucus and thus not given any positions since Labour came to government in 2017. Thus left on the outside and then removed from her electorate position in 2020 to the party list so they can be rid of her in 2023 (they got too many votes in 2020).

      Saying she has no interest in matters of the poor is silly – she has not had the spokespersons positions. Her interest area would be health.

      She is held in greater esteem by National than her own party caucus, which is why she is on the inter-parliamentary human rights group. The thing there is its human rights agenda has been captured by the anti China posturing of Trump and Pompeo and now Biden and Blinken. A stick to beat China with.

    • Wall also appears to own a lot of rental properties. I think this speaks volumes about who she is, unless she is renting to disadvantaged people

      • She co-owns one rental property. It is in Turangi (about 1000 properties there), and it is in her iwi – Ngati Tuwharetoa. The Taupo property she co-owns is a whanua (extended family) one. Her Manurewa based home is owned by a Trust.

  3. Good opinion piece.

    If only…

    If only someone in Labour went public, full feral and stepped up for victims in NZ of successive governments failure to address housing, and probably most culpable, the hypocrite current one.

    There’s a cause worth everything.

  4. We agree on something.

    One should note though she is on inter-parliamentary team human rights – and thus is somewhat led by the evidence accepted by them. Such as provided by Human Rights Watch (whose China person, an American, wants New Zealand to take the lead in standing up to China using our “moral” authority). Whether one parliamentarian from New Zealand can change the inter-parliamentary human rights team course, when New Zealand would not even lead our Five Eyes partners on much if anything, is the pertinent point.

    An inter-parliamentary human rights group that will not take on Israel’s ethnic cleansing on the West Bank or Erdogan on the cultural and political repression of Kurds, or Modi on Kashmir etc has fairly little credibility apart from being a stalking horse for the American imperial sanctions regime against the political “left”.

    And even Iran gets a free hand while its Shia militias murder secularists across South Iraq because Biden wants to return to a nuclear deal …

  5. Yes Chris, all those men women and children held in Xianjing internment camps are just terrorists being naughty. Give us a break man! You have become a serious pro-China apologist. This has been China’s policy towards minorities for a very long time – assimilate or else. Just ask the Dalai Lama.

    • Except that the Dalai Lama presided over a theocracy that placed vulnerable peasant boys and girls in the care of celebate priests. This is without even going into the slavery that operated in tandem. We have a lot of experience now with the legacy of celebate priests caring for children in the Catholic tradition. I’m not sure why you think the Buddhist tradition would be any better? Maybe you believe in magic as well?

      • …but you think the Hanazi Empire is going to be better than the American one, or the Nazi Germany one, more accurately? *crickets chirping*

      • Actually no, I dislike all religion.

        You wilfully miss the point – theocracy doesn’t mean the Chinese should take over a sovereign nation.

        Nepal is not and has never been a Chinese territory, they just decided to make it one. Same intent can be seen with Taiwan, large parts of the South China sea etc. This is a pattern of behaviour, shared with all colonial/imperialist countries – take territory, by force if they can, and by coercion and alliance if they can’t (see Belt and Road initiative).

        • You’re confusing Tibet with Nepal, another and still sovereign country.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet

          You’ll note Chinese rule of Tibet before 1913 when Tibet declared independence.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan

          You can note Chinese rule over Taiwan before it was occupied by Japan, Taiwan has yet to declare independence from China.

          Yeah sure Chinese claims in the South China Sea have no international standing and are in breach of the legitimate claims of other nations in the area.

          • I think you may have missed the recent news that China has annexed an area of Nepal to improve China’s borders.
            They did this by building a Chinese town / city inside Nepal.
            Nepal is too weak to do anything about it.
            The article I read said there was talk of China offering some other land or cash for it, unrealised as yet, and that Nepal has protested to the UN?
            Sorry I can’t use pc at the moment to provide a reference, but Google China takes land in Nepal border dispute should do it.
            It’s related to the India China border dispute too.

            • As to the western borders of China, the concept of containment of China involving India in QUAD (with Oz and the US), has such consequences.

              The idea of a 19th C suppressed China realising imperial China maximus in the 21st C, resonates with the communist party as “champion of Chinese nationalism”.

              But it matters little who is to blame for creating any tension – the reality is there is a geo-political battle for primacy in Asia (which began when Obama tilted back to East Asia).

  6. What bothers me is she (and nearly every other politician and journalist ) is ignoring the ongoing genocide in West Papua – far closer to home, within our sphere of influence. Is it because it’s easy to grandstand about China from a distance whereas to act on West Papua will have real costs?

    • For mine it’s a case of

      1. Oz and corporate mining interests in cahoots with Jakarta against the interests of the locals (extraction of resources for the benefit of outsiders and despoiling the local environment).

      2. maintaining relations with Indonesia – importance of ASEAN as a trade and security partner.

      3. the USA does not care (see 1 and 2).

      With East Timor, Oz claimed a share of the economic resources in the East Timor area something they could not have done with Indonesia (see 1) and maintain good relations.

      • It’s going to take boots on the ground to kick those fuckers out of West Papua like was done in East Timor. Like it ir not they’re going to have to pay tribute or the West Papua’s can do it themselves on the cheap. That would fit nicely into Wellington’s carefully manicured and fiscally conservative budget.

        Actually fuck NZDF lovers too. If they want to cut back social spending in order to artificially inflate there ego budget then they can have budget cuts to.

        To me its like watching children whinge about not getting there favourite thing only Tony Kidd and spc have had years of academic study and corporate worship to hoone there whinging. Really well written stuff lads. All the I’s and grammar is so correct. Least it’s pretty.

  7. Pfft…you just became an apologist for organ harvesters worldwide… I quote your verbal d here: “the Chinese state is willing to use the organs of executed criminals to either save or improve the lives of desperately ill citizens,” oh yeah they sound benevolent. Dear Chris, the organ trade is lucrative, massive and worldwide.
    Plastic in the pudding
    plastic in the pie
    momma won’t be home tonight
    No one askin’ why

    where’s this plastic all come from?
    those PFOAs?
    who unleashed this toxic storm
    through our waterways?

    Load of crap
    You buy me bombs
    in virtual
    like iFly(tek)
    the poet’s death to
    be expected
    emotion running
    strong

    if I should ever walk this way
    and then step on a bomb
    I’m reeling how the truth displayed
    humanity gone wrong

    For cloned and pampered,
    closely bred,
    the season’s crop of wrong
    are waiting
    so distinguished
    to copy off this song

    Railroaded, exploded,
    brutality coded
    you see it, expose it,
    FREE ASSANGE

  8. Plastic in the pudding, plastic in the pie, Mamma won’t be home tonight, no one askin’ why? Where’s this plastic all some from, those pfoa’s? who unleashed this toxic storm through our waterways? Load of crap you buy me bombs in virtual iFly(tek), emotion running pretty strong, the poet death expects. if I should ever walk this way and then step on a bomb I’d reel at how the truth display humanity gone wrong; for cloned and pampered, closely bred, the season’s crop of wrong, are waiting, so distinguished, to copy out this song.
    Railroaded, exploded, humanity coded, you see it, expose it:- “””Free Assange!””

    • Or is it a case of disinformation with motive as per the WMD and regime change in Iraq – which of course began with a sanctions regime with international inspections.

  9. If it’s such a wonderful proposal why don’t NZ start to harvest organs and kill our prisoners too! Sarcasm. Waste not, want not! Sarcasm. We can eat the bodies too, Soylent Green style.

    Wonderful ideas, ahhhh not really.

    Probably detaining and interrogating Li Wenliang, a doctor who was accused of “spreading rumors” about coronavirus when the outbreak began was Western propaganda too!

    Plenty who are getting sucked into the propoganda in NZ.

    Covid is overblown too says Dr Lance O’Sullivan who was in China as a guest of Huawei when the outbreak broke out in Wuhan.
    Coronavirus outbreak: Dr Lance O’Sullivan warns not to get ‘overwhelmed’ by the hype
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/01/coronavirus-outbreak-dr-lance-o-sullivan-warns-not-to-get-overwhelmed-by-the-hype.html

    ahhhh not really.

    China might be powerful but propoganda is when something is not true, the organ harvesting and interrogation and arrest of Li Wenliang and re-education camps in China are true… as is a look at the demographics and history in Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    Good on Louisa Wall to stick to her principles.

    Also while I don’t agree with the removal of freedom of speech laws in NZ (under the propaganda of hate speech) I do agree with her proposal of criminalising people who put up intimate recordings of others on the Internet without permission! https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/revenge-porn-christchurch-police-wont-charge-man-who-uploaded-sex-tape-without-consent-cannot-prove-harm-to-victim/3YCRIFDUTT5V6YJUZSMWYLQJYI/

    Good to see there are some with some principles still left in Labour and are not selling out for a free trip, (or free organ) or campaign donation or free trade threat. (Yep friends don’t threaten to ‘poke out your eyes’ generally).

    Since globalism there seems to be less and less accountability to the public and truth.

  10. Also why I do not agree with you Mr Trotter, I respect your right to say it.

    Something that is not allowed in China (free speech) and proposed in law soon to be not allowed in NZ.

  11. No one notes that China is actually a bastion of secularism in the world today where religious fundamentalists either control politics or have a huge influence on it in many parts of the world and over the majority of the world’s population:

    “China has the world’s greatest irreligious population, and the Chinese government and the ruling Communist Party of China is officially atheist. Despite limitations on certain forms of religious expression and assembly, religion is not banned, and religious freedom is nominally protected under the Chinese constitution.”

  12. Trotter’s outright bigotry against Falun Gong practitioners – the victims of horrible atrocities – is disgraceful. His denialism concerning the CCP’s human rights violations against Uighurs and Falun Gong is indefensible. His claim that “prior to the election of Xi Jinping as China’s head-of-state, Falun Gong’s horror stories were largely treated with the international disdain they deserved,” is blatantly false. Independent journalists and scholars documented the CCP’s horrible persecution of Falun Gong long before (and in some cases just after) Xi came to power. To cite just a few examples:

    Ian Palmer, who won a Pulitzer for his reporting on the repression of Falun Gong in China, wrote that “the government intended to strike some terror” into practitioners, documented how Chinese officials propounded a motto that there was “no measure too excessive” to crush Falun Gong, and recounted the story of a 58-year old woman who was beaten to death in custody. (Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China (Pantheon Books 2004) at pp. 193-196, 288). Professor David Palmer explained how the CCP’s repression of Falun Gong was “designed to revive [] fear in the minds of the populace.” (Qigong Fever (Columbia University Press 2007), at conclusion). Professor Benjamin Penny explained that “the Chinese government launched the suppression [of Falun Gong] with all the brutality it had at its disposal.” (The Religion of Falun Gong (University of Chicago Press 2012), at p. 184). Professor James Tong described accounts that “appear verifiable” of nearly fifteen thousand cases of physical torture and psychological abuse against Falun Gong practitioners (through 2005), which were “pervasive throughout China,” including frequent use of electric batons, severe beatings, stress positions, and rapes of female prisoners. (Revenge of the Forbidden City, The Suppression of the Falungong in China 1999-2005 (Oxford University Press 2009), at pp. 121-23). Professor David Ownby wrote that “the Chinese government’s campaign against Falun Gong has constituted and continues to constitute a grievous, tragic violation of the human rights of those practitioners who have been arrested, tortured and killed.” (Falun Gong and the Future of China (Oxford University Press 2008), at p. 161). Ethan Gutmann reported that at the peak of repression China imprisoned at least one million Falun Gong practitioners, that the CCP sent practitioners to labor camps for three-year stints with no charges, and that torture was routine in the labor camps, often including use of electric cattle prods to force renunciations. (The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to its Dissident Problem (Prometheus 2014), at pp. 136, 143, 146-50). The journalist Danny Schecter documented how the Chinese government accompanied its brutal repression with a “saturation-propaganda offensive” to vilify Falun Gong internationally. (Falun Gong’s Challenge to China (Akashic Books 2000), at p. 35).

    Publishing denialism concerning such well-documented human rights violations – especially when the author blatantly parades his own bigotry and bias – is reckless. Shame on the daily blog.

    • Falun Gong are right wing religous nutcases. They believe that science was brought to earth by aliens and that to accept any form of medical intervention is a statement of a lack of faith in the magical healing powers of their leader. They also believe that Trump came from heaven to destroy the CCP. You could search this page for the word “alien” to come up with a lot of nutcase ideas such as aliens kidnapping humans.

      https://falundafa.org/eng/eng/lectures/19980530L.html
      Falun Dafa is an alternate but equal name

      So with all this fruit cake belief system and reliance on magic we are expected to extract organ harvesting as the one non magical real and true thing that they say??! I understand that people on the far right of christian fundamentalism such as Adrien Zenz who invented the statistics on the Uighurs would find common cause in hatred of the CCP on a similar visceral level of the idiot Castro above who always equates everything they don’t like to nazi Germany because theyre too simple minded to make a coherent argument but any reasonable person who looks at Falun Gong should easily understand what an idiotic cult it is and shutting it down is the only reasonable thing to do. Would that we would do the same to the many abusive cults that operate in nz!

      https://thegrayzone.com/2019/09/30/reports-china-organ-harvesting-cult-falun-gong/

      And as for the idiot Adrien Zenz quoted by all articles that use the word genocide to describe the CCP

      https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/21/china-detaining-millions-uyghurs-problems-claims-us-ngo-researcher/

  13. I tend to agree with nukefacts on this one Chris.
    The CCP is a very bad actor, zero consideration for human rights, international law, or even that debatable notion of morals.
    They are as close to an evil empire as there is at the moment, even among the other couple of contenders.
    Agree with you that NZ should still be respectful and keep that useful trade and monetary benefit going.
    Sad but true? The need to have bread to eat supercedes anything else.

  14. This was an ill advised and misinformed attack by Louisa Wall.
    Overall this was a fair response from Chris Trotter.
    Agree 100% with SPC and Spikeyboy.

  15. Luisa Wall is not a maverick. She is not a rebel. She is absolutely representative of the hypocritical colonialist New Zealand parliament which voted unanimously to condemn the Peoples Republic of China for the same kind of behavior practiced daily by its partners in evil, the Five Eyes Alliance.
    Admittedly that unanimity only became possible once the parliament, through its constituent parties and at the direction of the SIS, had purged itself of ethnic Chinese representation in a master class lesson to Rwanda, Serbia and Myanmar that these things can be achieved without shedding blood or provoking international outrage.
    Be that as it may, colonialism is wedded to the Five Eyes and it hardly requires courage for Luisa Wall to obediently follow the directions of Washington, London, Canberra and Pipitea House.
    If by “maverick” you mean a disgrace to the nation and one who is at odds with the mana of our people, then Luisa Wall qualifies, but so would every other member of the colonialist parliament.

  16. Just to add that besides the Grayzone report that revealed the links between the ETAC managers who commissioned the China Tribunal and the Epoch Times, a Chinese dissident Harry Wu in the U.S. had refuted the original claims of mass organ harvesting from Falun Gong members back in 2006 (search Harry Wu and Falun Gong). Hence, it makes one wonder why is this largely debunked allegation resurfacing again and how this tribunal can reach a guilty verdict in the absence of any concrete evidence.

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