However our panel of judges felt compelled to award the prestigious prize to Mr Locke as they felt no one could possibly match his latest achievement.
As reported in this morning’s NZ Herald, “NZ should lead the way by offering reparation to East Timor, Green MP Keith Locke said today after details of a damning UN report into what happened under Indonesian occupation were published.
The Australian newspaper quoted the report, which is yet to be presented to the UN, saying Indonesia killed up to 180,000 East Timorese through massacres, torture and starvation during its 24-year occupation.
It said 90 per cent of the 180,000 deaths (almost a third of the pre-invasion population) were caused by starvation and disease, and that starvation was used as a weapon.
Indonesia should pay reparation, the report said. It also called for Australia, Britain and the United States to offer reparation for providing backing for its military during the years of occupation 1975-1999.
Mr Locke told National Radio today that New Zealand had played a lesser role and had “much lower level” of military links than Australia.
Also; “politically NZ didn’t go quite as far as Australia. Australia accepted the occupation,” he said.
However Mr Locke said NZ’s position was to accept that East Timor could not become independent.
“Politically NZ’s position was, particularly in the cold war background, `we’ve got to support the Suharto regime we don’t want a small radical state’.”
Mr Locke said NZ’s reparation could be small but meaningful “such as scholarships“.
“Offering reparations would be a recognition that politically we went down the wrong track and we’re very sorry for it and this is our message to the East Timorese people that we’ve learnt the lesson from that and put it behind us.”
Indonesia’s Invasion of east Timor occurred in 1975. What was Keith Locke doing that year? Well for one thing he was editor of the Marxist journal “Socialist Action”.
This was of course the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia, led by the infamous, Pol Pot. According to the very scholarly “Black Book of Communism” by French academics, S Courtois, N Werth, J L Panne, A Paczcowski, K Bartosek and J L Margolin, the Khmer Rouge murdered two million Cambodians.
On February 21st 1980, Mr Locke gave a public talk in Wellington, entitled “Why Workers Should Support Soviet Action in Afghanistan.” . According to “Black Book of Communism”, this Soviet “Action” resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million people.
As far as our panel of judges are aware, Mr Locke has never publicly apologised for supporting two of the worst sustained atrocities of modern times. Nor has he paid or offered one cent in reparations to the families of those whose slaughterers he supported.
These two events occurred around the time of events in East Timor. Mr Locke wants the NZ people to be accountable for our minor support for Indonesia at the time.
Has Mr Locke accepted responsibility for his far greater errors of judgement? Has he “learnt the lesson from that and put it behind” him? Simply breathtaking hypocrisy, Mr Locke.
New Zeal feels confident in awarding Mr Locke the “Hypocrite of the Year” award at this early stage. We feel he is in strong contention for “Hypocrite of the Decade”.
Congratulations Mr Locke. You’ve earned it.