“Wogistan” NZ First MP Richard Prosser has blamed the confiscation of his much-loved pocket knife for his diatribe against Muslims and airline security, but it seems it was not taken from him and he still has it.
It is understood records of the Aviation Security Service (Avsec) show that the penknife was discovered at the Christchurch Airport security check on December 3 last year. Far from confiscating the knife, security officials “facilitiated” Prosser back to the Air New Zealand counter where the knife was put through as checked in baggage.
In his controversial article, Prosser said the Swiss army knife, given to him years ago by an aunt and uncle when he headed off for his overseas experience, was “confiscated”. In the column, headlined ‘Enemies at the gates’ and published in Investigate magazine, he said he had taken the pocketknife on airlines many times before, saying: “Not so anymore it would seem.”
Asked on National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme today what provoked the article he again said: “I had my pocket knife confiscated. This is the pocket knife that I’ve owned for – I couldn’t count the number of years – and I used to travel with internationally prior to 9/11 before the world went mad.” He had also carried it up and down the country 30-odd times last year.
Prosser took his seat in Parliament this afternoon, but avoided media. Prosser attempted to make an apology to Parliament for anti-Muslim comments he made, but was blocked by Mana Party leader Hone Harawira. In a statement, Harawira said:
“Today I opposed a request from Richard Prosser to make a personal statement to the House. I did so because if he has an apology to make for his offensive remarks to the Muslim community, then he can make his way to the nearest mosque and ask forgiveness there. I do not accept that he should be able to make such remarks and then simply wash away his venom via an unchallenged explanation in the house.”
Enemy at the gates
By Richard Prosser
Investigate, February-March 2013
I had my pocketknife confiscated at Christchurch Airport the other week. It’s a Swiss Army knife, a fairly basic model, cracking on a bit in years now; I was given it as a present by my Aunt (rest her soul) and Uncle, back in the mists of time before I headed off overseas on my OE. Once upon a time it had a couple of red plastic flanges bearing the Victorinox crest, and a pair of tweezers, and even a toothpick; not now, of course. Those accoutrements are long gone, lost somewhere twixt here and the far reaches of God’s earth, their passing as much a testament to the changing of the world as it is to the passage of my own journey through it.
Time was, I could – and did – transit the great airports of the West with that very knife in my right-hand jeans pocket; Auckland, Singapore, Heathrow, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Charles de Gaulle…the list goes on. I have flown into, and out of, more cities than I could count, with that one tired old beaten-up pocketknife in my possession – including the aforementioned Christchurch. I have made the trip from Canterbury to Wellington, and back, more than thirty times in the last year alone, and on each and every occasion my trusty old blade has been there with me. Not so any more, it would seem.
I have taken it into No. 10 Downing St and into the House of Lords in Westminster, into the Victorian State Parliament, into both Houses of the Australian Parliament, and it has accompanied me into our own Debating Chamber every day this past year.
Never once have I been tempted to commit a terrorist act with it. I like to think that this is because I’m not a terrorist. Not so long ago, before the world went mad, ordinary people like yours truly could travel the length and breadth of Christendom, and beyond, without being made to feel like suspects and pariahs.
That we now cannot, it seems, appears to me to send a very clear message; and that is that it is apparent that the terrorists have already won. If they haven’t, then why do ordinary lawabiding people like you and me have to endure the third degree every time we get on an aeroplane in our own country?
I’m not looking for special treatment. Security needs to be across the board, and no-one should be immune from that. I mean one could be forgiven for assuming that a member of the nation’s Parliament probably isn’t intending on hijacking his regular commuter flight with a pocketknife, or building some nefarious explosive device, inflight, out of toothpaste and mineral water. At the same time, neither are probably 99.-something percent of other regular passengers, business people, tourists, travelers, you name it.
But the few who are, equally probably, almost certainly fall into one or more of a very small number of very predictable and easily identifiable categories.
Back in the heady days of the sixties and seventies, when Communism was the fashionable cause du jour, a core cabal of political activist groups made airliner hijackings their forte, and pistol-induced diversions to Cuba were a not uncommon distraction on trans-European and trans-Atlantic flights.
Today, of course, that threat has been neutralized, and it is a new enemy who threatens our national and cultural borders. Today, whilst it can most certainly be said that not all Muslims are terrorists, it is it equally undeniable that most terrorists are Muslims. The 9/11 hijackers were Muslims. The London tube bombers were Muslims. The Taliban are Muslims. So are al-Qa’ida. There is a pattern here, I promise you. These are angry young Muslim men who hate the West and want to destroy it. They attack us, and our institutions and infrastructures, and our way of life, and our values and beliefs and precepts, because we are not like them, and for no other reason.
They use our freedoms against us, and that is their advantage, and our undoing. Well I say enough. I say enough of this pandering to an upstart minority, I say enough of this cowardly, ineffective, politically correct reluctance to address the issue where it really lies. I say we should stop hiding behind a facade of misplaced tolerance born of spineless fear, and face the issues of terrorism and security where they need to be faced – head on.
If the greatest identifiable threat to modern aviation security is posed by young Muslim males, then surely the answer is to prohibit young Muslim males from flying on our aeroplanes. And the greatest identifiable threat to Western aviation security is posed by young Muslim males. That much is undeniable statistical fact. Why are we beating around the bush here? We don’t need to target the American family flying home from holiday abroad. We don’t need to target the 80-year-old grandmother in a wheelchair on her way back to Munich from Tenerife.