What did Green Party co-leader Russel Norman expect when he exploited his position as an MP and waved the Tibetan flag at China's vice-president Xi Jinping? Enough grandstanding already
When my children were little and ran to me telling tales of sibling bullying, my first reaction inevitably was, what did you do to cause your sister's wrath?
Russel Norman's behaved like a child since he roughed up (yes, if you watch the television footage closely, it's his hands shoving people aside to retrieve the Tibetan flag) security personnel outside Parliament. This morning he's calling the Prime Minister's apology "craven and gutless".
Every seasoned protester knows before they enter fray such as this there's a good chance the situation may turn ugly. Police could be involved. Someone might be arrested. In fact, Dr Norman's outcome was quite a happy one, but not content with that, he ran to police, wanting Chinese security charged with assault.
Up to a point, many agreed with Norman. I don't think we should overly suck up to Chinese totalitarianism in the name of trade – there's a fine balance.
Unlike Colin Espiner, I do think MPs should, when appropriate, be protesters or crusaders. Linda Clark, when hosting Nine to Noon, chastised me, as an ACT MP, for outing a sex offender assigned a child by CYFs, ("you're not a crusading journalist now, Deborah!").
But when the story became Russel Norman, rather than the Green's opposition to the official visit and China's behaviour in Tibet, he lost his argument, and for that he can blame his own ego.
It's like Christine Rankin wearing plunging necklines and short skirts, then bleating because men look down at her cleavage or up at her panties.
Or journalists suing for defamation. Sure, the flak hurts sometimes. I'd hate to have a thick skin, or be a cynic; but we put it out there, so we have to suck it up when someone socks it back at us.
Norman would loathe to be compared with Bob McCroskie, but this week he was on par with the head of Family First. Why?
Wouldn't you know it, McCoskrie has lodged a complaint against TV3's late news for screening (warning: adult content follows, stop reading right now if you are a member of Family First!!) clips of naked men with their giblets swinging.
Norman involved in argy bargy with Chinese security, then complaining to police is the same as McCroskie staying up late to watch naked men then complaining to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.