There are lessons in the tragedy in Christchurch from which we must all learn. We must not close our eyes. But if we do close our eyes then we must all be given the benefit of the doubt and assume that we are not asleep but merely in a state of deep contemplation.
I was in this very state at an emergency conference of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation in Turkey recently. Very serious matters were being discussed, very, very profound issues, and I contemplated them very, very, very deeply.
It's actually a mark of respect to sit in meetings and fall into a reverie of deep contemplation. It's something I do routinely, like when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and a contingent of Ministers and MPs met Muslim community leaders following the mosque terror attacks in Christchurch. A few weeks earlier, I was at it again, during a Security and Intelligence select committee hearing, also attended by Ardern.
But it's not just in public. I do it in private, too, sitting at my desk with a stack of important papers. Some politicians prefer to read documents but I prefer to contemplate them, deeply, very, very deeply, for hours on end.
Wisdom comes with age. So does a state of deep contemplation and at 73 I find I can slip into it at any given moment, and may I just say, furthermore, ZZZZZZZ
The events that took place in Christchurch are horrific. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims and their families. But the important thing right now is for someone to stand up on behalf of white people.
Those who rightly point out that it's wrong to say all Muslims are somehow complicit in Islamic terrorism seem comfortable blaming all white people for one terrorist.
We should treat people as we find them, especially white people. We should treat every individual as someone with inherent value and inalienable rights, especially white individuals.
Trending right now: #notallwhitepeople
I'm not saying the national security surveillance programme known as Project Speargun could have prevented the terrorist attack, or made the slightest bit of difference, but on the other hand I certainly don't think you can say it absolutely wouldn't have. You just never know, do you? I mean, hey, at the end of the day, who can tell, right? Who can make that kind of judgment call?
And so what we're left with is the absolute certainty that we should give the SIS immediate powers to ramp up its surveillance programme.
Our risk profile has changed from low to high. We should be looking at giving the likes of Project Speargun the ability to keep New Zealanders safe.
At the very least it might take someone like Nicky Hager off the streets and that's never a bad thing as far as the National Party are concerned.
My job is to make people feel safe. The idea that people currently do not, I find very distressing. And it's my job to bring that sense of security back.
As for my job as leader of the Labour-New Zealand First-Green Party coalition, and having to deal with teacher strikes, the Kiwibuild failures, the Shane Jones fiasco, the capital gains tax miscalculations, and Winston forever nodding off into a deep contemplation, I'm in no bloody hurry to get back to that.