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IRON MIKE: SA Premier stood up to French nuke testing

mikerannminchin South Australia’s Premier Mike Rann has literally been in the wars lately and the media spinners have done the best to paint him as a man of peace but the feisty politician has a radical past where he took on the likes of the French security forces in the 1970s.

Rann, born in 1953, chose to join environmental group Greenpeace in New Zealand in the early 1970s and battle French nuclear testing in the South Pacific region instead of joining the New Zealand military and fight in Vietnam as a rite of passage into young alpha male adulthood.

He was a member of NZ Greenpeace’s ruling body and as a backroom general plotted the sending of ship Greenpeace III to Mururoa Atoll, a French possession in the Pacific, in 1972. This involved the ship trespassing into French territorial waters and tangling with the French authorities to stop nuclear testing.

France, a traditional ally of Australia, has been invaded during two world wars by Germany, and as a reaction to its vulnerability created in the 1950s what it calls Force de frappe, a nuclear weapons deterrent.

Any organisation or person interfering with France’s nuclear program in the Pacific was seen by them as a direct threat upon its territorial sovereignty. In 1985 French intelligence agents bombed and sank the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, in Auckland, New Zealand in retaliation in this undeclared war. One activist was killed.

France was condemned for the bombing.

In 1978 Australia passed the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act, which forbids Australian citizens or residents from entering foreign states and in engaging in hostile activities. VEXNEWS explicitly states that Premier Rann broke no Australian law.

French sources have revealed that since becoming a middle of the road politician, Premier Rann has not made a formal apology to the French state for his anti-nuclear activities.
“We don’t now see him as an enemy of France and accept his youthful radical past,” the source said. “But for the sake of good diplomatic relations between our two countries it would be a step in the right direction if he apologized for his anti-French activities.”

DonDunstanInShorts Rann was born in England and immigrated to New Zealand with his family before moving to Australia in the mid 1970s to work for Don Dunstan, the flamboyant reform-minded ALP Premier of South Australia.

Rann’s father served with the British army during World War II and fought at El Alamein.

Premier Rann is married to Sasha Carruozzo, an actress and Greens party member. A response has been sought from the Premier but was not available at the time of publication.

Please be sure to check out Sasha’s Team Uzunov website click here


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  1. Apologise for what?

    All patriots understand that the French are “cheese eating surrender monkeys”. Landeryou told me.

    Posted by Rainbow Worriers | October 10, 2009, 20:08
  2. Nothing to be proud of in this record of youthful folly and ignorance. Can’t fault him here however — “instead of joining the New Zealand military and fight in Vietnam as a rite of passage into young alpha male adulthood.” He’s my age and Vietnam was all but finished by 18. The lottery ended, if memory serves, some 12 or 18 months earlier.

    Posted by Walter Plinge | October 11, 2009, 11:00
  3. Bugger the French

    Posted by claps | October 11, 2009, 12:00
  4. Posted by Doug | October 11, 2009, 19:03
  5. We are not referring to any National Service scheme but enlisting voluntarily in the regular New Zealand armed forces.

    Posted by digger | October 12, 2009, 10:36
  6. Another rambling piece in which the best bits are cut-n-pasted from Wikipedia. Anything new revealed? Naah.

    Posted by Van Jones | October 12, 2009, 16:30
  7. ooh mike your my hero

    Posted by Red Grainger | October 14, 2009, 0:43
  8. Ooooold news.

    Iron Mike was actually run out of the New Zealand Labor Party for being ‘too conservative’, and found safe harbours in Dunstan’s SA

    Posted by Walter Birkinshire | October 14, 2009, 1:20
  9. And setting off thermonuclear devices is not “engaging in hostile activities”?

    We were (and are still) correct in being outraged at the nuclear threat… something which remains and would make 9/11 appear a mere firecracker by comparison.

    Posted by AJ | October 15, 2009, 13:22