Sunday, 6 November 2005

Rod Donald dies


RADIO NEW ZEALAND: Greens co-leader Rod Donald dies

Posted at 2:56pm on 6 Nov 2005

The Green Party co-leader Rod Donald has died suddenly of a suspected heart attack.

A party spokesman says Mr Donald, who was 48, died in his Christchurch home overnight.

[UPDATE: Condolences can be left on Frogblog here.]


  1. Pretty shocking for one so young.

  2. Shocking indeed. I'm pleased for myself that the last thing I said about Rod Donald (see blog below on fireworks) was to praise him.

    Whatever else you may say about him, he was both intelligent and principled, neither of which quality figures in abundance in Helengrad's corridors of political power.

  3. It's perhaps a little too early to say this but ... I note that Donald was pretty fit too (at least Helen and Jeanette said he was on the news). This reminds me that PJ O'Rourke started an esssay in 'Age & Guile beat Youth, Innocence and a Bad Haircut' noting that the author of The Complete Book of Running had died of a heart attack in his 50s while out jogging and that among the manifest attributes of God one should not forget a sense of humour.

    On another somewhat spooky note I was just thinking how great it would be to see no more Nandor about two minutes before the headline appeared on the news.

    Ah well ...

  4. Andrew - well, no it's not too early. I think people are still a bit superstitious about this kind of thing. What is it exactly about a man dying that causes people to don rose-coloured spectacles before describing him?

    I mean, I'd like to think that by the time I die, socialists, fascists, subjectivists and collectivists of all stripes will be raising a glass & cheering, not praising my strengths of character.

    So - here's to Rod Donald - principled & intelligent, but without whom New Zealand is provably better off.

  5. I'm with Duncan on this one. I feel sorry for Rods friends and family, particularly his teenage children, but I have no fond memories of him and generally found little to favour in his politiks.

    Principled and intelligent he may have been, but like most politicians, he felt he had dibs on how everyone else should live their lives.

  6. No doubt boys. But the occasion doesn't fit those comments, even if gently couched. Time enough when he's in the ground to take your pound of flesh.

    Give him is due, Rod was not a wim-worshipper, a sanctioner, a victim. He was like us, a player, the brain-dead are played and merit no salute.

    Others, including the greenies, will start taking political milage from the dead soon enough. Let them be the first to initiate it.

  7. I think the greatest compliment to pay to an adversary is not to do what so many are doing to Donald.

    Put another way - if I were him (& still somehow able to see what's going on, grant me the afterlife myth for the purpose of this explanation), I'd be *pissed off* to know that my erstwhile adversaries were praising me upon my death.

    If I were Donald, I'd want Libertarians & Objectivists to look back and realise I was implacably, forcefully, passionately opposed to their political ideals.

    I'd want them to celebrate my passing, not mourn it - because celebrating it would mean that I'd really made a difference in the struggle against them, loudly challenging their arguments and proclamations with my own.

    If when I die, my opponents (political, intellectual and commerical) don't cheer, then my life hasn't been all I'm striving for it to be.

  8. I think I will put you on my blogroll Bayne, on the strength of these comments ;-)

    There is more than a whiff of hypocrisy in the air over Donald. Personally, I never thought of him, but am sorry about his untimely demise. Now we have the deplorable Nandor to deal with :-/

    All these right-wing bloggers bloviating over this never had a good word to say about him until he was dead.

    Give me a break.

  9. Actually Ruth many if not all "rightwing bloggers" approved of Donalds one-man protest outside Parliament when the the National People's Congress of China chairmain was visiting. Pity more MP's didn't join him.

  10. Ruth, you said: "There is more than a whiff of hypocrisy in the air over Donald. Personally, I never thought of him, but am sorry about his untimely demise.... All these right-wing bloggers bloviating over this never had a good word to say about him until he was dead."

    You know, part of it is, I think, a reaction not just to Donald's genuine niceness as a person and his undoubted principles, but also a reaction to -- or a backlash from -- the hyperbole and vindictiveness of the last election campaign, where almost everyone treated everyone as a cardboard cut-out instead of a real person. Such is politics in a democracy, when everything has to dumbed down for the dumbed-down

    It takes a tragedy for them all to see each other as real human beings again...

  11. Extraordinarily well said PC.


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