Fear of terrorists goes back a long way

Post date: Oct 07, 2014 8:20:47 AM

We have returned from Auckland tonight having had a lovely few days. Today we had arranged to meet up with Richard & Yvonne who were visiting Craig, Cathie and their little Samantha. Went over to Devonport for lunch - long lunch; lots of laughs and good catch up. After we left them we went up to North Heads - an amazing lookout over the entrance to Waitemata Harbour. Spectacular Auckland views that I am sure Tony will share in due course. While Tony took photos I got to read the sign posts. The site had originally been a Ngati Whatua pa, but was used by early

European settlers as a lookout. Large gun placements installed in the 1880s when NZ was concerned about a Russian invasion. What has amazed me is the whole threat was a spoof

(In 1873 an Auckland editor perpetrated) ...what has been hailed the greatest spoof in the country's history. The Monday, 18 February 1873 edition of the Southern Cross reported the sudden declaration of war between England and Russia. As a result, the Russian warshipKaskowiski – whose very name should have made sober readers suspicious – had allegedly entered Auckland Harbour on the previous Saturday night and proceeded to capture a British ship, along with the city's arms and ammunition supply, and hold a number of leading citizens for ransom. The 954-man Russian vessel obviously meant business, with a dozen 30-ton guns as well as a remarkably new advance in warfare, a paralysing and deadly "water-gas" that could be injected into enemy ships from a great distance.[2]

It sometimes seems as I listen to politicians and media people spouting about terrorist invasions now that we haven't really come any distance at all in history.