Yesterday Mike Pero said that he was being ‘persecuted’ and I agree with him. He was being interviewed hectored on National Socialist Radio by an unpleasant woman, who reminded me of a dog that is chewing on a clean bone and refusing to believe that there really is no meat on this particular bone.
What has poor Pero done to deserve this? After hearing that only six relatives of victims were able to go to Antarctica for the thirtieth anniversary of the Mt Erebus plane crash he decided to charter a plane that would go to the crash site and do a flyover. He’s not making any money out of this (many people would say that that was distasteful, but it is certainly not immoral) and I simply cannot see what the fuss is about. In his own words:
“When I saw that only six family members of the victims were getting to go down to commemorate this anniversary, I was moved to do something for them,” (source)
Now let’s have a look at four of the hysterical responses to Pero’s altruism…
“Mike Pero did not engage with Air New Zealand over his plans for the flight to Antarctica or any opportunities this might present to families of Erebus victims. Therefore, the airline finds his announcement three days prior to the anniversary of the tragedy to be nothing more than commercial opportunism of the lowest kind and deeply disrespectful,” Air New Zealand said. (source)
Note the ‘therefore’. Air New Zealand is saying that just because Pero didn’t talk to Air New Zealand first he’s being disrespectful and engaging in commercial opportunism (trying to make money). That is a logical failure of the breathtaking type, not to mention grossly arrogant. Pero has said that he’s not in this for the money, and even if he hadn’t said that logic would indicate that a seriously wealthy man like him can find many better ways of making money. Also, as I said above, making money out of the flight would not be immoral. Where on earth Air New Zealand gets the notion of disrespect from I don’t know, and to the best of my knowledge there is no legal requirement to get a blessing from Air New Zealand before doing anything related to the Mt Erebus plane crash.
Here’s another nappy gem from Air New Zealand:
Air NZ chief executive Rob Fyfe said he was personally upset by Mr Pero’s sudden plans. “I have been dealing up to 40 to 50 emails a day for the last couple of months with families and I’ve tried to build a relationship of trust and do the very best we can for the families,” he told Campbell Live.
“I’ve talked to family members and they were deeply disturbed…that someone was preying on their grief and I felt personally quite hurt by that and I guess I reacted in a way that reflected the feelings of the families that were being expressed.
“No wants controversy. There has been controversy around this issue for 30 years and I was trying to get through the weekend without more controversy and I just feel really disappointed that the families yet again are being dragged into something not of their making.” (source)
As far as I can see Air New Zealand is responsible for a lot of the controversy that has been stirred up regarding the flight proposed by Pero. Where people get the idea that Pero is “preying on their grief” from I don’t know, and Fyfe’s assertion that “I felt personally quite hurt by that” beggars belief.
Now to a relative of a victim…
Susan O’Rourke, from Blenheim, lost her mother in the November 28, 1979, crash, in which 257 passengers and crew died.
“As an immediate family member of a victim of the disaster, I feel he is just capitalising on the situation of the 30th anniversary,” she said.
But Ms O’Rourke said the cost of Mike Pero’s flight would make it unaffordable for many families of victims.
Tickets will cost between $1400 and $8600, depending on seating preferences.
“$1400 – for a family, that’s a lot of money. Especially when there’s no guarantee they will go over Erebus. This flight can only further go to capitalise on those who have not got funds to be able to partake in the flight.”
She also questioned the timing of Pero’s memorial flight, and said it was in “poor taste”.
“If he’s so concerned, why didn’t he do it before?
“Why after 30 years? Why not after 25 years? Why now?
“At the end of the day he’s seizing an opportunity off family members that wouldn’t go.” (source)
She ‘feels’ that Pero is capitalising (making a gain from) the anniversary of the crash. This is a nebulous emotion without basis in fact. Which bit of chartering-a-plane-at-no-profit-to-help-relatives is in ‘poor taste’? As for “Why after 30 years? Why not after 25 years? Why now?”, my response is ‘Why are you asking nonsensical questions’ and ‘Why are you complaining when Pero is trying to help you?’.
As for the cost of the flight, I’m sorry if you and others can’t afford it, but life isn’t fair. Pero isn’t making any money out of this, so the ticket price is calculated thus:
Cost of charter ÷ number of passengers = ticket cost
Plane charters are expensive, so the tickets are expensive. It’s simple mathematics. Pero said:
“I didn’t set the prices. If people want to know there’s no margin [profit] in it for me.” (source)
Here’s another relative:
One of the six relatives travelling to the crash site today, Eric Houghton, said it was a “cynical time” for Pero to promote the flight.
He was nine when he lost his father, John, in the disaster.
“This is an important time and we don’t need sideshows to distract from it,” Houghton said. (source)
I fail to see any cynicism in Pero’s plan, and the only sideshow I can see here is the one started by those who are beating up Pero for no good reason.
Mike Pero said
“I don’t want to do this any more. I was just out there with the best intentions and now it’s turned right round.
“All I was trying to do was facilitate what I believed were the wishes of the families. (source)
Here’s a free piece of advice: if someone is trying to help you don’t kick him in the balls, because it’s impolite and he’s likely to decide that he no longer wants to help you. Please leave Mike Pero alone.