The Wonderful Power of One
“The greatest works are done by the ones. The hundreds do not often do much. The companies never; it is the units – the single individuals – that are the power and the might. Individual effort is, after all, the grand thing.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Thank you. We know we owe you, each of you.
Thank you all for sending around New Zealand and overseas our new posts and articles. There is quite genuinely nothing like an idea whose time has come, and New Zealanders faced with the bleak choice of which of the political parties will do least damage at the next election – if we give them our vote – are responding wonderfully well to the fact that yes, individually, each one of us can make a difference. But is there any other real choice?
Yes, of course there is. Why ever would you now give them your party vote? See our recent post - Strategies for the Way Forward – www.100days.co.nz
The expectation that, that yes, we can reclaim what was once a far more stable, more prosperous, more balanced, and happier country is a very real one. It won’t happen by accident: everything worthwhile takes effort. But the quality of people’s lives is in direct proportion to our commitment to live as well and generously as we can. While our first obligation must always be to wives, husbands, children, families, friends, none of us can truthfully say that we have no obligation to work and to fight, in no matter how small an area, to preserve that freedom and democracy that the best of generations behind us worked, fought and died for – to safeguard it for us, their children, grand-children, great-grand-children.
The essential difference about our 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement is that we are not being backed by any political party, by any interest groups, nor by any large or corporate sponsors – we are most hearteningly being backed by New Zealanders all around the country, as individuals, and even including expats in more than one country overseas who are looking in concern at a country they love, their birthright – and wondering what on earth has happened to it. No other group or politicized organization speaks for this movement.
Every individual who supports our 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement, and who passes on this good news to even just one other person –( the more the better, even! ) – who passes it on to just one other… is not only helping. Each one of us is now very much part of this very genuine, grassroots movement of real New Zealanders who knows very well that we no longer have a democracy – in any meaningful sense of the word.
This is the way we will eventually win, because of the power and initiative of each of us, as individuals.
It has begun to dawn upon the electorate that within the parliamentary system itself, individuals and their worth now amount to very little – except insofar as they can be useful to the political hierarchy which today controls our political parties. Those dedicated, hopeful and well-meaning New Zealanders who do the ground work for recruitment and to support our major parties, National and Labour, essentially have their efforts treated with an off-hand contempt when it comes to the selection of the party lists. These no longer represent a genuine working-class, a middle-class of small employers and professional people motivated by the best of intentions, believing their party manifesto. Who now believes the party manifestos, when each of the major parties, once in power, routinely dredges up the excuses of having to buy off their minor party coalition partners, to wash their hands of reneging on their election promises?
Who is there naïve enough to any longer trust politicians, once they form themselves into the herd-like tribal grouping of a political party told what to do by an ambitious and dominating leader?
How many people are still unaware that when various National Party representative electorate groups from right around New Zealand met at a national convention before the last election, having spent a good deal of time and thought debating the merits of the different candidates competing for the list seats, they were told when they were arrived to forget it. Contravening the National Party’s own constitution, their leader John Key had already usurped their right: he himself had hand-picked the first 50 candidates. These electorates’ representatives were presented with a dismaying fait accompli, left the task of “selecting” those he had left out, now far less likely to get a list seat. However, it was hardly in the interests of democracy for leader John Key to personally pick those who now owe their loyalty to him – as we have indeed seen.
One of these hand-picked list candidates, who represents no electorate and was never voted into Parliament by New Zealanders, was, nevertheless, given the role of Minister of Treaty Negotiations. Chris Finlayson, who has arrogantly dismissed the views of so many New Zealanders showing deep concern about the country’s increasingly racist directions, is now attempting to change Parliament’s rules to fast-track more than twenty supposed Treaty of Waitangi claims against New Zealanders as a whole, i.e. the Crown. It is extraordinary the power that this unelected individual has wielded in his portfolio, especially as, when this country is in such dire straits financially, there has been no question of reining in and questioning so many of these now highly imaginative and even reinvented claims, which have to date, over these past decades, accumulatively cost us billions of dollars, and will cost us hundreds of millions more. The fact that these are simply unaffordable for a cash-strapped country is inexcusably overlooked. Moreover, many of the recently resurrected ones are essentially spurious and opportunistic, a reality which reputable historians such as Elisabeth Rata, Jean Jackson and others have been trying to highlight.
Historian Martin Doutré’s excellent article on our website gives the shocking truth of how manipulative iwi, by no means representative of the majority of part-Maori in this country, have essentially long been taking the rest of New Zealand for a ride. Don’t miss “Stealing New Zealand” – Martin Doutré – www.100days.co.nz .
Are we at the stage where we may as well dissolve parliament, and leave a hierarchical government committee to do as it wishes ? Some would argue that we have already virtually reached this point.
We have now heard now how the West Coast Labour MP, Damien O’Connor, views the process of list selection by the agenda-laden interest groups within the Labour Party, identified by him as “the gaggles of gays” from within Labour’s rainbow coalition, and “self-serving unionists”.
A New Zealand Herald poll essentially substantiated his claim that provincial MPs within the Labour Party have ended up being isolated. None of the 10 newcomers to Labour among their forty-seven are South Island-based and only one comes from a provincial area.
There is a groundswell of feeling that such interest groupings no longer represent the individual working to support himself, herself, or wives, husbands and families reserving the right to think for themselves rather than to be represented by pressure groups whose basic philosophy they may well disagree with. Mr O’Connor, of course, was very quickly whipped into line to apologise. His newly steely-eyed, tough-talking leader, the revamped Phil Goff has seen to that. That’s what political party leaders now do – tell their members what they are supposed to be thinking, what they are supposed to be saying and doing – and those who do not do as they are told, are out.
Very possibly Damien O’Connor’s low list ranking is because he has had the nerve to question the official line in party thinking in the past. Some people never learn. Some people are brave. Many people, including West Coasters, will support O’Connor, asking why it has become an act of courage for someone to speak the truth as he or she sees it.
It’s left up to us to decide, those of us fortunate enough not to be enslaved within an all-controlling party politburo, and still able to think for ourselves, how much of a democracy we really have left. There is no doubt, however, that the time of freedom for the individual to think and say what he or she believes in is rapidly becoming less and less a reality. People are no longer sure of what they are “allowed” to say publicly. How did we ever get to this…?
Our accompanying article has been written by a highly qualified and talented individual whose intention, like others before him, was to enter Parliament with something to offer the country, a belief in truth and justice, and to help look for the best possible answers for the way forward for New Zealanders. Marc Alexander, well-respected in Christchurch, his hometown, stood at the last election for the National Party – which once promoted itself as proudly representing the freedom of the individual.
How far this party has become corrupted by the same drive for political power, even if it means completely reneging on its election promises and diminishing the worth and talents of such individuals by regarding its aspiring parliamentary representatives as mere party lackies, we’ve already seen. In relation to the important anti-smacking legislation and the costly folly of National’s Emissions Trading Scheme, Prime Minister John Key saw that the individual men and women of the National Party simply did as they were told.
A former National party MP tells me that in all the time he was in Parliament he saw not one actual caucus vote taken on an issue. The present affable Prime Minister, who apparently tells the compliant media, when asked awkward questions, that he will leave it to caucus to make the decisions, then reportedly goes back to caucus and tells them what they are going to do.
This is not a democracy. Elected members of Parliament no longer represent us. Their loyalty is expected to be to the party, not to their electorate.
By no means has only one former National Party candidate turned his/her back on what they discovered was a highly compromised party system. So disillusioned, shocked, and indeed disgusted was Marc Alexander, standing as a National Party candidate, that he has turned his back on what he sees as a now corrupt process and is unwilling to stand again. The very fact that such a highly intelligent and very able individual was deliberately listed as low as he was at the last party list ranking, when the now Prime Minister Prime Minister took it upon himself to hand-pick the 50 list candidates he personally wanted, rather says it all.
© Amy Brooke