A brave and funny man – and Abbott says no to the TPP

A brave and funny man issues his own flag challenge – and Australia says NO to the TPP. But will John Key still be “comfortable”?  As usual?

Having the courage of one’s convictions has become a luxury for many these days. It’s virtually political suicide if you’re a member of a political party. These days you do as you’re told…especially if you’re in the National Party, now virtually ruled by an authoritarian leader – with a few close henchmen. This is what’s known not as a democracy, but as a political oligarchy.

However, nobody seems to have told the funny and clever National Party MP for Tamaki, Simon O’Connor that he’s supposed to do as he’s told – that even exercising a conscience vote can make you a marked man. The result was his heartening and very amusing YouTube declaration of independence in answer to the PM’s usual guff. Rather than fronting up to a debate in the house in relation to his squandering scores of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to get his own way – in relation to repudiating the New Zealand flag – John Key issued a YouTube recording expounding on all the wonderful advantages a new flag will have. Yawn.

Simon O’Connor’s own YouTube reply is classic, and unmissable. — http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/no-no-no-mp-tamaki-nails-colours-flag-debate-jw-177164

The trouble is so many New Zealanders don’t believe the PM. Not any more – although it should be remembered that when media talk about John Key’s landslide victory in the last election, they’re absolutely wrong. Accessing the web will give you the number of seats National got in Parliament – one fewer than previously. But the actual vote for the National Party was down in the mid-thirty percent. They are very definitely a minority government.

It was the dog’s breakfast combination of opposing political parties which split the Opposition vote – although the public is turning towards Winston Peters and his repudiation of policies which divide this country – (including special rights only for those of Maori descent) – which show which way the wind is blowing. New Zealanders in effect are tired of being taken to the cleaners to fund highly dubious, in some cases now downright fraudulent treaty claims.

The public is also angered by Key’s appropriating of public money for a new flag, to get his own way – when there are desperately needy areas in which it could have been productively used. Hospitals are losing much-needed specialists because of unreasonable workloads, and the prospect of far better pay overseas. The police are constantly being exhorted to cut costs – although they are already more then stretched to provide the services the country should be able to expect. And apparently, although a lot of unease has been expressed by politicians behind the scenes, including by National Party members, who among these has stood up to be counted?

All the more reason why we should be applauding Simon O’Connor’s brave and very funny scrutiny of the 40 pedestrian, predictably repetitive suggestions for a replacement flag for this country – which the Prime Minister thinks are great. Well, he would, wouldn’t he? But should the mere opinion of one, arguably egotistical individual be costing the country what it is?

We have lost a great deal, when the time has long gone that individuals of conviction routinely stood up for what they believed in and crossed the floor of the House. They were respected for doing so. Moreover, their courage often inspired others. The saying, “One man with courage makes a majority,” attributed to Andrew Jackson, has served as an inspiration for so many making a brave stand against the zeitgeist of their age.

However, what when making a stand against the increasing number of politically correct compliance issues from the bully boys and girls costs people their jobs, their promotions? What when people are becoming intimidated by more and more repressive legislation, policed by government investigators eager to pounce on any speaking out of turn? There is increasing disquiet at what many regard as the ill-thought pronouncements of our over-enthusiastic Race Relations Conciliator, apparently poised to pounce at the slightest supposed transgression.

Whatever has happened to freedom of speech? What when individuals of courage can be hauled before the courts for speaking to the truth of an issue as they see it – especially when they see the directions of the day are on target to produce Huxley’s “brave new world” – the one their children and grandchildren are going to be forced to endure, as the creeping State exercises more and more damaging control over their lives? Whatever is happening to freedom of speech – and fair debate?

Be prepared to be shocked. Canada, now only a little ahead of New Zealand in being regarded as one of the most politically correct, over-liberal countries in the world, has now embarked on unacceptable contradictions against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is almost incredible that this country has now taken to prosecuting its citizens for supposedly “hate crimes”. For example, for anyone in Canada to argue, with impeccable logic, that “marriage is between a man and a woman” is now treated as a hate crime.

This isn’t just a horrible possibility – as it is yet, in this country, with politicians increasingly under pressure from radicalised pressure groups pushing agenda which would have rightly horrified those who fought for our freedom, and for those values which traditionally underpinned and stabilised our Western society.

In Canada now, the situation has become Orwellian, as recounted in an Australian News Weekly article by Peter Kelleher, highlighting the message of Dawn Stefanowicz whose book – Out from Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting, tells her own story of an entire childhood spent in the house with a homosexual father and his string of partners, most of whom have died of AIDS, including her father.

“From her Canadian home today, Dawn has been in communication with over 50 adult children who were raised by GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) parents and who now share her concerns about same-sex marriage and parenting. She says that many of these now adults struggle with their own sexuality and sense of gender because of the influence in their household environments growing up.”

Her warning to Australian not to go down the same path of same-sex marriage highlights the deterioration in Canadians’ freedoms over the past 10 years, and calls us with urgency to wake up to what the endgame of the GLBT rights movement involves: centralised State power and the end of the freedoms of religion, of expression, of association, and of assembly.”

In many respect, it is also too late for New Zealand. We are proceeding down the same path. In Canada, even to have a debate about same-sex marriage is a breach of discrimination laws! “If you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including anything questioning same-sex marriage) you could face discipline at work, or even termination of employment and perhaps prosecution under the law.

“Dawn asks why police prosecute speech under the guise of eliminating “hate speech” when there are already legal remedies and criminal protections against slander, defamation, threats and assault, that equally apply to all.

“It is because hate-crime-like policies using the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” create unequal protection under law… Protected groups receive more legal protection than other groups: this is the Orwellian flower in full bloom.”

Moreover, “Canadians were told over and over that permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive anyone of any rights”. This has been shown to be a lie. The definition of parenting, too, was immediately redefined with the phrase “natural parent” now changed to legal “parent”. Who a child’s parents are is now defined by the State, in legislation designed to erase biological parenthood.’

Dawn Stefanowicz’s book deserves a wider audience in this country, as, given the political climate of the day, and two overbearing Prime Ministers of both Labour and National, quite different in style, but both far from conservative – in the best sense of the word – and equally exercising a determined control over their own party – we have progressed a long way from the expectation that members of Parliament should represent their constituents, in what we called a representative democracy.

This is far from what we now have, where MPs are expected to pledge their loyal first and foremost to the Party – which is today, in effect, the PM and his hierarchy. Nowadays, our MPs may grumble, but in the National Party in particular they are reduced to being a pushover. When the Prime Minister says Jump – they jump. As Minister Nick Smith admitted in an unguarded moment – he himself asks, How high?

In so many areas of our national life, we have already down the same path as Canada – given Amy Adams’ Harmful Digital Communications Bill – another of the step-by-step restrictions on our right to free speech – under a feel-good guise of reasonable intent. But how very easy it is to claim “emotional distress” – and how inexorably such legislation has unexpected consequences as a first-only wedge in the door. Our abortion laws, for example, so swiftly became stretched in intent, with the elastication of the word “reasonable” to the stage where thousands of New Zealand’s pre-birth babies are now put to death each year – before they have a chance to be born.

How long will it be until we reach the situation in Canada where “just one claim laid before the Human Rights Commission’s tribunal can cause a person to be bought before the tribunal with the cost to the defendant in the tens of thousands of legal fees, plus a fine of $5000 for a first offence; plus a gag order? The taxpayer picks up the tab for the person making the complaint, yet the defendant, even when found innocent, cannot recover his legal costs.”

Moreover, “when same-sex marriage was created in Canada, gender neutral language became legally mandated…. to be inclusive, non-gender-specific language is being imposed in media, government, workplaces, and schools. A special curriculum is being used to teach students how to use gender neutral language to describe a husband and wife, father and mother. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and even pronouns – (he and she) are being steadily eradicated in Canadian schools.”

As Dawn points out: “Gay identity is a social construct, in that it demands public recognition from others. Yet the Supreme Court of the US , in its deliberations on whether to alter the age-old human institution of family by allowing same-sex marriage did not even consider what the effect might be on children who, after all, are seldom found outside families, and often make up the greater part of the members. These, the vulnerable and the voiceless were rendered invisible and silenced. “ As she relates, she was one of these children. Yet, as she details, children will often deny their grief and pretend they don’t miss a biological parent, even when they experience a painful void. Her experience is that for the children of homosexual parents, their partner (s) can never replace the missing biological parent.

“And then of course, anyone who owns a business, wedding planners rental halls, bed-and-breakfast owners, florists, photographers and bakers have already seen their freedoms eroded, their conscience ignored and religious freedoms trampled in Canada… “Small businesses are particularly in the sights of the gender neutral as they are easier to isolate and to take down one at a time… while big business has seen the writing on the wall, and has come down on the side of the same sex activists.”

There is much more of which this author warns us, where already one well-known media commentator has already been silenced for merely “offending “certain persons. And instances where anyone can make a frivolous or aggressive claim of being “offended” carry just as many warnings for New Zealanders.

Who can doubt that New Zealand is heading down this same path, with a far-ranging attack on all our institutions, our traditional values, our cultural cohesion – with its former aim of equal rights for all regardless of colour, race, and gender? No wonder the political enthusiasm for doing away with the New Zealand flag with its reminder of our priceless heritage, incorporated in the crosses of St George and St Andrew reminding us, under a southern sky, of our historical origins.

Ah, but apparently our Prime Minister has other priorities than to be reminded of than our historical origins – at least with respect to our forefathers from Great Britain and Europe who built this country up to what it is today. While part-Maori are urged by our apparatchiks to stay immersed in a highly sanitised version of their past, Key essentially disparages our colonial forebears – many of whom underwent severe privation and fought in major wars to keep this country safe for New Zealanders. Key, on the other hand, invokes the failed cliché of multiculturalism, which has already caused so much damage to formerly cohesive societies overseas, promoting social unrest, and even violence. The next step will be the rubbishing of our national anthem, which, sang at the tempo in which it was written, is a rousing and fine call for protection for this land – now more than ever needed.

The arrogance of this three times National Government is now showing, John Key’s populist hero halo becoming tarnished. The PM himself has joined the condescending, sharp-tongued Chris Finlayson, whose dismissal as “clowns “ or “nutters” of those asking reasonable questions is echoed in Tim Groser’s lofty remark about leaving TPP negotiations “to the grown-ups”. John Key’s annoyed reaction to a large protest march in Auckland was dismissive and unpleasant, calling a third of the demonstrators “rent- a-crowd”.

And yet, in spite of the too often puerile commenting on Australia’s Prime Minister from of our media columnists (such as with Jane Clifton’s cheap reference to “Tony Abbott, who (sic) I can’t look at without thinking of the head of an old hot water bottle, the ears like rubber handles at each side”… New Zealanders might well be better off with Tony Abbott as our Prime Minister.

How many know – our mainstream media certainly aren’t telling us – that, as News Weekly points out, the Australian Prime Minister has resisted immense pressure from the United government to sign an unsatisfactory TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement “which would have prevented higher exports of farm products to the US, while giving higher levels of protections to the US pharmaceutical industry, pushing up prices for prescription drugs in Australia.” While our PM is happy to obligingly roll over on this issue (loading even more costs onto the taxpayer) Australia has held out against US pressure to sign on the dotted line.

This – as The Australian newspaper has reported – even though “President Barack Obama called Tony Abbott to strong-arm him into agreeing with US proposals to increase the patient protection of pharmaceuticals from five years to 12. There were no US concessions on exports of Australian sugar and primary products.”

The Australian Prime Minister has done a lot better than ours – Tony Abbott flatly rejected the Osama proposal.

There are many New Zealanders now raising questions about what exactly is John Key’s agenda, and why he is allowing a virtually unrestricted buy-up of New Zealand land, farms and houses, when one of the three main responsibilities of government is “the defence of the realm”.

Already our country has greatly changed, and from a friend leaving to go back to England, and, like do many former immigrants, noting how much this country has deteriorated from the New Zealand they first encountered, has come this troubled email.

“I kind of feel we all have let the world down. Where’s our pride, our support to those who sacrificed their lives for the good of mankind?

“When you think about it, it’s sad. I feel my wonderful world is slipping away and we are entering a dark age, an age where decency and morality is just disappearing into   a spiralling vortex. What we have taken for granted for so long is now starting to fall apart and we will be forced in to a new age – and it will happen right under our noses.”

Who can seriously disagree?

There is no doubt that our political system is moving to control more and more of our lives. We no longer have a genuine democracy. But there *is* time to reclaim it, if enough individuals – for it always depends upon individuals’ and individual conscience – are willing to support our 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand initiative, to fight for what the Swiss people long ago fought for – and which enabled them, not their political class, to take control of the directions of their country. See www.100days.co nz . The result? Switzerland has become the most successful and stable democracy in the world.

All it takes is each man or woman with the courage of their convictions, caring enough to insist on a new political configuration – the 100 Days.

If you do care, support us!                                                            *

© Amy Brooke, Convener. The 100 Days– author of The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand –what has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians – available through any good bookshop, or from Kindle.