Remembering Anzac Day

POETRY

News Weekly, May 2, 2020

NIGHT FLIGHT – REMEMBERING ANZAC DAY

Lord, I’m not yet twenty,
My brother only twenty-three;
if one of us must die tonight
let it not be he!
Or me.

Yet there the crescent moon
rising gold above the land
cradles the ghost of another;
one reborn, one dying
in the arms of a brother,
a sign of things to be …?

He led me by the hand
once when lost and small. I understand
the call for sons, while grieving mothers
listen to our planes climb high,
and fathers pace – and loving others;
my girl who kissed me, smiling still.
I promised to come back.
Some day I will.

But not tonight. The woods below
are where my pup and I grew up. We owe
that old dog, whining in his sleep
our childhood days. Three pairs of eyes
on silver moving in the stream …
What does he dream?

Do owls still keep
the twilight watch below?
I see our fields are white with snow …

but dark shadows now streak by.
Keep them both safe, Lord!
Let them go free!

If one must go, take me.

 

 

ANZAC DAY – IN THE TRENCHES

Perhaps in the end
they didn’t mind dying so much;
but wouldn’t you, just twenty-two
hearing the message the close guns send?

You, worn out, sleeping only fitfully,
a trench bed of muddy clay and water,
soaked to the skin, propped up on sandbags –
pyjamas, man? You’ve worn the same clothes
for weeks, filthy, smelling, depressed
by dysentery, a fortnight’s rain on and off
and on…thinking before dawn of home …
longing– in this surrealistic world
of dirt and damp and hunger, the horror
of good mates hanging over barbed wire
a head joined only to a helmet …
– to see them all once more, and say
the things you wished you’d said before!

You say them now, or scribble them down,
think their world might yet be saved
if enough tough men,  like you are trying
hard to be, lie awake at night
and think of them, and fight, and kill
others trapped like you – to keep them free.

You wanted once so much to live!
But now you say For them – what’s meant to be …
for them and for theirs – things undone – forgive?

I fought for things enduring. Oh, remember me!

Amy Brooke

 

 

Not a smart strategy, Jacinda. Even if John Key praises your management

Not a smart strategy, Jacinda

Somehow there’s a kind of mean-minded feel about  what, according to the New Zealand  Herald (“Jacinda Ardern has made a ruling”) is presented  as our Prime Minister’s sole  decision to lift the level 4 lock-down, as hoped for. And it’s interesting to note our left-wing media are pumping up Ardern as the world’s most successful leader – with one photograph of her in front of a picture apparently representing her with a halo…somewhat reminiscent of Barack Obama’s haloed presentations.

The country has held its breath for this four weeks to end on Thursday. But wait…it won’t be happening until next week.  And not at the beginning of the week. Why 11.59 pm on Monday night?  And it has not gone unnoticed by New Zealanders  that Ardern’s pronouncements in relation to covid-19 initially tended to be delivered as what she — rather than the government — had decided. Too many “I’s” is never a good sign.

And now? The country has sighed. Not a fresh start to a new week, but what to many inevitably seems a niggling postponement of the hoped-for move down to  level three until next Monday night at 11 59 pm, nearly midnight. The exasperation felt by many is inevitable.  Why call it Monday? Moving down to level 3 lock-down with one minute to go on Monday night won’t start a fresh week off until Tuesday.  Is the country meant to be grateful that at least it’s pre-dawn?  Mike Hosking rightly challenged Ardern’s assertion that there were only two more business days to wait. Thursday until Tuesday encompasses more precious days when businesses would undoubtedly take advantage of the weekend opening to try to prevent their looming economic collapse.

Ar a time when, even before the invasion of Covid-19, a growing restlessness has spread across countries questioning the dominance of their political hierarchies, it’s more timely than ever for governments to remind themselves that they are expected to govern with the consent of the people. When this consent begins to be withheld, civil unrest spreads. And we have always the reminder that when any government assumes for itself emergency powers, calling on the police to reinforce them, history shows the temptation to retain some of these when the emergency has passed. It is also, as now,  can show the willingness of some police to overstep the mark.

Throughout Western democracies, when  a growing number of that sleeping giant, a hitherto non-engaged public, has woken  to  unease, moves like Ardern’s cause resentment.  And from that great champion of freedom, Frederick Hayek,  comes the reminder that  ” Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded — and once they are suspended, it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed such emergency powers to see to it that the emergency will persist.” It is as relevant  today.

How many are even aware that the Australian government, having initially proposed that Australians volunteer for a  monitoring app for phones to track the spread of this coronavirus, has so quickly moved with regard to suggesting merely (and foolishly)  volunteering   As writer Bill Muehlenberg  notes:  “Mobile phone tracking software could be compulsory if not enough Australians voluntarily download the application to help in coronavirus case tracing. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says at least 40 per cent of the population needs to use the app to make it effective.” Muehlenberg warns that is always the danger that it will become compulsory. And what about Bill Gates’s  proposal – that people should  be micro-chipped with his pompously named “quantum dot digital tattoo implant to track Covid-10 vaccine compliance”?

Compliance? There is an unpleasant echo here of the former USSR, or today’s horrific situation in China. A brave new world indeed – and another splendid opportunity, no doubt, for  the tyrannical and brutal Communist Chinese government to impose even more controls over its shockingly  oppressed people, dominated by Xi Jinping,  who has assumed more arbitrary powers than any ruler since the equally brutal and tyrannical Mao Zedong.

Yet, oddly enough, our former Prime Minister John Key, who is now again moving back into the limelight with his expressed praise for the Prime Minister’s policies, and whose party reportedly  received backing and funding from Communist-backed Chinese business interests in this country while in power,   has more than once  recently expressed his admiration for this oppressive ruler.  In October 2019, while China was cracking down on the dissidents in Hong Kong desperately  attempting to block its  removing established rights from Hong Kong citizens, Key congratulated China on its 70th anniversary and said he would continue to play an active role in promoting the “understanding and cooperation” of the two countries. 

However, a Chinese state media report on John Key’s visit to President Xi Jinping contains a ringing endorsement from him that’s absent from the English version reduced to the above.

According to Stuff, in a Mandarin story from Xinhua, China’s state-run press agency, Key was quoted as saying: “History will prove President Xi Jinping’s foresight and wisdom and outstanding leadership, and I believe that President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road initiative will inevitably succeed.”

In 2018, two years after he resigned as Prime Minister, Key said: “Xi Jinping’s going to go down in history as a good leader of China.”

Really? But public perception is everything, and  the price our former Prime Minister got for selling his house certainly raised a few eyebrows, as it was reportedly sold to an unknown buyer from China who paid $20 million, even though it was estimated as worth $12 million at most –  and he was said to be keeping part of the grounds on which to build another house. Concerns were also raised about the CCP-underpinned Chinese business support he constantly received for sponsorship at special lunches, queried donations to the National Party, the creation of a National Party List placing for a Communist Chinese spymaster who was  arguably duplicitous in the CV he  advanced – but who has never subsequently been expelled from the party. Not a good look. Nor was the then Prime Minister’s attempt to remove the Union Jack from our flag… let alone the selling of New Zealand businesses and our prime agricultural land — which can apparently be put to more problematic uses.

Interestingly, this former Prime Minister has recently been appointed “China representative” for Zespri, apparently to help Zespri  get  its kiwifruit into China…for which  he is handsomely remunerated by Zespri. Apparently he is on very good terms with Xi Jinping  who reportedly received him privately in Peking only a few months ago. Key is also apparently employed by Comcast of the USA to do their China business, for a considerable fee.

It appears that under John Key, National seemed to have no idea of how the party was being used by Communist Chinese interests. And It also appears doubtful that their MPs today have woken up in this respect.

China it is certainly still intent on buying up as many of our failing businesses and assets as this Communist country can swallow up.

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15804/china-duplicity

The irony is considerable, given that many of them are now close to ruin, if not actually destroyed, as a result of China’s duplicity over the Covid-19 virus.  And the longer this coalition government keeps the country in lock-down, the higher the price so many New Zealanders will pay in ruined businesses and ruined lives. It is now a question of lives versus lives.

At any rate, there never was a more urgent time for New Zealanders to say that they simply will not put up with the tyrannical Communist regime, which oppresses and tortures its own citizens, siphoning up even more of what we have left in this country.

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15804/china-duplicity

Meantime, while our local hospital is extraordinarily empty, with only 50% of the beds being used even in the acute ward,  the editor of the Spectator, Fraser Nelson,   reports a sharp rise in non-covid- 19 deaths in UK rest homes.

What is happening to all the people who should be  receiving urgent hospital treatment in relation to cancer, heart, kidney and mental health problems…?

Again, what about that question of lives –  the balance is extraordinarily important. And it is ultimately the community which has to decide this – not yet another hierarchy of experts…

 

© Amy Brooke, Convenor, The 100 Days.  See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through my  BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazon’s Kindle.

Our staggeringly cruel treatment of the ill and dying –

Our staggeringly cruel treatment of the ill and dying – why are we allowing this?

Very few New Zealanders will be anything like comfortable with Jacinda Ardern’s  government policy, which, while ostentatiously promoting well-being and kindness, denies the lonely and dying elderly in our rest homes and hospitals from being with those they have spent their lives cherishing.

Mothers and fathers  not able to say goodbye to their children!  Children not able to be with and comfort their parents… husbands and wives to assure each other of that love they have given through thick and thin…to tell  the most important things of all…just to hold a hand and be there.

It feels dreadfully morally wrong that we are conniving at agreeing with our politicians that  our survival as a society necessitates our turning our backs on those who have meant so much to us – even given their lives for us – a tragedy of repudiation of the most vulnerable at the time  – when they may most of all need us with them.

Some would argue that to be able to see and give comfort at such an important time is one of the most important things we can do in our lives – and would argue that we will still eventually defeat this coronavirus – but that the price we pay by being kept away from those who have such a great need of this  – those they love being with them  – is one that is simply too high.

I would agree. And I would ask those of you who feel the same to write to the Prime Minister -it’s certainly easy enough to email any MP…and the leader of the Opposition and/or or your own MP.  All it requires is a first name, a full stop, then @parliament. govt nz –  For example : – Winston.Peters@parliament. govt.nz …and so on.


One very useful thing to remember is that in normal times, most MPs don’t bother to read their emails. Their staff do it for them. And apparently sme  staff are quite good at making sure that emails they personally might not like don’t get sent on to the ministers.

But now, with secretaries apparently  not being on duty in Parliament, MPs wanting to take the measure of the country are answering their own emails – as I have just discovered from one high-ranking politician writing back directly.

And from this fine reminder from Rabbi  Dr Shai Held, in the Atlantic March 12, 2020,  well titled The staggering heartless cruelty towards the elderly comes the overdue reminder that a global pandemic doesn’t give us cause to treat the aged callously.


Isn’t it time to protest about the fact that we are doing just this in New Zealand?  Why on earth are we!


Please help by joining our own protest. And read on.

Please note that we do not need even to stress that “from a religious perspective” there are important things to teach our children… Forf rom any perspective of decency, and our duty of care for the most vulnerable is always there.

The staggering, heartless cruelty toward the elderly

A global pandemic doesn’t give us cause to treat the aged callously.

by Rabbi Dr Shai Held

The Atlantic, March 12, 2020.
URL: www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/respect-old/607864/

“Extract (emphasis added)

From a religious perspective, if there is one thing we ought to teach our children, it is that our worth as human beings does not depend on or derive from what we do or accomplish or produce; we are, each of us, infinitely valuable just because we are created in the image of God. We mattered before we were old enough to be economically productive, and we will go on mattering even after we cease to be economically productive.

Varied ethical and religious traditions find their own ways to affirm an elemental truth of human life: The elderly deserve our respect and, when necessary, our protection. The mark of a decent society is that it resists the temptation to spurn the defenseless. It is almost a truism that the moral fabric of a society is best measured by how it treats the vulnerable in its midst — and yet it is a lesson we never seem to tire of forgetting. “You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old,” the Bible says — look out for them and, in the process, become more human yourself.”

© Amy Brooke, Convenor, The 100 Days.  See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through my  BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazon’s Kindle.

Jacinda Ardern -and promoting divisive separatism in this country

Promoting divisive separatism in this country.Why so many of us would now prefer to honour Anzac Day.

http://www.newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=58932&s=OEcQKB

In relation to the Covid-19 virus, Jacinda Ardern’s left-wing coalition has reportedly bestowed $56 million on Maori ( but  who, now, are legally defined as Maori?) with a much lesser amount of $27 million to go to other welfare recipients. Why?

The phrase, the silent majority, has long been used to refer to New Zealanders who are not highly vocal, nor stridently demanding – like our customary special interest groups, but who nevertheless, quiet New Zealanders, keep their eye  on what is happening to the country. And their patience is running out, noting the continual handouts of hard-earned and undeserved millions of dollars to a noisy minority of part-Maori descent whom it pays financially to keep demanding more and more of taxpayers’ funding. Their appetites are apparently insatiable.

Our governments appear to fall over themselves to buy the so-called “Maori vote, although there are no longer any full-blooded Maori in New Zealand. Moreover, the Maori economy has been estimated to now be worth approximately $40 billion. For several decades, various forms of compensation,  of scores, even hundreds of millions of dollars at a time have been handed over to the larger,  then smaller and smaller part-Maori groupings – which was never the intention of the treaty settlements. An increasing number have been questioned, with good reason, as flawed settlements that should never have gone ahead.

The South Island Ngai Tahu settlement made in the 90s is a very good case in point. Shockingly,  the Minister of Treaty Negotiations at the  time basically told the Maori Affairs Select Committee to ignore the nearly 400 submissions –  many from historians very-well informed indeed, and producing evidence that this claim was  basically “a swindle” – a  phrase used at the time. However, a clever lawyer, and a tribunal operating like a Star chamber… as the Waitangi Tribunal does – can often win the day.  And it did. Quite shocking examples of bias and disgraceful behaviour on the part of some sitting on subsequent Maori Affairs Select Committees have raised the question of basic corruption.

Yet, in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, this government is repeating the same pattern – preference grants on the basis of race. As usual, there is no requirement from those managing or receiving this grant  to return accountability  to the taxpayer. Moreover, in what has become an ongoing rort –  the majority of part-Maori, now settled throughout, businesses,  trades and professions,  many of whom also disapprove of what is happening,  see nothing whatever of this money. It customarily ends up in the hands of highly politically astute activists, those ostensibly administering it for the benefit of “our people”.

But who are ” our people”? And throughout these recent decades, what has again and again amounted to theft of this money has been highlighted without cases being brought to court – and without any genuine recompense being paid.

The most crucial point is that there is no legal definition whatever of Maori. Who is Maori?  For obvious political advantage, in the 1970s,  the requirement that anyone claiming to be predominantly Maori had to be at least 50%  genetically Maori was removed.

So why does millions of dollars continually get taken from the majority of New Zealanders to be bestowed on supposedly Maori claimants, apparently regarded as less advantaged than those who have no Maori inheritance?

This is of course not only completely untrue – it is also unforgivably condescending to a very clever,  warlike people,  the majority of whose ancestors only survived (during a time when internecine  warfare and the horrors of cannibalism were widespread) by being among the smartest of their people.

Arguably their descendants continue to outwit our governments.

New Zealanders have long endorsed the theory that help should always be given on the basis of need – not on the basis of race.

Worse, there is not even any definition of of “Maori”… and so many of those applying to control this funding are predominantly European… even with as little as 1/16 or 1/32 of Maori inheritance. Yet our political parties continue to inexcusably endorse what has become  the politics of corruption.

To  wantonly throw New Zealanders’ hard-earned money at an ill-defined group of people who have learnt to pull the puppet strings of racial preference, has to stop.

It’s high time to legally establish who can genuinely claim to be predominantly genetically Maori.

*

© Amy Brooke, Convenor, The 100 Days.  See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through my  BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazon’s Kindle.