Jacinda Ardern’s partner is not going to have it easy. Media /police activism.

Jacinda Ardern’s partner is not going to have it easy. Media and police activism.

 In the gossip circles of a basically close-knit mainstream media, it was reported some time back that unpleasant rumours were swirling about the Prime Minister’s partner. It was called “an unprecedented assault of baseless rumour and false innuendo.” Toxic gossip is not new in these circles. Who can forget the tragic case of the beautiful Charlotte Dawson, a media celebrity in New Zealand which she fled for Australia later, saying that she was “savaged” as a celebrity living in this country? “New Zealand is small and nasty and vindictive. It’s a tiny little village…a tiny country at the end of the year,” she said. Her death by suicide shocked so many – as it should have.

The relevant question is, was she right? Who would deny that the political scene is a toxic one with the jostling for power and ambition underpinning many of the rumours that surface – very often never reaching the public at large, but gaining currency in the media in-groups. The latter have now become equally as little respected – so much so that politicians and the mass media are near the bottom of the least-trusted occupations.  This is tough on those journalists who do try to write with integrity against the tide of the times, including some well worth respect. That they are apparently now in a minority makes it harder for them.

No doubt the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford will have a tough road ahead – even disregarding the media rumour mill. New Zealanders will wish her well, with the imminent arrival of her baby. However, paralleling the usual corresponding euphoria which surrounds any “progressive” celebrities, many New Zealanders have been troubled by Arden’s decision to prioritise her own career over what they see as the best interests of a baby…whose primary caregiver, for very good reason, has traditionally been regarded as its mother. By no means isolated comment also maintains she should have let the country know, before the election, that she was pregnant.

However, there is little doubt that Labour’s strategists would have known that if the country knew before the election that its leader was carrying a baby, many would have been concerned – wondering if a vote for her, in such a demanding job, was in the best interests of the child – let alone for the Prime Minister herself.

We cannot but be aware that many solo mothers have a far more demanding life than those with a husband to support them. Where a deliberate decision has been made for someone in Jacinda Arden’s position to not marry the father of her child, questions are asked. The liberal views of so many self-congratulatory but under-informed media are by no means, as so many journalists seem to take for granted, reflected back by the far more conservative country at large. Memories are surfacing of the younger political Ardern, steeped deep in socialist doctrine, choosing to use the word Comrade…as well as of socialists’ contempt for the family unit, regarding marriage contemptuously as a ”bourgeois” practice. But evidence overwhelmingly points to the presence of married parents, a mother and father, as in the best interests of the child.

Labour is very much a minority government, attracting only 37% of the vote.  It cannot claim to have a mandate for some of the ill-thought directions on which it has now embarked, including the foolish clampdown on any further gas and oil exploration – moving into typical ideologically-motivated, deep Green territory.  Disgracefully, vitally important decisions are being made behind the scenes by the coalition’s party hierarchy without even Cabinet involvement!  Buying lock stock and barrel into the now massively discredited global warming theory is costing the country hugely in economic terms. Little wonder there is rising concern about its decision-making.

The media reporting which has so obligingly avoided any of these issues of concern out in the wider community has been interesting.  Long-time journalist Barry Soper describes Clarke Gayford  “as being in the social pages long before he’d ever hooked up with Ardern – “he was a man about town.” It’s a curious, almost Edwardian description, whose meaning is not clear. But it does highlight the fact that Mr Gayford, handed the role of primary caregiver for their child, is being asked to make a considerable sacrifice, very much limiting his career and social activities – as any mother in the same position could tell him. And how demanding a role it will be for Ms Ardern, juggling her initial few weeks away from Parliament while expecting to be in constant touch with what is happening. The question still stands, whether this demanding scenario is likely to be in the best interests of the baby – let alone the mother, in those very early days.

Interesting, too, is Barry Soper’s casual mention of the fact that he texted Ardern, outlining the rumours, suggesting she or her partner should address them, and offering them a media platform to do it. His comment that, “The only reply came from her press secretary, insisting that the rumours were false and she wouldn’t be commenting on them” sounded almost miffed – as if he was expecting the Prime Minister to be personally responding to him.

This is an interesting point, because I recall journalist friends taking for granted the fact that they had Prime Minister Helen Clark’s cellphone number and could reach her for direct comment. Reportedly this worked two ways – Clark could leak to chosen media statements she wished to go further. However, whether the preferential, two-way access of selected media to the leader of the country is appropriate is another issue.

This political journalist did make one very valid point when he said that it was a mistake for Police Superintendent Mike Bush to become involved by approving the statement denying that Gayford had been the subject of a police enquiry, and saying he’d never been charged in relation to any matter.  In Soper’s words, “This simply stokes the rumour mill, and opens up the suggestion that the police have become politicised. It is unprecedented for the cops to become involved in what are unsubstantiated rumours. The question’s already been asked: Who requested the Police Commissioner’s involvement?”

Who indeed?

However, it’s over late in the day to wonder whether or not the police have become politicised and partisan in their activities when we have evidence this is already the case. Equally, we have evidence that mainstream media, with now strong liberal Left leanings, are not only highly selective when publishing what takes their fancy, but now routinely suppress letters to the editor from correspondents when the content challenges their thinking – and their bias.

I’m waiting still for a reply from the Press Council – now many weeks overdue, which this august body has not yet even acknowledged receiving – even though it promises receipt of a formal complaint within two days. A follow-up enquiry has also been ignored.  As I am familiar with two or three of the names on this council, I am not holding my breath in expectation of the response to which it is supposedly publicly committed.  However, if my third enquiry continues to be ignored, then it will be time to check to whom the Press Council itself is answerable.

The are serious issues, questions of accountability, and the suppression by the Nelson Mail of the letters below some weeks back – and a follow-up enquiry made to this newspaper – is an important matter  – because the content of these letters involves what Barry Soper is questioning  –  an arguably inappropriate police involvement in a highly politicised situation. Given the Fairfax media’s now quite blatant practice of featuring editorials and opinion pieces which allow no genuine consideration of those radicalised issues of the day which attack family values – and of refusing to publish letters legitimately expressing genuine concern, it is no wonder its newspapers are closing down all over the country.

“Dear Editor  “For the police to publicly favour the “lesbian, gay, transgender, queer, intersex and questioning” movement now becoming confrontational and aggressive is quite shocking. Those warring with the biological fact of being born male are actively targeting and recruiting vulnerable children in schools, while demanding to share women’s and children’s toilets.

“Using the weasel excuse of “discrimination”, children are being prescribed pernicious “sex education” programmes detailing as perfectly acceptable what many consider abnormal – with the word “normal” now ridiculously regarded as “hate speech”.  “

Under the banner of that other weasel word, “diversity”, police marched in the Auckland Pride campaign with rainbow colours on a police car. Individuals’ free choice must always be respected. But Police Commissioner Mike Bush’s partisan policy stance, offering recruitment support, is inappropriate and unacceptable. When have the police ever marched in a parade supporting Christian values, or any other of those core values underpinning our society?

“Canadian psychology Professor Jordan Peterson’s courageous confrontation of this destructive counterculture war, and of the moral relativism now flooding the West, is attracting capacity crowds. Commissioner Bush should reflect on the fact that among the loudest support from Jordan’s young audiences is for his appeal for the sanctity of marriage, and child-rearing.”

Although this letter makes important points –they are not ones which the majority of today’s journalists wish to hear. The Editor of the Nelson Mail is apparently no exception. Churchill’s very important reminder to “Never, ever, ever quit,” is one that too many, deeply concerned about what is happening to New Zealand, seem to have forgotten.  Yet it is the key to winning back this country.

So I wrote again as below…although I by no means support the National Party – nor any political party for that matter, given the accumulative damage they have all caused to this country. Only by working toward what the clever Swiss have achieved, control of our politicians (www.100days.co.nz) so that New Zealanders themselves can make the decisions about our directions ahead, will we be able to mount an effective challenge to being ruled by today’s politburo. However, after a typically unbalanced editorial quite common now for this newspaper, I felt it was not good enough to walk away.  Hence this follow-up.

“Dear Editor

“The Nelson Mail’s increasingly “liberal” editorials apparently take for granted the majority of the community feels the same. For example, you noted the new leader of the National Party, Simon Bridges, voted against same-sex marriage and opposes euthanasia. You reported he goes to church and his father was a Baptist Minister  – (are we meant to recoil with horror?) – stating this puts him not only at odds with “the liberal faction”, but “potentially the momentum of popular opinion in this country and around the world”.

”It’s a leap too far. You offer no sound evidence to substantiate such an extravagant claim. Obviously the unpleasant targeting of those concerned about the worrying directions of the day – (particularly families and parents) – deters much feedback. So does the now common, bullying tactic of calling “homophobic” those who question abandoning the values so long stabilising our society.  Many will not agree with the partisan stance inappropriately shown by the police hierarchy marching in the LGBTQIA parade in Auckland – nor with schools now offering programmes which disturb many children, confusing them about their sexual identity.

“Apparently encouraging “diversity” doesn’t extend to supporting genuine debate?  And only extremist groups’ “cultural sensitivity” counts?”

Needless to say, this letter also did not get published.   However, there are  ways around this, and cancelling your support for any Stuff – Fairfax media publication to access local news and correspondence from other sources available  is a very good strategy.

These are increasingly important issues for us all – and what is equally as important is the fact that the police hierarchy felt it appropriate to take a stand which must have made many individual police deeply uncomfortable. It’s time Commissioner Bush was indeed called upon to explain his inappropriate, apparently personal partisanship in relation to an issue causing so much concern to the wider community.

What are our prospects ahead, if we have a corrupt democracy and corrupt media?  As Toby Young points out in a recent Spectator, “a lack of democratic accountability leads to the corruption of the political class”.

What democratic accountability do we have in this country, when, as West Coast MP Damien O’Connor recently stated, the decisions are made by the party hierarchy. Nick Smith also admitted, during the doggedly charming John Key’s tight-fisted control of his party that when the leader says  jump, he asks how high…

MPs are supposed to represent their electorates – nobody believes this any more. MPs now largely do as they’re told. The corruption of the political class is apparently well under way in New Zealand.

While party politics controls the country, instead of New Zealanders themselves  – the achievable way the Swiss have shown us – we’ll continue to pay a huge price for the basic incompetence and sheer ignorance underpinning so much of the decision-making we’ve been inflicted with is recent years. And look what it’s done to this country…

© 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 Amazons Kindle.

 

 

 

Houston, we have a problem. It’s John Key.

Houston, we have a problem. It’s John Key.

It is well understood that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. And our self-willed Prime Minister apparently knows no history. Nor do most New Zealanders – the education politiburo saw to that, when it deliberately removed this essential subject from our schools curricula. However, to understand what’s happening to this country, the story of the Persian Wars, and the spread of Greek adventurers into the hilly islands of the blue Aegean, is as relevant today as it was then – to the Greeks themselves. Some of these new island kingdoms inevitably had problematic kings. So the Greeks, not a people to put up with oppression, threw them out sooner or later, sometimes deciding to do without a king at all.

In The Lion in the Gateway, historian Mary Renault reminds us that in some states the men who had risen to the top met to pass the laws – this they called an oligarchy – meaning the rule of the few. Others called all the citizens together, and all the free men (no doubt the wives had plenty to say behind the scenes!) had a genuine say in what was done, by vote or acclamation. These states called themselves “people-ruled cities”, the Greek word for democracies. In New Zealand today, the few at the top meet throughout most of the year, constantly passing laws which we are required to obey.  In, considerable contrast to the Swiss, who fought for and won a genuine democracy (their 100 Days provision stops all government legislation in its tracks, while the people vet it – (see and help us at http://www.100days.co.nz )  – we quite obviously today have an oligarchy – not a democracy.

John Key, Bill English, Steven Joyce – Chris Finlayson (the latter virtually rubberstamping the never-ending, opportunistic iwi claims without  insisting they be tested in the courts… the National Party hierarchy of a tight, controlling group, now virtually rules the country. Most ordinary National MPs have very little influence. When they show disquiet about the directions of their hierarchy – for example John Key’s personal antagonism to our traditional flag – they’re quite simply overruled. Who among them shows enough integrity to show put their heads up above the ramparts – as once MPs did  – even to make a stand against their own party – as Conservative MPs are doing in Britain today – saying enough is enough to the overbearing bureaucracy of the European Union?

When we get basically ignorant politicians running the country – arguably a John Key, with no apparent expertise in anything except currency trading, i.e. making money – but with little appreciation of the real value of what is most important to our society, to survive…then, if those New Zealanders with a very real appreciation of the increasingly slippery slope ahead do not say Stop here! to our government, we will lose far more than our parents or grandparents would ever have dreamt of. In fact, we will lose the country. The process has already started.

The Prime Minister himself is now being seen as very much part of the trouble we are in today. The recent budget is notable for what it didn’t address, rather than what it did. There were the usual handouts here and there, with an unfortunately smug-looking Minister of Finance now looking increasingly like His Master’s Voice – for those who remember the classic gramophone label – (Check with Google) – now seemingly very much part of the problem.

What’s wrong with John Key? He has basically thumbed his nose at the country, taking no realistic measures to address the crisis in housing which now has Auckland investors (with an undoubtedly high proportion of Communist Chinese – including those involved in land-banking) dominating nearly half of the property market – with its obvious damaging consequences as far as ordinary New Zealanders are concerned.

If there is indeed a housing crisis, we’re being fobbed off with John Key denying this – as he has done for a very long time. Nothing like this has ever happened in New Zealand before. Either a huge majority in the country is wrong, and Key is right, or we have to ask ourselves whether he is simply incompetent –   or what he is up to. And when 76% of the country is disagreeing with his denial that we have a housing crisis, then his typical blarneying carries no weight at all. Only a third of the country, approximately 36.7 %,   backs the National government on this one. Or as sourced,

AN UNPRECEDENTED 76% DISAPPROVAL ! …

 OPINION: JOHN KEYS GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED NEW ZEALAND ON HOUSING … NEWSHUB – TV3

Not that this will faze our born-to-rule Prime Minister – ( who is very good at being relaxed” or “comfortable” when he doesn’t want to know something) – claiming a mandate for actions he wants this government to take – even when the country at large disagrees with him. His claim, after the last election, to have a mandate for asset sales, was breath-takingly wrong.  National ended up as the government in power because of the Dotcom factor, and the jumble of opposition parties. However, as a DominionPost correspondent pointed out at the time, only 33% of the potential voting public actually voted for National, compared to 36% who voted for other parties. In other words, the majority of New Zealanders did not vote for a National Party government. Apparently 31 percent of registered voters were too disillusioned to vote for any party.  National, in fact, has no mandate from the country for any of the Prime Minister’s pet projects. His personally-pushed and costly changing the flag referendum is a very good illustration of the fact.

Most New Zealanders know well that something very untoward is happening to the country. Anne Gibson, property editor of the New Zealand Herald, has been keeping a close watch on the distortions of the Auckland housing market. As recently as May 25, 2016, she reported that a house in Beach Haven jumped $187.000 in price in two months, selling for $1.08 million after it was first purchased in March for $905,000. In a scenario that we are now very used to, it was reportedly sold over the phone to an individual in China. The house is empty.  Similar sales happen all the time, said the Barfoot and Thompson agent who sold it, noting that the buyer is Chinese because the seller is Chinese. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/anne-gibson/news/article.cfm?a_id=39&objectid=11644044

A comment from another involved in this area is that Chinese buyers are playing a very large part in this phenomenon. “With Chinese speculators it’s happening all the time. The average price in this suburb three years ago was $500,000 dollars.”

An article dated May 27 shows that property investors are back in force in Auckland, with the latest data from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ illustrating that Auckland investors increased their share of mortgages to 46% in April.  In other words, in nearly half of the property market, those desperate to own their own homes will inevitably be out-bid by those with a lot more money in their pockets – very many of them overseas investors – because the government has taken no real steps to stop this happening.

In spite of the typically mindless name-calling of some, this is not a question of xenophobia. And the backlash will not be fair to New Zealand Chinese who are themselves viewing what is happening with misgivings – particularly in regard to Communist China stirring the pot. As we all know that nothing like this has ever happened in New Zealand before, the important question is exactly is happening, and why? And what about the question of basic fairness?

Is it actually fair to New Zealanders that they are now being encouraged to up stakes in a city where they may have family and friends – all the supportive contacts we build up over our working lives – with the suggestion they head off elsewhere – simply because the government has allowed Auckland to be taken over by property speculators, with foreigners buying up and banking land? Paula Bennett’s $5000 will be nowhere near enough to compensate a family for the financial costs, the risks and social upheaval of moving elsewhere.  And one of the unfortunate results of those who buy multiple houses to rent being also faced with such high prices in Auckland is that they, too,  moving into other areas of the country, and doing the same thing, are now  making it harder for those living elsewhere to be able to look forward to buying their first house. Greed unleashed is like a river in flood – and that’s pretty much what we are being faced with.

An on-the-ground report from a South Islander with no choice but to move to Auckland, given the phasing out of the Christchurch rebuild, reads as follows.  “Not much news to report, other than I think Auckland weather is truly appalling! Albany isn’t NZ, it’s mini-China! I’ve seen shopping complexes down Rosedale Road that are entirely Asian, complete with Asian signage, and there are more Asian supermarkets than I’ve ever seen in my life. I visited a Chinese supermarket, tried to ask the staff member I found if they sold turmeric, but alas, he couldn’t help, as he didn’t speak a word of English. Then two young women banged into me and spoke to me in Mandarin! Often I feel as though Kiwis are the minority, as I look around and see mainly Indians and other Asians. It’s a scary thing. I feel as if the NZ I grew up in has been completely taken over.  I don’t mind them being here, but it would be nice if the tap could be adjusted to a trickle instead of a roaring Niagara Falls!”

Her experience parallels that of so many others who are by no means antipathetic to individual Chinese, but point out that, as New Zealanders, we have had no consultation whatsoever on what is happening to the country.  Any claim that we are still a democracy is simply untrue. Our so-called democratic rights are now  limited to eventually throwing out a political party because of the damage it has done to the country, with no real hope that its replacement – previously thrown out for the same reason – is going to be any better. An oligarchy of the top few now rules us – no matter what political party is rotated into power.

One thing we can do more than guess at is that in the case of almost all politicians, they will act in their own interest. At this stage, so worrying is the situation for the country, – and so determined is John Key to say that there’s no such thing as a housing crisis in Auckland – that we are due to question whether his own interests are actually at odds with those of the country at large. This is a very serious question – but if in fact what is happening to the country is not in New Zealanders’ best interests, it is a legitimate one.

We do not have to put up with this – nor should we. Again come the lessons from the Greeks and Persians…If we grow soft as some city states did – and as Britain did in recent years, allowing the EU to whittle away its national independence – we will be trying in vain to crawl back up that slippery slope.  As Dionysius of Phocaea said to an Athenian on the run…“Isn’t it worth a little sweat to save your cities?”  Whereupon the ships were made ready for war. But it was too little, too late…

It is not too much of an exaggeration to maintain that what has happened to this country now can be regarded to be a form of war. We have certainly now come to the stage where we have government versus the people, not representing the people.  It is looking more and more like the sell-out of our country. And in this case, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves whose decision-making is underpinning what is happening? It can only come from the very top, from our Prime Minister, whose behaviour in this area has been more than odd. In fact it can be regarded as culpable, if one of the three main duties of government is the defence of the realm – and this isn’t happening.

 We should be very wary of the fact that Communist China is pushing its interests further and further into the country, its tentacles reaching out. We now have a Bank of China New Zealand funding Chinese New Zealand connections, ostensibly to boost trade. But in fact the concentration is on our land, with 55 of this bank’s Chinese company clients meeting with 120 New Zealand agricultural businesses – ostensibly to build trade. Can this also equate to – for their clients to get their hands on as much in the way of productive New Zealand farmland and business related companies as possible? Certainly, the Australian government has recognised this as happening in Australia.

An extraordinary naiveté is being shown by our own Key-led government – either this – or those eminences grises behind the scenes are using Lenin’s “useful fools” – the naïve, the ignorant, the under-educated, and the historically under-informed. The latter now comprise probably most Zealanders, with the teaching of history so deliberately sidelined for several decades now. In fact, what is known as cultural Marxism, i.e. Communism’s war against the West – (long planned by the Italian communist Gramsci as a march through our institutions, to undermine Western society, its democratic institutions –and, particularly, to white-ant its Christian foundations) – has been under way for a very long time. When we get basically ignorant politicians running the country, the result is as we see.

A particularly staggering government initiative recently (while 700 jobs are to go from our own defence force) is the government signing up last October to a military defence agreement with Communist China!  What our parents and grandparents would have felt was unimaginable and inexcusable, is now formalised, with  Gerry Brownlee fronting up on this extraordinary pact between a country deeply antipathy to the West – (in spite of all its posturing over trade deals) – and to democracy itself.  Brownlee’s speech hailed “the creation of a five-year engagement plan between the New Zealand Defence Force and the People’s Liberation Army as the first agreed between China and a Western military, demonstrating the unique nature of our relationship.”

Let’s not be naive. Gerry Brownlee would not have had the authority to sign such a shocking pact on his own. John Key’s fingers are in this agreement and it is an abdication of the media’s responsibility to not have properly scrutinised such an important, counterintuitive agreement.

We need to remind ourselves that China has a well-documented history of interfering in countries where it has investments. Prime Minister David Cameron recently explicitly stated (The Spectator September 16, 2016) his intent “to refresh British foreign policy to make it much more focused on the commercial”.  He meant with China.  His Chancellor, George Osborne, has undertaken what has been described as “the longest kowtow in diplomatic history.” This came after he and Cameron annoyed Communist Chinese leaders by recognising the visit of the Dalai Lama three years ago. In return, they have been humiliated by the bullying Chinese, cancelling a planned official trip to Britain and instructing Cameron “to stop conniving at and supporting separatist attempts to achieve Tibetan independence.” We are reminded of China’s expressed displeasure at the presence of the Falun Gong in this country.

In the interests of trade we will no doubt continue to avert our eyes from China’s appalling human rights record and the oppression, torture and imprisonment of its own citizens – including now a record number of media. George Osborne went so far as to claim that Britain and China were two countries whose cultures have done more to shape the world than almost anyone else – a novel theory indeed, as columnist Fraser Nelson notes. As this columnist illustrates, the grovelling apologies to Beijing have never stopped, Osborne even offering China a splurge of British government money (much of it of course borrowed from China) for various arts and other projects.

The British government’s most extraordinary decision to allow the Chinese to build and operate a nuclear power station in Britain is distinguished by the fact that China is not renowned for its expertise in this area. All of which baffles the American government, wondering why Britain would allow the Chinese anywhere near a nuclear power station in their own country.  America spends much of its time guarding against Communist Chinese- sponsored computer hacking. As pointed out, a cyber attack on a nuclear power station would be an unthinkable disaster.

With China engaged in industrial-scale hacking, we should be in no doubt that Communist Chinese-backed hackers are also spying on this country and attempting- very possibly succeeding – to break into our own computer systems. We may envisage ourselves as small fish, but to an aggressive country on the march, intent on taking over as much productive land as possible and siphoning up as many productive businesses – (no doubt now with the added possibility of bringing its warships into New Zealand ports (given this shocking military defence alliance) we are, in very important areas, being gradually taken over, incrementally.

The hour is late to remind ourselves that right throughout history – and New Zealand cannot possibly be an exception – the natural affinity of oligarchs, which is what our Prime Minister apparently is –  is with those of wealth and power. Is this why John Key is so determinedly turning a blind eye to what is actually happening to this country?

For some reason, the Prime Minister is marching to a different drum than by far the majority of New Zealanders.

It has become more important than ever for individuals to show they care, by standing up to be counted. Help us, do, to enable New Zealanders to fight back through civic protest, and to work for the one political initiative which we can and must win for this country – for the sake of our children and their children… Nor should we ever forget all those New Zealanders who laid down their lives so that we can live in freedom. What is now happening is not what they fought for.

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© Amy Brooke, Convener. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available on Kindle, or through www.copypress.co.nz and HATM Publishers.