Would you prefer a Nigel Farage or a John Key?

Would you sooner have a Nigel Farage, or a John Key?

I was delighted by the fact that when, as Convener of our 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement, we first launched this democratic campaign – (the off-shoot of the Summer Sounds Symposium  (www.summersounds.co.nz) – one of the first names that appeared as a website subscriber was that of Nigel Farage. A shared a contact, a close UKIP supporter, had previously provided a weekly commentary on international affairs for the then Canterbury on Air, when I was providing a weekly round-up on national affairs.  The Australian  initiative, Give Us Back Our Country,  co-founded by the greatly respected Professor David Flint, with Jai Martinkovits, cites our 100 Days movement and my book, 100 Days Claiming Back New Zealand – what has gone wrong,  and how we can control our politicians, as its inspiration.  

A correlation has been drawn between the surge in Brexit support and Obama coming over to the UK with instructions on how to vote, including barely-veiled threats. The English don’t like being told what to do – possibly especially by Barack Obama. The reaction was considerable and immediate. Another little-known fact is that a senior campaign adviser to Cameron’s Conservative Party was Jim Messina, who was also Obama’s  campaign adviser, and heads the biggest pro-Hillary super PAC.  Crony capitalism no longer has a good press. Who believes the trickle-down theorizing any more? It has by no means resembled anything like a genuinely free market.

Many of us will have watched the Brexit outcome with special interest. One of the most heartening things about its victory, which so many of us here also hoped for, is that it has been a triumph of hope – and imagination.

In contrast, one of the most deplorable things has been the basic spite voiced against Nigel Farage by prominent figures here and overseas in the media in-groups. We are used to words like “populism” being used, deliberately designed to disparage ordinary people, those in whom the brilliant Christian writer GK Chesterton placed so much trust – when it comes to a showdown between their values and those of the moneyed establishment.

Uncharacteristically, given The Spectator’s support for the Leave campaign, its editor, Fraser Nelson wrote an unpleasant blog. He also got wrong the meaning of the word tangential.  We undoubtedly owe the Brexit campaign victory first of all to Nigel Farage, but Nelson attempts to diminish his legacy. E.g. “Nigel Farage has been a tangential figure in the Brexit campaign, but he’s the only one prepared to do a victory lap with the votes still being counted, so we see him on the TV. What he says is disgusting. ‘A victory for real people, a victory for decent people’ he says – and what about those who voted for Remain? One of the many advantages of a Brexit vote would be to put UKIP, and Farage, out of business.”

This is not only unfair but basically nasty. To attack Farage for pointing out that the majority of the people England and Wales stood up against the fear-mongering of the establishment, calling them real people, decent people, was a thing of the moment, praising them for their courage – which is hard enough to draw upon for so many in these politically correct times.

It also been a characteristic of the Left, in particular, to keep invoking a right-wing bogeyman against all those wanting Brexit  – which is just nonsense. On the whole, the venom has come from (of course, by no means all) Bremain spokesmen. We were treated to a very good example of this when Boris Johnson was booed when he emerged to speak, once the results were known. The point is that this mob waited outside his house to do just this. Hardly appropriate, let alone generous.

At home, from New Zealand Herald columnist Toby Manhire came, “And yet all three of them – Johnson, Cameron and Gove – have proved comfortably less outrageous, scaremongering and odious than Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, who produced a billboard with the words “Breaking Point”, showing, in what some saw as an echo of Nazi propaganda, a queue of refugees winding into Slovenia, and has pressed every available xenophobic button, playing to Britons’ basest fears.”

Ah, the word xenophobia,  designed like other clichés of the bien pensant among our commentators –  such as racism and homophobia –  to be thrown at those who are considered too incapable of doing their own thinking… The catch is that the so-called ordinary people did think through all this. And they thought that they had enough of their own freedom, independence, and the directions of the own country being wrested away from them.

While too many quasi-intellectuals among the journalists were vaporising  at the thought of “the odious” Nigel Farage, the majority of English and Welsh were celebrating …Cometh the hour, cometh the man – the individual who stands up to be counted, inspiring others – never the leaders – but other individuals – to rise and stand beside him – or her.

What is apparently too obvious for Toby Manhire to understand is that the view of refugees winding into Slovenia was a snapshot of reality. Reality often makes things uncomfortable for those not keen on facing it. The virtual invasion – by no means entirely of genuine refugees, but also of those (understandably) anxious to improve their lot in economic terms – (among whom are now estimated to be thousands of radical Islamists, many deliberately planted, and groomed for terrorist activities) is a huge threat to the stability of Europe. The sheer numbers who have poured in, and are still on the move, present an unprecedented threat to countries far from able to sustain such a demand on their economies, their housing, and their social services.

The EU has shown itself utterly incapable of providing a realistic solution to these mass migrations, which are essentially a grave threat to countries they are targeting.  When Manhire, without any attribution, calls Farage’s important warning “what some saw as an echo of Nazi propaganda,” – we should ask – Who saw? Where are your sources? Is this simply a piece of Manhire propaganda – or a quote from those, as ever, fearful of facing the truth?

In the UK itself, as the pundits; the pollsters; we-know-best-economists; the trust-us-we-are-the Establishment:  the I-know-best-Barack Obama: all were confounded by so-called ordinary men and women turning their backs. Instead, they listened to the man who inspired them with the courage to face up even to the fact that economic uncertainty would undoubtedly lie ahead – and might even disadvantage some of them.

And still, they stood up to be counted. In fact one of the most interesting aspects of the Brexit vote is that there would undoubtedly have been Remain voters who would like very much to have joined them, but who, in the face of all the scaremongering and the threats, were too worried about their jobs and financial futures – but who would otherwise have voted to go.

On the other hand, human nature being what it is, there is always jealousy – and this came not only from among the very supporters of Nigel Farage who would now like to take over to lead UKIP, saying their leader has  achieved what he wanted and it’s time for him to go. (Shades of the Conservative Party’s turning on Margaret Thatcher  – there are always Judases.) Just as un-edifying, among the breakaway Brexit supporters from the Conservative Party there was anger when Nigel Farage, instead of one of their own, was chosen to lead an important Brexit BBC debate – even though it is thanks above all to this one man that England has shaken off the shackles of an arrogant, virtually fascist EU.

Moreover, too much praise has been heaped on David Cameron, as if he heroically granted the people of Britain a referendum, to correct the situation in which the country has found itself – or, rather, in which their politicians had landed them.

On the contrary, Cameron did everything he could to avoid a referendum. As The Spectator illustrates, “Unable to make a positive case for staying in the EU, he instead tells us that Britain is trapped within it and that the penalties for leaving are too severe. His scare stories, peppered with made-up statistics, have served only to underline the emptiness of the case for remaining. It also represents a style of politics that many find repugnant. The warnings from the IMF and OECD and other acronyms have served only to reinforce the caricature of a globalised élite telling the governed what to think.  See http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/out-and-into-the-world-why-the-spectator-is-for-leave/ Moreover, according to The Sun, the reason why David Cameron is now primed to resign is that he is asking why he should “do all the hard **** for someone else, just handed over to them on a plate?”

The Spectator columnist Peter Orborne’s  May 28 article, “The new dodgy dossiers”, illustrated how “The Chancellor and PM are using every dirty trick in the Blairite book to win a Remain vote. “ His conclusion? That what Cameron and Osborne were doing was not only morally wrong; it was politically disastrous.”

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/why-osbornes-dodgy-dossiers-are-even-worse-than-blairs/

It would be good to be able to respect politicians more, both for their language – and for putting the interests of their country first. This was not happening under Cameron’s leadership, where his Chancellor, George Osborne, employed the sledgehammer of fear-mongering tactics so much the Bremain campaign resorted to concocting figures – such as “his now notorious claim that households would be 4300 British pounds worse off.” And still the people had courage to vote NO. Chesterton would have been proud of them.

Moreover, “Michael Gove revealed how, as a cabinet member, he regularly finds himself having to process edicts, rules and regulations that have been framed at European level. Laws that no one in Britain had asked for, and which no one elected to the House of Commons has the power to change. What we refer to as British government is increasingly no such thing. It involves the passing of laws written by people whom no one in Britain elected, no one can name and no one can remove.”

“Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s chief strategist for many years, gave an example of this institutional decay. A few months into his job in No. 10, he was dismayed to find his colleagues making slow progress, because they were all bogged down by paperwork that he didn’t recognise. He asked for an audit, and was shocked by the results: only a third of what the government was doing was related to its agenda. Just over half was processing orders from Brussels. To him, this was more than just a headache: it was an insidious and accelerating bureaucratic takeover.”

David Cameron basically did not want a referendum. But then, what leader ever does – except, as with John Key, because he thought he was popular enough to get his own way – removing our country’s flag?

There is one great lesson to be taken from this rebellion by the majority of the English and Welsh. (Scotland, which has received far more in the way of financial advantage from its association with England than it has returned, and which appears is due for a reality lesson, can be discounted here.) The lesson is the folly of allowing a country to be dominated by a leader and his or her cabal – which is what a too-obedient cabinet basically is. As is ours, in New Zealand.

The corollary – the importance of the individual standing up to be counted – as Nigel Farage as done – has its echoes right down throughout history.

It carries an important lesson for New Zealanders dismayed at John Key’s virtual takeover of the country, exercising apparently near-complete authority over his cabinet,  none of who whom are showing the moral courage to stand up to him.  However, the deterioration in hope on the part of so many New Zealanders who have seen the collapse of social standards and the lack of accountability for this from recent governments, means the anti-establishment tide is turning in this country, too.

The lamentable lack of any real action to make sure that New Zealanders are basically able to access affordable housing;  jobs which provide a decent living wage  – without mothers being forced to dump their babies in crèches to go out to work;  the influx of immigrants putting pressure on all social services – with no comprehensive action  at all by the government to prioritise the interest of New Zealanders over those moving to acquire our land, our farms, our most productive businesses and our housing stock? John Key has basically ignored the needs of so many. His tenure as Prime Minister has been highly damaging.

The Swiss know, as did the Roman Republic, the danger of letting one man retain power for more than a year. It is time to move towards annually rotating what should be basically the chairmanship of a political party in Parliament  – rather than retaining our present system of a dictatorial leadership digging in for the long haul.

These are now precedents for New Zealanders themselves to stand up to be counted. The Australians are already doing so, with their Give Us back our Country movement.

Every individual who supports us, helps to make this possible. And if there’s one thing that Brexit has taught us, it’s the importance of individuals.

It’s been said that  “One man with courage makes a majority.” Nigel Farage did.

© Amy Brooke

Our 100 Days movement needs individuals to contribute what they can – no donation is too small  – to help send our message right around the country.

We can count on no funding to assist coming from political or moneyed power groups with their own vested interests. But we can be proud of this!

Do visit us to see how you can help. Please let family, friends, colleagues know about our www.100days.co.nz.

SHARE or LIKE on Facebook

© 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.

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.

*

Our 100 Days movement needs individuals to contribute what they can – no donation is too small   – to help send our message right around the country. Will you?

We can count on no funding to assist coming from political or moneyed power groups with their own vested interests. But we can be proud of this!

Do visit us to see how you can help – www.100days.co.nz and SHARE on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/100daystodemocracy?ref=br_tf

© 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.

 

Putting up with a John Key or a Helen Clark? The Swiss wouldn’t

Putting up with a John Key or a Helen Clark? The Swiss wouldn’t. We need the 100 Days stop on our own politicians.

The recent railing of the otherwise often excellent Spectator columnist Rod Liddle  against the public being graciously “allowed” to contribute towards the decision-making facing the UK was out of character. It seems to have been inspired by his objection to the British at last having the chance to tell the basically fascist European Union to butt out of dominating their once much freer country. However, former London Mayor Boris Johnson -(together with UKIP’s Nigel Farage and some high-ranking Conservatives) -is turning on Prime Minister David Cameron, expressing concern felt nationwide by the people of this once proudly independent country. http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/669468/Boris-Johnson-David-Cameron-immigration-Brexit-Vote-Leave-EU-referendum

Few would discount the fact that uncontrolled immigration is threatening Britain. Moreover, the cost of propping up an organisation run by power-hungry bureaucrats, attempting more and more to remove the independence of the countries within its grip, is quite extraordinary. The actual cost to Britain of propping up the EU is estimated to be just under £250 million a week. Thanks to Margaret Thatcher, who negotiated a rebate, this is $100 million less than it would otherwise be paying. http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/669690/EU-referendum-row-David-Cameron-Nigel-Farage-ITV-debate-Vote-Leave-Boris-Johnson

So, two cheers for those from the Tory hierarchy rebelling against the independence of the UK’s economic, political and judicial decision-making being held in straitjackets by the EU’s unelected and petty bureaucracy, infamous for its sea of petty restrictions and regulations. (Among the better known is European Commission Regulation Number 1677/88.  “Class 1” and “Extra class” cucumbers are allowed a bend of 10 mm per 10 cm of length.  “Class II” cucumbers can bend twice as much. Any cucumbers that are curvier may not be bought or sold.”)

But only two cheers, because disgracefully, as so often happens when the power groups band together, the Conservative MPs from the “Leave EU” movement have  been doing their best  to exclude the one man who led the move to ask the British to speak up for themselves as a people. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36273499  There is no doubt of the debt owed to Nigel Farage with his courageous challenging of the Establishment. And the mean-mindedness of attempts to exclude the man who is owed most should bring home to us the lesson of the corruption of power. Moreover, as we well know, NZ’s power groups also band together.

While it is heartening to see happening in the UK what is well overdue to still come in this country – a revolt among right-wing politicians taking on our now own widely distrusted leader  – in other words, standing up to be counted on important issues of the day – we should be asking why we never see this happening in New Zealand. Why does the bunch of yes-men-women who fall into line behind John Key (described by commentator Matthew Hooton as a “serial bullshitter”)  never stand up to represent their own constituents – and the whole country?  Why no opposition from any at all of the members of a National Party  – which once represented the freedom of the individual, rather than state control – against a lightweight, narcissistic PM who is not regarded as prioritising the interests of New Zealanders over those of the money-men with their eye on this country?

Rod Liddle’s article, with its silly title “Whoever invented the referendum deserves a kicking” is challenged by correspondents, including those below.

“Maic: In the matter of referendums I believe that the Swiss have got it right. I’m a little weary of the patronising comments from some self appointed experts that would have you believe that the peasants (that’s us) are too stupid or indifferent to be able to make rational choices affecting the governance of their country.

“The left in particular seem to regard Direct Democracy with horror. They claim to represent the people, to have the support of the people, but shy away from letting the people make some decisions on social and political matters.

“Interestingly enough, you hear loud comments on how the country has a really great progressive education system. One would have thought that the graduates of such a good system would have the intelligence and judgment to at least have an influence on how the country is governed.

“My own country (New Zealand) has only one House of Representatives purportedly representing the citizens, but seemingly more focused on advancing the interests and survival of the major political parties. Deals are done to consolidate power.

“Policies never put to the people are nevertheless imposed on them.
The cry goes up that many citizens are not interested or engaged in politics and that the level of voting when we do have elections is not that great.
Well, why should anyone be surprised?

“I say it is possible to enact a system of Direct Democracy which makes politicians more accountable and at the same time prevents frivolous attempts to undermine the system.”

It’s a pity that this correspondent, making some good points, does not seem to know that our 100 Days – Claiming Back – New Zealand movement is already well underway to produce just this  – what the Swiss got right  – as he notes. Their great achievement was to insist that a stop for a period of 100 Days was put on all legislation passed by their parliament, during which period of time the country can assess what is happening. This simple, but brilliant, provision enables the Swiss people themselves to control their politicians. It also prevents the kind of legislation deliberately pushed through late at night in this country – on the eve of public holidays such as Easter or Christmas – in the hope New Zealanders will be too busy to object.

Of all the reforms the Swiss undertook to achieve a genuine democracy, this one was the most crucial. Their government understands this, and refers to the people as “sovereign.” Members of their Cabinet of only seven members!  (in a country with a population double ours) simply take a turn for a year at being President, before stepping down. For very good reason, as we have learned to appreciate, the Swiss would simply not put up with a John Key or a Helen Clark constantly, and for a period of several years, digging in to dominate the decision-making that affects all New Zealanders.

The contrast between this highly successful country, whose own MPs hold down day jobs (attending parliament only one day a week) and our cash-strapped economy with our government continually passing new legislation – and taking good care to exclude New Zealanders from behind-the-scenes decision-making – such as ill-thought asset sales, and the signing of the TPPA (without consultation with the country) – would scandalise the Swiss. They must wonder why we put up with it.  Why do we?

Another Spectator commentator, also disagreeing with Liddle, expresses the hope “for NZ…that the anti-establishment wave sweeping the Western world will boost new parties like NZF into power”.

There is no doubt about the power of individuals, when they have had enough, standing up to the power-groups of the politicians, the bankers, the bureaucrats – and the overpaid CEOs of the corporate world.

 GK Chesterton’s belief that – “All men are ordinary men; the extraordinary men are those who know it” – should help us to stop short, and think.

 It brings home to us that fact that our political hierarchy in this country, which apparently fancies itself far more qualified, better informed, even (heaven forbid) more intelligent than the people of New Zealand, is well overdue to be reformed. The secret of Donald Trump’s success in the US is widely recognised as the anger of “the ordinary people” against their well-funded and well-entrenched political establishment.

There are obvious lessons for us here. We are overdue to make our own stand against the right-to-rule assumption of whatever political party currently governs the country. None of them can be trusted, although there is no doubt that one, New Zealand First, has constantly repudiated the racist directions in which our country is now heading – with now preferential “rights” disgracefully based on a watered-down ethnicity. NZFirst pledges to not pass any non-mandated legislation without consulting the country.

It’s a first step – but not enough. What we need to be aiming for is to embed the 100 Days requirement in legislation so that this country can begin to work again towards its full potential, and so that New Zealanders themselves, not our political bureaucracy, will be able, like the clever Swiss, to make the decisions that count.

 This is undeniably an idea whose time has come. See www.100days.co.nz  All it needs is for you to help. We need you.

Quite simply, it’s just up to us. So why would we let New Zealand and its future down? 

From Chesterton again, “Everyone on the earth should believe that he has something to give to the world which otherwise cannot be given.”

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*Our 100 Days movement needs individuals to contribute what they can – no donation is too small   – to help send our message right around the country. Will you?

We can count on no funding to assist coming from political or moneyed power groups with their own vested interests. But we can be proud of this!

Do visit us to see how you can help – www.100days.co.nz and SHARE on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/100daystodemocracy?ref=br_tf

© 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.

 

A farcical flag sideshow & out-dated political system

The turning of the tide? Why we need the country run properly.

In spite of the spin Key enthusiasts are putting on it, the Prime Minister has well and truly lost on this sideshow, damaging his own credibility. Nor was it a close call – in contrast to the usual media-mouths’ claims. And what of TV’s Mike Hosking’s assurance that the proposed flag replacement would win, in a tight vote?  Out in the real world, the New Zealand flag romped home – well ahead of its uninspiring competition. And the Prime Minister’s pet project has cost him dearly, in terms of the recognition that leaders with an agenda tend to cost a country too much.

Not before time, some are arguing, looking at the lacklustre performance of his government – in spite of all the spin being put on issues – (a rock star economy?)- where it is not only failing to deliver – but is doing very poorly.  Catch-22 for most New Zealanders is that the prospect of once more simply replacing the party temporarily in power by an equally lacklustre Opposition has become just as unpalatable.

 Few would now claim to have any confidence in our perceivably out-dated political system. And although New Zealand First, its leader constantly demonised by the media,  far more accurately represents in its stated  aims New Zealanders’  own vision for our country –  http://nzfirst.org.nz/what-we-stand-for/fifteen-principles  – the political party game-playing as a whole is increasingly viewed as unsatisfactory. Change is in the air.

The very real anger of so many that even life-saving services have been cut to the bone – while the Prime Minister has prioritised $25 million  in all-out attempt to have his own way on the flag issue –  has brought home the fact that our political processes can be and have been hijacked by political junkies. We are now being confronted by career politicians in the sense that our MPs are perceived to be failing to represent their electorates in favour of toeing the party line, never stepping over it to risk their privileges and perks by voting against a leader’s damaging proposals.

 Why risk the rewards  parliamentarians have long contrived for themselves and their partners –  even after life in parliament  – ongoing benefits contrived at the expense of taxpayers, such as free international air travel for life – not on the basis of need, and not failing to advantage already very wealthy  individuals? And while in office, in addition to generous housing allowances, there are 20 free flights a year for partners MPs (30 for partners of ministers), as well as hotel and meal allowances.

Moreover, the ongoing farce of handpicking arguably over-paid individuals to review potential constitutional proposals – or to select the finalists from flag design competitions – has little to do with ensuring genuinely independent scrutineers. Members of the flag design committee, faced with criticism of the essential sameness of three of the flags featuring a fern leaf, have now admitted that what the Prime Minister personally wanted influenced their choice. Who’s surprised?

So what did the $25 million pay for? And why would this now cash-strapped country, where essential services such as  hospitals, the police force, sufficient refuges for the mentally ill, the drug-addicted  and women’s refuges are being cut to the bone where tight funding has caused CYF to cut beds from its youth justice residences, increasing their waiting-list and causing youngsters to end up in police cells until court…why would the Key government plan to divert  hundreds of millions of dollars to change, world-wide, the images of  our flag, in commissioning unnecessary  replacements, in reprinting specialist books,  new passports, every kind of information necessary  – in representations in embassies? This massively expensive and totally unnecessary enterprise did not originate with New Zealanders, but was pushed top-down by one individual with an agenda – precisely the opposite way democracies are meant to be run.

 The contrast between our own poorly performing one, and that of the Swiss people, who have so successfully rejected being ruled by politicians the way we habitually are, is shown by their MPs holding down day jobs as, for example, business or trades people, farmers or  professionals, housewives and so on, meeting only one day a week in parliament. In this far more successful country, being an MP is not a full-time job or a career, as here.  Moreover, as the Swiss people themselves fought for and won the right  the right to scrutinise all legislation passed by parliament, their politicians know better than to try to push their own agenda onto  the country  – as we saw happen in this country with the infamous  anti-smacking legislation.

Here,  Key arrogantly ignored the views of over 85% of the electorate to endorse  legislation originating from the far Left’s  Sue Bradford, and endorsed by the equally far Left Helen Clark – with her own suspect agenda. Legislation which has done nothing whatever to make any impact on the appalling rate of child abuse found predominantly in one section of the community has had, as foreseen, a destructive effect on the confidence of good, conservative parents using their own judgment when disciplining misbehaving children.  And from it has come the fear of police knocking at the door as a result of an ill-disposed neighbour, the teacher with an agenda. The consequences of this ill-thought legislation were very obvious – and very determinedly ignored. By the Prime Minister.

However, one of very welcome result of the collapse of John Key’s extraordinary personal push to get rid of the flag which means so much to the majority of New Zealanders, is that the question is being asked – why? Why did he constantly denigrate the historical significance of our flag, attacking it as “colonial” – when in fact both Euro-New Zealanders and those of Maori descent have profited enormously from the colonisation of this country? The constant cheap attacks on “colonisation” show not only a marked ignorance of the very real benefits that came with our ancestors (shared by part-Maori today – as there are no longer any full-blooded Maori). The success of the coexistence of both Maori and European of previous generations is shown by the willingness with which each have regarded intermarriage as the norm.

In fact it was not until the deliberate radicalisation of part-Maori by Marxist-indoctrinated, carefully selected Maori individuals in the 1960s – (some sent overseas to undergo a process of destructive Marxist indoctrination)  – groomed to return to beat the drum of resentment – that a climate of resentment among young Maori in particular  was deliberately fostered. And yet, while attacking our inaccurately described colonial flag, the Prime Minister has been extraordinarily accommodating towards the radicalised flag of Maori separatism – a concept roundly rejected by the Treaty of Waitangi…with its vision of One People, united under the Crown.

In contrast to Key’s attack on our flag, comes the comment of a correspondent stating what so many New Zealanders feel: “I value history and tradition, and I don’t think the change came from the community. It came from the Prime Minister.  I just feel it’s been a large waste of money.”

More and more New Zealanders are perturbed about not being consulted on vital issues of the day- such as the signing of the TPPA, the radicalised agenda being pushed onto schoolchildren and staff throughout the country in relation to prioritising notions of Maori separatism and privilege; a highly damaging sex education agenda; and the replacement of subjects of real value with trivia, under the umbrella of environmental fundamentalism. This, coupled with the increasing burden of a multiplication of unnecessary compliance issues being dumped onto the schools, the professions, and the trades are making life less and less attractive for ordinary New Zealanders just trying to get by. Add to this the fact that the country is now being disadvantaged  not only by  being excluded from the decisions being made on important issues – but that the job losses are ongoing , with many faced with not even being able to afford houses in areas where they need to live and work.

Moreover, the exodus from Auckland of well-heeled property buyers making a grab for land and housing in other locations throughout the country means that multiple-house buyers are having a detrimental effect on the housing market in these areas.

The John Key government is not answering to New Zealanders. And the certainty is growing that it is time for a change…but not the usual cosmetic change of replacing one political party with another, until it in turn is perceived as being equally damaging to the country.

It has been said that nothing is more successful than an idea whose time has come. And the time has undoubtedly come for a new political configuration, to replace the anachronistic and outworn system of simply temporarily exchanging the politburo at the top for the next one in turn. And as Barbara Tuchman reminds us in her intriguing assessment of the performance of MPs in history, “Governments get most issues wrong.”

We can do better.  We can elect to govern ourselves, as the Swiss people do. It is the last thing that our politicians want. What politicians do want is power.  And politicians holding onto power has nothing whatever to do with the country operating as a genuine democracy.

Switzerland is the only country in the world which has achieved what is so often derided by those who mostly fear it – government by the people themselves.  And it undoubtedly makes our politicians highly uncomfortable to face the fact that it is the Swiss people’s ability to control their own government which has made them the most successful and prosperous country in the world. Their government acknowledges this – and calls them, the people, sovereign.

How did they do this? Ultimately by one particular piece of legislation which enshrined their right to call a halt to any legislation passed by government, while they examined it themselves. What has too often happened here – late-night sittings of parliament to push legislation through before Christmas or before the Easter holiday would be a waste of time in Switzerland. Their 100 Days scrutiny period – for the country to say yes, or no – prevents the deal-making by political parties behind the scenes which our country has too often had inflicted on it. And most importantly, it prevents self-willed individuals like John Key essentially having his own way.

As politicians (and the very wealthy – whose agendas so often interplay)  will be implacably opposed to any notion of supporting our 100 Days initiative, to help make our country as democratic and successful as it should be, this movement needs your grassroots support. If all those  concerned about what is happening help to send  it around the country, we will reach a tipping point – not only because this is an idea whose time has well and truly come – but because more and more New Zealanders are fed up with being overruled by politicians, and seeing our country being sold out under our feet.

No only is this the most promising, in fact it is the only really practicable way we have to claim back our country. And you are very much needed to help.

 Visit us to see how – www.100days.co.nz and SHARE on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/100daystodemocracy?ref=br_tf

“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.

© Amy Brooke, Convener. www.100days.co. NZ

 

Trump, a braggart: Clinton a proven liar: John Key?

New Post March 20, 2016

Trump, a loudmouthed braggart: Clinton a proven liar: And is John Key an asset to this country? The born to rule mentality…

“Liberty cannot be preserved without knowledge among the people…of the character and conduct of their rulers. “John Adams

Hillary Clinton has a proven record as a liar, and anyone reading Christopher Hitchens’-  No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family –  an assessment of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s stay in the White House, is left in no doubt that Httchens was sickened by the corruption he recorded – this, by a writer whose natural sympathies lay with the Democratic, rather than the Republican Party. Similarly, that Donald Trump (who has openly boasted that he paid the Clintons to attend his wedding – his practice is to operate with an eye to possible pay-back in the future) may possibly become President of the United States, inevitably makes so many wonder what has happened to that country. On record as praising Princess Diana’s beauty (he attempted to woo her after her marriage failed) he has said he would have slept with her “Without even hesitation”.

Immoral, arrogant, narcissistic, and megalomaniac all seem to be routine descriptions of the man the Republican Party are saddled with. However, On January 26, President Everett Piper, an Oklahoma College president, in a blog titled “Trumping Morality” explained why he would not be inviting Trump to the university. One doesn’t have to be overly religious, or agree with all his analysis, to recognise that among the accusations Piper makes about Trump are his disregard for the fundamental values that keep a democracy stable, respected and strong…that these basically Christian values should bring home to us the fact that, irrespective of our personal beliefs, it is these which have so long safeguarded Western society. Nietzsche, the virulently anti-Christian German philosopher, although he deplored Western civilization’s underpinning by Christianity, arguing that there is no essential morality that governs all of us…nevertheless admitted that “Christianity is the light of the West”.

What if that light is under ever-increasing, even virulent attack? What does Donald Trump represent? And what about the whole flawed concept of the importance of “ leadership” now taking precedence over the far superior one of every individual being responsible for his her actions – particularly when our leaders – far from commanding respect – need challenging?

For an interesting and refreshing analysis, see:

Oklahoma college president talks about why Donald Trump…

kfor.com/2016/01/…/oklahoma-college-president-talks-about-why-donal…

“Anyone who is pro-abortion is not on my side. Anyone who calls women “pigs,” “ugly,” “fat” and “pieces of a–” is not on my side. Anyone who mocks the handicapped is not on my side. Anyone who has argued the merits of a government takeover of banks, student loans, the auto industry and healthcare is not on my side. Anyone who has been on the cover of Playboy and proud of it, who brags of his sexual history with multiple women and who owns strip clubs in his casinos is not on my side. Anyone who believes the government can wrest control of the definition of marriage from the church is not on my side. Anyone who ignores the separation of powers and boasts of making the executive branch even more imperial is not on my side.

Piper ended his blog saying that he will not sell his soul “to a political process that values victory more than virtue.”

There are lessons here. The consensus is that Trump’s enormous popularity comes from people’s anger at a dug-in political establishment with a born-to-rule mentality. The public is rejecting professional politicians, and America is not alone. All around the world, differently framed according to different customs, the background and history of people, the political establishments are being challenged. So what about closer to home?

In this country, is it also time to take a closer look at a leader whose inappropriate antics, pilloried overseas, have made him a national embarrassment? And while we note that “Second-placed Senator Ted Cruz has raised Jane Kelsey-ian concerns over the TPPA’s potential to undermine sovereignty,” we should be asking John Key why his government is ignoring the same potential threat to undermine our sovereignty – by pretending it doesn’t exist. Moreover, as a Lyttleton correspondent reminds us, “Six years ago, our Prime Minister dismissed the notion of investor-state dispute provisions in trade agreements as “far-fetched”. Now we find that in becoming a party to the TPPA, we are (according to Alan Morrison Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law at George Washington University Law School) agreeing to submit the validity of our laws to 3 private arbitrators whose decisions are not subject to appeal.”

So who still maintains a belief in John Key, regarded as highly evasive when he doesn’t like the questions, and who has openly admitted that National deliberately withholds, as long as possible, information required to be given under the Official Information Act “if it is in its best interest to do so” ? His government is legally obliged to respond to OIA requests within 20 days. However, Radio New Zealand reported it took 17 months for the government to release official advice on child poverty which RNZ had requested.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our media asked the PM the hard questions for a change – and pressed him for less evasive answers? For example, Key’s government is playing, as ever, Follow the Leader – so that not even one brave dissenting voice speaks up, to represent New Zealanders’ concerns. Key has ignored concerns that New Zealand, under provisions of the TPPA, would not be able to establish protections for our farmland, our countryside and our housing stock – in other words, he has not prioritised New Zealanders ‘interests. Moreover, another wide-awake correspondent notes that “in what’s already been signed in the TPPA, NZ has already given away its sovereign right to restrict foreign, non-resident ownership of land and property. “Apparently “Australia, Singapore and another nation were granted exemptions from this section of the TPPA, which means those countries still have the authority to create laws to restrict foreign ownership, if they decide it’s in their respective country’s best interests.” But New Zealand didn’t even ask for an exemption.

Why not? This correspondent suspects it’s because those running the present government don’t care about ordinary people, our land and our future. “They seem to care only about trade, taking care of their moneyed mates” and prioritising the interests of big business. Certainly there is now a well-established perception that the government favours the interests of foreign investors, particularly from Communist China, over those of New Zealanders. We now know, for example, that multinational companies in this country are avoiding paying tax on a massive scale. “ A major Herald investigation by Matt Nippert, has found that the 20 multinational corporations most aggressive in shifting profits out of New Zealand overall paid virtually no income tax,despite recording nearly $10 billion in annual sales to Kiwi consumers.

“The analysis of financial information of more than 100 multinational corporations and their New Zealand subsidiaries showed that, had the New Zealand branches of these 20 firms reported profits at the same healthy rate as their parents, their combined income tax bill would have been nearly $490 million.” Instead, New Zealanders must reach into their own pockets, to compensate for this lost revenue.

The anti-establishment backlash is now well and truly here. And has John Key’s squandering of scores of millions of dollars on a vanity wish to change the flag – which would deprive New Zealanders of hundreds of millions more if he succeeded – helped bring about a tipping point in this country? It increasingly looks as if this is the case, and there is no doubt that something is stirring in the West when two such utterly unsuitable candidates as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are now virtually neck and neck vying for the presidency of the United States. The question has to be asked – how suitable, too, is John Key as a Prime Minister who should first of all be safeguarding and prioritising the interests of New Zealanders? There are now more than a few questioning what is happening to this country, and what is behind it all.

Why the “rockstar economy” nonsense – when Finance Minister Bill English is now seemingly trying to remove the distinction between a government surplus and a government deficit? As reported in late January, he signalled before Christmas that “with tax revenue under pressure from low inflation and slower growth” (let alone multinational corporations being allowed to evade tax due) “a more flexible approach to budget surpluses is to be preferred – a sort of – close enough is good enough’ attitude that does not distinguish between a small surplus and a small deficit.” No doubt this is highly convenient for a Minister of Finance, when our cash-strapped economy has begun to be an embarrassment to the government. Moreover, according to a Dominion Post commentator, the Labour Party‘s analysis of the budget last year showed that health had taken a 1.7 billion cut since 2010. This puts huge pressure on DHBs, means longer waiting times for treatment, and doesn’t give Pharmac enough money to fund some treatments already available to people in countries with stronger public health systems.”

I have a good friend very much respected in the community, holding a high academic position – one of those now increasingly rare academics who refuses to tread a PC line as iwi money starts pushing on all our institutions what are basically racist demands for preferential treatment. By now, we all know someone with a similar story to what he recently experienced. Having broken his hip in a cycling accident and being rescued by ambulance staff, he was scheduled for emergency surgery. However, he had to wait six hours at the hospital (people are now stacked up in corridors) before he even got a bed. And until he got the bed, he was allowed no pain relief, because he had no ward allocation.

He was finally operated on late at night, but others in his ward with broken hips had been waiting 2 to 3 days before they undergo surgery. And, as he said, each time he has had a follow-up appointment to hospital, he has had to wait up to three hours to be seen. “The surgeons are in such sort short supply they have to race off to do emergency operations and then come back to the patients like me who have fixed appointments. Sometimes people aren’t seen at all. They are told they have to come back next day and wait again, because no doctors are available. It’s unbelievable. It’s like the Third World. To waste $26 million on a flag referendum is completely irresponsible, and shows that Key is completely out of touch with the real problems facing this country.”

A recent newspaper report told of Colleen Beaton, who has spent three years unable to use her left arm, battling with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB ) to prove she was in enough agony to receive the surgery she had been referred for. With her left knee now deteriorating, it is the third time Mrs Beaton has been denied surgery, although arthritis has affected most of her joints and her right knee is deteriorating. The elderly in Christchurch city warn that a human scandal is looming, with hundreds being refused elective surgery and the CDHB struggling to cope with them. New Zealanders are now not even being assessed, let alone treated.

So what is the government prioritising instead? Key’s vanity project and iwi settlements now not only increasingly dubious, as they are unable to be challenged in court, but are now being perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being rubberstamped by a Minister of Treaty Negotiation over-close to iwi litigants.

The public is more and more seeing too much of what is happening in this country as political correctness gone mad, as with the government starving the health budget – while it squanders scores of millions of dollars elsewhere – not on only on the inexcusable flag referendum and the ongoing iwi gravy train settlements of more than doubtful validity. The Waitangi Tribunal has long thoroughly discredited itself by endorsing claims and making recommendations to government which have brought it into disrepute. From the beginning it was set up as a highly flawed institution, with input allowed only from Maori – not from those challenging what are now in many cases carefully massaged claims. It’s been common knowledge for some time, for example, that reputable researchers have been told they wouldn’t get paid unless they removed from their findings facts which showed that various claims weren’t sustainable. Yet such is the degree of corruption in this country – and corruption it is – that the tribunal has not been disbanded – and that both Parliament and the media too often basically endorse its findings without properly scrutinising them.

When I read a columnist claiming that the Arab spring could never happen here, it’s obvious that he has no real idea that for many New Zealanders things are close to the tipping point. They don’t want to vote National, but they despair of Labour performing as even a halfway decent Opposition. The Greens, though useful in some areas as the conscience of Parliament, are too far to the left to be more than a fringe party. And New Zealand First, running the most effective opposition to National has its leader thoroughly blacklisted by the mass media.

It would be hard to find anybody who regards the Present Prime Minister as a well-educated, statesmanlike leader with a strong knowledge of history and a determination to do the best for New Zealanders. On the contrary, the apparent prioritisation of foreign interests over those of New Zealanders themselves has provoked not only a deep unease, but a growing anger throughout the country. Whereas a decent Opposition would offer some hope, Labour’s feebleness has instead removed from so many any prospect that things are going to get better.

And in a deeper layer even than that of the overtly political establishment, the question has to be: who else is running the country? And why has there been such a prolonged attack on the best of our institutions, a long determination to close them down, or to minimise funding to those genuinely helping people? The Salvation Army, in a recent damning report, claims that government agencies are inventing new numbers and changing the definitions of targets to make their performance seem better. Apparently they are under pressure from the government to come up with favourable results, and previous calls for greater transparency have been met with a “quite disingenuous “government response.

Why, for example, was the former Queen Mary Hospital in Hamner Springs, doing such excellent work in helping to rehabilitate alcoholics, closed down, in the face of stiff opposition from those pointing out there was really nothing with which to replace it? What about the shockingly inadequate number of facilities available throughout the country for the mentally ill – or those trying to wean themselves off drugs?

A visitor to a unit for the mentally ill in Nelson reports that faces all day stare at television screens or a wall, although, the PC boast has long been that returning people to a (often non-existent) community is more humane. However, the former Ngawhatu hospital “provided park-like surroundings. There were large amounts of free space outside in the ‘beautiful gardens’ for patients to do activities such as golf, tennis and croquet. These park-like surroundings Ngawhatu offered are not seen at the NMHU (Nelson Mental Health Unit) now – but patients are in residence for a much shorter time. The NMHU offers a small outdoor space with a tiny amount of grass to roam around on and a water feature in the middle.” However, for all the politically correct vilifying of “institutions” and the undoubted abuses that too often occurred, many mentally isolated or disturbed individuals do not get the choice to live with the close companionship and feeling of safety, coupled with privacy, that they would prefer to being thrust out into an unwelcoming city environment.

And this is progress? The Save the Children shops all over the country are now being closed down, even though they have not been running at a loss. It seems that those making the decisions think that more money can be made this way – although the shops themselves, staffed by dedicated volunteers, were popular and served as a useful reminder of the work done by the organisation. I recall, too, that when Labour Minister Richard Prebble closed down all over the country the post offices in small towns, that the social costs were considerable. These small, valuable post shops were so often the heart of the community, and towns died with their loss. Prebble admitted, when questioned, that even those making a profit were among those closed.

What about the frightened women and children at the now increasingly cash-strapped women’s refuges? And as a very important attack on our institutions, what about the deliberate dumbing down for five decades now of the teaching of children – so that most New Zealanders have never even studied history at school – or been encouraged towards academically challenging course – let even other basic competencies such as writing and speaking well? No fault of theirs, largely. The attack on education, as with our other institutions – including the medical schools, teacher training colleges, the nursing establishments and universities – has been very much part of the long planned “March through the institutions” which the Italian communist Gramsci encouraged his followers to take on – as the best possible way to undermine the West – and bring down its democracies. Some would argue they are succeeding only too well.

Ah, but we have guardians of society, the media – scrutinising the actions of government and those in high places, ready to analyse wrong directions, to investigate possible corruption and the undue influence of big business and wealth, – recognised as buying the more attentive ear of politicians. The media are supposed to be the Fourth Estate, keeping an objective eye on what the politicians are up to, on behalf of the public at large. However, the trouble is that individual media spokespersons with a highly public profile are far from non-partisan. Nor are they particularly bright, or even well educated and knowledgeable -so very many of them – but they tend to regard themselves as experts in the line of media coverage they’re assigned to. As a result we encounter the flagrant bias, the badmouthing of politicians who challenge them – as we see with the extraordinary witchhunt that mainstream media commentators direct at the New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, ignoring the fact that New Zealand First’s stated aims on its website are not only completely unobjectionable but mirror the wishes of the majority of New Zealanders – one law for all – and no special deals on behalf of race.

People trust politicians even less than they ever did, and that there is a restlessness abroad which is looking for a new political configuration to control the power of politicians who represent their own interests – rather than the country at large. People also no longer trust “experts” – and the global warming cargo cult is a very good example of how it is very hard to argue so-called experts out of a mindset upon which their salary depends. How many of us would disagree with an Australian Spectator article pointing out that “Experts talk a lot of junk, and the more famous they, are the more hooey they talk. “As John F Kennedy (or more probably his speechwriter) pointed out, “too many have the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”.

Given that neither our politicians nor our experts can be relied upon to respect the wishes of the people – which is basically what democracy is all about – then it is high time for people to realise that they can individually flex their own political muscles, and insist on being heard – even insist on themselves making the decisions about which directions the country should take.

This is the 100 Days movement, gradually reaching around the country as people begin to realise its potential. Its insistence is on a 100 day period for any legislation passed by Parliament to come to a halt – so that the voting public can scrutinise it and either accept or challenge it. The Swiss have used it so successfully that they have become the most prosperous of all democratic countries. It is the people of the country saying yes or no to their politicians which has made Switzerland so successful that its Parliament refers to the Swiss people as sovereign – and abides by their decision.

For more information on how this genuinely democratic system works, and for its potential for New Zealanders to control our politicians – check out our 100 Days movement at www.100days.co.nz – and support us. We will succeed if each of us reaches out to and tells family, colleagues, neighbours, friends, so that we become a tipping point to effectively challenge our autocratic government – and to reclaim this country.

This means each of us – for every individual counts.

© Amy Brooke,  Convenor. See my book: The 100 Days – Claiming back New Zealand – what has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians.

Available from Howling at the Moon Publishing; http://www.copypress.co.nz –or at http://www.wheelers.co.nz/books/9780987657381-100-days-the-claiming-back-new-zealand/?page or able to be ordered through any good bookshop.

John Key – the Flag? The TPPA? Safeguarding New Zealand?

The passing of a great man, whose principled stand puts too many of our own politicians and judiciary to shame, should help make us think more deeply about what has happened to this country. If it doesn’t bring home to us how far our political world has slid down the slippery slope of a basically corrupt form of liberalism, then nothing will. But if we care, then to stand by and do nothing make us answerable…makes us part of the problem, doesn’t it?

Don’t miss the tribute paid here to Antonin Scalia, RIP, by the brilliant and brave Australian commentator Bill Muehlenberg  http://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/14/antonin-scalia-rip/

They say that comparisons are odious. But sometimes they’re very useful. And when saluting this US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a man of enormous integrity when it came to confronting the symptoms of a civilisation in crisis – including the steadily continuing breakdown of the essential structures of civil society – the contrast is considerable. What when we honour such individuals of intellectual and moral stature – but compare them to those claiming the right to overrule New Zealanders, subverting democratic principles, because they are politicians?

We all know our cohesion as a country is under attack, not only by radicalised activists; by compromised iwi on the make; and by savants fous. The latter include superficially learned – but essentially blinkered lawyers/politicians/ judges et ilk, pontificating that the Treaty of Waitangi is “a living document”…when it manifestly isn’t. It can only legitimately be regarded as saying what it did – no more, and no less – both to those who wrote it, and those who agreed to abide by it.

Scalia had no patience with activist judges who have created “rights” not in the American Constitution – like a right to abortion – by interpreting the Constitution as a “living document” that adapts to changing values. His dismissal of the “living document” propaganda can be seen at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/justice-scalia-on-the-record .  We have had (and have,) judges similarly inclined in this country, and the damage they have caused is not inconsiderable.

We’re also now losing our country to the richest buyers, both from within New Zealand – and by the increasing gap between the very rich and the majority modestly getting by – just. Ally this to the unprecedented push by super-wealthy foreign individuals and companies, and to the fact that we have become a bolthole for those wishing to escape the growing unrest throughout Europe and elsewhere, or even those wishing to evade closer scrutiny. The latter are very possibly among those gradually acquiring our most beautiful scenic assets. Moreover, those seeking to immigrate into this country include those from blatantly anti-Western, undemocratic countries with appalling records in relation to the oppression, imprisonment, torture and execution of their own citizens – while our government make no public protest whatever. Never.

That tough times are ahead is disputed by few. How tough is the question. Again, few would argue with Labour MP Damien O’Connor’s contention that “No matter how John Key spins the TPPA, the deal offers almost nothing for the dairy industry now. Farmers need facts, not fiction, and the banks that are now starting to knock on doors need to be reminded about the billions of dollars taken from farmers in profits over the last few years.

“The only people who can afford to buy into the dairy industry at current land prices, and current payouts, are foreign investors who have access to cheap capital. The threat of major increases in foreign control of our dairy industry is very real, under the current tough conditions. The National Government has a responsibility to ensure New Zealand retains control over our largest and most successful export sector and it may now require some honest advice and analysis from every stakeholder.”

Moreover, what John Key does not include in his typical spin about the advantages of the TPPA, as he blithely dismisses protests coming from all around the country, is that the fact that we apparently will have no defence at all against the ongoing sell-out of our productive farms, our land, our scenic resources – and our housing stock. The media should not be allowing Key to evade questions to which the public want urgent answers. But the love affair between the mainstream media and our ponytail-pulling Prime Minister shows little sign of cooling.

It takes very little research to be aware of what Justice Scalia would have made of the continual intrusion of the State into the affairs of New Zealanders, including the misuse of language such as “racist”, “homophobic”, “xenophobic” as a tool to bully and intimidate those with very real concerns. Questions are not being answered about what is happening to the country. Scalia’s belief in the constitutional principle of free speech is in direct opposition to language now being wielded here as a politically correct weapon.

If a democratic government’s first duty is the protection of the realm, which includes prioritising its responsibility to first take care of the needs, rights and responsibilities of its own citizens, then this National government is performing disgracefully. Its parliamentarians, reduced by a sycophantic obedience to the all controlling principle of “party politics”, are now held tightly in the velvet-gloved fist of our Prime Minister. Nobody doubts who controls the caucus…

 New Zealanders are now no better, in fact arguably worse off even than under the previous Labour Party government. It, too, was controlled by a highly ambitious party leader apparently subscribing to an ideology opposed to safeguarding the democratic independence of this country. The push for One World Government opposes the sovereignty of a democratic country. New Zealand’s embracing of the much-vaunted TPPA, its negotiations conducted in secret by John Key’s hand-picked ministers, has provided no genuine accountability to the New Zealand public that it is genuinely committed to putting New Zealanders first.

The constant very real downgrading of our country’s defence capabilities under the Clark régime –( I use the word régime intentionally) – which included her disgraceful, costly attack on our air force combat capability, has now been even bettered. How many New Zealanders even know that one of John Key’s tight inner circle, Gerry Brownlee, obviously by no means acting on his own initiative, has now, incredibly and disgracefully, committed New Zealanders to a military alliance with Communist China?

Yes, with Communist China – this increasingly aggressive, war-like country intentionally increasing its naval fleet, while moving down the Pacific, controversially reclaiming disputed land, building deepwater ports, and commandeering as much in the way of productive land and resources as it can. Our over-compliant government, by no means in ignorance of the steps Australia is now belatedly taking to control a Chinese takeover of its natural resources, its best productive farmland, resources, and housing, shows no inclination to become aware of the very real threat represented by this Asian giant’s perceivedly paranoid governing party.

The question we should be asking is: why not? Why is John Key determinedly avoiding taking any steps to observe the first principle of safeguarding the rights of New Zealanders? As he is known for his evasive and glib comments on issues that trouble the country (you’ll recall, for example, Key’s long-stated, unacceptable denial of any housing crisis in Auckland), many New Zealanders are concerned, puzzled and uneasy about where we are heading.

Why, for example, is it important for this Prime Minister to disparage our country’s links with our democratic past, which embraces our constitutional safeguards? Why does he refer disparagingly to our “colonial” forefathers (while deferring to today’s highly sanitised version of a pre-colonial, often murderous Maori culture)? What agenda underpins his push to get rid of our flag, with its important symbolism?

What would Judge Scalia have thought of John Key’s enthusiastic endorsement of the glamorising of aggressive gay activism, already determinedly intruding into our schools and preying on our vulnerable children? The notion of Antonin Scalia dancing on the stage with Gays at their Big Day Out is impossible to contemplate. Would this statesman-like individual of considerable intellect have been supportive of the over-hasty political intrigue (supported by our always “liberal”, good-Kiwi-joker-Prime-Minister) advancing the biological contradiction of gay “marriage” in this country?

Ostensibly supported by polls which certainly did not reflect the view of majority New Zealanders, this nonsensical concept has placed NZers in the forefront of countries accelerating the weakening of family life – in essence, an attack on one of the most important structures underpinning any stable society. What can we say about the polls supposedly in favour, when TV3 front-man John Campbell found out, to his apparent consternation, that his own station’s poll presented the unanticipated result of approximately 73% of the country in fact repudiating, not supporting, the heavily politicised push for this radical move? While individuals’ right to chose, even to chose wrongly, must be respected, the lack of tolerance shown to those concerned about the power of ill-thought legislation has been marked.

So what is happening? There’s more – including a virtual abortion-on-demand situation where a supervisory panel seems to think its job is to facilitate the killing of unborn children in this country, funded, of course, by our successive governments (i.e. by reluctant taxpayers). There is far too little challenge offered to a strident feminist minority’s blatant claim that ” a woman has a right to her own body” when we know very well that is not a woman’s “own body” , but that of another tiny, growing human being – undisputedly her own baby son or daughter – being killed and removed from her own body.

A culture of political activism inevitably involves a culture of deception, even of dedicated political lying, as parties connive in suppressing the conscience of their individual members to the will of the party. The latter in fact is basically the will of its leader, supported by a tight few and politicized management hierarchy intent on holding on to power and advantage. The result is not only a profoundly undemocratic one, it makes a mockery of the notion of government accountability. It will also apparently be accelerated by the important TPPA agreement, in relation to which we as New Zealanders were not consulted…apparently regarded as superfluous.

All fine by you? Daddy Government knows best? All okay – that the democratic process is apparently the last thing that genuinely counts any more in this country?

Isn’t it time for a new political configuration, so that New Zealanders really count, when it comes to decision-making? We certainly count for very little now, with party politics ensuring today’s do-as you-are-told control of the country by whatever oligarchy currently runs the country.

Do we really believe in democracy, in government of the people, by the people and for the people? If so, why are we not insisting that our government take instructions from us to act in the best interests of New Zealanders?

Or are we content to have reached the stage where with minimal – if in fact any – genuine consultation with the public – our political class basically treats us as serfs, our democratic freedoms more and more encroached upon?

There is something we can all do. We can support this movement – The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand www.100days.co.nz – to insist upon all government legislation being stopped in its tracks for 100 days, while New Zealanders themselves have the chance to scrutinise it – and to say yes, or no – our decision to be as binding as the one the Swiss people themselves insisted their government observe.

This apolitical movement makes no distinction between major or minor parties. It does not require allegiance to any political party, or that individuals should abandon any allegiance they may have. It simply offers the chance to all New Zealanders to insist that our governments are made to come clean about what they are up to. It would put a stop to the late night sittings of Parliament when the public is distracted by national holidays, a favourite time for the party in power to ram through legislation inflicted upon the country.

 Check out our www.100days.co.nz – and join us to help New Zealanders claim back this country from the politburo which has hijacked it…

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 © Amy Brooke, convenor, author of The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand – What has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians. See BOOKs – www.amybrooke.co.nz

Please pass this Post on to others – and remember that every donation, no matter how small, helps to pay for the advertising we need to let others know. Thank you 🙂

The flag referendum farce – for sheer gall, John Key?

 We should hand it to John Key? No, not our own flag, with its highly relevant cross watching over our skies, far more relevant to our history, traditions and intellectual heritage than a piece of plant. We all know how strangely keen our Prime Minister has been to get rid of our flag, with all its important symbols, its link to so many of our fine colonial antecedents, and to our democratic and Christian traditions.

So keen, that with areas of the economy in desperate need of funding; people removed from hospital waiting lists; our iconic Starship Children’s Hospital having to beg for funds from the community; our apparent inability to afford cancer drugs available in England and Australia even…with the job losses multiplying and shops closing down all over the country – nothing, apparently, has been so important to Key as getting rid of this flag…irrespective of the initial-only, $25 million cost.

Why? He has in almost unseemly fashion shown himself more than willing to accept any other design – provided it’s not our flag, which has historically meant so much to New Zealanders worldwide. And, ironically, the flag which finally “won” the recent referendum to go up against our own flag, wasn’t even the one which got most votes! It was only because of the distortions of preferential voting that the flag which was placed second eventually beat the one the majority voted for.

In a way, this says it all. We have now become a country where the views of the majority have become sidelined. Our political circuses and strong interest groups with the ear of government indulge in inappropriate deal-making – as with the now all-powerful iwi corporations – inappropriately called tribes – which do not represent majority part-Maori, but scramble for self-advantage. Inevitably, this works against the interests of all other New Zealanders.

Too close to this National Party government, they are being allowed to bypass the courts to deal with (in the view of informed commentators) a highly problematic Minister of Treaty Negotiations, when advancing multi-million dollar “compensation” claims. They are also successfully contriving for themselves utterly undemocratic prior “rights” in direct contradiction to the written, and well understood, provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi. That virtual control of the water in this country should be given to these now immensely wealthy corporations of part-Maori descent – often highly attenuated – is not only incredible – but democratically utterly illegitimate. That hasn’t stopped the Key government from proposing this.

So what is happening? And why what some see as the sell-out of our country, both to internal and external, powerful and monied vested interests? Somehow, John Key’s personal dogged determination to get rid of our New Zealand flag symbolises to many something essentially ominous. Are they right?

There’s certainly little doubt that Key is pulling all stops out to try to influence a future flag change when the recent second choice (defeating the one most voted for) will get put up – with its banal, sombre imagery (not yet more black inflicted on NZers!) – against our real flag. His comments on National Radio when the results were announced were pretty much sort of thing we’ve come to expect from a PM who doesn’t seem to know the meaning of inappropriate – or presumptuous. Reportedly, he commented to the effect that when the flag changes, “everyone will wonder what the fuss was about”.

Well, we all know who started to fuss. And not only is his comment arguably inappropriate and presumptuous…it is tarred with a degree of arrogance, twinned with evasiveness, with which we have become very familiar. And the result has been unfortunate. As New Zealanders are almost certain to vote to retain a much-loved flag, his claim has aroused a degree of suspicion about whether or not the result would be able to be rigged. And interestingly enough, some with no interest at all in a flag change voted in this initial referendum simply to make sure that the flag perceived as most politically loaded and divisive, the Koru design, did not get chosen.

The estimated 43% of the electorate who enrolled and voted is not a mandate for change. Moreover, some deliberately voted informally to send a protest message. And that the winning flag attracted only 574, 364 votes does not justify the Prime Minister’s rah-rah attitude.

The downsides to the silver fern choice are obvious. Some countries perceive it as a feather. And not only do several others also have the silver fern, used by our sporting teams, but more relevantly – or ominously – it has a Chinese Communist association. Silver Fern Farms, the now Chinese/New Zealand Milk company, with its new majority shareholder, Shanghai Maling, has not only also acquired the land that sits under the Silver Fern’s plants, but is chasing 50 percent of New Zealand’s biggest meat company. As a start. And it is not irrelevant that under the terms of the TTPA, according to some reports, New Zealanders will be unable to prevent the sell-out of even more of our farmland, housing stock and strategic assets to foreign buyers.

Moreover, the Chinese-owned buyer of Canterbury dairy farms is reporting it got a huge bargain, at $41 million less than they were worth. Milk New Zealand Holdings owned by wealthy Chinese businessman Zhaobai Jiang, through his company Shanghai Pengxin, bought 15 dairy farms around Ashburton in its takeover of Synlait Farms. That’s apparently just fine by the Key-dominated government.

Let’s face it. Given that our ill-spoken, egoistical PM, who has in many respects been a national embarrassment, thinks that because he himself wants a new flag, everybody else should be made to pay the probably hundreds of millions of dollars eventually such a move would cost – (so that he can have his own way) – there’s one potential choice which it might have been relevant to see put up against our real flag.

So that we can remember him, after he has chosen his next career move, and remember how he presided over the selling out of our country…that our farmland was gradually bought up, hectare by hectare by foreign buyers; that our children could no longer look forward to one day being able to afford their own houses; that multimillionaires from around the world – with this Prime Minister’s connivance – snapped up our best scenic assets as boltholes, so that New Zealanders became second-rate citizens in our own country – it might have been arguably relevant to have had a potential flag design of an outsize black key, centred on a gold background, representing what, in the eyes of many, New Zealand is being sold out for – and the politician who has allowed this to happen.

And from Australia, where they are predicting a landslide win by New Zealanders voting to retain our own proud flag – rather than a new mere branding image – see the December 12 piece on https://www.facebook.com/acmnorepublic/ arguing that the process has been shoddy indeed.

A fair dinkum comment.

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© Amy Brooke – Convenor, http://www.100days. co.nz – author of The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians –  available on Kindle or through any good bookstore.