The politics of corruption? Why are we paying the Clintons?

It was Bill and Hillary Clinton whose highly unsavoury carryings-on caused political commentator Christopher Hitchens to call his book Nobody Left to Lie To  – exposing what was happening behind-the-scenes during Bill Clinton’s deservedly controversial presidency.  For a reality check on what the Clintons got up to, this book is a must.   It is possibly the one book by this prolific writer that his brilliant brother, Peter, who wrote the highly readable and prescient book, The Abolition of Britain, and the equally important The Abolition of Liberty, would have endorsed.  Peter’s thinking was very much opposed to his brother’s, and his warnings have been prophetic. The ideologically-opposed Christopher, who started out as a Democrat, was ultimately shocked and repelled by the activities of this constantly media-lauded pair.

So what possible excuse, given that it is obvious by now that we are a well and truly cash-strapped country, does our government have for forcing New Zealanders to support the highly dubious Clinton Foundation?  https://www.investors.com/politics/clinton-foundation-scandal/ 

 Even Australia has put a stop to payments to this controversial, FBI-investigated Foundation. And given the fact that New Zealand is now cash-strapped,  living on borrowed money, why is our Labour coalition continuing such handouts? New Zealanders are waking up to the fact that we have been basically conned about how well National was balancing the books, while culpably under-funding even basic hospital and mental health services to a shocking extent – and failing to prioritise urgent housing needs – while, at the same time, continuing to pour hundreds of millions of our dollars accumulatively into the coffers of self-serving iwi prepared to even falsify their claims with a view to the main chance.  

Why was Hillary Clinton even in New Zealand recently? My local paper, The Nelson Mail, going from bad to worse without much apparent effort, now regularly regurgitates Stuff reports so embarrassingly biased and under-informed that that they are almost incredible. Hence its usual euphoria about the wonderful Hillary, and the baby-talk between her and our pregnant Prime Minister. One should hand it to our mainstream media, constantly increasing their reputation for awful print, TV and broadcasting journalism, and exceeding themselves in relation to this scandal-ridden woman…while losing no opportunity to demonise Trump. 

Lindsay Perigo’s comments highlight the inexcusable difference between the basically fawning treatment Hillary Clinton was given, and what should have been asked…”really tough questions—about Benghazi, Uraniumgate, deleted e-mails, the illegal private server, rigging the campaign against Bernie, paying for the dirty dossier against Trump, accepting squillions of dollars from Muslim countries that are yoooooge on women’s rights, etc. ” Lindsay long warned of the new era of brain-dead media.  We could have also asked Hillary if her record of proven lying (among other porkies, she claimed she was named after Edmund Hillary…) ever causes her any embarrassment.

But, essentially why are our own pockets still being raided to donate to any pet project of the Clintons?

From an informed commentator, we have it that “It was John Key who started sending money to the Clinton Foundation – $7 million, without any approval from anyone. He departed the day it was announced! But Bill English sent another ‘donation’ of $5 million not long afterwards.”
Why? http://alcp.org.nz/node/278  But this was by no means the only time Key acted without the country’s approval, with English, seemingly, his over-loyal yes-man.

It all continues. Recently from Jordan Williams, Executive Director, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, to another correspondent:

“Earlier today we went public with documents obtained under the Official Information Act showing the new Government is giving more taxpayer money to a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation – the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

“We can reveal that the Clinton Initiative will receive $5.5 million in 2018/19, on top of the $8 million taxpayers forked out under the previous Government.

“Remember: the Clinton Foundation is currently under investigation by the FBI over the way it obtained funding from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State. It was during this period that the previous Government started funding it.

“This evening, Secretary Clinton is rubbing shoulders with political and business leaders in Auckland. We have called on the new Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, to politely wait until Ms Clinton leaves the country, then announce an end to funding for the Clinton Health Access Initiative.”

Labour is now going down a well-worn path if it continues with this inexcusable give-away of public money as, at the same time, it ramps up the equally inexcusable prioritising of racist preferences for those claiming to be part-Maori (no actual proof needed – and no valid reason supplied). This, while knee-capping the country by refusing to allow any more oil and gas exploration, and planning to tax New Zealanders even further in relation to the now conclusively disproved, man-made global warning beat-up…so passionately still promoted by scientists whose funding has depended on this.

Stupid is as stupid does – but it is we New Zealanders paying the price for this basic incompetence,  if not political corruption, in the constant kow-towing to wealthy vested-interest groups

The level of possible corruption  within the National Party is now being brought home to New Zealanders, together with the fact that a former  Chinese Communist with a very dubious political record is now a National Party MP  (!)  Granted a high List placing (why?) Jian Yang, was reportedly of interest to the SIS.  Strangely enough, he did not mention in his CV the decade he spent in the People’s liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College, or the Luoyang Language Institute – run by China’s equivalent of the United State’s National Security Agency which conducts spying activities for China. 

The majority of National’s campaign funding before the last election was given by wealthy Communist Chinese backers (no doubt the same who understandably pressured the seemingly only too willing John Key to remove the Union Jack from our flag). And questions still need to be asked about why highly productive farmland was handed over to Communist-Chinese backed companies which are now reportedly finding it convenient for military-related use.  Why in fact were the Crayfar farms not available to be bought in New Zealand except as a job lot – putting them out of the reach of New Zealand buyers – when they were advertised for sale individually overseas?

Some will be shocked – but others will not find it at all surprising that a “Blue Dragon”-called group of Chinese supporters now exists within the National Party to prioritise Chinese interests. Plus ça change?  Not our political parties’ naivety. Jacinda Arden is also sure we have no Russian spies in New Zealand, a claim so embarrassing that a well-respected analyst regards it as turning us into a laughing-stock.

 Our predominately liberal-left New Zealand media have a uncanny ability to unfailingly lionise individuals like the more than the controversial Clintons and Barack Obama, the most un-American President of all, controversially enabling Iran to work towards an eventual nuclear capacity, while not requiring any concessions with regard to its oppressive treatment of women, and those fighting for an end to its ongoing persecutions of dissidents. Iran is perceived as even now engaging in clandestine efforts in clear contradiction to the Iran nuclear deal.  Repugnantly, the pro-abortion Barack Obama even, like the Clintons, favours the horrific, partial birth abortions so shocking more and more Americans. Then we have our own media-loved politicians like the agenda-driven Helen Clark – intent on her One World Government ideology, who so successfully set out to destroy the combat wing of our air force…her excuse reported to be the ridiculous and provedly wrong claim that, “We live in an incredibly benign environment.”

We can count on our own, now historically and thoroughly ill-educated mainstream media commentators to think how wonderful they all are. But away from the heady circles of these gossipy and credulous fellow travellers, it would be a very naive New Zealander who isn’t now well aware some of today’s prominent world leaders are committed activists, with little apparent intention of putting the interests of their country before their own agenda.

However, they attract no much-needed scrutiny from our commentariat.  Canada’s embarrassingly juvenile and bullying Trudeau; France’s controversial Macron, who supports the open-door policy towards migrants from The Middle East and Africa pursued by Angela Merkel  in Germany –  the same  Angela Merkel whose folly has caused the map of Europe to be ominously coloured with the star and crescent moon of a resurgent and militant Islam. Closer to home, Australia’s  beleaguered Turnbull’s costly,  ill-thought policies have taken from Australia any claim to be still called The Lucky Country.

And New Zealand? The stupid country?   However, the growing gap between what really is the silent majority,  increasingly concerned about the sell-out of our country, and the “useful idiots” of the mainstream media is growing. And what is really bad news for politicians, in relation to the all-time low in respect in which they are held by the country, is the  very timely sign of people’s willingness to support claiming this country back from those who have abused the principles of democratic representation.  

See –  www.100days.co.nz and Facebook-100daystoDemocracy.

For a much needed corrective to the our mainstream media’s incompetent analysis of what is happening,  in relation to issues which will, and do, impinge on this small county, it’s well worth spending the time to read the brilliant David Flint’s Aux Bien Pensants...written by the co-author of Give Us back Our Country, who acknowledges our prior initiative The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand…– outlined in my book of this title – as his prior inspiration.

https://www.spectator.com.au/2018/05/aux-bien-pensants-22/ 

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

 

 

 

Anzac Day

Anzac Day

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

You, worn out, sleeping only fitfully,
a trench bed of muddy clay and water,
soaked to the skin, propped up on sandbags –
pyjamas, man? You’ve worn the same clothes
for weeks, filthy, smelling, depressed
by dysentery, a fortnight’s rain on and off
and on…thinking before dawn of home…

longing in this surrealistic world
of dirt and damp and hunger, the horror
of good mates hanging over barbed wire,
a head joined only to a helmet…

to see them all once more, and say
the things you wished you’d said before.

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

You wanted once so much to live!

But now you say – For them – what’s meant to be…
for them and for theirs – things undone – forgive?
I fought for things enduring. Oh, remember me!

Amy Brooke

Is Air New Zealand’s cost-cutting compromising its safety record?

One thing passengers don’t want to hear is that their flight has been delayed because of engineering problems.

It seems to be happening more frequently. Why? And is Air New Zealand massaging its safety record? Incidents which cause alarm to passengers are not being reported in the media.

Why so many engineering problems? Could the reason be partly due to the fact that, according to one long-time New Zealand engineer, the shifts were changed? Whereas three engineers worked eight-hour shifts each, now two engineers are rostered to work 12 hour shifts instead. As an engineer involved comments, the last three hours are when the mistakes happen. Understandably, given the extraordinary concentration needed by maintenance staff to keep these planes safe in the air.

It is almost incredible that Air New Zealand’s aeronautical engineers are being required to work 12 hour shifts when public safety is an issue – let alone the health and stress consequences for individuals.  An article in The CAA September/October 2002 journal points out there is probably no way to avoid the need for maintenance to be done at night. While arguing that this does not mean that fatigue levels can’t be managed, it concedes that almost all night-shift workers suffer from a lack of quality sleep.

Moreover “Australian research has shown that moderate sleep deprivation of the kind experienced by shift workers can produce effects very similar to those produced by alcohol.” Noting that “a relatively limited number of unsafe acts such as work-arounds, memory lapses and situational awareness errors typically occur in the context of problems such as unclear or poor procedures, lack of equipment or spares, communication breakdowns, time pressure and fatigue, the article concludes: “Unfortunately, advances in aviation technology have not necessarily matched by improvements in the way we organise the work of the people who maintain aircraft.”

Plus ça change? How much credibility should we give to the claim a twelve hour shift roster was given the support of 84% of hangar staff after a 12 month trial? What about the high degree of probability that qualified staff, anxious not to lose their jobs, would feel the necessity to agree to a situation which is overly-taxing, and clearly not optimum?

Feedback from readers in this area would be interesting. Some are reporting that on one particular busy route, a trouble-free flight is now an exception. Even allowing for possible exaggeration, these incidents are certainly regularly occurring.   And being required to remain penned on a plane sitting on the hot tarmac of Auckland airport for an extra hour and more in these high summer temperatures (a recent reported occurrence) is not only a worry for passengers who have no idea what the problem is – but adds to the stress of all who are suffering the effects of the heat while the plane is stationary.

When asked some time back why Air New Zealand causes alarm to passengers by telling them that their plane has an engineering problem, the answer came that the airline was required to do so, in the interests of freedom of information. However, when then asked why the passengers weren’t told exactly what the problem was  – the answer was that Air New Zealand isn’t required to do so.

Why not – in the interests of keeping passengers fully informed? And why aren’t passengers given the choice of leaving a plane which they have been told has engineering problems – to choose another plane? Not to allow passengers the choice of disembarking, if there are problems with the plane, seems entirely unreasonable.

Moreover, a number of incidents which should cause concern are not being reported in the media… such as a plane required to turn back to Auckland some little while ago – at the slowest possible speed manageable without stalling…

We need better answers from Air New Zealand – whose prices have also headed back up to about what they were before Jetstar came on the scene. As frequently noted,  it is usually more affordable for New Zealanders to fly to Australia than within our own country.  Grab-A-Seat offers have limited value only.  And we can rely on Air New Zealand’s prices shooting up around the times of special public holidays like the Christmas period, when families hope to visit one anther again. For many it is simply unaffordable.

Our pilots may be among the best in the world, our engineers, too. But isn’t it time we required more accountability from the usual suspects… from management, whose  first concern – as with so many of today’s corporations  – seems to be to increase returns to shareholders  – and to  CEOs?

 

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

It helps a lot to SHARE or LIKE us through the social media network! https://www.facebook.com/100daystodemocracy?ref=br_tf

Help us fight for the 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement!

We need you to help get our message further out by donating. See www.100days.co.nz-  Thank you!

 

 

 

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

It helps a lot to SHARE or LIKE us through the social media network! https://www.facebook.com/100daystodemocracy?ref=br_tf

Help us fight for the 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement!

We need you to help get our message further out by donating. See www.100days.co.nz-  Thank you!

The fraudulent treaty merry-go-round. The politicians’ disgraceful copouts.

Ignorant and aggressive comments have come through to our 100 Days movement from correspondents who think they are well-informed on treaty and related issues – but in fact have simply been thoroughly brainwashed. 

From genuinely knowledgeable researchers, including the indefatigable Bruce Moon, have come relevant analyses of much of the quite blatant lies that have been told about our coexistence in this country. 

Sir William Gallagher, too, is right. (See below.) And shame on so many who know very well what has been happening, but have kept their heads down and lacked the moral courage to speak out. All credit to individuals who have, and who get too often vilified by those with their snouts in the over-flowing trough of racist government hand-outs…

 http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/99247542/sir-william-gallagher-claims-treaty-of-waitangi-coverup

Unfortunately, the mainstream media, largely lazy and under-informed, do little except regurgitate most of the fanciful, distortionary and quite untrue pronouncements from radical activists who profit hugely from the treaty industry. The fact that they are helped by very well-funded lawyers with their eye more to the size of their fees than the truth of these issues is highly relevant. So is the intellectual laziness of our politicians, particularly the thoroughly wet “liberal” former lawyers more concerned with the euphoric welcome they get on the highly politicised maraes – than with genuinely serving the interests of this country.

Unfortunately it is not been to the benefit of genuinely struggling Maori, deliberately sidelined from the lucrative treaty settlements. However, some at least, having had inculcated into them a sense of misplaced and ongoing grievance by the treaty industry vanguard, have become useful recruits to the growing push towards racial separatism in this country. We have reached the stage where a South African immigrant recently wrote to me that having encountered separatism and its evils in his home country, he has been taken aback and dismayed to find this happening here.

I recall my father telling of his teaching days on the East Coast of the North Island at the time, where he spearheaded a  movement to send abroad cans of pork and puha, a much loved delicacy, to the Maori troops at the time. The cordial relations between Maori and non-Maori ensured the success of this fine initiative.  It is now is a sad fact that the deliberate fomenting of interracial tensions in this country has been done very largely for financial gain, very much encouraged by well-placed and largely well-paid radical activists, often with a very minor degree of Maori genetic inheritance, who quickly learned to trade off this for financial advantage – and media centre-staging. Ego problems have been only too obvious…

A treasured CD I have, a copy of which I sent at the time of its launch to a Maori friend, contains wonderful recordings of  the Maori Battalion (28) singing songs during World War II. As the New Zealand Herald commented in 2006, “These unique recordings were taken ‘live’ on location in the sands of Egypt, during gunfire in North Africa, and between green hills in Southern Italy by the Middle East Recording Unit of New Zealand’s National Broadcasting Service. Often with little or no rehearsal and sometimes under appalling conditions, the recordings captured the raw exuberance and vigour of the performances.”

This stunning record of what was known as The Singing Battalion is the pride of so many New Zealanders, both of part-Maori and Euro-New Zealanders descended from the colonists – and respecting the men and women of all cultures who did so much to reach out across what could have been racial divides of their times. So successful were that intermarriage was taken for granted to the extent that there are no longer any full-blooded Maori in this country.

However, from another correspondent comes the following:

WELL THIS ONE CERTAINLY FLEW IN UNDER THE RADAR

“I see that the coalition agreement negotiated by Winston First with Labour contains a commitment to establish a Museum at Waitangi honouring the men of WW2’s  28 (Maori) Battalion.

”That’s nice … but what about similar for 18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment; 19 Battalion and Armoured Regiment; 21 Battalion, 22 Battalion; 23 Battalion; 24 Battalion; 25 Battalion, 26 Battalion;  Div Arty et al.    Those soldiers too served with honour and distinction.   What’s so special about 28 (Maori) Battalion?

”But hold on … the long established and internationally recognised National Army Museum at Waiouru (Te Mata Toa) honours all those who fought regardless of race.   Why this then? … especially from a Party that campaigned on doing away with the Maori seats because they were race based and divisive (and folded on their commitment at the first opportunity).

”Humbug and double humbug.   NZF couldn’t lie straight in bed.    A good spend of taxpayer money – NOT.”

And from yet another commentator. “And regardless of the above, such a museum properly belongs in the excellent Army museum at Waiouru – where of course the Maori Battalion and all its brothers are proudly celebrated already.”

The ongoing pick-pocketing of New Zealanders’ hard earned incomes to continue prioritising costly payouts –  at the importuning of radical activists – is a political disgrace.  With the Maori economy now worth $50 billion – yes billion – any initiative set up to benefit part-Maori only should be paid by those who Maori activists who  can well afford to carry the costs themselves. To continue raiding the pockets of New Zealanders at large is simply inexcusable. This hasn’t stopped National, Labour, and now disgracefully, New Zealand First, from going further down the same path.

Noticeable on our 100 Days page have been the ignorant comments of those who have swallowed a highly sanitised version of our co-history. The contribution below from the highly respected historian, Nelson-based Bruce Moon, highlights the difference between the downright lies that are being peddled – and the truth of events in which the media shows little interest. 

Our hope is that at least some of those wedded to the reinventing of our joint history will take a reality check when reading the below – and the correcting of blatant untruths…Don’t miss the added notes! 

 As below – the downright fabrications.

“The distortion of the history of New Zealand by racists for political and financial advantage continues at a relentless pace.  This has never been more so than in the events preceding a “so-called “Land Wars Day” on 28th October 2017.  

“On 21st February 1864, in a brilliant and humane action at dawn, designed to minimise loss of life on both sides, troops under General Sir Duncan Cameron occupied Rangiaowhia, breadbasket of the Waikato rebels on which their dominant pa at Paterangi depended.  With this setback, it was not long before the rebellion was quelled. 

“Furious at being so outwitted, the rebels soon concocted the odious lie that a church full of women and children had been burned to the ground and other atrocities committed.  Nurtured as “oral history” by the Ngati Apakura tribe, this travesty of the truth remains active to this day, being related at length by one Vincent O’Malley in the “NZ Listener” for 25th February 2017.  By contrast, with access to accounts of actual observers, one a Maori lad at the time, there is my own description of the real events in the March 2017 issue of New Zealand Voice”. 

“Others, notably Dame Susan Devoy[i] and historian Jock Phillips[ii] have likewise repeated the lie of the church-burning.

“A party of students from Otorohanga College having visited the site and been fed the false tales of the locals, a petition for a “Land Wars Day” was organised by teacher Mariana Papa and presented to Parliament by students Leah Bell and Waimarama Anderson.  Parliament failed to investigate the validity of this petition which was accepted without question and so 28th October 2017 became “Land Wars Day”.

“On this occasion appeared a report, authored by Martin Johnston, senior reporter of the NZ Herald,[iii] who had evidently interviewed student Bell, now at university, teacher Papa and historian O’Malley.  While it makes no direct accusation of any church-burning it is riddled with gross falsehoods about many aspects of New Zealand’s history including the Rangiaowhia affray. 

“It is despicable that school students should have been made the vehicle for the spreading of such false tales but it is doubly despicable because the truth was known in Otorohanga College nearly two years ago.  Principal Timoti Harris had received from me an accurate account of events at Rangiaowhia[iv], enclosed with my letter to him of 3rd December 2015.  I wrote again on 11th December 2015 and having no reply, again on 3rd January and 27th March 2016.  His belated reply subsequently was received after he had retired as school principal.

“I wrote also to the Te Awamutu RSA who responded with total silence and the Library whose reply was short but informative. Tony Membery, Principal of Te Awamutu College, briefly acknowledged my second letter to him, concluding: “I believe this will put an end to our correspondence on this matter.”  Other enquiries elicited that at Tony Membery’s school, discussion of Rangiaowhia was avoided, though a tale was current there that what was an old rebel’s white blanket had metamorphosed into a white flag of surrender!

“And so the tales continue to fester as so clearly shown by journalist Johnston’s report. Thus: 

No. 1: ”College students’ shock at the burning to death of residents of a Waikato village is at the heart of the annual day to remember the New Zealand Wars.”

IA: The burning to death of seven rebels was their own fault.  They fired first.

1B: There were no “New Zealand Wars”.  There were tribal rebellions.

No. 2: “the invasion of Rangiaowhia”

2: Rangiaowhia was British sovereign territory.  Any action to recover it from rebels was entirely legitimate and it is a travesty to call it an “invasion”.

No. 3: “the largely undefended village of Rangiaowhia”.

3: As events proved, there was a substantial number of armed rebels in the village and caches of arms were discovered in whares after the occupation.

No. 4: “[It] was attacked by British forces on February 21, 1864”.

4: Shots were only returned to rebel fire.  Rebels attacked first.

No. 5: “Buildings were burned with people inside them.”

5A: Only one building was burned with people inside.  This was the whare, fashioned as a gunpit, from which old fool Hoani Papita/John the Baptist, shot and killed Sergeant McHale at point blank range when called on to surrender.  In the subsequent exchange, the hut made of dry vegetation probably caught alight from the discharge of rebels’ or troops’ firearms.  Nobody could be sure.

No. 6: ”The Great War for New Zealand, Waikato 1800-2000”

6A: This reported title of O’Malley’s book is grossly misleading.  There were inter-tribal wars before Europeans arrived.  These intensified after 1807 when the tribes acquired guns, with Maori victims killed and eaten on a colossal scale.  This was New Zealand’s “Great War”.

6B: “1800-2000” is a gross exaggeration.  Tribal rebellions started with the Kawiti/Heke rebellion in Northland, 1843-5; mostly a sequence of skirmishes until their attack on Kororareka/Russell which was suppressed largely by Maori forces loyal to the Crown.  Other rebellions spanned the period 1859-1880.  What does O’Malley date of 2000 imply? (Note: The Taranaki Museum made a similar allusion in its falsehood-filled exhibition in 2011-3.)

No. 7: “Rangiaowhia was a refuge for women, children and the elderly.”

7: The amount of firing by rebels when Cameron’s force was discovered refutes the lie that in any sense it was a “refuge”. In fact,  before any action commenced, Captain Wilson of the cavalry gave women and children an opportunity to evacuate which they took.  None were killed or wounded except two daughters of missionary murderer Kereopa, who remained in the burning whare.  The village was actively engaged in growing food supplies for the rebels and as such a legitimate objective for government forces.

No. 8: O’Malley: “I argue in my book that the evidence that people were deliberately torched to death is clear and unambiguous.”

8: There is not a skerrick of genuine evidence for this false claim which should demolish for ever O’Malley’s reputation as a credible historian.

No. 9: Bell: “the British forces broke the rules of engagement. … the grief was still very real”

9: Given the lies fed to poor Leah, this is so but in truth the troops acted with much restraint, particularly towards women and children, in an action which, but for the recklessness of one old fool rebel chief, would have been almost bloodless.  The grief might be real but responsibility for it lies squarely with those outwitted and furious rebels 150 years ago.  That is their legacy to their people.

No.10: “The wars were fought in Marlborough, … .”

10: No “wars” but rebellions; only one incident in Marlborough, the Wairau massacre of 1843 when a posse of Nelson settlers greatly underestimated the fighting strength of Ngati Toa with whom they were in dispute, with many butchered in consequence.

No. 11: “It has been estimated that more than 3000 people died, but O’Malley believes the toll, although hard to calculate accurately, was probably higher.”

11: Cowan’s careful figures for deaths are: troops, loyal Maoris and civilians:745; rebels:2154; total 2899.[v]  Some commentators consider that he over-estimated rebel deaths.  There are other compilations but none aggregating a total of more than 3000.  Enough said?

No. 12: O’Malley: “World War I, considered the country’s ‘greatest bloodbath’.”

12: Why would he ignore the elephant in the room: the intertribal “Musket Wars of 1807-37 when by a careful estimate, 35,400 Maoris were killed by other Maoris with almost unimaginable brutality in 602 battles – about one third of the total population?[vi]

No.13: O’Malley again; “generations of Maori were condemned to landlessness and poverty.”

13:  In the years before 1840, registered in the Sydney land office were 179 sales of land in the South Island alone by willing Maori sellers[vii], many of whom had travelled personally to Sydney to secure their sales, with reserves set aside for tribal occupants according to rank from 73 acres for chiefs, rather less for free men but zero for slaves, the latter indeed in the days of “tikanga” or Maori practice “condemned to landlessness and poverty”. 

Moreover, in accordance with Hobson’s proclamation immediately on his arrival, all such sales were reduced to a maximum of 2560 acres and many voided entirely. 

Of those who retained land, in 1848 some Kaiapoi Ngai Tahu were running just two sheep and their lambs on 1000 acres yet one year later a chief wrote to complain that his reserve was not big enough.  In 1896 the tribe was cultivating a mere 857.5 of their 45,000-odd acres with one stock unit per seven acres.  In 1872, missionary Stack had reported that “Though very fond of milk and butter, there is not one [Maori] household that provides itself with these things, everyone shirks the trouble.”[viii]

 Moreover, for released landless slaves, work was available in road-building, other public works and as farm labourers.  Except in times of depression which affected all, settler and Maori alike, none who were willing to work needed to be in poverty.  It was not O’Malley’s “landlessness” of some Maoris “condemned to … poverty” but their own work-shy behaviour. 

Given the foregoing litany attributable to O’Malley, should his speculations be taken seriously?   

More appropriate are the words of late military chaplain Frank Glen: “Cameron, with commendable humanitarianism, wanted to avoid a set piece military confrontation because the likely casualties … would be severe on both sides. …  Under the cover of darkness… with the minimal loss of life, he captured Rangiaohai [sic].”[ix]

Bruce Moon – Nelson 

13th November 2017

[1]    S. Devoy, “Bay of Plenty Times”, Guest Editorial, 4th February 2017

[1]    J.O.C. Phillips, “Mediaworks,” 2nd April 2016

[1]    M. Johnson, Senior Journalist, “NZ Herald”, 28th October 2017

[1]    B. Moon, for an augmented account, see “NZ Voice”, March 2017, pp.40ff.

[1]    J. Cowan, “The New Zealand Wars”, 1922-3

[1]    J. Robinson, “When two cultures meet, the New Zealand experience, ISBN 1-872970-31-1, 2012, p.64

[1]    J. Jackson, detailed list of transactions provided, 26th June 2017

[1]    A. Everton, “Nga Tahu’s Tangled Web”, Free Radical, Nos.26-8, August-December 1997

[1]          F. Glen, “Australians at War in New Zealand”, ISBN 987-1-87742-739-8. 2011, p.146

[i]       S. Devoy, “Bay of Plenty Times”, Guest Editorial, 4th February 2017

[ii]      J.O.C. Phillips, “Mediaworks,” 2nd April 2016

[iii]     M. Johnson, Senior Journalist, “NZ Herald”, 28th October 2017

[iv]    B. Moon, for an augmented account, see “NZ Voice”, March 2017, pp.40ff.

[v]     J. Cowan, “The New Zealand Wars”, 1922-3

[vi]    J. Robinson, “When two cultures meet, the New Zealand experience, ISBN 1-872970-31-1, 2012, p.64

[vii]   J. Jackson, detailed list of transactions provided, 26th June 2017

[viii]  A. Everton, “Nga Tahu’s Tangled Web”, Free Radical, Nos.26-8, August-December 1997

[ix]    F. Glen, “Australians at War in New Zealand”, ISBN 987-1-87742-739-8. 2011, p.146

 

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

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Wasn’t it a pledge, Winston? And why scientists are fed up.

Before the election, Winston, you were reported as saying that if New Zealand First was part of the next government, you would let the public decide whether to abolish the Maori seats (and cut the number of MPs in Parliament to 100.)  According to Radio NZ and other authoritative sources, you said Maori seats send a terrible message (they do) and vowed to hold a mid-term binding referendum on the two matters.  “The fact is that Maori don’t need to be told that they are not good enough to be equal, or that somehow they should be handicapped, or that somehow they should be pigeonholed…When did you ever hear Buck Shelford say “Don’t tackle me too hard, I’m a Maori…. or all those women playing in our netball team or any other team … When have you ever heard them say, “Don’t hit me too hard, I’m a Maori? Maori don’t need the Maori seats. They don’t need any more tokenism.” 

Quite true. And what did you do about this, Winston? All those probably thousands of New Zealanders who voted for you because they are fed up with the thoroughly racist policies more and more incrementally introduced under the recent National governments, in particular, feel thoroughly let down. Is it true that you did not even bother to raise this matter with Labour or National? We’d like to know, because as one correspondent sees it, the people that supported New Zealand First’s policies feel utterly left down. And that’s putting it very politely.  He was far more direct… 

Removing the utterly unnecessary, race-based Maori seats (given that there are now 29 part-Maori MPs in total, spread across our political parties) has been rightly viewed as a first very important first step to take against the race-based preferences now invading every aspect of government policy-making. These are more and more being inappropriately forced on children in schools, on students throughout our universities – and in all other institutions. There are now very well-paid government apparatchiks whose jobs centre on constantly forcing on us – and extending – these racist policies – including a quite fake “Maori” language – which bears probably about 10% relationship to the genuine Maori language. For example, how do you say, “The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment” in Maori? We need to start contesting this farcical situation. 

But meantime, we want to know what happened. It is true that you looked thoroughly exhausted at the time of the election. Some are wondering if you are well. But you have had enough energy to now bring up the issue of “dirty politics,” filing charges against the Opposition leader Bill English and three of his lieutenants in relation to the apparently deliberate leaking of information about the mistakes in your superannuation payments which were turned into an election scandal. Mistakes are just that. However, few would doubt that what should have been a privacy issue within a government department was used in an attempt to discredit you and reduce the percentage of New Zealand First’s votes.

It very probably succeeded, as earlier polling showed much higher support. But whether New Zealand First will now survive at the next election – given the abandoning of your own bottom line undertaking to put the issue of the Maori seats to the public – is another matter.  The fact that your promise has apparently not been followed up will probably be the last straw for many who felt that you at least stood against the corruption of the political scene and its throwaway, pre-election undertakings. Public cynicism, if not disgust at the way politicians let themselves and the country down has probably never been greater. Time for NZers to claim back this country, indeed. We should have learned by now that nothing will ever change, otherwise!  

The media groupies whom the public similarly have little time for have, however, raised an interesting question. Given that you had been intending to file charges against members of the National Party hierarchy, did you intend at any stage to throw the support of New Zealand First behind National – or was all the drawn-out bargaining simply to get the best deal from the Labour Coalition? This may have been a clever tactic – but when was the issue of what we all understood to be your non-negotiable promise – the abolition of the Maori seats – actually raised?  If not, why not? 

What so many concerned New Zealanders have now realised is that the National government hasn’t given a hoot about the growing push towards actual separatism, very much encouraged by the long tenure of former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson, viewed as highly sympathetic to smoothing the way for iwi and hapu making the usual, never-ending financial claims against all other New Zealanders. Moreover, letters to this Minister, and indeed the former Prime Minister  (both are long-time close friends) either get ignored or hit enough of a nerve,  in the case of Finlayson, to receive a tart reply. This is not good enough, given that the utterly fraudulent issue of the supposedly “partnership” between Maori and the Crown is increasingly pushed at us all. 

The importance of the undertaking you apparently reneged on is because abolishing the anachronistic Maori seats would have removed a focal point for that radical activism which seeks constant media attention – and financial gain. There are no longer any full-blooded Maori – many of those making most of the fuss are predominately European  – or Euro-Asian –  and how much of their constant centre-staging is due to an inordinate sense of self-importance  –or simply greed… for the gravy train to provide more –  certainly raises the issue of some sort of moral/spiritual crisis  among individuals who make a part of their ethnic inheritance the most important thing in their lives – and pass on the same dead-end thinking to their children. 

All this posturing is completely removed from the lives of most New Zealanders of part-Maori descent. Doctors, dentists, nurses, teachers, lawyers pilots, builders, farmers, fishermen, plumbers, contractors, chefs, truck-drivers…individuals with part-Maori ancestry – right across the professions and trades –  are living fulfilling and worthwhile lives, without  the slightest interest in obsessively focusing on  a part-Maori inheritance.  Many based or travelling overseas are glad to be away from it all. Far more worthwhile issues centre on their families, their jobs, and the commitment of the majority of most NZers to serve this country – while faithful to the democratic principles of respect for all individuals – regardless of colour, gender, race or creed. 

However, the bureaucratic push to centre-stage the issues on which radically activist part-Maori are basing their agenda is spreading its tentacles throughout every possible area of our life in this country. It’s coming from a very determined minority pushing hard to influence policy-making within government, local councils and wherever it can cause damage to our social cohesion.  

If we follow the allocation of money we find particularly egregious and damaging examples –  apart from the clamour for the universities and schools to now show “cultural sensitivity” – that is to prove that they regard suposed part Maori concerns as needing to be prioritised above all others! 

For example , we all know that government attitudes to science funding and innovation have been more than parsimonious – they have long been below the level New Zealanders should be able to expect to help advance our country’s interests, and our contribution to today’s world of discovery. Science funding for this reason has become hotly contested – and scientists have been turned into quasi-businessmen, forced to skew research interests to submit funding applications that follow strictly PC and racist lines.  Where the universities once valued and acknowledged the importance of pure research,  and paid their scientists accordingly, now the latter largely have to generate their own funding through business interests – as well as satisfying radicalised iwi. Their demands have brought about the situation whereby their race-based interests come first.  

 However, imposing racist criteria on funding applications is a disgrace. Few would disagree with the notion that scientific research should apply to part-Maori no more – nor any less – than to any other population group in New Zealand. 

This explicit or implicit requirement is found right across areas of government grants.  Vision Matauranga is a very good example, or rather, a very bad example of the recent National government’s politicisation of these and capitulation to these areas. The Endeavour Foundation of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), distributing a total of $58 million, has a mission statement – “To support research science or technology or related activities with the potential to positively transfer New Zealand’s economic performance and sustainability and integrity of our environment to help strengthen our society (meaning?) and give effect to Vision Matauranga polices.  

The latter is spelt out in a jargon-ridden, 52 page, pompous doorstopper which not only prioritises supposed Maori interests but what are supposedly “authentic Maori voices”- whatever these are. On the face of it, “authentic” apparently means the views of those who wrote this tedious document.  What is simply inexcusable is now requiring ALL applications for research-funding from the MBIE to consider Vision Matauranga nonsense. Previously, apparently one was able to states that one’s research didn’t have such relevance. Now, chillingly, a scientist must” provide evidence if he/she thinks that Vision now Matauranga isn’t relevant!   E.g.” If you think Vision Mātauranga is not relevant to your research, you should test this assumption with independent advisors with relevant strategic Vision Mātauranga experience. You will need to provide evidence to explain why you consider Vision Mātauranga is not applicable.” 

As one scientist notes, the twisted logic of this requirement is so outrageous that it almost sounds as if it could be challenged legally. Given the threat to his or her job or position, what scientist  is going to have the courage to do so?  And this is just what whoever drew up this outrageous demand relies upon. We are now living in a country where so many, trying to survive in a highly competitive workplace feel it is too risky to speak up. We now have reached a valid comparison with the former USSR – where, as the Russian poet Yevtushenko told us, to simply speak the truth had become an act of courage. 

There are numerous examples now of this shockingly divisive move to push separatist and racist  policies on this country. Minister Chris Finlayson, for example, should answer to the public for getting it very wrong in relation to the foreshore and seabed legislation. Opening yet another can of worms, the National government has allowed “customary  title” and “customary rights” to be contested by iwi, either in a new high court process –  or through direct negotiations with the Crown. Yet we have already seen how much damage has been done where iwi, in other areas, have been able to avoid due court process to deal with apparently partisan  Crown negotiators. Well-based evidence from reputable researchers has been simply ignored by this past National government – in  favour of virtually rubber-stamping  various dubious claims which should have been put to far more rigorous investigations. 

To establish customary title, this apparently naive government assured the public that very few claims would be relevant – that iwi would need to meet a number of tests, but that few would be able to meet the criteria for seeking customary title as they would have to demonstrate uninterrupted occupancy of the area claimed.

Both John Key and Finlayson claimed that very few iwi would be able to meet this criteria – so very few claims would be relevant. Were they just naïve – or were we misled? What has happened, of course, is what most of the country thought would happen. These pseudo-tribes have now laid massive claims for all of the foreshore and seabed – right around the coast of New Zealand. Even worse, it has been estimated that mounting even a single objection to each claim “could cost the public some $60,000 in fees – to say nothing of any costs involved in having objections prepared.” And inexcusably (given that the Maori economy is now worth $50 billion, reportedly “each Maori claimant is being offered thousands of dollars to prepare and file a claim…rightly regarded as only grossly inappropriate and utterly unfair.” 

It is not the first time that iwi claims against all other New Zealanders have been compulsorily funded by the public.  This ongoing process has been well and truly supported by this National government – one reason why so many New Zealanders have been glad to see it forced into Opposition – even in the face of considerable misgivings about various Labour-Coalition policies. 

It is in the light of these flagrant examples of what can well be regarded as cultural bullying that so many regard Winston Peters as having let us all down with his failure to keep his word.

 

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

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Open Letter to Winston – Jacinda is way out of line

Dear Winston –Please don’t shift your ground on a promise you made – and yes – it wasn’t an If…or a Maybe. It was an unequivocal undertaking. So many have trusted you. That’s important. So, as you know, is your integrity. So is public perception.  To now reportedly hint that it would be fair enough to back off your pledge to abolish the divisive Maori seats in Parliament,  because the Maori Party failed to win any, this recent election, is imply not good enough. You will be well aware that as long as the provision for the Maori seats exist, in law, they can be contested again, in a coming election.

This is an open letter to tell you how dismayed, even betrayed, so many thousands of New Zealanders will now feel if you shift your stance on your pledge to call for a referendum on at last removing these anachronistic seats in parliament. You know they are racist.  You gave your pledge as a bottom line. And as far as so many of us are  concerned, you were  actually promising what was long recommended, so that the country can at last say – We are one – or at least strive for equality for all, under the law.

Remember the democratic principle so very conveniently sidelined in recent years – as the white-anting of our New Zealand society has undermined our foundations?  This was the founding concept of modern democracy – pledging fundamental and equal rights to all people in law, regardless of colour, race, gender, or creed.  Any whittling away at this fundamental principle of a genuine democracy diminishes us all.

Recent vote-buying governments, persuaded by now very wealthy and powerful iwi, have backed away from keeping their word – as National did, to its shame. This breaking of a social contract, a pledge given to voters by a party leader, was not only regarded as an act of betrayal. It also lessened even further the respect in which politicians would like to think they are held. Equally damagingly, it takes away from so many the hope that New Zealanders try to hold fast to – of a country in which they once more count, a stable, undivided, peaceful society, respecting the values of those who fought to make this a better country.

 But we’re going backwards – not forwards. And retention of the outdated Maori seats, giving special advantages to those with even the very smallest part-Maori, genetic inheritance (Why?) is contributing to a growing push now towards promoting anything touching on Maori as inherently superior. Again – Why? The whitewashing of the realities of pre-European settlement country, of never-ending internecine tribal wars, of the barbarities of a ruling priestly and warrior class inflicting the cruelties of slavery, barbaric practises and the horrors of cannibalism, are no reason for regarding it as desirable that throughout the country, local government and statutory boards should be forced to kowtow to the supposedly superior insights provided by any individuals with even a sixteenth or  a thirty-second genetic inheritance from  the past.

You will be aware that the Auckland Council is seeking a legislative change to make an elected Maori councillor role compulsory. Incredible!  Even though Auckland councillors themselves have voted 10 to five against introducing a Maori ward. As one commentator has noted, the council’s attitude now equates to (with deeply Orwellian logic…)We can’t trust the majority of the public to vote for what we want – even though we’ve relied on them voting for us – so we therefore will subvert the democratic process…”

All around the country, the opposition to forcing local bodies and government liaison committees to grant special voting rights to unelected individuals on the basis of a part-Maori inheritance has been overwhelmingly rejected, as you know. Yet not for a moment has this past National government taken any notice of the wishes of the majority.

New Zealanders are not fools, and we now have a total contradiction of democratic values and freedoms by an overbearing government, pressured by the now immensely wealthy iwi (the Maori economy now is estimated at about $50 billion dollars. Most of this has been successfully withheld by the rich tribal corporations, with their tax-free status – (Why?)  – from an underclass of their own people in desperate need.

Removing the Maori seats in Parliament is a hugely important move – the very first step towards dismantling the new apartheid we have created – by which some are now more equal than others. And because of this and the vested interest these extraordinarily wealthy iwi have in promoting their own position and influence, and obtaining even more economic advantage for themselves, you will be under considerable pressure to walk away from that promise you gave the public.

You will also be under pressure because the present Labour Leader, Jacinda Ardern, is trying to manipulate you into giving in to her ill-thought determination to ignore the wishes of the country and have her own way  – with regard to preserving the seats.

Her attitude is inexcusable, given that able Members of Parliament of part- Maori descent are now to be found across the spectrum of political parties in Parliament. Labour itself has part-Maori members, National others. There are reportedly now 29 part-Maori MPs in total – strong proof that there is no discrimination against individuals of Maori descent winning  a place  in the House. 

Your own credentials as leader of New Zealand First and of part-Maori descent, long recognising the damage being inflicted on the country by the retention of Maori-only seats, are considerably superior to those of Miss Ardern. She is compromising herself intellectually by refusing to acknowledge that, given a part Maori genetic inheritance is no barrier to becoming a member of Parliament, there is no possible excuse for maintaining the Maori seats. This is doubly so, given that, to date the interests of this racist party have been to wrest even more provisions from the majority of New Zealanders.

Jacinda needs to drop her born-to-rule assumption, and acknowledge that it is not up to her to decide whether or not the Maori seats should be abolished. We’ve had to put up this sort of high-handed attitude from our MPs for too long. The decision is one for the people of New Zealand – not a handful of her Labour Party insiders. It’s time for her to take that on board, not arrogantly refuse to acknowledge that the decision does not belong to a politically-motivated group completely out of touch with most New Zealanders’ objections to this racist provision.

I sincerely hope you yourself have been misreported. Because if you renege on your commitment to put the abolishing of the Maori seats to the public at large in a binding referendum, then so many New Zealanders who have put their trust in you on this issue will loathe you. They are fed up with politicians promising one thing and doing another. Moreover, your stated intention to do this will certainly have meant a rise in the number of voters looking to your party.

The feeling of anger at the maintaining of special privileges, special scholarships, special treatment given in nearly all our institutions to those with even a claimed smidgen of Maori genetic inheritance, is now widespread  – with good reason.

What you were reported as saying in the National Business Review at the time will have given heart to so many. I quote:  “The fact is, Maori don’t need to be told they are not good enough to be equal, or that somehow they should be handicapped, that somehow they should be pigeon-holed,” Mr Peters said.

New Zealanders have taken this to mean that this referendum will be put to the whole country. To confine it to Maori alone – as you then seemed to subsequently be considering, would hardly be logical. It would be like asking the fox to vote for the abolition of hens.

Furthermore, any move to confine the referendum to those claiming to be Maori could be challenged on legal grounds.

There is no longer any definition of Maori. The former logical definition was done away with in the mid-70s by those with their eyes to the main chance – i.e. their ability to  include others  in their number who were, and are, predominantly European (or of other descent) as “Maori”  – in order to show a greater numerical strength  – aware of the political pressure they could then wield.

But it is obviously legally possible to challenge the definition of “Maori” – when those with less than half a Maori genetic inheritance claim to be basically Maori although they obviously aren’t – by any scientific assessment.

Canadian Judge Thomas R Berger travelled around Alaska in the late 1980s to interview the people, Indians, and Inuit, who lived in the villages. When the ANCSA (Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act) was reviewed, the cut-off point for declaring oneself of aboriginal (native) descent was a generous one. One could still be considered aboriginal (Inuit or Indian) if one had a quarter (25%) genetic inheritance. Below this, one was regarded as being predominantly not aboriginal, and therefore unable to claim this.  So why are we allowing this farcical situation in New Zealand?

Many of the most vociferous claimants to disadvantage – (or, contrariwise, of superior insight) because of a purported Maori genetic inheritance – are in fact not even one-quarter Maori. Yet we have allowed them to queue up for special benefits, courtesy of the taxpayer – which is basically a rort. Moreover, the Anglican Church has been silly enough – as have others -to say that one is Maori – and is entitled to be regarded as Maori, simply- if one “feels Maori”.

This is a nonsense. If I were deranged I could possibly regard myself as an Arab – or an Australian aborigine…or even an animal of some sort. But any “feeling” I might have would be at odds with the reality that I’m none of these. .

If you change your mind, and kowtow to the present Labour leader’s claim that she will not allow the discussion in relation to your undertaking to put the future of the Maori seats to the public at large to decide (and the country had no doubt that you meant a referendum binding on all) to be part of any discussion concerning a possible coalition, then she is not only being very foolish – but you would be honour bound to reject her terms. Nor should any referendum be confined confined to Maori only. Such a proposal would face formidable legal challenges, given that there is no longer any actual definition of Maori – all of whom are now part-Maori only.

Furthermore – it is also not accurate to say that such a referendum would be relevant only to part-Maori.  All other New Zealanders have been required to contribute financially  to supporting the Maori seats – and so, too,  the Maori Party…a prime example of the cost to the country at large of this ongoing movement to give one sector of the community special rights – at the expense of the majority.

I’m sure you personally are well aware that prioritising identity politics has been destructive and divisive to New Zealand. The only ones to benefit from it are those well and truly milking the system – at the expense of us all.

I’m afraid, Winston, that if you do not want your integrity to be doubted by those who have long supported you – because of your much-respected commitment to a unified country, it will not do for you for you to renege upon, or equivocate about, your original promise to mount a binding referendum – to be put to all the country.

Many New Zealanders have consistently supported your stated aims and defended you against your detractors. They will not want to continue to do so, if you break your word. And you would deservedly lose the respect in which many hold you for your long stand against the inherent corruption of race-based politics. We must trust you on this.

Kind regards

Amy

 

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

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A disengaged government? Arrogant, biased media?

That our supposed democracy is not in a healthy state is common knowledge. A country whose young families have no hope of saving enough for a future house, and where so many can’t even afford basic accommodation expenses,  is in a very bad way. Undeniably, it is recent incompetent governments, both former Labour and today’s National Parties, which have brought about this inexcusable state of affairs. In many crucial areas we have become a nation in decline.

 A new study commissioned by Victoria University of Wellington’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) has found that New Zealanders have little trust in government, and that trust has decreased over the last three years.” Not surprisingly, to those increasingly fed up with a biased, exclusionary media, lazy in analysis, but condescending to readers and viewers, both TV and the print media tied with the government in attracting a low 8% of respect by those polled – compared to 56% for doctors, the highest-polling profession.

No wonder, with a basically new phenomenon emerging. This is the sheer arrogance and creeping nastiness which has become entrenched in much of the media. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the inexcusably snide comments from both editorial writers – (hiding behind their cloak of anonymity) – and trendy, but ignorant and condescending columnists sniping at the individual whose courage, initiative and foresight has contributed so much to the people of Britain claiming back their country.

It’s fair to maintain that Nigel Farage is a great man. He has even been called a great British hero. At those exceptional moments in history, when the tide of events has turned because of the courage, intelligence and vision of one individual,  a traditional King James Bible verse (an excerpt of John 4:23.) has been used to recognise and pay tribute to the one who has stood up to be counted  – “Cometh the hour, cometh the man”.

The disparaging comments of liberal-left media, contrasting with the justified tributes paid to Farage, are a good indication of how out of touch are our supercilious commentariat – as well as the government – with so-called ordinary New Zealanders – what we can well call real New Zealanders. His extraordinary achievement when heading UKIP led to the referendum the ruling class in Britain would far rather have avoided. But in it, the majority of the people showed they repudiated the never-ending diktats of the EU  leading to the loss of sovereignty and independent decision-making in their own country. Farage has said, quite accurately, that his aim was for his countrymen to get their own country back – to no longer have the edicts of Brussels interfering right across the socio-political, economic spectrum. And now he wants his own life back.

But oh, the baying that then ensured, with an NBR columnist basically calling Farage a quitter because he has now stood aside – because he has not been so hooked on power that he wanted to stay on as leader of a political movement which triumphed over the political establishment.  Why the unnecessary, unpleasant disparaging of a man with integrity?  The democratic Romans would have revered him. They were rightly so suspicious of the individual who clings onto power (and the damage he or she then causes – we only have to look at a Helen Clark and a John Key to see this in action) that, in the days of the republic, they would not allow their consuls (two at a time, each with the ability to veto the actions of the other) to rule for more than year.

Both then had to step down and were sent to the provinces, partly to remove them from the temptations of power in Rome. This NBR columnist (which, to give the journal its due, mounts an excellent forum for discussion and debate) had probably never heard of Cincinnatus – the great general historically respected for just this. Given supreme power for six months, to win a desperately needed battle, Cincinnatus then laid aside his command and went back to his farm – to reclaim his own life.  No historical parallels there?  But right on cue came Gwynne Dyer, too, sniping away in a column that sounded as if he was a Bremain poor loser:  “For comic relief Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party also quit, saying that he wanted his life back. “Comic relief? This sniping from the sidelines is now a feature of today’s condescending media.|

Given the lack of objective analysis now being offered by too many New Zealand commentators on the issues of the day, where  throwaway, lightweight, even malicious comments are now  common, I’m increasingly reminded of poor Charlotte Dawson’s only too accurate statement that “New Zealand is small and nasty and vindictive.” This certainly doesn’t apply to New Zealanders as a whole, whose generosity of spirit is well known. However, the constant snideness from media commentators certainly contributes to the reason the media are listed very low on New Zealanders’ lists of occupations they admire.

NZ Initiative’s Oliver Hartwich has accurately identified the fact that it was the political union first and foremost the British people voted against.  He pointed out that “Neither is Britain the most Euroskeptic country in the EU, by a long shot. ‘The problem,’ says Mr Hartwich, “is that Brussels doesn’t seem to have understood what just happened.

” ‘It isn’t clear Brussels has taken the right lesson from this. Their immediate response was to ask for deeper integration into Europe and proceed with the project. But that was exactly the kind of attitude that was rejected by Britain,” Mr Hartwich pointed out. He added that ‘The EU is going to need massive reform, and most of its countries actually want the trade and market access, not strictly the political union. So the question as to what might happen to the bloc in the future is far from clear.”

Moreover, some of Britain’s richest people were prepared to possibly lose a great deal of their personal fortunes in voting for Brexit – (including construction equipment magnate Anthony Bamford, inventor James Dyson, and Peter Hargreaves, cofounder of Hargreaves-Lansdown, the UK’s largest retail broker) – in contrast to Richard Branson, Li Ka-shing and George Soros urging the county to vote Bremain.

However, what distinguished so much of the almost vindictive reaction of our media to the Brexit victory is typified by a Nelson Mail editorial, with its writer conveniently un-named. In an example of today’s trashy commentaries, with its over-the top language, and marked lack of objectivity, its writer had ranted: “The case for Brexit is being stoked by racism and sinister ‘little Britainism’ ” Really, sinister? That the people of Britain turned against a governing establishment that was not listening to their very real concerns about what was happening to the country is hardly sinister.

There is no doubt that the British concern at the lack of proper border controls and ill-thought, immigration permissiveness causing damage to the infrastructure of the country, is perfectly reasonable and well-justified. The  Brexit vote was far from being basically a question of racism or xenophobia, as other media writers promptly bayed. Oh, those useful words wielded like bludgeons by the Right-Thinking… xenophobia – racism – homophobia – all too often deliberately designed to inhibit genuine debate, and wielded with an unsustainable certainty that those scattering them through their writing are providing superior analysis  – even when they are demonstrably wrong.

 This same Nelson Mail editorial writer’s claim before the event, “that Britain has become hysterical about the issue of possible exit from the European Union” was also a silly exaggeration.  It has been on the whole a younger generation, ignorant of the issues underpinning the damaging power–grab of the European Union, which has complained the loudest. The only potentially “sinister” issue arises from the failure of some of these Remain supporters who appear to have no idea about how democracy works, and have demanded their own way, calling for another referendum in the hope of having it. This farcical stance has become unhealthy in the way they have turned against a far more informed older generation which looks back on two world wars where German ambition led to a continent in turmoil, the needless deaths of scores of millions of innocent people, and Britain and the Commonwealth, for a major part of this war, making a stand alone against the troublemaker of Europe.

And predictably, a rather muddled Der Spiegel editorial lamented the triumph of democracy, instanced by the Brexit vote, in the predictably autocratic German fashion of the country whose hierarchy has too often assumed a born -to-rule authority. Its editorialist lamented that “Brexit sheds light on the problems created when direct democracy is abused,” Really?  He argues that “In our complex 21st century world, we have no choice but to delegate authority for decision-making to our elected representatives.”

Fortunately, he couldn’t be more wrong, and this horse has well and truly bolted, dragging with it the theorising that governments know best, and that politicians have special insights which justify their ignoring the concerns and the voices of the majority. He no doubt found it very convenient to overlook the fact that Switzerland is the most successful and direct of all democracies – because the Swiss fought for that 100 Day check on any legislation its parliamentarians passed – which our own movement is backing here. 

It is ironic, then that once again Germany as a powerhouse is in league with the France she invaded in our parents’ lifetimes, and now dominating the EU, while at the same time Angela Merkel’s unbalanced and ill-judged thinking is causing extraordinary damage to German society. There must now  be many of the older generation wondering why so many British and Commonwealth soldiers died defending France, given what is today seen, ironically, as its  unholy alliance with the country for whose freedom so many British and Commonwealth soldiers die.

But back to the word sinister, so beloved by the same Nelson mail editorialist, in full swing, pontificating “Brexit, however is as much about politics and economics, and the politics of it are sinister. European xenophobia and anti-refugee hysteria is again in full swing and nowhere more than in Britain.” And “Brexit won’t make Britain great again, or free it from the dead hand of Brussels.”

Another editorial, no doubt from the same writer, given its familiar-sounding tones, where the writer had to face to the fact that Brexit won, began:  “The shockwaves from Brexit will shake the world for a long time. Few of the effects will be good. Some of the symbolism is rank, even repulsive… It’s ‘Independence Day’ for Britain declares the English demagogue Nigel Farage. His vision of Britain is of a reactionary white enclave of frightened xenophobes. Farage crows at the prospect: most of the world weeps.”

On he rants.  And this un-identified editorialist has obviously interviewed most of the world, judging by the strength of his conviction?

Such basic drivel has no place in a reputable newspaper. But the Nelson Mail is not alone in its increasingly biased rejection of viewpoints with which its under-educated staff grapple (judging by the poor standard of grammar and syntax, let alone, apparently, any genuine understanding of the issues involved, and the history underpinning them). But it’s interesting that he/she rails about Brexit being (partly) underpinned by racism and working class “conservatism”.

There we have a definite agenda – that of today’s neo-liberal permissiveness attacking the thoughtful conservatism which once protected family values,  and stabilised our society. “Conservatism” has become a target in the eyes of the ignorant, especially those too young to have any real understanding of what is at stake. In their eyes, those who do, an older generation (who have learnt through experience the lessons of the history that younger New Zealanders saw deliberately removed from the schools’ curricula) should be barred from voting. It’s interesting that the views of the “working class” are now distasteful to the we-know-best… the self-appointed elite.

A quick overview of other dailies had more lightweight columnists, as in Tracy Watkins’s Political Week, stating on no evidence whatsoever that the Brexit vote is bad news for us down here. Inevitably, she lumps “far Right leader Nigel Farage” as, in reality one of the anti-politicians “no different to any of their rivals…in it for the power, which is all any politician is in it for.”’

So that’s it, is it? We’ve been told – let’s hope we know our place. The fact that Farage has indeed thankfully resigned from Brexit, laying down that power in order to get his own life back seems to have escaped her also.  In his own words: “During the referendum campaign I said I want my country back. What I’m saying today is I want my life back, and it begins now,” he said.

 While our official commentators fell over themselves with tedious, uninformed accusations of racism and xenophobia, pseudo-experts in full cry, the commonsense of the British, closer by far to the Islamification of Germany, Sweden, and other EU countries, contrasts with Angela Merkel’s folly. Her too long uncontrolled immigration policy has allowed many hundreds of thousands of Muslim people into European countries with no infrastructure to support them  – people whose preponderance of angry young men with no jobs, no income and an ingrained antagonism to the West has caused a dramatic rise in the crime rates and the under-reported raping of young Western girls http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7557/germany-rape-migrants-crisis  Isis terrorists boast  they are well represented in these numbers. To chastise the British, calling them xenophobic for their reluctance to have this scenario repeated, is ridiculous.

This sort of sheer arrogance is combined with the anachronism that newspapers still allow their editorial writers to hide behind their nameless pronouncements, which they absurdly claim is “the voice of the newspaper”. In fact, an editorial  is only the voice of one individual reporter or feature writer bestowing his or her own, all too often biased and under-informed opinion on the public –  one opinion only – one very possibly quite at odds with the opinions held by other writing staff.

It is this sort of unbalanced writing which is causing newspapers to lose subscriptions and readership. Moreover, it is a deliberately contrived imbalance of power where the writer of the editorial claims the right to remain anonymous, while today’s correspondents are required to give full details of their names, addresses, etc.  It’s not so long ago that letter writers themselves could use pseudonyms, often for very good reasons.  And there is no doubt that requiring the public to sign letters has inhibited debate – often because correspondents writing in good faith find it distasteful and objectionable to then be personally attacked by those unable to engage in courteous debate…especially when they have a ”liberal’ axe to grind, and specialise in the racist, homophobic, etc. name-calling.

Moreover, that some sections of the media, including Radio New Zealand, are no longer allowing comments on their websites, in spite of the fact they have admitted that some of these are valuable, is also a bad democratic outcome. The National Business Review, on the other hand, is valuable in providing the opportunity for public feedback, much-needed comment and debate, with or without a pseudonym.

Contrast this with the media power-play of those daily newspapers, which, (reasonably enough, for space requirements) set a 200 word limit on letters to the editor, but then insist on retaining their ”right” to interfere with what a correspondent has actually said  – even though it will appear over the latter’s name. Well-educated writers have strong reason to object to subliterate, semi-educated staff rewriting sections of a letter, then subsequently publishing it over the correspondent’s own name – thereby bringing him/her into possible disrepute in the eyes of an educated public.

The editorial “right” to alter and amend, or abridge a letter is uncalled for -unless it is abusive, actionable, or defamatory.  Provided a correspondent keeps to the requirement of 200 words (with none of the above) it’s time that the daily newspapers dropped such unreasonable demands. The imbalance of power is obvious.  The public’s best response is to no longer subscribe – and to make it known why. Unfortunately, in the print media, this entails no longer having access to the letters to the editor – often far more informed and better written than the editorials, and the writing of the regular columnists..

What has happened with Brexit has been described as a sea change in British politics, a move away from representative democracy to something more direct. It was the working class regions, northern England, the East Midlands, the Black Country and the Welsh valleys identical with the Chartist movement’s stronghold’s years ago which once more rebelled against what was seen as establishment corruption.  But which of our opinionated columnists have even heard of the Chartist movement?

 As the Spectator’s irrepressible Taki has pointed out, in illustrating how “the technocratic dictatorship of Brussels has already enslaved my country (Greece) – “Freedom is freedom and there are no other words to replace it.” That the ordinary man and woman voted for Brexit, supporting Nigel Farage, the man who stood to be counted again the tide of the times, he likens to the example of the legendary Leonidas. But which of our uneducated graduates with degrees in economics, in business, in media studies, in law and so on have even heard of the hero who held the pass at Thermopylae –  the story of famous 300 against the Persian Xerxes and his army of over a million – until a traitor showed the Persians a back way in.

Taki rightly dismisses ”the Greek chorus of women” (and not just women) “announcing doom and gloom” and invoking “populism” as a Bad Thing – when really they are talking about democracy.   Some of them may also be distorting the truth. Going on the record of the media’s inventiveness and fabrications,  we have no real evidence that Andrea Leadsom, a former candidate for the Conservative party leadership, actually did say that Theresa May should not become prime minister because she has no children. This report was strongly rejected, with Leadsom herself saying that she was repeatedly asked about her children, and made it clear that she did not want this to be a feature of the campaign…that she was in fact disgusted at the way this has been presented. No surprises here.

What has been a dismaying feature of women commentators for some time now is the use of crude language, deterioration in standards more marked than that of the men. Typical is Fran O’Sullivan’s invoking of “a pissing contest” between the Prime Minister and Reserve Bank Governor. Why the crudeness?  – when, with good reason, women were long respected because they set the standards of civilised behaviour and restraint in the use of language. The still-there, Rosemary McLeod, with a possible record of longevity among columnists,  has long employed an  off-putting, also basically crude use of language and sexist imagery, discussing women politicians’ legs, “something to flaunt”… a bitch-slapping…May was slagged for not using her uterus like a proper woman…boasting that her mating tackle had delivered offspring”.  This basically vulgar writing is distasteful to women who still do set store on standards.  Moreover, it is now these women commentators, more than  the men, who scatter around words like pissing, arse, boobs, tits, fu**ing – with no apparent thought of the example they are failing to set for the young – and the lack of respect felt for them by other women and the men  – except perhaps those of the same ilk.

If we have a big problem in this country in the form of a government now disengaged from the realities of life for so many New Zealanders, one moreover, now employing genuinely racist policies of Maori separatism and preference –  (another whole topic)  – we have an equally large problem in the print media, now habitually under-performing in areas of objectivity and analysis.

Accurate? Objective? Independent? Emeritus Professor David Flint, a member of the Order Of Australia, who has written widely on such matters as the media, international economic law and the constitution, including in his prophetic Twilight of the Elites, examines in his excellent book, Malice in Media Land, how campaigning journalists have become unelected and unaccountable participants in the political process, requisitioning the airwaves of public broadcasters as well as the columns of once great newspapers. He illustrates how we now have “an élite media, with certain honourable exceptions, not so much reporting the news as campaigning vigorously…at the same time as the standing of journalists among the general public could not be lower…While in individual instances this is of course unfair, it is quite true that the news media is regarded as a tainted institution…so much so that if it were any other institution, the media would be calling for it to be dismantled, or at least radically reformed with the mass resignation of the incumbents.”

David Flint’s own co-authored book, Give Us Back Our Country reflects the same wish of Australians at large that found fulfilment in Brexit’s victory. In it, he pays tribute to our own prior movement, as set out in the web link www.100days.co.nz and in my book The 100 Days – claiming back New Zealand… What has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians.

All over the world, people have learnt the lesson of hope which Brexit has given. It is time for New Zealanders too, to claim back our own country – from both our agenda-drive government -and from the unacceptable bias of much of the mass media.

© Amy Brooke

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.

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