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