What taxes? The National Party’s stunning hypocrisy – versus Labour’s learning curve?

How many New Zealanders are aware of one of the National Party’s most damaging impositions on the country  – that in these three years since the 2008 election, it has imposed, or increased, reportedly 15 taxes, without prior warning?

Bill English increased GST from 12.5% to 15%. Remember ? John Key promised this wouldn’t happen. Any surprises here?

So let’s look at this list  – while National tries its best distraction tactic – pointing the finger at the Opposition.

However, among the National Party’s legacy?

Taxes were raised on KiwiSaver

Charges were increased for Internal Affairs – Births, deaths & Marriages

Student loan repayments increased from 10% to 12 %. Overseas-based New  Zealanders are also being charged interest on their loans

The average fee for tertiary education has also increased.

Passport charges increased from $135.00 to $180.00

Civil Aviation Authority fees rose

Road user charges increased

National slapped on an additional 9 % fuel tax increase

What about the large, reportedly unnecessary ACC levy increase?

Prescription charges increased by 66%

New online company filing fees were imposed on businesses

Revising of the scope of Fringe Benefit Taxes

National tried to tax car parks and plainclothes police uniforms

A lowering of Working for Families abatement threshold and the abatement   rate – taking money out of the pockets of families.

Imposing an incredible $900 Family Court fee

Descending to squeeze even children’s earning, by imposing what many consider a contemptible tax on the small earnings of paper delivery boys and girls.

Yes, Labour’s over-confident proposals to impose taxes did not go down with the electorate – any more than Gareth Morgan’s ill-thought proposal to apparently punish people who own their own homes. On the basis that people who rent pay for renting, Morgan apparently thinks it would be a wonderful idea if people owning their houses should also pay rent. The arguably unjust, even bizarre idea that this multimillionaire has come up with, completely ignores the fact that the equivalent of paying rent by home-owners has been the many years of paying off a mortgage. And of course they already pay an additional rent in the form of local government rates on their housing and land. Morgan makes no acknowledgement of the fact that those renting properties make no contribution to rates.

Jacinda Ardern obviously still has a lot to learn – at least she seems to have taken this on board. Just as well. Her hint that Labour might not tax the family home – but could tax the land underneath it  – is also weasel territory. It overlooks the fact that this land is already taxed by the rates that local government demands – constantly upping them, and always above the rate of inflation.

Between the extortions of central and local government, New Zealanders have been having a very hard time – and this doesn’t even take into account the best of our farmland and scenic reserves now being snapped up, under National’s too comfortable accommodation with the mega-wealthy – including, worryingly, Communist Chinese – and being priced inevitably out of the reach of New Zealanders. We are losing our land – at the same time that we have been incrementally losing our freedoms,   and if there is any more money to be squeezed out of us, National will not hesitate to do so.  Already another fuel tax by National is mooted.

In the past  three years, since the 2008 election, what National has basically been doing is scraping the barrel. We already know that their boast of the surplus they have achieved has been based on squeezing tight every single important service they could get their hands on – the hospitals constantly ordered to return more to the government; mental health services in shocking disarray; youth help and drug rehabilitation under-funded – no tax too mean-minded not to be imposed. Yes, Labour is still an unknown risk  – but National’s avaricious grab for any possible tax, its utter arrogance and lack of consultation with the country. make it too undeserving and too big a risk to vote back in.

However, apparently the media never learn. A too–often soppy-sounding  Dompost columnist, who has apparently stayed close to the political scene for too long, has attacked Labour’s consideration of the capital gains tax… (but doesn’t mention any of National’s taxation impositions, during its recent three year term. ) She describes Labour’s  airing of a  possible capital gains tax  as “cavalier and uncaring about the uncertainty it created among people whose financial future was tied up in property.” What an extraordinary statement!  – given her failure to recognise that one of the reasons the capital gains tax has been so often kicked out of the arena is that most MPs own multiple properties – they themselves, while cavalier about inflicting taxes on others – are not quite so keen when it comes to their own pockets being raided.

It is not just as Tracey Watkins blandly reports,  that “a capital gains tax has always been fraught electorally because of the kiwi love affair with property.”  What about our MPs love affair with multiple properties?  And her what of her inability to stand off and analyse the issues – without over-praising the politicians with whom she is constantly in touch ?  E.g. No guesses about  “probably two of the nicest people you will meet in politics. They are both supersmart, genuinely care, and have empathy and emotional and  intelligence in spades.”

Grief…what about a lot more  objectivity, Tracey – instead of what sounds like a failure to remain emotionally detached? Why fall for the smarm and charm offensive that is so crucial for politicians to dish out – around election time?  It doesn’t help if  female reporters gush like this – Watkins  apparently needs to toughen up. And she is still finding excuses to praise the evasive and slippery John Key – “ One of National’s most successful Prime Ministers, because he never let ideology  get too far ahead of pubic opinion.” Sheer nonsense, Tracey –  he had the gift of the gab, and is regarded as having had far too close an attraction to the Communist Chinese super-wealthy, who were keen to support  him  to get rid of the Union Jack  from our flag. They are still massively contributing to the National Party’s fund-raising efforts.  Is it really too much to wonder why?

Key opened the floodgates to unmanageable immigration, was basically responsible for all the sneaky tax increases National introduced this last term  – and he took no notice of the country when he wanted his way – the TPPA was a very good example of this… Many will argue he got out  – seeing the writing on the wall.

Let’s hope it’s also on the way for this damaging government – and that New Zealand First, the one party which has a chance of reining in the excesses that the two major parties consistently indulge in – is able to make its presence a formidable reality in the new period of government ahead.

 

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

© 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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More pie in the sky from National and Labour. Winston’s last chance?

To many New Zealanders this election has become a farce, an American-style leaders’ standoff between a complacent, smug-looking Bill English and a young, unproven new Labour leader with the gift of the gab so necessary for a politician trading on charisma. This, eventually, as we have learned to our cost, is so often very damaging. The two major parties are vying to outdo each other with the pots of gold they are promising. But it is we New Zealanders who will have to face the consequences. And the realisation of the basic corruption of this process has increased the contempt with which many New Zealanders now regard politicians. Moreover, there’s widespread concern that the control of this country is passing out of our hands.

For example: The recent fundraising event at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel attracted hundreds of very wealthy, financially supportive Chinese, more than keen to see the National Party returned to power. We should be asking ourselves why? And  Ron Asher’s “In the Jaws of the Dragon”, produced by Tross  Publishing, is a must-read for New Zealanders concerned (and all New Zealanders should be very concerned) about how New Zealand’s  National government is bending over backwards “to accommodate the interests of Communist China at the expense of the prospects and interests of ordinary New Zealanders” .  There is little doubt that China’s ruthless and repressive government is intent on economically colonising and dominating our economy and key resources –  parallelling its build-up of armaments and  the intimidation of its neighbours.

Many worrying about voting carefully – and walking past the usual fringe candidates – will be thinking that although their civic responsibility requires them to take an interest, and indeed a real part, in the democratic process, this does not mean that they have to actually vote for any electorate candidate. Always compromising, by attempting to support the lesser of two evils, isn’t necessarily required of us – and is certainly not the best way to aim for what has now become essential. This is the reform of our institutions –  first of all of politics, including the hasty passing of inadequately thought-through laws and regulations  endlessly inflicted on the country –  with highly damaging consequences. 

Jacinda Ardern’s proposed new water tax is a very good example of just this – feel-good legislation which will hit dairy farmers, wine-growers, and those commercially growing vegetables and other foods for New Zealanders’ tables. Even more ominously, to allow the government to tax such water usage (overseas companies are another issue that urgently needs addressing)  will be, as far as our own people are concerned, wedging open the door of the vitally important understanding that water and air are not taxable  commodities for a government to pounce on, to take advantage of its people. Given the incremental creep of the State – with the knowledge that yet another tax lies within reach – the likelihood of this water tax eventually being extended to households is a very strong one.

Other aspects of Labour’s grab for power are equally dismaying.

How many are aware that its deputy leader, Kelvin Davis, has promised a most destructive piece of legislation with regard to an issue which the country has had enough of?  Winston Peter’s pledge to abolish the Maori seats has been met with relief nationwide – relief, because of the already damaging consequences of so much of the ongoing divisive and costly provisions which have too long haemorrhaged taxpayer funding away from much needed areas of real need.

Under the National Party’s ongoing neglect of this important reality in recent years, it is no surprise that OECD data has established that on a per capita basis, New Zealand’s housing issue is one of the worst in the world.  Only recently, with an election in its sights, has National faced up to what John Key acknowledged in 2007 – but then kept blatantly denying until late in his term of office – that Auckland in particular has a housing crisis. Moreover, the ongoing granting of often highly challengeable “compensation” funding to manipulative iwi has very much contributed to the squeeze on vital health and social services in all other areas of the economy. The billions of dollars accumulatively handed out to ensure preferential rights and privileges for those with even a smidgen of Maori inheritance has been more than questionable.  Markedly undemocratic in conception – it has been given with extraordinary largesse – not on the basis of need – nor of equal rights for all – but as some sort of reward or compensation for a minority of New Zealanders whose part-ancestors arrived before the colonial settlement of this country.  An accumulation of evidence also now shows that they were by no means the first to arrive.

Meanwhile, in every walk of life, in the professions, the trades and industry, in the factories, in farming and forestry, New Zealanders of part-Maori descent perform as individuals, without claiming superior rights or entitlements. Only the (part)-Maori MPs and the big players, the now wealthy and corporative iwi, continually pushing for self-advantage and employing their well-funded lawyers to squeeze every last ounce and more “entitlement” from the now corrupt treaty industry,  will  be supportive of the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party’s intent to entrench the Maori seats in parliament.

If this isn’t a racist move, what is?  Part–Maori MPs have long won places for themselves in exactly the same way as other New Zealanders – and the country is fed up with the race-based politics that Labour is now endorsing further – let alone the National Party’s forcing of local bodies to take on board unrepresentative and unelected “Maori” advisers, whose apparently superior insights will guide us all.  Only Winston is challenging this corruption of the democratic process, overwhelmingly supported in this stance by the majority of New Zealanders. And that Peters has already promised to put directly to the public any new, New Zealand First’s legislative proposals, post-election, not already covered in New Zealand First’s manifesto, brings his party closest to the democratic principles so conveniently abandoned in the past by  Labour and National – to all our cost.

Many New Zealanders will be feeling caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, given Labour’s lack of any real costing of its reform proposals – and the realisation of what the present National Party leader’s much vaunted economic prowess has cost the country. Contrary to his assertions, it has not come as the result of increased productivity – but by prioritising unprecedented and highly problematic levels of immigration – replacing a much-needed emphasis on developing our own industries. It has very much contributed to the extraordinary and continual squeeze on the hospitals, mental health care, and other  essential services, including drug and alcohol rehabilitation. There has long been a shocking reduction in areas that New Zealanders were once far more able to access. But the waiting lists for much-needed hospital operations are very much still with us. Emergency services are barely coping, and New Zealanders can now find themselves in beds in corridors – with wards too full to admit them. Moreover, we are now being forced to carry the costs of foreigners who access our hospitals and health services – but abscond without paying. This shouldn’t be happening. No visa should be granted for entry into New Zealand for those who do not carry health insurance to cover such costs. Why haven’t our governments enforced this?

The level of poverty in this country today is such that the Salvation Army reports that they have never seen such a level of homelessness – while this National government, bragging about its economic achievements, has allowed housing affordability to be placed beyond the reach of so many New Zealanders. In three months of this year alone, the government spent a record $12.6 million paying for short-term, seven day hotel stays for those in desperate need. Many thousands are on a waiting list for social housing. Moreover, the new education reform package which Bill English is highlighting has almost nothing whatever to do with the real crisis of education in this country because of its dumping down these last five decades. Education has become a political tool in this country,  with recent both Labour and National Ministers of Education showing minimal comprehension of what has gone wrong and why…and performing poorly with regard to holding the ministry responsible. To call their handling of their portfolios clueless is no exaggeration. 

Given the lack of any great enthusiasm for any for either of the major two parties – apart from the media’s love affair with Jacinda Ardern, which will undoubtedly carry over to increased Labour votes, this country is in trouble. The question facing so many is why they should vote for an electorate candidate they can’t trust – or who will put his/her party before the wishes of the electorate? Or why give a party vote to any of the major parties, given these recent years of prioritising their own interests and the behind-the-scenes trade-offs, and cover ups.  What of the Todd Barclay affair?  What of the extraordinary number of texts (reportedly over 450!)  English sent to his former electorate staff in the months leading up to her resignation.

 Who was telling the truth? And what of the fact that an increasing number of government departments seem seriously dysfunctional – or are leaking like sieves?  Who leaked to National the information about Winston Peter’s superannuation repayment? We’ve been here before, when it was revealed security intelligence staff were supplying politically damaging information to political operatives in the then prime minister John Key’s office.

Given  the apparently inevitable fracturing of New Zealand First, with its also internal party squabbling, poor organisation and lacklustre List candidates with sharp elbows – (and the apparent cold-shouldering of potential  well-qualified candidates which might have posed a threat to its inertia  and complacence)  there’s a question  many will face. Should they refrain from voting for a local candidate more wedded to the party than to his/her electorate, and simply give New Zealand First their List vote – to allow Winston his last chance? Those questioning his inability to ensure New Zealand First’s largely invisible List candidates have performed well in public – raising the question of whether it is  simply that largely they have been  a lacklustre lot – or whether Peters prefers to centre-stage –  may well be wavering. However, given the fact that the political world has always attracted prima donnas, and that this does not negate a commitment to standing firm on actual principles, many will think there are stil very good reasons, at least at this particular election, for supporting him.

One is that although there is every possibility that New Zealand First will implode after this electoral term, once Winston has moved on, he has made one enormously important pledge. While Labour is promising to entrench racial preference in his country, Winston has staked his electorate commitment on the opposite. And it is Winston who represents the views of the backbone of this country – the real New Zealanders working on the land, in small factories, in the trades and industries and professions. Everywhere one turns, New Zealanders now overwhelmingly swamped by more and more unwieldy unrealistic, and even ominous, compliance issues, have had enough.

How many are aware, for example that depositing $10,000 in the bank brings you to the attention of the police? Under the guise of checking for money-laundering, this state-spying move targets New Zealanders going about their business… selling a car, or quite legitimately indulging in what should be private transactions. Even more ominously, and to the considerable disquiet now of family lawyers, anyone giving even $1000 to be invested by a family solicitor now  has to be reported. There are lawyers objecting – as they should –  and discussing refusing to abide by such a demand. But every law firm in future will have to have a virtual government spy  – that is some within the firm to see that this compliance issue is enforced   – or the inevitable consequences will follow.

What has happened to the country is that basically, we have been losing it. Many will regard National as accelerating this process – given its quite shocking record of prioritising the interests of foreign, including Communist Chinese investors and buyers, over those of New Zealanders. However,  Labour’s deputy leader shows no sign of understanding the essence of democracy – with his own intent to prioritise the interest of those wedded to divisiveness in this country, rather than social cohesion and stability.

 Many will think that Winston still represents the hope of all New Zealanders – not for the Trojan Horse of “diversity” – but for an ability to live as one in the sense of sharing the hope of a future devoid of the outpouring of racist policies and funding in which National have been even worse than Labour – and which Bill English is still indulging in.

We can actually fight to claim back our country reform, protesting the whittling away of our democratic rights and freedoms, by withholding our electorate vote – unless we have an outstanding candidate we can trust.  Yet when, in recent years, has any Labour or National candidate, with the exception of the principled Damien O’Connor,  stood up against his political colleagues to challenge polices the country does not support? O’Connor  also reminds us that National, including Bill English, have  long been determined to avoid a much- needed investigation into why the Pike River mine tragedy was so shocking handled – and to oppose the cover-up which still attempts to prevent families having answers they deserve – and access to recovering the bodies of those they loved and lost.

There has been too much of a whiff of corruption around National’s term in government for many New Zealanders to want to see it remain in power. And if enough New Zealanders were to deliberately withhold an electorate vote, it would force much–needed public debate about what has gone wrong with this country – and how it can be rectified  – in order to restore integrity to the political system. Which is where the 100 Days movement, so successful on doing just this for the most successful democracy in the world – comes into its own.

Isn’t it time we grew up as a country, to insist that it’s the people who should be in charge of the important decision-making – not an arguably venal political class? It can be done – it is a movement well under way. And looking at what these electoral bribes are going to have cost us all – by next time around – our 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand initiative has a very good chance of more than making its presence felt.  We are under way – join us to support us.

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

© 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!
Do help us to get our message further out by donating. See www.100days.co.nz!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

A donation, no matter how small, very much helps us to send out this message of political reform more widely! Thank you J

 

 

Intimidated? Bullied? Time for NZers, too, to fight back?

Born during the years of the murderous dictator Stalin, the young Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko began to cast a fresh eye over the oppressive USSR of the 60s. He himself was a gifted athlete, with a geologist father, and with both parents descended from families of Russian nobility. His two grandfathers were arrested during Stalin’s purges as “enemies of the people”.  Yevtushenko’s own refusal to compromise over what he saw as the truth of things, and over the importance of good poetry (now largely suffocated in the Post-Poetry pretentiousness of our cultural decline) made him a target for the violent hostility of those settling for political dogmatism.  His challenging the Soviet distortions of historical facts, including the Nazi massacre of the Jewish population of Kiev in September 1941, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babi_Yar was an act of conscience, although he always denied being brave. But he believed, like Shostakovich, in the importance of acting according to conscience. The result was his most famous poem, Babi Yar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babi_Yar_in_poetry 

In 1957, he was expelled from the Literary Institute for “individualism”… (which brings echoes of today’s blacklisting in this country of individuals (I can vouch for this from personal experience) challenging our literary in-groups, particularly the politicisation of children’s writing. The blacklisting of those refusing to adhere to the required “themes” of “biculturalism”, political “relevance” and “national identity” – and the targeting of teachers objecting to the increasing and inappropriate racial grandstanding throughout our schools’ curricula today: all these bring to mind the PC mean-mindedness the late Charlotte Dawson sadly experienced in this country.

What particularly struck me, discovering, in my 20s, Yevtushenko’s poem “Talk”, was that while discounting the praise of those who called him a brave man, he ended with lines which have grown even more relevant for us now in the West, today white-anted by the new intolerance of free speech masquerading as “liberalism”.

“How sharply our children will be ashamed
taking at last their vengeance for these horrors
remembering how in so strange a time
common integrity could look like courage.”

http://thewonderingminstrels.blogspot.co.nz/2005/10/talk-yevgeny-yevtushenko.html

To those who in innocence protest that we are the West, surely, not the Soviet Russia of a Yevtushenko, a Sakharov or Solzhenitsyn – we would do well to take on board Solzhenitsyn’s warning that “the Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive”. There is little doubt that  what the late great Times columnist Bernard Levin described as “the atrophy of moral judgment”,  calling it the characteristic disease of our times – is the inability to see what is in reality an evil  – and the willingness to condone it.

The reality is that in New Zealand now, too, we’re being culturally, politically and morally bullied in the name of “tolerance”. On flagship issues such as gay marriage – an obvious dead-end in biological terms, but now supported by the demand from the growingly strident LGTB (lesbian, gay, and transgender, bisexual) fraternity trumpeting the new fashion of transgender identity, what became a reasonable demand to respect the privacy of individuals in their own homes is being extended. The tolerance long offered to individuals in a free society to make their own choices is by no means being returned.

The real bullying throughout the West is now characterised by this aggressive intolerance and antagonism – now extending to an attack on those who object to vulnerable children being propagandised in schools, or to girls being exposed to transgender males invading toilets and changing rooms. Querying what is actually happening to a once family-stabilised society – where children were best protected as nature intended, by a biological father and mother – now meets with even vindictive opposition. In America (the Land of the Free…) those claiming the right for their own beliefs to be respected can now expect to be met with a wave of intolerance, aggression, vilification – even to be taken to court and sued on some anti-discrimination pretext.  Debate is a no-no…except for those drawing on the very courage which Solzhenitsyn called common integrity.

And yet, we have the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, in honour of the Russian physicist and dissident, Andrei Sakharov – (who, together with his wife Yelena Bonner, faced state persecution while fighting for the necessity of freedom of speech). It is still awarded to individuals as brave as Raif Badawi http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20151215STO07590/Sakharov-Prize-Raif-Badawi-was-brave-enough-to-say-no-to-their-barbarity

The irony is considerable, given that public opinion and support for the European Union has plunged, due to the number of peremptory edicts continually coming from the unelected, unrepresentative body of the European Commission.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8224/european-union-support  Its administrative bureaucracy has tirelessly worked to restrict the sovereignty of the 28 nation states comprising the European Union. There is little doubt that its proposed code of conduct, attempting to ban “hate speech”, is a direct attempt to impose politically correct thinking and behaviour on those within its ambit.

But how little different are we now? Universities were once regarded as fiercely independent bastions of freedom in debate, insisting on the right of individuals to fairly engage in intellectually defending their viewpoints. So I recall my then shock, three or four years ago, when Wellington’s Victoria University refused to allow a debate on that most extraordinary of global cults, the massively financially supported claim of man-made global warming and the supposed culpability of CO2.  In spite of the fact that an almost certainly natural, cyclical period of global warming ended approximately in 1998 – as well-qualified scientists – deliberately denied debating platforms in this country –  have well substantiated, there is now so much financial and career investment in buying into the global warming hysteria that credulous action groups have forgotten what Upton Sinclair pointed out:  “ It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” And so many university grants and positions now depend upon individuals endorsing the group-think which has become so characteristic of our times.

From Oxford and Cambridge, one-time flagships of intellectual freedom, come these reports of students refusing to even attend lectures, let alone to debate points of view, which challenge their highly programmedthinking.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/30/jesus-christ-would-be-banned-from-uk-universities-today-oxford-p/

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/11/free-speech-is-so-last-century-todays-students-want-the-right-to-be-comfortable/

And in the US, the bastion of freedom? https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/free-speech-is-under-attack-on-the-

How many New Zealanders would disagree with the reminder that it is better to debate a question without settling it – than to settle a question without debate?  Our parents’ generation and those preceding them unquestioningly accepted what most of us were brought up to acknowledge –  how important  it is in a free society to respect individuals’ beliefs, even if one doesn’t agree with them – and to be allowed to say so.

Well, we all once knew. But it isn’t happening any more.  Over a whole range of topics on important issues of the day, the individual brave enough to say, for example – I respect your right to believe what you do, but for my own part, I disagree with the current liberal thinking about gay “marriage” being a genuine marriage – and regard it as an obvious contradiction in biological terms – can now expect, as in America – to be met with a wave of intolerance, aggression, vilification – even to be taken to court and sued on some anti-discrimination pretext.  The very groups attacking the respect for the traditional family as the most important and stabilising unit of Western society, and trumpeting accusations of intolerance, are characterised now by that extraordinary intolerance of debate.

Yet debate is the bedrock of democracy in any culture or political system. It is a fundamental part of freedom of expression which is itself recognised world-wide as a basic human right. To realise the importance of debate we just have to look at the alternative. There are numerous examples in history of autocrats who demanded blind acceptance of their rule, brooked no criticism, stamped out dissent and locked up opponents. There still are. Countries particularly oppressive include Iran, Saudi Arabia, and, closer to home, and moving down the Pacific, Communist China. These all act as repressive societies. The results are governments that lack accountability and systems that breed corruption, resort to violence and today imprison their own Solzhenitsyn’s Sakharovs, Yevtushenkos.

Schools in many countries have debating societies. As Peter Millet, the British Ambassador to Libya reminds many of us: “At my school… we were encouraged by our teachers to tackle the most controversial subjects of the day. It taught us skills that have been invaluable in our working lives: about the importance of preparation, about setting out key points in a simple and logical way, and about anticipating the counter-arguments.

“We also learned that debating was not about winning the vote, but about getting to the heart of the matter. Yes, the vote was about which side presented their facts in the most effective way. But the purpose of the debate was to expose all the vital issues to public scrutiny. Truth was more important than victory.”

Apparently, what we in the West now need to be reminded of, when faced with the intolerance and intimidation now deliberately used as weapons to prevent us from challenging what is happening abroad, and in our schools  – is the importance of courage. Shouldn’t we be opposing the deliberate targeting of our children and what is now regarded as the worrying decadence transforming the West, with its move towards liberal-thinking totalitarianism?  To act according to conscience is no less important now than it was to Yevtusheno, when challenging the corruption of the former USSR.

In the words of another individual to whom we owe so much: “Intellectual freedom is essential — freedom to obtain and distribute information; freedom for open-minded and unhearing debate; and freedom from pressure by officialdom and prejudices. Such freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorship.” Andrei Sakharov.


© Amy Brooke.

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

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

New Post March 20, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

For an interesting and refreshing analysis, see:

Oklahoma college president talks about why Donald Trump…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This means each of us – for every individual counts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What when it’s now governments versus their people? The TPPA?

And what when we’re sold out by “leadership” propaganda? Lessons from what happened at Christmas?

While Christmas was joyfully celebrated in so many homes throughout this country, our mainstream media have been curiously – some would argue, culpably – restrained about the implications of the savage attack on other people, worldwide, attempting to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. Our journalists shame us, in comparison with the reporting from sites such as that of the Gatestone Institute, telling us what our own commentators are failing to do: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7250/christmas-islam

If one of our media’s prime responsibilities is to help produce a well-informed public, to accurately report important news from here and abroad, this is demonstrably not happening. The dumbing down of television alone has reached arguably scandalous levels, given that we have a government-owned, national broadcaster with an obvious responsibility to the public. And although the attacks are mounting on the celebration of Christmas in New Zealand as an important Christian festival in a supposedly free and democratic country – where Christian values have long underpinned its former stability – this very stability and cohesion is now under threat by determined, fringe minority groups and antipathetic individuals. The number of Christians in this country may be declining, given the ferocity of the attacks on the Church, both from without and within. But they still comprise around half of the population.

However, where is there any worthwhile scrutiny from our media commentators on what is actually happening to New Zealand? And should we be concerned that the divide between the politicians of this country and New Zealanders themselves is persistently growing?

Indeed we should. For one of the crucial lessons from the catastrophic events of 2015 is that the damage done by politicians to people of their own country is never-ending. And this is even in democracies. In countries under despotic rule, the catastrophic damage, the social destruction, is even greater.

Arguably, it is high time to remember that those who crave power are, by and large, least qualified to wield it – a lesson history should have taught us. But then it is no accident that our schools have for some time no longer taught young New Zealanders history – one of the highly damaging attacks on the schools curricula which has so successfully, these recent decades, helped to dumb down our once far better education system.

And now? Angela Merkel’s folly, her basically pig-headed determination to have her own way with regard to immigration decision-making has caused enormous damage not only to the German people, but to those of other European countries. A very bleak future, which many regard as now basically uncontrollable, and which is essentially an attack on the same Christian foundations of the West by radicalised Muslim fundamentalism, has led to some well-informed commentators predicting the end of Europe as we have known it – a direct attack on the nations which, imperfect as they have been, have very much helped prevent its fragmentation, and even its destruction.

What is going to happen to those European countries such as Germany, and Sweden, now facing not only a dramatic increase in violent crime, but also in massively escalating welfare costs, as a result of arguably naïve, recent immigration decision-making? At the same time, the important revenue from tourism alone looks to dramatically drop, given the threat of mounting terrorist attacks as a result of the planting of Muslim extremists among genuine refugees.

The possibility of the European Union breaking up, with governments kneecapped by the sheer numbers of immigrants, and with terrorist organisations boasting of widespread infiltration, is a direct result of Western leaders, including those of the UK, too long ignoring the damaging results of a highly flawed multicultural ideology. This same feel-good, think-bad policy-making has been also operating in our small, vulnerable country.

Its propaganda includes the powerful iwis’s and government’s push to prioritize supposedly Maori interests above those of the country at large (with no definition of who is now actually Maori.) In spite of protests from well-informed New Zealanders – (including those also of Maori descent) what is operating here is similar to what is happening in other countries. The aim? Not only the obvious financial gain to well-placed iwi, but also to undermine the cohesion of countries which once rightly valued assimilated – not separatist, communities. We in this country have been undergoing a more insidious, softer, but very real version of government creep, that is, the power of the State stretching its tentacles further and further over aspects of our national and personal lives.

So what about the much-vaunted role of “leadership? North Korea is in the hands of a murdering, very probably crazed tyrant impoverishing his people to the point of starvation. Pol Pot’s slaughter of his own people…? Saudi Arabia’s brutal torturing and execution of its own dissidents, and its oppression of women; Iran’s Muslim-cleric-dominated hatred of the West, with its hate-filled determination to annihilate Israel? All leader-dominated – as is China’s increasing imprisonment and torture of its own citizens, those bravely trying to work towards democratic rights for all – and its increasing attack on Christian churches.

What about the blatant corruption of African tribal leaders whose self-enriching rule over Africa and inter-tribal hostility has impoverished most of this potentially rich continent? The internecine and barbaric tribalism of the Middle East? The political oppression of Palestinians themselves by Hamas, its military wing designated as a terrorist organisation by the European Union, Canada, Israel, Japan, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, its charter aim the destruction of Israel? ? And what has happened to France alone is an object lesson of the dangers of sentimental liberal thinking http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7256/france-islamization underpinning the danger of leaving decisions about the important directions of a country to its leaders, and its politicians.

A survey of today’s world presents an overview of the oppression of people of every race and colour by their own leaders. And in this country, we now have a prime example of government versus the people with the imminent signing of the TPPA, managed by a determined leader and his tight inner circle. Yet those politicians who have seemingly no compunction about the virtual sell-out of New Zealand to those rich enough to buy up our land, our farms, our housing stock, our enterprises – inevitably gradually dispossessing New Zealanders in our own country – are ignoring the fact that ethical decisions are no less important than economic ones.

Even those who seek political power with the best of intentions, to try to make a genuine contribution to the welfare of their country, almost inevitably end up being rigidly controlled by their party hierarchy – as we see in this country by John Key’s basically total control of the National Party caucus – (its ordinary MPs don’t count) – preceded by Helen Clark’s determined domination of Labour, in order to pursue her own damaging “liberal” socialist agenda. What John Key and Helen Clark share is an appetite for power. No wonder these two highly ambitious politicians get on so well – although in theory they should hold quite different views on what is good for the country.

In essence, the whole concept of leadership is where people have been basically conned into being persuaded that decisions concerning the future of this country –and others – should be left to leaders. But what when these are not only personally ambitious, but often ignorant, often narrowly, if not highly under-educated and historically under-informed individuals with, above all, an appetite for power? Their prominence in this country alone has caused considerable damage in many areas of our national life – not only to individuals, but also to our institutions – which we can examine in a future Post.

The government does not want New Zealanders to wake up to this, and those who have long warned of what has been happening here and abroad are often quite deliberately targeted and ridiculed – as we see with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister, Chris Finlayson. A mere list MP, who never stood for election, and who therefore passed no electoral scrutiny, this now powerful individual has actually appointed himself a QC (!) and bad-mouths as “clowns” and “nutters” well-qualified researchers concerned at the treaty claims gravy train now by-passing the courts, at Finlayson’s suggestion…although substantial evidence challenging these cases is simply ignored. His marked lack of respect for those asking well-needed questions, and his apparent inability to properly consult with other than self-serving, if not down-right opportunistic iwi crowding onto the treaty gravy train, is a prime example of a politician whom the intelligent Swiss would arguably not tolerate – given their government’s respect for the wishes of the people at large. Is it this minister’s very tart tongue which has allowed him to virtually have his own way – unchallenged by his party colleagues or the media – in spite of the widespread unease at what is happening here?

It doesn’t do, apparently, to any longer insist on transparency and accountability from our government, which incredibly enough, reserves the right to sign international treaties which impinge on the freedom of New Zealanders – without actually consulting them! The TTPA, reportedly reducing New Zealanders’ sovereignty by removing our ability to restrict sales of land and housing to foreign interests, is an egregious and shocking example. Our Key-dominated government’s initial undertaking to consult New Zealanders before signing such an important international agreement has been simply ignored by this government…scandalous enough in itself.

Once more, we should be learning from the fact that the most successfully democratic country in the world, Switzerland, would simply not put up with this over-dominating behaviour by its own politicians. The Swiss so little subscribe to the concept of leadership that their president is required to step down at the end of his or her year’s tenure of office – having previously very probably already held the role of Finance Minister. The actual office of president is rotated among a cabinet of only seven. No John Key, Helen Clark, or other dominating politician is allowed to become entrenched in office. The yearly rotation insures this. And at the same time, with their part-time politicians also engaged in careers in the professions, in trades, or as housewives, they get together in parliament only one day a week – while Parliament itself meets only four times a year. After all, they regard the people as being in charge of the country – and refer to them, collectively, as being sovereign.

The Swiss ensured this, by compelling their politicians to vote into law the 100 Days provision which prevents their government from passing any legislation at all – without providing a 100 day scrutiny period – after it has been proposed – for the people themselves to reject what they do not see as being an advantage to their own country. It’s time we New Zealanders insisted on this same provision. And we should be in no doubt that this would be most strenuously opposed by our major political parties…particularly by their leadership.

So what can we do? Relevant thinking can come from the most unexpected sources. And among these is Malcolm X‘s “Power has never taken a back step – except in the face of more power. If we remind ourselves of this, and equally appreciate that nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time is right, it becomes obvious that it is individual themselves, banding together in a common cause – which creates a tipping point that can unseat governments.

It is not leadership, but individual action – multiplied by that of many others – which offers the strongest hope for the people of countries in the grip of the control of politicians whose ability to use positions of leadership wisely has been shown as lamentably lacking, not only in these recent decades.

It’s not as if the writing on the wall hasn’t been highly visible in so-called democratic countries these recent decades. A well-informed Dutchman whose letter I have on file from some years back described what was happening in the Netherlands since the 1980s. Leadership? “Our politicians have promoted multiculturalism, while its citizens were against it, or at least not given the opportunity to vote against it in a referendum or otherwise. The price we paid was, and is, enormous. First came the Turks, followed by the Moroccans, and after that in the 90s, displaced Yugoslavs. Many didn’t read but were encouraged to stay and assisted in many ways to retain their cultural habits, at the expense of Dutch taxpayers.

“This integration proved to be successful, as Osama bin Laden in 2001 praised the Muslims in the south of Holland in the city of Eindhoven for their participation as martyrs in the holy jihad in northern Pakistan. A number of young Arabic men were raised in Holland and were trained in Afghanistan, fought against Pakistani troops and died in combat in October/ November 2001…Our open democratic society was and is heavily abused by foreigners that have no interest in integration, or participating or contributing to the new country…. In 2004, ten new member states entered the EU, and Bulgarians, Romanians and Poles flooded the Netherlands, taking up and organising crime… We left the Netherlands for these reasons in 2004, to a new life here in New Zealand, but we see exactly the same abuse by politicians of the word “tolerance.’

“Islam means, translated, submission…submission to a very unhealthy yoke, politically and spiritually and psychologically. It leaves no room whatsoever for your own thoughts, ideas or opinion and doesn’t understand democracy. It is totalitarian….

“We as a family have settled well but wish to enjoy a healthy democracy, in the future, for our children as well. I am not the kind of man to stand on the sideline and complain, but want to do something about it.”

We need more New Zealanders to want to do something about what has happened, and is happening, to this country. In particular, the insidious call for a misplaced “tolerance” of the attack on well-grounded values and sensible conservatism. The propagandised, deliberate charges of “racism”- designed to bully others, and to intimidate opposition – need to be challenged. They are used to silence much-needed protests that should be mounted against the undermining of our own society by bullying minority groups who themselves extend no tolerance!

As has been well pointed out, although individuals must have freedom of conscience with regard to what they may believe, or not believe, it is obviously sheer folly to claim all religions are the same, and of equal value to a civilisation – and we cannot afford to be ignorant about what is at stake. Islam has no intent to peacefully coexist with Christianity. Submission to Allah and Sharia law is its intent. For this reason, irrespective of the fact that there are obviously good Muslims, we would be very foolish to prioritise Muslim immigrants, over much-persecuted Christians, when considering our refuge policy.

The West, including this country, has been sold a pup – and not only with the prioritising of “leadership” ahead of stressing the importance of individual action. We have also been being basically attacked by this word, “ tolerance” into silencing much-needed protests that should have been mounted against the undermining of our own society – not only by the domination of the political class, but also by these same aggressive minority groups extending no tolerance whatever to those defending valuable traditional values.

Perhaps above all New Zealanders need to wake up to the fact, as has been pointed out, “that every age has its own crisis and challenge which must be met, otherwise society collapses.”

We have a choice, as individuals – as to whether from laziness, or indifference, we wrongly regard what is happening to our own country – and to individuals fighting worldwide against oppression – as somebody else’s problem. But we are ultimately answerable both to ourselves, and to others, for our choice.

To help? Join our 100 Days movement – www.100days.co.nz – to limit in this country the control of politicians acting against the interests of New Zealanders.

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

 

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