Courage is everything…Check out the outstanding Kapiti Independent News

The excellent Kapiti Independent News puts most other newspapers to shame. No wonder that most media are now so despised.

Without courage, what is left? And what has happened to us as a country that, as formerly happened in the USSR,  much-needed debate is now suppressed, and to speak the truth on important issues now takes an act of courage?

The Kapiti Independent News deserves to be acclaimed by all of us. It stands head and shoulders above our mainstream newspapers right across the country  – earning respect by its support of debate on the now damaging issues of racial preference and discrimination.This Kapiti newspaper’s support of the fine article by courageous Bud Codger brings to mind the phrase  – redeeming the times.  Congratulations to all involved. And don’t miss the below.

http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/racism-in-the-universities/#more-63053

Judging from my own experiences in relation to my local newspaper, I’d agree it’s no wonder that, in the public mind, it’s been established that the least-trusted group of individuals in any occupation are  journalists, “ranked below MPs, even, the second least trusted, and behind local council members, lawyers and civil servants, who are all below the half-way mark in a survey of public trust and confidence. ”

That’s no surprise to so many New Zealanders concerned about the directions in which this country is heading, but finding it almost impossible to be able to take part in that underpinning of democracy, public debate, using the forum of letters to the editor. I’m not alone in the long campaign I’ve been waging to challenge the Nelson Mail  in relation to its disgraceful practice of suppressing letters to the editor from well-respected commentators – if the opinions, even the facts that they express, obviously irritate the letters editor – or/and even the actual editor.

My persistent objection to the letters of one highly qualified commentator on treaty issues being ignored has at last seen his letters begin to appear – possibly because I included, in my recent complaint to the Press Council, the constant suppression of his excellent letters, and,  even of a well substantiated article pointing out that so-called facts invoked by two local activists  in relation to  Maori-related historical issues could indeed be challenged. Naturally, he was denied publication. Moreover, invited to give an address  to the Nelson Institute,  he found this recently cancelled, when the Institute, the Nelson City Council and the public library were asked to cancel his address – with the implied threat that there would be public disruption – possibly violence –  “a health and safety issue” – if he was allowed to speak. And I’m referring here to an excellent historian, respected in his field.

Tiring of the constant  suppression of my own letters, challenging left-wing, quite wrong or troubling “facts” presented in the Nelson Mail  (I would write no more than about four a year – given so  much already to juggle – and in particular where others had not highlighted an important issue) I finally submitted a complaint to the Press Council  about the Mail’s suppression of these.

My expectation of support from this body is pretty minimal. Our institutions all over the country are now largely dominated by the Politically Correct, and I recognize from my own time as an independent columnist and commentator on current affairs for the Dominion, and elsewhere, two or three familiar names on the Press Council.

However, one of the facts we need to take on board as individuals in this country, concerned about its very worrying directions, is that it is not good enough to fold up under pressure – or to simply be a pushover (in a friend’s words) – when confronted  by any form of bullying. On the contrary, it is important to make things as difficult as possible for those misusing positions of power.  And this is exactly what too many of today’s journalists are doing – pushing their markedly ” liberal” or radicalized points of view on the public – and then denying the opportunity for public debate.

It wasn’t always the case.  C. P. Scott, the long-standing editor of the Manchester Guardian, summed up the professional duty of a journalist, arguing that the “primary office” of a newspaper is accurate news reporting, saying “comment is free, but facts are sacred“.

Once, when journalism had a code of ethics, reporters would be pulled up short when their personal opinions took precedence over the facts. I recall some fine editors or features editors whom it was a pleasure to know. However, training journalists on an actual paper under the eye of experienced editors gave way to an utterly unnecessary three-year (and more) journalism courses where today’s often highly opinionated and self-regarding editors and reporters learned that their inculcated left-wing and  PC views were to be inflicted on the readers – and that they are free to push their too often half baked opinions – at the expense of the facts.

As usual the Nelson Mail is now holding back my letter in support of historian Bruce Moon.  I very much doubt if the editor has any intention of publishing it, and if this is the case, I will let readers judge for themselves by producing in this journal the letters which obviously offended the tender sense of susceptibilities of editorial staff.

Once more into the breach, dear friends …
©  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 my  BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazons Kindle.

 

The real racism, Susan Devoy? Check out Ngai Tahu

The real racism, Susan Devoy? Check out Ngai Tahu

What, Ms Devoy, do scientist and columnist Dr Bob Brockie, MNZM; conservationist Bud Jones, QSM (recognised for years of faithful service – and with a distinguished career as a professional musician); Neil Hayes, QSM, who was awarded a QSM in recognition of his 34 years of continuous involvement in attempting to save the rare and critically endangered NZ Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis) from extinction – have in common?  Neil is a Royal Chartered Environmentalist . Add in, among other highly regarded New Zealanders, the eminent Bruce Moon, the first person to install a computer in a New Zealand University. The answer? They all have been warning what you should be well aware of, in your position, but apparently aren’t.  Or are you just keeping your head down? Whatever; this just isn’t good enough, and your dogmatic utterances are helping to foster divisiveness and dissent.

In a recent Dominion Post column, Bob Brockie brought to public scrutiny the shockingly racist bias and tribal centre-staging which has wormed its way into what should be completely independent centres of learning in this country. What has long been imposed by neo-Marxist activists within the Ministry of Education, blatantly targeting schoolchildren with their damaging propaganda, has now taken an even stronger foothold within our higher institutes of learning.

Dr Brockie illustrated the fact that what was once Britain’s top scientific organisation, the Royal Society – morphing here into the Royal Society of New Zealand – (which is supposed to foster scientific research and provide independent advice on scientific matters, free of political commercial or cultural bias) – is now doing nothing of the sort. Transferring itself into “an academy” in 2010 it appointed representatives of the humanities to its councils – at which stage the alarm bells should have started to ring…because of course these artistic and literary ” councillors” (from  both the government-funded arts and literary circles)  have long been thoroughly partisan and biased – and very much controlled by the politically correct.

Granting themselves an obscure title in the newly invented, inauthentic and ponderous Maori-speak, these advisers called themselves  Te Whainga Aronui o Te Aparangi,  and brought with them the inevitable baggage load of cultural and political activism from the humanities – the centre of subversive activity within our universities in recent decades.  As Dr Brockie points out,  inheriting the essential madness of the French nihilist philosophers, Derrida, Foucault and their disciples,  these  have long argued that there are no such things as facts – that everybody’s opinions are of equal value – “whether those of a quantum physicist or a Stone Age nobody” . I recall, for example, Oxford’s then Marxist English Professor Terry Eagleton maintaining that the novels of Barbara Cartland equalled in value the works produced by the actor, Shakespeare (or, more likely, the 17th Earl of Oxford – cf. Joseph Sobran’s brilliant and scholarly “Alias Shakespeare” – offering a much-needed intellectual challenge to the sheer laziness of a great part of the regurgitated research offered by university humanities departments in recent decades).

It was primarily our universities, particularly the English and Education departments, abandoning their traditional description as faculties, who so thoroughly embraced the sheer fatuity of political correctness, maintaining that people’s beliefs and opinions are of equal value –   (unless of course, they are Christian, in which case they must be disparaged and ridiculed) – and that “decontextualisation” – the meaning of which defies comprehension  – should rule, in literature, rather than what a great writer actually wrote.

At any rate, the real scandal is that this year, the Te Whainga group, whoever they are and whatever this means, are now claiming that the Royal Society, via its current president, Richard Bedford, ”needs to place the Treaty of Waitangi centrally, and bring alongside that inequity and adversity issues in a holistic manner.” As Bob Brockie points out – this is outrageous. The Treaty,  whose real meaning has been so usefully distorted, reinvented and “reinterpreted” by today’s radical propagandists, assisted by lawyers with their eye to the lucrative work involved, “has no place in scientific endeavour. To make it the centrepiece of the Royal Society’s agenda beggars belief.” 

Dr Brockie is right. Moreover, he points to something equally shocking – that Otago University recently proclaimed that the aggressive neo-tribe, Ngai Tahu must be consulted “about all areas of research” before scholars begin their work. “All proposals must be submitted to the office of Maori development”. Staff and students were warned that consultation may take time, so they were advised “to start well in advance of preparing your proposal.” He points out that Otago researchers are looking into everything ” from zeta functions, quantum physics, logistics, dental technology and Roman Law to compositions by Brahms – and rightly asks what expertise Ngai Tahu have in evaluating these research proposals. He also points out that “Ngai Tahu run several commercial companies (with a surplus of many millions annually) and could turn down research that questions or challenges its business motives or motivations.”

Moreover, most of this research is simply not Ngai Tahu’s business. Not only do they have no expertise in judging the value of such research – it is quite appalling that Otago University has acquiesced, as Dr Brockie points out, to such proscriptive, inquisitorial demands”. Shame on my former university.

The time has long gone when universities were once respected as valuable, independent, scholarly institutions operating without fear of bias, even emphasising to their students that their prime value did not lie in facilitating a meal ticket to a future occupation – but in providing the opportunity to research, to explore, to weigh, to learn – in order to advance important discovery, and to aim for the truth of issues. But as Brockie points out “young researchers do not question these moves for fear of being labelled racist and putting their careers at stake.” He is quite right.  What has happened to this country when so many admit they dare not question the highly politicised requirements now dumped on them for fear of losing their jobs?

It’s not only Otago of course, that’s bowing to the pressure of big-money today wielded by the tribes, acquired by compulsion from the taxpayers of this country. The rot is white-anting all our universities. It must be two years ago that a professor friend at Canterbury told me he was warned by an HOD from another department that he had better conjure up some way of touching the forelock towards Ngai Tahu’s imagined” cultural sensitivity” in the courses his department offered – courses having nothing whatsoever to do with racial issues –  because in future any undergraduate hoping to get a degree from Canterbury was going to have to demonstrate that he/she was “culturally sensitive” – whatever this jargon means.

We know of course that this is not intended to be exercised in relation to the values of the majority of our European forebears in this country – but to kowtow towards the radical activism of powerful tribes like the moneyed Ngai Tahu. It is highly doubtful that this virtually bullying activism is even supported by the majority of those of Ngai Tahu descent, apparently largely unaware of what is going on.  On the contrary, it is being pushed by those with their own damaging and egotistical agenda.

What of the findings of these perplexed and imminent New Zealanders, Bud Jones and Neil Hayes, both prominent in their respective fields to the extent of being awarded Queen’s Service Medals? Victoria University, which years ago thoroughly blotted its copybook by refusing to allow the issue of supposed man-made global warming (now conveniently relabelled climate change) to even be debated on its campus is now requiring adherence to this pernicious Vision Matauranga radicalism – i.e. prioritising Maori preferment in utterly irrelevant scientific and academic areas – and requiring staff to explain themselves if they are not doing so! Comparisons with the former totalitarian USSR don’t need to be pointed out.

Described as “racism in the extreme,” as part of this university’s  “2018 learning, teaching, and equity priorities to Te Makuako Aronui” (whatever this, too, means) increased incorporation of Matauranga Maori in courses is required. A senior member of the music department was asked to appear before a panel and explain how he would be incorporating Matauranga Maori into his teaching course subjects –  (“We are talking music department here!…I was pressed into an advisory role… Naturally I reeled at the audacity of an entirely secular university institution making a reprehensible demand on an employee to be a parrot for someone else’s spiritual/religious and racist agenda.  However, on further enquiries it is revealed that many, if not all university departments have the same request in place. i.e.  to incorporate Matauranga Maori into their courses.  The request comes in an ultimate form of  “if not why not” directive.

“I’ve enquired with other former teachers and others: the consensus is: anything implying spiritualism/ religiosity or racism has no place in the university, and probably the University Charter says it explicitly. You cannot comply with this call for racism being incorporated into the school on personal, ethical, and academic grounds. Besides, it is outside your job description to be advocating any spiritual, religious or racial bias into your academic teaching subject. You cannot, nor can you, be a parrot for someone else’s agenda. It is morally reprehensible that the secular academic institution should call on you to do so as well. You {should} decline on academic grounds of integrity!”

What of the recent experience of Bruce Moon?  A retired Canterbury University professorial board member, Bruce has been deeply engaged in studying New Zealand history in his retirement. In his working life Bruce has been a rocket scientist in the UK and Australia. A fellow of the UK Institute of Physics,  a director of the Canterbury University Computer Centre, a national President of the NZ computer Society, an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Institute Information Technology Professionals, an officer in the Naval Reserve, Bruce is the author of “Real Treaty; False Treaty – The True Waitangi Story”.

Needless to say, the Nelson Mail, with its tendency to suppress letters with which the letters editor apparently does not agree, has consistently refused to publish Bruce’s letters  – and even articles – correcting quite wrong “facts” advanced by some of Nelson’s notable activists.  It was not until recently when I at last scratched together the time to make an official complaint to the Press Council about the Nelson Mail’s suppression of, or tampering with,  my own letters, citing Bruce’s experience also, that a recent letter of his has actually been published. The quite blatant bias now exhibited by extraordinarily uninformed or even stroppy agendists throughout our mainstream media echoes a lot of what is also happening overseas.

In relation to what has now become a quite blatant activism within the universities, and spreading throughout all other institutions, I’m reminded of the question I put to the eminent historian Paul Johnson nearly two decades in ago when I was fortunate enough to accompany him while he was visiting this country.  I asked him at the time where the attack upon the universities basically came from – specifically that of the post-modernists and the neo-Marxists (basically the same – i.e.  those working towards the imposing of Communism against the West by cultural domination, and spearheaded by the assault against reason by the same nihilist philosophers – or pseudo-philosophers.  Paul answered that this attack was not mounted against the universities – it originated from within the universities. He was of course right. And I recall an excellent lunchtime lecture he gave in Wellington – and the very hostile reception he got from his largely media and university staff audience.

This former editor of the left-wing The New Statesman abandoned the Left in favour of the free market, but his intellectual honesty is such that he would undoubtedly reject today’s corporate capture of the market – and its distortion  – when the excesses of capitalism without conscience are given rein to run riot.
Today, among those super-wealthy capitalist organisations now doing just this are some of our wealthiest tribes, virtually blackmailing universities and private institutions to prioritise their tribal interests ahead of the common good.

You’re paid by the taxpayers of this country, Susan Devoy. So we would like to know why New Zealand’s Relations Conciliator is apparently turning a blind eye to what is actually happening? Are you really so ignorant, or uninformed that you have no idea what is taking place ?  – of facts which now manage to get at least some, if woefully inadequate coverage in a mainstream media which for too long now has basically ill-served the country. And throwing around unjustified charges of racism, when fine individuals who’ve earned the right to be listened to, and respected,  point out what is really racist – and  are ignored, simply isn’t good enough.

What is basically racist – the form of virtual blackmail by now very wealthy iwi, including, in fact particularly Ngai Tahu – has reached disgraceful proportions. Ironically, on very good evidence, including historian Alan Everton’s excellent research, this largely European-derived tribe should never have got its lucrative 1998 settlement (one of the last of a number of now never-ending power and money grabs by this greedy tribe that lawyer Chris Finlayson wangled for them).  It was a settlement repudiated by highly respected members of the tribe, such as Dame Whetu Tirikatane-Sullivan, pointing out that a previous full and final settlement had been unanimously agreed to. However, the dominating, reportedly only even one-sixteenth Maori, Tipene O’Regan, apparently persuaded Finlayson to represent their new, contrived claim – already previously rejected by a Maori Affairs Select Committee.  Finlayson was viewed as largely instrumental in pushing this claim through.  However, was this instance of what many public perceive as the only too common practice of lawyers competing against each other – rather than prioritizing the justice of a claim?

Finlayson is on record as saying, in a speech in 2009:  “I used to love going to the office in the morning when we were suing the Crown…Ngai Tahu mastered the  art of aggressive litigation. . .  It was ‘Take no prisoners’ and it resulted in a good settlement “. For Ngai Tahu, yes, but what about the truth of their claim?

It would not be appropriate for this lawyer to gloat too much. Later, the Crown lawyers virtually admitted they were a pushover. They had no historians on board – from memory, they admitted their lawyers had background degrees in Geography and French. They not only accepted Ngai Tahu’s word in relation to quite wrong “facts” – they were not allowed to even follow the normal practice of cross-examination. Tipene O’Regan even managed to successfully make the ridiculous claim that confrontation was not the Maori way…

This Ngai Tahu settlement was later described as a swindle – a view many share. The select committee whose job it should have been to scrutinise it was told by the Minister in charge of Treaty Negotiations at the time, Doug Graham, that their job was to simply basically endorse it, as the original bill had been signed by him and the then Prime Minister, Jim Bolger. In other words, it was never subjected to the proper, rigorous scrutiny which should have occurred.

 And unfortunately, also, in the eyes of well informed historians and researchers, the Ngai Tahu lawyer Chris Finlayson  was subsequently appointed Minister for Treaty Negotiations, and  has been viewed to be far too uncritical of highly fanciful claims submitted for his office to apparently virtually rubber-stamp.  He has apparently been very close to the wily elder Apirana Mahuika, who claimed, when a generous full and final settlement was signed, that it would not be the end of it – that his present generation had no right to hold the next generation to a proceeding agreement. When, as a then Dominion columnist,  I pointed out at the time that in this case he and his fellow claimants, according to this logic, had no right to expect today’s generation to endorse the Treaty of Waitangi, he went off the air…

How sad it is that today’s destructive tribalism is not only opposing the common good: it is sowing dissent throughout this country. Our governments have been very much culpable – both National and Labour have let the country down. And Labour is now marching further ahead downs the same well-trodden path.

That this neo-tribalism is destroying much of what has been best about New Zealand  – where racial discrimination  held so little place that intermarriage was taken for granted  – to the extent that there are no longer any full-blooded Maori in our relatively short cohabitation – is no longer in doubt. But we never hear a word from you, Susan Devoy, Race Relations Conciliator, about the real reasons for what is going wrong. Your apparent focus on attempting to punish those you consider hold “racist” views is yet another nail in the coffin of the once far healthier democracy we were.

A number of factors are contributing to the growth of separatism and resentment. But basically, rapacious, so-called neo-tribes, with their unhealthy but highly lucrative concentration on grievances dating back two centuries, are responsible – together with the lawyers so obligingly assisting them, helping themselves to a large chunk of the never-ending settlements which were supposed to have reached final closure years ago. Moreover, greed and avarice being what they are, the possibility of squeezing even more millions from New Zealand taxpayers to add to the $50 billion which the Maori economy is now worth, is being milked on what has become a never-ending basis. That ridiculous claims to areas which Maori never owned, including our waterways, plants, and the radio spectrum are not immediately laughed out of court are an indictment on our venal political parties  – and a now perceivedly activist judicial system.

 The facts of the matter – that there given there are no longer any full-blooded Maori in this country, and  that most with some Maori ancestry do not profit one whit from what the chief executives of these neo-tribes – in fact basically corporate bodies – are contriving for themselves is completely ignored by our constantly vote-buying political parties.  What is also ignored is that none of these settlements benefit any in the past who were genuinely wronged – and that the blame for any such injustices (which certainly by no means affected only Maori) cannot possibly be laid at the feet of any New Zealanders today.

So what has been happening? The answer lies in Malcolm X’s advice to radical activists that  “The squeaky wheel gets the most grease…”  advice the controversial  Titewhai Harawira gave to her followers.  Mrs  Harawira, like so many activist part- Maori,  who have apparently been intent on passing on a sense of grievance to the next generation – without ever acknowledging the very tangible benefits that colonisation brought to Maori –   has apparently never come to terms with the simple fact that, as Bruce Moon reminds us, the Treaty of Waitangi – Te Tiriti o Waitangi  was basically a simple document which said in essence  that the chiefs ceded sovereignty completely and forever to the Queen,  and that all Maoris (including the many slaves) received the rights of the people of England. The extraordinary and quite wrong statement by the President of the Royal Society, Richard Bedford, to the effect that researchers have special responsibilities under the treaty is quite wrong, as is his reference, to Aotearoa New Zealand – a name which does not occur in any reference to New Zealand in Te Tiriti – but which is now being heavily promoted by radical activists as a substitute for this country’s correct name.

A clue to what underpins this ongoing push for separatism and indeed for special privileges – is found in a recent interview given by the radicalised Mrs Titewhai Harawira, mother of the stroppy former MP Hone Harawira.  “They talk about how Māori have special privileges. But we don’t have any special privileges. We are tangata whenua and we have a treaty that says we have a right to these taonga. And the Pākehā have a right to look after their own people. Not to rule over us.”

She’s wrong, of course. Sovereignty was ceded to the Crown. And it’s interesting how the original meaning of the words such as taonga has been exaggerated beyond recognition. Taonga applied only to material possessions – including land, to which stable possession and legal title was never held by Maori – until the coming of British Law establishing this. Similarly, the much invoked claim to be tangata whenua is quite wrong. Mrs Harawira’s ancestors made known to our early historians that the term referred to the people they knew had been here before them – a term translated variously as the first people – or the people of the land.

An interesting observation by Andy Oakley, author of the well researched ….”Once We Were One – The Fraud of Modern Separatism” (Tross Publishing) is that “I am finding more and more in my debates with Maori separatists that they accept there is noting in Te Tiriti that gives them any special rights, and the elevation of one race over all others may not be fair. However, what they now tend to say is:  it does not matter how I (me) or Pakeha feel about the situation: the courts have made their decisions and central and local governments are enacting these decisions by giving Maori separate and  superior rights… Get used to it.”

The country is not going to get used to it. The inevitable backlash is already under way.  So is the growing questioning about the qualifications – or lack of them – that our Race Relations Conciliator brings to bear on her highly controversial role. People are asking why she was ever appointed.

Postscript. The talk scheduled to be given at the Nelson library by historian Bruce Moon, at the invitation of the Nelson Institute,  has been called off. Apparently, representatives of the Nelson City Council, library officials, and two members of the Nelson Institute met, as all three groups have been contacted by persons saying he should not be allowed to talk on this topic.

Allowed? The you-can’t-say-that bullying and intimidation now being exercised on campuses overseas, by those too apparently mentally and emotionally fragile to be able to tolerate genuine debate, is well under way in this country. More than one other historian is reporting similar incidents.

Moon’s talk, “Twisting the treaty and other fake history” was specifically designed to be non-political – the findings of a scientist turned historian – rather than, one would expect (from his extremely well-informed writing in these areas) that of those government-endorsed, PC historians who have lent too willing and too uncritical an ear to the self-serving propaganda too often advanced by some of today’s manipulative tribal corporations.

This disgraceful and successful attempt to shut down well-informed commentators has been well under way overseas…It has now come here. Copy-cat objections to the scheduled talk were represented under the guise of concern about it disturbing the peace and becoming a Health and Safety issue. Reportedly, the individuals who thought up this underhand way of preventing actual facts being presented concerning the distortion of the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi are well known to the Council and library staff.

They need to be publicly identified, rather than sheltering under the convenient umbrella of anonymity. Nelson Institute, the Council and library  have all shamefully buckled under. If a legitimate case could indeed be made for it being a Health and Safety issue then the implying of possible violence means that this whole matter should now be reported to the police. But who’s holding their breath?

The only effective opposition to this virtual bullying by those anxious to hijack our democratic institutions can be mounted by individuals.

We have forgotten the power on one….Each one of your and my individual objections to this new totalitarianism is the strongest blow against this push for tribal preferment, and power. It is intent on contriving a virtual apartheid , and the supremacy of unrepresentative, minority power seekers working to undermine this country. Our real concern must be those who, as Edmund Burke pointed out, do absolutely nothing to help save the day…

Do you?  If so, we all owe a debt to you. Thank you!

If not? Join us – and tell others – till the knowledge of what is actually happening reaches right around the country.  

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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 through my  BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazons Kindle.

 

For Best Practice Democracy – read The Spectator – below.

Losing our democracy….

For why we ourselves, individual New Zealanders, need to claim back our country from our now thoroughly unrepresentative politicians, read further  – below the link to my recent Spectator Australia published article, Best Practice Democracy.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/best-practice-democracy/

For example, what has happened to us in recent decades when a new South African arrival expresses shock at finding what is basically another form of apartheid now being deliberately promoted in this country? Reportedly, he not surprisingly hoped he had left all this behind… and couldn’t believe it is happening here.

What’s more, this reverse apartheid is being deliberately backed by our political parties, jostling for self advantage… And it is going to get worse – with the extremist push for separate, thoroughly undemocratic constitutional “rights” for any of part -Maori descent. But why?

Labour, under its new, activist leader,  Jacinda Ardern, shows every sign or leading us even further down this racist path, although to date, National has been even worse than Labour in this respect. During its recent period of dominance, the markedly racist Vision Matauranga was supported. A marked form of prioritising Maori-related outcomes, government-backed, it requires not only our universities, but our private institutions to provide, in research grant applications, preferential outcomes for those of part-Maori descent over all other individuals. More on this in future, as this insidious requirement has now crept into other institutions bearing no relevance whatever to any particular ethnic group.

For the moment: one outstanding example is that scientists who apply for all government grants for research purposes from the Ministry of Research and Innovation – (funded by all taxpayers) – now have to state how it will first supposedly serve Maori interests – and if not – they have to explain why. Note the comment below from one scientist – and scores of others will be thinking the same.

“Government is now requiring *all* applications for research funding from Ministry of Business & Innovation (MBIE) to consider Vision Mātauranga nonsense.  Previously, one was able to tick a box to say one’s research didn’t have such relevance – now, chillingly, one must ‘provide evidence if you think Vision Mātauranga isn’t relevant’  (the twisted logic of this requirement is so outrageous that it almost sounds as if it could be challenged, legally).

“May be a sufficiently palatable way round this kind of thing, but certainly puts me off wanting to be involved in any kind of proposal at all.  And to get a job away from research!”

Hands up those who think that Susan Devoy, if this were brought to her attention, would strenuously object on behalf of all New Zealanders at such specific racist demands?

Hmm.

Incidentally,  with a Maori economy of now $50 billion, the very wealthy iwi – thanks to the never-ending raiding of taxpayers’ pockets -could  well afford to fund their own research – prioritising specific Maori-interest outcomes…

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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 through www.amybrooke.co.nz, Kindle, or HATM Publishers.

 

 

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.