Still someone else’s country
Wellington, Newtown, 9 February 2013 – As the issue of state asset sales and other New Right policies are on National’s impending agenda, the Newtown-branch of the Mana Party considered it worthwhile taking the time to look back at recent history. The events of today are firmly rooted in the past.
The New Right had taken power in Britain with the election of Margaret Thatcher in May 1979, and in the United States, with the election of Ronald Reagan in November 1980. Our turn came in July 1984, with the snap election called by an inebriated Rob Muldoon. (Intoxication on power and alcohol – not a very healthy mix.)
The Labour government that was swept to power (see: New Zealand general election, 1984) was not the Labour Party that people thought they were voting for. In total secrecy, Labour had been captured by a cabal of fanatical neo-liberal reformers. It was a government firmly under the control of what we know today, as the ACT Party.
Twenty nine years later…
Mana’s Newtown Branch decided to hold a public screening of Alister Barry’s hard-hitting, insightful, 1996 documentary, “Someone elses’s country“. The story told within that hour-and-a-half documentary is as valid today as it was three decades ago. (In fact, watch “Someone elses’s country” and then watch Bryan Bruce’s 2011 documentary, “Inside Child Poverty in New Zealand” – and the linkages of the radical transformation of our country is all but complete.)
Prior to the screening, the audience was welcomed by Mana Newtown organisor, Ariana, who gave a brief rundown of the content and it’s impact on our society,
Many in the audience were young people who either had not been born in the 1980s, or were too young to remember the calamitous events that were unfolding. To these people, the events we now understand as Rogernomics and Ruthenasia would have been like the 1951 Waterfront Lockout dispute that rocked the nation.
Following Ariana, a brief introduction to the film was made by sitting Wellington Councillor, Bryan Pepperell,
“It’s getting into it’s final stages where the agenda to actually get democracy out of the way of business is actually now reaching a high-point.There’s an awful lot of window-dressing and democracy in New Zealand context has become that, substantially window dressing…”
He then shared with the audience when his first disquiet over the election of the Lange Government came to him,
“When David Lange actually said on national television – and I remember the day when I sat and I watched it and I thought I can’t believe what I’m hearing – ‘from now on business is going to make the major decisions’. And that was actually a fairly startling thing as far as I was concerned… unfortunately poor old David probably got quite into something that was bigger than him, and here we are today with the consequences of those early decisions. And of course the National Party is utterly committed to helping it’s friends further the direction that we started in.”
The introduction completed, the screening began,
For many of us who lived through the period, memories of the time came flooding back. In some instances, several people in the audience even recognisedthemselves – with much younger faces – in stills and video footage of protest actions.
It is also worth recalling that despite calls from throughout the country, TVNZ’s Board rejected calls for widespread broadcasting claiming it it “too political”.
Of course it was bloody political!
It was so damn political that TVNZ’s boardmembers would have soiled their panties at the thought of upsetting their Ministerial masters in the Beehive.
As the doco’s producer, Alister Barry , said in November 2009,
“It was no accident that Someone Else’s Country wasn’t screened on TVNZ when it was completed in 1996.
It wasn’t that the Business Roundtable needed to actually tell the TV programmers not to screen it. Television executives knew perfectly well where their salaries came from and that TVNZ was being readied for sale.
Fourteen or fifteen minutes of every television hour – the very limit of viewers’ tolerance – was filled with messages carefully and expensively constructed to reach into their fears and appetites. Clutches of advertisements urged New Zealanders to “buy”, to think and feel like frustrated consumers. Airing a documentary which led viewers to think of themselves less as consumers and more as citizens capable of taking political action was not in the interests of the big corporations controlling the advertising dollar.”
It was not until 2003 that TVNZ finally mustered the courage to air “Someone elses’s country” – on a Sunday afternoon. Hardly peak viewing time.
Barry also had this pointed insight to make,
“It had been anticipated by New Zealand’s New Right revolutionaries, that by the early 2000s our values would have changed and we would have come to think like them, accepting poverty and extreme wealth as both normal and necessary. To pursue personal advantage and to care less about our neighbours. But studies show that in fact our values haven’t changed much from those of our parents and grandparents.
What is happening though, is that we are forgetting how things used to be and who changed them. Even as the human and environmental costs of the neoliberal experiment increase, we are finding it harder and harder to imagine how things could be better.
I hope you will find this film a useful antidote to forgetfulness.”
Which is what this country so desperately needs – an antidote to the collective amnesia which so many of our countrymen and woman so often succumb to.
As this blogger noted above; imagine the disquiet and anger that would result if “Someone elses’s country” was broadcast at prime-time, on a major tv channel – and then followed by Bryan Bruce’s, “Inside Child Poverty in New Zealand“…
The neo-liberal agenda continues. National plans to partially-privatise three power companies; a mining company; and Air New Zealand (which was privatised once before on 17 April 1989).
National is implementing a privatised form of education via “Charter Schools”.
And the economy is to be further “de-regulated” and made the rights of foreign corporations extended.
In a society run along neo-liberal lines, it becomes dangerous to upsets one’s
And shame upon shame to Jackson and his mates for aiding and abetting Hollywood’s Heavies.
What are they hiding?
Copyright (c) Notice
All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,
- Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
- Where purpose of use is commercial, a donation to Child Poverty Action Group is requested.
- At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals.
- Acknowledgement of source is requested.
Anti asset sale rally – this Wednesday 13 February
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $19.25/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
- Letter to the editor – If Serco was the answer, what was the question?
- National fiddles – while Cancer Kills
- Letter to the editor – John Key’s broken promises, a habit?
- On private prisons…
- Letter to the editor – John Key’s legacy?
- Letter to the editor – softening us up for another broken promise?
- National’s moving goalposts on climate change targets
- Another ‘Claytons’ Solution to our Housing Problem? When will NZers ever learn?
- One man’s “terrorist”, is another man’s freedom fighter…
- The Flag Referendum – A strategy for Calm Resistance
- The slow dismantling of a populist prime minister
- Treasury on Rail. Let’s play a little game, shall we?
- Why Labour should NEVER play the “race card”…
- 2015 – Ongoing jobless tally
- Letter to the editor – Contempt for Referenda? Now it’s our turn.
- WINZ, waste, and wonky numbers – *up-date*
- The Donghua Liu Affair: One Year On
- Letter to the editor – a Tale of Two Referenda
- From a story last year, predicting rocky-times for our “Rock Star” economy…
- An open letter to Pebbles Hooper…
- Poor people – let them eat cake; grow veges; not breed; and other parroted right wing cliches… (part rua)
- Hire a teenager, while they know everything
- Letter to the editor – a new angle in the flag debate
- Poor people – let them eat cake; grow veges; not breed; and other parroted right wing cliches…
- Letter to the Editor – Just how witless is our PM?!?!
- “I don’t know the details of that particular family” – Social Development Minister Anne Tolley
- Blogger threatened with lawsuit over questions of conflict-of-interest regarding Mediaworks
- Letter to the Editor – How many more children must die, Mr Key?!
- Letter to the Editor – User Pays is not a very clever solution
- Housing Minister Paula Bennett continues National’s spin on rundown State Houses
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- 387,396 hits