Nothing quite reinforces ‘Privilege’ than an ‘Us and Them’ Attitude
When , drunk, dumb, and ultimately doomed National backbencher, Aaron Gilmore, uttered his now-infamous words, “Don’t you know who I am?“, it revealed to the public a glimpse of the attitude of those who – in their minds – are Born To Rule (over us).
For a certain type of persons who happens to be blessed with wealth, power, business acumen, and/or other talents, they consider themselves to have “earned” the right to be superior to those around them not-quite-as-fortunate. (Or even, gods-forbid, not particularly interested in wealth, power, business acumen, etc.)
It is this arrogance – born from success in their chosen field of endeavour – which results in attitudes such as the law (or social “niceties”) not applying to them.
Case in Point #1: In Aaron Gilmore’s case, he became angry that the waiter refused to serve him any more alcohol. The waiter’s decision was based on a simple law-of-the-land; that intoxicated persons shall not be sold/served any more liquor. Failure to comply can mean hefty fines; suspension (or full cancellation) of liquor license; and having employment terminated.
But Gilmore didn’t care. He just wanted more booze to flow down his gullet. When his demands were declined, he attempted to use his position of authority (an elected member of Parliament) to get his way. When that failed, he invoked the Office of the Prime Minister. That, too, failed.
But what was it about Gilmore’s position that he believed he had status sufficient to believe that the law did not apply to him?
Case in Point #2: When government minister, Gerry Brownlee walked through security doors at Christchurch airport, he obviously held a view that being late for his flight was just cause to ignore Civil Aviation rules;
Gerry Brownlee is standing by his version of how his airport security breach took place – after being contradicted by an airport staffer.
The Civil Aviation Authority’s released a heavily-redacted report into the July incident at Christchurch Airport.
Mr Brownlee said he knocked on a secure door and asked to be let through, because he was late for a flight.
But the airport employee told the inquiry that one of Mr Brownlee’s staff pulled the secure door open, and the trio walked past him without seeking permission.
Gerry Brownlee was later fined $2000.
Despite being fined for his rule-breaking, a spokesman for Brownlee said that the minister “stands by his testimony“. So not only did Brownlee consider himself (a) above the law, (b) acted on that belief, but (c) when found guilty, and fined, showed no acceptance of his wrong-doing.
What was it about Brownlee’s position that he believed he had status sufficient to believe that the law did not apply to him?
Case in Point #3: Multimillionaire property developer, Bob Jones, was recently thrown off an Air New Zealand flight for not following an on-board safety briefing, reported the Civil Aviation Authority.
According to CAA spokesperson, Mike Richards;
“The passenger was basically ignoring what was going on and wearing headphones. The crew member complained to someone in command and said, ‘I don’t want passengers on the flight who aren’t following instructions of the crew’.”
So, basically, Bob Jones couldn’t be arsed following the rules and paying attention, despite being asked to? Did Jones believe that, in the event of an emergency, somehow his wealth would be sufficient to circumvent the laws of gravity, and he would descend gently to the ground?
What was it about Jones’ position that he believed he had status sufficient to believe that the law (both Parliamentary and gravitational) did not apply to him?
Is the answer to the question posed at the end of each case, simply because society allows status, based on political power and/or wealth, to gain privileges which are not accorded to the rest of us (99% of us)?
If Air New Zealand’s “Elite Priority One” is any indication, then political power and wealth invites special privilege that other paying customers for the airline’s service apparently do not deserve;
New Zealand – the nation that once prided itself on it’s egalitarianism – now has an airline trading on our name, and offering services to the “elite” that the ordinary folk of this country were not even aware of.
That is real privilege accorded to the wealthy and powerful – when the masses aren’t even aware that Jack is no longer as good as his Master.
So when an MP expects that liquor laws can be flouted so he can get more inebriated; when a Minister expects that Civil Aviation laws apply to others, but not him; and when a millionaire thumbs his nose at critical safety information – let us be clear that they deeply believe they are entitled to hold those views.
They are, after all, better than us.
Air New Zealand says as much. They are, after all, Elite, Priority One.
Fairfax media: Sir Bob Jones escorted from Air NZ flight
NewstalkZB: Brownlee contradicted on airport security breach
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 1 June 2015.
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $20.20/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
~ State housing for life
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Stronger communities
- The Rise and Rise of Daddy State: MSD blackmails NGOs for private data
- 2017 – Ongoing jobless tally
- Trumpwatch: The Art of Deflection
- Trumpwatch: Fake News, Soft News, and Non-News
- The Mendacities of Mr English – The covert agenda of high immigration
- Election ’17 Countdown: The Promise of Nirvana to come
- Trumpwatch: “… then they came for the LGBT”
- Election ’17 Countdown: Joyce – let the lolly scramble begin!
- Election ’17 Countdown: The Strategy of Ohariu
- Trumpwatch: The Drum(pf)s of War
- The Mendacities of Mr English – Social Services under National’s tender mercies
- Trumpwatch: Muslims, mandates, and moral courage
- Trumpwatch: Voter fraud, Presidential delusions, and Fox News
- Cutting taxes toward more user-pays – the Great Kiwi Con
- St John management applies tourniquet to workers’ throats
- Letter to the editor – Juliet Moses does NOT speak on my behalf!
- The Legacy of a Dismantled Prime Minister
- Trumpwatch: Trump escalates, Putin congratulates
- Protestors condemn Russian involvement in atrocities in Aleppo
- The Sweet’n’Sour Deliciousness of Irony: Russia accused of meddling in US Election
- Charter Schools in a Post-Truth Era
- The Dismantling of a Prime Minister – Completed
- The Mendacities of Mr Key # 19: Tax Cuts Galore! Money Scramble!
- The Rise of Great Leader Trump
- An earthquake separates John Key and ‘The Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher
- When Life is a Lottery
- The seductiveness of Trumpism
- 2016 – Ongoing jobless tally and why unemployment statistics will no longer be used
- Trumpwatch: Black Ops from the SIS and FBI?
- Expose: Winston Peters; the 1997 speeches; and neo-liberal tendencies
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- 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
- 446,839 hits