Archive

Posts Tagged ‘racism’

National’s latest default Go-To Distraction

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political red herring

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As National Party’s current Leader, Judith Collins, channeled former National Party Leader, Don Brash by playing the Race Card, I was reminded of a blogpost I wrote in March 2017;

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Faced with increasingly negative indicators from high immigration, English was forced to explain why we were seeing high immigration at a time of rising unemployment;

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English’s response was predictable if not offensive.

Playing National’s Blame Game

As per usual strategy, English defaulted to National’s strategy of Default Blame-gaming. When in trouble;

    1. Blame the previous Labour government
    2. Blame ‘welfare abuse’/Release a ‘welfare abuse’ story in the media
    3. Blame Global Financial Crisis or similar overseas event

(If the trouble is Auckland-centered, Default #4: Blame Auckland Council/RMA/both.)

This has been the pattern of National’s policy to shift blame elsewhere for it’s consistently ineffectual policies;

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The Blame Gaming was applied recently to National’s appalling do-nothing record on housing;

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Resorting to Deflection #2, English had the cheek to blame young unemployed for our high immigration level;

One of the hurdles these days is just passing the drug test … Under workplace safety, you can’t have people on your premises under the influence of drugs and a lot of our younger people can’t pass that test.

People telling me they open for applications, they get people turning up and it’s hard to get someone to be able to pass the test – it’s just one example.

So look if you get around the stories, you’ll hear lots of stories – some good, some not so good – about Kiwis’ willingness and ability to do the jobs that are available.”

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We can now add an official fourth (or fifth category, if Auckland and/or the RMA is invoked);

4. Invoke/blame Maori separatism

Which Judith Collins has recently been exploiting with gusto;

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“It is not actually an issue of race, there is nothing in being Māori that intrinsically makes anyone more in need in the health system.

We’re not going to go down that path, any more than the National Party will ever agree to racist separatism in education, or in the justice sector. It is important that we have solutions that work in communities, but they will not be based on someone’s ethnicity.

This is actually an issue of poverty and opportunity. It is not an issue, intrinsically based on or linked to ethnicity and to say it is ignores the fact that there are many New Zealanders of many different ethnicities who struggle.

We have to understand that we either have a country built on a separate system for Māori versus every other New Zealander, or we have a system that is based on equality and on bringing opportunity through to every New Zealander, irrespective of face.

We will not stand for a separatist New Zealand. We will stand for a New Zealand where everyone gets equal opportunity, and we’re able to help everyone to come through to the best of their ability and their own self-determination.”

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When Ms Collins was challenged on RNZ Morning Report, Corin Dann (28 April, @7:07), recited a well-known scandalous litany of negative outcomes for Maori,

“...But you have said in that ‘tweet‘, I mean you’ve said that public health provision must be based on individual need not race.

How has that worked for Maori over the 150 years? Because they’ve had plenty of need, and we know the statistics; they die earlier; have poorer access to health, and are sicker.”

To which Ms Collins simply replied;

“Well, you’re quite wrong.”

Listening to the current National Party Leader, it was abundantly clear that she was not talking to Corin Dann and hundreds of thousands of mostly liberal-inclined RNZ listeners.

Instead, she was communicating directly to conservative New Zealanders; mostly white, middle-aged, property owners who tended to vote National and/or ACT – but who sometimes ‘flirted’ with the Labour Party in times of social stress.

It happened in 1984 and 1987 when Labour lurched to the Right and increased it’s popular vote from 829,154 to 878,448. More startling still, Labour nearly took the blue ribbon safe seat of Remuera – coming within 406 votes in 1987, down from National’s commanding lead of 3,483 in 1984 and 5,105 in 1981.

The social stressors in 1981 were a flammable cocktail of rugby, petrol prices, and stagnating economy. All of which diverted voters’ attention from the tired-looking National government of the day, to a fresh alternative – Labour, with it’s new charismatic Leader, David Lange.

In 2020, it was a global pandemic that turned voters en masse to Labour and it’s charismatic Leader, Jacinda Ardern. National continued to look tired, with last-century economic and social policies and internecene warfare that saw three leadership changes in quick succession; more leaks than the Titanic; and a constant tirade of non-stop negativity.

Make no mistake, this was a naked appeal to conservative New Zealanders – most of whom either fled to ACT or for whom PM Ardern’s tough stance on keeping Fortress New Zealand safe from the scourge of covid19 appealed to their yearning for decisive, Strongperson Leadership.

But whether it will attract a return of several hundred thousand voters and collapse Labour’s strong support? Doubtful. At best, a “bump” in National’s polling and/or Preferred Prime ministership rating will be the most Ms Collins can hope for.

But if it’s enough to save her shaky leadership until election day, then her blatant dog-whistle racism will have done it’s job.

As Māori Party co-leader, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, said;

“We are expendable and that’s the biggest tragedy of this. She’s not focused on Māori, she doesn’t give a hoot about Māori, what she’s focused on is putting Labour down and creating division.

That’s her role as opposition, but not at the cost of tangata whenua, and not at the cost of the indigenous peoples of Aotearoa who are truly hurting.”

(Side note: National can kiss good-bye to any notions of a coalition with a resurgent Maori Party whilst Ms Collins is Party Leader. That bridge hasn’t just been burned – it was fully nuked.)

National Party leaders – will happily stand on the bodies of the underclasses if necessary. Especially to save their leadership.

But will New Zealanders fall for crass, clumsy, quasi-Trumpian populism?

Yeah, nah.

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double standards

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References

TV3 News:  Bill English blames unemployment on drug tests

RNZ: ‘A lot of our younger people can’t pass that test’

RNZ: Collins says her party won’t stand for ‘racist separatism’ New Zealand

RNZ: Decision on Treaty of Waitangi in National Party constitution up to members – Judith Collins

Twitter: Judith Collins – Public health provision must be based on individual need, not race

Wikipedia: 1984 New Zealand general election

Wikipedia: 1987 New Zealand general election

Wikipedia: 1981 New Zealand general election

RNZ: Judith Collins’ campaign against Māori systems won’t win votes – commentator

Twitter: Jeremy @nz_voter – 6.47PM 28 Apr 2021

Twitter: @Citizen1301 – 11.39AM 2 May 2021

Additional

The Spin-off: ‘All my dreams have come true’ – Doctors and experts react to the end of DHBs

Other Blogs

Bowalley Road: Can Judith Collins Make Don Brash’s ‘Nationhood Soufflé’ Rise Twice?

My Thinks: Judith Collins goes whistle shopping

The Standard: National’s very bad day

Previous related blogposts

When National is under attack – Deflect, deflect, deflect!

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #2

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #1

The Mendacities of Mr English – The covert agenda of high immigration

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racism

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Acknowledgement : Sharon Murdoch

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 5 May2021.

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A Tale of Two Head Coverings – a personal-essay

11 November 2015 1 comment

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break the chains of racism

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A recent incident in Auckland highlighted that racism is still very much alive in our country. The case of Fatima Mohammadi being denied employment because she wore a piece of fabric on her head is indicative how far New Zealand has yet to go on being the tolerant society we would like to think we are.

According to some in our society, this is acceptable;

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fashion headscarf

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The garb of two internationally-recognised women below is very acceptable, and the wearers held in high regard by many throughout the West;

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This is not acceptable, and elicits fear, prejudice, and intolerance;

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One of the four women above was denied employment at a job interview, because she wore a head-scarf.

Can you guess which?

Clue: she’s not caucasian.

By any measure, this is a form of racism. Those who mask their racism by insisting that employers have a “right” to base their employment decisions on race, religion, ethnicity, etc, are trying to hide their prejudice behind the mask of “free choice”.

“Free choice” ends where racism begins.

Otherwise, we end up with “free choice” being expressed like this in cafes, buses, and other public places;

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WeWashForWhitePeople

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“Freedom of  choice” to be racist has a corollary – it denies another human being the right to participate on an equal footing, based solely on religion, race, etc.

Do we really want to see signs like this springing up around New Zealand;

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no_muslims

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Perhaps the most bizarre way  racism is couched  is the proposition that forcing muslim women to abandon their headscarves is a “feminist” stance. Like the “freedom of choice” excuse, the “feminist” excuse is pseudo-progressiveness which masks the real ugliness that is racism.

Forcing a woman not to wear a certain style of clothing is no more feminist than telling her what she must wear. It is another  Orwellian concept which most of us are already familiar with;

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Anyone who thinks that it is ok for Ms Mohammadi to be discriminated against has obviously never been discriminated against. Otherwise they would know the intense feeling of humiliation such discrimination creates.

The feeling of humiliation was one of my first lessons in the nastier side of human behaviour. As a child, I witnessed first-hand racist abuse meted out to my mother by local half-witted young men at an A&P Show. Two or three louts (I can’t recall the actual number) overheard her telling me and my siblings to stay close and not get lost in the crowd.

They obviously over-heard her talking to us in her native language. Being from Eastern Europe, her different language and accent was obvious.

They surrounded my mother and told her to speak English. They told her to go back home. They shouted menacingly at us. Powerless, we clung to her, until they got tired of their racist ranting and walked off.

Not the best experience for a six year old.

I’ve never forgotten the experience. That kind of thing sticks with you for the rest of your life.

There are those – usually privileged white, English-speakers – who will maintain that was simply “freedom of speech” when they publically harangued, intimidated, and frightened us.

It didn’t feel like “free speech”.

Quite simply, this is not the Kiwi Way. In 1981, this country fought apartheid in a far-away country and there were mass protests in the streets as many New Zealanders resisted  state racism in South Africa.

Aotearoa’s stand on South Africa’s apartheid system was instrumental in that country’s democratic reformation.

If business-owners can discriminate on grounds on a headscarf, what is the next grounds for discrimination? As history shows, the human capacity for bigotry can start small and seemingly insignificant, and end up with a holocaust that forever impacts on the collective human psyche.

It seems that we have much work left here in Aotearoa to address our own attitudes.

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References

NZ Herald: Editorial – Clashes of culture call for tolerance

Other Bloggers

The Daily Blog: Cottonsocks – Response to NZH editorial

Previous related blogposts

A taste of racism

Random Thoughts on Random Things #1

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special exemption

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 7 November 2015.

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Categories: Social Issues Tags: ,

Random Thoughts on Random Things #7 – the fate of the Maori Party

17 July 2014 1 comment

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Watching Pita Sharples interviewed on TV3’s ‘The Nation’ on 5 July, two things occurred to me.

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There is every likelihood that, come election day,  the Maori Party is doomed. If they are really, really, really lucky, they might win one seat. Perhaps.

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As much as I dislike National’s coalition lap-dogs, We may yet need the Maori Party.

Up till now, I have wished for their hurried departure from Parliament. As a much-needed coalition ally to National, they have propped up this government and allowed various policies to be enacted that further the neo-liberal agenda at the expense of the majority of New Zealanders.

But this, in turn, has meant that National and ACT have toned down much of the anti-Treaty rhetoric that Brash engaged in when he was leader of the Nats. When Brash gave his infamous Orewa speech in January 2004, the more conservative, reactionary element in New Zealand society rewarded him and his party with a huge (if short-lived) 17%  ‘bounce’ in the polls.

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kiwis not iwis - beaches

 

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National’s  strategists understand they cannot afford to alienate that support. Not when every vote and every seat in Parliament counts. And not when this year’s election promises to be the narrowest-run race in decades.

Keeping the Maori Party on-side has also meant losing a strategic tactic from the Right – playing the racist “Treaty Card”. National can no longer play that “card”. Not if it expects to keep the Maori Party as a coalition ally.

This is an added ‘bonus’ for the Left. By removing  anti-Treaty messages from National’s “arsenal” of available campaign strategies,  racist rednecks no longer have a “natural political home” to vote for, en masse.

As someone who has no love for National and it’s coalition allies, I have to grudgingly admit to a new-found use for the Maori Party – as a useful brake on National’s racist tendencies.

Perhaps Labour and Mana should consider the strategy of “gifting” one of the seven Maori Electorates to the Maori Party?

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References

TV3: The Nation – Interview – Maori Party founding co-leader Pita Sharples

TV3: Interview – Pita Sharples – Transcript

Fairfax media: Brash takes aim at Key in race speech

Previous related blogposts

Poll shows gain for National’s ‘dog whistle’ politics

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 12 July 2014.

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Letter to the Editor: How anti-democratic is an un-elected leadership?

30 April 2014 2 comments

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This recent event in New Plymouth caught my attention and I couldn’t but help notice the strange contradictions it presented…

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Dismay as iwi voting rights denied

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So I put words-to-screen and sent off this email to the editor of the Taranaki Daily News,

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FROM: "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 22:59:45 +1200
TO: "Taranaki Daily News" <editor@dailynews.co.nz>

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The Editor
Taranaki Daily News

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Kia Ora,

I was disappointed to learn that on 15 April the New
Plymouth City Council voted  against a proposal for Iwi
representation on the NPCC.

The most common rationale (if it could be called "rational")
given was that Iwi representation by appointment would be
"un-elected" and therefore "un-democratic". 

I was intrigued by that. 

I wonder how many of the Councillors and citizens of New
Plymouth who oppose Iwi representation on the Council
realise that our Head of State - Queen Elizabeth II - is
also un-elected.

This does not seem to bother a fair number of New
Zealanders.

How bizarre that so many people seem to view an un-elected
Head of State; living on the other side of the planet; with
marginal connection to our nation - as some kind of
"normality".

But a Treaty partner; our fellow countrymen and women; who
live alongside us, are kept well away from the council table
because they were "not elected". How convenient, also, that
being a minority,  Iwi is denied having elected
representation on Council. So sayeth the tyranny of the
Majority.

Skin colour wouldn't have anything to do with this clear
example of double standards, by any chance?




-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number supplied]

 

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References

Taranaki Daily Mail:  Dismay as iwi voting rights denied


 

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The sacking of the national govt

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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A fitting response to National MP’s recent personal attacks on Metiria Turei

1 February 2014 6 comments

The issue; from National Party Ministers who have taken to personal attacks on Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei;

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PM says ministers not bullying Turei

 

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When National ministers indulge in such petty, vindictive, and patently childish behaviour, what they are really telling the country is that they don’t give a rat’s arse about increasing child poverty in New Zealand; about high unemployment; and that young New Zealanders have been locked out of the housing market because of this government’s hopeless policies.

In effect, we’re paying National Party wannabee-leader, Judith Collins, and Anne Tolley, $268,500 per year, plus generous allowances and perks plus a gold-plated superannuation scheme (that few other New Zealanders are entitled to) – to make snarky school-girl/boy comments about a person’s clothing.

Facebook user, Maria Sherwood, made this absolutely brilliant suggestion,

“If I was Metiria, to make a point, I would wear sackcloth and ashes when Parliament resumes the week after next. She will be asked to leave, as it is not dress becoming an MP, but her point will be made. Come on Metiria, stand up and show those hard-faced cows what’s what.”

That would send a powerful message to National MPs who have seemingly lost touch with New Zealanders and the many different problems they face in the daily course of their lives.

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References

Radio NZ: PM says ministers not bullying Turei

Parliament: Ministerial Salaries payable under section 16 of Civil List Act 1979

Other blogs

The Daily Blog: Metiria and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Maui Street: Anne Tolley: an agent of colourblind racism?

Local Bodies: National Attacks the Jacket Not the Message

Polity:  National hypocrisy about hypocrisy

Porcupine Farm: The Farther Reaches of Victimhood

 

 

 

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election 2014

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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Brain-fades, batons, and ‘Boks

10 January 2014 3 comments

Michelle A’Court wrote this piece about the 1981 Springbok tour – her personal experience of one of the defining moments of our modern (albeit short) history,

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Springbok tour memories still vivid

Source

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Clearly, the Tour and surrounding events made a lasting impression on her – as it did with so many other New Zealanders. In her piece, she made this subtle reference to Key’s recent brain-fade about his own position on the Tour,

In 1981, John Key and I were both 20-year-old university students – he at Canterbury, me at Victoria.

These were the years before student loans, when we studied free and bursaries covered tuition and most of our living costs.

Without a terrifying debt waiting for us at graduation, many of us engaged with a broader education than just our prescribed courses.

Student media, drama, political activism . . . I often wonder if the shift to student loans was as much about social repercussions as fiscal concerns.

My memories of the 1981 Springbok tour are vivid.

IBID

The photo in the story is one of hundreds – thousands – that were taken of a momentous event that rocked this nation to it’s core. For many, the wounds have only just healed, as with former policeman and Red Squad leader, Ross Meurant,

Last night, Mr Meurant told the crowd, who had permission to be on the playing field for the service, that Mandela had been an “outstanding statesman” and “one of the most precious and remarkable gifts ever bestowed to mankind”.

Mr Meurant, who hadn’t been back to the stadium since the infamous protest, said the events of the tour had changed him forever. “The greatest journey has been my personal development, from deep in the forest of police culture and distorted reality, to the ability to see where I was wrong – and where the system fails us,” he said.

Source

For this blogger, the 1981 Tour was also a pivotal moment in my life. It marked the moment when I realised that my heretofore right-wing views were horribly wrong and that I had had a simplistic, naive, and distorted view of the world.

There had been other previous instances, such as Muldoon’s (unsuccessful) determination to fell the country’s last remaining native forests at Pureora and elsewhere. Or the United States toppling left-wing governments and supporting the installation of right-wing – often military – dictatorships. All while mouthing platitudes about being the standard bearer for democracy for the world.

The person that I was, vanished, as I watched New Zealanders being batoned and bloodied by police – something out of Roger Donaldson’s “Sleeping Dogs” movie, that had been released only four years previously. The movie  (based on C.K. Stead’s novel, “Smith Dream“) was eerily and frighteningly prophetic.

So it beggars belief that our current Prime Minister claims that he cannot recall his position on the Tour. As far back as 2008, when he was asked by a TV  journalist,

“In 1981, were you for or against the Springbok Tour?”

He answered:

“Oh, I can’t even remember … 1981, I was 20 … ah … I don’t really know. I didn’t really have a strong feeling on it at the time. Look, it’s such a long time ago.”

Source

Which is odd, as politics was passionately discussed in the Key household, with John Key being unashamedly pro-Muldoon and pro-National,

Sue also remembers fiery debates between her mother and brother. “Mum was fiercely Labour and John was fiercely for [National leader Sir Rob] Muldoon,” says Sue. “I used to take the middle ground, they’d be on either side of the dinner table just about with knives out on each other as to who was right.” So, even at a young age, he had gravitated to National, in spite of his mother’s left leanings.

At one point in his childhood, Key gave his mother a National Party rosette for her birthday, to wind her up. She kept it until she died.

IBID

One of his fellow University students, Paul Commons, stated,

If he had political aspirations then, I don’t remember them but he was certainly very politically engaged and aware and very much a supporter of the Muldoon Government. I don’t remember him being an active member of any party and certainly was not politically active on campus.”

IBID

Had Key and his family been apolitical and utterly dis-interested in current affairs, one could accept Dear Leader’s statement that “I can’t even remember … 1981, I was 20 … ah … I don’t really know. I didn’t really have a strong feeling on it at the time”.

But not when he and his family were politically conscious and Key had already formed a strong preference for the National Party.

If Key genuinely cannot recall one of the most violent and divisive issues of the latter part of the 20th Century – then that suggests he is suffering from some form of early dementia. In which case he is not fit to be Prime Minister, much less hold office of any description. He should be seeking urgent medical intervention.

Or, as more likely, Key is simply lying. Again. Not for the first time, Key has resorted to mendacity to get out of a sticky situation he is unable to cope with.

Let’s be clear here – the Springbok Tour affected the collective psyche of the  entire country.

On a personal level, it changed my own political compass 180 degrees so utterly and so radically, that I would barely recognise myself thirtythree years ago.

But Key evidently can’t remember any of it.

Not credible.

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The article by Ms A’Court also featured an associated  poll which asked people which side of the issue they were on,

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Do you remember ther Springbok tour

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It is interesting to note the the Pro-Tour and Anti-Tour response is roughly equal – reflecting the same situation which existed back in 1981.

History, repeats.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 3 January 2014.

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References

Fairfax media: John Key briefed on Dotcom spying in February

Fairfax media: Springbok tour memories still vivid

NZ Herald: Nelson Mandela funeral: Minto and Meurant recall pitch protest

NZ Herald: In search of John Key

Previous related blogposts

Politicians never tell fibs

Dear Leader, GCSB, and Kiwis in Wonderland (Part Rua)

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A taste of racism…

9 January 2014 6 comments

This item was Stuff (the Fairfax news media) caught my attention,

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'Racist' label angers Kiwis in AustraliaSource

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Having lived briefly in Australia, I can vouch for the racist attitude that many Australians have toward migrants. New Zealanders are no exception, and also suffer the wrath of prejudice from some of our Aussie cuzzies.

Which is ironic, as we ourselves have a long way to go, to examine our own racist attitudes and how desperately we (or some of us) cling to prejudice to preserve our place in society’s hierarchy.

Nisbet’s cartoons, published mid last year (2013) are a case in point;

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290513 The Marlborough Express Al Nisbet cartoon

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Al Nisbet's racist cartoon (2)

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Those who did not see Nisbet’s cartoons as racist and offensive could be placed in two broad (sometimes over-lapping?) groups; those who are ordinary racists and who saw the cartoons as a validation of their views; and the Uninformed who – whilst not consciously racist – probably didn’t recognise the nature of the images and the messages they were conveying. They simply had no political consciousness that could *switch on* a light-bulb in their minds and instantly recognise what Nibet’s cartoons represented.

And really, any one of us can fall into that particular trap on occassion. An image that might seem innocuous to one person might be utterly reprehensible to another.

The difference between the racist and the uninformed is that the latter can learn and when understanding comes, the *lightswitch* comes on.

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For a cartoonist to be truly subversive, their art should express  critical attention on society’s unpleasant prejudices; irrational contradictions; and those who exploit  traditions to maintain positions of power. These are the things that demand to be challenged.

Nisbet’s cartoons did not challenged popular prejudices – they reinforced and gave credence to them. It gave “comfort to the enemy” – the enemy being ignorance and bigotry. It reinforced rather than scrutinised or challenged.

The cartoonist below, on the other hand, challenged the knee-jerk mindlessness of parroted bigotry,

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racism-cartoon-go-home

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The unknown (American?) creator of the above cartoon subverted the “logic” of the racist, showing it to be what is truly is; untenable when taken to it’s ultimate, ludicrous conclusion.

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Returning to the Stuff article above, it’s not often that white New Zealanders get a taste of what racism feels like. Experiencing it at the hands of others suddenly widens our perception as we find ourselves walking in someone elses’ shoes.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 2 January 2014.

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References

Fairfax media: ‘Racist’ label angers Kiwis in Australia

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The Maori Party, the I’m-Not-Racist-Pakeha Party, the Gambling-My-Money-Away Party, and John Key’s Party

18 July 2013 2 comments

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The Maori Party

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It needs the nuclear option

“Time for the nuclear option, cuz!”

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TV3’s Patrick Gower had this to say about the Maori Party, on 12 July,

“It needs the nuclear option.

It needs to kick National in the guts and walk away.

[…]

It’s time for Flavell to change the narrative.

He needs to start distancing the Maori Party from National. He needs to start extricating it from the cosy relationship.

He needs to position the Maori party differently – much differently. “Positioning” isn’t enough any more – he needs to make a break.

Source: TV3 – Opinion: Maori Party must kick National in guts

Yeah, right. After five years of coalition with the Tories, all that the Maori Party has to do is walk away and all is forgiven?!

Never mind the damage they’ve done in the meantime?!

Never mind National’s Key’s rejection of the Waitangi Tribunal claim on water rights, in the light of SOE sales and the privatisation of water.

Never mind the support for National’s right wing policies that have “kicked Maori and the poor and dispossessed” in the guts?

No. That is simply not good enough. A political party doesn’t simply walk away from it’s responsibilities and track record and expect all to be forgiven at the following election.

The only “gut kicking” and “walking away” will be voters from the Maori Party. As it should be.

God knows that is the only sanction that voters have against  political parties that betray their interests.

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The I’m-Not-Racist-Pakeha Party (1)

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Pakeha Party founder discusses future

Source: TV3 – Pakeha Party founder discusses future

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As of 1pm, 14 July, the so-called “Pakeha Party” had  55,495 “likes” on it’s Facebook page. By contrast, the Conservative Party received 59,237 Party Votes in the 2011 election. That wasn’t enough to win seats in Parliament.

So a vote for any prospective Pakeha Party will be a wasted vote.

Nice one, David; marginalising the racist vote in New Zealand. You’ve done the country a service.

Medal’s in the post.

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The I’m-Not-Racist-Pakeha Party (2)

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The Pakeha Party has a website up and running. I haven’t read the whole thing, as I have more important things to do (paint is drying and needs to be studiously watched).

But this bit on their policy page caught my attention. Much of  it is badly written gibberish,  and is all over the place.  But note this bit,

In this modern age to the best of our ability we will abolish all racism and/or separatism within New Zealand setting an example for the rest of the world. We will ensure all races in New Zealand (particularly Maori) who have been a part of forming & establishing New Zealand and it’s history are well preserved, very cherished and heavily promoted wherever & whenever possible. This is a democratic society – the past is the past – no one should be handed anything for free these days based on their ethnicity. No guaranteed seats. No Maori only anything. We all have an equal opportunity in our geographic locations this day in age. To solve our issues we need to give a firm but motivational hand to the poverty stricken in the poverty stricken areas with low trade.

Maori will be “very cherished”…

Awwww, that’s nice.

Just what Maori need. Not a sound economic base upon which to create jobs and build their independence – but to be “cherished”.

Will that involve Mr Ruck and his  supporters giving them each a hug and a cuddle?!

And what does “the past is the past – no one should be handed anything for free these days based on their ethnicity” – mean?!?!

What are Maori being “ handed …  for free these days based on their ethnicity?!

Is Mr Ruck (or whoever wrote this childish garbage) referring to Treaty settlements? Is he referring to land that was illegally confiscated by the Crown or settlers in the 1800s, and even the early 1900s?

Is he referring to scholarships awarded to Maori youth, to attend University. Scholarships that are paid by IWI and not the taxpayer?

It’s hard to know. He doesn’t tell us. (I guess it can be all things to all people.)

Though if Mr Ruck  refers toThe Treaty as “the past is the past“, I wonder if he’d dare say the same thing to our American cuzzies about their Constitution, which was enacted 51 years earlier than the Treaty of Waitangi?

Or would he suggest that the Magna Carta – signed 625 years prior to the Treaty – the basis upon which our judicial and civil  freedoms are based on – is also “the past is the past“?

If  Mr Ruck and his followers maintain that the Treaty is out-dated – I look forward to them pointing to the document’s expiry date.

It’s fairly obvious that Mr Ruck and his supporters all hold one thing in common – a shocking and tragic   lack of understanding of history and only a cursory knowledge the Treaty settlements process. They hold to the erroneous belief that Maori are being handed [land and money] for free.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,  said Albert Einstein. For good reason;  55,495 do not know our own history and the acts of violence that stripped Maori of their lands and possesson – and benefitted  white colonials in the process.

One Law For All is the Pakeha Party’s slogan.

Excellent.

We can start with returning that which was stolen from Maori.

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Gambling-My-Money-Away Party (1)

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SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison has been having a bit of a whinge about community and political opposition to an agreement which which see a deal between National and the casino;

Key features of the SkyCity convention centre deal and what KordaMentha estimates they’re worth over 35 years:

* Extension of SkyCity’s casino licence, due to expire in 2021: $65m-$115m

* Additional 230 pokie machines: $95m-$115m*

* Additional 40 gaming tables: $72m-$101m

* More gaming tables that can be substituted for automated table game player stations: $77m-$109m

* Ticket-in, ticket-out and card-based cashless gaming technology on all pokie machines and automatic table games: $84m-$88m

* *Includes allowing up to 17 per cent of pokie machines and automatic table games (in restricted areas only) being able to accept banknotes of denominations greater than $20.

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – PM defends 35-year SkyCity deal

Morrison’s recent “oh-woe-is-me” whining diatribe rested on his assertion that other gambling creates worse social problems than Skycity,

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison says his casino’s pokies are only to blame for a minuscule amount of gambling harm, instead placing the blame on Lotto and the TAB.

Yesterday a bill allowing SkyCity to install hundreds more pokies and gaming tables and operate until 2048, in exchange for building a $400 million convention centre, passed its first reading 61-59.

It was supposed to be a conscience vote, but MPs voted along party lines, as expected.

Gambling support groups and the Opposition say the move will create more problem gamblers, but the Government has always maintained the economic benefits outweigh any potential harm – and Mr Morrison agrees.

Appearing on Firstline this morning, Mr Morrison said SkyCity’s contribution to gambling harm has been blown “way out of context”.

“We’ve only got 1650 machines, right – there are nearly 20,000 machines in New Zealand.

“If you want to do something about problem gambling, do something about the rest of the machines, do something about Lotto, do something about the TAB – all of which have higher incidences of harm than casino pokies in SkyCity Auckland.”

The Dept of Internal Affairs pointed out, when reporting on problem gambling,

At any given time, between 0.3% and 1.8% of adults living in the community
in New Zealand are likely to score as problem gamblers on standard
questionnaires. This is between about 10,000 and 60,000 people.

Source: Dept of Internal Affairs – Problem Gambling in New Zealand – A Brief Summary

Yet, when it comes to problem gambling for outlets such as Lotto,

Around 20% of adults in New Zealand do not gamble. Most of those who do
gamble play Lotto, which is relatively low risk for problem gambling. It is
likely that fewer than 2% of those who only play Lotto will score as problem
gamblers, even if they play it every week.

Source: IBID

It’s the old “my evil is less than other evils, so that makes me ok” argument. Taking this circular logic to it’s mad conclusion, no one could do anything to address a problem, because someone else will point further down the “food-chain” as being “worse”.

As Morrison himself said,

“The Ministry of Health does a report, and it shows the incidence of harm and problem gambling as a proportion of New Zealand adults is about 0.4 percent – that compares to drinking of 18 percent. The whole perspective of this debate has just been taken way out of context.”

It is so insane that one wonders how the human race could have evolved from their lemur-like ancestors because nothing would ever be achieved.

However, I think Morrison has little to complain about. Since 1995, the gross amount gambled at casinos is estimated to have risen 13.5 times since 1995;

  • 1995:  $313m
  • 1996:  $914m
  • 1997:  $1,883m
  • 1998:  $1,914m
  • 1999:  $2,297m
  • 2000: $2,858m
  • 2001: $3,075m
  • 2002: $3,417m
  • 2003: $3,805m
  • 2004: $4,033m
  • 2005: $3,936m
  • 2006: $4,104m
  • 2007: $3,912m
  • 2008: $3,974m
  • 2009: $3,879m
  • 2010: $3,783m
  • 2011: $3,929m
  • 2012: $4,244.

Source: Dept of Internal Affairs – Casinos

Gaming machines alone rose from$632 million in  1991 to$7,921 million (nearly $8 billion!) in 2007!

Source: Dept of Internal Affairs – Gaming machine

Morrison points to the TAB and Lotto  as being “my evil is less than other evils, so that makes me ok”;

“If you want to do something about problem gambling, do something about the rest of the machines, do something about Lotto, do something about the TAB – all of which have higher incidences of harm than casino pokies in SkyCity Auckland.”

Source:  TV3 – Gambling harm blown ‘way out of context’

Yet, Internal Affairs data shows Morrison  to be less than honest on this matter,

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DIA - Reported Gambling Expenditure 2008 to 2012

Source:  Dept of Internal Affairs –  Record gambling expenditure in 2011-12

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So business is pretty damned good for an industry that is basically parasitic; non-productive; and causes considerable family disruption and social harm. In terms of destructiveness, it is right up there with alcohol abuse and hard drug addiction.

Morrison is a lucky man. He is getting a good deal from Key and his ministerial cronies.

It is no secret that National is so desperate to generate economic growth and job creation that they are willing to tolerate problem gambling mushroom as a result of more gaming machines and tables. This is a shabby government that is willing to turn a blind eye to social harm and shattered families.

Morrison says  it is not for his  company to interfere in the democratic process,

It’s going to be what it’s going to be. It’s not for us to interfere in it – we’re just a corporate citizen trying to go forward in New Zealand.”

Source: NZ Herald – PM defends 35-year SkyCity deal

Those who know the full story of secret dealings between Key and Skycity will laugh with derision at Morrison’s comments. All along this has been a corrupt, shabby arrangement between National and Skycity – made even worse as Key tries to bind future governments to this deal.

Now he’s pissed off that more and more New Zealanders are becoming concious of this shonkey deal and questioning it?

Well,  more and more people are  not liking what they’re seeing.

You can bet on it, Mr Morrison.

See also: Marae Investigates (14 July 2013)

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Gambling-My-Money-Away Party (2)

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If the National-sponsored  New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill is passed in law,  the convention centre is expected to be completed in 2017.

Contrast that to the Auckland rail loop which Key wants to start in 2020.

This is symbolic of the National government’s priorities.

There is unholy urgency to implement a law to  build a convention centre,  with attendent increased gambling,  and predicted increase in gambling harm.

But no great hurry or sense of urgency to build public transport to free up Auckland’s roads from gridlock.

Gambling: high priority.

Public transport and improved traffic flows: low priority.

This, to me, illustrates why New Zealand will always continue to lag behind Australia and other developed nations – because a segment of the population will always continue make bad choices and vote, unthinkingly, for political parties that have short-term views for our country.

It will be interesting to see what priority Aucklands voters have in 2014 (if not earlier). What will they vote for?

Improved Rail and  road usage?

Or more gambling.

For Aucklanders,  all I’ll say is,

Your city; your choice; your consequences.

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John Key’s party

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John Key, Prime Minister, and Minister of Tourism is busy working on his portfolio.

He is promoting tourism.

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PM resting in Singapore, but with a close eye Mandela's health

Source: NZ Herald – PM resting in Singapore, but with a close eye Mandela’s health

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In Singapore, where he is on holiday.

Nice one, John. Good to see you have such faith in our own tourism sector.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 15 July 2013.

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The mark of a true cartoonist…

Dominion Post cartoonist Tom Scott has had one of his cartoons re-published  in French newspaper Le Monde. His caricature of  Syrian dictator, President Bashar al-Assad, has won him accolades,

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Kiwi cartoonist published in Paris paper

Acknowledgment: Kiwi cartoonist published in Paris paper

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A cartoonist pokes fun at positions of authority; those in power; and established social “norms”. A cartoonist is a critic , or at least exposes contradictions so the public reader can see an issue or problem from another vantage point.

A cartoonist can also create images that reinforce evil such as racism and other discrimination – but then that raises the question; what is the point?

Reinforcing prejudice is easy-peasy; just repeat what the previous bigot said. No original thought required.

Al Nisbet’s openly racist cartoons in the Marlborough Express and The Press are examples of reinforcing preconceived prejudices. Nothing is challenged. Only reinforced.

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Al Nisbet's racist cartoon (2)

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290513 The Marlborough Express Al Nisbet cartoon

Acknowledgment: Marlborough Express & The Press

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That’s not cartooning. That’s propaganda.

Speaking of “propaganda”…

On 31 May, Deputy Editor of Christchurch’s The Press, Ric Stevens, made this comment defending Nisbet’s cartoons,

“On the wall of my office in Press House in Gloucester St is a drawing by New Zealander David Low, described by Britain’s Guardian newspaper in a 1963 obituary as the “dominant cartoonist of the western world”.

The cartoon I look at every working day, which sadly does not belong to me, is an inoffensive thing.

Canterbury’s founding fathers reach out from a book – the pages of history – to a young couple of 1950, congratulating them on reaching the Christchurch Centenary.

Judging by a furore over our cartoons that blew up yesterday, it seems some readers would want all our cartoons to be that nice.

But not all Low’s cartoons were as gentle. His acerbic Rendezvous of 1939 depicts a meeting between Stalin and Hitler, who are shown politely bowing while describing each other as “the scum of the earth” and “the bloody assassin of the workers” respectively.

After World War II, the British-based Low found his name on Hitler’s blacklist of people to be rounded up should the Nazis ever successfully invade the United Kingdom. But he had enemies at home as well as abroad – the British press once decried him as a warmonger.

Low was knighted in the end.

Low was an exponent of a long tradition of newspaper cartooning which has always tended to push boundaries. Unlike the editorial which often sits alongside them, cartoons do not necessarily represent the view of the newspaper, but very much that of the artist.”

Acknowledgment: Cartoon row misses the point

Low’s cartoon’s vilified dictators like Hitler and Stalin,

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david low cartoon (1)

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david low cartoon (2)

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david low cartoon (3)

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david low cartoon (4)

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david low cartoon (5)

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david low cartoon (6)

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david low cartoon (7)

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david low cartoon (8)

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david low cartoon (9)

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david low cartoon (10)

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None of these cartoons vilified the victims of  Stalin, Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini.

Therein lies the difference between Lows cartoons with Nisbets.

Which makes Ric Stevens’ attempt to associate Nisbet with Low as wholly inadequate.

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References

The Press: Cartoon row misses the point

Dominion Post: Kiwi cartoonist published in Paris paper

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Categories: Media Tags: , , ,

Al Nisbet’s next little ‘gem’…

Al Nisbet, cartoonist and panderer to  racist rednecks, presents us with these little ‘gems’…

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290513 The Marlborough Express Al Nisbet cartoon

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And this…

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Al Nisbet's racist cartoon (2)

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Well, I guess if we, as a nation, are so fucking pathetic that we can’t address child poverty without a sizeable portion of the population begrudging a bowl of weetbix and milk for the children of the poorest families in the country (because, as we all know, every child has a choice which family they were born into) – well, we might as well poke fun at them.

Nice one, Al.

I’m looking forward to your next cartoon about religion and kids. You know the one. Where a priest is raping a child and you’re making a really witty and “satirical” comment about it.

Ho ho ho…

Funny as, dude.

And screw all those leftie whingers eh? They should just LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP, eh?

Hah! Who sez you can’t laugh about child poverty.

Also looking forward to your next cartoon about solo-mums. Maybe depicting them as lazy crack-whores milking the State?

I’m sure Paula Bennett will get the joke.

Now… what can we draw about cartoonists and their families?

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Categories: Various Tags: , ,

Poll shows gain for National’s ‘dog whistle’ politics

18 September 2012 6 comments

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Continued from: Latest Roy Morgan Poll shows change of government

The latest Roy Morgan Poll (27 August –  9 September)showed  a predictable rise in support the  National Party at  46.5% (up 2% since August 13-26, 2012),

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Roy Morgan Poll 9 September 2012 – Trending

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See: National (46.5%) increases strong lead over Labour (31%)

Translated into seats,

National – 46.5% –   56 seats

Labour – 31% –  38 seats

Greens – 12.5% – 15 seats

NZ First – 4.5%  (likely to increase to 5% in 2014)–  6 seats

Maori Party – assuming – 2 seats retained (possible) (3 seats, unlikely)

Mana Party – 2 seats  (possible)

Peter Dunne – assuming 1 seat retained (possible)

ACT – 0.5% – assuming Epsom lost – no seats (probable)

Labour, the Greens, and NZ First dropped minutely, and ACT is heading for Zero Percent territory.

Seen in a Left-Right bloc context;

Labour-Greens-NZF-Mana: 61 seats

National-Peter Dunne-Maori Party: 59 seats

The figures are not at all surprising. This blogger predicted that National will experience a “bounce” in the polls as it engages in dog-whistle politics.

Bashing the unemployed, solo-mums (but never solo-dads) and other welfare beneficiaries and “standing up to greedy Mow-ries” is always a vote winner with low-information voters.

Don Brash’s “Orewa Speech”  in January 2004 was racist dog-whistle politics that pandered to the lowest common denominator in New Zealand politics.

See: “NATIONHOOD – Don Brash Speech Orewa Rotary Club”

It also gave National a temporary boost in public opinion polls, rising 17% in a subsequent  TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll.

See: At least Louis Crimp is honest

17% increase in public support – a sad “reward” for a racist speech that pandered to our most base instincts.

The SOE water rights issue and bene-bashing is a predictable strategy for any right wing Party to employ, to boost public poll support. At the moment, National has very little else to rely on – the news from the economy is all bad.

National may stop at abolishing the Treaty of Waitangi and “nationalising water and air”, and may think twice before demanding that all welfare recipients sew black triangles onto their clothing – but I’m sure several of them have fantasised over the prospect.

This blogger predicts that National may indeed rise another percentage point or two – but like the aftermath of the 2004 Orewa Speech, the Nats will fall back as peoples’ irrational racist fears subside and poor economic indicators and poverty continue to dominate headlines.

We are still on course for a change of government in 2014, if not earlier.

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Previous blogposts

Latest Roy Morgan Poll shows change of government!

National ramps up attack on unemployed and solo-mums

National in trouble? Time to dog-whistle the Middle Class!

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It’s official: racists aren’t very bright…

When the Maori Council announced that they would be challenging National’s asset sales programme, it appeared to be the country’s last-gasp attempt to stall privatisation.

National has ignored public opinion; derided public protests; and has stated that it will pay no heed to any referedum on the issue.  After backing down on mining in Conservation land and Parata’s plans to cut teacher numbers and increase class-room sizes, this is one battle that John Key dare not cave on.

A Three-Strikes-On-Policy-Backdowns would probably mean National losing it’s legitamacy as “government”.

Enter, the Maori Council.  Maori are challenging National in a way that Pakeha seem unable to; via the Treaty.

It may be our “last gasp” attempt.

In response, John Key has derided Maori opposition by stating that his Party may choose to ignore any Waitangi Tribunal decision upholding water rights for Maori,

We could choose to ignore what findings they might have – I’m not saying we would, but we could.

See:  Maori plan to fight Key’s ‘ignore it’

One would think that the public would jump for joy with a collective “Hurrah!!”  that we have a decent chance to stop National’s asset sale plans dead in their tracks.

But it seems that for some of our lesser-sentient fellow New Zealanders, any mention of “Maori” or “Treaty” elicits  racist, rabid, hysteria – almost akin to a Pavlovian response.

Even if the Maori Council’s actions ultimately benefits us collectively, it seems that those with a bloody-minded racist ‘bent‘ cannot see past their prejudiced noses, as some comments from a Stuff.co.nz comments-page showed,

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Steve   #2   08:53 am Jul 10 2012

Finally Key has figured out what maori are doing. IWI stands for I Want It.

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Andrew   #5   09:02 am Jul 10 2012

This is complete and utter garbage. It is getting to the point where New Zealanders (both Maori and Pakeha) need to stand up and tell people like the money grabbing group “The Maori Council” that enough is enough. This group don’t represent Maori as a whole but are a small minority of rather wealthy Maori and Pakeha who see this as another chance for them to make easy money.

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Andrew – John Key is planning to sell state assets to those with the wealth to buy shares. These are assets that we – you and I – already own.   So who is the “money grabbing group“?

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Neil.l   #6   09:08 am Jul 10 2012

Basically all this is about it to determine what rights Maori have to water.However if for some reason the Tribunal says that Moari have full right to the water then they must accept full liability & the rights of anyone to claim should there be any flooding or “loss of water” .Maori need to take full responsibility of water not pluck out bits they like.

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No, Neil. This is about National selling our state assets. Remember? I think it’s been in the news lately…?

 

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Me   #7   09:19 am Jul 10 2012

From yesterdays meeting: comment made by Maori party >

“We own the water”

yah right!!! it is the most ridicolous statement made at the meeting yesterday. You go Key – we are right by you with the rejection.

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And pray tell, “Me”, are you also “right behind John Key” in asset sales?

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Paul Inane   #9   09:35 am Jul 10 2012

Will this stoush establish when ownership of the water begins? Will it be when the water hits the riverbed? Will it be as the water falls from the sky? Will it be when water forms in the clouds? Will that mean cloud ownership will also be in contention? Will it be when snow and ice thaws in the hills? Will Maori claim ownership of the tears that fall into the rivers from the people who have had enough of this?

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Jonathan   #11   10:15 am Jul 10 2012

And here we go again.

This is one of the few occasions when, as a person of Maori decent, I can easily say I’m embarrassed.

While I agree that the Waitangi Tribunal has done a lot of good for Maori, this is where it starts going wrong for me. Firstly, certain factions beleive that radio spectrum was owned by Maori (forgive me if I have that slightly wrong), now a similar issue crops up for water.

Oh well, lets just sit back a watch our tax dollars being spent of legal fees fighting this through court.

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Azza   #14   10:29 am Jul 10 2012

If the ownership of the water is transferred; do the expences incurred through the management of the waterways also transferred?

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Azza – Focus on A.S.S.E.T.  S.A.L.E.S.

(And by the way, Maori had no “expences” prior to Pakeha arriving with sheep and cattle crapping and pissing in the rivers.)

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bill   #16   10:48 am Jul 10 2012

Whilst i agree that selling assets isnt the best, this whole issue of maori owning water is ridiculous. cant they come up with a better argument.

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No, Bill, they can’t.

Can you?

Let’s look at a few more of these rabid racists and their rants,

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Bruce   #17   10:53 am Jul 10 2012

Where does the water come from that fills the rivers and lakes? It comes from the sky, so why don’t the maoris claim the sky that the rain falls from? This issue of who owns what has become little more than a farce spurred on by greedy people who think they are owed everything life has to offer without working for it!

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Bruce – focus, mate, focus. Asset sales. AS-SET-SALES.  Stop sniffing those paint fumes and remember what National is planning to do…

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Lienback   #18   10:54 am Jul 10 2012

“It’s a long time since we’ve had a prime minister who says ‘I don’t care what the Waitangi Tribunal says’.”” Actually it’s about time someone stepped up and said that some of the claims (especially around spurious claims of ownership of air, water, airwaves etc) were a nonsense. Well done Mr Key – you have just added another vote for National.

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See:  Harawira criticises Key over Maori water claim

Now, either Lienbeck is a closet National voter anyway (quite likely), or his/her memory-loss is now approaching that of John Banks. Lienbeck seems to have totally forgotten what this issue is all about.

But then again, I suspect most of these racists are pro-asset sales anyway, and trhe Maori Council’s actions have merely given them a focus to (a) vent their racist-wrath at Maori, (b) trivialise the asset sales issue, and (c) snuggle up closer to John Key.

Like this idiot,

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Me   #19   11:06 am Jul 10 2012

“We own the water” – says Maori party….. hahahahaha literally rolling on the floor lol – i just could not stop laughing. You show them right Key. We back you up on this.

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KC   #20   11:26 am Jul 10 2012

I remember National saying no Maori seats on the Auckland City Council. As we now know that was a smoke screen.

Then along came the Auckland Maori Statutory Board appointed by the maori affairs minister from Wellington.

National will buckle to Maori, nothing surer, and the taxpayer will carry the can as usual.

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“…and the taxpayer will carry the can as usual” – and KC makes no reference to how much taxpayers will lose from the asset sales. Have these people have totally lost the plot?

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Patrick Woodbourne   #21   11:32 am Jul 10 2012

I think this is disgusting that the Maori want claims on water. The water belongs to everyone and this is just another money making deal. They always say that we are one and should treat everyone with respect. They have no idea what is one nation and this is just greed. John Key should not give into this and remember we are a New Zealand nation, not split.

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Patrick – Asset sales? Huh? What?

Alright, go back to sleep.

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Brian Marshall   #23   11:50 am Jul 10 2012

The treaty of Waitangi doesn’t say anything about water rights. This is just another sick grab at the public purse that would never stand up in the regular courts. Water is a common good and John Key should do one better and disband the Waitangi Commissioners.

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So can I steal your land, Brian?

As for “water being a common good”, try telling that to the new owners of hydro-power stations. They’ll be showing you the door, with a size 9 bootprint on your backside, faster than you can say “But water is a common gooddddd…”

And this bit of sheer lunacy,

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Gino   #24   12:02 pm Jul 10 2012

So when Maori turned up in NZ from whereever it was they invented Water and Air so therefore they own it…is that right?. I am sick of Maori putting their hand out every time they smell free money and yet when it comes to the reality of Maori in NZ, being at the bottom of all the wrong statistics they have nothing to say and no money to fix it yet again putting the blame on the Govt of the day and putting their hands out for more money to solve problems that apparently their “Mana” can’t fix.

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Funny thing, Gino. You didn’t invent land, did you? So that means you don’t own the land your house sits on? Right?

There’s more – much more – but I think the reader get’s the ‘flavour‘ of what the Rabid Racist Right and the Intellectually Challenged  are up to.

The only thing missing is the sight of these rednecks frothing at the mouth as they post their virulent words on-line.

It’s always stomach turning whenever I happen to tune in to talkback radio. Racism, prejudice, and lack of rational thought abounds on the airwaves.

But to then read it on a (supposedly) reputable newspaper’s website, is disheartening. Prejudice and ignorance seems to abound, irrespective of the media.

And in the meantime, National continues it’s agenda to sell what we own; against public opinion; and to the detriment of our economy.

But evidently that’s unimportant to racists.

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Racism, Rape, and Religion

4 December 2011 21 comments

Just when you thought the human race couldn’t possibly be any more insane than it already is, we find two stories. One is from the most technologically advanced, wealthiest nations on planet Earth. The other is from a semi-failed state that is like taking a Tardis trip 1,000 years into the past.

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Members at the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church voted Sunday on the resolution, which says the church “does not condone interracial marriage.”

The church member who crafted the resolution, Melvin Thompson, said he is not racist and called the matter an “internal affair.”

“I am not racist. I will tell you that. I am not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil about a race,” said Thompson, the church’s former pastor who stepped down earlier this year. “That’s what this is being portrayed as, but it is not.”

Full Story

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Melvin Thompson is adamant that  he is not a racist or prejudiced.

Of course not. Basing your beliefs on the colour of one’s skin isn’t racism. We all know that. Racism happens somewhere else.

Personally, I’m happy to dispense with the term “racism” and just use alternative terms. Like, ignorance.

There you go, Mr Thompson; you’re not racist, you’re just plain ignorant. Happy?

And from the other side of the planet, far removed from rural Kentucky, the human capacity for infinity craziness and cruelty carries on,

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Karzai’s office said in a statement that the woman and her attacker have agreed to marry. That would reverse an earlier decision by the 19-year-old woman, who had previously refused a judge’s offer of freedom if she agreed to marry the rapist.

Her plight was highlighted in a documentary that the European Union blocked because it feared the women featured in the film would be in danger if it were shown.

More than 5,000 people recently signed a petition urging Karzai to release the woman. She had the man’s child while in prison and raised her daughter behind bars, which is common among women imprisoned in Afghanistan.

A statement released by Karzai’s office says that after hearing from judicial officials, the decision was made to forgive the rest of the sentence she received for having sex out of wedlock, a crime in Afghanistan. The presidential statement did not say when the woman was to be released or how much prison time had been pardoned.

The woman told The Associated Press in an interview last month that she had hoped that attention generated by the EU film might help her get released. With the film blocked, she said that she was losing hope and considering marrying her rapist as a way out. She said her attacker was pressuring her to stop giving interviews.

About half of the 300 to 400 women jailed in Afghanistan are imprisoned for so-called “moral crimes” such as sex outside marriage, or running away from their husbands, according to reports by the United Nations and research organizations. Fleeing husbands isn’t considered a crime in Afghanistan.

Full Story

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Ever wondered what a society ruled by  misogynistic village idiots would look like? Welcome to Afghanistan, circa 2011AD. Or 1011AD. Or 11AD. (Makes no difference, really.)

The only difference  between these two stories is that our American cuzzies have no excuse. They have unfettered access to education and 21st century communications. And when even Presidential candidates indulge in a bit of outrageous racism, is there really that much difference between the two cultures?

It’s amazing the depths of ignorance human beings can plumb, especially when they claim to have a god on their side…

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Defending the Indefensible

3 August 2011 1 comment

ACT MP defends the racist advertisement from her political party by suggesting that `let’s talk about this’. (ODT, 11 July)

Fine. Let’s talk about this.

Let’s talk about how ACT is languishing in the polls  after Brash rolled Rodney Hide, and promising to lift their poll-rating. At 1.7% (or there-a-bouts), I would offer the observation that Dr Brash has failed spectacularly and is now drawing on one of three “dogwistle” issues that extremist right wing parties often exploit. (The other two being crime and welfare beneficiaries.)

Let’s talk about how ACT has not offered any alternative policies to the public for discussion. Unlike National with asset sales, or Labour with their capital gains tax – what has ACT proposed that is positive, meaningful, and shows a way forward? Bashing maori is not a positive, meaningful policy except to rednecks, bigots, and prejudiced.

Let’s talk about ACT’s ideology of selling all state assets; cutting back state and social services; privatising health and education; and destroying welfare protection to workers who – like the Hillside NZ Rail workers – became unemployed through no fault of their own.

Let’s talk about ACT’s policies that are a relic of the 1980s and 1990s, and would turn society on it’s head.

Yes, let’s talk. Because ACT doesn’t seem to want to promote any of it’s agenda. Instead they seem to be content with an advertising campaign that borders on hysteria.

Is that what Ms Calvert wants to talk about?

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