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Posts Tagged ‘racism’

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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drinking-fountains-1

 

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help-wanted-white-only

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WeWashForWhitePeople

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whites-only

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whites-only1

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Whites-Only-John-Lamb

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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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War-is-peace-800x450

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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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526px-Maori_Party_logo.svg

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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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old-paper-with-quill-pen-vector_34-14879

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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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