Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A different kind of country

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  • nzlemming,

    There’s a quote in the comments of that Farrar page:

    This government has destroyed this country. Every soldier who sacrificed themselves for New Zealand must be rolling in their graves. Yesterday democracy died in New Zealand. It is bordering on treason!. How dare Labour think that they can do this!

    I will stop at nothing to ensure that I do all I can to make sure these authoritairian bastards are thrown out next year.

    I doubt that sdm knew how prophetic his hyperbole would prove…

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    The most astounding thing is that John Key apparently believes that groups he doesn’t like would actually want to hold a conference at this gambling facility. Bananas anyone?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Dame Anne Salmond had this to say t'other day in the Herald.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5698 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Completion date is 2017 right? I doubt this National Party will have much say in what is and isn't allowed to book the venue at that time. Fingers crossed.

    Since Nov 2006 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Great article

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • dcnbwz,

    What is at stake here, which is probably becoming obvious by now is the very fabric of what I thought made up our society. I believed we had a constitution that protected us from corporates and corruption being able to purchase law so blatantly, with disregard for our established legal and democratic safeguards. But clearly we don't.

    The facade that was in place for the first few years of this tenure have clearly been dropped, I don't think they can be bothered holding up the flimsy veils any more. And it is appalling at how stifled the likes of the Labour party currently are - there's been so much to throw back at the government, yet there doesn't seem to be any impact. I'm not sure if that's due to corporate media domination, poor opposition, or a combination of both, but SOMETHING needs to happen.

    It was a cleverly organised campaign against Labour in the last decade, with the shrill cries of "interference in my individual rights, nanny state" etc, and much more crassness than that. Yet now in much larger scale organised groups, who clearly appear to have the voice of the mainstream media are intent on regressing law, rights, wages and freedoms to leave us getting closer to the state of fascism.

    The lack of rational dialogue stands out in our country, and has done for a long time. Any debate is framed so far right (in reference to where the centre might have been construed 10, 20 or 30 years ago) in terms of it's points of reference that any real voice attempting to bring some alternative or reasoned point of view gets shouted down in two seconds flat, and dismissed as "Wacky" or loony, communist or compared to North Korea. I am referring to the loudest opinions voiced here in the msm, which is unfortunately what most people digest on a daily basis.

    Corporate influence on our lives, our democracies (or what's left of them) is such a malaise, and has in fact become a reality. It's scary, depressing, and generates a sense of helplessness at least in myself. NZ Inc means a race to the bottom for most of us, mirroring the way most corporations are run. We are actually witnessing for the first time in my admittedly limited political awareness the active suppression and criminalisation of dissent, protest and free speech. Or maybe it's just more blatant now.

    Accountability is the starting point - any number of cases, Sky city, gcsb, the pike river disaster, the subsequent hijacking of democracy in Canterbury after and before the earthquake, the continued marginalisation of the poor etc etc - we must remove the framework that suggests that in the business or political world you cannot be held responsible, and actually hold these people responsible, with social and moral compacts. Accountability in an environmental sense in terms of corporate impact would be a good start - especially if that is financially framed.

    A return to egalitarianism perhaps. A shift in the power base back to the masses. Time for a review of how our democracy is actually working?

    Apologies for the rant. And yes I do feel like a slow boiling frog.

    uk • Since Sep 2009 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano,

    Attachment

    I think Jim Morin sums it up:
    http://www.gocomics.com/jimmorin/2013/07/07/

    Lightly tweaked:

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Jeff Rowe,

    I have an horrific feeling that we are in for three more years (at least) of the same. I was going to say nobody cares. What I mean is - there aren't enough who care. I'm annoyed that the Film Festival uses Sky City - and I'm going there tomorrow night to watch a movie about corruption in China. What should I do???

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • kiwifarang,

    John Key is a banker! John Key is a banker! Lalalala hey! Lalalala hey!

    He answers to Wall Street and Barry O and the City of London. And until those 32% of NZers that think he's a good bloke lose their shirts in a stock market / bond / currency / property crash then he'll carry on his fascist way.

    Expect many more dodgy law changes and back room deals to take place before the rape and pillage of NZ is complete.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As I said on Twitter, it's painfully ironic that this came to light the same day the Auckland leg of the New Zealand International Film Festival kicks off -- and the next seventeen days will see dozens of screenings at... the Sky City Theatre.

    Perhaps it would be the perfect time for the NZIFF to remind Sky City they - and their patrons - put a non-trivial amount of money into the company's bottom line every year, and an acceptable quid pro quo is that the Government does not get any kind of "veto" over programming.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Instead of frothing in the comments, I went and spit-flecked a whole more-or-less coherent post of my own.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    The mellow response from New Zealand as a whole is truly disturbing. I guess that the issue lacks a direct context to "hardworking nzers." Hope that some part strikes a chord (discord?) with my friends and neighbours soon.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Jeff Rowe,

    Jeff,

    I have boycotted an event at Skycity that was put on by my professional institute. I see it as worth the personal sacrifice.

    Cheers,
    Euan

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Yamis,

    Completion date is 2017 right? I doubt this National Party will have much say in what is and isn’t allowed to book the venue at that time.

    Yeah I noted this yesterday on Twitter, the fact that Denise Roche seemed to take it as read that the National Government would still be pulling the strings in 2017. I think the veto power is weird and/or unnecessary, but it says “The Crown” not “The National Party” and really should be considered on that basis. I do wonder if they were able to prevent a major chemical weapons symposium or somesuch (said booking apparently being happily taken by Sky City) the power might seem a bit more ‘righteous’.

    Still a weird thing for the Govt to want or feel they need, and underlines a fundamental lack of faith in Sky City being able to exercise its judgement not to turn down a booking the Federation of Nuclear Arms Dealers of the Ku Klux Klan, as long as they’ve got the deposit.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1121 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    John Key, Steven Joyce, Bill English. Corporate technocrats with the values of neo-liberalism imprinted in their DNA, with the first two bringing a heavy dose of impatient plutocracy to their job as well. Judith Collins shows every sign of being a not-so-secret Fascist. Gerry Brownlee is arrogant to the point of dysfunction. They are all compulsive authoritarians, a disease that to be fair has now has spread across the entire spectrum of our senior supra-bureaucrats, professional politicians and media elites that presume to rule us. John Key has from day one treated the job of PM as a joke and he regards the processes, checks and balances of democracy with barely concealed contempt. This is a profoundly ideological government of revanchist capitalism, and it is only the permanent state of historical amnesia that neo-liberalism wears as a badge of revolutionary pride that prevents them from seeing themselves in these terms. The only legitimate values to this government are the values of the corporate world, with all its feudal patronage, ruthless sociopathy and fetishised secrecy.

    But should all of this really surprise us? David Farrar’s elite liberalism may blanche at the Tea party, but he is an extremist who openly associates with the right wing of the US Republican Party, yet his and Cameron Slaters websites are now readily used as a source of news for much of our hollowed out established media. We’ve actively taken the values of business and raised them to cult status across every sphere of our lives and our society, from education to welfare to health. Why are we surprised when, finally, they manifest themselves in our governing elites? We live in the society we quite deliberately set out to create thirty years ago. We’ve only got what thirty years of gutless complacency deserve.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to boonman,

    I just did a search to see if the Kiwiblog webpage had been chached somewhere – no luck. We’ll just have to remember back to the good old days…

    Here you go!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Sacha,

    Lack of proper opposition disturbs me more

    +1 Sacha
    It the thing that disturbs me the most. I can all rant on about the National Lead govt neo liberal agenda but they are totally focused on the 30% of people who want the same agenda and thats enough to get them into power. The opposition is fractured and weak. Labour is endlessly looking up its own arse, Maori are splintered , Winston is only interested in power leaving the Greens to do what they can. That's the crisis .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 421 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    JohnKey sees himself as CEO of NZ Corp and, as head of the company, he can do whatever he likes until the end of his "contract". His sole job is to maximise profits for the shareholders, i.e. the 32% of voters who gain advantage from the way he runs the country. If you were John, why wouldn't you carry on as you are when every poll tells you 60+% of the country loves you and your nearest competitor is languishing on 15%. I still believe in democracy and the ability to vote these bastards out but it is going to take a lot of effort when the corporate media are happy with the status quo. Russell Norman has so far been the only one with balls enough to actually directly take on John and I think a lot more of that is needed.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Singapore without the duty of care? Certainly a country that has begun to move away from basic norms of free speech.

    Come to think of it, there are cacophonic echoes of Sir Joh exclaiming, "don't you worry about that!"

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    I still believe in democracy and the ability to vote these bastards out but it is going to take a lot of effort when the corporate media are happy with the status quo. Russell Norman has so far been the only one with balls enough to actually directly take on John and I think a lot more of that is needed.

    In the absence of proper investigative journalism, the only avenue left is to blow the whistle.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Labour is endlessly looking up its own arse

    Constipation, perhaps?

    Today, Labour's backroomers are named. Someone please feed Rob Salmond a laxative.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DeepRed,

    If the left package up a coherent story, it gets reported. Media are not well-resourced anymore to develop stuff themselves, hence recycling whatever they're fed. Swamp the feed. This is not rocket surgery.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Jeff Rowe,

    and I’m going there tomorrow night to watch a movie about corruption in China. What should I do???

    Sorry, but I had to laugh at that one. The way this government is going, I'm starting to think that they'll have removed a lot of the potential culture shock I'm likely to experience on returning to NZ.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1728 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    It strikes me that as National has moved from the 'centre', Labour has been dragged to the right too and is now National lite. How else the cognitive dissonance when decrying the Sky deal and enjoying their hospitality?
    Only one Party has been consistent in its opposition from the very beginning and it perhaps time for it to be considered as The Opposition.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Sacha,

    Agree Sacha, they need you on their policy/media team.
    Or maybe they could learn a thing or two from the Greens.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 421 posts Report Reply

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