Posts by Lucy Telfar Barnard

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  • Up Front: Stand for... Something, in reply to George Darroch,

    “Matariki at midnight”

    It's very pretty... can we call it the Union Black?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sex, monsters and outrage,

    Steve and Lilith, I think your discussion of the meaning of the words “discrimination” and “hate speech” is a case of two rights making a wrong.

    Lilith’s definitions of the two words are correct. Steve is also correct that New Zealand laws on hate speech (inciting “Racial Disharmony” in the Human Rights Act 1993) only cover race, ethnic or national origin. It doesn’t mean that the pamphlets aren’t hate speech, it just means they’re not illegal hate speech.

    Also, in order for the distribution of the pamphlet to constitute discrimination under New Zealand law, there would have to be a detriment – otherwise it’s “just” hate speech. So if one of the students suffered any sort of detriment – whether it was feeling offended, or bad about themselves, or teasing, or anything else, because of the distribution of the pamphlet, then they would have experienced discrimination in access to education, on grounds of family status (assuming none of the students were themselves single parents). But without any detriment, there is no discrimination. If there was anything in any of the media reports about any of the students having a detrimental outcome or any sort of adverse consequence of the pamphlet distribution, I missed it. Therefore, under New Zealand law, no discrimination occurred.

    Again, that doesn’t mean that the pamphlet wasn’t bigoted and discriminatory and hate speech. It just means that (so far) neither it, nor its distribution, were illegal.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s hard to see how we could get a flag that completely ignores that NZ is currently a constitutional monarchy under the Brits.

    When I look down the list of Commonwealth members, the only other countries that still retain the Union Jack as part of their flags are Australia, Fiji and Tuvalu (and of course the UK). Of the others, I can't in any way tell from their flags which ones are still constitutional monarchies under the Brits (lots of them), and which ones are republics (some of them). So I'm not really seeing the necessity of recognising the Brits on our flag at all.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: IT'S ALIVE,

    Based on observing my resident youths, I'd second your observation that being On Demand is no hindrance. There are a clutch of youtube stars that I've never seen and only know exist because my 14-year-old talks about them. But looking into it, they clearly really are stars, with a huge (and international) reach. Media has changed. That journalism teacher needs to catch up.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something,

    Quite, Craig, as in “absolutely not” [were women's vote supporters pure and idealistic]. IIRC from my history lessons, a large part of the support for women’s suffrage came from abolitionists, because they thought women would be more likely to vote for prohibition – so reallly just saw it as a way of getting more voters for their cause, rather than as recognition of the justice of women being allowed to vote.

    Marriage equality, on the other hand, I think was done right, with those MPs who voted for it voting for it for the right reasons.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something,

    I was extremely ambivalent about the flag "debate". But now I wonder.
    With one of my hats on, I get to help choose motivated and motivating young people to send to a group of international schools which aim to "make education a force to unite peoples, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future" (sorry, shameless promotion for UWC..., but context matters)
    One of our scholars, Reihana Paewai, currently at the UWC in Singapore, had this to say (I hope he will forgive me for posting this here!):

    "Our flag represents Aotearoa as a British colony (The Union Jack) in the south pacific (The Southern Cross). It was designed and adopted by colonial ships in 1869. Designed and adopted by the same people who violated the Tiriti o Waitangi and initiated the New Zealand wars of the 19th century.

    South Africa, Canada and Singapore have already moved away from their colonial identities and created images of national and cultural pride that represent more than just the british empire and it's connection to the commonwealth. Now it's our turn.

    New Zealand is now one of the most multicultural countries in the world and we need a flag that everyone; Maori, British, Polynesian, Asian, American even Australian New Zealanders can identify with. $26 million??? Please. You can't put a price on cultural identity.

    You ask me if I think we should change the flag? Id say it should've been changed yesterday. ‪#‎ChangeTheFlag‬ ‪#‎PoliticalRant‬"

    One of his relatives then neatly observed "do you think when Maori looked out of their trenches and saw the British imperial army aproaching under that flag they were like you know what lets make that the flag of our country".

    Now, I'd disagree with one thing. I think you can put a price on cultural identity, and we do so all the time, and that price would be less than the price I'd put on a bunch of other things. But if I really honestly examine my reasons for objecting to the flag debate, they come down to:
    1. Yes, of course I'd prefer a different flag, but so?
    2. I don't like the flag debate because I think it's a waste of money that really would be better spent on children. Yes, maybe we could have both, but we don't.
    3. I object to the way the matter has arisen. If it had been ground up, from a broadly supported citizens initiated refendum, jolly good. But top down grates.
    4. Top down grates all the more because of 2. and because the "top" is John Key. The thought that Mr Ponytail would forever be associated with any new flag sticks in my craw. But that's because of my own political persuation. I'm sure there'd be a whole lot of other people who would have felt exactly the same about Helen Clark.

    My conclusion after all that is that maybe I should focus on the ends rather than the means, so I'll let 3 & 4 go. So I will make my decision about whether or not to engage (further - in participating in this thread, clearly I'm already engaging...) dependent on the next budget, and whether it does anything meaningful for child poverty. That seems like a fair exchange: if the gummint/PM will address what I care about, I'll address what they care about. Deal?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This Anzac Day, in reply to Rich Lock,

    But I don’t really see how an air base open day is different to the Navy base open day I went to in Devonport a few years back.

    It wasn’t an air base Open Day. They didn’t have those, there was a war on (they were busy bombing Libya). It was an event at the local home for retired horses, raising money for the Home for Horses trust (I think they alternated years with fundraising for Hounds for Heroes).

    I’m not arguing with the work the “Heroes” charities do. I’m arguing with their labelling. As far as I can see, the only pre-requisite for “Hero” status is to join the armed forces. Volunteering to kill people doesn’t seem particularly heroic to me. In order to benefit from the “Hero” charities, you need to have had someone you were trying to kill manage to kill or nearly kill you first. That doesn’t seem to me to justify “Hero” status either.

    On the “Keep Calm and Carry On” bit, I think we differ on cause and effect. The timing was indeed no coincidence. But the “national yearning for a simpler time”, and the lack of social discord and breakdown is a result of the success of rhetoric and propaganda that has convinced the UK masses that the huge degradation in their public services and employment is something outside everyone’s control (like their experience of war), to be soldiered through. This lets The City off the hook, and lets the Government off the hook for not doing more to recoup national losses from The City. The people SHOULD be marching in the streets, but (unlike in the 70s and 80s) they’ve now been successfully convinced that that would be un-British or something.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This Anzac Day, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That may have been the case when you were a lad, but on our recent stay in the UK we were shocked and pretty horrified at how obsessed with WW2 the UK appeared to be.
    As far as I could tell, this suited the ends of the State very well. First, there were all the attempts to recreate the sense of “all in it together"-ness of WW2, as some sort of “isn’t this GFC jolly” thing. Thus all the "Make Do and Mend", "Dig for Britain", and all the "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters.
    And second, the whole tragedy/bravery/nationalism of war was convenient for manufacturing consent for the UK’s ongoing military actions in Iraq and other places (when we were there, Libya).
    The language was hideous. All of it was “… for Heroes”. So there was “Help for Heroes”, “Hounds for Heroes” (I thought this was some charity that arranged for returned soldiers to get retired greyhounds, but now I come to look it up, I find it’s slightly better, in that it provides assistance dogs to returned soldiers with disabilities), and, more locally (we were living on the edge of an Air Force village in Buckinghamshire, so doubtless got more exposure than most) the Horses, Hounds and Heroes Family Fun Day. Yes, really.

    My sense of this Anzac Day is that it has wandered into that kind of territory, instead of staying firmly in the field of “why did we and do we involve ourselves in such tragic awfulness” .

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: What has Neoliberalism Done…, in reply to BenWilson,

    I don’t know how much it’s about cultural groups.

    Yeah, it's the usual thing: something might be more common in one group than another, but that doesn't mean it's true for everyone in that group, nor untrue for anyone in the other group.

    Back in the day, there was the idea of the "starter family home", which was a small 2-bdrm, the idea being that it would be added on to as the family grew. The problem of course is that once it's been added onto it stays a larger family home, so it's not available for some other family starting out once it's got too big for the first family. I sort of imagine tiny houses having a similar problem: I'd expect that a big part of the love someone has for a tiny house comes from having built it themselves. What do they do with it when they have outgrown it? Would tiny house oficionados want to buy and live in a house someone else had built, or would it feel like it was built for someone else's needs and tastes and not their own?

    But maybe there are also nice ways to add on to tiny houses in due course.

    It's quite possible we need more single/two-person dwellings. The question of how well our housing stock matches our housing needs is something I hope to be working on in the next year or so, though it will still have to be based on some assumptions about people's preferences around living arrangements.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: What has Neoliberalism Done…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Part of the reason the extended family might all be in one house is because grandparents and young adults can’t find anywhere small and affordable.

    Except that research has found that some cultural groups prefer to live with extended family: they describe their housing problem as a lack of houses large enough/designed for extended family living, rather than a lack of small affordable dwellings for grandparents or young adults.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

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