Saturday, 31 December 2011

Robert Green "A Thorn in their Side"

“A Thorn in their Side”,

Is a new book by Robert Green, published by Rata Books in November 2011 and it is a compelling read.

It is ironic that it was published at the same time as the movie about Margaret Thatcher hit our screens, for without doubt Thatcher played a leading role in the murder of Hilda Murrell in the English county of Shropshire in 1984. Hilda was the aunt of author Robert Green.

His insider knowledge as a Royal Navy Commander about Thatcher’s role in ordering the sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano outside of the combat zone during of the Falklands War in 1982 and his aunt’s protest activities against nuclear power and the nuclear industries role in creating nuclear power plants is most revealing and confirms that the Tory Government was at its most repressive during the Prime Ministership of Margaret Thatcher.

The growth of private agents to carry out the dirty work for MI5 and MI6 is clearly shown and proves that Thatcher who became known as the Iron Lady because of her support for both the Falklands War and the Nuclear industry and far right economic policies which led to the direct collapse of the present financial system.

Robert Green even after moving to Christchurch NZ was still harassed by UK secret service agents as he battled to seek the truth of what happened to his beloved aunt.

After reading this very readable record of the mis-use of the powers of both the English police and security services and the contracting out to private and corporate owned security companies, who seem to be above the law, a trend that sadly continues today.

It was equally ironic but not surprising that the period of Thatcherism that saw the growth of Rightwing takeover of government security activities with its loss of democratic process. The same behaviour was adopted by Roger Douglas which was equally ironic because of NZ’s anti nuclear policy.

Robert Green has produced a clear and concise record of the events before and after the bizarre and violent death of his beloved aunt Hilda.

Read in conjunction with Nicky Hager’s latest book – Other People’s Wars, it shows the steady decline of democracy in nations that preach freedom for others while introducing the opposite for their own citizens.

Robert Green has lifted this episode from conspiracy theory to political reality, I strongly recommend that you get a copy.

A Thorn in their Side, publish by Rata Books, October 2011 for further information go to       

Friday, 30 December 2011

Another view on US Seals...


In support of my earlier blog of a letter sent the Manawatu Standard Ian Ritchie wrote:

Dear Sir

I write in support of the assessment by Peter Wheeler (Standard, 29 December) that the US military Seals represent the opposite of the world’s greatest group – they are murderers and assassins.
But then that hypocrisy typifies the US position on so many escapades.
Take Operation Enduring Freedom – the war on Afghanistan – enduring freedom for who – US corporate interests of course. Certainly not the Afghanis. If Bin Laden was the objective, Saudi Arabia would have been the target. If the “terrible” plight of Afghani women was the target, we will of course expect Israel to be invaded to rescue Israeli women from the astounding attitude of their fundamentalist clerics. So why is Afghanistan being bombed into the stone age it had barely left because several other countries had tried to take it over? For the benefit of the US economy of course. Freedom from the Taliban – not likely.

Not satisfied with one war to keep the US economy afloat they had to move on to Iraq to bomb it into the stone age – again for spurious justifications – but really for the benefit of US corporations who now own the resources of that country.

If the US Seals were what they are cracked up to be,  Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would have been summarily dealt to the way Bin Laden was, but not after 10 years of bombing with millions of “collateral damage” .

As the WWII saying went, when the Germans flew over, we ducked, when the British flew over, they ducked, when the Americans flew over everyone ducked. Seems little changes.

If your own experience doesn’t confirm this, read Nicky Hager’s latest book – Other People’s Wars, and see how you feel after that. A really good and important new year read.

Yours etc
Ian Ritchie

Monday, 26 December 2011

Assassins Get Team of the Year award.

Are these people the real assassins?

Reference Manawatu Standards item Seals Top Team…Tuesday 27th December 2011:

Seals are mammals that Greenpeace seek to protect from fishing nets…American seals are soldiers who carry out murder or assassination orders from the US government. They are so ineffective that only after ten years of invasion and destruction by other US military units, and after the loss of three thousand US troops, wait there is more, the deaths of an estimated two hundred thousand innocent by-standers a group of US military seals, illegally entered an independent country and murdered Osama Bin Laden and members of his family, there was no fire fight, no tactical battle, just land in a helicopter and blast your way in and murder the occupants, some heroes…
And for that the Times Newspaper [UK] awarded them the “Team of the Year”…
It could only happen in the US. And little backwoods paper the Manawatu Standard published this PR Crap.
Firstly any soldier worth his or her salt would deny any association with such a military force as the US Seals…not for what they are, but for what they do, on their President’s command. Put simply they are sick, both in body and mind. They are known to have assassinated many individuals whom the US Government considered enemies.
Our media and many in our government support this criminal behaviour and try to blanket it in a glow of heroism. There is nothing heroic about it. It is both cowardly and criminal. Bin Laden needed to be brought to justice, not murdered by state trained assassins and that’s the truth. To suggest others wise is not Christian or human no matter how you look at it, unless of course you believe you are God and rule the world. 
PS, check out the photo and see the medals the Air-Force guy has, how many of those where recieved for murdering innocent civillians.. 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

When Fascism Departs the scene...

Thatcher's State Funeral. 

This hits the nail on the head...I read it on that wonderful blog 'No Right Turn' I think the principle should apply here in NZ to the Roger Douglas types and maybe even Don Brash and John Key...maybe we should push for a bill to be introduced here...I'm sure Winston Peters would be in favour...

Margaret Thatcher is one of Britain's greatest criminals, whose disbelief in society caused her to destroy it. As a former Prime Minister, she is in line for a state funeral when she dies (which will provide a focus for protest over her toxic legacy). Which is rather ironic, given her beliefs about the role of the state? And so someone has started an e-petition (a formal UK government consultation exercise which can trigger Parliamentary debates) demanding that her funeral be privatised:

In keeping with the great lady's legacy, Margaret Thatcher's state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders. The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.

And they're right. Thatcher was an anti-statist. Surely she should live - and be buried - by those ideals, rather than leeching a final fling at the expense of hard-working taxpayers. Anything less would be hypocritical.
Meanwhile, on the Guardian, Sunny Hundal has some ideas on what Thatcher's privatised funeral could look like:

Consider the endless possibilities, for die-hard Thatcherites, of privatising the event. I think we can agree it should be ticketed so it can turn a profit. Perhaps an IT company (let's call them Crapita for example), could sell tickets via the internet. You may have to wait a couple of months to get the system off the ground but at least it'll work … eventually. If it's anything like the privatisation of the railways, none of the funeral services would run on time and you'd end up with 500 people in a church meant for 200.
But there could be optional extras otherwise denied by the state. You could pay to have an opportunity to wail, as North Koreans seem to have perfected. Wailing while stabbing a picture of Arthur Scargill should obviously cost much more. Opportunities to sell Thatcher memorabilia (a picture of her with Pinochet, sir?) would be endless. It could even boost our sagging economy.
The television rights to the event should be auctioned off, perhaps for a private library dedicated to Thatcher (with John Maynard Keynes banned from the economics section of course).

Unmentioned: selling the right to spit on the corpse or piss on her grave (because its going to happen, so they might as well get money for it). Hell, they could even provide the service, so that those unable to attend in person could have someone do it for them.
Morality? Taste? The market does not know of such things. And if you're happy with the mass unemployment, poverty and degradation which were the inevitable result of Thatcher's policies, you can hardly get prissy about a little matter of degrading a corpse. But if you want to be hypocritical about that too, you can always pay for it not to happen. That's what the free market would want.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Thank you all...

Xmas spirit in action.

Christmas is a time to thank you the reader, along with all those who have kept me on track and brought me down to earth when need be…Ian Ritchie and Larry Haist who weekly offer advice, the team at Access Manawatu and of course Sally White and her team who make sure I can hear what’s being said. To all those who sent me their opinions and views even if they differed from mine they were all hugely important. It was a big year with the Rugby World Cup and the elections and some major events, the Christchurch Earthquake and its recovery continues to capture the headlines, as does the loss of life at Pike River.

The biggest cringe was by Media Works as it repaid its debt to the Government by giving the PM his own radio show, equaled only by the Maori Party cuddling up to the Nats.

There is one person who stood out for me and it was Dale Anderson who is introducing a programme named ‘Project Taukana’ that could change the way we live, it is being done without fanfare and PR hype.

The biggest social change to hit us is and will continue to grow is the ‘Occupy Movement’ it could well be the biggest political game changer for many decades.

Wheeler’s Corner weekly email will be in hibernation until mid January 2012…my radio programme will continue as usual each Thursday at 11.45am and I will be posting on my blog from time to time at

Friday, 16 December 2011

Lock-Out by CMP ANZCO continues

The Sign says it all

Since October 19th 2011 over a hundred workers have been locked out of their place of employment, a meat production plant near Marton owned by ANZCO Foods. They have stood in the rain, wind and sun in an attempt to inform the public of their plight. Three months is a long time with no wages coming in, just imagine if it was you, could you last three months?
The company request is simple, work under our conditions or don’t work at all…and their new conditions mean at least a 20% wage reduction plus the loss of other conditions…Oh the company will negotiate, so long as the workers accept their new conditions. Is that negotiations? Or is that bullying?
There are some in our community who would suggest that the workers should just accept their lot and do what they are told, they also suggest that they should be grateful for having a job at all. Every working person in New Zealand should instead of blaming the victims as is often their fashion, look with care as the bases for the companies desire to cut wages.
While its workers are locked-out the company spends thousands on attempting to justify its 18th century approach to employment relations with newspaper ads and public relations hog-wash. At the same time they eat up large at a fancy restaurant and continue to make ample profit for their share holders. They are in some respects legalised shoplifters for they are stealing the labour of their workers.
We are told daily of the success of our farming industry, the government heaps praise on praise on its farming friends but one is naturally lead to believe that their wealth is built on the backs of those who do the real work.

Standing Tall for justice for all workers

The workers of ANZCO Foods are standing up for all workers by saying enough is enough they are being assisted by some of the more progressive trade unions and by others in our local communities who understand that lowering wages lowers the money being spent in our communities.
We should be ashamed of ANZCO Foods and the behaviour of their owners, who now plan to bring in cheap labour from the Islands, its almost as if the days of the Chinese coolies is back with us…this is a sad day for New Zealand, we once cared about people, we once cared about jobs and a decent wage, a livable wage for all our people. Now we pay the bills for mismanaged outfits like South Canterbury Finance [105 billion] AMI [120 Billion] Media Works and of course ANZCO Food whom the workers are bailing out in real terms. If this is the market run economy in action, the quicker the Occupy Movement takes an effect the better for all of us.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Justice and Media is stupid at times

Justice is sometimes stupid.

It’s not hard to understand why journalists wages are just above the minimum wage…In a page two item in the Manawatu Standard [Friday 16th December] reporter Jimmy Ellingham wrote a small item on a twenty year old beneficiary who was before the court for shoplifting…two boxes of chocolates…value five dollars in total…from Pak ‘n Save.
The reporter should be ashamed of himself, for he named the person involved for a five dollar crime, for which the Judge Gregory Ross did not order any repayment. I wonder who got to keep the chocolates.
The reporter it would seem picked up on a quote from the judge “It’s called Pak ‘n Save, not pinch and Save”, if the reporter was worth his minimum wage he should have written an item on the so-called wittiness of the judges stupid statement.
My estimate of the cost of bringing the so-called criminal to justice would be around five thousand dollars, [Police, Court, Lawyers, Newspapers, Pac ‘N Save, etc]
If we keep this style of justice and follow the Sensible Sentencing Trusts plans I suppose the shoplifter would have been jailed for life. No wonder the country is broke. No wonder the newspaper staff is paid so little or why our police are over worked.

As an after thought, would this taken place if the person involved was the son or daughter of the Editor of theManawatu Standard, or the Judge, or the District Police Commander, or a Political figure... somehow I doubt it. For justice is not blind. Imagine if a All Black was in this postion with out doubt their name would have been suppressed...


The power of the people has been demonstrated, John Key has caved in because over six thousand people put the pressure proves that he is popularity driven and lacks any real backbone. Here is the good news...thanks to all involved..
Dear Peter,
Incredible news. Moments ago John Key’s government got directly in touch with the Auckland Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre, committing to “continued funding for the next 6 months” and pledging to work with them to ensure “a sustainable service for the future”.

It’s an extraordinary victory -- for you and everyone else who has been part of the explosion of support for Kirsty McCully’s petition to save the centre.
Just a few short days ago things weren’t looking good. Funding was running desperately low, staff were about to be laid off and almost no one in the public or media was paying attention to the plight of the centre. No one in government was admitting they had responsibility -- in fact no one would even return the centre’s desperate calls.
Kirsty McCully used to work at the centre as a researcher into the prevention of sexual violence in Auckland. She worked alongside what she described as “tireless and committed crisis line counselling staff” and saw how they “are there for people when no one else is, and when no one else understands”.
Kirsty could not accept the closure of this critical service -- so she started a petition to John Key, and worked overtime to contact friends, family, staff and anyone she could think of to get involved. Support for her campaign exploded across the country, as thousands joined her in an urgent call to save the centre.

More than seven thousand people signed Kirsty’s petition on, hundreds posted messages directly to John Key on his Facebook wall, and media attention took off. In fact, PM Key was even questioned about his plans for the centre at a press conference today.

It’s an extraordinary example of people power, and a testament to the power of anyone, anywhere to start, join and win campaigns about issues they care about.

Thank you -- for being a part of saving this critical service, for the sexual abuse survivors who will now have somewhere to turn at their darkest moments, and for the staff who can now continue focusing on their important front line work.

Nick, Suzanne, Bobbi, Tony, Nathan and the team.

P.S. Kirsty has won an incredible victory today -- but if there’s something else that you’re passionate about changing in your community, you can start your own petition at any time. Click here to get started.
P.P.S. If you want to sign up to hear ongoing updates about Auckland Sexual Abuse Help Centre, or become an ongoing supporter, you can sign up to their email list here.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Eavesdropper in the Square


I see they are occupying the Square...

The Square in Palmerston North was windy as usual, the wind gusts beat a zigzag path from the south to the north and on its way it spread the brown and yellow leaves across the walkways and paths.
The park bench was protected somewhat by the clock tower with its strange cross incased in plastic that had replaced the plain cross of day’s gone bye.
Sitting on that bench were a couple of young people, male and female, they looked like university students, I sat on the grass behind them and the wind carried their conversation in my direction and I listened in after turning up the volume on my newly renovated Sally Whites. What they were discussing was topical and interesting so with your consent I’ll share some of it with you…after all that’s what eavesdroppers do.

“Do you think it would catch on”,
“I can’t see why not”,
“It’ll take a bit of planning”,
“That’s true but what else have we got to do, there are no vacation jobs these days”,
“I’m sure the students union will pitch in”
“OK, let’s do it, now what will be our major cause or will we have more than one”,
“Well there is the lockout by that stupid meat company in Marton, that’s a reason on its own”’
“Yeah, that’s true and then there is the take over by the government of the students association, plus the latest increase in student fees”,
“Then there is the introduction of the American charter school system, which is really stupid since the American school system is rated one of the worst in the world whereas ours is rated third, beat that for stupidity”,
“Then there is the business of the tax payer gifting South Canterbury Finance 1.5 billion dollars so they could rob us blind and they now reckon the directors were all crooks,
It doesn’t say much for our Minister of Finance, he must be really dumb”,
“And while we are at it, let’s demand a change to the financial system that keeps ripping us off”…

I sipped my take away coffee from the Espresso Café and wondered just what these two intelligent young people had in mind. Whatever it was I hoped it might shake up things in this city of ours. Our council appears to have been in hibernation for the last year or so, what with de-motorising the Christmas parade, and Cr. Broad… moaning about Feilding taking the mickey out of us, not exactly exciting stuff. Does our council actually exist?

“Right then lets do it, so where do we start”
“I’ll get in touch with the Students Association”
“And I’ll get in touch with the Meat Workers Union, oh and I know the various teacher groups will be interested”,
“I’ll borrow dad’s tent and barbeque and gas bottle and we’ve both got sleeping bags, so I suppose you could say we’ll have a camping holiday in the Square”.

It looks as if “Occupy the Square” could be on the cards…are you interested? If you are why not join the planning team, and assist…

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dictators of the West [and NZ]

People or Money which rules. 
This from Robert Fisk: The itallics are my comments...

Robert Fisk: Bankers are the dictators of the West

Writing from the very region that produces more clichés per square foot than any other "story" – the Middle East – I should perhaps pause before I say I have never read so much garbage, so much utter drivel, as I have about the world financial crisis.

But I will not hold my fire. It seems to me that the reporting of the collapse of capitalism has reached a new low which even the Middle East cannot surpass for sheer unadulterated obedience to the very institutions and Harvard "experts" who have helped to bring about the whole criminal disaster.

Let's kick off with the "Arab Spring" – in itself a grotesque verbal distortion of the great Arab/Muslim awakening which is shaking the Middle East – and the trashy parallels with the social protests in Western capitals. We've been deluged with reports of how the poor or the disadvantaged in the West have "taken a leaf" out of the "Arab spring" book, how demonstrators in America, Canada, Britain, Spain and Greece have been "inspired" by the huge demonstrations that brought down the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and – up to a point – Libya. But this is nonsense.

The real comparison, needless to say, has been dodged by Western reporters, so keen to extol the anti-dictator rebellions of the Arabs, so anxious to ignore protests against "democratic" Western governments, so desperate to disparage these demonstrations, to suggest that they are merely picking up on the latest fad in the Arab world. The truth is somewhat different. What drove the Arabs in their tens of thousands and then their millions on to the streets of Middle East capitals was a demand for dignity and a refusal to accept that the local family-ruled dictators actually owned their countries. The Mubaraks and the Ben Alis and the Gaddafis and the kings and emirs of the Gulf (and Jordan) and the Assads all believed that they had property rights to their entire nations. Egypt belonged to Mubarak Inc, Tunisia to Ben Ali Inc (and the Traboulsi family), Libya to Gaddafi Inc. And so on. The Arab martyrs against dictatorship died to prove that their countries belonged to their own people.
We are just realising that we have lost ours..

And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against "governments". What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people's power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of "experts" from America's top universities and "think tanks", who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people's wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.

I didn't need Charles Ferguson's Inside Job on BBC2 this week – though it helped – to teach me that the ratings agencies and the US banks are interchangeable, that their personnel move seamlessly between agency, bank and US government. The ratings lads (almost always lads, of course) who AAA-rated sub-prime loans and derivatives in America are now – via their poisonous influence on the markets – clawing down the people of Europe by threatening to lower or withdraw the very same ratings from European nations which they lavished upon criminals before the financial crash in the US. I believe that understatement tends to win arguments. But, forgive me, who are these creatures whose ratings agencies now put more fear into the French than Rommel did in 1940?

Trust me says John Key...yeah, yeah..

Remember our own PM was one of these very lads who sold us out over a ten year term...
Why don't my journalist mates in Wall Street tell me? How come the BBC and CNN and – oh, dear, even al-Jazeera – treat these criminal communities as unquestionable institutions of power? Why no investigations – Inside Job started along the path – into these scandalous double-dealers? It reminds me so much of the equally craven way that so many American reporters cover the Middle East, eerily avoiding any direct criticism of Israel, abetted by an army of pro-Likud lobbyists to explain to viewers why American "peacemaking" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be trusted, why the good guys are "moderates", the bad guys "terrorists".

The Arabs have at least begun to shrug off this nonsense. But when the Wall Street protesters do the same, they become "anarchists", the social "terrorists" of American streets who dare to demand that the Bernankes and Geithners should face the same kind of trial as Hosni Mubarak. We in the West – our governments – have created our dictators. But, unlike the Arabs, we can't touch them.

The Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, solemnly informed his people this week that they were not responsible for the crisis in which they found themselves. They already knew that, of course. What he did not tell them was who was to blame. Isn't it time he and his fellow EU prime ministers did tell us? And our reporters, too?

Why doesn't the PM tell us who was responsible for the rip-off by South Canterbury Finance costing us 1.5 billion dollars last year...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

What is success, a human story

Two different couples

Couple 1:
They travel by BMW to the Auckland Air Port…and are escorted to the VIP lounge by air port security and the police protection squad. Their luggage is checked in for them. They spend sixty dollars for coffee and snacks before putting their feet up waiting for their flight to be called.

Couple 2:
They carry their back-packs from the Auckland domestic bus depot to the Inter-city bus terminal, at the check-in they confirm their tickets and are told the bus is running an hour late. They sit in the open public waiting area amid the hustle and bustle of the human life around them. They’d like a coffee but at five dollars fifty a cup they decide against it.

Couple 1:
They are escorted on to their aircraft and to the first class cabin, where they are each given a bag of goodies and an iced drink of real orange juice and a menu for the meal due in an hour or two. Their carry on luggage is stowed for them while they select their favourite movie or music and checking their stereo head-sets…

Couple 2:
At last they board their bus and take their seats, the bus slowly fills, and they are surrounded by others as the bus pulls into the busy Auckland traffic, she removes a paperback from her hand bag and he wriggles his backside as he settles into his hard seat. He smiles and says, “Well we are underway, Wellington here we come”, she smiles.

Couple 1:
Arrives at their destination refreshed and wide awake and are met in the terminal by their driver and a new security team, their luggage has been picked up for them and loaded in the boot of a black BMW, before they depart the terminal they duck into the duty free and pick up a few last minute gifts. 

Couple 2:
Arrives in Wellington where they are met by her Mom and Dad, they hug each other and once their back-packs are retrieved from the bus cargo bay and the rear they head off to her parents car a 1996 Nissan Bluebird, but not before visiting the toilets, it has been a long time between visits, Taihape was the last stop. They are both tired and weary and glad the journey has ended.

Couple 1:
Are relaxing with a brandy after they had been served a three course meal on the balcony they were contented on this the first day of their month long holiday. It had been a hectic last three months of the Rugby World Cup and the general election.

Couple 2:
They too were relaxing, her mom and dad had prepared a meal of salad and sliced ham and they all sat around the table bringing each other up to date about life since they had last meet.

Who were these two couples, what did they have in common, did they have anything in common? Let’s take a closer look…

Couple 1:
He was brought up in a State House in Christchurch,

Couple 2:
He too was brought up in a State House only it was in Wellington,

Couple 1:
He entered the world of finance, moving money back and forth between some big players taking his percentage cuts and bonuses and amassed a fairly large chunk of cash. His hobby was politics, his dream, being Prime Minister.

Couple 2:
He completed an apprenticeship and became a fitter and turner, he was paid youth rates for the first three years and didn’t make heaps of cash, but he survived somehow and completed his learning period proud of his achievements. He wanted to design mobile wheel chairs for the disabled.

Couple 1:
He succeeded and became Prime Minister,

Couple 2:
He too succeeded and designed a revolutionary wheel chair,

Couple 1:
Was rewarded with a salary of 400 thousand to go with his millions,

Couple 2:
His employer [F & P] moved production to China and he was laid off, his reward a month’s salary and presently is looking for work.

So there you go the story of two couples, which of these two couples have achieved more…which one was more successful. Your answer will naturally depend on how you rate success…if you say 1. Ask why…if you say 2. Ask why, by doing so your values will be defined.

I know I’ve not mentioned the two women involved that is because I know nothing about them…

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A pair of yellow jeans...

Date scones and a card will do. 
The Plaza in Palmerston North is always buzzing with interesting conversation at this time of the year. The one I’ve recorded for you is between a Mother and daughter. It touched my heart for it represented the real spirit of Christmas and yes I do have a heart. I’m not too good at picking the ages of older children but she looked around twelve to fourteen years of age. They were sitting on one of those hard wooden benches in the main walkway near the Ice Cream Parlor…the ones where you take a well-earned break from shopping till you drop.
“Yes dear”
“It’s just not fair”
“What’s not fair?
“Why can’t I buy those neat yellow jeans?
“Because they are too expensive, I’ve already told you that twice”.
“But Mom…”
“I’m sorry but I told you before we left home that sixteen dollars was your limit and those jeans are fifty seven dollars and besides that you've a perfectly good pair of jeans at home”.
“But Mom my friend Julie has a pair of yellow jeans, why cant I?
“While it may seem unfair at your age it’s a fact of life Julie’s parents have a lot more money than we do”.
“I don’t care…if I don’t get those jeans…I’ll just die!
“I hope not, I’d miss you terribly, but there is a way you could get those jeans”.
“How, I’ve only got sixteen dollars and they cost fifty seven?
“If you saved your sixteen dollars pocket money each week in about a month you’d have enough to buy them”
“I never thought of that, but that would mean I couldn’t buy you a Christmas present could I”.
“Oh darling, if you save for your jeans, I’m most happy to just get a hand made card and maybe you can make some of your delicious date scones”.
“Truly…scones and a card would be OK?
“Absolutely, so do we have a deal? You save your pocket money and I get a card and date scones”.
“Alright I’ll do my very best to save, do I still get a Christmas present?
“Yes, in fact I’ve already got something in mind”…
I thought to myself, if only the worlds’ financial kingpins displayed this mother’s wisdom and satisfaction with the simple pleasures of life…scones instead of Champagne…saving instead of greed… people instead of possessions. Have a happy Christmas and take a break during your Christmas shopping and look after yourself.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Protecting Democracy in Kiwi it possible?

Now that the election is all over and the National party has been re-elected with around 33% of those who could have voted, [Labour got 18% and the Greens 7%] I realise just how risky our democracy actually is. We have no constitution, no Upper-house, our Governor General is hand picked and appointed by the Prime Minister and our military forces are commanded by the PM and he sends them off to fight others wars, they even break international law and the same PM makes their chief our Governor General. Strange you may think, but alas it is the norm.

In New Zealand the ruling party can do anything it wants, there are no restrictions on its powers. For argument sake, it could cancel elections altogether, just as it passed a law a while ago removing the right-to-silence for those when charged with a crime.

The only checks and balance on its supremacy is parliament itself, and if they had a majority in parliament there was / is absolutely nothing to stop them from doing what Sid Holland did back in the 1950’s
by banning all help to those on strike [1951 water-front strike / lock-out] and arresting those who did…as they did…I remember that well, I was eleven at the time and my father was a soldier and broke the law by donating food to strikers who lived in our street in Upper Hutt.
The High Court and our justice system are governed by the rules laid down by parliament so their rules can be altered should the ruling party so decide. All one needs is to have a majority in the house. This means that in fact the majority party in parliament could ban all the other parties by simple majority. They could do it via the SIS and no one could do nothing about it

I’ve reached the understandable conclusion that we should thank our lucky stars that we at least have MMP as our electoral process for it is the only protection we have. But we should not be complacent with parties like a Act [National in drag really] and side swapper United Future [Peter Dunne]. We are on the very precipice of a possible dictatorship and with the Maori Party being in free-fall we are but a step away from the 1950’s under Holland.

Some would suggest that the Queen is our head of state…nothing is further from the truth and for that matter the law. Can you imagine the Queen rushing to NZ accompanied by her various princes and princesses to rescue us from the grip of a rampant out of control ruling party…of course the royal family has no power…she can’t even sack the governor general net alone the government….

With the country settling into a period of where the gap between the have and have-not’s is growing out of control, it would seem that a government that wishes to continue down the track of taxing the poor and reducing taxes for the wealthy may seek powers to maintain this state of affairs. This from a survey conducted by the Downtown Community Ministry two days after the 2011 election…

“Among those surveyed there were strong messages delivered for politicians with the Maori Party singled out for criticism. “They shouldn’t be going with National” said some respondents as “National only want them so they can get the numbers to govern”.

DCM people, the majority of whom are on annual gross incomes of under $12,000 per annum, were also critical of the big disparity in New Zealanders’ incomes.

“Politicians need to sort out the 99% and stop looking out for the 1%. They need to get out from behind their desks and start really helping people, especially to find work” were common themes touched on by survey respondents.

Hospital waiting lists and the unfairness of facing the personal cost of paying for crutches was a hot issue for one respondent. Another saw international issues as a high priority with the suggestion that New Zealand promote an international ceasefire on Anzac Day. 
After a little thought do you want any political party to have a majority in our parliament...