Monday, 11 December 2017

Biggest Mystery of 2017

Guest blogger Peter Grove
This from guest blogger Peter Grove...

"The biggest mystery of 2017 seemed to be, why did Kreyp [John Key] drop the ball and disappear from view? He must have been reading the writing on the wall. I imagine that with the election result he will be laughing like a drain. I am not sure there was a lot of love lost between him and Blenglish [Bill English] who ended up with the Tory version of the good old, poisoned chalice.

Blenglish simply repeated his outstanding form he displayed in 2002. With Little leading Labour he was pretty much an even match for Blenglish. Both of them had all the charisma of loads of wet firewood!

The advent of Jacinda seemed to be what made the difference. I'm not so sure she is going to last the distance and seems to have lost a degree of support over her insistence with resurrecting the TPP. Her venture into OZ looks to have backfired and the more recent tie-up with Shorten could also go the same way. I don't think Shorten enjoys wide electoral support.

I'm not sure about Robertson. He is a bit too conventional for me and bound to make a mess of it. Time will have to tell. The optimistic Housing programme is bound to come unstuck, simply due to the absolute dearth of qualified tradesmen, thanks to the adherence of Douglas to his shortsighted adherence to Neo Liberalism and the reforms he put in place Jacinda is certainly reaping the rewards of earlier Labour Party stupidity.

The OZ electoral scene looks even more dismal than our's was twelve months ago. Turnbuckle is by no means as popular as he thinks he is, which clearly showed a few months back, when he went to the people with the view of increasing his majority in Canberra. That ended with him being worse off. He has clearly shown he considers us to be the poor relation and his treatment of Kiwi in OZ has been nothing short of appalling. He looks to be as big a flake every bit as much as Howard was, certainly so in respect of Howard's treatment of David Hicks. I have a number of contacts in OZ including our two sons and the general consensus appears much the same.

I could of course be barking up a lamp post rather than a tree holding to those views. Regarding Winston going with Labour a recent comment in TDB laid quite bare the reason for the failure of the coalition talks, Winston v Nats. It seems at first they resorted to bribery, when that failed the turned to straight out lies. Winston showed again he was simply too shrewd for all of them! I think he will do well as Foreign Minister. He established an outstanding reputation in the position in
the Clark Government and certainly held the respect of the administrations he had dealings with, which showed again the charisma of Maori in those situations.

After all that. Season's Greetings and thanks for your comments in your
last blog!

Peter Grove.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Panic overtakes humanity in Australia

We will eventually destroy your distorted concepts of democracy and justice and replace them a decent humane system. If you were really interested in stopping harmful foreign interference in our political system you would start by refusing to accept donations to the Liberal and National parties from foreign governments and their intermediaries.[John Tomlinson]

Australians these days appear to fall into two camps the enlightened and the unenlightened. Wheelers Corner guest blogger John Tomlinson is one of the enlightened ones [thank heavens].
Australians are also known these days for their strange attitudes toward incarceration of people on far off Islands in prison camps run by Wilson Security and such like organisation not known for legal humanitarian methods.
Well some Australians are speaking out over the criminal behaviour of both their leaders and those who make false claims about the various invented concerns about national security etc.
The guest blogger is John Tomlinson and he speaks his mind in language that is easy to understand. I wish we here in New Zealand had a few just like him to highlight our various shortcomings. Here is his blog:   
Dear Comrades and fellow travellers this is a brief note sent to our attorney general
To Senator George Brandis:
“Dear bloated turd,
You can stick your revamp of Australia’s espionage laws up your arse. You claim to be protecting Australian democracy but you more than any other cretin have undermined our democracy and decency. You and the entire Liberal National parliamentary party have destroyed our international reputation as a humane country with your offshore incarceration of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus and Nauru.
Your hysterical anti-terror laws are an over the top response to the terror threat which exists in this country. Your cashless welfare cards and Northern Territory intervention are a continuation of the race war of white Australians upon Aborigines for the last 230 years. I spit on your concept of justice.
I give you notice that I will continue to work with decent Australians to rid this country of any trace of the racist infestation of the Liberal and National parties. I will work with honourable people whether they are here or overseas to undermine everything you and your corrupt government stand for. And I will not tell you with whom I am working under any circumstances.
You attack unions for trying to protect workers. You turn a blind eye to injustice. You are an obscenity. All my life Yank and Pommy governments have successfully promoted their forms of corrupt capitalism and I’m sure you will assist them to continue to do so. The Gina Rinehardt’s and Twiggy Forrest’s of this world are given cart blanch to ride rough shod over Indigenous interests and workers’ rights. This is not democracy it is crony capitalism.
You think you can nobble organisations like Get Up and Amnesty International and other such groups which work to make a better world but your insane paranoid delusions blind you to our combined power.
We will eventually destroy your distorted concepts of democracy and justice and replace them a decent humane system. If you were really interested in stopping harmful foreign interference in our political system you would start by refusing to accept donations to the Liberal and National parties from foreign governments and their intermediaries.
You would chase the tax cheats of Google and the like and crack down on rich Australian companies and individuals evading taxes.
You don’t want to enhance or even protect democracy in Australia. You are a popinjay who wants only to gain an unfair advantage over progressive forces who would consign your form of bunyip aristocracy to the dust bin of history. You have no sense of fairness or decency and have to make do with an outmoded degeneracy. We will beat you at the next election and I doubt that that in the interregnum you will get the bulk of your proposed changes through the Senate.  Guest blog ends:

Some back ground information and world opinion: 

From Wikipedia:
Opinion polls show that boat arrivals have always been an issue of concern to the Australian public, but opposition has increased steadily over the previous four decades, according to a 2013 research paper by the Parliamentary Library.[5]
In 2005, the wrongful incarceration of Cornelia Rau was made public through the Palmer Inquiry, which stimulated concern in the Australian public about the detention of children in remote locations and the potential for resultant long-term psychological harm.[10]
Between 1998 and 2008, the UN Human Rights Committee made adverse findings against Australia in a number of immigration detention cases, concluding that Australia had violated the prohibition on arbitrary detention in Article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[10][citation needed] The longest-held detainee within the Australian immigration detention system was Peter Qasim, who was detained for six years and ten months.[61]
In March 2012, former Prime Minister Paul Keating said there were "racial undertones" to the debate and that Australia's reputation in Asia was being damaged.[62] In 2013, former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser described the positions of the major political parties as a "race to the bottom".[63]
In 2003, economist Ross Gittins, a columnist at Fairfax Media, said former Prime Minister John Howard had been "a tricky chap " on immigration, by appearing "tough" on illegal immigration to win support from the working class, while simultaneously winning support from employers with high legal immigration.[64]
In 2016, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, criticised Australia's policies of mandatory and off-shore immigration detention. Crépeau claimed that Australia had adopted a "punitive approach" towards migrants who arrived by boat which had served to "erode their human rights".[65]

For further information go to: 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Reveling Don Brash's logic

I went searching for an intelligent explanation of the Don Brash logic against all things Maori and while I realise that its December and Christmas approaches and other matters are no doubt filling our minds and activities, if you can find time to read this I believe many of us will be enlightened. 

"Don Brash is an intelligent person, that is self-evident, his track record as an academic and a bureaucrat attests to that. But on the issue of Maori, the Treaty of Waitangi and biculturalism sadly he is prejudiced. The following is the evidence.
As repeated on Radio NZ on Saturday, Dr Brash insists that the Treaty confirms that Maori ceded sovereignty, were granted rights over their property and have no different rights than any other group of New Zealanders. This interpretation of the treaty is logical if one is selective in defining what the treaty comprises, namely that it is solely the English language document from 1840 that was signed by 39 of the 540 Maori signatories. The rest signed the te reo treaty, te tiriti o Waitangi, that has quite different meaning.

Why does Don Brash choose to exclude from his consideration the te reo versions of the treaty that 90% of Maori signatories signed?
The ambiguity around what the 1840 documents actually mean, the contradictions between the English and the te reo documents, and the subsequent behavior of the colonizing forces that behaved as though the treaty was a document of surrender – have been the reason for the 1975 renaissance of the treaty and its role in contemporary New Zealand. Since that time governments of both hues have reached agreement with Maori over the appropriate meaning and purpose of the treaty. Don Brash accepts none of this.

The post-1975 process has resulted in a raft of negotiated settlements over breaches, many of which have led to legal definitions of what the treaty, taken in its whole, is to mean. These meanings have been established by the courts and through signed undertakings between iwi and government. So when we talk about ‘the treaty’ then we are inescapably talking about the four elements that comprise that agreement, namely
(a)  The 1840 English original and the 1840 te reo original
(b)  The English translations of the te reo original and the te reo translations of the English original
(c)   The agreements between government and Maori that form the body of negotiated settlements of treaty breaches
(d)  The Treaty principles as established through the courts and reflected in the recommendations by the Waitangi Tribunal that have been accepted by the government.

It is this vast body of work then that is in effect, the treaty. It would be quite erroneous to select just one element of this and represent that as the treaty. Insofar as what is recognized officially as the ‘original document’ (not the Treaty, but just the original document) it is the one signed at Waitangi and comprises a te reo text and an English text – which say different things don’t forget, because literal translation was so limited in its accuracy. In the words of Henry Williams who actually constructed what is accepted as the official English language version in 1840 by translating the te reo version into English,
 'I certify that the above is as literal a translation of the Treaty of Waitangi as the idiom of the language will allow.'

We were soon to learn that the translation was not accurate at all, hence the ambiguity that is an inescapable reality of the original process. No amount of insistence by vested interests can change or legitimately ignore that ambiguity. Which is why, and this is just critical to any understanding of the Treaty, that people know that under the 1975 Treaty of Waitangi Act, it is the Waitangi Tribunal that has exclusive authority to determine the meaning and effect of the treaty. For over 40 years now governments have endorsed this authority. And by the way, the Tribunal has ruled that sovereignty was not ceded by Ngapuhi at Waitangi.

Come back now to Don Brash and the Hobson’s Choice people. They refuse to accept the Treaty as comprising anything beyond the 1840 English version that 90% of the Maori signatories did not sign. They do not accept the te reo original, and they accept none of the post-1975 treaty processes apart from a begrudging acknowledgement that breaches occurred and compensation was due. That Maori have accepted on average 1.5 cents (NZ Treasury figures) in the dollar of what they have lost through expropriation is never acknowledged or respected by Don Brash.
Brash is intelligent. So by restricting himself to acknowledging as authentic only the original English treaty, it follows that he can justify his colonizing, imperialist perspective wherein
(a)  Parliament is sovereign
(b)  Maori got to keep whatever property they legally owned (‘legal’ presumably as defined by the Governorship of the day)
(c)   In no other respects are the rights of Maori any different to those of subsequent settlers
But of course his case is flawed, because he has been selective in what he recognizes the treaty comprising – just part of one of the four elements that actually make it up. His logic follows, but his starting point is absolutely wrong.

For me the interesting issue here is why does this otherwise intelligent person, choose to be so utterly selective in what he accepts as the authentic elements of the treaty? Why does someone who otherwise builds arguments from an evidence base, in this case reject 90% of the evidence? Why does he see the treaty as little more than a surrender document to a colonizing force? Why does he refute not only the Maori perspective behind the original 1840 process, but more importantly the collective effort of successive governments, academics and historians to stand back and assess what the actual nature of the treaty is? They’ve concluded it’s the agreement between two societies to share the land, to mutually respect the rights of the other signatory to have their society progress and the aspirations of their people fulfilled, and to have a duty of care to each other’s aspirations. This essence of the treaty and is now well-established, increasingly embedded in our legislation and the nature of bicultural New Zealand, an absolutely unique nation-forming agreement.

One is left with the inescapable conclusion that Don Brash has a preconception of what the treaty should stand for and only by refuting all the other evidence can he support that preconception with a logical flow of argument. His is a colonizing, imperialist perspective and he will not accept any evidence to the contrary.
But why would such a highly educated person exclude evidence and defend his preconception on the basis of logic from just part of the truth?  One cannot escape the Brash reality – he wants his culture to be the pre-eminent one, for its norms to be the only norms and not to be sharing the norms of the other treaty signatory. This, more than any evidence that supports the alternative, is all that is acceptable to Brash. It’s nothing to do with evidence it is a preference – his preference that Maori society has no unique rights under the treaty, no matter what the reality is. He is religiously separatist, and has no tolerance for the sharing ethos which is the treaty reality.
Why would he prefer Maoridom, as the other treaty signatory, to have no unique rights? It has can only be because of his deep-rooted sense of racial superiority, a prejudice that leads him to regard the Westminster-based system as the only legitimate template for New Zealand. Sharing governance with the other treaty signatory is unacceptable.

Despite the evidence that ours is a treaty between two societies to co-exist, have a mutual duty of care, and encourage sharing of values, for the imperious Dr Brash that is beyond the pale – he just doesn’t like it, and willfully dismisses the overwhelming evidence that this is the essence of the treaty. At the point he sacrifices his objectivity, totally.

How ironic that his propensity to call all government endorsements of the rights of Maoridom under the treaty “race-based policies” when the sad fact is the separatism he preaches is founded on unadulterated racism. The more I hear Brash on this subject the more he reminds me of Enoch Powell, the British politician who was also academically capable and deeply racist. He too had a following.