Tagged: Politics

One white girl’s random thoughts on Waitangi Day

Monarchy NZ think this is a totally inappropriate day to be thinking about our constitutional future, as the Republicans are suggesting.  When the fuck do they think an appropriate time would be?

The media (and Pita Sharples) is making a lot out of two of Hone Harawira’s cousins leading the protests today.  You’re in Northland.  They’re angry Maori people.  What did you think the odds were that they weren’t Hone Harawira’s cousins?

Commenter-trolls at The Standard are trying to stir up the old “full, fair and final” argument for Treaty settlements.  I don’t think they’ve really considered what “fair” compensation would be for having one’s land and 150+ years of its productive use stolen, not to mention those hard-to-quantify “attempts to eliminate our culture and language” and “alcoholism and venereal disease” injustices.

Another day when my white privilege is emphasised; because the greatest amount of angst I am able to feel can basically be summed up as “Waa, brown people are going to point out the historical reality of colonialism (and this is the one day of the year that gets talked about, and even then they get ridiculed), waa my poor fee fees.”

Proper mothers only vote for political parties the Establishment likes

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party reports some slightly worrying comments from Judge David Burns:

“If Ms X attends and supports the Legalise Cannabis Party the likely influence is that she supports consumption of that substance … That is in direct contradiction to her obligations as a parent because it affects her reliability as a mother,” David Burns said.

First up, no, dude.  The “likely influence” is that she supports legalising consumption of “that substance” (the clue is the big L in the name.)*

Secondly?  Go.  Fuck.  Yourself.  It is fucking ridiculous to act as though your own political views, and your own perception of what is and isn’t mainstream, allows you to make any fucking comment on a person’s ability to responsibly parent their child.

This is an issue whether you agree with legalising marijuana or not.  It would be an issue if a judge said “Parent X supports Act, which wants to fuck our tertiary education system so that’s in direct contradiction to hir obligations as a parent.”  It would be an issue if a judge sid “Parent X supports the Greens, who put the welfare of the planet before our god-mandated duty to procreate, so that’s in direct contradiction to hir obligations as a parent.”

When Ms X is openly dealing pot on the streets and advocating hotboxing your maternity ward during pregnancy,then maybe we can talk about parental obligations.

Supporting a political party which advocates changing our current law and therefore theoretically supports the future legal performance of a currently illegal action?  Kinda what political supporters do, Your Fuckface Honour.

~

*She may well smoke pot too, but that may have more to do with … being a New Zealander.  There’s a reason Tool albums sell really well here.

Men talking good shit about other men talking really shit shit

Another three guys-who-often-write-stuff-I-agree-with pretty much have it covered on the most recent outbreak of “Labour is low in the polls, let’s keep on trying to be National 2.0” fever.

Danyl on Pagani (but see this thread if somewhat-obscure boardgame references are your thing):

Pagani’s strategy – which Labour appears to be following – is to keep almost all of the members of the unpopular government the public was glad to get rid of, endorse National’s policies which are mostly horrible failures, and promote no substantial policy of their own. This has worked about as well as you’d expect it to.

Scott on Pagani:

When did the party of Savage, Kirk and Clark become such a pack of lambs?

I/S on Trotter and Pagani:

Comrade Trotter of course attempts to blame Labour’s woes on it not being racist, sexist, and homophobic enough – which I think tells us more about Trotter’s prejudices than it does about Labour.

With a bonus I/S on Greg Thugface O’Connor:

And if O’Connor is truly representing his members on this, then I think we have a real problem in our police force.

Fear not, tiny readers, there shall be bona fide cuss-filled ranting aplenty coming at you over this approaching Easter break!  But after weekend on weekend of weddings, houseguests, and getting really drunk with awesome feminists I’m a wee bit spent … in the mean time, you could always check out The Stroppery! /shamelessplug

Recommended reading: men talking good shit edition

A trifecta of good stuff for you this evening.

Craig Ranapia on Greg “if everyone would just be good little proles then the cops wouldn’t have to beat you” O’Connor and Tiki “brown man with completely inexplicable dislike of agents of repressive state apparatus” Taane:

But the one thing O’Connor and his ilk can’t do – and even worse, don’t believe they have to seriously try – is back up their assertion that words and music they don’t like lead to real world crime.

Gordon Campbell on both legal aid/the anti-nanny-state Government’s strange nanny-state-esque behaviour:

So far, the Key government has reduced the right to a jury trial, extended the powers of search and surveillance by state agencies, restricted the rights against self incrimination, sought the ability to conduct trials in the absence of the accused, and ended the independence of the agency dispensing legal aid – and that’s even before we got to today’s changes.

As Scoop consistently argued, the dispute was always about getting Warners more money, and the union dispute was being used as a diversion to that end. Simultaneously, the climate of anti-union hysteria did no harm to the ability of the government to get its rewrite of some key elements in our industrial legislation framework through Parliament.

Rob Salmond on the Labour list what-about-the-menz whining (h/t NRT):

What the graphs show is that Labour’s caucus will look broadly similar to New Zealand, but will continue to moderately underrepresent women, Maori, and New Zealanders of Asian descent. The Rainbow community is either marginally overrepresented (by about one MP) or represented proportionally, depending on which population estimate you prefer. And Pasifika peoples are overrepresented in Labour’s caucus by 1-2 MPs.

Would you look at that?

So having been told quite a bit recently that no one really cares about abortion as an issue in NZ and why don’t we prochoice women just shut up and get to the back of the manifesto where we belong, wouldn’t you know it but a bunch of awesome Kiwi bloggers managed to put together one hell of a blogswarm for World Health Day, hosted at The Hand Mirror.

My three faves are from Octavia, La Ranita and Deborah but there’s pa-lenty of other awesome reading.

And then, would you believe, there was actually an abortion-related vote in Parliament, regarding the Abortion Supervisory Committee, which even got honest-to-goodness mainstream media coverage thanks to Tariana Turia being an antichoice douchewad.  Hat tip to Morgan at Maui Street.

No Right Turn does his usual stellar work with the facts and figures on the vote, which split somewhat fascinatingly along almost-clear party lines, with National being the only divided party.

The basic take-home is that 70 MPs are sufficiently pro-choice that they won’t support appointing an avowed antichoicer to the Abortion Supervisory Committee.  It’s hardly an overwhelming statement of support of women’s right to make their own health decisions, but it’s also a pretty obvious sign that the majority of MPs, whether for personal or political-sensitivity reasons, will not erode the status quo.

It’s a fucking start.

Everything is waffle

[This post, like its forerunner Everything is a lie, was originally posted at The Standard.]

There isn’t just one hard truth to NZ politics at the moment. The second is equally unpopular with people, but if it doesn’t offer a clear way forward it at least suggests a fixable problem. At the same time, it’s not the kind of thing Labour/the Left want to have bandied about too publicly in an election year.

Everything Labour does is waffle.

No, seriously, everything.

Where my previous post argued that NACT are motivated by a clear and demonstrated drive to financially benefit themselves and their class and keep the true “middle New Zealand” distracted by shiny, often illusory toys (beneficiary bashing, north-of-$50 tax cuts), this one poses more of a question I wish I didn’t suspect the answer to:

What the fuck is Labour doing except waffling?

Waffling, swaying, flip-flopping, whatever today’s pop-propaganda term is, from one statement to the next, one lukewarm denunciation to the next, since the 2008 defeat Labour has basically been a yacht captained by people who figured hey, it was their turn so they might as well have a go, desperately seeking the right current to sail them into Getting Elected Harbour and getting caught on the treacherous reefs of No1curr and Fuck You’re Uninspiring every single time.

Everything is waffle. Waffle doesn’t win elections.

A first pre-emptive rebuttal: Key/National did not waffle their way into victory in 2008. They made explicit, just-qualified-enough statements which set them firmly and believably (to the middle-voting public) in the role of Just Like Labour Only Without The Sense You’re Being Put On The Naughty Spot.

But what the fuck does Labour stand for at this point?

Waffle. Whatever the headless chickens and soccer-fan octopi in the strategy team think is a winner this week.

What month is it? Are we panicking about the loss of the “centre” vote and rehashing really obviously-going-to-backfire Brash/Orewa dogwhistles? Hmm, fuck, that didn’t go so well (hint for Labour strategists: when Idiot/Savant is telling you you’re fucking hypocrites, be worried). Best throw some “I can’t believe it’s not a real leftwing policy” bones to the fanbase! A fanbase who, possibly in serious need of some reassurance that the Apocalypse had not in fact left them in a better-treed version of Transmetropolitan, thought “fuck yes! A real turnaround!”

Nup. Waffle.

‘Cause you see, “the many, not the few” involves such fantastically leftwing setpieces as “listen to the stories about gang members ripping off WINZ, those fucking bludgers!” and “young offenders need intervention and literacy skills AND a kick in the pants, am I right, holla at your boy Garth McVicar!”

But some celebrated nevertheless, right until the rightwing research unit bots said “Oy, bitches, how’s 1985 treatin’ ya?” and silence descended, because not all the pretty speeches in the world from Goff count for shit until he utterly disowns that Rogernomics crap. Prediction: never going to happen.*

January 2011. Election year, baby. And someone gets it through HQ’s hivemind that maybe being a bit fucking bold could be a good idea! Let’s do it! Let’s face down those NACT bastards with their relentless “the left doesn’t understand how the economy works” meme and release completely uncosted tax policy! How could this go wrong???

Oops, even one of the staunchest left bloggers in the country came to the conclusion: waffle.

Which is not to mention that whole not condemning Paul Henry’s vile fucking racism thing – can’t upset the white underclass since we’ve thrown those nasty identity politics types under the bus (oh wait, but the Big Gay Out’s on this weekend!). Or the neverending quest to try to turn a stern, serious, career politician into his affable, smarmy, shallow opponent (because of course the only way to defeat an opponent is to become him … wait, what?). And let’s not forget that this isn’t just a Goff problem when suddenly Annette King tooooootally wants to help out those poor people who incidentally Labour royally fucked by defending a discriminatory policy tooth and nail.

Not just waffle.  PowerWaffle.

To put it bluntly, fellow lefties: we are in an election year with a main-left-party leader who thinks the appropriate response to “I told my mate Tony Veitch that Liz Hurley’s a hottie” is “I think she’s hot too butIlovemywifebecauseI’mabetterfamilymanthanyou.”

You thought we were fucked before?

We are so fucking fucked.

~

*I’m like Ken Ring, only I admit I make shit up off the top of my head and act smug when I’m correct anyway.

Dibs being Trevor Mallard’s sockpuppet!

Lesson for the day, kiddies:

Saying you’d consider docking a tax credit to [in-work] families to pay for earthquake recovery is just a completely political-context-free statement.

Criticising that statement for unnecessarily politicizing the earthquake aftermath is policitizing the earthquake aftermath.

Thus spake Cactus Kate.  Also:  as a Standard guest poster, am I also a Labour MP in disguise, or maybe a Green?*

Tim Watkin has a nice take on this … up till the point where he demonstrates a lack of understanding as to the difference between anonymous and pseudonymous blogging.

But then I feel somewhat safe assuming Tim has never seen his blogging result in losing a high-profile job, victim blaming, rape threats,** death threats, or having people call your local police station demanding a copy of your rape report.

Gee, why would an angry feminist like me, writing in the 4-million-people-2-degrees-of-separation land of NZ “hide” behind a pseudonym given all that?***

~

*Internet cookies to whoever creates an OKCupid poll to determine this.

**Oh, what do you know, a link about a Kiwi bloggerdouche targeting a Kiwi feminist blogger. Quelle surprise.

***Because I’m actually Trevor Mallard, duh.  Our styles are so similar.

Everything is a lie

Originally posted at The Standard.

There’s a hard truth to NZ politics at the moment. It’s not one people like to think about, it’s not one people readily accept, and it’s not one that gives Labour/the Left any actual tools to dismantle the shitty state we’re in. But it helps to be reminded every now and then:

Everything NACT does is a lie.

No, seriously, everything.

The topical example of the day is the Welfare Working Group report, with its vicious, predictable, you-could’ve-paid-Danyl-Mclauchlan-a-lot-less-to-write-it-as-satire recommendations, including forcing some women to look for work when their youngest child is 14 weeks old.

This is bullshit, the blogs cry. The Smiler is quick at hand to (predictably) rule out the most extreme measures. But even the more moderate measures won’t work! We complain. This is no way to get people off benefits! You need job creation, not forcing drug addicts to starve, that’s only going to make things worse!

We are too charitable.

We assume, as does the media (even the good ones) and as do the general public, that the leaders of the Left and Right in this country are just approaching the same issues from different perspectives. They just have different ideas, different theories about human nature and economics, but they’re still looking at the same situation and aiming for the same results.

NACT are not aiming for the same results. Everything is a lie.

I hear the objections already. I just want you to think: which is the more likely scenario, Occam’s Razor-styles?

That our Government is run by people who cannot see that tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy, who do not understand that there are no jobs, who will not acknowledge that being “tough on crime” and simultaneously starving/victimizing the most deprived people in the country are not going to make our society safer …
Or that they just don’t care, and everything is a lie.

Thus we see the entire existence of the Welfare Working Group is a lie. It’s not about people, or liveable incomes, or hope, or dependency, or jobs. It’s all a sideshow, because to people like Key and English and Brownlee and Hide it doesn’t matter what they implement, how or if it’s going to work. The goal is power, the goal is scapegoating beneficiaries (for now), the goal is getting you to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain while he’s stripping your assets for lolly money.

This is the NACT modus operandi: do the bare minimum to keep the economy going. Throw out Crosby/Textor lines to persuade the voting public – a public sadly not entirely made up of people with enough time/energy/interest to argue this shit on blogs – that Scapegoat of The Day is the source of all their problems (beneficiaries, Maori, Greens) without actually doing anything. Pillage everything in sight. Once unelected or bored of juvenile tussles in the House, fuck off in your spaceship to Hawaii and let everything end in fire.

And we are fucked. Because if the comments on this post don’t contain at least one person accusing me of jealousy, of tall poppy syndrome, of conspiracy or paranoia … well, I’ll wonder where all the good trolls have gone. But that is exactly the argument that will be made, and when the kinds of people the Left has to convince in 2011 are exactly those people most susceptible to C/T spin and cheerful Smiler soundbites, and when the truth you’re trying to convince them of is really fucking unpalatable … proper fucked.

Quickhit: looks like eugenics to me

Idiot/Savant puts it perfectly.

Instead of individuals controlling their own fertility, this is an attempt to impose state control, on the basis of socioeconomic status

And that’s why the Welfare Wrecking Group’s recommendations are fucking wrong.  When someone advocates a theoretically-good policy but only for a select demographic?  It’s not the same good policy any more, it’s fucking suspicious.

Y U JELLUS?: What planet is Dean Lonergan living on?

H/T Danyl and IrishBill who already summed up the immediate WTF factor of this story.

Is it just me or is the idea of our Prime Minister joking around with Tony Vietch (a guy who threw his fiance down the stairs before kicking her in the back) about celebrities he’d like to shag just a little creepy?

Props to Sue Kedgley for calling this shit out, but oh my god does the article get into some seriously bizarre territory:

On the other side of the airwaves, Veitch’s rival breakfast host, former Kiwis league great Dean Lonergan said Key’s comment had made him respect the PM even more. “John Key is a strong leader and a very good family man,” the LiveSport host said.

“Those women who might be upset at his comments are obviously just disappointed they never made John Key’s list and never will.

Um, yeah.  Sue Kedgley definitely lies awake at night, sobbing into a handspun hemp handkerchief, crying out “WHY??? WHY JOHN WHY?  WHY DON’T YOU LOOOOOOOOVE MEEEEEEEEE?”

I mean, let’s just start with the fact that in Dean Lonergan’s head, “going on the radio to call Liz Hurley hot” directly correlates to “strong leader and good family man”.  As Danyl put it, I don’t think one needs to be a feminist, or even particularly liberal, to wonder how the fuck that works.

But what I think we really need to take from this is the utter, utter cluelessness of patriarchy some time.  Yes, yes, it’s a common trope to try to write off feminists as “jealous” – “you’re just into fat acceptance because you’re ugly, you criticise rape culture because no one will fuck you” etc. etc.  But seriously?  We’re actually meant to buy that as some stinging criticism of Sue Kedgley?  That’s meant to somehow invalidate what she says, because she’s obviously just jealous she didn’t make a list populated by conventionally-hot celebrities?  That was the best line you could come up with?

I ‘m feeling the need to go have a wash after writing this, so just a final thought:  how much can we read carefully-engineered Crosby/Textor influences into the fact that all smile-and-wave’s celebrity crushes are brunettes, just like his “childhood sweetheart” Bronagh?