You and I, gentle readers, can see all too clearly what is happening to our country. In despair we watch the whole colossal slow-motion train wreck, helpless to do anything about it. It is not that we are not trying to help. We warn, we write letters to newspapers, we support blogs such as this, we make our views plain to politicians, we spread the word in season and out of season. Yet nothing we say or do makes the slightest bit of difference. We are modern day Cassandras, gifted with prophecy yet cursed that our accurate predictions of doom will never be believed.
That is not quite accurate though. There is one significant difference between Cassandra’s situation and our own. No-one believed Cassandra, but plenty of our fellow-citizens agree with us. Indeed, I would suggest that, certainly on the subject of the Treaty, (and I think on most of the other subjects the Centre for Political Research deals with ~ education, self-discipline, law and order, work, prosperity and the economy) a very substantial portion of the population, almost certainly a significant majority, whatever political party they may happen to vote for, agree with our general approach. And yet we make little headway. Why is this? Where is the obstruction?
As we prepare for the wild rejoicings on our glorious National Day, the 6th of February, let us consider not just Maori and the Treaty, but think about ourselves as a nation. I am inclined to think that this year at Waitangi there will not be the protests and violence which for so long have made our national day a source of embarrassment, shame and fury. That will not be, though, because of any new maturity on the part of the usual malcontents, but rather because the present Prime Minister seems only too prepared to give radical activists just about everything they are currently asking for. He does have to deal with the Maori Party in Parliament, certainly, but his generosity seems to be motivated by more than political necessity. It seems, with the greatest of respect, to be the action of someone who does not realise what he is doing. His decision that the Maori sovereignty flag may fly with our national flag is the clearest example of that. I do not think the Prime Minister is someone who has made a deep study of Maori sovereignty. He probably just thought that a Maori flag of some sort would be a nice idea. He may not have expected that the consultations organised by the Maori Party would end up with this one. He may well, indeed, be one of those people to whom no flying piece of cloth means a great deal. But to anyone who truly loves our country and knows what a flag means the flying of another flag, meaning the opposite of what ours stands for, can only be a terrible insult. It shows no respect to those who have fought for ours. It is a dreadful portent of the future. And yet it is being allowed and approved of by the leader of our country. Does he not reflect that if the message of the Maori sovereignty flag were fully realised, there would not be a country of New Zealand for him to be Prime Minister of?
The Prime Minister and National Party have absolutely no popular mandate for promoting Maori sovereignty or racial separatism. National went into the election, as I recall, still with an official policy of abolishing the Maori seats. We all recognised that that was unlikely to happen; obviously, that policy had to be put on the back burner. Nevertheless, people voted for National under the distinct impression that they were voting for a party opposed to racial separatism; for a party, indeed, still sympathetic to Dr Brash’s Orewa speech. That trust in the Party has been betrayed.
We are not alone in the issues which we face. Our problems are those of Western civilisation ~ a civilisation in decline which no longer values its own achievements and inheritance. Having lost confidence in ourselves and our past, we worship the barbarian, the foreigner and the adolescent. So our history has nothing to teach us, and we forget it. We do not value education at all, for our role models ~ bruisers and primitive peoples, rock stars and celebrities~ have no need for it. We value freedom and spontaneity, which are an excuse for us to indulge our passions and animal appetites ~ and since that is our right (any attempt to control our appetites being a stunting of our personal growth) it follows that any misfortunes that ensue ~ poverty, ill-health, addiction and alcoholism, ignorance and broken families ~ cannot be our fault either.
And so, whether in relation to the Treaty or any of our other social problems, we see the same set of attitudes. Among the less fortunate themselves, of whatever race, we see a sense of entitlement which no amount of public generosity can appease. They have a grudge. Everything is someone else’s fault, and therefore they should not and need not do anything to help themselves. State charity is their right, and they are always entitled to more than they are given. A feeble intellectual class accepts this approach, and reassures the unfortunate that their plight is indeed not their fault, but that of ’the system’ ~ of capitalism, sexism, racism or just plain old class oppression. This is the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ ~ not telling the unfortunate that they have to do anything to help themselves, but putting the blame elsewhere, and therefore offering no advice as to how they might improve their situation. It is the cult of the victim, of which Robert Hughes wrote so ably in his The Culture of Complaint. If you wish to be deferred to and respected, do not tell the truth and admit that you are the author of your own misfortune; rather, present yourself as a victim, and no-one in our culture will dare to condemn you. On the contrary, highly paid professionals and taxpayer funding are yours by right. The absurdities and excesses of the welfare state, therefore, flow naturally from these attitudes.
The solutions to our social problems are not difficult to discover. They apply to Maori as much as they do to anyone else. Sir Apirana Ngata and many other Maori leaders of a better time prescribed them long ago. Get an education. Get a job. Live decently. Limit the partying and substance abuse and the indiscriminate child-bearing. Have a strong family life. Get out of the habit of moaning and into the habit of pulling your weight. This prescription, admittedly, gets harder to fulfil the longer one has been addicted to bad living. But the task will not become easier the longer it is put off.
But why should Maori, or anyone else, bother with such a demanding regime when they can get what they want by moaning? It is unfair, in a way, to complain about the Treaty industry, for it exists only because we allow it to. If we said to Maori “You’ve had enough. You’re not getting any more” and really meant it, they might accept it. But as long as weak-willed politicians and intellectual leaders repeat the poisonous mantras of victimhood, Maori would be foolish not to take advantage of a people so obviously dimwitted as we are. They can, surely, hardly believe their luck. We have to take responsibility for our own actions too.
Not that they are our very own actions, of course, for we are the ones uttering the warnings, and I think we can generally call on the silent majority for support. But who listens? Whom can we trust? Very few politicians seem to listen. While Dr Brash was leader of the National Party there was hope that good sense would prevail, but the National Party’s leadership now seems worse than Labour’s was. We are back with a vengeance to the days of the pathetic Doug Graham. Prominent members of the higher judiciary, and indeed some of the lower ones, consciously pursue a political and racial programme unjustified by morality or law. Vapid hand-wringing clergymen, conscious of their own inferiority and irrelevance, join in the same racist gospel. And such little history as the young are actually taught seems, in most cases, to be little more than indoctrination into the longstanding moral bankruptcy of Western civilisation and the superior virtue of warlike Stone Age tribesmen.
The real enemy, I would say, lies in the ranks of obstructive officialdom and their intellectual allies in the universities and schools. Mrs Thatcher said of the television series Yes, Minister that it was not a comedy but a documentary. In the past I have spoken to bureaucrats who have told me quite openly and contemptuously that they know better than politicians and that regardless of what politicians may want the bureaucrats intend to prevail. If you doubt that, look no further than the recently-enacted ‘three strikes and you’re out’ legislation, which enjoys overwhelming public support but was eventually enacted only after a long struggle against obstructive and at times untruthful officials. Here, I think, is the chief obstacle to intelligent racial policies, but short of a wholesale cleansing of a so-called ‘public service’ that is a law unto itself it is difficult to see what can be done. I do not see that our current political and social structures offer much hope at all for the future.
What will our country be like in one or two decades if ‘current trends’ continue? Let us briefly recall, before we go there, some of the developments of just the last year. The Foreshore and Seabed Act, extremely generous to Maori as it is, is being prepared for repeal and replacement with something even more to the taste of the Maori Party. It is impossible to believe that this will not involve a significant erosion of the rights of all other New Zealanders. Time will tell, but I simply cannot see any possibility of mutually-acceptable compromise. The use of and profits from 35,000 hectares of the public conservation estate for seventy years have been given away to the mates of the Maori Party without a shadow of justification, as a bribe to get Maori Party support for legislation. Negotiations for the settlement of the Tuhoe Treaty claim seem likely to extinguish the Urewera National Park as we know it, and may well grant the members of that tribe a degree of independence hitherto unknown in our country. For all the generosity of the latest round of Treaty settlements, the only thanks we get from a Maori party Member of Parliament is vile racial abuse. There is little doubt but that he reflects a widely-held view within the Party. The Race Relations Conciliator ~ well, words fail me. Prominent Maori ~ Dr Margaret Mutu most recently ~ continue to tell us that this last expensive and vexing round of Treaty settlements is only for this generation, and there will have to be another round before long ~ and then presumably another and another. I have not heard anyone in Maoridom, or any politician for that matter, contradicting her. I do not know what has happened to our ratification of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was imminent last year, but presumably that is still in the wings. An almost-weeping television reporter describing the stranding and death of a pod of pilot whales in Northland can tell the audience with a straight face that after the Maori blessing of the corpses ‘at least they are at peace’…..
And then on our national day we will be flying the flag of Maori sovereignty advocates ~ people who believe that Maori are still by right the rulers of New Zealand, and who presumably wish to take the power they believe they already have in theory.
If you wish to know more about Maori sovereignty ~ and given we’re flying their flag it might surely be appropriate ~ there is a useful book you can read ~ Maori Sovereignty, The Maori Perspective, edited by Hineani Melbourne and published in 1995. There is an impossible jumble of views there held by the various contributors ~ some argue for dual rule by Maori and European houses of parliament, some want guaranteed equal Maori representation in our existing parliament, not a few want total Maori supremacy and control over all of New Zealand. It would be safe to generalise, however, and say that all the sovereignty advocates desire a future utterly incompatible with the most basic of our country’s present democratic constitutional arrangements. Even Wira Gardiner, former chief executive of the Ministry of Maori Affairs and former Maori vice-president of the National party ~ surely a sober voice, one might think ~ defends the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia on the ground that it is simply a ‘return to ethnic roots’. ‘The Bosnians, Croats Serbs and Muslims were forcibly placed together….The breakup of Yugoslavia shows that tribalism is not dead. Of course it is going to cause trouble. But just because it creates problems doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.’ As I have written in the past, the unspeakable atrocities and bloodshed of Yugoslavia are, it seems, just ‘problems’, about which the former head of a New Zealand government department is not unduly concerned. In his chest, it seems, there beats the heart of a warrior and statesman, not afraid to contemplate the breaking of a few eggs in the new tribal Yugoslavia of Aotearoa.
Prime Minister please take note.
Gardiner is now Sir Wira, by the way.
So what will our country be like? It will be far poorer, for a start. The whole world will be poorer, the way things are going, but we will be really poor. The underclass, increasingly defined by race, will be larger and more menacing, and it will be much more expensive than even now to bribe it into silence. A generation indoctrinated into believing that they owe Maori a living will have borne the burden for a good while, and consequently allowed a bad situation to worsen, but even they have now had enough. Taxes, high enough in 2010, will therefore have to be even higher. (Even now the government’s objective does not seem so much to be reform of the taxation system as to find further ways of squeezing desperately-needed revenue from the diminishing and increasingly hard-pressed productive and prudent class.) But in fact, higher taxation will probably be impossible, because the last remnants of the hardworking taxpayer classes will have fled overseas; or, if they remain here, will have fled to another part of our country.
Because it seems inevitable that our country will have broken up, even if civil war has not actually broken out. I don’t see that anyone should be surprised or offended by this prediction; it is, after all, nothing more than the logical outcome of the flying of the Maori sovereignty flag, which places our forthcoming disintegration on the official record. It is no more than Sir Wira and the other Maori sovereignty advocates desire. If we are to have a tribal Aotearoa (remember all those tedious people with the ‘vision’ of a nation of tribes, Ngati Maori, Ngati Pakeha, Ngati Pasifika, Ngati Asia?) then of course each tribe must have its own homeland. Several years ago in the Sunday Star-Times Mike King (the comedian, not the historian) was among those warning of very dangerous attitudes within Maoridom. He was concerned, as I recall, that after his son went to a new school which had a serious Maori programme, he soon started coming home repeating a lot of very dangerous nonsense about how whitey was the enemy……
And surely no-one could object to non-Maori people fighting to free themselves from racial oppression? Maori sovereignty, if it means anything, presumably means rule by those with some degree of Maori blood. Those without Maori blood, therefore, are in an inferior position ~ they are the ruled, not the rulers. Well, if we object to racist rule by white people over other races, surely we cannot support racist rule by brown people over white people? To agree to that would be the most breath-taking hypocrisy. That is not to say that it will not be defended, of course, by some white racial masochists with a severe inferiority complex who, by some incomprehensible twisted logic, seem to believe that the oppression of white by brown is no more than we deserve, if not actually a blow for quality and fairness. Stoutly though I would of course defend their right to freedom of speech (which is more than they would do for me) I do wonder sometimes if these people can really be considered sane. Racism is racism.
Do not tell me I am being absurd. I am not saying that this will undoubtedly happen, only that it is a very reasonable possibility if we do not change our policies very rapidly. People who believe that things like this can never happen are foolish and ignorant. They have been cosseted so long by comfort and safety that they believe that comfort and safety are part of the order of the universe. They are not. They are hard won and easily lost. Civilisations fall just as they rise. If our policies are foolish we will suffer. Only a dimwit insulated from reality and consequences by a foolishly generous welfare state will believe that actions do not have consequences.
We are building our own funeral pyre. The Treaty asserts the sovereignty of the Crown, yet even judges declare that the Treaty involves some form of partnership of Crown and Maori, and now we are giving official countenance to some completely undefined Maori sovereignty. The Treaty asserts equality before the law ~ Maori are to be British subjects like any other ~ yet it is now a pretext for racial privilege and taxpayer generosity on an ever increasing scale. The further concessions we make and generosity we show to Maori every day do nothing but fuel demands for more. The Treaty, as interpreted and implemented, is undermining democracy, social cohesion and economic progress. The way things are going, if we do not destroy the Treaty industry we shall destroy ourselves. I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that unless a stop is put to this madness soon New Zealand as a nation is doomed.