Over 25 years ago, in 1985, a former member of the Communist Party, Geoff McDonald, with a lifetime spent in the Labour and Trade Union movements, wrote the first of three books, Shadows Over New Zealand, on defence, land rights and multiculturalism. It was followed by The Kiwis Fight Back , giving additional evidence of what he noted as a psychological war being waged against New Zealanders, particularly in the attempt to use the accusation of racism as a useful and dishonest tool to intimidate the majority – with so-called “indigenous rights” being an important part of the neo-Marxist agenda for weakening legitimate government. His analysis embraced the decline in education standards – in particular the evidence for the need to get back to teaching the basics by traditional methods; the Left’s takeover of the supposedly green conservation movement; the implications of the then proposed Bill of Rights; the threat to ANZUS, the dangers of neutrality; the damaging nature of United Nations policies as they affect New Zealand; and the danger presented to us as a free country by the Communist-controlled push for countries to be persuaded (and essentially forced) to surrender sovereignty to a world controlling government.
In his third book ,The Kiwis at the Crossroads, written with increasing urgency, he observed neo-Marxist activity in this country with the trained eye of a former participant in Communist Party activities, and the success of this psychological assault on New Zealanders through the useful tool of underinformed and lazy media.
In particular, Geoff McDonald drew attention to the deliberate wielding of the bludgeon of racism against ordinary New Zealanders concerned about the politicization and distortion of Maori land rights; the invention of a spurious “partnership” claim; the quite deliberate misrepresentation of the original intent and provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi; and the growth of a well-promoted, anachronistic tribalism, re-conjured by tribal leaders for the advantage of tribal executives and for propagandizing and enlisting young, now only part-Maori, for exclusively tribal advantage. McDonald saw indeed the shadows over this country, and that the manipulated policies of biculturalism and multiculturalism were being very actively promoted with the aim of subverting assimilation. Again visiting education issues, he discussed what was deeply wrong with the Look-and-Say method of teaching reading, and why it was going to destroy the reading capability of so many New Zealand children. He stressed again that teaching reading and writing by phonics should be brought back; that arithmetic and teaching by rote and repetition should be reintroduced, and the new maths should be thrown out – along with what he noted even then was political and other junk infiltrated into the curriculum.
Granted the enormous importance of all these issues, in particular the push for Maori sovereignty and the manipulation by Maori leaders of the racism slogan, possibly the greatest threat to New Zealand that this writer identified was “shifting the population balance” by changing our immigration policies to build a multicultural New Zealand, with restrictions on British migration and plans for a massive influx of Asians as refugees and migrants. The Left’s design, he warned, was to cultivate “authenticity”- what we now call “diversity” – by various immigrant groups keeping their own culture, and eventually opening New Zealand to migration from every corner of the world – a deliberate anti-assimilation philosophy specifically designed to destroy the homogeneity of this country.
The reality of a heavily-promoted, even well-meant multiculturalism throughout the West has been too late perceived as a device to divide and conquer – a move well under way in Britain and the continent with the growing Islamification of their societies, the demand for separate government and laws, and the insistence that the cultural demands of Muslims, in particular, and their well-manipulated sensitivities either take precedence, or must be damagingly accommodated. The result, as we see in this country, too, with minorities beginning to flex their political muscle; with the essentially racist and damaging Maori seats in parliament and the demands by radical activists for separatism, special funding, and even sovereignty are leading to what the black American writer Thomas Sowell predicted as the bullying of the majority by the minority.
“The long march through the institutions…” the Italian communist Gramsci’s visionary strategy aimed at destroying the West, which Geoff McDonald warned against, with graphic examples, has been long indeed. Its great success can be measured by contrasting what is now being called a broken society against the former, far greater cohesion of Western societies before the finally-radicalized 60s ratcheted up its attacks on the freedoms and values our parents’ and grandparents’ generations took for granted. Some of these have now been now destroyed: others are continually weakening, undermined, diminished and attenuated.
Since this destructive watershed decade, a determined attack on the colonist forebears of the majority of New Zealanders by distortions and misrepresentations of our successful joint co-existence in this country – epitomized by the unquestioning acceptance of intermarriage between Maori and European – has been deliberately mounted. Particularly singled out have been the missionaries, many of these men and women of great courage whose hard work and good character brought about – where the government could not – peaceful settlement and coexistence in areas such as the Bay of Islands, infamous for lawlessness, drunkenness and rapaciousness.
Moreover, in the radical agenda of the Left, it has been particularly important since the 60s to discredit the Christian values that underpinned the settlement of this country – and the very notion of civilization itself. Institutions such as Sunday schools have been ridiculed. Former minister Professor Lloyd Geering’s long attack on the central tenet of Christianity (while inappropriately professing to be still Christian, a source of dismay to many) contributed under Helen Clark’s left-wing government to his inexplicably receiving the highest possible New Zealand honour. Naturally, our own literary establishment, with its well-funded agenda and long politicised criteria predictably invites highly controversial spokespersons to its annual awards during Writers Readers Week. This year’s guest speakers. “theologian” Richard Dawkins, antagonistic to the very notion of an intelligent creator – and Peter Singer, the prominent atheist promoting animal liberation and ethics without religion – were only too predictable. When did our very own subversive literary establishment last invite guest speakers mounting a very able defence for the intellectual strengths of Christianity?
This is not an idle concern, the undermining of our country’s foundation values. For communist Gramsci’s agenda of the promotion of Marxism and its neo-Marxist offspring to succeed, the biggest challenge has been to weaken Christianity’s hold on our culture – a task made easier by the growing politicization of the churches, abandoning their central message of the importance of the relationship between an individual and his/her creator, to instead posture on politicised areas well outside their sphere of authority, capability – or even good judgment – as we’ve seen with the recent infamous Waihopai incident. However, it was, oddly enough, the God-is-dead Nietzche, who reminds us that the life of the West and its values are based on Christianity… that the notion that we can get rid of it – while still keeping its values – is an illusion. In a memorable line, as Dinesh D’Souza reminds us, Nietzsche termed our Western values, “shadows of gods”. His inescapable conclusion? “Remove the Christian foundation and the values must go too.”
New Zealand is not just at the crossroads. It is arguably almost past the point of no return. Chinese companies, all inevitably controlled by the CCP, the Communist Chinese Party, are now being allowed to colonise New Zealand. This is not only in a commercial sense, by undermining and essentially destroying so many New Zealand businesses and industries to date, in that hopeless export imbalance between a very small country and a giant one employing virtual slave labour – in the name of a basically naive free trade ideology that neglects the very real and important principles of fair trade. In addition, China is now possibly to be permitted to buy New Zealand land, with the selling of the twenty and more (some reports quote a far higher figure) Crafar farms for approximately one and a half billion dollars. It is sheer naivety to claim that independent Chinese businessmen would now own this New Zealand land and New Zealand assets, with potential, ultimately to destroy its future competitor, Fonterra. It is the simple fact that there is no Chinese business of any size that is not a front for the Communist Chinese Party, i.e. for a cruel and oppressive regime that we are now allowing to gain a foothold in this country. As the Australian News Weekly notes, “The Stern Hu trial has implications for Australia and shows how brutally Beijing treats those whose actions conflict with the Chinese Communist Party’s global ambitions. In particular, it highlights the danger of allowing Chinese corporations, which are financial entities controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, from gaining control of strategic industries as they are threatening to do through takeovers of major corporations in Australia.” Incredibly enough, the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office (formerly Commisssion) is actually considering allowing what is essentially Communist China to own New Zealand territory by buying New Zealand farmland – and to ratify the buying of farms already bought illegally.
China is already now colonising us commercially as it moves determinedly into the Pacific. A well-informed Chinese professor, a former protester at Tiananmen Square, when asked which culture presented the greater threat to New Zealand, militant Islam or China itself, had no doubt of the answer. Islam’s attack on the West through terrorist activity, although real and threatening, cannot match the well organised, wealthy and cohesive strength of militant Communist China, with its duplicity and its hunger for land and resources.
The threat to New Zealand has also come from within. The long tenure of the Left has ushered in policies destructive not only to the economy, as we saw in Prime Minister Helen Clark and Finance Minister Michael Cullen’s disastrous overseeing of the country, now plunged into massive indebtedness through the bribing of as many as possible sectors of the electorate, and renegotiating – for the purpose of a collective Maori vote – compensation claims well and fairly settled in the past. The Left’s deliberate establishing of a culture of welfare dependency to remain in power has not only had disastrous economic consequences. It has also has influenced the very character of New Zealanders, once seen as proudly independent and determinedly self-sufficient. This, allied to the promotion of sociopolitical changes – the espousing of radicalised “rights” such as gay “marriage”; extreme and subversive environmentalism – more red than green – and a whole bundle of extreme isms such as feminism, racism, sexism, separatism, anti-Semitism has very much contributed to social disintegration.
However, when the country periodically and ritually throws out the government of the Left, having ratcheted up its achievements since its previous tenure, the government of the Right, in previous years and during its present tenure, has done little to undo its predecessors’ disastrous achievements. In fact, in areas such as the promotion of racism by separatist funding, lavish tribal settlements and resettlements to the tune of hundreds of millions – and now accumulatively billions of dollars ( and in Prime Minister John Key’s foolish capitulation to the radical Maori Party’s demands to fly its sovereignty flag alongside the New Zealand flag itself) the situation has worsened.
Accumulatively, the two worst things that can happen to a country coming under the internal attack are first, when its people lose hope, when, as GK Chesterton reminds us, “A tired democracy turns into a dictatorship”. Equally as destructive is the insidiousness of an attack upon its most important and cohesive unit, that of the family. With the weakening of the family structure comes the weakening of society itself – as we have seen with the abuse of alcohol and drug taking, reaching near epidemic proportions, together with our high rate of teenage pregnancy and dismaying abortion statistics.
The attack on the family, launched last year by the reportedly Marxist Sue Bradford from the minority Green Party, backed by former socialist Prime Minister Helen Clark, has become a watershed for what is meant to be our democracy. Inexplicably, our present lightweight Prime Minister John Key ignored the concerns of the country about the intrusion into the rights and responsibilities of good parents by backing the fascist anti-smacking legislation – even though he was well aware that, in repeated polls, well over 80% of the country opposed it. Moreover, with wide-spread recognition that the legislation would do little to address the problem of the horrific child abuse existing particularly, though not exclusively, in the Maori sector of the population, the government simply lied.
In a virtual attack on middle New Zealand, at a time when the growing number of ill-behaved, undisciplined children reaching their teenage years, and now even well beforehand, is beginning to be an affliction on this country, Key’s Jesuitical claim was that the law is working as Parliament intended – the government does not want to see parents criminalised for a light smack. However, as predicted, his promoted legislation has done nothing to reduce the incidence of abuse, and Auckland law lecturer Richard Ekins, who specialises in the study of legislative authority and statutory interpretation, says what we all knew – that Prime Minister Key’s claim simply isn’t true. In Ekin’s words “ Parliament intended precisely to criminalise parents for light smacking.” So, arguably, “any police policy not to prosecute light smacking is unlawful” – in spite of an extraordinarily high-handed personal recommendation to the police from the Prime Minister.
What has happened to our society, with many good parents now thoroughly demoralised, fearful of the watching eye of the politically correct…the neighbour over the fence; the narrowed eyes in the supermarket; the PC teacher quizzing children in the classroom, encouraging them to report on their parents… the parallel with the 1930s and Nazi Germany is a chilling one. So, too, is the fact that girls even as young as 12 are being referred for abortions without their parents’ knowledge.
However, the most chilling consequence of all, as far as democratic outcomes are concerned, is that although some National Party members were against the anti- smacking legislation, and equally sceptical about the man-made global warming rort which has led to our disastrous Emissions Trading Scheme policy, they were told that no dissenting vote was allowed in either respect. Apparently, what John Key wants John Key gets. An autocratic leader of the left, Helen Clark, has been replaced by an autocratic leader from the Right – both moving from the philosophy of freedom for the individual towards the state control imposed by the Left.
We have always known that we have a very approximate form of democracy in this country where citizens now have very few democratic rights, basically reduced to that of throwing out a government which has let down the country’s hope of it being better than its predecessor. Our justification for calling ourselves a democracy has been qualified as a representative one – where our elected members of parliament represent their constituencies to ensure the will of the majority is carried out. What the anti-smacking legislation, and our ETS legislation has shown is that our elected members no longer represent us. Not one member from the majority National or minority Labour parties represented his or her electorate in rejecting the anti-smacking legislation. Every National Party member folded up at John Key’s edict – and the same with Labour. Moreover, the Prime Minister’s hijacking of the National Party’s list candidates at the last election by personally selecting the first 50 – the responsibility, according to the party constitution – of grassroots elected committees, was equally an attack on our democratic traditions. These list MPs, not answerable to any electorate, owe their tenure in parliament and their promotion possibilities to the party leader only.
With our politicians now merely yes-men and women, we no longer have any brakes on the political ambitions of individuals and even minor parties in parliament, who can hijack what should be a democratic political process. What many now regard as the moral incapacity of parliament has ensured a growing divide between politicians and the people of this country. The Prime Minister’s extraordinary promotion of the socialist Helen Clark as a highly capable fiscal manager eminently suitable for a top United Nations position, together with his offering her lieutenant, former Finance Minister Michael Cullen, a comfortable and rewarding board position at New Zealand Post – ignoring their dismal financial record over the past decade which has so demonstrably damaged New Zealand’s economic welfare – has been a revelation about how well the political class looks after its own, regardless of the adversarial posturing in parliament.
What the country has at last perceived is that there are no checks and balances on the ambitions of determined political leaders. We do not have a democracy – no longer even a representative democracy. This recognition has not been without its advantages. Courageous individuals have stood up to be counted – John Boscawen , now an ACT MP, promoting his Private Member’s Bill to overturn the invidious anti-smacking legislation – against determined opposition from the Prime Minister – and leading a pro-democracy march in Auckland… Aucklander Colin Craig, organising his own pro-democratic march; Larry and Barbara Baldock tirelessly promoting the call for New Zealanders to last have a say on government directions through binding referenda; Muriel Newman’s forum carrying much-needed debate and clarification of the issued of the day; scores of lively blogs.
The mood of restlessness and anger in the country at large will not pass. This allied to the growing recognition from our history in recent decades, allied to Barbara Tuchman’s verdict in The March of Folly, that governments get most issues wrong… means that even if we have passed the crossroads of competent decision-making, and a great deal of damage has already been caused, it is not too late to reverse our thoroughly anti-democratic directions.
How to do so? New Zealanders thoroughly disenchanted with the voting process, and the tinkering with regard to the election of candidates are not going to be impressed by former Prime Minister Mike Moore’s dream of 20 no doubt self-selected “eminent New Zealanders” forming a committee to decide on our future directions for us. Neither the promotion of an upper house, nor that of a new voting system is going to solve the problem of the now perceived incapacity of parliament, both collectively and individually to deliver democratic government.
The call for a direct democracy is one whose time has come. Moreover, the means for achieving this is a hugely effective way of stopping in its tracks the hijacking of the political process by party politics, dominated by an autocratic leader. Switzerland, the most successful democracy of all, described as the most peaceful, prosperous and open society in the world, adopted it over a hundred and fifty years ago when this small but extraordinary country realised that its own democracy was one in theory only. The provision it then claimed would serve us equally as well, in spite of the fact that we do not have this country’s advantage of all its legislation being promoted not tops- down as with by our political hierarchy – but from grassroots representatives from the small states or cantons. The provision that we are now going to have to work for is even more important to claim than the binding referendum process which must follow. The two go hand in hand, but one before the other.
Essentially, this provision ensures that although parliament can pass any law, including those insufficiently debated, typically late at night, or on Christmas Eve – or through any profoundly undemocratic trade-off with a minor party manipulating the system… whatever law is passed actually can’t coming into effect for 100 days. During this time, if 50,000 citizens are concerned enough to call for a referendum, it has to be put – what is called a facultative (optional) referendum – and the country’s verdict is binding. The different, citizens-initiated referenda, where proposals come from the people themselves, are a separate and interesting issue. But it is the facultative referenda that we most urgently need to put a stop to our now perceived lack of genuine representative democracy – so very well illustrated by the scandalous ignoring of the country’s wishes in parliament’s infliction of the anti-smacking legislation.
Yes, in the call for facultative referenda there all sorts of obstacles and objections that would be put to this process, and nearly all politicians will fight it bitterly. However, there is nothing like an idea whose time has come. Every single one of these objections has can be and has been answered. In short, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This system works. It works as such a matter of course, that Swiss politicians (in a country of quite marked racial harmony with four main languages spoken) are part-time politicians only, involved in earning a real living such as running a business, in a profession, in trade, in farming. It is simply untrue to claim that adopting the 100 Days provision to provide a scrutiny period, and very likely put a brake on much of the legislation issuing from parliament would bring the business of running the country to a stop. What it pre-eminently does is to prevent the now common hijacking of the wishes of the majority by determined minorities pushing for self-advantage or for radicalised political ends. The Bradford legislation would never have been endorsed by either of our political parties once the preliminary polling had been done. They would have had no excuse to persevere with the costly promoting of legislation that the country indicated quite firmly it would overwhelmingly reject.
Only two provisions would need to be applied to the concept of 100 day : the first that the government has power to act in time of emergency. The second would be an onus on anygovernment owned-media such as television and broadcasting, and the state-supported Listener, to fairly and objectively present both sides of an issue under debate – requirements almost totally neglected in the highly politicised claim of anthropogenic global warming, and in the anti-smacking debate
There will be time in future articles, and on the new website listed below, www.100days.co.nz to confirm the already launched 100 Days -Claiming Back New Zealand movement, and to both raise and answer inevitably hostile objections. The silliest of all, possibly, have come from both Prime Minister John Key and former National Party leader Don Brash, arguing that binding referenda don’t work because of the situation in California. However, both appear to be unaware that not only is California the victim of its own peculiarly idiosyncratic past policies which will be discussed on this website, but that binding referenda already exist, with varying degrees of success worldwide, and with growing interest into how they can be improved.
The move towards the reinstating of democratic freedoms and responsibilities is not maverick thinking, but a growing movement internationally. Two British Conservative MPs have written a book called The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain, also containing the 100 Days proposal to put a stop on government edicts and to allow a period of public scrutiny – and of either acceptance or challenge. Most importantly, the final verdict on which way the country should go with regard to a particular piece of legislation would – let us say will… when this battle is won… rest where it should, with the electorate itself. Yes, the public can get issues wrong, but the public can take responsibility for these and reverse its decisions, when need be. Governments frequently get issues wrong, but trying to persuade them to reverse them can be compared to Sisyphus pushing the boulder uphill.
The 100 days – Claiming Back New Zealand concept can also restore power to ratepayers under the increasingly problematic authority of top-heavy city council bureaucracies, and can be used in exactly the same way by ratepayers to claim back accountability in their own local communities.
The state is meant to serve its citizens, not vice versa. As a recent News Weekly article on this topic pointed out, blocking referenda are a check on the ambitions of the political class which now controls and dominates our lives. Politicians do not relish the prospect of having their bills very probably and humiliatingly defeated by voters. The polling beforehand would become axiomatic, and would and will actually count towards avoiding such an outcome.
This new movement, The 100 days –Claiming Back Zealand, claiming back our democracy, is targeted to achieve just this. We need to remind ourselves that at crucial periods in history, it has often been an essentially simple idea which has been right for its time. As G. K. Chesterton has pointed out, “the simplification of anything is always sensational” – a concept the Swiss have long turned to brilliant advantage to become the most successful democracy in the world.
We need to remind ourselves, too, that simple does not equate to simplistic, that in a true democracy the deeply flawed concept of leadership cannot be used to hijack the country’s direction. It is the concept of individual initiative, of individual responsibility – of people standing up individually to be counted – as are New Zealanders, increasingly, throughout the country, which offers the best, in fact the only chance to fight for a true, and very possible, democracy. And vital to this movement is the concept of the 100 days to claim back New Zealand.
(c) Copyright, Amy Brooke, 2010