Where Is Our Anger?



I did not participate in the recent May Day Marches. I went down to participate, but upon seeing a phlethora of political parties were using the march to ‘wave their flags’, I would not allow myself to participate. And I know many others who felt the same. And I had ‘more important’ things on my mind, which we shall get too.

It is not that I believe Labour are doing a useless job as the nominal opposistion party. I do not ‘believe’ this, I know this for a fact. And the longer David Shearer is allowed to stay as the leader, the less chance Labour have of ever leading the country again. because Shearer is NOT a leader and will not be able to win the election. Everytime at any debate when he tries to trip John Key up, all Key needs do is mention the ‘forgotten bank account’ and Shearer shuts down. We have seen this already and Shearer is hardly going to suddenly change. But the leader is the least of Labour’s problems to win the next election. But the leader must change.

MANA party flags were everywhere at the march. Have you seen their policies? What a total laugh riot. They seem even more impractical than the Green Party’s ‘A Unicorn In Every Childs Bed’ fanatsy policies. But The MANA Party take it to a ridiculous extreme, as if the notes from their first ever meeting have become what they actually believe is obtainable. NZ needs parties with practical policies, not bizarre wish lists that have no costings or, god forbid, stating how their policies would actually be paid for. The nominal leader of the party announced last year during the by-election in his electorate that if he did not win he would not care and just go fishing……I believe NZ needs a leader who is desperate to affect change and help this country out of the danger it is in. It is also well overdue for the ngapuhi people to reach a treaty settlement. STAT.

Many years ago I interviewed Ken Douglas and really wanted to know why protest marches had died in NZ. Anyone from the 70’s and 80’s in NZ knows damn well there were protests every other weekend on a variety of issues, but especially against Government austerity and changes to basic NZ law. Ken’s view, and I do agree, is that people were just too busy surviving to be able to raise the anger and energy needed to protest. This resonates with me now as I am desperatly looking for a new place to live and it is consuming my every waking moment. When I see the awful laws being rushed through and the lack of care this government is showing Kiwis I am appalled and angry, until I remember I have nowhere to live and that takes over my though process.

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So, finally I get to my bloody point, Gods, that was a round about journey. New Zealanders are angry and scared, but we are also having to survive and live. Opposistion leaders and M.P.’s have GOT to do the fighting for us. They have GOT to take the fight to National and not letting them get away with the endless shit laws being passed and legislation being slipped through unexposed. This is what Labour, MANA, The Greens and every real opposistion party needs to start doing. And until they do, I cannot march under their flags. EFFECTIVE OPPOSISTION TO NATIONAL NOW. And they also need to all practice working together as hopefully, they will all be in a coalition after the next election. After they also elect better leaders.

Our anger is being directed at surviving.


    • Yes your right the MP’s from the opposition parties aren’t as good at being liars, swindlers and cutthroat thieves but I prefer them that way

  1. What a sad out look, I really feel sorry for you. Defeatist liberal hogwash – the incessant, blah, blah, blah. Your stance is everything Orwell loathed and I see why.

  2. @ Anne: As I read it, the post isn’t about who is the biggest liar or swindler, it is about the lack of realistic representation for people whose lives are being squeezed harder every day. While “the unicorn in every child’s bed” is a bit too hard on the Greens, the idea seems to be that the smaller parties are unable to provide a focus for people’s anger because they have the luxury of maintaining ideals that are not likely to be implemented. And Labour cannot provide a focus for people’s anger so long as it remains vaguely embarrassed about the people who traditionally vote for them, who are presently being treated with contempt. Yes, Power NZ is a step in the right direction, but it is a step, not a game changer. Someone who is about to lose their job or the roof over their head has no reason to think, “I can hardly wait for Shearer to get in when all this will change.”

    @ Adam White: I see nothing whatsoever in this piece expressing the Liberalism that Orwell loathed. He seemed to be concerned about social engineering displacing ordinary conviviality, which simply does not fit with the substance of this post.

    • @Olwyn: Of course it’s about who is the biggest liar or swindler – Shearer is the type of person who cares about what people think and defaults to clamming up under certain pressure I find this preferable to the no holds barred lie at every point Key modus operandi.

      • I did not mean that the difference between lying and not lying has no place in political discourse, Anne, only that it did not seem to me to be the central subject of this post. The post to me alludes to the vicious circle that attends political alienation: if people do not think anyone will represent them they do not publicly vent their anger. And if they do not publicly vent their anger then they don’t pressure political parties into representing them. What is needed is either a politician who inspires, or a large, non-dismissible burst of public outrage to spark a connection.

        • I get it that some people can only believe in public figures with all the bells and whistles-gift of the gab-charismatic wheeler dealer personality traits but I prefer honest hard working sorts with a history of caring and helping for those who have no power to change their circumstances.

  3. Well if you want to know what happened to the protests then you need look no further than the pretty effective destruction of the trade union movement and the introduction of university fees. Those two things have disrupted the ability of the working class to organise and mobilise on a mass scale (which is quite hard to do as any activist will tell you) and the educated young have had a financial slave-collar put around their necks with student fees (with the consequential removal of common lunch hours etc.)

    • I agree with your point about both factors. I also agree with Steve Gray that so many people are so consumed with mere survival that they have trouble finding the energy to attend a protest march. But that is the point. There just isn’t enough of us angry enough yet. And we cannot look to the opposition parties to lead the way, I’m afraid. It has to be a movement of the people, and in such numbers that we collectively send a massive “fuck you” message to the Natz and their cronies. That’s why I marched last weekend. And when more people grow angry enough about the endless shoulder shrugging when another manufacturer closes down (over 40,000 jobs lost in the last four years), about the out of control exploitation of our environment for a quick buck, about the never ending transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest, about the constant divide and rule and demonising of anybody on a benefit, about the dodgy deals, lying and memory blanks, about the slash and burn in the public sector and creeping privatisation of prisons and education, about the erosion of civil liberties and democracy, attacks on a liveable wage and workers rights… then maybe we will see more people on the streets. And if reading this litany of shame does not make you angry, then check your pulse and possibly call an ambulance.

    • So what you are essentially stating is people won’t effectively protest agri st the State unless they get support from the State. Hmmm… something is wrong with that picture.

  4. Perhaps isolated to my situation, but I’ve noticed over the last three decades and particularly the last decade, people drifting away from one another. Family, friendships and community sparse. This result may be a triumph of neoliberalism through consumerism, individualism, insecurity, displacement, veneration of greed and selfishness. Try mounting a powerful protest or campaign with weak social cohesion.

    Neoliberalism has instead allowed us virtual solidarity over the internet, one requires the funds to access it though. With those relatively lonely in the real world, when people power is required to effect change on the streets, the presence maybe hampered by limited social cohesion. For the establishment, the threat of solidarity is safely confined to the virtual realm.

    Perhaps neoliberalism will eventuate in its undoing through its competitive and indifferent nature, when more people are impoverished and have to rely on communal efforts to survive, become a cohesive force and bring more strength to the campaign for change.

    • Memes, baby. The Roger Douglas reforms created the perfect breeding conditions for socially negative memes. The memes and the policies mutually reinforced each other to create a vicious circle. Each round of memes created a population more willing to accept the next round of neoliberal policy which further embedded the negative memes in the population and so on and so on…

  5. I agree. I am turned off by these political parties and their banners at protest marches/demonstrations. The opposition parties have a place for their action which is doing their job in Parliment. Let the people have the streets!

  6. To paraphrase: On May Day I woke up and felt like going on a march. When I got to the venue, some people were already there. Some of them had flags. I am so much better than them that I went home and wrote this blog to prove it. That’ll teach them. Fuck yeah!!

  7. It’s kinda odd to say that you would rather the parties not front up and represent to issues they care about.

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