The Daily Blog Watch Friday 31 May

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Today’s Daily Blog Watch Round-Up of matters that have attracted the attention, assessments, and articulations of this country’s leading bloggers…

NZ Left Blogosphere

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

More onThe Big Issue of the day…

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290513 The Marlborough Express Al Nisbet cartoon

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News of Nisbet’s racist cartoons have made it to Australia, with our Aussie cuzzies taking notice. Nurse academic, Ruth DeSouza assesses the nature of the “cartoons” and comes to the conclusion that Cartoons displace the blame for social consequences of neoliberal policy away from real culprits. Ruth writes,

“These despicable cartoons highlight the media’s role in perpetuating the myth that  responsibility for poor health (whether it’s about people who are obese, smokers or problem gamblers) is an individual and group one rather than linked with broader issues for example colonisation, economic restructuring or the devastating social consequences of state neoliberal policies.

The editor of the Marlborough Express Steve Mason has “apologised for any offence”, a phrase that has always struck me as being bereft of any remorse at harm caused, let alone an understanding of the ramifications of the incident. More callously he commented that “he was delighted that it had sparked discussion on an important issue”. But at whose expense? I am so over the casual racism by white male media influencers that shape public opinion so profoundly, the abuse of their authoritative positions to portray and represent vulnerable groups in ways that further marginalise those groups.”

More comments on this issue on  Brian Edward’s Media blog   When cartoonists go too far? Interestingly, Brian hasn’t given his own assessment of the cartoons – he’s merely invited others to offer theirs.

On Red Alert, Rajen Prasad condemns Nisbet’s  Cartoons as  irresponsible and racist, saying,

“The cartoonist does have a responsibility to present issues fairly.  Satire is fine but there is a fine line.  There are many complex issues behind child poverty.  The cartoons should also show an appreciation of the impact of the depictions on minority ethnic groups.  Instead they trivialise these two issues and as such the two papers ought to print a retraction.”

Rajen says that ” If the cartoonist’s message was that in New Zealand everyone should be able to feed their children because we are a welfare state, he failed miserably in getting that across“.

Indeed. Aside from painting Pasifika and Maori as fat, lazy, bludgers, you have to wonder what Nisbet’s agenda really was? Is he touting for membership of Christchurch’s White Supremacist movement? If so, they’ll probably elect him President For Life. Or Reich Minister of Propaganda.

On The Pundit, Tim Watkin offers his assessment of Nisbet’s cartoons, saying, that  Offensive cartoons are OK, lazy & bullying ones are not,

“The caricature is indolent and the ‘truth’ he’s trying to illuminate just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Worst of all, rather than using his craft to challenge power and lazy assumptions, he’s reinforced them and picked on the powerless and vulnerable, who are often an ethnic minority.”

Which sums it up nicely; “he’s reinforced them and picked on the powerless and vulnerable, who are often an ethnic minority“.

It’s a must-read for anyone wanting to get their head around the subject.

Let’s not forget the actual issue which sparked Nisbet’s venturing into the land of the Ku Klux Klan – food in schools. To whit, Josie Pagani on The Pundit insists that  A bit of spotted dick goes a long way. Josie writes an excellent piece on why we should feed children in schools. It’s all so bleedin’ obvious. Only right wing fanatics miss the  point.

Gordon Campbell on racism, and the Nisbet cartoons – writes,

“If cartoons with a narrative that rely on negative racial stereotyping are now to be seen as legitimate opinion, this would be interesting new territory for the mainstream media to be entering. Yet for all the brave talk about free speech and for all the invocations of Voltaire, one suspects that such opinion will continue to be selectively filtered by the editorial gatekeepers. Thankfully, it is unlikely (for instance) that we will be seeing cartoons about the main beneficiaries of the asset sales in which Prime Minister John Key’s Jewish heritage is invoked in terms of the hooknosed, money grasping tropes of classic anti-Semitism. Will Chinese foreign investors be depicted in future in the Press as opium smoking, ching chong Fu Manchus? Possible, but increasingly unlikely. Our commitment to Voltaire is likely to remain highly selective. And to me, that is the interesting aspect of the decision to run Nisbet’s cartoons – in some mainstream editorial offices at least, the racial profiling of some negative traits of the poor is now seen as valid opinion.”

Danyl on The Dim Post writes about Parental responsibilty – and makes a pretty strong allegation as to why so many of my tragic fellow Kiwis support Al Nisbet’s racist cartoons.

To think that so many people in this country are filled with such hatred is beyond mortal understanding.

What-the-fuck kind of household were they raised in?

Marty on mars2earth makes no bones about Nisbet’s  casual racism, calling it  inciting all right. Marty doesn’t pull any punches, condemning the cartoons thusly,

” He knew exactly what he was doing and trying to depict, and that is why he should be treated with contempt. Racists like him and their attitudes contaminate all they touch.”

Now here’s the rub, Mr Nisbet, The Press, Marlborough Express, et al. Yeah, I’m talking to you, buckos.

You say you wanted debate? Well, you got debate. So far, you’ve been branded a racist by most fair-minded New Zealanders.

The ones siding with you are the racists and bigots who would readily brand all brown folk as bludgers.

How’s that bit of “debate” grabbin’ ya so far??

On other issues and problems confronting this nation…

On Bowalley Road, read Chris Trotters excellent piece on  The Name Game.  Chris disassembles political teminology and has a few unkind things to say about John Key’s description of the Labour-Green alliance,

“National and Labour both subscribe to the same basic tenets of neoliberal economic theory that have dominated the policy-making of the OECD countries for the past thirty years…

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Mr Key lambasts the Green Party co-leader, Russel Norman’s, enthusiasm for “Quantitative Easing” – citing it as proof of his “Far-Left” lunacy. But this charge merely reveals the Prime Minister to be either economically ignorant or deeply cynical.
 
Quantitative Easing is the official policy not of North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela, but of the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. Mr Norman’s ideas about lowering the value of the currency by expanding the money supply are proof not of his revolutionary fervour – but of his economic orthodoxy.”

Interesting stuff, as he puts National’s fear-campaign under the bright glare of intelligent alanysis. It’s a pity that 99% of New Zealanders will never get to read it.

On a similar issue, Bryan Gould writes that The Tories Don’t Know Best and makes the point that the Tories capture the economic debate when incoming left-wing governments have to tow the fiscal “party-line”. As Bryan sez,

“Labour and the left have always been reluctant to challenge the economic orthodoxy promoted by their opponents and, as a result, have implicitly conceded that the Tories know best – a judgment not surprisingly endorsed, in the absence of arguments to the contrary, by public opinion.

We are at it again.  Labour is again advised by its friends that, if we are to win the next election, we must demonstrate that we are ready to perpetuate Tory mistakes by taking the “tough” decisions – for which read imposing yet more cuts and austerity.  Anything less, we are assured, will show that we are not ready for government.”

Well thought out points, and something that every Labour MP should read.

On Frogblog, it’s a  Dogs’ Day when we have to consider testing drugs on animals – not for medicinal purposes to save human lives (and that in itself is contentious) – but for recreational drugs. Harming animals for our pleasure?? Is this the new low standard that will define New Zealand society?

On Hot Topic, Gareth presents a Youtube vid,  The answer lies in the soil (you have to have a sense of humus) as part of the climate change crisis.

Fightback reports that Unite takes on McDonald’s in high stakes fight for low-paid workers, in their demands for a minimum $15/hour pay rate and other improved conditions. Joel Cosgrove presents a good write-up on Unite Union’s action.

Idiot Savant on No Right Turn gives us news that the United Future Party has been de-registered by the Electoral Commission and asks if it signals  The end of Peter Dunne?  Hah. We wish.

Savant makes the valid point, that this ” means that there is no prospect of him bringing anyone along with him, and therefore no reason at all now for National to stand aside for him. In other words, we may just have seen the beginning of the end of Peter Dunne’s political career“.

Or else, Dunne could drop all pretences and simply join the Nats as a full-fledged member. After all, he is a Tory in drag (complete with frilly knickers).

Savant also refers to the High Court decision ordering Police to  return some of Kim Dotcom’s property.  He sez it’s high Time for an inquiry into police search and seizures. Savant suggests that the Police raid into Dotcom’s home was nothing more than a “fishing expedition” – something that our justice system takes a dim view of.

Foodbanks are a symptom of social disease, sez Savant, who points out,

“If John Campbell is looking for a new crusade now he’s won the argument on school food, he could do worse than take this on. There is no place for foodbanks in a decent society. The fact that they still exist is a sign of our indecency and squalor. They are a symptom of a social disease of poverty and inequality. Our government should eradicate that disease, and in doing so, put the foodbanks out of business.”

Not this government, mate. Why? Because the Nats are more interested in  Selling out our democratic rights.

Aside from Sir Graham, Idiot Savant makes a call that  There are other honours that need to be stripped, and makes a list of names who should have their knighthood removed. At least one of those names escaped prosecution by the Commerce Commission in an out-of-Court settlement.

On Kumara Republic there is an excellent blogpost –  Will the last person leaving Wellington please turn out the lights? The author look at the economic downturn that Wellington is experiencing; looks at similar experiences in the United States; ands makes a couple of constructive suggestions. Well worth a read, to keep up to date with regional development problems.

The Civilian scores a 10/10 as he described   Shearer rattled after John Key declines to stand by all his statements. The scary thing is – Key could actually do this, and his popularity with the Middle Classes would probably skyrocket.

Civilian – stop putting ideas into the Tories heads!!

And on The Standard,

  • That Lusk article that appeared in Fairfax’s papers six days ago. As Eddie points out, it was  strange that a normally reclusive, shadowy character like Lusk suddenly agrees to a media interview. The political spotlight is now on Lusk and the question is – why? What machinations are going on in the background of the National Party?
  • Dunne and dusted? asks
  • In Green Party for democracy

  • The Nisbet cartoons.

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Blogpost of the Day #1

This is sobering reading. On Frogblog, Metiria Turei asks  Does our country really hate us?

This puts Nisbet’s nasty racist cartoons into real perspective.

Please… read. Then share on social media or on Fairfax’s  Readers’ Comments.

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Blogpost of the Day #2

Imperator Fish explains why I’m not racist.

Read it. Consider it. Share it.

Powerful stuff, my fellow Kiwis.


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Action of the Week

Saturday night, June 1, Wellington – Fightback against McDonald’s!

May 30, 2013

mcdonalds bunny street wellington strikeAs part of its 2013 conference Fightback (Aotearoa/NZ) is supporting a Unite membership campaign to lift pay and establish guaranteed hours of work at McDonald’s workplaces.

We’ll be distributing this leaflet to McDonald’s customers: WHY FIGHTBACK SUPPORTS MCDONALDS WORKERS

Between 7pm and 9.30pm on Saturday June 1 Fightback members and other supporters of the Unite-led campaign will be going to McDonald’s stores throughout Wellington City. We’ll be telling customers why we think McDonald’s workers should be supported by the public. This comes on the back of last week’s strike at the Bunny Street store (pictured).

If you want to join the fight meet at 6.30pm at Newtown Community & Cultural Centre @ corner of Rintoul & Colombo Sts, Newtown.

For further information or to make any enquiries email us at fightback.aotearoa@gmail.com

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Sad Note

The Jackal has announced a temporary Hiatus from blogging. His departure (temporary, we hope!) will be greatly felt by all who valued his insights. He sez he’ll be back soon with re-charged batteries – well, we’ll hold him to that.

Last year, Neil Watts, of Fearfacts Exposed, took a break from blogging.

Let’s hope both gentlemen return asap.

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Non Racist Cartoon of the Day

end-of-racism

*Replace “America” with “Aotearoa New Zealand”; “African-Americans” with Maori and Pasifika,  and the message remains  the same.

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~ Joe Blogger

“The Daily Blog Watch” Editor, Imbiber of Fine Sugary Drinks,  & Cat Herder

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~oo~