National’s Grovelling Underscores Why NZ Must Reconnect To Its Independent Identity ASAP

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The comments by ex-Deputy Secretary of MFAT Peter Hamilton that it is time for a sovereign nation to remove the English Queen as the Head of State hopefully will serve to focus this weekend’s Labour conference on the importance of an independent foreign policy.

US-Defense-Hagel-ColemanFor it comes at a time when National’s Jonathan Coleman in Washington last week underlined National’s subservience to Washington and cringingly declared that no matter how the US treated its supposed allies that there would be no criticism from the Key government.

He was so confident that if New Zealand’s leaders were eavesdropped that no independent streak would be uncovered that he told the press at the Pentagon when meeting Hagel, US Secretary of Defence, that:

…quite frankly, there’d be nothing that anyone could hear in our private conversations that we wouldn’t be prepared to share publicly. I don’t think New Zealand’s got anything to worry about, and we have high trust in our relationships with the US. (Click here for the full US Government transcript published on ForeignAffairs.co.nz.)

So there we have it! Loyal ally and doormat wrapped up in one. And the reward for New Zealand is that Hagel patted Coleman on the head and declared that he had “authorised a New Zealand Navy ship to dock at Pearl Harbour for Rimpac 2014.”

New Zealand has been further rewarded by allowing its Navy to once again enter US ports. And all NZ has had to do has been to sign up to the China containment strategy and continue to downplay its Nuclear Weapon Free Zone status. What does surrendering sovereignty matter between friends? With such a direction what bets on New Zealand staying out of a future Iraq if summonsed?

This craven position gives Labour a great opportunity. It can assure the country that it is the party that will give us our own voice and will not allow us to be one of the dummies of the Washington ventriloquist. Australia is the preferred dummy in any case. So why play second or even third fiddle in the line -up of willing dummies?

On the economic front to Labour can make it clear that it won’t be a prisoner of the “Washington Consensus”. It has that opportunity with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to insist that there will be no deal unless all the intelligent questions asked are answered to our satisfaction.

Those questions relate to such issues as the ability of the state to create monopolies, such as in electric power, if it deems it to be in the public interest, of bulk buying by Pharmac which angers the pharmaceutical industry but serves the needs of the people, of control over intellectual property and of allowing private concerns to sue the government when it takes steps that are good for the nation but limits the role and profitability of corporations.

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Labour needs to stand its ground and insist that this trade deal, and any trade deal, must be open to public scrutiny and comment and face a national interest test before , and if ,it is initialed.

It should ignore grumpy right-wing columnists like Fran O’Sullivan who label as reactionaries those who want intelligent debate and not just slogans on trade, a core issue of sovereignty. O’Sullivan and like commentators would have us believe that Groser’s selling of the TPP is not just spin but reality and that under the TPP we will, according to Groser , then “ enter a world of unparalleled choice and opportunity including the mobility no longer just of capital but of labour and above all ideas.”

This is so much drivel. Capital yes. But labour? Try explaining to workers that they have equal mobility with capital as they battle bureaucrats and police in regard to visas and documents and face exploitation when they do reach the ”promised lands” ‘.

That includes unregulated New Zealand where a toothless Labour Department in our free trade unregulated labour market finds it difficult to even get employers to pay the minimum wage to their migrant workers.

And I haven’t noticed Groser, O’Sullivan and the commentators who parrot the slogans on what the Right sees as the best way to conduct global trade actually welcoming a clash of ideas on this subject. Instead they resort to abuse for any critics of their version of the way the world should trade, labeling them Neanderthals and such like.

Sovereign decision making in foreign policy, including trade, would actually increase not decrease New Zealand’s effectiveness in world political and economic forums and decision making bodies.

Sovereignty is a policy issue where Labour can draw a “red” line with National.

It can go to the electorate, distinct from National, declaring that that decisions will be made in New Zealand under a New Zealand Head of State and a New Zealand flag and that the NSA eavesdroppers will be offended, often, by our conversations. This will provide a clear choice for New Zealanders.

They can have the groveling John Key and Jonathan Coleman or a nation that speaks in its own right.

7 COMMENTS

  1. ALL of the above shows the need for an independent foreign policy that arse licks to no one!
    One of the most cogent arguments for same I’ve recently noticed relates to our NSA arse licking: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/01/nsa-surveillance-cause-internet-breakup-edward-snowden
    (Who can blame ’em). I commented elsewhere a couple of weeks back somewhere on the ether about having tried to contact Pacific Fibre on it’s initiation – suggesting an alternative that would have been preferable for both geological AND geopolitical reasons AND enabling what should be a commitment to our P.I. neighbours.
    I did so in the knowledge that a Fibre link was in train between Tahiti and Hawaii, and because various BRICS nations were on the rise, AND because big bruv/NSA spying/US hegemony meant that NZ needed alternatives.
    Cudda Shudda Wudda!

    John Key and our casual attitude to the “US=good/Other buggers=bad binary” has left us dependent, and up Shit Creek without a paddle.
    (not too late tho’) – and this is but ONE issue! (TPP and others aside)

    America!!!! LAND OF THE FREE!!! (Like Hell!). I don’t even want to have to traverse her shores should the need arise to go to Europe.

  2. Yes , but our masters have their political identity . Like the above traitorous dick head . They’re identifying with US Corporate psychopaths who pay well . In the mean time we can go fuck ourselves . We actually don’t matter . What we say and what we write means nothing to them . The pen is not mightier than the sword . Isn’t that right ?

    We can stand and screech in outrage . We may as well pee into the wind while we’re at it . We’re toothless and they know it . Especially after so many botched attempts at rebellion . The more we fizzle out , the more they become emboldened . I reckon that’s what’s behind half the shit they foist on us . To test the waters . To establish guidelines . To eventually colonize us to take our country off us .

    $20.00 to set foot on the beach ? Toll Roads ? User pays health or you die ? Pay an insurer for every breath you take ? That’s market forces for you though is that not so Gosman ? It’s market forces but it isn’t human . What’s unfolding isn’t human . The people I love , my family . No one I know treats one an other like this . So what’s going on ?

    • The colonisation you speak of is happening now and on the increase. I am quite well-placed to see it, living in one of the more desirable places on earth. All the old families are gone, replaced by British, European and other plutocrats who have gotten themselves and their money out of their own failing countries to buy our out from underneath us, responding to the earnest pleas of National governments to “bring us more money”

    • People in the US of Arse probably think more of him than we do, because they do not know him as well as his countrymen do.

  3. @ Countryboy. I follow your posts regularly and I’m usually in full agreement – including the manner in which the farming community has been conned.
    At first – with the “Like the above traitorous dick head” remark – I thought you were referring to me (maybe you were, or am I just being paranoic?).
    One thing tho’ – sure as shit – certain of the BRICS members of nations are mightily pissed off, AND are manouvering (can’t spell) in various ways – including with currency issues et al.

    Pac Fibre in the end couldn’t raise enough cash (and failed – cudda shudda wudda told them that before they went thru’ all the pain). But then their ambition was to hookup to the good ole boy’s US of A.

    They probably DID have enough to go for something that would have gone out east from somewhere like Kaikoura or Parnassus, across to the Cathams, then northward to …. maybe the Cooks (who don’t take shit from no-one), and Tahiti (with a cable already underway at the time to uncle Sam’s Hawaii – land of the Key holiday home/retirement village).

    They cudda shudda wudda been able to hedge their bets. But then, what the fuk would I (or indeed you) know aye?

    Thing is – had a high capacity leg reached the Cooks and Tahiti – and with (now highly pissed off and staunch French) who are busy looking at alternatives …. well we cudda shudda wudda had options.
    Still – not too late.
    With the BRICS (well at least some of them) looking for alternatives AND actually planning their future, certain things are in transition – INCLUDING, but not limited to all that SWIFT shit – controlled by US hegemony.
    And – also sure as shit – once implemented (if only by the very nature of transmission protocols and what might occur IF various addressing schemes began anew/were duplicated/ IGNORED the current schematic) – the NSA may very well face a weeeeeny problem (or alternatively, become UTTERLY and COMPLETELY irrelevant)

    ….just saying …. and if you’re really feeling depressed – rest easy in the knowledge that it’s all utterly self-defeating anyway : You’ll recognise the cnuts – they’ll be the ones squeeling like stuffed pigs the loudest

  4. What disturbs me (I could be paranoid) is John Keys invitation to spend time with the queen. Ask yourselves when has that ever happened before?? It seems to be DonKey has the backing of the British and Americans beyond what is normal. I will be convinced of this next (election) year if the Royals do visit, and give him lots of election winning photo ops. Now I’m going to go a bit dark-side-of-you-tube here. Just suppose DonKey was privilege to information about a major world catastrophe that was about to happen and he had the assurance of the AmeriBrits that he would be kept in power as a result of this. Would that explain his complete arrogance and disregard for what NZ’ers want. OK maybe too far out but none of us know the future. Or maybe the Americans have promised him the elections as they seem to know how to rig them as witnessed by George W’s election. Just wondering out loud.

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