Making It Stop: Taking stock of 4 February 2016, with some thoughts about the way forward

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SOME TRIBUTES FIRST, then an apology. To Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates I can only say thank you. Demonstrations like the one I marched in yesterday don’t just happen. They are the product of hours and days and years of hard work, during which people fight not only against loneliness and fatigue, but against the insidious thought that their unceasing efforts might all be in vain. Observing the glowing faces of Jane and Barry, as they rode down Queen Street yesterday afternoon, it was their selfless commitment to battling on, heedless of setbacks and against all odds, that brought tears to my eyes. Once again, thank you.

Tribute is also due to Real Choice. By their extraordinary actions throughout the morning and afternoon of 4 February 2016 they proved just how sterile theoretical debates about tactics and strategy can be. Somehow, in growing older, I had forgotten the words of the young student activist, Mario Savio, spoken 50 years ago on the steps of Sproull Hall at the University of California’s Berkeley campus. In my teens and twenties I had sworn by them, and, to my older self, they certainly bear repeating:

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

Yesterday, Real Choice put their bodies on the asphalt of Auckland’s inner-city carriageways, and for several hours they made things stop. In doing so they sent a much-needed reminder to the people who run, to the people who own, this country that it can, if the provocation is great enough, be prevented from working. No one has indicated that to them for a very long time.

So, to Real Choice I say: Respect. No one was seriously hurt and no one was arrested. In the words of the little man in the grey suit who was right there in the thick of things, that was: “Bloody marvellous!”

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I also say: Sorry. For my throw-away, and clearly unfounded, suggestion that Real Choice might be a “false flag” operation, I apologise – and my statement is withdrawn unreservedly. No false-flag operation could possibly have out-thought, out-run and out-manoeuvred the Police like Real Choice did yesterday. The Springbok Tour protesters of 1981 could not have done it better.

BUT, NOW WHAT? In which direction should the energy generated by yesterday’s protest actions be turned?

Happily, there is no shortage of targets.

Parliament resumes sitting on Tuesday, 9 February. The slow wending of the TPPA document through numerous select committee hearings, followed by the Government’s enabling bill’s passage through the four stages of parliamentary debate; both will provide excellent opportunities for carefully targeted protest action. Likewise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trades’ (MFAT’s) travelling road-show of public presentations intended to “sell” the Government’s pro-TPPA position to the electorate. All should be seen as educative political events, reinforcing the anti-TPPA’s core messages of diminished national sovereignty and a deepening democratic deficit.

The extent to which these core messages have already entered the public’s consciousness has unpleasantly surprised the TPPA’s supporters. They were taken aback at the size and vehemence of the Auckland protests and will already be working on ways to unpick the picture Jane Kelsey and her comrades have embroidered so vividly on the public mind. The Government’s and big businesses’ counter-offensive will have to be met, held, and rolled back.

This will be made considerably easier by the simultaneous fightback against the TPPA occurring all around the Pacific rim – but especially in the United States. Strategically, the struggle is between the progressive/patriotic forces operating within the twelve signatory states, and the defenders of the transnational corporations. Obviously, this puts the “Pro” forces at a serious disadvantage. Far from being able to pass themselves off as promoters of the public good, they will emerge from the contest as the big corporations’ fifth columnists, committed to defeating the patriots fighting to prevent the agreement’s ratification.

John Key and his Government thus risk entering election year as a collection of figurative “Quislings”, guilty of conspiring against the national interest on behalf of entities without countries, morals or scruples. If this perception can be driven deep into the electorate’s mind, then National’s chances of re-election will be nil. More importantly, the victorious progressive/patriotic parties will be swept into office with a broad mandate to take on a corporate plutocracy that has ruled without challenge for far too long.

For the first time in over 30 years, there will be a mass political movement dedicated to putting itself “upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus” of the neoliberal machine – and making it stop.

118 COMMENTS

  1. Even now, I find new things to be concerned or saddened about in the TPP.
    The other day I found out that there would be no appeals process in the ISDS provisions, that is concerning.
    John Key proudly announced that New Zealand had carved out a special position for Maori, and we were the only country to have special provision for Maori, I will be a little forgiving and trust he meant indigenous people. I felt instantly saddened when I heard that, I thought, “So, is it open season on the indigenous folk of other countries”. Truly that sounded so utterly hollow and could only think it was #nothingtobeproudof

    • No Key was just talking about Maori.
      An exemption clause has been negotiated in the non-discrimination section (a section in which nations undertake not to favour domestic producers over competitors from other nations)
      The clause states
      “Nothing in this agreement shall preclude the adoption by New Zealand of measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment to Maori in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi”
      (as reported in NZ Herald)

      • Yes I know he was talking about just Maori but the way he said it was as if Maori were the indigenous people throughout the TPP countries. NZ was the only country that got the carve out for Maori – well duh, NZ is the only place WITH Maori.
        I found it a bit kind of dismissive of all the other indigenous people of other signatories and that if it turns out to be the case, will we just stand idly by while they get screwed over, or will we speak up for them. Not holding my breath for the latter to be the case.

    • Great comment by the way! Jane Kelsey et al says the position of Tangata Whenua is ‘wiffly waffly’ at best; meaning the legalese words that talk about Corporates, in TPP, are set in concrete BUT the words that represent us, the PUBLIC, you know all humankind, are ‘easily picked apart’.

      • Annette Sykes reckon that it’s very much open to interpretation, but I would hazard a guess that the bulk of the thing will be, legalese and all

        • It’s a type of insurance that only the big players can take out.

          The average ISDS claim runs up costs north of 50 million. That’s a big sum to cough up in a short amount of time (not including bribes) So pretty much Fortune 500 companies will take advantage of these new loopholes in the system.

          I use this example all the time.

          Let’s say you build a conventional power plant and a renewable power plant. You sit back and wait to see which way the legislative wind blows, mandating either conventional or renewable plants. That ticks the investment and profit box that triggers ISDS claims, for a hefty profit. Obviously you need huge capital to play these games.

          Right now Foriegn investment pulls 60 billion in profit out of NZ. There wouldn’t be much we could do to change that under ISDS rules.

  2. Can I just say that more people will feel able to express their concern about the TPP if they are not confronted with people carrying out acts of civil disobedience.
    The sorts of actions we have seen in the last couple of days (other than the Joycedick thing, which will live on in John Oliver world for a long time) serve to alienate those who are wavering, who retreat back to the safety of their non-shit-stirring political views.
    We need those people on side, not off-side.
    Consider yourself told off, those who blocked motorway on/off ramps.
    Congratulations to the bulk of the protesters, so disappointed I could not make it up to Auckland for the day, it looked amazing, even for a person who hates crowds.

    • You need to read up on the greatest civil disbedience in the 20th century: that espoused by Mahatma Gandhi, it brought down the colonial rule of the British Empire in India. Nothing wrong with blocking roads, nobody was hurt, only a few motorists inconvenienced. What value do you out on defending our democracy?

    • Rae, without civil disobedience, the Blacks in South Africa would still be living under apartheid; India would probably have been part of the British Empire for much longer; Blacks in Southern USA would be prevented from voting and suffering exclusion based on skin colour and you, would be unable to vote without the Suffragette movement (if your name indicates you are female).

      There comes a time in human affairs when human-made laws, based on human-caused prejudice, must be forced to confront the injustice upon when those laws were based upon.

      Otherwise, Kings and Queens would still rule with Divine Right, and the franchise would be an unknown dream.

      It all started when people stood up to their Kings and Queens and said, “no”.

      Thousands of years later, we are still saying “no”. Maybe not to Kings and Queens, but to others who would deign to rule by the “Divine Right” of political and economic power.

      • You need to be sure of your numbers before you go down that track is what I mean, no point in civil disobedience unless you have the numbers, think Berlin Wall, it was numbers that saw that particular civil disobedience succeed.
        The times we live are not like the time of the Springbok tour, we have become far more docile and accepting of what’s being doled out to us from our leaders
        You need the numbers and if you don’t know already, the huge march down Queen Street had far, far more weight to it than the protest at Sky City. If it were only that, you can be sure it will have been dismissed and that would have been gotten away with.
        It is the Grannies and the Grandpops and the ordinary folk like them marching who have the most profound effect, and they did.
        A few people grandstanding will get you nowhere, a whole bunch of ordinary folk nailing their colours to the mast will get you far further.
        It will because of the Queen St march that Key will be looking nervously to the next poll and he will be hoping like crazy that what went on at Sky City and Waitangi will be enough to swing the swingers back his way.
        Sadly, he may be granted his wish.
        Just think before you go off your hot little heads, ok.

        • How quickly we switch to arrogant invective, Rae.

          In the development of this story, what will actually make a difference is that cracks are starting to appear in the establishment. I see the Sunday Star Times has come out against the TPPA and as the reality of the provisions and the acceptability of a contrarian position grows, traditional voices of the Right will start to swell against the agreement, especially if it seems likely that the US will reject it.

          The current administration has a lot invested in this deal and will not be able to withdraw to their standard method of unprincipled 180 degree turns.

          I wonder how it will look when the upcoming Parliamentary votes can only be won by begging for the casting vote of David Shearer?

          • Exactly why it has to be the voice of reason must prevail, it is the likes of me (although I have always questioned the establishment and probably always will) who are concerned about the future for their grandchildren. People like us no longer are concerned about things for ourselves, we look at our grandkids and wonder what it is we will leave for them when we are dust.

    • We are sorry for the inconvenience we caused to a small number of Auckland drivers yesterday but we know that the majority of New Zealanders have no understanding of the adverse consequences that will befall us if the TPPA is enacted against us.
      Every Kiwi regardless of their political leanings must think it is odd that the Government will spend millions of dollars on an 2 oddly engineered flag change referendums but the same Government will not spend a cent for a referendum on an issue that has the potential to change the way New Zealand is governed!

      No Prime Minister deserves more respect than our democracy does!
      For democracy sake we need to vote on the TPPA.

      • It is an interesting point of difference where in Aotearoa/New Zealand, 15 people in cabinet can ratify this TPPA, without reference to parliament at all. But in the USA it has to go through congress.

        We need a law change regarding ratification of treaties, so that all members of parliament vote.

        • Don’t need a law change. John Key can put the TPPA to a parliamentary vote, but he doesn’t want to reveal the rest of the text and because he knows it would be defeated. Labour took the FTA with China, which is not like the TPPA, to a parliamentary vote in 2008.

        • And so it was signed at a corporate venue (Skycity) before it went to a democratic venue, Parliament. Gollum Key’s middle finger to democracy by signing away sovereignty for 30 pieces of corporate silver in a corporate gambling den.

          Gollum Key favours his TPPA ring and his faux lapel flag badge and being booed at the Auckland Nines, more than he does the democratic right of people to vote on TPPA. He can run a $26 million referendum for a pissy flag, but not a referendum on TPPA. Gollum Key and the corporate hordes of Mordor.

          But Peter Jackson is unlikely to make this sequel to the Hobbit.

  3. Jonky and his minions should be strung up for putting us through this shit. They definitely should be asset stripped and chipped like dogs so we always know where they are for our on-going safety.

    The self styled neo – masculine nutter most recently in the news is a good argument for knowing the enemy. He was so emboldened by his insanities that he outed himself. He couldn’t contain his egomania so we could all seem him coming a mile away.
    No so, the jonkyies of this world. Those fuckers can slither into our lives and do terrible harm while remaining virtually invisible.
    Thank God for those who make the most noise to alert us of the presence of the sick bastards.
    Great Post @ Chris Trotter.

    • Don’t know if this will double post but that pervert who came over here was nothing more than an acute distraction during the signing of the TTPA…

      The flag issue has been as such but was more of a slow burner …what was needed was an acute issue…and the pervert provided it.

      It therefore would be interesting to do a background check on the pervert to see what political links he has to pro TTPA factions in the USA.

    • Countryboy – I am imagining a South African style ‘Truth and Reconciliation Committee on Neo-Liberalism” with you as presiding judge. It would be a hoot (and probably a tragedy) but I would bring popcorn

  4. Does this mass protest mean that people are finally waking up to the fact that they have been systematically lied to for decades, and that John Key is saboteur-in-chief at the moment?

    As for the question ‘What next’, we can be certain that the sociopaths and fascists in parliament will be considering further criminalisation of dissent and further enhancement of their dystopian 1984-style systems to ensure that an increasing portion the nation’s bounty ends up in the hands of the few, while those who disagree ‘get annihilated’.

    In that context, the continuing fall in dairy prices must be good thing: rural bankruptcies and commensurate collapse of retail spending as the money dries up will put the final nails in the coffin of ‘free market economics’, which was only ever a cover for rampant exploitation, looting and polluting.

    2016 will be the year that everything changes, whatever politicians and other psychopaths might say about business-as-usual because not only are we in the midst of a global economic collapse:

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/22-signs-that-the-global-economic-turmoil-we-have-seen-so-far-in-2016-is-just-the-beginning

    but be we are also in the midst of a global environmental collapse:

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/gallery/2016/feb/02/tasmania-bushfires-leave-world-heritage-area-devastated-in-pictures

    and atmospheric CO2 at a new record high of 405ppm and surging out of control (up 5.65ppm on the 2015 figure):

    https://www.co2.earth/daily-co2

    all aspects of our predicament being entirely due to the insane policies promoted by business-as-usual (corporate profits before people or the environment) enthusiasts for the past four decades.

    And every day that passes, the maniacs in control make everything worse.

    It’s going to start to get very ‘interesting’ (nasty) from here on.

    • As regards the economic collapse blog the fact that the author appears to be promoting the sale of gold and silver makes me think that his opinions may be less than objective.

    • CO2 update:

      The Keeling Curve has now been updated and now shows 405.83ppm, the highest ever atmospheric CO2 concentration, and on track for well in excess of 408ppm this CO2 season.

      https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-content/plugins/sio-bluemoon/graphs/mlo_two_years.png

      Commensurate with that, Arctic sea ice is currently tracking the lowest ever, and is on track for a record low (or even no ice) in September 2016.

      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

      As well as climate chaos, we face massive sea level rise in the near future.

      ‘The Machine’ is wrecking the planet, as well as people’s lives, and must be stopped.

      The maniacs who control governments and comprise governments are determined it will not be stopped.

      Thus we are living the final battle between good and evil, with evil being represented and promoted by Key and company in NZ and similar ‘lizard people’ overseas.

      There will no second chances.

    • Yes countryboy and if you read Wake up NEW Zealand the natural medicines bill is before parliament,if i read it correctly the heat is on to stop all natural remedies,depending on content, will be stopped.
      the drug corporations want to put in certain ingredients that can be said to be drugs which gives them the right to controll and take over,they wont allow any competition to making profits.
      This right on the heels of TPPA,John Key thinks he is on a roll, and another middle finger to the pubic,but a thumbs up to the corporations.
      The talk of Key having conflict of interest because he has shares in Bank of America,hes crafty enough to have those shares in blind trust ,another rort.

  5. Two Prime Ministers stood up and spoke against nuclear armament and they both died and, in my opinion, their stance and their deaths are tied up with a ribbon reading: PNAC.
    The TPPA deal can be tied up with a ribbon reading: PNAC.
    Although the think tank was formed “supposedly” in 1997, it was in effect long before this date.
    New Zealanders have linked arms and sung their songs many times:
    http://www.disarmsecure.org/publications/papers/legal_challenges_to_nuclear_weapons_from_aotearoa_new_zealand.php
    The answer I have discovered is easy if action is taken with LOVE and for the HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImOIFmB8QXc
    We can move mountains and walk on water! We just don’t know it, YET.

  6. The only ‘Quisling’ is Andrew Little who has now said that Labour will not withdraw from the TPPA; merely “fight tooth and nail”…blah, blah, blah.

    What is the electoral supposed to make of that?

    • Incredible incompetence from Little:

      1/Too lazy to even bother to read the document

      2/Too stupid to listen to senior colleagues who have experience in trade negotiations

      3/Politically idiotic in backing the minority rent-a-mob element rather than leading the party to the centre where they can gain some credibility with the voting public.

      This was a simple test for Little and he got zero out of ten.

        • If it had been 25,000. I saw them from my office window.

          Maybe 5,000-10,000.

          I saw a bunch of art students, lots of bewildered, burnt out women left over from the 70’s hippy era, greenie nutcases with knitted hats, the professionally angry and a busload of unemployable Mana supporters.

          These people are not going to get him elected. They are the lunatic fringe and not a sizeable voting block.

          • When I wonder (as I often do) how NZ became this mean-spirited nasty little place, I remember there are people like you Andrew. That’s how it happened.

        • Yes Chris a great post I salute you.

          Elle 1000% to you as the MSM globally has blocked the story that twenty five thousand marched against TPPA in Auckland after it was signed in haste by the rogue government of NZ as their banner to the future sale of NZ.

          We will fight to remove these traitors.

    • BEATTY, Andrew Little never said he would withdraw from it, neither has any other opposition party either. Go and read what Andrew Little has said. Get informed.

  7. Thanks for the article, Chris and to TDB for the great coverage. It’s Our Future is planning the next stages in the campaign, and we need to do it soon, because Todd McClay says their ‘selling’ of the TPPA is underway, the National Interest Statement will go into Parliament soon and their ‘roadshow’ is happening in February and March. We have some plans underway, but would welcome ideas and debate in TDB, FB pages (TPPA Action Group, It’s Our Future, TPPA I’m Ready for Action) etc. Our aim is to defeat the TPPA, either by not allowing it to be ratified or if that’s not possible, exiting asap. Comments also welcome to itsourfuturenz@gmail.com.

  8. “It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is in spate, when all people are joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the vogue, and sometimes even from careerist motives. It is far more difficult—and far more precious—to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist.”

  9. Yes it all about protest and getting our country back on a pathway that New Zealanders can be proud of. As a people we have been taken for granted, Tim Grocer treating as like little children when pertinent questions are being asked about the TPPA.
    Certain Labour parliamentary members should relocate themselves to another political party and be replaced by members who believe in old Labour values.
    This year, 2016, will be an important year for ordinary Kiwis, to put their foot down, give the two-fingered salute to the various self-serving bureaucrates, and say we are not going to take this sh*t anymore!

  10. Thanks Chris, but also we also need to recognise the great work from team Auckland, who have been tireless for several years of organising and especially Chantelle who has tried to balance work, kiddies and coordination, to the hikoi from up north, especially Reuben, and those who came from around the country who have been doing great work there. It’s the breadth of people and places that have really hit home in opposition to the TPPA and which must serve to get unequivocal statements from Labour, NZ First and Maori Party that they will not bring the agreement into force if they are part of the government if and when that time comes.

        • Labour, NZ First and the Greens are on the same page re TPPA. Even the Greens have never said they would pull out of it either. Who knows what fish hooks the background documents, (that have not been released, and won’t be until 4 years after it is ratified), are hiding.

      • Have you noticed that other opposition parties are saying the same as Labour? You should be directing your ire at John key for signing this act of treason in the first place. Doing that John key has made it very difficult for future governments, you cannot just walk from a signed deal like this, even with a withdrawal clause. it won’t be easy. People need to remember that the full text with the background documents has not been released, and won’t be until 4 years AFTER it is ratified.

        We have got to hope it won’t pass in the US, and judging by a comment made by one of the trade representatives, it looks like a number of countries are going to struggle getting it through their parliaments.

        Someone should ask John key what’s he got to fear, what is he hiding? If he is so sure, put it to a parliamentary vote like all the other TPPA countries are doing.

        • Every observation you make about the difficulty of withdrawing is correct and all reinforce that it’s madness to enter into an agreement with a hairbrained intention of renegotiating its terms.

          You simply have no bargaining power if you can’t leave.

          As to where the ire is directed, unless Labour vote against this agreement, against every clause of enabling legislation, then they are as complicit as National in getting us into it.

          • The problem is not Labour, it’s National, Act and UF having the numbers to pass the enabling legislation, and the Maori party cannot be trusted, and that’s where the ire should be directed.

    • Hello Jane, I wanted to extend my warm regards to you. I have the utmost respect for the person you are, for what you believe in, and for having the courage to say it in the face of some pretty nasty voices (playing the woman, not the ball). You are an inspiration to me and I am sure, to many other New Zealanders. Thank you for all you’ve done to date and for the effort that you’ll no doubt expend on TPPA in the weeks and months to come.

    • @ Jane Kelsey: “get unequivocal statements from Labour, NZ First and Maori Party that they will not bring the agreement into force if they are part of the government if and when that time comes”

      A question:

      Isn’t there some other less drastic way to do so or try to do so instead of throwing ‘the baby with the bath water’ at the first opportunity or making such a pre-mature commitment now? I suspect some other countries, including USA, will want to renegotiate some aspects of the agreement that may not suit them. We should try to do so too. Of course, if that fails, then will be the time to get out and try for bilateral agreements.

      P.S : I am an opponent of TPPA and some of its terms as they exists.
      I am particularly weary of the fact that, while I understand that there will be a few give and take issues in a fair ‘trade’ agreement, we were kept ignorant of very important issues such as overtly or covertly giving up our sovereignty with regards to making laws if we so choose to ban land and house ownership for non residents, as well as retaining the supremacy of parliament to pass laws without a sword of Damocles hanging over the country and the law makers.

      The rebuttal about being able to put ‘stamp duty’ is a red herring as that still takes away our fundamental rights as a sovereign country because while it may deter some ordinary non residents, wealthy foreigners will STILL be able to buy even if we so not want them to for whatever reason!

      There are of course other dodgy conditions in the deal too.

      Our negotiators were rubbish and quite foolish. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that National and their MPs have the guts, conscience and patriotism to demand some changes to the agreement RIGHT NOW. I don’t think the fools will even try to do so though.

      At least Andrew Little from Labour has indicated that is the way he will approach the issue and I think that is a better path to take at this stage.

      • If I could but in a sec. I don’t think at this point there can be any compromise.

        The U.S has a very poor record when they sign trade deals, it’s a simple formula for U.S companies, jack up prices, lower wages, seek government subsidies.

        If we were to live with this reality, every time a CEO raises the cost of a medicine by 400-4000%, and we sic the law onto them for price gauging, they may be in another country which may include cross boarder cooperation with law enforcement (GCSB, SIS, Seriouse crime unit, I’m channeling DotComs experience because he was the first extrajudicial case I’m aware of, of its kind, so we should be comfortable with that reality of increased cooperation) alternately I think the TPP will only be as good or as bad as the participants envolved.

        Suing is a national past time in the U.S. U.S mayors allocate portions of there budget just for payouts. New Zealand should do the same.

        Iv been saying New Zealand isn’t ready for all this, we either scrap it at the first oppertunity, or give corporates a chance to be good economic actors. Big question mark on the later

  11. Mediaworks may have changed the name of their apparently overhauled news format, however their unprofessional and blatantly political biased persuasion hasn’t.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/opinion-did-huge-tpp-protests-force-key-to-re-think-waitangi-2016020508#axzz3zGWrQMGT

    It reads screaming desperation, poorly written, and full of holes you could drive a bus through. Not only that, there is no author’s name attributed it to back it up.
    Just another fictional piece cobbled together by a collective of the government’s media whores.

  12. NZ Inc needs to get its act together for the sake of New Zealanders long term future, Labour, Greens and NZF have to put their heads together and develop a long term strategy for the country. Otherwise National, ACT and United Future are passing NZ over to offshore Corporatisation.

    The Neo Liberals have rorted the NZ Economy over the past 35-40 years and New Zealanders are none the wiser, the TPPA has only just made many New Zealanders realise that things maybe aren’t quite right.

    We have to grow the economy organically within, State Asset Sales have been a disaster as we are now further in debt and no longer own the assets. The uneducated NZ Media will tell you otherwise.

    The NZ Opposition Parties have to work together to tidy up the mess?

  13. NZ Inc needs to get its act together for the sake of New Zealanders long term future, Labour, Greens and NZF have to put their heads together and develop a long term strategy for the country. Otherwise National, ACT and United Future are passing NZ over to offshore Corporatisation.

    The Neo Liberals have rorted the NZ Economy over the past 35-40 years and New Zealanders are none the wiser, the TPPA has only just made many New Zealanders realise that things maybe aren’t quite right.

    We have to grow the economy organically within, State Asset Sales have been a disaster as we are now further in debt and no longer own the assets. The uneducated NZ Media will tell you otherwise.

    The NZ Opposition Parties have to work together to tidy up the mess?

  14. I made the mistake of reading the editorial in The Herald this a.m. I should know better. To make matters worse, I read the letters to the editor. The gist appeared to be: Opposition to the TPPA is ignorant. Maori protesters are all stupid and uninformed. There’s nothing to worry about and if you think there is then you’re a half-wit/ uninformed or had the wool pulled over your eyes by the pinky lefties. There was one letter that was such a sycophantic praise-fest of our glorious P.M that I thought, for a moment, it was a piss-take. Someone suggested that J.K come for a barbie at his place, away from all those noisy protesters. Yet another wrote an implicitly racist tirade suggesting that protesters were all aliens from the planet Zarg ( Kurt Vonnegutt will be rotating in his grave!).
    As if that were not punishment enough, I then Read John Roughan’s rant.
    I was so encouraged by the show of opposition on Thursday, but , given the election results, these ( the racist, arrogant views expressed in The Herald) appear to be the prevailing opinions of our fellow New Zealanders. I feel ill.

  15. Chris, I’m going to have to rain on your parade with this alternative scenario.

    Most NZders will now swing in behind the government’s position on the TTPA because of the following:

    – The sense that Maori activists are dominating, if not taking over the anti TTPA movement;
    – The inconsistent hypocritical anti free speech behaviour of the Te Tii marae trustees (Stopping Key from making political speeches, but allowing other political leaders to do so);
    – The boorish behaviour demonstrated by a protester in throwing a sex toy at Steve Joyce;
    – The lies told by Hone Harawira concerning clauses in the TTPA protecting the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori sovereignty.

    Further; Labour has publicly stated its commitment to free trade, even though it may not like some parts of the TTPA. I suspect that this is also the position of NZ First. It seems very unlikely that these parties will abandon this position and throw out the TTPA if they get the opportunity to do so. Main stream political parties will make the TTPA work.

    Even further should perchance a future centre left government exit the TTPA, therefore undermining NZ’s ability to maximise trading opportunities, and in the process creating a lock down economy, they’ll be thrown out of power at the first available opportunity.

    • The inconsistent hypocritical anti free speech behaviour of the Te Tii marae trustees (Stopping Key from making political speeches, but allowing other political leaders to do so)

      Aside from the fact that there is some dispute about that, Ocon, let me remind you that the ground upon which the Treaty House rests is private land. (The notion of private land being a pakeha construct adopted by Maori, at colonial insistence.)

      Let me also remind you, Ocon, that neither you or I have a right to stand up in the Public Gallery of the Parliamentary Debating Chamber to make a speech. (If you doubt it, try it. I give you sixty seconds max, before a squad of security guards descend on you and haul you away.)

      I think you’re seizing on various opportunities to voice your under-lying support for the TPPA. (You’re just not straight forward in making your position clear.). Interestingly, you offer no alternative means by which thew public can make it’s voice heard on this issue. Especially when the whole damned thing was done under a veil of secrecy and the Official Information Act was broken when Prof Kelsey made a lawful request for info on negotiations.

      • Frank

        I don’t dispute your comments concerning the Treaty Grounds et al; the point though is that despite this; the perception that the majority of NZders occupying the centre ground have is as I describe it. The Herald has been running a poll all day today on whether its readers do or do not support Key’s decision not to go to the marae. The last time I looked 70% of respondents supported Key. The rigour of this poll can probably be challenged, but nevertheless the pattern is clear and it supports my proposition.

        You are right to expect me to declare where I stand on this issue. I stand in favour of the TTPA. I do so because we are a trading nation and we need income earned through trading to support our economy and society, including, for example, Labour’ s plans to make education free for tertiary students if it becomes the government.

        I simply don’t buy the hysterical overreaction about threats to our sovereignty and democracy. Your ‘spokesman’ Harawira, and his ignorance on this issue only reinforces my scepticism.

        • You have put your political National party bias above common sense, and above the best interests of your own country and it’s future. What about the fact that the TPPA will bring next to nothing in the way of “income” by 2030 for NZ? The key National government don’t talk of the costs that outweigh the measly “projected gains of 0.9% of GDP by 2030 are within their own margin of error, even before costs are factored in and disregarding unrealistic modelling. More than 1600 US companies, the most litigious in the world, will gain new rights they can enforce through private offshore tribunals if/when regulation damages their value or profits. The agreement guarantees foreign states and corporations a right of input into regulatory decisions, which Maori, trade unions, small businesses and local government would not have.” (Professor Jane Kelsey).

          NZ makes more now and will continue to do so without the TPPA, and without relinquishing our sovereignty and democratic rights. You should take your blinkers off.

          • Words

            I don’t agree with you. Obviously.

            It is in NZ’s best interests to ensure that it has access to export markets around the world. The TTPA facilitates this.

            Its a no brainer for our type of economy to be be included in trade agreements that encourage free trade.

            As I mentioned above, to walk away from trade agreements such as the TTPA is to walk away from the standard of living that we enjoy in this country. Your middle NZder will not tolerate that. Hence any government that does walk way from free trade agreements will simply not last, because their action will reduce NZder’s living standards. Average NZders will be more concerned about this than any vague notion of threats to our sovereignty,

            I presume you applaud the Labour parties position on free tertiary education? That’s a pipe dream if we don’t maximise our trading relationships through arrangements such as the TTPA.

            BTW, is there any evidence that any the 1600 US companies that you mention are preparing to sue the government re their profits etc? If you can’t produce any evidence then you are scare mongering and simply reinforcing my point about hysterical reactions to the deal – and I can’t take that seriously.

            • What’s Labour’s 3 years worth of free higher education got to do with it? Most of National’s ministers, including John Key and Paula Bennett, (while on the DPB), got free tertiary education.

              Of course you don’t agree and despite the facts that the TPPA is more about foreign corporate control rather than trade, you choose to remain deluded, blind, deaf and dumb. The TPPA is not a free trade deal. Even National have admitted it is not a good deal.
              Average NZers are struggling, more people are living in poverty, that is not a standard of living to be enjoyed, and the majority of NZers do not want the TPPA and the loss of this country’s sovereignty. You are completely out of touch Ocon blinded by your political RW bias. Why do you think National has to change a number of our laws to accompaniment the TPPA? Any law that a future government makes in the best interests of this country, but falls foul of a foreign corporation’s profit line, NZ can be taken to an overseas court with no right of appeal. That is not a trade deal.

              Take a look at Canada, one of thee most sued countries in the world under the ISDS. I’m not scaremongering, instead of reading the bullshit that National and their media friends are putting out, read the facts for yourself, read what lawyers, and other professional people are saying, even the UN is alarmed by it.

              And remember this is not the full text; the background documents have not been released. The full text won’t be made public until 4 years after it is ratified. That in itself is hugely alarming, and begs the question, what are they hiding? They are certainly afraid to still keep secrets.

              In fact, why do you want foreign governments/corporations dictating what laws our government can make because it may affect their profit margins?

              Workers rights will be stripped further. NZ companies will easily game the system under the TPPA by establishing themselves as foreign entities to own their NZ assets. They will fall under the TPPA ISDS system that foreign corporations automatically fall under. Any talk of worker rights, pay, collective agreements would automatically be deemed as a threat to future profits. You can see how badly this is going to end for most people. Or maybe it suits you not to see at all, and with that kind of attitude, maybe it is you who cannot be taken seriously.

  16. Chris,

    When are you going to stop lying to yourself? You might feel warm and fuzzy but what did the 5000 strong march achieve? Absolutely zero. When are going to stop lying to the people, peddling mistruths, utter falsehoods, moral and political paranoia? I listened to marchers repeating nonsense that has come from the organizers. Did you stop the TPPA – no. Have you forced Labour to break bipartisanship on trade – unfortunately yes and that is to the detriment of the Labour party. I cannot see how this is a great moral crusade for the left when it is built upon outright lies and willful distortion.

    Why not be honest – the investor provisions in the TPPA scare you and your crowd because it stops you making unilateral economic decisions [such as nationalisation of industry] without considering the impact on both local and overseas investors. You are angry that there is a handbrake on the ability to impose a Venezuelan style economy on New Zealand – and thankfully we have that because how’s it working out for Venezuela?

    • When are you going to stop lying to yourself? Y

      A bit rich coming from an anonymous person hiding behind a pseudonym, don’t you think “Michael”?

      Why not be honest – the investor provisions in the TPPA scare you and your crowd because it stops you making unilateral economic decisions [such as nationalisation of industry] without considering the impact on both local and overseas investors.

      Michael, can you give us any examples of forced nationalisation of any industries here in New Zealand, since 1984, that would necessitate the extraordinary and radical ISDS provisions of the TPPA?

      You are angry that there is a handbrake on the ability to impose a Venezuelan style economy on New Zealand – and thankfully we have that because how’s it working out for Venezuela?

      The socialist government of Venezuela was democratically elected in 1998/99, and re-elected several times afterwards. You do believe in democratic elections, don’t you, Michael?

      • Venezuela has the highest misery index in the world. Michael said nothing against democracy but instead demonstrating the effects of discredited policies. Hard-left= misery

        Typical of you Frank, attacking the man and not the ball. Straw-man arguments.

        If you are right-wing, Labour going out of the mainstream and into hard-left territory is manna from heaven.

        Unelectable….Fringe…..Unfit for Government

        Echo of the wilderness years of the British Labour party after Michael Foote. They only gained power with Tony Blair..haha… who is right of John Key.

      • @Micheal. oh contraire, oligarchs love it when the government bails them out of strategic assets at a premium such as Air New Zealand and NZ rail, that’s after running it into the ground of course. Then we start up the whole privatisation thing again

      • Having got elected once (big mistake by an uneducated electorate) the Chavez government proceeded to undermine the democratic process in order to stay in power. Corruption is always the illegitimate son of the left.

        That’s the bottom line with socialists – one man, one vote.Once.

        • It’s democracy when Key is elected – but a “big mistake by an uneducated electorate” when a socialist government is elected?

          That’s an interesting take on multi-party democracy, Andrew.

          • Mistakes are the results of poor policies and not the institution of democracy. Inflation, unemployment, lost opportunities are the results of Hugo Chavez’s policies and his intellectual supporters.
            Just because one democracy fails does not mean democracy is a failure or mistake, Frank. If that is your implication or your inference of Michael’s post.

            The other legacy of hard-left policies in Venezuela are:
            lost of democracy, degrading of institutions, take over of the judiciary, military and stacking the rules of democracy.

            Countries like individuals make mistakes. Especially if they can’t balance ledgers and have magical fiscal policies.

        • Andrew, you do like writing utter crap, which is presumably based on your total ignorance of the matters under discussion.

          Unlike the Washington-led junta that attempted to seize power, have Chavez murdered and restore gross inequality, the Chavez government doggedly upheld the constitution and permitted people who should have been lined up against a wall and shot to go free.

    • There were way more than 5000 people protesting John Key’s act of treason, Michael.
      The key National government broke bipartisanship when it conducted the TPPA in secret and refused to consult with other parties etc.
      If you remember, the previous Labour government took the FTA with China, which is nothing like the TPPA, and put it to a parliamentary vote. Even National’s Duncan Garner commented during the 2014 election campaign that the level of information put out by Labour was impressive. Why doesn’t John key do the same? Why not put the TPPA to a parliamentary vote like other TPPA countries? What is John key afraid of? What is he hiding?

    • Excellent comment Michael!

      What we have here is a rat-tag band of misfits who are rapidly becoming irrelevant in today’s society.

      • If you think like that, then why are you here Andrew? Why are you not with like minded trolls on Whaleoil’s blog? No one is twisting your arm to be here.

  17. POOR PATHETIC CREATURES

    DON’T YOU REALISE that it takes FAR MORE than
    “Demonstrations”

    to CHANGE THE PATH WE ARE ON ??????

    Yes Sadly, People do not realise, that “Democracy” is a FRAUD.

    SORRY – But in VIEW of the TPPA People WILL NEED TO DO SUCH THINGS MORE as

    In Particular, Hit the CORPORATIONS in the PURSE $$$$$

    BOYCOTT Supermarkets
    BOYCOTT TV & ALL Mainstream Media
    Etc
    (YES . That DOES mean TV)

    And things like that

    OH but PEOPLE ARE TOO COMFORTABLE & TOO F***ing LAZY aren’t they

    • Quickest way to end John key’s madness is to kick him out of office. Snap election anyone? Why wait until 2017? To reiterate. Why are the Maori party still propping up this treasonous Key National government? They should disassociate themselves from National forthwith, just like they did with Labour over the foreshore and seabed issue, but this time they won’t, obviously their personal bank accounts would be substantially altered if they did so. The Maori Party have no mana. Words are cheap, and the Maori Party are not walking the talk. Is it not more important now that they do?

    • So he felt he couldn’t go to Waitangi but – with all the public celebrations available the best that Mr Key, – our PRIME MINISTER – can come up with is a league match? What you gonna do for ANZAC day – go to a cricket match?

      What does he think – internationally, not amoung his pavlov’s people – that people will be thinking? John Oliver is probably wetting his pants over that one. Particularly from one who called a fellow PM a coward.

    • That’s something the msm are not going to talk up, and key would have thought he was safe from opinion at a sporting event too.
      Thanks for that info Mike, that is so good to know. Agreed, times they are a changing. key’s days as pm are numbered. He should start packing his bags.

  18. nice blog, full of wonderful emotion, and supporting a well organised rally of protest, which still did less for the cause in the eyes of the wider public due to it being seen as more disruptive than informative.
    I was at Spring Bok Tour protests, I stood front and centre. I was on Wellington Harbour and was part of blockades of US warships like the Truxton. The difference Im seeing that separates those protests and these is, we backed our positions with well-worded facts and less sentimental rhetoric.
    I’m still waiting for an independent person to come forward having read the documents, someone with keen intellect, a sharp mind and ability to communicate clearly> I’m sorry Kelsey and co don’t cut it, they were making their position clear from the outset, before the actual document was available to be read once the negotiations had been concluded. SO as such like a juror in a trial who states before evidence is heard that they hate people of colour they are to be excluded from hearing/reading the evidence and presenting a verdict. With of course examples of clauses/sections of the actual agreement.
    All Im hearing so far is the tired chants that were around before the facts and haven’t been moderated to match the actual facts that are now available to be read.

    We now enter the phase of ratification and discussion, a time when our MP’s get to make comments and debate it on our behalf. SO now is the time for you and others to read it, discuss it, break down the actual contents and make submissions to your local MP or another of your choosing and present them with questions/conclusions and material to take to the floor in the house.

    That’s how the democratic process works. And that is what happened during both the Bok tour and No Nukes campaigns.

    > troll away but facts matter.

    • Hmmmm, the anti-Springbok tour was disrupted by protesters as well, Tim. I was on several marches and witnessed the traffic being held up. (Except in one instance when an ambulance had to get through, and protesters parted to let it through.)

      So in other words, your protests were fine and dandy, but you find fault with the anti-TPPA marches?

      And you find fault with Prof Jane Kelsey – though without actually stating why? Claiming that;

      I’m sorry Kelsey and co don’t cut it, they were making their position clear from the outset, before the actual document was available to be read once the negotiations had been concluded.

      – ignores the well-known fact that the text of the TPPA was held in secret, and only leaked pages gave us clues as to what was being considered. You either aren’t aware of this or are deliberately glossing over it.

      It strikes me that you’re using (unproven) claims of involvement in past protests as a some kind of validation to establish your “street cred” to be a legitimate “protester”, so as to attack the anti-TPPA protesters.

      Hmmm, yeah, nah. You could be anyone. For all we know, you could be a right-wing troll hiding behind weasel-words to spread your views. It’s called Dirty Politics.

  19. “Lion in opposition, Lamb in Government” MARK SAINSBURY, radiolive, Feb. 5, 2016

    In reply to a question from Mark Sainsbury to Andrew Little, Will Labour in Government repeal, or not ratify the TPPA.

    The Labour leader Andrew Little told Mark Sainsbury that a Labour Government would not repeal the TPPA if it had been ratified. And would ratify it if it had not been already ratified by National.

    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/MARK-SAINSBURY-Andrew-Little-you-cant-have-it-both-ways-on-TPP/tabid/504/articleID/112642/Default.aspx

    • You are stirring. Where was the actual interview with Andrew Little? all you had was Mark Sainsbury, who is towing NP lines, rabbiting on. Labour including other opposition parties have never said they would pull out of the TPPA. Labour have maintained their view that they would renegotiate it in this country’s best interests, that National have failed to do, (remember this TPPA is Tim Groser’s plan B), and Labour have said that they would also not comply with such terms that restrict our rights to enact laws that are in the best interests of our country and people, and Andrew Little has already made this quite clear to all of the other TPPA countries. This is far from over, in the US there is a push by tobacco lobbyists and giant pharmaceutical companies to change the TPPA text already.

    • Mark Sainsbury lied, Helen Clark didn’t endorse the TPPA, she said only if it was good for NZ. You are stirring. Where was the actual interview with Andrew Little? all you had was Mark Sainsbury, who is towing NP lines, rabbiting on. Labour including other opposition parties have never said they would pull out of the TPPA. Labour have maintained their view that they would renegotiate it in this country’s best interests, that National have failed to do, (remember this TPPA is Tim Groser’s plan B), and Labour have said that they would also not comply with such terms that restrict our rights to enact laws that are in the best interests of our country and people, and Andrew Little has already made this quite clear to all of the other TPPA countries. This is far from over, in the US there is a push by tobacco lobbyists and giant pharmaceutical companies to change the TPPA text already.

  20. “john Key Booed yesterday”

    Great that is our hearing around here in Napier too.

    “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy”

    J Key the creepy corporate clone.

    • Yes … to see the TTPA vested interests PM being booed loudly from the stands refutes totally ANDREWS moronic claims that the TTPA demonstrators were all ‘arts students and left over hippies from the 1970’s’….

      When even those supporting the rugby are booing the little shit we KNOW there has been a definite shift in demographics .

      And we see he kept a distance safe from the crowds and only had cozy photos taken when in politically safe environs with other sportspeople… those he knew wouldn’t throws pink dildos at him or boo him off center stage.

  21. With the media now in control by Government and the corporates is it any wander why we now have a sanitised public response to anything?

    We are entering a dark page in our history where we will be brainwashed and told what to think, so if you want to retain some independence turn off the media and watch John Campbell on checkpoint every week night between 5pm & 6.30pm or watch RT or maybe a couple of other foreign media networks for some resemblance of facts now devoid of any truth in most NZ MSM sources.

    Time to think outside the square folk.

    • ‘With the media now in control by Government and the corporates’

      The mainstream media have always been controlled by governments (well for at least the past 100 years) -told what to print/say and what not to print/say.

      The big shift down the drain occurred in NZ the late 1980s, when national television was morphed into a set of for-profit corporations dependent on feel-good advertising revenue.

      The mainstream media have become ever more infantile and mendacious since the 1980s.

      ‘We are entering a dark page in our history where we will be brainwashed and told what to think’

      Actually the brainwashing commenced in the early 1900s and went into hyper-drive in the 1920s when Bernays began using his uncle Freud’s work to manipulate public perceptions.

      As George Carlin pointed out a decade ago, “[they] tell you what to believe, what to think, what to buy….”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

      And never think that John Campbell is a champion of truth; there are lots of topics he will not go anywhere near.

  22. Key was more interested in drinking piss at the NRL Nines than going to Waitangi after all not many Maoris vote National?

  23. Real Choice did indeed deserve a big apology from CT, and it is very good that he gave that. It was only a very short time ago that CT thought that with a few choice words, John key could smooth away negative reaction over the TPPA. I don’t think that is going to happen, not now.

  24. Apologies for the multiple posts – commenting here is almost as difficult as at the Herald – nah, nothing could be that bad…

  25. What allows sovereign law t’be overrun by the scratch of jonKeys’ pen ?
    TPP/TTIP are ‘neocon frat deals’ decided in secret by traders, in secret for traders-International corporate traders. Anti-democratic by virtue of that and other facts already presented; embedded with Stuxnet type ‘backdoors’ attacking unique, sovereign, environmental and union Law.
    Fascist by any definition.
    So this is global fascism.
    The timing and scope puts it squarely in the PNAC/FPI [neocon] “Full spectrum dominance’ agenda of ‘The New Amercian[sic] Century,’ initiated by the 911 false flag. TPP/TTIP are what ‘full spectrum’ actually means.

    The ‘power’ Key utilizes to sign away rights fought for over generations by far better women and men than he, derives from the post 911 human-rights catastrophe. The ‘War on terror’ has – by design – inverted every possible decency and method society had developed to check and balance fascism, giving away to it: Habeas Corpus Law, International Justice, morality, Geneva protections, protections against pre-emptive War torture/human experimentation; AND the ability (if we ever had it) of citizens to properly assess and counter such paradigm shifts as found in TPP/TTIP.
    Key is not-so-much a shapeshifter, tho methodologically he is ‘Lizard’; but a ‘paradigm shifter’ [change agent] for the global corporate elite.

    Which is observational only and in no way tactically helpful going forward.

  26. ” Now this is not the end. It is not even
    the beginning of the end. But it is ,perhaps, the end
    of the beginning. ”
    WINSTON CHURCHILL.

    The 4th February 2016 may prove to be one of those memorable days in New Zealand political history. What a day it was, and how proud I felt being there at ” an NZ big day out”.
    E-659,M-21 . Or maybe less than that.

    • Awesome post Lee – ‘1.3 million Buffalo Wings eaten during the Superbowl, instead of serious debate on the TPP’

      ‘PM attends Auckland Nines instead of Waitangi Marae and doesn’t get booed (much)’

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