GUEST BLOG: Alex Pirie – Let Them Eat Flags



So where does one begin with a first stab at becoming a leftie political blogger in the current local and world climate? There is so much going on that for someone like myself with an interest in a range of themes, it can be hard to find somewhere to start. This is probably one of the main reasons I think I have long contented myself with operating within the comfy, echo-chamber social media cocoon of shares, comments and retweets. While it is nice creating and being part of your own personal online community, is it the most effective way to communicate and spread these ideas and values? I am beginning to come to the conclusion that the answer is a resounding NO.

I am not suggesting that we turn our backs on our social media communities. They provide a crucial support network to activists and are a valuable source of ideas and news for politically aware people. But as much as we hate to admit it the bad guys are still out there running amok. Shock doctrine is still in full swing, Neoliberalism is still tearing apart the last vestiges of the decent society, the TPPA is about to steamroll national sovereignty into oblivion and zero hours contracts are here to stay. Then there is the tea towel travesty which will end in embarassment, no matter the referendum result. The many, many children trapped in poverty will not be able to eat flags- either version.

I have just one to say. Enough of this SHIT!

So, what to do? Support each other and share ideas? Yes by all means. Stop there and say there is nothing more we can do? Hell NO! Real Choice, Josie Butler and the other protest organisers of Feb 4 have shown us the way. Nelson Mandela and HART have shown us the way. Dame Whina Cooper has shown us the way. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parkes have shown us the way. Mahatma Gandhi has shown us the way. Kate Sheppard has shown us the way…. We do not meekly consent to injustice. We do not just shrug our shoulders and hope for a change in government to make things better. We do not give up in frustration the lack of political awareness in society. We stand up for democracy, for hope, for a just society.

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Until recently, Alex was involved with the  Cunliffe-led Labour Party in his local area as a committee member and election campaign manager. He currently helps manage the Labour Rodney and Labour Auckland North Facebook pages. Alex is married and earns a living as an English as a Second Language teacher in Auckland.


  1. Let them eat flags, the flag debacle is one big fat red herring, I am more concerned where the $117 Billion has been spent?

  2. Alex, I have some suggestions:

    Step 1. Check for grammatical errors, word repetition and punctuation errors before you publish anything.

    Step 2. Dissociate from all mainstream political parties: they are there to maintain BAU, which equates with making everything worse.

    Step 3. Prepare for the meltdown. It’s coming soon. Food, water and security are likely to be the biggest immediate concerns.

    Step 4. Understand that it is impossible to overestimate the ignorance, stupidity and stubbornness of ordinary people, and that it is impossible to overestimate the viciousness of fascistic governments.

  3. Bread and Circuses was how they kept the Roman population down. John Key provides the circus but has forgotten the bread. People are going hungry. Hopefully that will be his downfall. Unfortunately I see him being reelected because we have not one opposition party but 3. As long as Labour, the Greens and NZ first divide the opposition National will romp home again at the next election.

  4. Get your Labour party to talk to New Zealand First and the Greens to form a coilition to defeat the neoliberal National party!
    Labour refused to engage with the Greens when they aporoached them in the eve of the last election, that was a huge mistake.
    The Labour leader prevaricated terribly before announcung that they were against the TPPA, sort of. I am still not convinced that they would not go for the TPPA given the opportunity.
    Maybe we should all be rooting for New Zealand First and a Green Coilition. They have more in common than many people realise.

    • Huria – unfortunately, Winston Peters refuses to confirm/reject potential coalition partners until after a general election. In other words, the electorate is giving him a “blank cheque” by voting for him.

      • But, as widely reported here and elsewhere, Labour and Greens at all levels are actively organising in their, and our, collective interests. The crucial message to everyone who wants a change of government is that Winston is not the answer, any more than the Maori Party.

      • Frank, you are right about NZFirst refusing to confirm coalition partners in the past. Who knows, this next election may be an opportunity for him to change tactics. The necessity to change the Govt is just too important.

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