Neither Principled, Nor Pragmatic. What’s Eating The Greens?

By   /   July 10, 2017  /   60 Comments

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In light of the Greens’ recent ideological contortions on the subject of immigration, it is possible to interpret Metiria’s attack on NZ First as being driven by internal – not external – considerations. It is possible that the immigration issue has become a symbol of the increasingly bitter divisions that have opened up between idealists and pragmatists within the Green Party. If so, then NZ First has been made the whipping-boy for offences much closer to home.

PRINCIPLE AND PRAGMATISM are not, as Radio New Zealand’s Guyon Espiner attempted to assert on this morning’s Morning Report, incompatible. They are, however, obliged to get out of each other’s way. If the Greens’ Metiria Turei has a principled objection to aspects of NZ First’s immigration policies, then she needs to be careful about how those objections are expressed. Especially when she and her colleagues are also committed to the principled objective of bringing a progressive government into existence on 23 September.

Pragmatism is all about working out what you want most. This morning, Metiria informed New Zealand that her top priority is securing a change of government. Obviously, she would like to see her own party playing a major role in any new government. Furthermore and ideally, the progressive administration she’s after would include only the Greens and the Labour Party. There is, however, a very strong likelihood that the two left-leaning parties will not secure sufficient electoral support to govern on their own. Realistically, the support of Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will be required to drive the National Party from the Treasury Benches.

All of which raises the question of why, over the course of the weekend just past, Metiria felt moved to attack NZ First’s immigration policies in such uncompromising terms. Whether or not their policies are “racist” – a charge vehemently denied by NZ First – the question arises: what principle was served by levelling such an accusation?

It certainly wasn’t the principle of doing everything within one’s power as a co-leader of the Green Party to put an end to the cruelty and incompetence being meted out by the present National-led Government. Nor was it the principle of collegiality: of doing everything possible to ensure that the inevitable differences between the members of a Red-Green-Black coalition can be resolved amicably and in the spirit of generous compromise. Even the principle of racial equality was ill-served by Metiria’s intemperate accusations. Dismissing people and parties as “racists” not only discourages dialogue, it also generates hostility and a hardening of attitudes. In this context, Metiria’s charge that NZ First is a “divisive” political force takes on a grimly ironic aspect.

Simply put, Metiria’s claim that she takes a pragmatic approach to the political exigencies of coalition government cannot be sustained. A pragmatic politician would not have drawn public attention to matters about which there remain serious disagreements between the Greens and NZ First. Ideally, she wouldn’t have mentioned NZ First at all – preferring instead to promote her own party’s policies. If asked to comment on potential areas of difficulty between the Greens and NZ First, she would have highlighted those areas where the two parties are in agreement. At all times, her objective would be to demonstrate how easily and how well the two parties could work together. In relation to NZ First, nothing Metiria did over the weekend, or on Morning Report, could be considered pragmatic – or principled.

Which leaves a great many progressive voters asking themselves: “Why did she do it? What’s eating the Greens?”

In light of the Greens’ recent ideological contortions on the subject of immigration, it is possible to interpret Metiria’s attack on NZ First as being driven by internal – not external – considerations. It is possible that the immigration issue has become a symbol of the increasingly bitter divisions that have opened up between idealists and pragmatists within the Green Party. If so, then NZ First has been made the whipping-boy for offences much closer to home.

Given that the Greens long ago left behind their original mission of bearing witness to the need for fundamental environmental, economic and societal change, this sort of internecine bickering is unforgiveable. Accepting the need for pragmatism means accepting the definition of politics as the art of the possible. It also means accepting that morality is not indivisible. That for good people to have a chance of achieving anything at all, a lot of bad people must remain unpunished.

If the sixteenth century Protestant leader, Henry of Navarre (later to become the very Catholic Henry IV of France) was willing to concede that “Paris is worth a mass”, then Metiria Turei should be willing to concede that the Ninth Floor of the Beehive is worth biting her tongue over Winston’s shortcomings.

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60 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Fine crique Chris,

    Well thought critique Chris.

    Know that Winston is as keen as metiria is to get shod of this Government as it has sold to much of us already that we will need all hands on the wheel to turn this country around before it is to late.

  2. Archonblatter says:

    Sadly, in the light of Labour, Green and National shortcomings, no small number of us are biting the bullet let alone the tongue, over Winston’s shortcomings.

  3. Andrea says:

    Do you suppose that Ms Turei could bite her tongue before she closes down discussion or debate with her favourite rallying cry of ‘Racist! Oooh!’

    She’s been doing so for years.

    She can continue with her partisan stance. Of course she can. But her version of Green politics is nothing I’d want to vote for. Smeary, personal, sanctimonious…The Old Greens must be rolling in their cabbage leaves.

    So who now speaks for the environment, societal change, and economic re-balancing?

    PS A mild correction: hypocrite, not pragmatist.

    • Iain Mclean says:

      Andrea;

      “So who now speaks for the environment, societal change, and economic re-balancing?
      PS A mild correction: hypocrite, not pragmatist.”

      Totally agree.

      In April/May of 2014 the WHO were forced, by their own research, to announce that glyphosate (Yes, that’s Roundup) causes cancer.

      At the time that Europe was moving to ban or restrict it’s use John Key asked his
      ‘expert’ in a position in agriculture (forget his name and exact position) for his advice and of course he said “everything was fine,no problems here” so to speak.
      Obviously this would have been his ‘out’ for doing something in NZ but this man had connections to Monsanto.

      Now, since we are in a huge epidemic of cancer and we know that it is not only
      sprayed all over the place (on vegetables etc and must be in the waterways) it is
      used to dessicate(dry) crops like wheat and sugar beets 10 days before harvest.

      This information should have been a wide open door for a party like the Greens,
      who care about the environment,right, to seriously raise this issue with Key, surely.
      But no, not one “dicky bird’ of a mention, because I went back over 12 months of
      their website to check at the time. This is supposed to be their territory.!!

      This is why I could never vote for the Greens because I think they are all talk,
      and when ‘push comes to shove’ they are no do.
      Just filling the ‘Green Gap’ for Globalists.
      They are meant to have their own research arms surely.

      Fluoridation of water supplies is another huge anomaly.
      Only 7 countries in world carry out this practice.(The Commonwealth + USA.)
      Babies will be severely overdosed with the use of milk formulas. Lowers IQ.
      The research has been done. Freely available to anyone who chooses to look!!

      I think the Greens are so PC that all they are doing is running with stuff ‘handed down from high’. They would have us all bankrupted with carbon taxes and living in rabbit hutches if they got anywhere near the levers of power, if they had their way.

      And don’t be surprised if they join the Nats,like they do in Ireland and Germany.

      Cheers.

      • Psycho Milt says:

        It’s actually a very good thing that the Green Party adopts an evidence-based approach to environmentalism, as it means they don’t get into anti-science activism like glyphosate or fluoride scaremongering, which would shed them a lot of votes among NZ’s scientists (an admittedly small group) and rationalists (a very large group).

        For what it’s worth, the increase in deaths caused by cancer is due to the decrease in deaths from other causes (the death rate for humans is 100%, so if you reduce the number of deaths caused by, say, heart attacks, those people still die, just from something else – like cancer).

        Glyphosate has been listed as “probably causes cancer” by the IARC, but so have a huge number of other things that wouldn’t give you cancer unless you consumed unfeasibly large quantities of it – glyphosate falls into that category. Pure water will kill you if you consume enough of it – what counts is risk vs dose, and by that measure neither pure water nor glyphosate will kill you.

        The less said about fluoride the better. Suffice to say that the reason it’s common in NZ but not many other countries is that low fluoride levels are common in NZ water but not many other countries.

          • Iain Mclean says:

            Psycho Milt;

            OH, For Christ’s Sake.!!
            Do you actually realize the Insanity of what you have written here?!!!

            “For what it’s worth, the increase in deaths caused by cancer is due to the decrease in deaths from other causes (the death rate for humans is 100%, so if you reduce the number of deaths caused by, say, heart attacks, those people still die, just from something else – like cancer).” ???

            Re-read what you have written.
            Children of REALLY YOUNG AGES are now affected!!!

            If the Green Party really did adopt an evidence-based approach to environmentalism,they would be raising the
            red flag.

            As for; “as it means they don’t get into anti-science activism like glyphosate or fluoride scaremongering, which would shed them a lot of votes among NZ’s scientists (an admittedly small group) and rationalists (a very large group).” ??

            Shed them votes for political power over truth?
            Gee,you have really touched on something here.

            Quite the opposite, because what you don’t seem to realize
            is that the world has woken up to all the propaganda and mis-information that is pumped out by MSM and some authorities, because all the research and real science is freely available on the Internet if you know where to look.

            Funny thing about adding a word here and a word there,
            isn’t it.
            The only reason the word “probably” has been added is because Monsanto insisted/pressured them to do so.
            The science is quite clear.

            And don’t think these ‘limits of safe use’ mean anything because when it comes to known toxins, the researched science,again, shows that even very small amounts are damaging to health.

            Toxins are stored by the body in fat and bone as a mechanism to remove them from the bloodstream.
            They are accumulative.!!

            And you know what the sinister part of all this is? They already knew all this BEFORE these practices were started.!
            How do we know this? Because in todays world of surveillance,storage and hacking,all the emails /memo’s and information can be found on the perpetrators very own
            computers and websites.
            Just like the IPCC emails were hacked in 2009.

            So ‘without further ado’, here is the evidence for you/others to read and check for yourself what I have been saying here;

            Two sites that are independent from the MSM.
            One a medical practitioner.
            And of course you will only take notice of articles that have citations/references.

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/search?q=fluoridation&x=13&y=7
            http://search.mercola.com/results.aspx?q=fluoridation

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/search?q=glyphosate&x=14&y=9
            http://search.mercola.com/results.aspx?q=glyphosate.

            Cheers.

          • Iain Mclean says:

            Psycho Milt;

            Seems like you have not read any of it or your cognitive skills are very poor.
            Sad really.

            Cheers.

        • Castro says:

          It’s a pity they have abandoned their evidence-based approach to immigration. The 1% policy seemed entirely reasonable.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        100% Iain I couldn’t say it better as I joined the Green Party back in 1999 when they had their own heart & soul then as well as lots of passion.
        Now they follow others!!!!!

      • mjh says:

        Quite right, Iain and Andrea!

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      100% ANDREA.

      Well summarised.

      I miss the old greens, Rob Donald, Sue Kedgley, Jeanette Fitzsimmons & co when I was a Green Party member.

      Not a shadow today as they were then.

      we used to hold rally’s for the Environment and get good press coverage but not now with their policies as they are just a mainstream party now.

  4. frank says:

    whats eating the Greens?….stagnant polls.
    While internal pressures may be in play it is the polling which i believe has driven Metiria to gamble on an all or nothing approach in the (likely vain) hope of a Labour/Green admin that doesn’t require NZ First support

  5. In Vino says:

    Best insight I have seen so far. As one who has voted Green since the Alliance died, I really wonder what Metiria is trying to do.

  6. esoteric pineapples says:

    I’m a green voter and will certainly vote for the party this election, but I don’t really get what the point of this was. Why would Metiria want to alienate a potential ally? It’s one of a number of unusual moves by the party heads in the past few months. I can only assume they relate in some way to James Shaw as the new male co-leader. I think if the Greens don’t do well in this election, there will be a strong move within sections of the party to get rid of him.

    “Given that the Greens long ago left behind their original mission of bearing witness to the need for fundamental environmental, economic and societal change.”

    I see no truth in this state though, which is being said by virtually everyone in attacking the Greens. Anyone who makes a statement like this is simply ignoring the Green’s policies and actions in Parliament up to this point. The Greens will survive another tough election because at the end of the day, it is the only party in New Zealand that is genuinely progressive. And it remains the only party NOT in denial about the reality of climate change.

    • Robert Atack says:

      And it remains the only party NOT in denial about the reality of climate change.
      Yeah right, what a joke of a statement, as we saw last week the fools have decided to promote air travel FFS one of the biggest contributors to CC, being as it places the crap right up there in the ENVIRONMENT
      And every thinking person knows CC is caused by continued GROWTH and maintaining the heat engine that is this system, having everyone living in a warm house is enough to distory the environment, adding more people is a bad thing yet some of the greens are proud of the number of children (read 70 years of yet more pollution per kid) they have ?
      They admit to lying and understating the problems we face, like 99% of the people on this blog, they are like the people from Rapanui with their statues, placing crowns on the heads of the Moi isn’t going to keep the shit storm at bay.
      The planet hasn’t been at the CO2e we are currently at for over 56 million years, you know the Great Dying (96% of all life gone burger) 10 million year halt in tree growth etc
      The greens are as much in denial as Act, and playing the blissfully ignorant like a fiddle, just because you shop at the local organic shop don’t mean you have to believe their BS, but alas you do.
      Gareth Morgan is another that dribbles crap on CC in one breath, then spins the growth meme, all fools telling the rest of the fools what they want to hear.
      The truth is the environment has never been so fucked, as far as life as we know it goes, upwards of 1000 ppm CO2e = bye bye US and all our children, the argument isn’t if, it is when. And so called intelligent humans should be having that conversation, but no its how we can live at 410 ppm CO2 (and growing at an UNPRESADENTED never seen before rate) at the same time as keep the earth @ a global average of 17 C, when the maths proves we are heading for +23c
      So yeah it is left to us realists, to try and educate you, which is impossible when everyone has their heads fermly stuck up thier bums.
      What part of going from 280 ppm to 410 ppm 10,000 times faster than say the astraroid caused don’t you people understand ?
      We are like fornacating dynasors, looking up into the sky ‘oh what a pritty light” not having a clue what was about to befall then ….. spificaly extinction, or the people coming out of their fallout shelters in Heroshima “lucky us, no fire bombs” or the people in the restaurant in the twin towers on 9/11 “that plane is flying low”
      There is nothing in the universe that can change what we face.
      If you are alive in the next 5-10 years you will be a hungry radioactive canibal.
      God save the children because the pig ignorant parents can’t.
      Vote vote vote vote vote … bullshit
      We are sitting down to a banquet of consequences, the greeds have just pulled out the chairs and layer the servyiet on our knees
      Sorry spelling, one finger typing on my Samsung note thingie @ 3:24 am
      Good night and good luck with the clowns running this circus

      • David Stone says:

        Quite right Robert , no-one is thinking or talking about reversing CC in an order of magnitude that remotely relates to what is necessary to change direction. The best hope is a massive economic collapse that stalls everything in it’s tracks, but the unattractive truth is that there are far too many humans on the planet now , and we are only going to increase that number till nature takes it’s course. In this case it seems CC will be the agent as we have gained supremacy as a species over anything normal in nature that would once have affected a balance.
        D J S

        • Quicksilver says:

          The best and last hope is a virulent pandemic with high mortality.
          Horrible to have to say, but a swift reduction in planetary human population is the only way to ameliorate what CC will do anyway.
          The survivors may at least be left with an environment they can survive in…..possibly.

      • Mike the Lefty says:

        That’s true Robert.
        Re: Climate change.
        Labour nods its head in general agreement but only commits itself to half measures.
        NZ First barely mentions it except in very general terms.
        National tells everyone that it is tackling it whilst doing exactly the opposite.
        ACT still believes CC is a myth.
        TOP make a lot of inconsistent statements about it so I’m not sure what they really want to do.
        The Greens are the only political party that have a consistent policy on REVERSING climate change, not just slowing it down or stopping it.
        But electoral history suggests that CC is not top-of-list for many voters.

  7. fatty says:

    “It certainly wasn’t the principle of doing everything within one’s power as a co-leader of the Green Party to put an end to the cruelty and incompetence being meted out by the present National-led Government.”

    Don’t play that guilt-trip card Chris. Many of us on the left won’t be convinced to get in behind Labour and NZ First because there are many people suffering. It’s a shit argument and only proves how weak and feeble the centre-left are.

    We Leftists can also play the guilt-card on the neoliberal apologists too. Do you want us to vote in another third-way Labour term that will leave thousands of Kiwis in poverty and with no future?

    Metiria Turei has probably won my vote here. I was concerned that the Greens had turned to xenophobic conservatism like like Labour, but thankfully they haven’t.

    • Carlos says:

      Bang on my brother. She called NZ First on the obvious racism they bring out every three years. To not say something is far worse than saying what she has. Sadly Labour has dipped its toe into this area and from your article should cozy to NZ First just to get in! I’m rapt to see the Greens make a sincere stand on principle..

  8. Grant says:

    All of what you say is true.
    But what is more mystifying , for want of a better word, is how not only Metiria , but a number of others from different parties, come up with the conclusion that making cuts to the amount of people that we allow into our country at any given time is some how racist.
    Like we are not allowed a say in how we run our country….we have to be magnanimous to a fault and run our country and our people into the ground for fear of being called racist.
    No other country in the world allows more immigrants ( per head of population) than New Zealand.
    Metiria and others might like to consider that Kiwis are not allowed to immigrate or gain citizenship or buy properties in China , India , Russia , Iraq, Iran and many other countries whose citizens end up here.
    Maybe these countries are the racist ones towards Kiwis, seeing as they are not willing to reciprocate and match our conditions.
    New Zealand is in deep deep trouble if it cannot even talk about out of control immigration , massive meth. smuggling problems and overseas property cartels rorting our residential and rural property markets without being called racist or xenophobic.
    Stifling people’s genuine concerns and then labelling them is a dangerous road to be going down and completely disrespectful of the people who for generations have worked incredibly hard to make this country what it is .
    Their opinion counts too.!!

    • Iain Mclean says:

      Right on Grant.!!

      Calls of racism or xenophobia (add sexist) is simply a ploy to shut people down.

      As if the President of the United States of America has no right to control it’s
      boarders.

      Look what is happening to Europe. It is a full blown crisis,although we don’t get
      informed much because MSM isolates us now to whats happening in the rest of
      the world. Just like America has been for decades.

      It is an agenda, run by the UN, with George Soros and his controllers running
      the program on the ground,along with the funding of ‘chaos groups’ organized
      by various NGO’s.

      He is now on to Romania,Austria and Hungary to try and destabilize these nations that will not have a bar of the ‘suicide tactics’ that goes with massive immigration of peoples that do not want to assimilate and blend in with the cultures that exist in those countries.

      The cry of multiculturalism be damned!! It’s one big lie.
      Part of a plan to bring down the West.

      Cheers.

      • Anna says:

        Spot on, Grant and Iain.
        Classic Saul Alinsky tactic used by his PC disciples the world over:

        https://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2012/04/13/12-ways-to-use-saul-alinskys-rules-for-radicals-against-liberals-n917872

      • Your continuing demonisation of George Soros adds nothing to your argument. As far as I can determine, Iain, your antipathy to Soros and the US Democrat Party is based on your own alt.right views as a NZ First supporter.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        100%Grant perfectly correct.

        Nacional are shelling out public funding for private building projects inn National held seats today so pork belly politics is well alive today using our money for their gain, = just more corrupt practices again.

        • Iain Mclean says:

          Frank;

          Has it ever crossed your mind that this so called ‘Alt- Right’
          views/news is actually the right views/news?

          Cheers.

      • Priss says:

        “Calls of racism or xenophobia (add sexist) is simply a ploy to shut people down.”

        I take it that you’re a white male, Iain? Do you understand the concept of white male privilege in a white male hierarchical system?

        Come back to us when you’ve walked in the shoes of a person of colour. You might find your views a little different. But I expect nothing more from the likes of (some) NZ First supporters these days.

        • Iain Mclean says:

          [Comment declined for publication. Off-topic. – Scarletmod]

          • Iain Mclean says:

            Scarletmod.;

            My 2nd reply (edited and modified) was very much on topic and now you have removed my right of reply.

            “If TDB had removed the very offensive comments of Priss above,along with a quite legitimate and entitled reply I would have left it at that.
            Especially as there was contained an explanation of why my response was so strongly worded.”

            Priss is not any respected author off the list.
            He pretty well deserved the roasting he received.

            I am beginning to believe Blakes comment about bruised ego’s or embaressment.
            You simply cannot have one rule for some and not for the many others.

            So I now ask you to take his extremely offensive comment down completely, as I see you have done with others.
            Thank you.

            That way we are all ‘Face Saved’.

            Cheers.

            • Iain Mclean says:

              [Comment declined for publication. Iain, you have seen our expectations posted on “Notice to Posters”. Your attack on Priss is precisely what we were referring to. Your posting privileges are suspended for 48 hours. Do not post again until 8pm, 19 July. – Scarletmod]

    • Red Buzzard says:

      +100 GRANT

  9. Chris, your historical Knowlege seems always to be on display, but I would suggest that you read No Right Turn’s blog on the subject of the Greens and New Zealand First.
    He says it like it is. Corbyn and Sanders didn’t reach the heights they did by keeping their mouths shut.
    We all know that Winston will go with whom ever will the biggest prize, he always has, we know from the polls that NZF supporters [60 t0 65%] want to form a government with Labour.
    So I would suggest a little less history and a little more support for the 50% left wing Labour Party and the 80% left wing Green Party would be an improvement your tale of the “sixteenth century Protestant leader, Henry of Navarre (later to become the very Catholic Henry IV of France) was willing to concede that “Paris is worth a mass”, then Metiria Turei should be willing to concede that the Ninth Floor of the Beehive is worth biting her tongue over Winston’s shortcomings.

    The Greens are over the issue of water and racism showing some guts, I think the younger gereration will react to their effort.

  10. Psycho Milt says:

    All of which raises the question of why, over the course of the weekend just past, Metiria felt moved to attack NZ First’s immigration policies in such uncompromising terms.

    Simple enough:

    1. NZF’s immigration policies are racist. All of it’s a “too many Chinese and Indians” dog whistle to their geriatric supporters.

    2. There seem to be people on the left who imagine voting for NZF will in some way contribute to a “progressive” government. Those people need to be disabused of that ridiculous idea, so reminders that there’s no way for NZF and the Green Party to participate in the same government is a good idea.

    3. NZF is a party of parochial conservatism. Its natural home is with National. Voters need to be made aware that if they want to change the government in September, they need to vote Labour or Green. A vote for NZF is a vote for National remaining in power. If Turei’s helping with that awareness, good on her.

    • mjh says:

      Psycho Milt — you do realise that polls have indicated most NZ First supporters want to change the government and prefer to work with Labour? You do realise that NZ First has worked with Labour as well as National in the past? You do realise that it is a party more than willing to sit on the cross benches if it doesn’t get the leading party to adopt significant parts of its programme? I assume you do because you are no idiot. I concede that it is possible, yes, that the party [not “Winston” — the party — although Winston is still the dominant force in the party] might support a National led government in order to achieve key parts of the NZF platform, although I strongly doubt it.
      NZ First’s immigration stand is NOT racist (even though sometimes the rhetoric tends that way — a device to get attention, I think, and one I don’t agree with.) NZ First calls for NZ to control its borders and to keep/regain control of its assets such as land, water and key infrastructure. It is THE ONLY major party that has clearly spoken out against neoliberalism. No, it isn’t socialist — I wish it would head more in that direction — but it is Keynesian and that, at least, is an improvement.
      Back the Greens, sure, if you want to, but NZ First is not the enemy…National is!

      • Mike the Lefty says:

        If most NZ First supporters prefer a coalition with Labour rather than National, then their leaders appear not to have noticed.

      • Priss says:

        Well said, Milt.

        Peters’ track record and his utterances should be sufficient to tell us what he’s really like.

    • mjh says:

      To all who say NZ First is essentially racist — take a look at its caucus and the candidates in the upcoming election. It is a very diverse group! Or doesn’t that mean anything?

  11. Afewknowthetruth says:

    In my lifetime have experienced plenty of ‘changes of government’.

    One thing has been abundantly clear to me for well over a decade: it makes no difference which political party forms the government or the core of the government because the world is run by banks and corporations for the short-term benefit of banks and corporations, and governments are simply facilitators of the dysfunctional agendas of banks and corporations; in many cases banks and corporation write the drafts of the legislation they want implemented and the politicians and bureaucrats proceed to change the laws, as required by the banks and corporations; therefore, all governments are dysfunctional (function but generate bad outcomes) and it makes no difference which party is in power -other than the number of breadcrumbs that fall off the ‘elites table and into the mouths of the masses’.

    The stable environment of the Halocene and the energy resources people will need in the future to maintain some semblance of civilisation will continue to be sacrificed to the corporate ‘machine’ and the bankers’ Ponzi scheme, whoever is in power because the system demands the environment and energy resources be squandered.

    Only radical change will suffice at this late stage in the game (it is probably too late for even radical change to make any difference to the outcome) yet THE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO WNSURE THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE and is geared to ramming dysfunction down the throats of the general populace.

    It naturally follows that voting is a futile activity, designed by the controllers to persuade ordinary folk that they have some say in matters when in practice they have none.

    We will remain trapped in the ‘slave camp’ until the system collapses as a consequence of the inherent defects and contradictions in the system ( for instance, total dependence on the burning of finite and rapidly depleting fossil fuels which destroy climate stability and cause rapid planetary meltdown), and will be subjected to business-as-usual propaganda as long as the system does remain intact.

    The game being played by politicians, bureaucrats and the corporate media is best described as a combination of distraction and betrayal -‘bread and circuses at the end of empire’.

    Most politicians are utterly contemptible, self-serving (in the short term) fuckwits or spineless liars, I’m afraid.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      True every word AFEWKNOWTHETRUTH 100%

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      Well that’s my position in a nutshell: there is no point voting and there never has been. Nothing tangible ever changes, all the parties differ only on various “wedge issues” (distraction policies that are designed to polarise voters), not policy that would genuinely change the corporate/bank run world in a significant way.

  12. Cemetery Jones says:

    I guess this is after all coming on the heels of James Shaw making an Isis-captive-confession-video style speech apologizing for approaching immigration from a data driven perspective instead of just thinking about muh feels.

  13. Iain Mclean says:

    Chris;

    “In light of the Greens’ recent ideological contortions on the subject of immigration, it is possible to interpret Metiria’s attack on NZ First as being driven by internal – not external – considerations.”

    Your political experience shows with this excellent analysis.
    You seem back to your ‘old self’ after your short break.

    My take is may it be possible that the advice the Greens have been given from the Deep State/Shadow Government ‘advisors”'(call it what you will) is to attack NZF where they might be vulnerable (immigration) for fear that NZF might make huge ground this election,given the fact of the trends overseas with Brexit,Farage,Trump,Le-pen et al.?

    In my mind,emotional rhetoric has no place when it comes to the well being of any nation.
    Both Shaw and Turei, seem to me, to be as ‘Thick as a Brick.’
    English, Bennet and Little for that matter. Just how “They’ like them.

    “Thick As A Brick” – Jethro Tull
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9bk2MrMGaA

    I never really understood this album cover until I was older.
    Ian Anderson beats Bob Dylan hands down as a poet. (In my humble opinion)

    Cheers.

  14. The Masked Moa says:

    As an old school Green Fundi (you would have to be old school to know what that means) who probably wont party vote for the Greens for the first time since they went independent (I was at the meeting where we voted to leave the Alliance but are no longer a member) just dont get the fetishisation of immigrants by left. Increasing population means increasing consumption, production and degradation of the environment no matter how you do so e.g. births or importing people into an ecosystem. The only defensible environmental policy is one of promoting a stable population neither increasing nor decreasing. The perpetual growth model of neoliberalism wont work without a growing population hence the West has imported masses of people to prop up their economic growth systems. The True Green challenge is to promote a stable balanced economy that can sustainably support a stable balanced population over multiple generations. The economy has to move from perpetual growth with increasing exploitation of the natural resources of the planet into one where sustainability and qualitative growth that is not toxic to life (doing more with less) are the core of the economy. Any party that does not accept this is not a party that supports environmental sustainability e.g. basically all the mainstream parties including the Greens. Therefore, the only sane “green” immigration policy would be one of using immigration to help balance out a sub-replacement birth environment plus those who choose to emigrate and live elsewhere. This is neither pro nor anti immigration but one which serves the needs for socio-economic sustainability while avoiding the death eating of the current perpetual growth economy. Any chance of sanity from the Greens on this topic? I dont think so as the middle class are too wedded to the perpetual growth system and want to play mind games by fetishising immigrants no matter what the social or environmental cost.

    • frank says:

      sanity at last…..(sadly even the greens have gone very quiet on CC.) All opposition parties should be expending all their talents and energies on developing such a zero (even negative) growth model that works…..but they won’t.

    • Robert Atack says:

      Yeah agree,
      With the population growth we have seen, you have to ask, where are all the new hospitals or at least hospital beds ?
      Come on greeds answer that one
      We are running at something like the equivalent of a Lower Hutt worth of infastructur BEHIND per year currently
      I guess waiting lists count ?.
      Ho hum

    • Historian Pete says:

      As usual Masked Moa ,you make a hell of a lot of sense!

  15. Penny Bright says:

    In the interests of fair play and ‘seeking truth from FACTS’ here is NZ First’s immigration policy.

    Where exactly is it ‘racist’?

    http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/immigration

    New Zealand First is committed to a rigorous and strictly applied immigration policy that serves New Zealand’s interests. Immigration should not be used as a source of cheap labour to undermine New Zealanders’ pay and conditions.

    There have been numerous instances of administrative failure to apply immigration rules and standards.

    New Zealand First will strengthen Immigration New Zealand to give it the capacity to apply immigration policy effectively.

    New Zealand First will:

    Make sure that Kiwi workers are at the front of the job queue.
    Ensure that immigration policy is based on New Zealand’s interests and the main focus is on meeting critical skills gaps.
    Ensure family reunion members are strictly controlled and capped and there is fairness across all nationalities.
    Ensure that there is effective labour market testing to ensure New Zealanders have first call on New Zealand jobs.
    Introduce a cap on the number of older immigrants because of the impact on health and other services.
    Make sure effective measures are put in place to stop the exploitation of migrant workers with respect to wages, safety and work conditions. In Christchurch and elsewhere there is evidence of exploitation of migrant workers.
    Develop strategies to encourage the regional dispersion of immigration to places other than Auckland. Auckland’s infrastructure is overloaded.
    Remove the ability to purchase a pre-paid English lesson voucher to bypass the minimum English entry requirements.

  16. savenz says:

    Your best article! You hit the nail on the head.

    In particular “Pragmatism is all about working out what you want most. This morning, Metiria informed New Zealand that her top priority is securing a change of government.”

    The Greens need to stop flip flopping on issues and drawing attention to themselves for the wrong reasons and start drawing themselves attention for the right reasons. Attacking the incumbent for their cruel policies is fine, but attacking NZ First just like the National party does with stupid name calling, is not doing anyone any body any favours apart from National.

    National won the last election against the odds due to the perceived and real in fighting of the opposition. It turns voters off.

    Learn from mistakes!! Be in the headlines for the right reasons!

    A lot of Green voters do not agree with the National party push to artificially increase the NZ population to 15 million. Auckland CBD has a ridiculous amount of people living there which were not planned for until 2035 – and the result is a mess, not enough housing, jobs, infrastructure, transport, pollution….. They are then spreading the issues to the suburbs (arguably worse off in terms of transport) and then the exodus is being pushed out to other areas of NZ, causing similar problems. There’s a ripple effect of bad National policy, so they can keep the property Ponzi going, so why the hell are the Greens supporting their actions?

    Every country in the world has an immigration policy. It’s not racist it’s normal in the world not to have open immigration!!

    Everyone can be happy, it’s the timing that’s off kilter.

    I have no doubt some dirty politics is at play. But Greens need to work out that very real issue, do they want the change of government?

    If so, the opposition needs to avoid blowing their goals, with public spats and temper tantrums at the wrong targets.

  17. Dave Macpherson says:

    You are 100% correct, CT. No more need be said! Except to tell Metiria to shut the …. up!

  18. Cynical jester says:

    I think standing by your convictions is as important is as important as winning, if you sell out your ideals to get in power what good are you? As a member of the 4th labour govt you should understand this more than anyone. The left in this country still hasn’t recovered from that betrayal.

    There’s something very wrong with nz’s left right now. We seem to have learned all the wrong lessons from recent international elections and have become frail and timid afraid to rock the boat vision wise from our own recent elections in place of that we’ve accepted a lot of realities that we shouldn’t have and one of those seems to be over the last three years that winston peters is our defacto leader and whatever he says is right and not to question it because somehow one of the worst examples of a greesy careest politician in nz history’s every utterance is gospel.

    We have let immigration become the defining topic of this election despite the incredibly pressing issues this country is facing, When labour came out with that list of names it became the defining issue. Noone talks about anything else and if they do somehow its brought back to immigration.

    That should tell you that the people who are preaching anti immigration hsve no plans once they’ve cut immigration. The problems will still exist and despite all the rhetoric nit much wil change

    But the left are desperate for power rightly so our people need a left wing govt to defend us however i honestly don’t think at the cost of our ideals. I applaud the greens for finally a left wing party is growing some guts, I had been angry that there was no voice other than the right not afraid to put peters in his place. Im probably going to vote for them now. Split red green of course but no if getting a change of govt means whatever winston wants he gets…. I’d prefer throwing a spanner and the greens or labour refusing to work with nzf.

    Winston is a great voice in opposition but should be more than anything what the left opposes. Division, discrimination, conservatism and right wing nationalism jjust because he has some populist policy does not a lefty make any party that would prop up a right wing conservative govt is an enemy of the left and leftys who will sacrifice their ideals to get into govt don’t deserve to be in govt cos they will betray us.

  19. Nothing’s gonna change our world while Yellow Kings like Peter Goodfellow are still reining unaccountably.