Those Who Do Not Learn The Lessons Of History …


Best Of Enemies: Between them, Jim Anderton and Matt McCarten brought the left-wing Alliance Party to an end. Broken up over, of all things, the Taliban.


MARAMA DAVIDSON and Golriz Ghahraman would be well advised to take a break and read a little history. Not the history of colonial New Zealand: they seem very well-acquainted with that dismal narrative. No, the history they should familiarise themselves with, is the history of the Alliance in the weeks and months that followed the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

It’s a sad and complicated story. But, at its heart is a single, brutal, truth. Labour has no use for a support partner determined to pursue policy objectives at odds with those of the Government it leads. Rather than endure the consequences of such political insubordination, Labour will do all within its power to break the party responsible.

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The issue which broke the Alliance was Afghanistan. Identified as the protectors of Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaida terrorist network, the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan were given an ultimatum by the United States Government to surrender those responsible for the 9/11 attacks or face the full force of the US and its allies. The Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, and her deputy, the Alliance Leader, Jim Anderton, raised no serious objections to President George W. Bush’s proposed course of action.

The left-wing of the Alliance was, however, outraged by what they saw as Anderton’s craven capitulation to US imperialism.

With the left of his party in open revolt, the Alliance leader, Jim Anderton, resolved to seize control of the party’s resources and records, and purge its membership of left-wing dissenters. When his attempted coup was thwarted, Anderton moved swiftly to split the Alliance – drawing loyalists away to form a new political entity: Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party.

As the Alliance tore itself apart, Labour sat back and watched. Clark understood that with the Christchurch seat of Wigram firmly in his grasp, Jim Anderton and his new party were absolved from having to secure 5 percent of the Party Vote.

The Alliance enjoyed no such advantage. It waged a brave fight in the 2002 General Election but, deprived of Anderton and scorned by Labour, it attracted just 1.27 percent of the Party Vote and was bundled out of Parliament. Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party, by contrast, although it won only 1.7 percent of the Party Vote, secured two parliamentary seats. Anderton’s vengeance was complete.

Even today, it is hard to believe that what was, at that time, the most successful left-wing party in the Western World, allowed itself to be split and broken over whether or not the Taliban should be overthrown for harbouring an organisation responsible for planning and facilitating the most devastating terrorist attack in modern history.

Why is any of this relevant to the Greens? Because, in the aftermath of another terrorist attack, this time against the Muslim community of Christchurch, New Zealand, another radical faction, in another small but highly successful progressive party, again appears determined to compromise another Labour Prime Minister’s domestic and international responses to an appalling terrorist outrage.

Davidson and Ghahraman need to ask themselves what the reaction of their parliamentary colleagues is likely to be if it becomes clear that their determination to leverage-off the Christchurch Mosque Shootings to unleash an uncompromising anti-racist campaign encompassing the whole of Pakeha New Zealand, is met with a strong enough push-back to jeopardise the Greens chances of remaining in Parliament after 2020? Will the other members of the Green Caucus meekly accept that two of their number must be permitted follow the dictates of the consciences, regardless of the damage they are inflicting on their party? Or, will they attempt to stop them?

Davidson and Ghahraman should also ask themselves what Labour is likely to do.

The Christchurch Mosque Shootings have left NZ First fatally compromised. Denied the option of playing the Anti-Maori, Anti-Muslim, and Anti-Immigration cards, the party’s chances of surging back over the 5 percent MMP threshold in 2020 are slim-to-non-existent. That leaves only the Greens to partner Labour in the next progressive coalition. Davidson and Ghahraman should, therefore, ask themselves what Labour’s reaction will be if its internal polling shows their New-Zealand-Is-A-Profoundly-Racist-Society campaign is causing the Greens to haemorrhage votes in a fatal fashion?

While they’re at it, they should probably also ask themselves what use National and Act are likely to make of their We-Are-All-Guilty campaign. Do they really think the right of New Zealand politics is going to refuse to take advantage of the anger and disgust generated by what many (perhaps most) voters will characterise as a cheap-and-nasty attempt to capitalise politically on a terrible and unprecedented tragedy? Do they not see that what they are doing, and clearly intend to go on doing, is helping the Right to get back in the game? And, do they really think that Jacinda and her “Praetorian Guard” – Andrew Little and Grant Robertson – are going to just sit back and let that happen?

Helen Clark and Jim Anderton weren’t prepared to allow the left-wing of the Alliance to compromise their political mission. Marama Davidson and Golriz Ghahraman should, therefore, ask themselves whether, in their heart-of-hearts, they truly believe Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw are any different?



          • Thats debatable

            Was the 2001 US-led invasion and subsequent ongoing occupation of Afghanistan “never an illegal war”, as the Guardian asserts (Editorial, 23 August)?

            Written in 2010, the official House of Commons Library briefing paper on the subject makes interesting reading: “The military campaign in Afghanistan was not specifically mandated by the UN, but was widely (although not universally) perceived to be a legitimate form of self-defence under the UN charter.”
            The paper goes on to explain that article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”. The accepted exceptions to this are when the security council authorises military action or when it is in self-defence under article 51 of the charter.

            Writing a month into the invasion, Marjorie Cohn, a professor of law at California’s Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a former president of the US National Lawyers Guild, described the US and British attack as “a patently illegal use of armed force”. The bombing was not a legitimate form of self-defence under article 51 for two reasons, according to Cohn.

            First, “the attacks in New York and Washington DC were criminal attacks, not ‘armed attacks’ by another state”. Second, “there was not an imminent threat of an armed attack on the US after September 11, or the US would not have waited three weeks before initiating its bombing campaign”.
            Ian Sinclair
            And if there were any state links to the terrorists who enacted 9/11 , Saudi Arabia should have been the first to point fingers at

            • Bush, Chainy and Rumsfield got around the attacks being criminal acts by forcing the Taliban to hand over Osama Bin Laden which they refused. So arguable everything after Bin Ladens Assassination is pure spite and overkill.

            • What terrorist act.

              Evidence would be needed to lay such a claim.

              “And if there were any state links to the terrorists who enacted 9/11”

              Bush screaming about Arabs is not evidence in my book and I can see no other.

              Another US led fabrication.

            • That link states

              ” terrorist attacks on the United States (USA) of September 11, 2001, carried out by Al Qaeda, ”

              for which there is no evidence.

              Quite to the contrary there is a heap of evidence which makes that highly improbable id not impossible.

              Bushes narrative lives on it seems.

              Where does the mythical WMD come in.

              Another litany of lies.

          • Sending 61 NZ military personnel to support the British who were an illegal invasive force, is supporting the war, no matter how much spin they put on it.

    • It has been ‘tit for tat’ and a domino effect since 9/11 or earlier. The US was justified in retaliating for 9/11 but this led to rise of IS and continuation/intensification of oil wars in Middle East. Displacement of millions of Muslims causing them to be refugees in Europe. Inability of countries such as Germany and France to deal with huge no. of migrants. Increase in Islamophobia at same time as increase in real radicalisation and terrorist attacks in Europe. White Supremacist backlash and so it goes on. It may be that increased surveillance is the only way to stop this vicious cycle of violence, mainly targeted at innocent, peaceful people. I despair

      • If memory serves I think the wars in the middle east were in two stages, – first we had George Bush Sr and the war centered on Kuwait to release Saddam Hussein’s troops from there,… then there was a campaign into some parts of Iraq.

        I think Afghanistan was part of that first wave.

        Then under Tony Blair and George Bush Jr , there was a unilateral decision by those two that Helen Clark refused to support because it lacked the backing of the U.N.

        • Your memory let you down there Wild Katipo. There have been many European/US invasions of the middle east (including in WW1). Kuwait was part of the pre-9/11 Gulf War, overseen by Bush Sr. This came about because US-funded oil companies had allegedly been skew-drilling into oil reserves under Iraqi territory, leading to an Iraqi incursion into Kuwait, and a US military retaliation to push them back out. Along with now-debunked war propaganda about Iraqi soldiers stealing incubators from Kuwaiti babies.

          The US invasion of Afghanistan, as others have pointed out, was post-9/11, under Bush Jr. Although like their invasion of Iraq and the subsequent military interference in Libya, Syria, and Turkey, were planned well before 9/11, by neo-con think tanks like the Project for a New American Century, and their white supremacist ‘Rebuilding America’s Defences’ report:

      • I think 9/11 should have been dealt with as a monumental crime carried out by a handful of individuals. Not as an act of war by a state necessitating the invasion and destruction of one country after another, destabilising the whole middle east, creating a refugee tsunami and leaving untouched and uncriticised the one middle east country from which nearly all the 9/11 terrorists came.
        A very strange response; some might almost wonder if the invasion of those countries was what it was all about from the beginning.
        D J S

  1. Great post Chris!

    Davidson and Ghahraman are indeed leading the Greens into the abyss. Their nastiness is so prevalent, it will drive away supporters who want to vote for a truly environmentally focussed party.

    One small correction though: Davidson and Ghahraman aren’t “anti-racist”. They’re just racists. They’re in the exact same mould as Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton in the USA. They’re race-baiting vultures seeking to manipulate the vulnerable and thereby gain political power.

    • I think its a little extreme to call them race baiting vultures . Perhaps a little unwise to be perceived as alienating people at this stage after recent horrific events.

      • Oh those two are definitely racist just like Genter.
        It doesn’t get called out as such because they discriminate against white people which is *like totally virtuous* to the woke brigade.

    • Yeah, but Andrew you’re a right winger who would rather rip out his own tongue than vote Green

      So your comments agreeing with Chris Trotter and attacking Davidson and Ghahraman should be viewed thru that prism

      You want the Greens out of parliament, not pushing policies that benefit the environment and lower socioeconomic groups

        • I’m pissed off is my response KEEPCALMCARRYON!!!

          My partner and I are BIG Marvel Universe fans. I was going to use
          “Saint Deadpool” but in the end I went with Thor’s mystic hammer

          Damned fascists . I refuse to allow them to expropriate a perfectly good pseudonym!!!

  2. Interesting article. I was living overseas when the Alliance was in office with Labour but was shocked to see how little was left of them when I returned to NZ.

    Since then I have voted mostly for the Greens save the last election as I felt they no longer represented my interests. After what I have seen of them in office I can honestly say I’ll probably never vote for them again which is a shame as it leaves me out in the cold in terms of what to do come 2020.

    • I don’t think we can tar all Greens with the same brush because of one or two individuals, that would somewhat unfair and generalizing, I voted for Labour and the Greens last election , – primarily to ensure Nationals demise.

      I believe Labour , Greens and NZ First are still the way forwards for NZ.
      I will vote for any party that needs shoring up in the polls to continue that advantage over National.

      • I have also voted greens long term, but seeing what they are trying to do in power reveals they are close to multiple personality disorder. What do they really stand for? A party that mainly gets support from the most affluent sector of our cities that is pushing a radical race/social agenda that can only upset their primary support base, while another segment seem to want environmental issues resolved? And also pushing for gender equality while making no effort to address this issue in their strongly female-oriented MP list? I can’t understand them, their mixed message is only becoming more problematic over time. I doubt they understand themselves. If there are individuals in that party going against the norm they need to be pulled up for it. Failure to do so is certainly driving voters such as myself strongly away from them.

  3. Funny, was just thinking last night that if there’s anyone left in Labour with a bit of Muldoon like mongrel in them they should advise Jacinda to get rid of their sidekicks by calling a mid-term election. Labour would scream in on their own right now. Then they could get rid of Grinch Robertson, throw the fiscal restraints bullshit to the wind & purge the civil service of the fifth column globalisation fanatics who really run our country. Not likely, as this would weaken the glow of Saint Jacinda’s halo.

    • Nice in theory ,- esp the bit about getting rid of the ‘ fifth column globalist fanatics who really run our country’ , but …. it looks like that’s going to have to be a long term goal and one of attrition, sadly.

    • Good thinking Johnny, and it could happen – Jacinda could be catapulted into something by Green loose cannons.

      I lived in London during the IRA bombings and have watched none of the horrific NZ Muslim tragedy on television. None.

      But about three nights ago I dreamed of politicians. Another first. And the only one I remember is Grant Robertson, and I’m not entirely sure why.

      But when Jacinda Ardern’s repudiation of hate has been saluted right around the globe, and so many people are using words like “love”, the Green’s greed to grab the opportunity to once again highlight the dirty laundry of history just to discredit Pakeha, plunges us back into the parochialism of the past. They need to move on, but I am not sure if they can.

  4. I can’t agree that Jim Anderton and Matt McCarten brought the left-wing Alliance Party to an end.
    Those of us appalled at Labour’s Afghan war policy simply were not going to let Jim decide for us what we would support.
    What you’ve stated here though is most pertinent
    “It’s a sad and complicated story. But, at its heart is a single, brutal, truth. Labour has no use for a support partner determined to pursue policy objectives at odds with those of the Government it leads. Rather than endure the consequences of such political insubordination, Labour will do all within its power to break the party responsible.”

    Labour will call and run this sub-routine anytime it finds it necessary.

  5. Well Chris you can keep wrongly perpetuating the myth that the Alliance broke up over Afghanistan and the Taliban – it is a once over lightly analysis – the public deserve better but sadit won’t be from you!

  6. It does seem a tad self destructive regards the two individuals in question,… esp with regards to recent events. This is a time of pulling together, not tearing apart.

    People are already reeling in shock, the country does not need any more division. Tactfully choosing to keep ones mouth firmly shut until one has considered the effect it may have on others is needed at this time. Not shooting off ones mouth and blurting out even more potentially divisive things.

    This is an extraordinary time for NZ, in a bad sense.

    Now’s the time for weighing and measuring , and being a little circumspect.

    • I agree with you
      The terrible suffering in CHCH shouldn’t be co opted for political advantage
      Having said that , Marama’s right, but her timing is way out

  7. Well Chris you can keep wrongfully perpetuating the myth that the Alliance broke up over Afghanistan and the Taliban – it is a once over lightly analysis – the public deserve better but sadly it won’t be coming from you!

    • Ah Sally
      A bitter voice in the wilderness yours is now.

      “The public deserve better” is it?

  8. Chris is right, unfortunately.

    I was flabbergasted at the alt-left Maori women hijacking the Auckland vigil for Islam’s living and dead, to launch more anti-Pakeha hate speech.

    Ignoring the politics (arrogant and clumsy) it was, hugely disrespectful and discourteous towards Kiwi Muslims. Plain bad manners.

    Marama Davidson may never recover from Parihaka, she may need help there, and there are politicians in all parties with their own idiosyncratic agendas, but when I see the party which I support fostering racist divisiveness, then they need no longer count on my support.

    • But to balance your last sentence out,… would we be prepared to see the return of a Mr Brash incarnate in some other individual in either the National or ACT party and then gain power?

      So there we have it : if we choose to no longer vote for a potential coalition party , because of a few incidents and poor decisions made by some, … we cut out noses off to spite our faces and give the much worse alternative a foot in the door.

      There are always going to be silly statements made by some individual in all party’s,… but we cant just cease to vote.

      Else we will lay ourselves wide open to a return of what we had… corrupt Hairpullers and Double Dippers running the country.

      • “Else we will lay ourselves wide open to a return of what we had”

        In a democracy sometimes the other side wins. At some point National will regain the treasury benches. Whatever their faults and failures, Key and English were a vastly better option than Brash would have been.

        I have in my lifetime been on both sides of the political spectrum. I was a card carrying member of Jim Anderton’s New Labour party in the 90’s, and a National/Act supporter in the 2000’s. I am now a very moderate centrist who will likely vote Labour at the next election.

        I have become very suspicious and wary of any kind of hardcore partisanship that sees everything as US against THEM, that sees the other side as evil. That kind of thinking is tearing up much of the Western world today, and social peace, compassion, tolerance, and healthy democracy are the losers. Donald Trump won in part by demonising the other side, but he was able to do that because the Democrats had for some time done the same to anyone, especially the white working poor, who voted Republican. It is also the kind of thinking that inspired the Aussie terrorist to slaughter 50 people.

        Now more than ever it is time to affirm our common humanity, to recognise that people who vote differently or have different political ideas are not necessarily hideous oppressors, or deplorables.

          • I suspect it goes back further than the advent of neo-liberalism, likely to the culture wars which erupted in the USA in the 1970’s. Economics, including globalisation, have played a role certainly, but I’m not convinced they are the root cause.

            There is also the issue of human nature itself, which, due to evolutionary imperatives, tends to favour in group and out group thinking.

  9. If the greens don’t demote Davidson and Ghahraman they will drag their support down come the next election. But the party selection/ ranking system should come into play by then and I think that the country can recognise that these two have stepped out of line , and the rank and file Green membership won’t see it any different.
    The Greens will lose some support over it either way, but where is that support going to go but to Jacinda’s Labour party. She owns it now and her handling of this horror will gain labour votes from all directions.
    I don’t see that NZF has done anything to collapse their support though. As long as Winston is still on the scene next time round I wouldn’t rule them out in spite of Shane Jones and Ron Marks.
    D J S

    • Indeed,… we will not see Mr Peters leaving the coalition anytime soon.

      Thank goodness.

      And NZ First had to compromise a fair few things with Labour,… but in the end, Labour and Jacinda are indebted to NZ First for enabling this whole thing to happen.

      That aside, … I cannot think of a better team to be at the helm of NZ during recent events than Labour , NZ First and the Greens combined.

      And let us also remember that the co leader of the Greens was also attacked prior to CHCH,… and conducted himself in a sterling manner throughout.

      I will not be put off by some isolated incidences ,… because we are dealing with human institutions and humans do make mistakes and shoot their mouths off from time to time.

      And I’m sure most folk are forgiving enough to do the same… so long as lessons are learnt from those mistakes.

      • Winston’s remarks on announcing a coalition with Labour suggest that he is waiting for a collapse of the neoliberal f world financial system to put something better in place. Something almost impossible to put in place while the system is held together because it would disempower the financial world that presently hold power and will not relinquish it willingly. When and if it collapses by itself will be the opportunity. Let’s hope he is still there when and if that happens because there’s no one else in Politics here that seems remotely to get it. Russell Norman might have helped.
        D J S

    • I have to disagree with you I stopped voting Labour after what Roger Douglas did and I have been voting Green for sometime. I am a left wing so now I will not be voting.

      • So you won’t go anywhere. Fair enough. Labour doesn’t deserve a vote until they clearly dump rogernomics which they have not done yet. But Jacinda will get a lot of support out of her handling of this episode irrespective of the economic world . I don’t think that world is her interest.
        D J S

    • “If the greens don’t demote Davidson and Ghahraman they will drag their support down come the next election”

      Thats up to Green Party members David. They get to vote

      Are you a member of the Greens or vote for them?

      • “Thats up to Green Party members David. They get to vote” . That was my point MJOLNIR. If they don’t react to Davidson and Ghahraman’s indiscretion then they will share the fallout. If they react the way most of the country has the cost will be small . IMHO.
        I supported the Greens materially and energetically back when Jeanette was first contesting Coromandel. Since that period they seem to have lost their way. As with small parties who suddenly gain the electorate’s attention all my life, they also gain the attention of carpet baggers who jump on the train to promote their own unrelated agenda. That has happened to the Greens just as to every small popular party since Social Credit under Bruce Beetham.
        D J S

  10. Davidson is not good on history. I went to a meeting where she was at and she admitted she did not know how the Ministry of Works had built much of the NZ inferstructure . How can you correct errors if you have no reference to what went before both good and bad. Playing the race card is the last think we need at this time. James Shaw must be gritting his teeth and wondering how he can deal with this situation.

    • I’ve nearly replied to Davidson previously on history, but refrained because I don’t want to demean the Maori experience at the hands of the Crown.

      But there are many non-Maori people here in NZ whose families also suffered terribly at the hands of the British Crown – and at others’ hands.

      The history of Ireland and the Great Famine can move me to tears just thinking of it – and we have some of their maybe genetically damaged descendants living here. The brutal Highland Clearances which triggered the Scottish Diaspora. I reread the History of Poland, and it is similarly grim. Someone phoned me this morning and talked of the NZ Dalmatians, of which I knew nothing.

      Here in NZ, the Irish, and especially Irish Catholics, were discriminated against in early and mid-20th C Christchurch. An eloquent example of this is the Catholic Basilica – described by George Bernard Shaw as the most impressive architecture in the southern hemisphere – having to be built in downtrodden ChCh East, over by the railway yards, while the Anglican Cathedral got the plum spot in the city centre.

      Indians I’ve known here and elsewhere are incredibly tolerant towards the Brits considering their exploitation, and often dehumanization.

      That’s the way things were then, but people like Marama need to know that others may also carry a burden of damaging history in their heads which they would prefer not to.

      • “That’s the way things were then, but people like Marama need to know that others may also carry a burden of damaging history in their heads which they would prefer not to.”
        Great whataboutery there, SnowWhite.

        I didn’t attend the vigil, so didn’t hear her speech or comments.

        But I am noting that despite your comments here, you don’t actually seem to know a lot about the Crown – and society – treatment of Māori. And you seem to think (despite evidence from recent studies to the contrary) that mistreatment and bias against Māori stopped many years ago. That is demonstrably not true, and even within the last lifetime, you should be aware of the confiscation of Bastion Point, Operation 8, the institutional bias of our justice, education and health systems. Not to mention the casual but inherent societal bias celebrated publicly in news media and political cartoons, and unfortunately elected to office.

        I would probably agree with you on timing, except when is timing ever ‘right’?

        I do think that many New Zealanders are quite proud of their perspective of race relations in Aotearoa, often due to staunchly defended ignorance.

        • I know quite a bit actually Molly, but I think you may be missing my main point here.

          The Auckland vigil was for Islam, and specifically for Muslims in NZ affected by the massacre in ChCh, and for all NZ’ers grappling to come to terms with what has happened; to show solidarity and support, and to unequivocally reject the face of pure and utter evil.

          This was our local Muslim community at its most vulnerable. Trying to take advantage of their vulnerability to whip up anti-white feelings among them was destructive, and it flew in the face of PM Ardern’s message that this was a time for the country to come together, and to be united, in love.

          It was also somewhat ironic, when the murderer was not even a NZ’er: using him to demonise white Kiwis was not exactly Queensberry Rules. I think it bad, and of course, it was counter-productive.

          My other point is that NZ Maori do not hold a monopoly on people being treated atrociously by the Crown.

          Many non-Maori have a whakapapa dreadfully damaged through absolutely no fault of their own, but by the same entity. It may take two or three generations to ameliorate this damage – or some may choose to cling to it, but that’s their choice.

          • “Many non-Maori have a whakapapa dreadfully damaged through absolutely no fault of their own, but by the same entity. It may take two or three generations to ameliorate this damage – or some may choose to cling to it, but that’s their choice.
            Damage is happening to Maori – and other minority communities – including Muslims – at present, but I can understand your unease at being present at an event that was not what you expected.

            Many people attending, quite genuinely would be present in order to show their sorrow and dismay while also being unable to understand that NZ society is a place of constant denigration of some communities. I think that idea is confrontational no matter when it is put forward.

            …” when the murderer was not even a NZ’er” Yet, it is obvious to many, that we could find quite a few NZers with the same perspectives, ideology and prejudices without having to look too hard. Some of them are given public platforms, or are published. The fact that this particular individual was Australian, is only a comfort to those who don’t want to address the issues in NZ.

            You say you know a lot, actually. However, your comments don’t reflect that. In some ways, they reflect what is acceptable in terms of racial conversations in NZ, and that is part of the problem.

            • Molly, these aren’t the issues, ok ?

              The issue is : “another radical faction, in another small but highly successful progressive party, again appears determined to compromise another Labour Prime Minister’s domestic and international responses to an appalling terrorist outrage.”

              So, is Davidson signalling that the Greens are now publicly politically distancing themselves from their coalition partner ?

              (Rhetorical question.)


          • Snow White:
            > It was also somewhat ironic, when the murderer was not even a NZ’er

            The skinheads who murdered Jeff Whittington in 1999 were New Zealanders. The white supremacists who turned up at the Al Noor mosque in Ōtautahi with pigs heads in 2016, giving heil hitler salutes, and chanting “bring on the cull”, they were most likely all kiwis too. Marama and Golriz are absolutely right that the “this is not us” line is dangerously delusional; anti-Muslim racism, and racist violence in general, are not new problems in Aotearoa. But giving them shit for pointing that out sure is a useful way to avoid taking responsibility for years of making political capital from islamophobia, not only by NZ First, but also by Labour, National, ACT, and many other political parties in NZ.

            Once people get over the initial shock, and start to think critically, I expect that the Greens will gain support for once again being the only party consistently speaking the inconvenient truth. As Chris points out, certain other parties having been stripped of the ace they keep up their sleeve, are going to have to roll up their sleeves and do some substantial policy work if they don’t want to sink beneath the 5% threshold in 2020.

            • Yes – ” a useful way to avoid taking responsibility for years of making political capital from Islamophobia, not only by NZ First, but also by Labour, National, ACT, and many other political parties in NZ”. Oh yes.

              And “this is not us” was wishful thinking – enabled by the shooter being from off-shore – it sounded good, but it left me a bit gob-smacked, and I daresay others also – but perhaps it was helpful for those particular moments of time – I’ve not really put my mind to it.

              I am acutely aware of Islamophobia in NZ, have had Muslim friends, including a homestay student. And already the poison is seeping through again on from bucolic Brooke of Nelson, and and likely destined for publication in the “Spectator “- sorry I’m in a hurry here, but from what I saw, I think and hope she’s wrong about NZ’s criticisms of PM Ardern.

              Interestingly, my student said her Muslim mum never wore Islamic clothing until her husband died, and then she adopted the hijab as a form of protection – contrary to how haters here keep trying portray it.

            • Thanks for that Danyl. We sure do need to take a look in the mirror. White supremacy is the scariest most unfeeling bunch of thugs I can think of and their footprint in nz is way bigger than many people think. For those who think that somehow the environment can be seperated from human relations all I can say is what planet do you live on. Literally. If the answer is planet Earth then human relations are the key to why we have trashed our home. This is why the Greens will never cease to link the two.
              Thanks also to Molly for supporting Marama and Golriz. We dont have to treat minorities badly. Until Chch we were. Now we are expressing compassion but judging by the comments expressed here this compassion could evaporate very quickly as soon as anybody asks us to look at ourselves. The gunman may have been Australian but no man is an island and it is certain that he had support here

  11. When Government members do or say something dumb I think the lot of them should go into the House and sit on the other side and see what the view looks like from the Opposition benches, remind themselves.

    The second part is to leave the Labour members in there and the Greens and New Zealand First members go into the gallery and look from there, then go outside and look at the building from the outside.

    Call it ‘reality therapy.’

  12. Indeed some good lessons.
    Trevor might be upset not getting a mention as part of the “Praetorian Guard”

  13. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were predetermined in the document entitled Project for a New American Century, from the mid-1990s, which also suggested that the US needed a “new Pearl Harbor” to trigger the invasions

    The invasions weren’t an “overreaction”. They were part of the plan all along

  14. Perhaps Golriz and Marama should remember the name of their party, and what it is supposed to fight for, and stand for?

    The ‘Greens’ do indeed seem to become more and more a fig leaf kind of ‘environmental’ protection and defence party, while raising all kinds of issues, some bordering onto the bizarre.

    We are so busy now discussing the soft issues of our social norms, and petty urban liberal topics of discussions, rather than actually focus on the damned giant elephant in the room, CLIMATE CHANGE and the disaster that is looming.

    New Zealand is very poorly prepared to become a truly sustainable society and economy, it is idiotic to think that ridding supermarkets of one way plastic bags, only to be replaced by re-usable ones you pay a little for, but that create the same issues in the end.

    We have hypocrites and deluded idiots all over, and few that understand what is needed, a RADICAL change in how we live and work.

    • Just to repeat what I said above. Marc if you think that the fight against climate change can be effective in a nice comfortable way that doesnt impact on your comfortable way of life or challenge the way we view our fellow human beings then all your rhetoric about elephants in rooms will be just that. We are where we are today because it’s ok to ignore the suffering of other people and cultures and to dehumanise them in a way that makes it acceptable to take the resources from the lands they once occupied with no agreement on their part and no compensation. And if you think like others commenting here that oh thats all in the past and we dont do that any more then all I can say is that its bleeding obvious that you are wrong. It is still happening. Once your people have been subjected to the dehumanising loss associated with the theft of your land and smashing of your culture its a very long road to recovery. The Trashing of the Middle East is a case in point. If this kind of behaviour is acceptable then what hope for climate change is there? Maori had their land stolen by an empire that that was driving relentlessly towards laying the foundations for climate change. They still suffer from this theft and the attempted destruction of their culture. Maori fill our prisons not because they are somehow more disposed to being criminals but because in any encounters with law enforcement they are more likely to be stopped Or searched or otherwise thought of as a criminal element. This type of bias is also evident in our spies who target the Muslim community as a threat and treat their complaints about physical threats as irrelevant. If you think you can address climate change without addressing these issues then you are deluded and irrelevant yourself. Luckily for us the Greens do live on planet Earth and do realise that it literally is all or nothing.
      For a great case study of the institutionalised nature of racism in the UK the Chagos Islanders tragic plight is a good primer. This tradgedy started not so long ago and is onogoing. The UK has repudiated any authority of the ICC and international law which have ruled against them. You may recall that part of the Chch gunmans agenda was against international law and the UN. The UK has also said in this case that their interests trump those of the Chagos Islanders and that is the case for anr territory in their jurisdiction. So much for the benevolent empire. Here also a tactic to keep the Chagos peopl off their island was to attempt to establish a marine reserve. This very recently. I suppose Marc that in your world where people are not part of the environment that would be ok. Maybe you could go on a lovely eco tour to see the turtles and just wipe from all memory the paradise that once was there living the life in harmony and a part of the natural world that is required if climate change is to be avoided. But you Marc prefer the eco tour route. Luckily for us the Greens will fight for everyone. You can read about Chagos Islands here.

  15. Chris I was feeling uncomfortable and perplexed with the deeply divisive political point scoring embodied in the responses of Marama and Golriz to the tragedy of Christchurch.

    Your article has insightfully and eloquently framed the source of my unease within a political context.

    Thank you.

  16. Good on you for promoting the Greens Chris, keep them in the public eye for the next year. Really these two members haven’t done anything wrong except take a position and express an opinion. Whether they did it one second or two weeks after the shootings is irrelevant, and whether they discuss/debate Maori or Muslim issues, or how faith shouldn’t be used to influence government, or whatever is what they are entitled to and should do. The lethargic, uninspired and reckless National party coalitions are gone. Also anyone who resisted invading the Middle East should be given the respect they deserve (this is where we should look for Nobel Peace prize nominees), not used as an example of failed dissenter.

  17. To create the neoliberal experiment in NZ, the followers of neoliberalism have changed how people both left and right think about and describe NZ culture and people born here, which is increasingly negative in NZ.

    Seems to be the righties think Kiwis are ‘drugged out and lazy’ and ‘fucking useless’ while the woke seem to think we are ‘racist, xenophobic, greedies’…

    They all seem to be pursing a policy of social re engineering by importing in others to replace/displace the above drugged out lazy, fucking useless, racist, xenophobic, greedy, Kiwis.

    I’m not sure how many other politicians can call their own nationals names continually and get away with it, but in NZ, people seem to be a a kind of post neoliberal shock of just accepting being abused daily or take on a woke Stockholm syndrome and self proclaim ‘how terrible white/middle class/pakeha is. Then we have the alternative right wing view with Melissa Lee types aimed at Maori and Pacific Islanders with “SH20 Waterview Connection could divert criminals from South Auckland away from the electorate”.

    The ‘other’ and ‘foreign’ is always better in our government policy eyes because they have such a brain washed negative view of NZ culture and people and an idealised view of others. Even when a foreign national commits a hate crime here, their only response from some (mostly the Greens) is to blame the kiwis.

    Comes home to roast when our security forces were so keen on spying on Kiwis they forgot to monitor a visitor big on hate crime on social media and buying up semi automatic weapons. Would not surprise me, if he was on a benefit too paid for by NZ while he trained for his hate crime here.

    Those that grew up in NZ and paid again and again through the ‘user pays’ years, are being denigrated daily, while those who are new to the country can come and just take and get richer here or operate their crimes (Tarrent) unhindered, while not paying any or little taxes and our politicians are ok with that.

    Then the NZ taxpayers pay for their long prison stays and rehabilitation and blame middle NZ for their crimes. The government should take a fucking look in the mirror and take responsibility – the buck stops as the government who let him in and a system that allowed him to take 50 lives! The government supported US and others in evading Afghanistan and Iraq and have been complicit in Islamaphobia just like our MSM. Now they cry pious tears and are trying to redirect to anti immigration instead of Islamaphobia – the killer was a migrant so clearly protecting those that live here including targeted migrants groups is not being seriously considered. He targeted muslims!

    No wonder Jacinda is popular, when you look at what the rest of them are up to! We have the woke politicians who are worrying about cunts while blaming ‘white’ Kiwis or the Natz pro Chinese tirade against ‘fucking useless’ Pakeha MP for their next $100k donation.

    Sadly as we know from David Lange, you can be smart, popular and ethical as a leader, but the Rogernoms who run the policy behind the scenes in NZ can use that to create radical policy that becomes an unfortunate social experiment. Happening right now, with more TPPA and immigration policy and foreign asset transfers out of NZ ownership!

    Labour needs to take a history lesson as well as the Greens. Like how popular Lange was and how that also helped him force through Rogernomics that bought about so much social hardship to many in NZ and aided overseas ownership here of banking, telecoms etc for a song. The legacy of that is still here, with sky high power bills, 1 hour waits for a telecoms company to answer a call, 92% of Chorus workers working illegally underpaid, sky high water bills and rates, dysfunctional rail, etc etc

    Now we have TPPA and immigration policy and asset transfers out of NZ ownership under ‘popular’ Jacinda.

    As well as the petrol taxes there are capital gains taxes being touted.

    Not sure, but it looks like if they bring in capital gains taxes, those investors from OZ and Singapore will be exempt to pay it (already they are exempt from being foreign buyers here, foreign is not OZ or Singapore it seems) as those nationals already don’t have to pay taxes here and pay them in their home country only!

    If that is the case, foreign nationals who already have lower interest rates, don’t pay taxes here so will be on low ‘income’ tax rates or they pay it at all, can now can have more advantages than locals, yet again!

    Again no mention of a stamp duty on property and asset transfers which charges everyone the same no matter what nationality but hits harder on richer folks with bigger sales, is hard to evade and discourages money laundering to boot! Of course they don’t want that one, putting everyone equal and making taxes payable for shifting money and assets offshore!

    Apparently those earning over 100k are worse off with the capital gains proposal on their Kiwisaver. Even though it is accepted you need to be on that salary just to afford a Kiwibuild crap house 45 minutes commute away!

    Likewise with retirement Kiwisaver policy holders already pay on average 20% of any profits they make in fees to mostly OZ banks and financial companies operating the Kiwisavers here. The 5 OZ banks also manage to make one of the highest profits in the world off Kiwis. Of course our government will not investigate like the OZ politicians do! Kiwisaver is also not government guaranteed so you may be left with nothing when you retire.

    No wonder NZ is so attractive to people new to the country apparently you can get super within 10 years, free health care and gold card travel for the rest of your life even if you never worked a day here all paid for by the drugged out and lazy, fucking useless, racist, xenophobic, greedy Kiwis who spend their taxes supporting criminals in prison and paying for the worlds richer students and retirees to come here. Sarcasm.

    Our politicians need to take a look in the mirror!

  18. As for the Greens making over 5%, they need to get their act together.

    As shown by the Green MP decision to grant the Chinese company they value foreign investors more than anything else including their own stated policies!

    It is a joke that a Green MP gave the green light to increased water rights to a Chinese company for virtually free in NZ, for the water to be sent overseas and bottled into plastic polluting bottles!

    And the pay off is apparently 60 paltry jobs and at any wage and only applies when they are at full bottling capacity (so if they never reach it then, I guess they don’t have to do anything they said)… So they clearly did not meet the criteria of great benefit to NZ, unless you are a half wit.

    At the same time zero political interest or intervention of the university of Auckland laying off or cutting down MORE jobs, 100 – 114 jobs.

    and burning the books

    …apparently finances were the reason for that but wait, the Auckland Vice-Chancellor’s annual salary of more than $710,000 is 2nd highest in the public sector….

    Something is horribly wrong in NZ with our politicians logic and hypocrisy.

    The more woke the politicians, councils and civil servants become, the more disliked they are from their voters, and the less likely a left leaning government will survive, in fact is very hard to identify what Labour and Greens are doing that is left in terms of saving high paid jobs for locals in this country!

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