2019 – The year of entropy and walls

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The Free market revolution of the 1980s mutilated the domestic working classes of the West while woke middle class identity politics on social media alienated them enough to be manipulated by Neoliberal frauds like Trump, Boris & ScoMo who played to that resentment

We collectively made this.

New Zealanders claw onto the edge everyday, blighted by debt and forced to compete endlessly in the rat race of selfishness for never ending economic growth while corporations pay less and less to fund the public infrastructure that is the promise of equity to every citizen.  The hollowed out middle class, the beneficiary damned, the precarious millennial work force and the working poor, each turn on the other in a never ending circle of entropy while the 1% and their 9% enablers laugh.

The promise of democracy is that you can look into the face of your child and know they will get a better deal in life than you did, that promise is now a callow joke.

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Ok Boomer.

Measles outbreaks due to public health negligence, White Island volcano deaths due to rapacious tourism, a horror white supremacist terrorism atrocity because the Intelligence Apparatus was too busing spying on Muslims,  Green Party, Māori, Nicky Hager, MANA and Greenpeace, 14 000 waiting for social housing, 682 suicides, obscene domestic violence rates and children living in increasing levels of poverty.

That was 2019.

There were glimpses of a better promise, there were moments in the eye of the storm that we saw clear blue sky. Greta Thunberg, Pania Newton, Jacinda Ardern and Chloe Swarbrick showed us there was another way to lead with honour, dignity and grace, and while our hope resides in the sparks and embers of their vision, it wasn’t and couldn’t be enough to save us from the rapidly unfolding climate catastrophe.

That NZs smug and ridiculously self-congratulatory response to the crisis of a rapidly warming planet was a vague promise to do something in 31 years time should be a collective embarrassment and intellectual shame.

If fighting climate change is on par with fighting the Fascists in World War 2, it’s 1939, Germany has just invaded Poland and Labour have announced they have a great plan to maybe beat Hitler in 1970.

Let that sink in.

When the fiscal responsibility straight jacket that Grant Robertson and James Shaw had shackled us into (so that our overseas corporate overlords were appeased) was finally dumped, it turned out that the majority of the $12billion in extra borrowing was being spent on fucking roads.

Building a better motorway bridge for the homeless to sleep under isn’t much of a vision.

Meanwhile, infantile get tough in crime bullshit and basic bitch tax cuts combined with a carnival of lies and cavalcade of political circus freaks was all the Opposition could muster as responses to the enormous challenges we confront.

National promised to roll back the civil rights of gangs, prisoners and beneficiaries as if a legitimate response to failed social policy was simply removing the rights of those it had failed.

The human experience has been reduced to gladiatorial blood sports & sick burn retweets where solidarity, intellectual curiosity & basic magnanimity have been replaced for the narcissism of petty differences, insincere Instagram Influencers & greedy corporations.

That was 2019, the year of entropy and walls.

 

16 COMMENTS

    • Very well said Martyn; It just demorstrates how these so called “leaders look so lame and ineffective now. – They need scrapping for an active group of progressive group of climate savers.

      Quote;
      Martyn Brabury;
      “There were glimpses of a better promise, there were moments in the eye of the storm that we saw clear blue sky. Greta Thunberg, Pania Newton, Jacinda Ardern and Chloe Swarbrick showed us there was another way to lead with honour, dignity and grace, and while our hope resides in the sparks and embers of their vision, it wasn’t and couldn’t be enough to save us from the rapidly unfolding climate catastrophe.

      That NZs smug and ridiculously self-congratulatory response to the crisis of a rapidly warming planet was a vague promise to do something in 31 years time should be a collective embarrassment and intellectual shame.”

      • And, to top that off, here is the list of new Climate Commissioners.

        Seven were chosen from around 200 nominated. They were selected by Cabinet. They’re led by a former Reserve Bank chair and include an economist and two from agriculture and agri-business (a former Fonterra Director).

        Other than James, I’m not familiar with them. Are they people who feel passionately about the need for changes as Climate Change effects become more dire? I don’t know, but the group looks incomplete or something. It does not seem to represent a real cross-section of our population, who will all be affected. And they should definitely have some younger reps there – someone like Chloe.

        Here is a gov link, Establishing the Climate Change Commission. On that page it says:

        “The commission’s kaupapa is to provide independent expert advice to the Government and to monitor and review its progress towards emissions reduction and adaptation goals. This means it will have a significant role in guiding Aotearoa New Zealand’s economic transition towards a low emissions economy.”

        • This organizational set-up of the Climate Change Commission breathes the stale air of a past-century bureaucratic or academic authority.

          The structure is significantly out of tune with the magnitude of the actual situation and the needs of the whole society to systematically re-group (transformational change).

          NZAO has so much more to offer than this.

          Neither the depth of science nor the spectrum of climate resilience actors are sufficiently reflected.

          A toothless tiger? No, a toothless pussycat.

  1. I agree with pretty much everything Martyn has written above, about this past year. It’s helpful to read it – clears the thoughts.

    It is not just this year that’s wrapping up, it’s the decade. There was a grim pattern to this decade, beginning with Pike River mine, closely followed by the ChCh quakes, through to this final year with the ChCh massacre and now Whakaari White Island erupting. And there was plenty in between (Kaikoura, Fox River, widespread flooding, out of control fires, major road slips and much more).

    Nevertheless I feel strangely optimistic about the future. Not because “things are going to get better”. Climate-wise they’re only going to get worse. We’re facing more ‘natural disasters’, intense storms, flooding, fires, slips, tidal surges, droughts, etc. Yet I feel optimistic for three main reasons:

    – There are a generation of young people reaching adulthood who were born within this millennium, who have a clearer vision of what lies ahead (it is their lives at stake), and who are determined to bring about change. Greta is the exemplar. The hundreds of thousands around the world who immediately responded and stepped out in unison with her, signifies the future, not the past.

    – We, the wider public, are losing our complacency. People really are beginning to become more aware of the real world. We’re beginning to comprehend that the only way forward is when we put aside our differences and work together, for our basic survival.

    – The changes are happening rapidly, around the entire planet. Here in Aotearoa we are in one of the best places in the world to respond to whatever comes our way. By ‘places’ I mean socially, psychologically and politically, as well as geographically. I just hope, quite desperately really, that we can keep our generally “left” government through the next election. The responses of some of our neighbouring govts, including that just across the ditch, are quite chilling at times.

  2. Yes. Very good.
    But what about those critical years during, and immediately after WW2?
    We know what happened Post the treason and treachery that was committed on us in the 1980’s and still lingers, some might argue, stronger than ever to be-devil us.
    But what about the years immediately after the end of ww2?
    It’s those years which are far more worthy of closer inspection because in there, you will find the true and enduring scumbag who subjugate us for money, sure, but also for giggles. And it is that, that should never be underestimated. The dire pleasures some get out of knowing they hurt and torment others. It is [that], that should never be far from the fore front of the scope of our political ruminations.
    ( Some of you are going to fucking love this)
    During the war years, that which we enjoyed importing from Europe, the USA and to a lessor extent, East Asian etc halted due to the beastly, marauding enemy laying in wait throughout the Northern Atlantic and the Western Pacific.
    So. What happened was that the government of the day diverted agrarian export-earned funds back into AO/NZ to subsidise the development of certain non agrarian industry to give us steel, farm machinery, implements and building materials etc.
    Then? An interesting thing happened.
    Peace broke out.
    Suddenly, Global economies flourished and people started to buy things and have kids and given the importance of eating, one would have thought that our agrarian export industry would resume trading with our pre war trading partner’s… but oh no.
    Once the gubbimint of the ww2 war days started syphoning off farmer money to divert into Kiwi-As heavy industry, those subsidised industrialists reneged on giving up such a profitable market advantage, thus the Great New Zealand Institutionalised Lie was born, but worse, the lie needed to be defended in perpetuity such was the scope of it.

    1980’s ‘neoliberalism’ is a symptom of that. Not a cause, of and by itself.
    A few instinctual crooks simply swindled ( or gaslighted actually ) us into allowing them to make off with the stuff and things built by our agrarian export industry prior to ww2.
    Now that, that stuff and things are gone? We must acquiesce to watching on in mounting horror as our services and ammenities are constantly shaved of funds as the best our farmers can do now is flog off milk powder to a precarious market that just might disappear any minute and while they do that they must shoulder the cowardly and ignorant abuse we throw at them for doing their best to keep AO/NZ financially afloat.
    If a cocky drives past in a new Toyota Hi-Lux we all go OMG! Look at that! Wanker! But if some Herne Bay ponce drives by in a Bentley no one say’s anything other than, perhaps “ Man, that’s nice.”
    So, it was with mixed feelings that I see that one of the Scum may have come unstuck as reported on RNZ.
    My feelings of delight are tempered by the fact that little kids may have had to suffer to bring this nasty, greedy, traitorous old creep down.

    “Sir Ron was made a Knight Bachelor in the 1988 New Year Honours, for services to business management and the community.”

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/405755/sir-ron-brierley-charged-with-alleged-possession-of-child-abuse-material-australia-media

    Lets see if he can use our money to buy his way out of this one?

    • … ‘ But if some Herne Bay ponce drives by in a Bentley ‘…

      Or if some Ponce- on -by ponce drives by in a Mercedes..

      And yes,… will the accused be able to use his wealth that he took from us all to defend himself during his day in court ? It will be interesting to see… but I dont think the Aussies are as mealy mouthed about things as we are somehow ….

  3. Yet again your friendship with Ardern blinds you. Poverty and hardship has worsened under her watch, a CGT was not achieved under her watch, our response to the existential threat of climate change is weak and pathetic under her watch, benefit levels have not been raised by the 40% that is instantly needed under her watch, the lack of delivery on public transport and housing has been particularly poor under her watch, the march towards unbridled neoliberalism continues under her watch. Ardern like Peter’s and Jones is a fraud, she is neither transformational or competent. Yes she can show empathy and speak well. But what has she really achieved that a Bill English government wouldn’t have? Bugger all. “Transformational”, “year of delivery”, “my nuclear free moment”, “open and transparent”. What a bloody joke.

    • Yes it’s getting better under Jacinda alll right.

      Minimam wage going up and up naw nnext april $18. 65 so she is delivering.

      Rail is being saved under Jacinda to. Yah coalition Government is achieving alright.

      National sold everything they could; – remember Mickey?

      • BS, prices will go up in return for minimum wage increases, and rail is rather humble to be invested in, while roads, roads, roads are what the middle class urban masses want, and what they will now put billions in.

        All endless BS, a useless and cowardly government, not deserving a second term, the only trouble is the Nats are even worse.

    • … ‘But what has she really achieved that a Bill English government wouldn’t have? ‘…

      —————————————

      Erm,… Bill English ,… the Double Dipper from Dipton you mean ?

      The guy who was the architect of the social malaise we are in now? The driving force behind the rapacious greedy society we have presently?

      That will take some time to unpick , I’m afraid…

    • MickeyBoyle: Your first sentence: “Again”?
      The other time you made that accusation was here.
      Martyn’s call was shown to be correct here and here.

      For most of the rest of your comments, I’m sorry but you sound like a kid in a cinema who’s bored with the movie and is tossing jaffas at heads in the dark. And they’re rattling away down the aisles.

    • MickeyB, I do agree with you on a couple of points you’re trying to make. In particular, the long overdue increase in beneficiary payments. As I’ve written elsewhere, I don’t understand the govt’s delay with this, at all. And I think that delay has been and continues to be absolutely disastrous for some families. It is cruel. (Some also need some sort of recompense for abuses served on them – eg the “overpayments” made mistakenly and then friggin deducted from future payments!! (under the Nats, specifically Paula’s watch) – and for other harm caused.)

      However some of the things that you’ve blamed Jacinda for are not her doing, are outside of her ability to make right in a timely way, and your blaming her for those makes as much sense as if you were to say, eg, “Whakaari White Island erupted ‘under her watch’ “.

  4. … ‘ When the fiscal responsibility straight jacket that Grant Robertson and James Shaw had shackled us into (so that our overseas corporate overlords were appeased) was finally dumped, it turned out that the majority of the $12billion in extra borrowing was being spent on fucking roads.

    Building a better motorway bridge for the homeless to sleep under isn’t much of a vision ‘….

    ——————————–

    Ooooooh , … I dunno Martyn , … sleeping under a motorway bridge over a harbour in particular can be mighty good in some respects, the gentle thud of car tires can lull one off to sleep at night in a jiffy , – no need for sleeping pills there.

    And no need to flush a toilet and wake everyone up either, why ,… you can just do your business over the side and let the yaghties worry about it later, – and no need to worry about power bills either cos the bridge lamps provide more than enough light to shunt millipedes and cockroaches out of the way as you bed down under your newspapers.

    You can always hang a tarp out to catch rainwater if you wake up with the dry horrors or need to wash your socks, – and if you economize on the grocery bill, – you can always use a safety pin on some tied together boot laces to catch a few fish… Driftwood to make a fire to cook the fish on isn’t a problem either , mate.

    And best of all , – NO RENT !!!

    Not even a lawn to have to mow !

    And as we all know, a motorway bridge is prime real estate if located next to or over water, ( what a way to wake up in the mornings as well !! – room with a view !!)

    I really do think you need to start looking at the silver linings , mate, as well as a lot of other Kiwi’s who fail to see the benefits of sleeping under a bridge.

    Especially one over a harbour or estuary.

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