GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – State of Mind

There must be some kind of way outta here Said the joker to the thief.

Depending on which country you live in the term ‘the State’ can have different meanings.
In our country I take the term ‘the state’ to mean you and me – all of us – because we are a democracy and ultimately we,the people, are in control. If we don’t like what the government (the State) is doing we can vote to change who governs us.

Of course, Big Money and other self interest groups can and do exert considerable pressure on the politicians we elect to pass laws (eg. our tax laws) or bend them in the interests of the few and not the many.

Never-the-less ,as I say, we still have the power to control those forces of self-interest, which is why it is important that you vote in every election, because not to vote is actually a vote for the status quo – and give those who would dominate us a free hit.

If you disagree with some decision of ‘the State’ you have the right to protest and I have exerted my right to do so on a number of occasions. But I have only done it when I felt that some law or government decision was not in the Public Good.

So, for example, I protested the TPPA because and the CPTPP because I am convinced they contain clauses (such as the right for some foreign investors to sue us if we pass laws that limit their profits) which I think are not in the Public Good.

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I choose to follow the government’s Covid 19 policy however because I am convinced it is in the Public Good to do so and that, however difficult these times may be for many of us, it remains true that you can’t have a lifestyle if you don’t have a life.

Moreover I am convinced it is by the State taking more control of the marketplace is the best road to economic recovery.

So the “State” is not a bad thing in and of itself .

Yesterday the news reported on an Auckland anti-lockdown protest by a group of people who believe the State is depriving them of their “rights”.

The very fact that they were allow to protest and were not arrested is proof, if proof were needed, of how tolerant our State is to dissent.(Which I guess influenced the decision of the police to make no arrests on that occasion).

Holding up placards saying Covid-19 is a hoax is to tell a lie that is not in the Public Good.

To gather together and risk spreading a deadly disease we are trying to contain is not in the Public Good and stupidity….can be terminal.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. I disagree with you on this, Bryan.

    I believe that ‘old money’ ( i.e. the combination of banks, corporations and wealthy individuals, including the British royal family) is in control, and sets the agenda.

    Politicians are primarily managers of NZ Inc. -the combination of all the commercial activity that falls within the mainstream.

    It’s the same in Australia: hence the sacking of the duly elected Prime Minister, Gogh Whitlam, by the Governor General, Sir John Kerr, when Whitlam presented far too egalitarian, far too socialistic policies, much more than the establishment could stand. He had to go, and quickly!

    My understanding of the situation explains why, over a period of four decades, there has been no change in basic direction, whichever political party or group of parties formed the government.

    It explains why the tobacco sector, despite the US Surgeon General Report of 1969, gets a free pass to import its deadly and highly addictive drug.

    It explains why, despite Jacinda Adern campaigning (last time round) on the agenda of seriously dealing with climate change, and despite declaring [when talking about climate change] “This is our nuclear-free moment,” she has done nothing whatsoever over the past 3 years other than make the predicament much worse.

    It explains why, despite all the faux caring about the welfare of children, Jacinda has ensured ensures that nothing was done about the appalling policies that led to NZ being placed so low on the recently published OECD list.

    It explains why, election cycle after election cycle, the mainstream media carefully avoid discussion about anything of significance in the so-called debates, and why the faux debates are all about jobs, the economy and tax cuts etc.

    It explains why the government is unstinting in its support for elitist international yachting whilst children go to school undernourished, or don’t go to school at all because the family cant afford them to,

    Sure, Jacinda has done a better-than-average job in dealing with Covid-19 (she has to ensure the ultra-wealthy’s bolt hole remains safe for them to bolt to). And sure, a few more breadcrumbs fall off the ‘elites’ table than would be the case under National. But that’s about all.

    You can bet your bottom dollar the bullshit about needing to open up sectors of the economy, despite the disastrous effects of doing so, will continue.

    You can also bet your bottom dollar that no preparations whatsoever will be made for the impending financial-economic-environmental meltdown, and that the narrative from Jacinda and the other trough-feeding criminals and clowns will be all about seeking ways to maintaining some semblance of business-as-usual when business-as-usual is very much the problem.

    So, you can vote if you feel inclined. But don’t expect anything other than cowardice and kowtowing to banks and corporations from any major political party

    • Well depicted Afewknowthetruth

      Now the same with the latest phony science of climate change report was release today,
      A “Global Safety Net” to reverse biodiversity loss and stabilize Earth’s climate
      It seems as now the elite are ‘green-washing’ climate change as they have a bunch of scientists come out with a paper plan to keep the transport industry afloat using oil/diesel power and not electricity it should be noted, so the report rather than winding down trucking seemed to favour dirty transport not considering low emissions rail as the paper is only centered around land based ‘carbon sinks’ and never did the scientists consider the reduction of climate changing gas emissions from transport in the equation. – Sad times ahead for our children.

      • Indeed, CLEANGREEN.

        It’s always about ignoring the predicament altogether or presenting strategies that will do nothing whatsoever to reduce emissions but will provide the scientifically illiterate -the bulk of the population- with false hope.

        So far we’ve had suggested:

        pumping CO2 into the oceans -a total disaster because CO2 causes acidification and prevents the formation of shells and corals

        the hydrogen economy -another total disaster because we have no sources of hydrogen and making it loses a massive amount of energy

        biofuels -a disaster in the making because we are short of arable land and [globally] short of food

        pumping CO2 into depleted oil wells -a huge energy cost and huge infrastructure cost, and no guarantee the CO2 will stay there.

        char storage by burning trees and other organic matter and burying it -theoretically would work if it were not for the fact that transporting the organic matter to the combustion site and burying both require the use of yet more fossil fuels

        And so it goes on. And the atmospheric CO2 level goes up and up with diabolical consequences.

        I see Jacinda is desperate to bring on an uninhabitable planet as fast as possible for her progeny, and has opened up NZ skies to mega-pollution via aircraft emissions.

        It’s the economy, you know, that which must be worshipped whatever the cost.

        Twenty years ago I said (wrote)”Stop. Enough!”

        Well for the maniacs in control there is never enough of the wrong things. And for us there is never enough of the right things.

        The good news is, ‘the system’ is self-defeating, and is very close to having defeated itself.

    • This was a simple stage show of total ignorance of a mass of people ignoring the clear global scientific evidence that Covid 19 is real and people don’t get the message yet.

  2. National and Act? Wheres all the screaming and blue murder from theses 2 parties. Did I miss it?
    Collins is a get tough on crime fanatic, this was a crime. I assume Collins, and Seymour, kinda don’t mind this time out. What a joke the whole thing was.

    • Fits right in there with JLR right to have many ” bits on the side” whilst married. Seems like many turned out for his swingers club outing.

  3. The biggest pile of Covid horseshit I saw last week was the Queensland Chief Health Officer saying a travel exemption was given to Hollywood celebrities because “we need every single dollar in our state”. The State’s protection of human life using mandatory lockdown, for all, has no basis in fact. I think we should make the Covid belief system like religion, where secular citizens tolerate the Covid fundamentalists in the community, with their face nappies and paranoid hate and holier-than-thou outlook, and we just do our own thing and get on with life. This lockdown and police state is based on personal opinion and whim anyway, not two millenia of science.

    • Trumps personal opinion by your woke evaluation has meant 194,000 deaths. A whim you say?

      Probably why your” opinion ” is worth the lavatory paper it should have been written on.

  4. Here’s the latest good news on the importance of using face marks folks. use limits the expsoure and allows the immune system to mount an early antibody defence to Covid 19 than without a mask.
    The study suggests that community mask use by well people could be beneficial, particularly for COVID-19, where transmission may be pre-symptomatic. The studies of masks as source control also suggest a benefit, and may be important during the COVID-19 pandemic in universal community face mask use as well as in health care settings. Trials in healthcare workers support the use of respirators continuously during a shift. This may prevent health worker infections and deaths from COVID-19, as aerosolisation in the hospital setting has been documented.

  5. The Rolling Stones, done this Circus, never allowed its video album, many questions, my answer the Who, firing it up, ego eh!.

  6. “I take the term ‘the state’ to mean you and me – all of us.”
    Utter bunkum Bryan.
    Are you saying that you are the one that came knocking at my door at three in the morning, dragged me off to prison and tried to beat me senseless when the usual kinds of intimidation failed?
    Or are you saying that I did all this to myself?
    Supporters of the regime like yourself make Billy Te Kahika appear by comparison as a paragon of reason and sound judgement.

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