We are a little people

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Most commentators are talking about 2020 as the year we are glad to put behind us. They say it has been a tough year for business with uncertainty about the economy alongside lockdowns, quarantine isolation and no overseas travel.

Most of this negativity about 2020 is from the big capitalists and the middle class. Businesses have been complaining about the damage to profits from lockdowns and the lack of cheap migrant workers to exploit while the middle class have complained about restrictions on overseas travel.

But 2020 has had its big positives so let’s celebrate two of them:

 

  • The Black Lives Matter global protests have been a celebration of our common humanity as much as an attack on racism and racist policies within the police and state agencies. This is as relevant in New Zealand as the US with the example just this week of racial profiling of Māori youth in the Wairarapa. Fighting racism is so important because racism is corrosive of worker unity and has always been a key tool to be whipped up (sorry about the mixed metaphor) at critical times to keep workers divided from each other.
  • Ihumatao. Real change comes when people stand up and take action together and defy the laws put in place by politicians on behalf of the big corporates. The Bastion Point occupation had a similar genesis when the Muldoon government went behind the backs of the protestors and “negotiated” a settlement with a kaumatua (who was later given a knighthood) leaving the people out in the cold. Congratulations to SOUL Save Our Unique Landscapes) for mobilising on behalf of all New Zealanders.

But there are plenty of negatives from 2020 so lets not get carried away. Here are a few of them:

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  • The Prime Minister and MPs have been given a three-year salary cap – a symbolic gesture made to help the rest of us feel they care and that we are all suffering together. Yeah right! A freeze on a six figure salary of $182,600 for an MP – more than the income of a dozen superannuitants together – is no sacrifice.
  • The absolute refusal of Labour to consider a capital gains tax or a wealth tax.
  • The absolute refusal of Labour to do any more than token gestures to get children out of poverty or allow families on low incomes to live with dignity and self-respect.
  • The absolute refusal of Labour to do anything significant to stop the rise of house prices.
  • Labour’s absolute fixation on middle-class focus groups to veto policy change.
  • The big business rorts on the public purse from the Covid 19 wage subsidy. Some of the biggest corporate bludgers have finally agreed to pay it back – including Ryman Healthcare within the last week. This money wasn’t going to workers in wages – it was going straight into corporate profits for wealthy shareholders.
  • The failure of the Serious Fraud Office to lay charges against Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel for filing a false election expenses return. How can we possibly hold our elected representatives to account for conflicts of interest when we don’t know who is funding them?
  • Tenure review is continuing – yes that’s right – the privatising (legalised theft) of our precious commons is still happening despite promises it would be stopped. We owe a serious debt to researcher Ann Brower who exposed this filthy scam whereby large pastoral leases in the South Island high country are being split into private productive land (sold to the wealthy leaseholders – who were the only ones allowed to purchase it!) while the unproductive land is put into the conservation estate. It was started in the 1990 by National’s Conservation Minister Denis Marshall and continued by successive governments since and we, the people, are heavy losers. This process covers vast areas of the South Island and one statistic sums it up. 15% of the land privatised under the scheme has since been on-sold at a value of 493 times (sic) what the government was paid for it by leaseholders. In other words every $1 of land value paid to the government was on-sold for $493 on the open market by the owners. Needless to say the negotiations have been privatised and the negotiators paid on getting settlements without any incentive to achieve a high price from leaseholders nor penalty for a low price. Getting the deal done was the aim and we have been utterly screwed. A small sign of the additional problems created surfaced last week when it was revealed pastoral lease negotiations failed to secure a 200m access strip through the Roxborough Gorge as part of a national cycle trail. Having fleeced the community through the pastoral lease negotiations the two owners are refusing to allow the completion of the cycleway without hefty pay-outs from the government. Cyclists in the meantime must pay $100 each for a 14 km river trip instead. Theft from the commons, now theft from the public purse. We can only shake our heads in disbelief.

Unfortunately, these negatives are just a small sample from 2020.

 

We are a little people!

13 COMMENTS

  1. You are SO RIGHT. John. The rorts and raiding of the commons continue unabated, along with the polluting of the commons. You can bet your bottom dollar the exploiters of the system -which has more holes in it than a kitchen sieve (by design) will have spent a large portion of their unearned wealth on the purchase and operation of planet-fuckers, such as oversized vehicles and motorised boats. And the corporate media will tout this exploitation of the people and the land, and the planet-fucking as success worthy of emulation.

    Q. How many rorts can you fit into a local government egg-cup?

    A. As many as you like.

    ‘The failure of the Serious Fraud Office to lay charges against Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel for filing a false election expenses return. How can we possibly hold our elected representatives to account for conflicts of interest when we don’t know who is funding them?’

    The SFO is a component of the paid protection team: paid to protect those in high office from investigation and accountability.

    What is so amazing is that people still believe in the system, or think it can be reformed.

    Historical evidence indicates that the worse the overall situation gets, the more the sociopaths will grab for themselves.

  2. of course we are little people.infantilised and childish to boot. where the national sports are cricket and rugby but only sky subscribers can view them then there is something definitely wrong. when snopies christmas is the national anthem then its all over!

  3. Ihumatao looks good and will keep the protestors away at Waitangi but the devil will be in the detail. How many houses are to be built and for who. I may have got it wrong but I understood the protest was about it being used for anything and preserved undisturbed . I would be interested if someone with more knowledge can say ..

  4. Dead on the money @ JM.
    But what you have to remain ever mindful of is that what you describe above is ‘the normal’. No matter how unfair, unjust, evil, greedy and vile it may be to you, me and some others [it] is none the less The Normal.
    What you’re hoping for ? Fairness, justice, balance etc only exists in fantasy. Such concepts have nothing to do with the liars reality.
    I was told a little while ago by a well known film producer when I was asking that persons advice on a professional conundrum to which that person replied ” Just lie…? Tell them what they want to hear. Who fuckin’ cares? Just lie… ”
    AO/NZ is a country full of liars and crooks and they’re proud of that. Our politicians lie to us, our big businesses lie to us, our fellow man and woman in the street are liars. They lie to their kids who in turn lie to each other and when they’re asked an opinion, they lie. People generally have no interest in truths because being truthful is perilous and may lead to being noticed by lying authority figures who will lie about you, to you and misrepresent you in what ever course of action you wish to take with their guidance, which will be guidance built upon lie after lie after lie.
    AO/NZ’s become a dishonest, dirty little country. That’s why it looks as ugly as it is dumb. Dumb, ugly people playing dumb ugly games with each other to become the dumbest and ugliest they can be.
    And you know that what I write is correct because here we are. Would we be here, on The Daily Blog, if that were not so?
    ACC is a good example of what I mean. How often have you heard ” Just tell em you fell in over in the shower.” Rented a car lately? “ If you’re involved in an accident, never admit liability” That means that no matter how glaringly obvious it was that one was at fault your insurer will encourage you to lie to avoid having them pay out.
    @ JM. We humans, we’re quite fucked. The only way to beat the liar at their own game is to become one of them.
    If you want to look into the eyes of an honest being then rescue a pound dog.
    The only way out of the liars game is to be rich but one must lie first to become so.
    That’s essentially what’s so dangerous about having capitalist interests vested within one’s politic. Capitalism insists one must lie first and fore most. Then, it’s just business and we all know by now what business does to the down trodden and unlucky.

    • The opposite to capitalism is communism and we know the lies that that hide for years. all isms are bad but for most they only feel confident when they are aligned with one camp our the other. John Minto is a classic example as he talks of free public transport .Nothing is free and often there are unintended concequences of taking a stand as to what is good and what is bad for the community especially if you not see both sides of the arguement.

      • Nothing is perfect, instead, the more realistic sorts of economists talk about the importance of going for “second best.” For instance, free public transport makes perfect sense as long as drivers have access to free roads to clog them up.

      • Trevor that is a silly response. Who said we want the opposite and where? We want, well I do and all my mates a fairer playing field. Free and frequent public transport as Minto said during the last mayoral campaign, is a win win for everyone. And the government gives lots of dosh to councils for transport. Minto if I recall correctly wanted the proportion going to the public transport budget the majority of the money, seems sensible to me with climate change upon us. A lot more people would pour into town if it was free.

  5. The peoples response to the governments say, this is the best way to not win, but slow down, and possible eradication of this virus, is follow these lines of health care and temporary isolation, then maybe we can contain the harm of this virus, and did we not do well.
    Done the same when the government introduced compulsory unionism, to beat off employer exploitation of most if not all Kiwi workers.
    Should 2021, return to the government dictate of 2020 Covid 19, in regard to the compulsory unionism of the 1980!s were the profits of all concerned not even distributed, yet more fairly than today!s labour exploit.

  6. Trevor, the American people who voted for Trump, many bourgeois and many lesser, all being Trump in common, was Trump crying to both sides of America!s capitalist exploit devided, lets build a wall, lets make AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Both cry!s similar to two human abuse and degradation!s of our past human social care humanity, one slaughtering humanity the other building a wall.How is Trump!s wall going, how is his American being great again, as deportations continue of those less fortunate.
    Socialism, Trevor, is not a book ride to the wealth of capitalism ignorance and derision, its a ride to human care without capitalism!s deride, of a produced exploit of nothing. Socialism, breath be part you are part, breath, breath is our humanity shared.

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