GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – 3 reasons why NZ should care about Trump’s insurrection

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From behind a wall of bullet- proof glass, outgoing President Trump told a crowd of his supporters to be brave and incited them to march on the Capitol Buildings where the electoral college votes were being counted.

They stormed it and in the chaos many were injured and 5 people died.

The mayhem he encouraged and the grandstanding of some Republican Senators on the floor of the Senate however only delayed the inevitable.

The votes were finally counted. Joe Biden will be the next President of the USA come January 20th and charged with the responsibility of governing a nation politically divided and ravaged by a deadly pandemic.

Why should we, here in New Zealand, concern ourselves with what happened in America?

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The answers to that deceptively simple question could fill a book, but this is a post so I’ll offer you just three this morning.

1. What happens to the US economy has a direct impact on the world economy and therefore on our own immediate economic future.

2. The longer Covid-19 remains uncontrolled in the USA the longer international travel will be disrupted and that does not bode well for us as an island nation geographically isolated as we are from Northern hemisphere markets.

3. The huge issue of Climate Change requires immediate action to be taken on the dire warnings of science about global warming and not the conspiracy ramblings of social media.

So where is the hope?

It lies in what also happened earlier yesterday in the USA.

When the votes were counted in the Georgia Run-Offs Raphael Warnock became the first Black America in that state to be elected as a Senator for that State and along with Jon Ossoff it gives the Democrats the control of the Senate as well as the Congress.

So the Biden’ administration now has a mandate to introduce progressive policies thast will improve the lives of a great many his fellow Americans.

Here in New Zealand Jacinda Ardern leads a government that has a mandate to introduce progressive policies in our own country and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and thereby improve the lives of the majority of New Zealanders.

We can’t do anything about what happens in America but we can do everything about what happens in our own.

We need to accelerate our thinking about how to be more self-sustaining as a country and foster the idea of sharing the nation’s wealth instead of the selfishness promoted over the last 30 years of neoliberal economic policies.

And we need to keep the Ardern government on task by giving praise when praise is due and speaking up when we see fault and injustice.

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.

13 COMMENTS

  1. “And we need to keep the Ardern government on task by giving praise when praise is due and speaking up when we see fault and injustice.”

    I think the time for nicey nicey has passed. We don’t have to be abusive about it, but bluntly direct is now in order. The above would be true if covid wasn’t an issue, because there would be time to fluff about, well, as long as you weren’t already living in poverty I suppose.

    If Ardern was a General, she would have been relieved of her command. Take a look at the address yesterday by Boris Johnson and the Head of the NHS, and the Army Brigadier in charge of organising the vaccine rollout. Stand back a bit, and contemplate why it appears to be so unintentionally funny: Boris not even being to pronounce the words of his associates, and NHS burbling about “more places to do the jabbing”, and even the Brigadier stumbling on his recital of SOP for a first assault and only barely calmly admitting that there isn’t really much hope, but it’s my job so I’ll do it. “Judith”, the skyped in question asker, says to Boris: Why are you keeping schools open? And then the glanger: Boris tells her once the kids have to stay home, their economic system is over.

    Unlike here, with our amateur trolls blubbering on about opening the border for a holiday, real bass ass murdering cunts are so shit scared they can barely speak the Queen’s English because they know the shit has passed through the fan and is flicking up through the grill onto everything they hold dear, and it just won’t stop. The stiff upper lip is quivering.

    Right now we have closed our doors to this, but our collective psyche hasn’t accepted what it means. Should we panic? No of course not. Should we be acting now to prepare to face this shattered New World? Ab-so-fucking-lutely. So why aren’t we? Jacinda, we aren’t we?

    • bang on, the only way she is going to lift a finger is if she is shamed into it and I mean mass movements and peaceful yet we demand action kind of gatherings and many of them one after the other in succession and keeping up the pressure until there is action. That’s what needs to happen so that there is some relief provided to beneficiaries and people in need and she does something about rampant housing speculation either by building more or taxing land and foreigners buying property. whatever it is it needs to be leveling up the playing field for all kiwis impacted by housing insecurity. The gloves need to come see she ain’t doing anything and if all those NGO’s, international reports and political commentary haven’t moved her to act to date nothing will except mass demonstrations.

  2. We lag the US by about 20 years.

    The stereotypical homeless situation that was situation normal there and absent here is now normal here. The gulf between the haves and the have nights grows. The encouragement to overcome this by exploiting your fellow man typical of a free market capitalist system there is now here. Housing investors anyone?

    But what is not fully embedded is severe partisan politics, not quite. National have experimented with it sending people to the States to study the Republican strategies in the early 2000’s. The temptation must be there to win at ANY cost and it would not surprise me if it rears its ugly head soon.

    The only thing thwarting it at the moment is Jacinda is doing a sterling job as a socially moderate but fiscally conservative National government PM!

  3. Brian, despite agreeing with the tenet of your argument Im amazed that you really think that either the Dems in the States or Labour here will do anything that doesn’t fit in with what corporate capital wishes. Worse is to listen to the partisan nonsense that spills from both sides and to think either are better than the other. Pelosis current mad woman ravings for 4 years case in point.

  4. There are so many possibilities right now passing us by, the vegan revolution in synthetic meat products, vegan leather. Composite materials, non-plastics, electrification, marijuana and economic dynamism, labour and industrial policy so when production goes up workers are fairly compensated and none of this mc job crap. This is the job Jacinda choose. Get it or we’ll find someone who can.

  5. “The Miracle?”

    The miracle
    Not in my life
    Has the god
    Visited in his feet

    You can’t be serious
    Remember
    Let’s do this
    Let’s keep moving

    Making up jokes
    Is no longer fun
    For this written play
    By whom.
    For our Covid Queen?

    The castle and
    The heavenly staircase
    Has shown itself,
    The portcullis and moat is no more

    Storm the gates, the barricades
    Shake the EQC State to it’s roots!
    Rebuild NOT from the past
    But FOR the bottom dwellers,
    And see the miracle in flesh

    This is godpower Princess!
    Will you set fire to the fire economy,
    Finance, Insurance and Real Estate?
    Orr will u sit and watch the table overturned . .

    Once again . . .

  6. “The Miracle?”

    The miracle
    Not in my life
    Has the god
    Visited in his feet

    You can’t be serious
    Remember
    Let’s do this
    Let’s keep moving

    Making up jokes
    Is no longer fun
    For this written play
    By whom.
    For our Covid Queen?

    The castle and
    The heavenly staircase
    Has shown itself,
    The portcullis and moat is no more

    Storm the gates, the barricades
    Shake the EQC State to it’s roots!
    Rebuild NOT from the past
    But FOR the bottom dwellers,
    And see the miracle in flesh

    This is godpower Princess!
    Will you set fire to the fire economy,
    Finance, Insurance and Real Estate?
    Orr will u sit and watch the table overturned . .

    Once again . . .

  7. Sam, as an old cynic who learnt about oil depletion in Geology lessons in the 70s I would suggest kindly and with the best intent that studying a bit about future energy and resource issues might be useful. The possibilities you suggest all depend upon energy and resources, the source of our current wealth and future poverty. We are past peak and on the downward slope, and it is beginning to show economically and politically. How do you imagine that people became “deplorables”?

  8. It’s okay to care about what happens in America, but the question is more about HOW MUCH we should care. People seem more passionate about what happens in Trump’s America than the issues that are developing here. I’m guessing that the majority of NZers could name more US Supreme Court judges than our own equivalents.

    Sure, the events in the US this week were going to make the headlines, but personally, I had a stronger reaction when I heard that Watercare is aiming to double household costs over the coming decade. But I won’t be storming Watercare’s head office. I’ll do the right thing by sucking it up and having a little whinge about it.

  9. Comment: Why is it that many keep touting and looking to America for example policy or futures.
    Many of our product are tarriffed out of their market.
    Their policies social practises either don,t work or are certainly not best practices across international experiences.
    Simply they are loudest most brazen. And repeated. New Zealand needs to Wake up.
    As Covid bites we will have many of the best if not top quality produce that will be scarce in many Countries.
    Times to open our eyes mind and expand trade into many countries on term that suit us.

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