The Woke Supremacy

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IT IS DIFFICULT to attach a name to the ideology currently guiding the actions of the New Zealand ruling-class. For the past twenty years the Left has been content to call it neoliberalism, but in the third decade of the twenty-first century that term has less and less purchase on reality. The new ideology which has emerged, let’s call it “wokeism”, is a radical fusion of neoliberalism, environmentalism and identity politics – and its powerful enough to disrupt profoundly the political, social and economic institutions of New Zealand society.

That wokeism will generate massive resistance is certain. Its assault on the traditional order will leave more and more people feeling unmoored and vulnerable. Inevitably, a political movement will arise to contest the wokeists’ claims and policies. This movement will not, however, be driven by the traditional Left, it will be the creation of an angry and radically populist Right. What’s more, the transformational ambitions of wokeism will provoke its opponents into advancing an equally comprehensive programme of revocation and reconstitution. The result will be a deeply divided society, with tolerance and empathy in short supply.

The backlash against wokeism will be made much more aggressive by the difficulties its opponents will encounter in making their voices heard. The mainstream news media – and especially the state-owned media – have become increasingly intolerant of ideas and opinions which directly, or indirectly, challenge the wokeists’ view of the world. Stuff, the largest newspaper publisher in the country has embraced wokeism wholeheartedly and set its face resolutely against the errors of “racist” New Zealanders. Even more significantly, citizens determined to spread “unacceptable” ideas can no longer rely upon the major social media platforms for their dissemination. Increasingly, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are “de-platforming” individuals and groups (including a former President of the United States!) whose beliefs have been anathematised by the woke.

This de-platforming of dissenters by the woke media – often facilitated by threats from major corporate advertisers to withdraw their financial support – will complicate the mobilisation of wokeism’s opponents, but it will not prevent it. Inevitably, the sheer number of New Zealanders shut out of the wokeist discourse will persuade conservative investors to offer them a Fox News-like outlet for traditional views and values. As Rupert Murdoch knows well, there are big profits to be made out of alienation and anger. Those corporates hitherto persuaded to embrace (and enforce) wokeism may experience second thoughts when the enormous size of the traditionalist audience is revealed.

Right-wing political parties will likewise be forced to decide whether or not the game of accommodating themselves to the demands of wokeism is, in the long term, worth playing. If they decide not to place themselves at the head of a movement fuelled by rising anger and resentment and strongly supported by a major media outlet devoted to its cause, then, most assuredly, someone else will. National and Act will not be slow to understand that if they do not get on board the radical right-wing populist bandwagon, then it will roll right over the top of them. As with the Republican Party in the United States: they may not like it, but they will not fight it. Their biggest challenge will be to find a Trump-like politician to front it.

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The key insight of the world’s most successful populist leaders is that the voters will not punish a politician for farting in the wokeist church: someone who simply refuses to be daunted by charges of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, or any of the many other “thought crimes” promulgated by the woke. The politician who responds to all such accusations with a straightforward “Yes, I am. And if you expect me to apologise for it, you’re going to be bitterly disappointed!” That sort of politician: Trump, Duterte, Bolsonaro, Orban; receives as many cheers as jeers – probably more. Yes, liberal Americans were horrified when Trump branded Mexican border-crossers drug-dealers, rapists and thieves; but conservative Americans were delighted to have finally encountered someone willing to “tell it like it is”.

The other key insight of the right-wing populists is that most people really don’t like the news media. The politician who viciously attacks reporters: who accuses them of manufacturing “fake news”; who bans them from his press conferences and brands the newspapers and networks they work for “enemies of the people”; will emerge from the conflict stronger – not weaker. So long as they have their own equivalent of Fox News to carry their message to their “base”, it simply does not matter if wokeist media outlets rebuke and revile them as right-wing “fanatics”. Indeed, such charges will only succeed in further burnishing their reputations as champions of the “deplorables”. CNN didn’t bring Donald Trump down. What defeated him was his own woefully inadequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Couldn’t happen in New Zealand. How often has that “argument” been advanced by those whose salaries depend upon it being true? If these political Pollyannas had the slightest familiarity with the history of their own country, they would know that it already has.

Much of the populist National Party prime minister Rob Muldoon’s popularity was generated by his heated exchanges with journalists. Long before Donald Trump crossed swords with CNN’s White House correspondents, Muldoon was ordering the removal of the Listener’s parliamentary reporter, Tom Scott, from the Beehive theatrette. When the TV news showed the prime minister ordering his aides to “take him away”, liberal New Zealand was horrified. For “Rob’s Mob” of conservative New Zealanders, however, is was thrilling proof of their leader’s strength. The media had it coming!

Muldoon’s most apt pupil in the dangerous game of right-wing populist politics was Winston Peters. Openly challenging the news media and arguing aggressively with journalists live on television became a key component of his enduring electoral appeal. Once again, liberal New Zealanders were perplexed: what could Peters possibly hope to gain by such vulgar displays of political truculence?

What Peters understood, and his well-educated and refined critics tended to forget, was that half the population falls on the wrong side of the bell-curve. Instinctively, the vulgar masses recoil from the lofty condescension of professional middle-class journalists. By attacking the news media, and its “sickly white liberal” assumptions, Peters, like Trump, secured the votes of the “poorly educated”.

All of which raises the critical question: Who will take on the right-wing populist mantle of Muldoon and Peters? Certainly, National’s Judith Collins and Act’s David Seymour would like to, but are they temperamentally suited to the role? Do they have the necessary slivers of ice-cold steel driven deep enough into their souls? Are they able to deploy the sort of cruel humour that lacerates their opponents’ self-confidence? Can they make people laugh at their vicious jokes in spite of themselves? It is certainly very difficult to imagine either Collins or Seymour successfully delivering Muldoon’s brutally funny quip: “I have seen the shivers running around Bill Rowling’s back, looking for a spine to crawl up!”

There is no shortage of applicants for the job of radical right-wing populism’s “drummer”: the leader who will make the hearts of the angry and the marginalised beat faster. The rabble-rouser who will cause them to clench their fists and clutch at their grievances more tightly. The messiah who will inspire them to set aside their ingrained sense of inferiority and their deep fear of being laughed at and/or condemned, and demand their own version of paradise. The demagogue who will impel the unmoored and vulnerable towards the clamour of ideological battle with the relentless and pitiless beating of his rhetorical drum. Oh yes, we’ve seen Billy Te Kahika, Jami-Lee Ross, even Hannah Lee Tamaki, make their pitches. But – no sale. The next drummer has yet to step out upon the national stage.

While New Zealand waits for that perilous person to appear, the woke supremacy will continue. Hate speech will be outlawed. The nation’s history will be re-written. Even the country’s name will be driven relentlessly towards the memory hole. Were these assaults upon tradition to be offset by decisive governmental action making rents and homes affordable, forcing the rich to pay their fair share of tax, and restoring a rough balance of power in the workplace, then they might be forgiven. If the democratic rights of New Zealand citizens were being beefed-up – instead of being whittled away – then wokeism might have a future. But, they aren’t, and it doesn’t.

Only when the drum-beat of right-wing populism starts to shake New Zealand’s windows and rattle its walls, will wokeism’s fondness for silencing its enemies finally begin to make a kind of desperate sense.

50 COMMENTS

  1. There has long been a profound anti-intellectualism (one might almost say anti-intelligence) deeply rooted in NZ society, and the dumbing-down that has been achieved since neoliberalism was set loose (foisted) on NZ society has has not only resulted in poor mathematics and science performance recently reported but has resulted in increased levels of stupidity throughout NZ society.

    Access to correct information has never been easer, yet those fleeing it has never been so many.

    Whereas we can ignore wokeism, we cannot ignore collapse of the environment or collapse of the Ponzi financial system, and when those two really hit hard no one will be at all concerned about the petty concerns highlighted by the ‘woke’.

    • Afewknowthetruth: “…poor mathematics and science performance recently reported…”

      While I wouldn’t disagree about the pernicious effects of neoliberalism, in my view, what’s really buggered up performance in these areas is the unintended consequences of the education sector’s well-intentioned but wrongheaded attempt to improve the performance of girls vis-á-vis boys in both these areas. There was around the same time an equally wrongheaded attempt to improve boys’ literacy results.

      In both cases, they were trying to fix a non-existent problem. Regarding maths and science, their interference has inadvertently made things worse, by the looks of it.

      I remember when all this happened. At the time, an old friend was still teaching. Said friend sent me a pile of material that teachers were required to digest, prior to in-service seminars.

      It was full of the most egregious nonsense about right-brain vs left-brain thinking. None of it stood up to the realities of biology and the effect of selection pressures upon human brain development.

      I gave those resources a good old-fashioned bollocking, with lots of supporting arguments and facts, and sent them back to my friend.

      Obviously, nobody was listening. Note for the future: don’t let education academics and policy wonks decide what should be taught and how to teach it.

    • “… has not only resulted in poor mathematics and science performance recently reported but has resulted in increased levels of stupidity throughout NZ society”.

      Usually agree AWKTT, and certainly no disagreement with the second supposition that stupidity is alive and well in AO/NZ. What I have some issue with is claims in the MSM that levels of maths and science are decreasing and that implies some kind of cognitive decline leading to a fall in productivity, GDP, etc, etc – the old neoliberal argument about the knowledge economy. I have taken license to add that last bit about deficits leading to cognitive decline and poor economic competiveness, but this is what is logically implied in the argument. Of course the MSM don’t critically engage with this – just the ‘impact’ of poor performance – as with unemployment data they simply cut and paste from govt press releases.

      The promulgator of such deficit discourses is the OECD. I had thought the latest reporting of the maths deficit was related to PISA but I may be wrong here – it may be based on local standardised testing not dissimilar to PISA. To be honest I haven’t read the original report. Notwithstanding, like others in the OECD, AO/NZ is sensitive to the league tables that are produced.

      It is fair to say not all kids are good at maths and science as it is taught and tested in schools – and that’s complex in itself. It’s always been the case. And comparative to the so-called well performing OECD countries AO/NZ may well be slipping (for any of a good number of reasons) but I am not convinced it’s the crisis we are led to believe. IMO mainstream understandings of this issue are driven by the same neoliberal discourses a good many of us like to critique.

      This is all contestable of course. Some maths experts would disagree, citing the evidence before their eyes (and possibly citing experience if they are teachers). Anecdotally, some employers may throw up their hands in despair – as poor results at school leads to poor life skills as adults, right? Other experts would be more cautious about the claims. Yet others, not necessarily maths experts, would question the role of the OECD and ask what these standardized tests really measure and if indeed the results of standarized testing are transferable to real life.

    • Afewknowthetruth: “…poor mathematics and science performance recently reported…”

      While I wouldn’t disagree about the pernicious effects of neoliberalism, in my view, what’s really buggered up performance in these areas is the unintended consequences of the education sector’s well-intentioned but wrongheaded attempt to improve the performance of girls vis-á-vis boys in both these areas. There was around the same time an equally wrongheaded attempt to improve boys’ literacy results.

      In both cases, they were trying to fix a non-existent problem. Regarding maths and science, their interference has inadvertently made things worse, by the looks of it.

      I remember when all this happened. At the time, an old friend was still teaching. Said friend sent me a pile of material that teachers were required to digest, prior to in-service seminars.

      It was full of the most egregious nonsense about right-brain vs left-brain thinking. None of it stood up to the realities of biology and the effect of selection pressures upon human brain development.

      I gave those resources a good old-fashioned bollocking, with lots of supporting arguments and facts, and sent them back to my friend.

      Obviously, nobody was listening. Note for the future: don’t let education academics and policy wonks decide what should be taught and how to teach it.

  2. It’s a bleak picture that you paint Chris. Progressive neoliberalism (or “wokeism” as you call it) is indeed the ideology that our institutions run on – it’s in the Kool-aid of our schools, universities, government departments. Anyone with any ambition of rising through the ranks of these institutions is obliged to act like a progressive neoliberal, and I think it was Pascal who said “If you don’t act the way you think, sooner or later you will come to think the way you act”. I can’t say I really understand it myself, and judging from your recent posts I’m not sure you’ve completely worked it out either, even if you’re well ahead of must people.

    What’s disappointing about your post is that you seem to think the only alternative to progressive neoliberalism is a bully like Muldoon or a fruitcake like Billy TK. The danger is of course that an overdose of wokeism will indeed open the door to a right-wing populist. Is there not also the possibility of someone who has a genuine nation-building project that eschews identity politics, someone who acts to restore equality of opportunity, and who emphasizes our common humanity rather than our tribal differences? Am I asking too much?

    Which brings me to the tragedy of Boris Johnson. A man who actually has the sort of political priorities I I wish our politicians would focus on – protecting freedom of speech at universities, nationalizing Northern Rail, purging the public service of people with degrees in gender studies and critical race theory. But also a man whose glaring character flaws are likely to prevent him from getting very far with these worthy projects.

    • Well said. There must be a middle ground and that would have longer term support than Trumpism, which is equally abhorrent. The conservative right are not un-educated they just don’t buy into the identity politics

    • Pope Punctilious II: “…the only alternative to progressive neoliberalism is a bully like Muldoon or a fruitcake like Billy TK.”

      In fairness to Muldoon, he was very smart, with microscopic tolerance for fools. I remember listening to him on NatRad being interviewed by Sharon Crosbie. She was one journo who’d perfected the art of interviewing him and extracting info. from him without getting him riled up.

      I’m thinking of Michael Joseph Savage, Norman Kirk, Australia’s Gough Whitlam. Possibly even Keith Holyoake? I guess that people of similar stature won’t come this way again. Not right now when we need them, in any event.

      Of all the pollies in the current parliament, the only one I can think of with the potential to be the kind of leader we need at present is David Seymour. I never expected to be saying that about him, but over the last few years, he’s shown that he has substance as a pollie.

      But unless there are seismic political upheavals ahead, the nature of which we can’t yet discern, I don’t see how he could get from being leader of a minor party to being able to form a government.

      • To be fair to Muldoon, he was a thoroughly nasty piece of work. He was also an incompetent economic manager who gave the neoliberals the opportunity they needed.

        As for the twerking libertarian, you’re OK with his economic policies??

        We’re in a dire situation. The only NZ politicians who seem to have any political courage are free-market fundamentalists like R Douglas, or demagogues like Muldoon, Tamihere and Waititi. I voted TOP in desperation at the last election, but they’re a half-baked outfit and I have no idea who I’ll opt for next time.

        • Pope Punctilious II: “…he was a thoroughly nasty piece of work.”

          Yes, he was. And toward the end, he was pants at economic management. I suspect that his belief in his own competence, coupled with fellow MPs who were too scared of him to challenge him, culminated in the situation we had here when that government lost power in 1984. But it doesn’t follow that he wasn’t smart: plenty of smart people couldn’t run a country for toffee.

          “….who gave the neoliberals the opportunity they needed.”

          I remember that election. It was the Natz’ to lose, and they lost it. It wasn’t until Lange published his autobiography that we truly understood how hopelessly unprepared Labour had been to take power. Roger Douglas saw his chance and seized it.

          “As for the twerking libertarian, you’re OK with his economic policies??”

          No. Not all of his economic policies, at any rate. Though at least he was honest about where he and his party stood.

          And that’s the point: how does he get from where he is now to being in a position to form a government?

          As to being a libertarian, I’ve come to the view that I’d rather have that than what’s on offer from the Blairite and her incompetent crew.

  3. Well said Chris Trotter. I don’t know if you and Bomber are the only mainstream political write\rs thinking about this stuff. But you are the only one writing about ti,

  4. Great article – on point as usual as a student of history should be. The one thing holding back the movement to re-occur is the intellectual laziness of the right in NZ. Simply put the lot of most right wingers is good if not great atm therefore the desire to rock the boat limited. Added to that politicians such as the Blairite only tinker at the fringes and have loops of feedback to ensure ‘middle’ NZ is suitably disengaged from revolutionary thoughts.

    Therefore this is a slow burn – but it is burning.

  5. Good article in terms of detailing the crucially important connection between neoliberalism and wokeness.
    But Chris descends into stereotype with his hackneyed description of a gormless right-wing populist mob in search of a ranting demagogue.
    As a media-savvy person, Chris must be aware of an entire cottage industry of websites/publications catering to the educated cultural (but not necessarily political) conservative, that substantial demographic who, perhaps, watch TriggerNometry, read Spiked or the Spectator and admire Roger Scruton, Douglas Murray or Theodore Dalrymple.
    Conversely, many of the most blissful non-thinkers I have met (and worked with!) are woke “progressives”, woefully uncritical of the egregious biases of media and education – especially those censorious and puritanical anti-free speech ideologues whose slogan-ridden rhetoric springs from a wilful ignorance or misreading of history.
    Painful as it is for progressives to admit, they hold no monopoly on wisdom, intellectual rigour, nor on fashionable “kindness”.

  6. A provocative and timely piece Chris. There has been plenty of commentary on the defeat of progressive neoliberalism at the hands of Trump supporters, eg Nancy Fraser: https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/11/progressive-neoliberalism-trump-beyond/
    https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/progressive-neoliberalism-reactionary-populism-nancy-fraser

    Fraser’s essays were published following Trump’s 206/17 victory as a means of giving some meaning to what many on the pseudo left – actually the ruling political hegemony – saw as a political “crisis”. Since then of course Trump has been defeated yet the fight against the hegemony that progressive neoliberalism entails must still be a reality in the US given the large support Trump still managed to attract in 2021.

    It is never a straightforward to apply what happened/happens in the US to AO/NZ . According to Fraser: In its US form, progressive neoliberalism is an alliance of mainstream currents of new social movements (feminism, anti-racism, multiculturalism, and LGBTQ rights), on the one side, and high-end “symbolic” and service-based business sectors (Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood), on the other. What might this alliance look like in AO/NZ? In general terms you see that alliance in AO/NZ – resulting in the emergence of the political ideology of “wokeism” – as the radical fusion of neoliberalism, environmentalism and identity politics. That makes sense. Although environmentalism has an imperative of its own one hopes. I guess its inclusion in the woke pantheon signifies political inertia on the one hand and a kind of institutional virtue signalling on the other.

    As in the US context, the piece argues it will be the radicalised Right in AO/NZ who will push back against the woke ideology. The scenario you paint, who will take on the right wing populist mantle, has yet to play out in AO/NZ. It might never will. Likely candidates at the most recent GE – Billy Te Kahika, Jami-Lee Ross and Hannah Lee Tamaki – were simply too incoherent. You are correct Chris in saying the next drummer to set out upon the national stage will need a sales pitch far more sophisticated than these imbeciles. But alternatively it may be just a victory by default. It is a fairly common understaning that elections are often lost not won.

    Fraser further comments of Trump’s 2016/17 election it is a false myth that all his supporters were ‘the deplorables’ – many had/have quite legitimate grievances, seeing themselves as casualties of a rigged system – and writing of the future, that ruling progressive liberals/ wokesters in the US “will need to acknowledge their own share of blame for sacrificing the cause of social protection, material well-being, and working-class dignity to faux understandings of emancipation in terms of meritocracy, diversity, and empowerment”. Not sure if the Dems victory 4 years later took this all aboard. If not for the pandemic Trump may well have been re-elected.

    Fast forward to 2024 in AO/NZ. What happened in the US in 2016/2017 with the push back against progressive neoliberalism / wokeism may well play out here as you predict. Labour are asleep at the wheel. Democratic socialism is but a lost ideal at present.

  7. One inherent problem with wokeism is its selectivity. We have just seen the Leader of the Opposition refused speaking rights on the marae at Waitangi because she is a woman. She had to be replaced by a man to deputise for her — Dr Reti.
    There were no headlines about the sexism inherent in Maori culture — but imagine if a Pakeha business organisation said a woman couldn’t represent them at a meeting but allowed a man to speak in her stead!
    if the wokeists were more obviously sincere about rooting out all the sexism in our society they would have a far greater claim to credibility.

  8. Waitangi speaking snub: Greens co-leader Marama Davidson lays into National’s Judith Collins over lack of ‘cultural expertise’
    And there you have the problem – who the fuck is Davidson to decide who speaks at Waitangi. So what if Collins doesn’t have this so-called cultural expertise. If shes’s invited to speak, then she’s invited.
    Woke Green not helping themselves – again! Davidson doesn’t have the expertise to solve environmental issues!!!!

  9. Graham Adams: “There were no headlines about the sexism inherent in Maori culture…”

    Exactly. The msm apparently fails to notice that Maori culture is fundamentally patriarchal. Having Maori as part of my extended family, I’ve seen this (patriarchalism) at first hand.

    “if the wokeists were more obviously sincere about rooting out all the sexism in our society they would have a far greater claim to credibility.”

    Absolutely right. It seems to me that, with regard to Maori culture, pakeha journalists deliberately look the other way, while Maori journalists either attempt to justify the contradictions, or see nothing exceptionable in them.

    • It’s more than that. Right-wing extremists narritives are to short and easily dismissed while woke narratives go on and on and on infinitum that there’s never any conclusion and that’s true about the way they discuss anything.

      Even though we know and Chris Trotter has explained it to them in the nicest way possible the woke will still befall Trotters trap that from this soup of never ending injustice and confusion will emerge a right-wing populist kiwi style.

      We need a third option. My money is on The Maori Party. Have a nice day.

  10. “CNN didn’t bring Donald Trump down. What defeated him was his own woefully inadequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    The evidence suggests that things were more complex than that. It appears that he acted with dispatch: I discovered the following when I was looking for something else:

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/122478289/coronavirus-wellington-cluster-hit-new-york-as-covid19-accelerated-in-the-big-apple

    The US is of course a federal system, as is Australia. The president cannot therefore order about individual states. The same applies in Australia, where the PM can only advise state premiers as to what they should do (hence unhappiness a while back at Queensland’s resolute refusal to reopen its borders to other states, despite bugger-all cases).

    Trump has been given to shooting his mouth off. Well…he surely wouldn’t be the first US president to do that. We know about it now, firstly because of Twitter, and secondly, because the US msm jumped on absolutely everything he said, right from the day he was elected, and put the worst possible spin on it.

    The US msm was part of a coup attempt against Trump that lasted right through his term in office.

  11. In the UK old white men voted for little England Brexit? Why? To retain some semblance of power to ensure the future of their nation as it was in the past. In the USA the MAGA brand is based on the same old white race order of yesteryear being sustained. It’s as if they saw cultural and demographic change (Obama birther movement) as a threat to their privilege in politics by declaring it a threat to freedom itself.

    The idea that government allowing progressive change is a threat to freedom is as neo-liberal as, calling it woke (just a new term for liberal left) is a rebranding of McCarthyism – a sad reminder that many of the labour movement bought into that.

    When the old white man declares fear of the thunder of justice of the poorly educated masses being misled by popular nationalism when harnessed by the reactionary right, one ask why?

    Fear of loss of control over the leadership of the left to a younger generation more socially and culturally inclusive than their own?

    If it is in the cause of focus on inequality, why did they oppose the government acting on CGT – simply because of opposition from the older generation with property?

    Cannot act against them on property, cannot offend them with progressive liberal multi-cultural “woke” change (just say UnAmerican UN American Agenda 21 till the crowd foams @ Stanley – the idea that boomers are like their 1975-1981 era parents in the 21st C would have annoyed Ball, even his dog would bite you)

    You do not even mention GW, just some mention of workers rights – sing the red flag like Archie Bunker, and pass on progressive stuff. The people who must be obeyed until they die off … F … boomers.

    • Said like a true wokester.

      I’ll think you will find that neither Trotter or Bomber will have much of an issue with the content of the woke agenda. Rather their issue is that the total focus on these issues allows for little political space to make real progress on the much more substantive issues of material hardship and inequality.

      Adern has a once in a generation chance to make a real difference on the issues that define the very purpose and existence of the Left. Fumble this opportunity with sidebar woke policy advances rather than substantial progress on the issues that matter to the bulk of the population risks a political backlash that could drive the left from power for a very long time.

    • SPC: “In the UK old white men voted for little England Brexit…”

      I remember when UK citizens voted in 1975 to enter the Common Market. Those voting in favour were disproportionately Boomers: my generation.

      After the so-called Brexit vote, I looked at the demographics. It was instructive to note that it was disproportionately Boomers (males and females) who voted leave. In my view, whiteness isn’t an issue: Boomers had seen what membership of the EU had meant, and they didn’t like it.

      Whiteness is – pardon the strange metaphor – a red herring.

      “….a younger generation more socially and culturally inclusive than their own…”

      The notion of inclusivity is irrelevant. It’s a fashionable term, but it doesn’t signify anything in particular in the current environment. Societies worldwide have always included diverse ethnicities and related cultures: it’s just the way the world is.

      “…why did they oppose the government acting on CGT…”

      Who are “they”? It was the government decided against introducing such a tax. Not other people. I favoured the implementation of a CGT, until I read this article:

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/114628351/an-inconvenient-truth-about-tax-in-new-zealand

      I don’t doubt that the government had been given similar advice, which it wisely decided to follow.

      “….progressive liberal multi-cultural “woke” change…”

      I must point out that Boomers were irredeemably liberal: all that anti-war, anti-apartheid, civil rights, feminism, pro-abortion stuff. And we annoyed the hell out of our parents’ generation because of it. Though none of it was “woke”, thank heavens.

      And the world is, with regard to those issues, vastly different from what it was prior to all that activism. Though all the activism in the world hasn’t stopped uncle Sam from making war wherever he feels like it. Trump tried to stop it. Unsuccessfully, as it turned out. I doubt things will be any better, now that Robinette’s in power.

      • “….a younger generation more socially and culturally inclusive than their own…”

        Yes, you’ve nailed “inclusivity”, D’Esterre. Leunig tackled “inclusivity” thus in last year’s Leunig calendar:

        “This is an inclusive society. Anyone deemed to be acting in a non-inclusive manner will be excluded.”

        • Pope Punctilious II: ““This is an inclusive society. Anyone deemed to be acting in a non-inclusive manner will be excluded.””

          Hahaha! That just sums it up, no? Made everyone here laugh uproariously.

    • “In the UK old white men voted for little England Brexit? Why?”

      You then proceed to ignore the reasons why those white working class male Northern voters who were Labour voters all their life for some bland wellington white male hate.

      Bit tedious Bruce.

      Your desire to see everything through the Wellington lens of identity politics misses the economic dimensions.

      White working class men who had been failed by neoliberalism in the UK, who saw them forced to compete with other working class people flooding the UK from other parts of Europe turned their backs on Labour, especially when the London based labour Millennials slagged them off on social media.

      I would suggest them turning their backs on neoliberalism and free markets was the reason they left the Left, you would like t simply claim being white and male is the disease.

      Your Wellington need to find an Identity Politics enemy to scream at misses the point that people who have been betrayed by neoliberalism turn against it.

      • Is it “hate” to criticise old white men for voting their class (in such as CGT) and or race identity? (I’m a boomer myself by the way and I expect a better more generous attitude to those with less privilege in society).

        Did those “northern working class” voters then turn out and vote for the left wing hero Corbyn? No they did not, Boris Johnson even thanked them for their vote of trust in him.

        Are you arguing that our government should turn the migrant worker tap, and or (at least) better regulate worker exploitation?

        I don’t see the working class of south Auckland or the Maori here turning against Labour, National is a little too kiwi white middle class (against workers interests etc) for that to work.

        • SPC: “I don’t see the working class of south Auckland or the Maori here turning against Labour….”

          I wouldn’t count on that, were I in your shoes. If I remember rightly, it was the 2014 election (or possibly an earlier one) in which Labour comprehensively lost that section of the vote. I can’t remember whether that vote went elsewhere, or whether the voters just stayed home.

          • Sure, as in the USA the issue for many voters is what reason is there to turn out. So not being National or GOP is sometimes not enough. (PS I did reply to your 3.27pm)

            • What an unbelievable vision of social change. That you would put your 2 cents on top of Labours nzd$100 dollar budget and be like see, me is smart. Of course we can discuss the miss allocation of that budget but come on wake up to yourself.

              A bit of background my Grandfather ran TVNZ News room from the 1990’s to 2015 so he had a little bit of influence. He always said that he never did the economics which is something he tried to include in his syllabus late in his tenure.

              The way I came to understand his failings is that he was rewarded for covering the effects of the economy but that there was always this unknown thing causing effects that couldn’t be explained simply by covering the human aspects.

              In a way society revolves around fiscal policy much like how humans believed so hard that the sun revolves around planet earth. Thats not simply ideology it’s an orthodoxy. For those that have lost faith in society we welcome all new comers to The Daily Blog.

  12. “CNN didn’t bring Donald Trump down. What defeated him was his own woefully inadequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    The evidence suggests that things were more complex than that. It appears that he acted with dispatch: I discovered the following when I was looking for something else:

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/122478289/coronavirus-wellington-cluster-hit-new-york-as-covid19-accelerated-in-the-big-apple

    The US is of course a federal system, as is Australia. The president cannot therefore order about individual states. The same applies in Australia, where the PM can only advise state premiers as to what they should do (hence unhappiness a while back at Queensland’s resolute refusal to reopen its borders to other states, despite bugger-all cases).

    Trump has been given to shooting his mouth off. Well…he surely wouldn’t be the first US president to do that. We know about it now, firstly because of Twitter, and secondly, because the US msm jumped on absolutely everything he said, right from the day he was elected, and put the worst possible spin on it.

    The US msm was part of a coup attempt against Trump that lasted right through his term in office.

  13. FOX was VITAL to the overthrow of reason and democracy in the minds of Republican voters. But it’s irrelevant. The overthrow happened a long time before by trusting the rich. Most important, in a post political age, democracy matters. I feel like I’m moving through high grass. We oldoies remember the golden dawn of democracy’s rebirth after WW 2. Some puir fkn chap like John R. Lee needs to chirp up. And shouting fire in a theatre needs to be disallowed. A soap-box orator! Is anything more opposite to Jacinda and Grant.

  14. Well said Chris – ‘Wokeism” has given up on the poor, as such, their many failings are starting to appear.

    I think I’ve said it before, but a eco-fascist in the populist mold is so on the cards in this country, it’s frightening.

  15. Chris, your reference to the bellcurve reminds me of a George Carlin quip – “If you think the average person is stupid, remember 50% of the population are worse.”

    Fluoride in the water doesn’t help.

  16. Chris, you have absolutely no experience of the rest of the centre-left outside narrow trade union affiliations, and this horizontal hostility toward anyone outside that narrow band activism yet again demonstrates why they hold you in such low esteem. Try reading some Stuart Hall on authoritarian populism and educate yourself before making any more such ridiculous remarks.

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