Beware the Backlash: The State Will Not Be Surprised A Second Time

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THE RIGHT-WING ORGANISERS of the now suppressed occupation of Parliament Grounds will in no way consider themselves defeated. On the contrary, they will be  celebrating their spectacular migration from the unnoticed ideological fringes to the glare of prime-time politics. In exactly the same way that a largely unknown provincial agitator was catapulted into the national German spotlight by his failed “Beer Hall Putsch” of 1923, the rioters of 2/3/22 have succeeded in seizing Middle New Zealand by the ear.

The Daily Blog’s editor, Martyn Bradbury, estimates that the dramatic events of 2/3/22 have recruited 100,000 followers for the Alt-Right string-pullers behind the occupation and its cataclysmic finale. If he’s correct, then that is roughly enough voting power to crest the 5 percent MMP threshold and secure 6 seats in the House of Representatives – assuming, of course, that the Alt-Right can arrive at an ideological consensus strong enough to permit the creation of a coherent political party.

There is, however, no evidence to suggest that such a coming together of the volatile elements on display in Parliament Grounds is imminent. Paradoxically, the same social media that brought the doings of the “Freedom Village” to around 30,000 people per day during the occupation, all-too-easily emboldens those on the losing side of major debates to strike out on their own. Not only that, but it provides a public stage where the personal animosities of the major players can be played out for the edification of friends and foes alike.

In the absence of an Adolf Hitler-type figure with the requisite intellectual, ideological, rhetorical and political skills to transform the brawling and fissiparous Alt-Right into an effective electoral force, the conclusions of the SIS’s Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG) are almost certainly correct. The locus for effective action on the Alt-Right will shrink down to the level of the “Lone Wolf”. Those dangerously alienated individuals who see themselves as either the “saviours” of their race, or the “avengers” of those whose rights and freedoms have been stripped away by tyrannical blood-drinking paedophiles.

Under discussion here is terrorism – pure and simple. Across the national security community there will be many who, even as they witnessed the fire and smoke of the twenty-third day, were thinking of what a more organised and tactically aggressive leadership might have achieved on the first or second day of the protest, when the defences and defenders of Parliament were at their weakest.

Had 500 or 1,000 brawlers of the sort who hurled paving stones at the Police on 2/3/22 rushed up the steps of Parliament Buildings on 9/2/22 and forced their way through the doors – who could have stopped them? Would New Zealanders, like Americans, have been presented with live images of a crazed anti-vaxxer seated in the Speaker’s Chair? Would a noose-swinging lynch mob have made their way up the Beehive stairwells crying “Ja-cin-daaa!” And, having seen a dozen of their comrades shot down by the Prime Minister’s bodyguards, would they have set fire, not to pup-tents, but the Beehive itself?

There are senior “public servants” across Wellington brooding worriedly today upon what could so easily have happened because, exactly as the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch Mosque Shootings warned, far too little attention has been paid, by those whose duty it is to protect the national security of New Zealand to, the Alt-Right and its kindred subversives and terrorists.

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Not the least worried of these public servants will be Police Commissioner Andrew Coster. He will be asking all manner of questions about why his own intelligence division failed to anticipate the scale of the crisis the foreign-inspired Alt-Right promoters of Convoy 2022 were determined to provoke on the grounds of Parliament. One can only imagine the cold fury with which the Prime Minister directed the same questions at New Zealand’s chief law-enforcement officer.

With the events of 15 March 2019 – and now 2 March 2022 – etched upon her mind, Jacinda Ardern will be more determined than ever to curb the expression of hate speech. On her side of the House (and among a fair proportion of those seated on the opposite side) there will now be even less patience for those who attempt to keep the banner of free speech flying.

Among the public there will likely be a surge of support for the Government’s stance. In the minds of more and more New Zealanders it is now the defence of society itself that must take precedence. Increasingly, the defenders of free speech will come to be seen as the defenders of those who not only use their freedom of expression to cry “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, but then do all they can to persuade the audience to burn the theatre down.

That so many members of the Free Speech movement genuflect to the Right, rather than the Left, will only harden the resolve of those determined to silence the pedlars of arson and murder who – to borrow the Prime Minister’s expression – “desecrated” the holy precincts of New Zealand’s democracy.

Coming down hard on hate speech will only be the beginning. It is highly likely that the Law Commission will be tasked with reviewing the effectiveness of the legal weaponry currently available to a Government under siege. Geoffrey Palmer’s giddy bonfire of the repressive instruments of state power has taken on a less admirable lustre. Bonfires are no longer in vogue.

Finally, there is the formidable apparatus of New Zealand’s national security community, most particularly the SIS and the GCSB. It should be presumed from here on out that those who blithely spout prejudice and hatred online will be simultaneously announcing themselves as “persons of interest” to all those who wield the swords of state protection.

To the stone-throwers and tent-burners out there, girding their loins for another crack at the lizard people and their lackeys, the most useful advice is simple and direct:

From now on, assume that you are not alone.

87 COMMENTS

  1. Of course it was a right-wing protest, what protest against government actions won’t be from here on in. Those who see right-wingers everywhere clearly believe that government is sacrosanct and beyond reproach because blaming the world’s ills on right-wingers is simply a way to draw attention away from government actions/inaction.

    The world isn’t the way it is because of right-wingers. Politicians and whom they ultimately serve, have shaped the world we have been living in. When trillions are flowing to the top while local business and workers struggle, whom government actually works for becomes easy to see. Those who protect government, are no ally of the people.

    Government has lost the plot, that is not a right-wing thing to say. As a left-winger, I strongly believe in government, but only a fool ignores what government has now become and whom they ultimately serve.

    It is time that we, the people, bring them to heel, before they, the State, buries their jackboots in our faces for good, while in the service of their elitist masters.

    Time to wake up folks, time to wake up Chris…time is running out.

    • What do you hope they learned? That on day one you go in and smash heads to dissuade masses from gathering?
      That you set up a tent at the beginning, a sort of ’embassy’ where delegations can put forward their credentials for being the ones to be the conduits for communications? Or organise site elections so the gathered can choose their leaders?

    • Jacinda, Costar and Mallard are the winners from this week’s right wing illegal covid camp on parliament grounds. The anti anything labour and hate jacinda right wing commentators are the losers.
      That makes it Jacinda 100, right wing 0 – ZERO.

  2. I agree, the forcible occupation of Parliament and possibly the Beehive was a tangible possibility on the second or third day. 1000 determined protestors would have overwhelmed the police and parliamentary security. The only way out from the Beehive would have been helicopters from the roof. It would have looked like a coup, though taking over buildings is not the same as taking over government.

    The realty is the the protestors never had the intent to take over the buildings. There were there to persuade politicians, not capture them, some of the signs notwithstanding.

    As for your broader point, is there a political party capable of representing their concerns and getting 5%.Is it NZ First?

    Other than that is problem of radicalised lone wolves. The problem is potentially worse than that. Radicalised cells in the manner of the Bader Mienhof of the the 1970’s in Germany or Red Brigades in Italy. If not in ideology, at least the same in intent and form.

    Yes, Commissioner Coster has a difficult job ahead.

  3. Pray that such a figure does not emerge, a dark mirror-image of Gramsci’s organic intellectual…

  4. Can you please provide evidence of Right Wing organisers? I see none and I am at the chch camp EVERY day

    • NCP, OneNZ, Vision/Destiny Church, ex Outdoor Recreation, Advance/Public Party, Kelvyn Arps, Counterspin all involved in organising, leading, all riight wing LOL

  5. While I fully agree that the 1923 beginnings of Hitler’s rise to power are entirely relevant today, you’re out of touch with reality with respect to the remainder of your article. Why do you think there “will likely be a surge of support for the Government’s stance”? When it’s obvious that the government has lied about vaccine mandates before vs after the 2020 election. A severe backlash against the Labour government is instead far more likely at our next election – resulting in possible future platforms for reincarnations of Hitler in NZ.

    You seem to think that the “formidable apparatus of New Zealand’s national security community, most particularly the SIS and the GCSB” might be a useful shield to hide behind. Have you considered the possibility of such a “formidable apparatus” falling under the control of any future right-wing tyranny in NZ?

    All because the current Labour government is woefully out of touch with reality and hence sowing the seeds for such future right-wing tyranny in NZ.

    I think your opening paragraphs in this article are spot-on while I’d draw entirely different conclusions than the remainder of your article. I instead fear the demise of the left-wing thanks to the current government’s reckless irresponsibility.

    • And time will not reflect well on this demonstration.
      It will be March the second that will be remembered not peaceful protest.

  6. Dunno Chris, On one hand I applaud that the police moved in and sorted out the protesters ( in Wellington) however on the other hand I have a certain admiration for there determination in getting there messages across even though at times the messages were muddled to say the least, I do think you could be wrong in portraying these people, being influenced by so called right wing extremists, As from what I saw, were a whole lot of people from all walks of life, left, right, Māori, pakeha, employees, business owners who’s had a guts full of being lied to, spoken down to and at times fed a whole heap of gobbledygook from piss weak, double speak politicians ( from all parties) who for the most part wouldn’t have a clue in hell in what goes on in the real NZ/AO due to them being hell bent on lining there portfolios for there own egotistical personal gain!
    Therefore is it any wonder that we are seeing the sort of protests that have unfolded over the last few weeks

  7. It is interesting because when Maori are over represented in any statistics, the left cry “colonisation”. They were over represented at this protest, but somehow colonisation is not seen as an explanation for these Maori.

    I only hope Winston Peters mops up these people as a Chanel for an electoral voice. The alternatives are frankly terrifying

  8. So that is two articles this week reflecting on the right and especially the fringe. But we have a right wing government, correct? A deeply conservative business as usual Right Wing Government – don mention TAX, support by the (scab) greens. The right are totally dominating the debate, as they have done since the neo-lib wave.

    Where is the party of the left? Maybe – Vote for Equality and Wellbeeing -“Christ Trotter’s Truth Left Party”

  9. Glossary

    Fissiparous: tending to split or divide; pertaining to splitting or division

    Cold hate: neokindness

  10. As above, Mr Trotter, and as mentioned elsewhere on TDB, mandates were recommended against by the WHO. There is also the significant legal finding in the police/defence force case that mandates are unlawful in those instances.
    Getting vaccinated is actually a selfish decision as it’s really just helping protect the individual from more serious disease, sensible yes, morally superior? For most of us, no.

    Forced vaccination was never something I’ve been favour of for covid even earlier with more dangerous variants and better protection- to me the social division from casting out people from society was never outweighed by the small gain in community protection:
    This is not smallpox or measles where a vaccine gives strong long lasting protection from infection and transmission and elimination might be achieved -covid vaccines have not proved to be watertight as I’ve mentioned as likely from the beginning due to the nature of the virus itself.
    With omicron, vaccine protection from transmission is so weak it’s barely different to the unvaccinated, although it does appear to still help reduce severity- how on earth then can mandates be justified in most of the population?

    And then to the protest – desperate and some misguided people but with a core of truth – mandates are not justified, or if you can show they are please put your case here.

    It’s saddened me greatly seeing the othering and the violence unfold, New Zealand has changed a little more for the worse.
    This should have been defused at the start with a meeting, even if nothing was agreed, there would have been moral high ground for moving people on before the situation imbedded and was inflamed.

    The worst of this is that yes the government is going to use its own failure here to drive hate speech and censorship laws which will erode civil liberties even more – its been signalled by the calling for an enquiry including “misinformation”, and is the M O of this labour government.
    Ideologically blinkered as they are they can’t see that doing so induces further paranoia in those they have radicalised here and will drive them out of mainstream sight.

    While the radical anti vaxer fringe disappear down paranoid rabbit holes, the government forces us all down its own rabbit hole of forced censorship and state surveillance.

    • Agreed. Here we have the vilification of the protestors by Government, MPs, PM, media, trying to link them to far right wing extremists and prepared to cut whatever suspicious links (quite like a conspiracy theory itself).Why are they all so upset by opinions like that there are no viruses at all (held by some researchers as well), that the vaccines are dangerous, not effective, suspicious (also held by some researchers) while they all accept (and are prepared to invest money) to opinions that a turtle, a mountain, a river is someone’s ancestor? Where is the position of science in this?
      To prevent the spread of theories about genocide etc. the Government should have avoided all coercion that always incite reaction and is always suspicious.
      Mind you, the protestors and all who sympathize with them are not “they”, they are us, our co-citizens who are not going to evaporate we will live side by side. Just tell me, how often in pre-Covid era did you debate with anyone the existence of viruses, the RNA and DNA, vaccinations etc.? Isn’t it the highest time to calm down to normal pre-fear era and for the Government to scrap the mandates, passports and restrictions?

      • ” Isn’t it the highest time to calm down to normal pre-fear era and for the Government to scrap the mandates, passports and restrictions?”

        Yes and that is the governments plan should Andy actually open his ears. It’s just Andy is like a 5 year old “I want it now” wah wah wah!

      • I love the way rightards twist and turn to follow the party line, just like little maoist red guards..the acrobatics they perform when a coup fails or a deadline passes fills my black old heart with joy watching them squirm like pinned bugs.

          • the line of internet karens, rightwing blowhards, conspiracy theories, fox news and whatever the ‘lie of the week’ is….

            trump will be back in the white house by….pick a deadline it’s passed anyway.

        • I love the way government supporters go straight to ad homs rather than debate an issue they are clearly wrong about.
          Make an argument.
          It’s very telling.
          I don’t know if I’m a “rightard” having voted left all my life until the last election, but if that’s the team I have to support for now to change our most divisive government ever, so be it.

          *A small correction to my above spiel, I have been in favor of mandatory vaccination for some medical and border roles providing people can be employed elsewhere if objecting.

      • How often in pre-Covid era did we debate with anyone the existence of viruses, the RNA and DNA, vaccinations etc? Why? What was the use?
        When the need arose we were all expert scientists – microbiologists, epidemiologists, virologists, and immunologists. Let alone modellers.

  11. “…have been presented with live images of a crazed anti-vaxxer seated in the Speaker’s Chair?”

    I’d consider it an improvement on the current sellouts.

    Too bad Globalism successfully absorbed the NZ Left into its Hive Mind circa 1980s.

  12. Getting into parliament was never on the agenda like Jan 6th because, unlike Jan 6th, there was nothing going on inside to disrupt. If parliament was sitting to pass even more restrictive mandates then perhaps there might have been enough impetus, but it wasn’t.

  13. Chris the lack of imminent threat from a violent Alt-Right movement in NZ isn’t just about “the absence of an Adolf Hitler-type figure”, but also the complete absence of circumstances comparable to those in post-WWI Germany – military defeat with massive casualties, feelings of betrayal (“stabbed in the back”), growing anti-Semitism, and the punitive Treaty of Versailles (“squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak” said one British politician).

    If (IF) in 12 months time, Covid-19 has become a low-virulence endemic virus and if control measures are gone, the Covid mandate protest will have dissipated to irrelevance. If the Alt-Right finds an opportunity in NZ, it’s much more likely to arise from public reaction to this government’s ethnostate plans.

    • pope, Versailles by the standard of the times was not out of line..see franco-prusian war, opium war etc etc etc..german pity parties are rarely founded in fact

  14. Yes, my greatest complaint against “the occupiers” is that they will further justify the governments determination to legislate against free speech even though there was very little speech of any substance to be heard/seen and there is already legislation against threatening to kill. Blow them!
    As for composition of the mob? Make your own estimates.
    Alt-right 3%
    Stolid, stubborn ‘kiwi blokes(esses) 26%
    Natural livers, tree-huggers 19%
    Life-long grievance holders 42%
    Sad bastards 10%
    They have enjoyed the attention, so for goodness’ sake let’s stop taking notice.

  15. Social media suggests this isnt over, it sounds like they’re trying to regroup and somebody is spamming a telegram group consisting of 1.4k followers. Telegram is what was used in the initial push onto parliament grounds. Keep your guard up Wellington.

  16. I’m not a fan of Winston Peters but as he pointed out the majority of people who protested simply wanted to be have their concerns heard and have the government engage with them. People who had lost jobs, businesses, people who felt their human right to decide what is injected into their bodies mean’t something. Hardly the stuff of far right conspiracy types, no matter how hard the government and the mainstream media, have tried to portray them as such.

    Its worth mentioning too, that the tools of the state are paid for by the people and should by rights, be there for their protection, not their intimidation and persecution, should they decide to voice their opposition to what the government is doing. Its a small thing called democracy and if we overlook it, it will soon be gone.

    • Yeah right… There are two sides to the tools of the State and who they should act or desist from being for. Don’t forget while you are heaving great sighs of sadness over louche protesters (great word, I recommend it in this case). On the other hand while the protesters have had more than their time in the rain showing contempt for the people as well as the politicians who they demand to be listened to by, get that I don’t know if it makes sense, but hey incoherence is in. If you don’t understand then you are just a woose or something. Meanwhile a lot of people serve the public in some job, and have to do it and get paid for it, so they can pay tax on it, and perhaps keep the protesters going with some of it, and haven’t time to listen to your mates never-ending story or unravel this mush.

    • Oh for fucks sake, the ‘protesters’ have had their concerns listened to constantly since day one – even the most ‘rabbit hole rantings’. The problem is that the appearance they have ultimately created seems to be that they don’t want to abide by democratic principles or protest in a responsible manner. Can it be expected that three percent of 95% should be able to dictate to the majority. It wouldn’t be so bad if the Government had not done such a good job initially and carried the responsibility of ensuring the best available research has been obtained and acted on. What has gone before is most likely the best possible foundation for moving toward a safer and more ‘normal’ future in terms of the workplace, economy and even hospitality if people feel safe. Letting a virus loose like a bull at a gate now, would potentially create all manner of mayhem.

      As for your comment, “People who had lost jobs, businesses, people who felt their human right to decide what is injected into their bodies meant something”…, get off the grass! They didn’t lose their jobs or businesses, they surrendered them to their principles. You know, the sort of thing most people to a greater or lesser degree do all the time. It is called life. A challenging part of your comment was in regard to ‘losing businesses’. We will take decades to recoup the costs that were accumulated to keep businesses afloat and to keep people in work with an income.

      You also seem to have strange twists on ‘intimidation and persecution’. Both sides were guilty to a greater or lesser degree, but of course, that is always a consequence of dissention.

  17. Careful with your scenarios Chris. With many not knowing the demarcation between their experienced reality, their imagined and talked-up reality, the surroundings and hegemony they live in, and television presentations of fact or fiction or faction, mind-floats can occur. Reading this might be confusing, as in blow a fuse.
    Would a noose-swinging lynch mob have made their way up the Beehive stairwells crying “Ja-cin-daaa!” And, having seen a dozen of their comrades shot down by the Prime Minister’s bodyguards, would they have set fire, not to pup-tents, but the Beehive itself?

    ‘And having seen a dozen of their comrades shot down by the Prime Minister’s bodyguards’ – you don’t want to find that fictoid (I hope) has got into the anthropological histories of the lost tribe of NZ. Things do worm their way into such unexpected niches.

  18. “RIGHT-WING ORGANISERS” ???? Get a grip Chris!

    You mean the nasty fascists who are against forced medical procedures that breech both our Human Rights Act and the Nuremburg declaration?

    It’s the government we need to fear, not the protesters.

  19. Part of the problem with partaking in the constant labeling of groups such as “Nazi’s” “alt right” just because you think differently, or see them as some inferior, sub human. You lose sight of the bigger picture, too busy playing the man, and turning everything into a left verses right political fight.

    For example: you’re so busy labeling people like Leighton Baker an alt right, Nazi, Christian conservative; you miss the fundamental issues like the fact he was arrested for the crime of protesting against the infringements upon civil liberties in New Zealand. For wanting to meet with our Govt. Non violent no aggression. If it was Titewhai Harawira or Sue Bradford protesting the same issue with Luxton at the helm, you’d in incandescent with rage.
    Even worse, he’s been criminalised and silenced as his bail conditions prevent him speaking out against the COVID response bill. I’m certainly no lawyer, I’d be interested to know if this was possible before the law changes implemented under the COVID emergency if anyone knows?

    Seems remarkably similar to Vlad’s new law criminalising those who spread information which goes against the Russian govt narrative on the war in the Ukraine. His is a bit worse 15 years in a Siberian jail.
    Now this is hardly surprising coming from Putin and Russia.
    But seriously; is this acceptable in our democracy?
    From an open and transparent Govt.
    From a leader who preaches kindness.

  20. mick the flaw in the ‘rightards defend free speech line’ is, they’re the ones who would deny you those rights should they ever get in power…they don’t value free speech it’s just a useful tactical tool at this particular point for them.

    • Gag the flaw in your thinking is: it’s just a hypothetical, and practically irrelevant. The Nats and the right have been irrelevant for 5 years!
      We have Labour in power now. We had 3 years where they danced to the coalition tune.
      And a further 3 years where they have unprecedented power. Never ever seen under MMP.
      What do we have to show for 6 years in power which has really truely helped improve the lives of those who need it most?

      And the bail conditions which prevent Baker from criticism towards govt policy. I don’t see this as a “free speech” issue per se. It is the fact we’re going down the Putin style road which scares me.

      • mick the flaw in your thinking is changing the subject from the rights temporary support of ‘freedom of speech’ to a completely different topic.
        if you like feel free to defend the rights sudden devotion to ‘faux freedom of speech’

        • I have no idea what you’re on about, perhaps cut back on the drinking before you get on the keyboard.

          • Mick you heading down the rabbit hole. Baker can say whatever he likes – all the right wing protesters were openly expressing their views and in particular their hatred for Jacinda. The Natz, Act, NZF, Pati Maori, Destiny, Billy TK, Baker, New and old Natz, and other right wing parties were actively courting the mob – no lefties among that lot.
            We definitely don’t want those useless tories in govt with luxon and bridges in control of the $$$$$.

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