Who Will Fight For Democracy?


THE TIMING couldn’t have been better – or worse – depending upon which side of the political divide you position yourself. First, Trevor Mallard allows letters to be sent out to Winston Peters, Matt King, and (reportedly) other former MPs, trespassing them from Parliament Grounds for two years. Then, just 24 hours after that story breaks, Hobson’s Pledge inserts a full-page ad’ in The Herald spoofing the Star Wars franchise and announcing an “Attack On The Votes”.

Putting to one side the double standards of The Herald: whose editorial team, in spite of ruling an ad’ from the group Speak Up For Women (featuring nothing more inflammatory than the dictionary definition of “woman”) too much for its readers to bear, was nevertheless prepared to wear whatever harm Hobson’s Pledge’s graphic intervention might inflict on the body politic; the ad’ itself does reflect the growing public unease at this government’s commitment (or, more correctly, lack of commitment) to core democratic principles.

At present, most of that unease is concentrated in the older age-groups of the population. These are the New Zealanders who came of age at a time when the two main political parties represented clear and distinct approaches to defining and securing the public good.

The votes cast by New Zealanders in those far-off days steered the nation leftwards or rightwards in ways that must seem quite odd to those accustomed to the unchanging neoliberal parameters of MMP. That the National Party won more frequently than Labour was disappointing but not disheartening to Labour’s supporters. They understood that when the electoral planets did finally come into alignment for their party, then big changes would follow. Changes which, historically, National was more likely to come to terms with than to overturn.

In short, older New Zealanders can still remember when politics worked. More to the point, they can remember when even those who placed themselves on the right of the political spectrum accepted that what Martin Luther King called “the great arc of history” was bending in the direction of justice. They, or their parents, had been brought to the very edge of the moral precipice over which right-wing extremism had attempted to drag humanity. People who still thought that way – even after Auschwitz – were kept at the outermost margins of political life. The vile content of the letters they sent to the nation’s editors never saw the light of day. Their fascistic ravings were routinely filed in the nearest rubbish bin.

With New Zealanders under 40, however, all this political nostalgia gains little purchase. Politics hasn’t swerved to any noticeable degree since the 1980s, becoming in the Twenty-First Century a battle between marketing strategies, not ideologies. Young New Zealanders critique political advertisements in the way their parents and grandparents once critiqued the major parties’ election manifestoes. The “look” and “tone” of a political leader counts for much more than any ideas they might have. What matters most is that the leader of “your” party doesn’t come off looking and sounding like a “dick”.

“Democracy” no longer enjoys the universal admiration it elicited from people all over the world when its stood over the broken bodies of fascism and militarism at the end of World War II. As Dame Anne Salmond reminded Newsroom’s readers just the other day, Article 1 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights admits “no ifs, no buts, no exceptions” when it declares:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. 

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But, if these words carried the unchallengeable ring of truth for the parents and grandparents of today’s younger voters, those same younger voters are more likely to consider them an extremely dubious set of philosophical assumptions. Where, for example, does the “spirit of brotherhood” leave the women of the world?

“Democracy” in the Twenty-First Century offers electorates almost nothing in the way of alternative economic policies. Economics is no longer deemed a suitable subject for the sort of robust political contestation that distinguished the political parties of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. In the Age of Neoliberalism, the economic principles by which a nation is governed have become fixed. Politicians do not challenge these principles, restricting themselves to debating which party is best equipped to implement them most effectively and efficiently.

For young people on the losing side of the economic – that is to say class – struggle, it makes absolutely no difference whether Labour or National is in power. Neither party would dream of stepping beyond the bounds of neoliberal orthodoxy. No matter which political formation occupies the Treasury Benches, housing does not become more affordable, poverty is not alleviated, unions remain peripheral, and Climate Change is not seriously addressed. As the Anarchist slogan puts it: “Don’t bother voting – the politicians always win.”

The situation we face in 2022 bears comparison with the years following World War I. The much-vaunted concepts of democracy and progress had presided over a slaughter without historical parallel – and for what? The enlargement of the British and French empires? The elevation of American capital to global pre-eminence? The obscene wealth of wartime profiteers? Mass unemployment and homelessness for those who had survived the horrors of the trenches?

The stench of the old doctrines and the old values was worse that the stink of cordite and rotting comrades. Small wonder that veterans responded so enthusiastically to the demagogues of the far-Left and far-Right who denounced democracy as a busted flush.

As in the 1920s and 30s, the most radical political ideologies of the Twenty-First Century are dedicated to the nature of human identity and the possibility of human transformation. Ethnicity and nationality remain the central obsessions of the Far-Right, while the possibility of transformation continues to drive the Left. Where the Soviets dreamt of creating a wholly new kind of human-being – homo sovieticus – the modern identarian Left dream of the evolutionary leaps made possible by the elimination of oppression and privilege.

Dreams on this scale cannot be achieved by the tawdry compromises of democratic politics. The key objective of both the Far-Right and the Far-Left is to conquer the political apparatus and harness it to the all-important task of human transformation. The modern ideologue fears nothing more than the democratic mobilisation of ordinary citizens for the modest purposes of achieving all those ordinary things that make life safe and comfortable. Safety and comfort are Kryptonite to the radical political personality.

Guided more by intuition than ideology, Hobson’s Pledge “gets” the totalitarian implications of a political project driven not by what people actually want, but what they shouldwant. Its choice of the Star Wars franchise to hang its publicity campaign on is a shrewd one. For what is George Lukas’s fantasy if not ancient mythology, with all its archetypal heroes and villains, tricked-out in the dazzling accoutrements of space-age technology?

If “Episode 1” of “The Democracy Wars” was the occupation of Parliament Grounds, and Trevor Mallard’s furious response to the mob menacing his marble halls; and “Episode 2” is Labour’s “Attack On The Votes”; then the third episode, due for release towards the end of 2023 can only be – “The  People Strike Back”.

But, if Hobson’s Pledge and its allies are to defeat the curious blending of ethno-nationalism and transformative identarianism that constitutes Labour’s “Empire”, then its ageing leadership will first have to convince young New Zealanders that Democracy is worth fighting for.


  1. Star wars has been entertaining fans for 50 years. In that time fans have discovered hidden messages and meaning which is designed to make the star wars universe transcend it’s box office takings immortalizing the story’s and characters for ever.

    Goerge Lucas himself and eventually Disney would try to guard the Star Wars franchise from IP theft untill YouTube creators eventually fed up with the direction and tone of watching a polyanna (Rey) do things that defied her characters upbringing. Like how does a character go from living in a world with no water to being able to swim and swim really well. For fans it’s really disturbing but for people who don’t watch star wars the message really hits.

    So content creators have taken the Star wars franchise and started doing there own fan made fictions of the franchise. There’s so many now Disney can’t keep up basically the fans took back the universe they had paid for over the years.

    So where does this leave democracy. Who will take it back?

    • best star wars theory I’ve heard and there may be nothing to it

      lucas wanted to make a vietnam war film but coppola had bagged apocalypse now so he said to lucas what’s the essence of what your war film would say?

      given the time SW was made it can be read as the rebels are the VC and the empire is the US

      I don’t know if there is anything in it but I do know it makes US tru blu ameriklan SW fans spit blood and that’s good enough for me.

      • Lucas isn’t a screen writer and every actor he’s worked with will happily proclaim he’s a not very good director. What Lucas is good at is building a universe and computer graphics so Lucas readily admits that he pulls meaning and ideas straight out of popular and contemporary political.

        There’s stuff that George W Bush jr said in the phantom menace. WW2 and veitnem war references and a host of other ideas.

        But yeah he did model the empire on Nazi Germany SS. That’s onvious and he’s stated that so that’s canon. Mandalore is infact Maori thanks to Morrison playing Boba Fett. What ever the director and Stars say about there chart hers and universe even if it’s not on screen is infact canon.

        It’s not so much predictions of a possible future or prognosticating or anything like that because ideas I believe have a beginning, middle and end. I mean what would we even use to measure such a thing in the future, like what is a measuring tool for future events I claim is impossible to construct. So I believe ideas have a birth and death rather than crystal ball gazing.

        I guess it’s up to the fans to carry the ball onwards or the idea just dies.

        • I was only commenting on the original film, it was a book on the making of that specifically..
          the rest of the franchise is of little or no interest to me, though friends who are into it tell me it’s increasingly a game of diminishing returns

  2. If Te Pati Maori become Kingmakers at the next election, it will be a Labour govt again. This is based on the fact they won’t work with ACT and that Hobson’s Pledge is a subsidiary of the National party and ACT. Hobson’s Pledge is a racist group whom don’t recognize the Treaty.

    • The MP only scored 33,000 votes in 2020. It won’t be any better in 2023, and if whatshername from Destiny Church, the bishop’s wife runs again. She may undermine his margin. So if they don’t get across the line with an electorate seat…

  3. ‘Democracy” in the Twenty-First Century offers electorates almost nothing in the way of alternative economic policies’

    Democracy is an illusion designed to pacify the…..middle and lower classes.

    • @ Blazer.
      ‘Democracy’ offers electorates the opportunity to vote once having secured a fair enough idea of what one’s voting for. Democracy isn’t a politic. The mechanism that is democracy was as a result of politics but it isn’t a politic. I’d argue that democracy was more a tool box of tools to enable voting once an understanding of what one might like to vote for, or against, is. In this, our most recent instance, plutocrats have subverted our democracy, our tools so to speak, so it more represents the interests and agendas of the ruling privateer plutocrats power of their wealth over the voting power of the general public who are not weaponised by money because the wealthy have it all. And by that, I mean the wealthy have moved in on our collective wealth under roger rat’s privatisation banner, neoliberalism. Plutocrats have financially neutered us all by taking our taxes paid for stuff and things thus rendering us more financially vulnerable and now we must pay them dearly to enjoy the benefits of what our state owned assets once provided. Like hospitals, education, financial state help at nominal rates of return, like state housing, roading, electricity etc.
      Democracy is merely a vehicle we’re fortunate enough to be traveling within. It’s a pity that our politics is tied up in the boot as we head down a lonely road on a dark night to a shallow grave.
      That’s why you’re likely to never see voting mandated. The rich will always vote for the rich others and since the rich are in a voting minority they’ll always want to keep their boots on the neck of the majority which are all those who are not only not rich but can never be allowed to be.
      And that, is why voting must be compulsory, and that is also why it isn’t.

  4. Democracy is in danger when losers like this guy can somehow be funded often by right wing overseas interests and set up their own donation system and somehow change government policy so easily.

    Protest donations went into bank account of man with history of unpaid debt

    The scary thing is that this type of personality who the Greens by design and Labour by stupidity, seem to want to enable further in NZ both those living here and those with the same characteristics to reside here.

    On the other end of the spectrum we have the billionaires like Peter Thiel, NZ citizen and Trump supporters who appears not to believe in democracy and our governments are wooing into NZ as fast as they can.

    Politics seem more about gaining money for elites than policy for the public these days – thus unlikely people meet to work policy together and fund politicians to execute their policies to further help their financial interests. .

    NZ politicians love money – they have thrown out any criteria and just seem to free style immigration now -whether a money laundering, drug smuggler, ISIS bride or far right/PRC billionaires they want their money into NZ!!!

    • More forests lost from NZ control – where are the angry elite Maori on this – still worrying about micro aggressions.

      More farms being sold to overseas buyers for forestry conversion

      “The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of another six farms for conversion to forestry under the special forestry test.

      Introduced in 2018 to encourage more tree planting – farming groups have raised alarm at the rate of farms being sold through the special forestry test.”

      No push back from woke elites about rich listers views in NZ who get government favours but don’t seem to share the governments ‘public’ view on woman and Maori. Seem to remember at least one got millions in taxpayer funded favours and a fast track on his infrastructure.

      Company CEO criticised over ‘misogynistic’ comments about Nadia Lim

      Calls for Sleepyhead boycott after director shares ‘racist’ email

      • SaveNZ again claiming some sort of moral high ground with your ‘Elite Maori’ BS what about the ‘Pakeha elite’ that was responsible for the South Canterbury Finance debacle costing taxes payers $1.6 billion or milking the govt trough to the tune of 2.6 billions in free money? Bet you and your venerated idol Elizabeth Rata won’t mention any ‘Pakeha Elite Privileges’?

        • Actually I hate fraudster’s especially Pakeha big business fraudsters…

          I find those who are angry about Pakeha Elite Privileges are often Pakeha elite themselves who are using it as cover to push their own power/virtue signalling within NZ’s globalist, neoliberal agenda.

          Race, class and identity have nothing to do with people taking from others – there are crooks everywhere and from all walks of life and races just like there are good people everywhere from all races and walks of life.

          It’s important to honour the treaty but not sure that the current woke separatist/spiritual version is what is in the treaty.

          It sounds like it’s against the treaty as should be shutting down/slandering other Maori academics. It is not in the spirit of what NZ is supposed to stand for.

          Not sure I’m ready for NZ Pakeha elite to go into some woke, fake spiritual mode to enable more neoliberal sell offs while pretending to pander to elite Maori to agree with it.

          Both Pakeha and Maori are in the treaty with equal rights.

          Pretending to asign 1/2 assets to elite Maori (while shutting off other Maori voices) while giving the other 1/2 to big business doesn’t seem to honour the treaty or human rights, or equality, at all.

          We already saw what has happened to Maori fishing rights. Offshore slavers fish NZ waters after being given the Maori rights, and it never created jobs for working Maori or money for them.

      • SaveNZ – Maori dont/cant sell their forests. Maori elite cant sell the forests – its a democratic process and selling forests is an individual greedy (probably tory) thing. I cant recall any Maori forest being sold unless a bad investment. Turangitukia at Turangi may have lost part of their forest from bad investments back in early 2000’s.

    • immigration does effect the host culture sorry it just does..this is manifested in the rights ‘fear of headscarves’ but also the unacknowledged negative and anti-democratic effect imported white evangelicals have on NZ broadly tolerant society

  5. Over the last century or so tens of thousands of NZdrs – Maori European Asian & many other ethnicities – have died or suffered lifelong injuries in their defence of our country & its democratic principles.

    I doubt very much that any of these people or their descendants would put their lives on the line to defend co governance.

    • They died to defend the private banking system whose raison d’etre is often substituted as …’democracy’.

  6. I am looking forward to seeing what my vote allocation will be dependant on race, age and gender when Labour get in next time. I reckon that my current 1 vote will go down to about 0.25 votes.

  7. Isn’t that what happens Bert when you have no mates (I mean friends) cause at the moment both Act and National are chasing the angry middle income and above Pakeha vote both male and female. And while they are busy trying to get more votes for their perspective parties they are tramping on the good race relations work done over many decades in our country, so in a sense we are going backwards.

    • True that Covid. The down side is National may find a new political party to gift an electorate too. It may even be called the Hobsons Pledge party and I’m certain a cup of tea deal could be done.

  8. Treaty seems very clear one NZer one vote.

    Te Tiriti and democracy: The principle of equal representation

    The Maori party has been going for decades now, but consistently only gets 33% of the Maori party vote so that leaves 2/3 of Maori that don’t believe in The Maori Party policy as their preferred party to vote for.

    Woke, which seems to have encapsulated Labour policy get super angry when people don’t agree with their proposed race separatism policies for education, health, taxes and water.

    Elizabeth Rata: The Decolonisation of Education in New Zealand

    Siouxsie Wiles and stuff found to have published misinformation about Professors Kendall Clements, Elizabeth Rata, Doug Elliffe, Garth Cooper, Robert Nola and John Werry

    The curious thing about race and identity laws is that somehow Siouxsie Wiless (British born been in NZ for approx 8 Years who might be ok on Covid) but somehow gets in a position to advocate against leading Maori and other academics misleading information in the media about their own culture!

    “Several other academics have published an open response to the letter stating they categorically disagree with their views.

    Signatories include Shaun Hendy, Siouxsie Wiles, Andrew Sporle and Tara McAllister and a numer of others.”

    University academics’ claim mātauranga Māori ‘not science’ sparks controversy

    A media complaint on behalf of Professors Kendall Clements, Elizabeth Rata, Doug Elliffe, Garth Cooper, Robert Nola and John Werry. (One of the original seven signatories to the Listener letter, Professor Michael Corballis, has since died.) was upheld.

    But the woke don’t care – current identity politics is a new form of cultural appropriation to gain more power to neoliberal interests and those that enable them.

    Many woke ‘communicators’ are key advisors to the Labour government and not censored on this type of bullying and misleading behaviour.

    This is why democracy is dying in NZ. People are allowed to say anything anymore without someone with more power undermining others and that is why the proposed ‘hate speech’ which seems to be more about removing freedom of speech is so dangerous.

    • Elizabeth Rata has her critics as a radical academic who has been described as the female Don Brash.

      Elizabeth Rata on the politics of knowledge in education, represents a widespread, though covert, influence within the global academy of an imperialist form of philosophical universalism which has particular significance for Aotearoa New Zealand due to her vocal opposition to Kaupapa Māori education and Māori politics more generally. Critical analysis shows that Rata’s scholarship is based on misconceptions of several key terms and concepts, which inexorably lead to inadequate arguments and invalid conclusions, and undermine the cogency of her claims about the ‘dangers’ of Kaupapa Māori education.

      Elizabeth Rata is also a contributor to the NZCPR site a far-right-think tank that is obsessed with anything to enhance Maori. Elizabeth Rata is intellectually dishonest when formulating her thesis she misrepresents the nature of tikanga and rangatiratanga and displays an impressive ability to think in binary. Elizabeth Rata declines to discuss her ethnicity and seems unaware of the confusion her Māori surname causes for those who do not know her personal history.

      she is reported as saying her background has no relevance to her scholarship, but many Maori would respond by saying this attitude demonstrates her ignorance or refusal of Māori perspectives on and in her work, despite her life amongst Māori people, in the city with the world’s largest Māori and Pacific population. This refusal of Māori perspectives pervades Rata’ thinking and is at odds with any claim to speak with authority on Māori education or politics. Elizabeth Rata routinely misrepresents the work of others, who is wrongly cited by Rata as advocating for ‘Māori science’

      • Boo hoo, some nameless person called her ‘female Don Brash’ but maybe like in the Stuff article they were found out to be lying and misleading the public.

        What ever your idols are doing now to ‘enhance Maori’ doesn’t seem to be working out very well judging from our worsening statistics for Maori poverty.

        The Maori elite and their woke ‘science advisors’ and benefactors and neoliberals seem to be doing well though – and their power seems to be on the back of drowning out Maori voices or aiding the woke to only allow Maori woke voices to speak.

        Unfortunately isn’t working out very well for science in NZ as NZ falls into the bottom 20% for children in the OECD.

      • A lot of “tell”, but very little “show” in your post, Stephen.

        You say Elizabeth Rata is wrong. You go further, saying she is dishonest. You say she misrepresents tikanga.

        SHOW us what is wrong with her ideas. SHOW us what is “dishonest” about what she has done. SHOW us in what way she misrepresents tikanga.

        • You need to go to your marae and learn. Not here or at a uni.
          Your people teach you.

  9. Chris,
    You enthusiastically joined in to scapegoating and casting ridiculous slurs onto mostly poor New Zealanders during the mandate protest. If there is no democracy for all, there is no democracy.

    We are so divided now that cardboard cutouts replace the humanity of those deemed ‘other’, onto which almost fantasy can be projected. While we live inside our comfortable clans and prejudices, and don’t have anything to do with ‘those people’ very often living just across town.

    And how easily democracy is subverted into thought-free tribalism, especially when we allow ourselves to be distracted by popstar-esque cults of personality within that tribalism, and in which ”our people” are automatically good and right in any dispute, with reverse projections in the other direction, (or even the assumption that they are, politically in another direction.

    Mallard is an expression of a problem within Labour. But also, sadder still, within the nation.

    And when you jumped Chris, did Labour’s instigation of ‘Rogernomics’ hover anywhere in your consciousness?

  10. The great thing about democracy is everyone gets a vote

    The bad thing about democracy is everyone gets a vote (even bert)

      • Just look around Bert and you can see it for yourself. Race has become THE issue here thanks to woke identity politics. Gone are the days where we would say no matter what race we are we are all the same. Now it is all about dividing people up into racial categories with all that comes with that

        • No, race is only an issue because it’s in your mindset, Hodson’s Pledge, ACT and the right wing media.
          Unless you have firm evidence it’s gone backwards other than “I say so” because that excuse is tiresome.

          Question, do you think Maori believe race relations have gone backwards or it’s attempting to be on a level pegging?

        • naw x race is the issue HERE especially for the rightard trolls because it’s a rightwing bubble ‘trigger issue’, most of the folk I know don’t give a flying one either way.

        • Oh my. Read this. it’s deep from x-x.
          ‘Gone are the days where we would say no matter what race we are we are all the same. Now it is all about dividing people up into racial categories with all that comes with that.’
          1st – Thinking people never have said that we are all the same race.
          Also hat’s mythologising about something different than the nub of what is being discussed!
          2nd – It is about dividing people? Not more than they are now. Doesn’t need to be more than everyone now having their own separate address for where they live. Different people living together. They used to be able to paint their houses different colours, plant a wide range of garden plants. (This is changing because of imposition of rules from big building speculators.
          Speculators came along like pyramid builders, taking over our landscapes in shades of beige and black and uniformity imposed against change by some building code.

          Did you agree to that? Yet you are making a fuss about Maori having more say, and being able to do some things their way which isn’t just the same as everybody else – we are not all the same – that is why we have differing opinions on this blog!

  11. I think Bob is right but it is the result of unintended concequence. Through 3 Waters the New Health system and the Rotorua bill ey are trying to get Maori involved but it has backfired as many Pakeha are against them having any voice. Labour will lose whichever way they move I am afraid to say as they will be caught between their Maori cabinet and Pakeha voters

    • Same question Trevor..

      Question, do you think Maori believe race relations have gone backwards or it’s attempting to be on a level pegging?

      Then ask yourself if you still think Bob’s one liner/soundbite is correct?

      • no Bert, we are all one big happy family in NZ now under labour (sarc).

        I think Tamati Coffey’s sneaky attempt to change the balance in voting will make a lot of Pakeha mis-trustful. Same with Three Waters. But that is just my opinion

        • Yep and in my opinion, Three Waters is an attempt to fix an existing broken infrastructure which by the way, seems to have been lost on those opposing it.
          But plenty have bought into the media spin on Three Waters, I suggest you read the document, you may just change your mind, but I doubt it(sarc).

        • Hang on that bill was vetoed and sent back to be changed. Isn’t it a good thing that we have conversations about race and inequality. For far too long we have been papering over the cracks. Do you seriously think that by not discussing these issues that they will go away. Its about time that politicians from all sides got serious because whether us immigrants like it or not the Maori voice is here has always been here and is here to stay. My message grow up New Zealand

  12. Funnily enough Chris, I have been musing for a couple of days on democracy and whether it has any effect in the world today. I believe utterly in it and still think that without it we are all screwed. Because what is the alternative?

    The worrying thing about democracy is that with the current political class (career politicians) where power is the only goal. Democracy cannot work in its current form. The side that stays in power is the one that is clever enough and ruthless enough to knock the legs out from under the opposition (Obvious moves in the US for example of republicans not letting crims and ex crims vote, of limiting mail in voting, of changing boundary lines to make votes less equal in value, Trumps flooding the legislature with right wing judges etc)

    Democracy only works when you have principled politicians. If they are a slave to money or ideology (what else are they when religious and societal constraints no longer inform our behaviour) and prepared to run roughshod over all opposition (enshrining principles under law that werent discussed, altering terms of reference for every govt dept, constitutional change by stealth) then democracy cant deliver.

    I have come to the conclusion that NZ can only move forward on a tribal, familial or community based way. At the moment, I dont think whoever we vote for is going to solve the majority of NZ’s problems. They are all values flexible, short term thinkers in it for their own personal wealth or power goals (Not all but the majority).

    The only hope we have is in NZers using their traditional ingenuity and egalitarian beliefs to establish thriving small communities. Imagine Maori living in a Te Ao Maori way communally in a smaller community. Able to live by and large the way they want to. Imagine Timaru having a vibrant local government and Lions club, Federated Farmers or whatever working really well together with the sole aim of making Timaru the best place to live in NZ.

    I know it sounds naive perhaps but I think the age of big government is over (It will continue but it wont deliver) so the best we can do is develop communities where we pull together and encourage innovation, sharing, leverage, whatever to build strong small communities. Even within suburban communities in cities this could happen. I really think it is a time of individual responsibility (rather than govt) to look after ourselves and our neighbours or our ”tribe’.

  13. Really good discussion and thought. Not that I agree with it all but it is good to join in to the broad mass of comment and read others opinions all at different places along the path that we adventurers in thought are on like Hansel and Gretel. We can follow the crumbs most of the time
    if we pay attention and look behind the bushes for footmarks.

  14. Chris
    “In short, older New Zealanders can still remember when politics worked.” Back then, it felt like the country kinda pleasantly ran itself. Everyone got on, did their stuff, politicians were in the news yes, but you know, they weren’t in your face all the time. They were happening in the background of our lives. But now, they are right in our faces. All the time. Every second sentence in the news or on tv or online, every conversation now is about “the govt this and the govt that”. And of late, govt is happening in an autocratic, sly, underhand and devious fashion – like never before. Also, this Govt is social engineering the country like never before – in a blatant fashion. Ideas and policies that nobody really wants are being marketed and then forced onto us. ‘The people’ aren’t being listened to either – we’re just ‘likes’ and votes. This govt is also no longer championing the idea all are equal. Chris, haven’t you had a gutsful of the govt having a finger in every aspect of our lives? You can’t breathe or move without govt being right there. I think New Zealand is totally over-governed. I wonder if that also contributes to “Democracy no longer enjoying the universal admiration”?

  15. Sour Kraut You are one confused twerp. The government should be bringing up things for discussion not wait for mr and mrs conformist and family complacent group to bring up matters of twanging importance sure to affect our distant future. Frankly we are lucky if politicians get useful insight from their expensive advisors Who will cope amongst people who have difficulty using their imagination, reading anything that isn’t conformist populist stuff, and just getting all their ideas from central images put out by fabulously wealthy feed systems.

  16. Bravo, Chris.

    We can see the extreme individualism that undermines the solidarity necessary for support of democracy –rule of the people, if I have my Greek right — in the commenters here. Nut wigs, who, unlike the original people’s friends, put their silliness ‘above’ the larger, more important cause.


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