The Greens’ Politics Of Fear


THE AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY GREENS (AUG) have scaled new heights of political absurdity. In an act of what can only be described as unconscious self-parody, they have decided to boycott the “Baby Back Benches Debate 2022” until such time as “further equity provisions have been enacted”. These provisions, helpfully listed in the AUG’s Facebook post, are of such an onerous nature that political debate, as generally understood, would no longer be possible on the Auckland campus.

Taking one’s party out of a debate in which its rivals: Labour, National, Act, Te Pāti Māori; will all be energetically represented is unlikely to strike many people as the most intelligent of electoral strategies. Undaunted, the AUG go on to recommend that the University of Auckland enjoin all organisations planning on holding debates on its campus during 2023 – Election Year – to conform to the AUG’s provisions.

Were the University authorities persuaded to follow the AUG’s recommendation, it is most unlikely that any of New Zealand’s leading political parties would bother showing-up. NGOs such as Greenpeace, The Council of Trade Unions and the Free Speech Union would, almost certainly, follow suit. Auckland’s students would, thus, be prevented from engaging in the activity for which they were once so notorious: loud, rancorous, scandalous – but hugely entertaining and enjoyable – political debate.

How, then, is the AUG’s conduct to be explained? What sort of mentality is required to draw up a list of rules that will not only make vigorous debate impossible, but which are also an unabashed attempt to curb the freedom of expression of politicians, activists, their fellow students, and any other group or individual in possession of strong opinions? What is it that drives groups like AUG to engage in such extraordinary behaviour?

This is how the AUG begin their explanation:

“A structural shift from our current system is necessary, as marginalised minorities are actively undermined by the political status quo. University of Auckland Greens is an organisation that offers an alternative. To practice what we preach, our executive committee has decided to abstain from attending Baby Back Benches 2022. Our vision is establishing safe spaces on campus that encourages positive policy-based kōrero, instead of entertaining drunken debates that are not conducive to constructive conversations.”

It is difficult to imagine a more embarrassing and self-revelatory political beginning.

Structural shifts in entrenched economic and political systems are not usually achieved by engaging in “policy-based kōrero” in “safe spaces”. It is difficult to imagine Maximilien Robespierre and his fellow French revolutionaries limiting themselves to earnest policy discussions in rooms from which all strong and/or disturbing opinions had been banished. Even harder to see Lenin and Trotsky insisting that their Bolshevik comrades engage only in “constructive conversations”. Would the platform of the Finland Station, crowded with workers’ and soldiers’ deputies from the Petrograd Soviet – most of them carrying banners and brandishing rifles – pass muster as a “safe space”? Would the noisy late-night discussions of Mao Zedong, a man not averse to a few drinks, and his boozy Communist Party comrades, qualify as “drunken debates”?

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As Mao famously opined: “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

But this is precisely what the AUG want their “structural shift” (why not call it by its proper name “Revolution”?) to be. They cannot seem to conceive of a politics that is anything but leisurely, gentle, temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. The last thing they want to encourage by their actions is an act of violence:

“Instead of sowing the seeds of conflict, we should be creating community with each other. This vision is only possible if we focus on redress over reactions, policy over personality, and whanaungatanga over fighting.”

Such a pretty picture – until one thinks about their proposed provisions – especially the one that reads:

“Anyone in breach of the rules should be immediately removed.”

Removed by whom?

Since it is difficult to imagine members of the AUG removing rule-breakers themselves, it must be supposed that the job of enforcing the AUG’s provisions would fall to University of Auckland security guards. Or, if the rule-breakers refused to go quietly, the Police.

Is this a structural shift? Or is this simply a group of highly-privileged young people using the enforcers of the university and/or the state to impose their notion of political debate on everybody else? And if that is the nature of AUG, then in what way is it distinguishable from the “current system” – in which a tiny minority of privileged and powerful individuals use their control of the forces of organised violence to impose their notion of economic and political order on everybody else?

AUG does not truly seek a structural shift – let alone a revolution. What it is attempting to promote, with its safe spaces and constructive conversations, is a political style that, should it ever be adopted by those with the power to enforce it, would render “one class to overthrow[ing] another” impossible.

For what is it that the AUG’s provisions actually promote? The answer, surely, is fear. The fear of the victim. The fear that grows in victims encouraged to embrace not their power – but their powerlessness. The fear that renders victims permanently incapable of confronting the emotional and physical violence out of which their victimhood is fashioned and constantly refreshed. The fear that turns them into the pliable playthings of those with power – the people who actually make the policies they are urged to discuss so constructively. Fear is the AUG’s currency. Fear of those with differing views. Fear of political passion. Fear of debate.

The fear which, tragically, is fast becoming the currency of the entire Green Party.

To parody George Orwell’s desperately demoralising prediction from Nineteen Eighty-Four:

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Green Party equity officer’s boot stamping out rowdy political debate – for ever.


  1. The woke left eats itself, until there is nothing or few members remaining.
    They seem to pick the smallest minority and champion them to the extent of pushing the previous championed minority out, alienate them.
    They play the death spiral of ‘outwoking’ each other….just a matter of time till it’s all over, wipes itself out.

    • Agreed,Is anyone watching The Labour Files? This is some of the most disturbing TV I’ve seen about our dear left ,little old life time raffle seller’s of the Labour Party beening expelled for being anti Jew because they have give some support for stopping the slaughtering of the Palestinians.This expulsion even though they are Jewish themselves can Labour ever been a force without eating itself?

      • yes and the expulsions have been at the behest of the UKs very own LINO starmer do not make the mistake that he’s better than truss/boris etc…he’s the same old shit and it’s not even in a different box.

  2. Agree. I met Marama Davidson at Shadows perhaps 8 years ago. University is the only place you will ever escape your parents’ political stagnation. AUG not participating because some people drink alcohol, while others drink juice, or in the worst case, coffee, is not a path to a better university environment. This is, as you say, unnecessary, woke, millennial ignorance of reality. Efeso Collins should be Mayor but we could not motivate our own people to make that happen. 2023 could be that much worse with all those provincial regressives spouting divisive devolved colonial messages to the non progressive but louder minority.

    • Maybe, just maybe it’s because not enough people were buying what he was selling because what he was selling is meh?

  3. “But drunken violent politics is how we’ve always done it!”

    This explains a lot.

    Keeping alcohol out of it seems like a good idea, had they tempered their demands to the alcohol issue they might have got traction.

    • Agree, I read the bit about “instead of entertaining drunken debates” & thought what’s not to like but you need to discuss different ideas & have the ability to differ if necessary before any sort of real progress can be made.

    • ” Keeping alcohol out of it seems like a good idea ”

      Ah yes the infamous Schnapps’ election 1984.

      Muldoon was as pissed as a fiddler’s cat when he demanded parliament be dissolved.

    • Yeah, everyone could get stoned on green and have a peaceful constructive korero and try and remember what was said.

  4. People are getting angry. It’s a threat to them.
    Real anger and despair.

    These children of the rich want to put their fingers in their ears and magic it all away.

    Its not going away.

    These kids demand they be cosseted in their blissful ignorance. They demand we congratulate them for promoting expensive eco-friendly toys that will solve nothing. They demand that the needy shuffle away and die quietly. They demean real human-beings who are Maori, transgender, who have disabilities etc., as tokenised displays of their imagined moral superiority. Even more deplorably, (it seems to me) they use them as a meat shield against a reality they themselves feel too delicate to face.

    Massive class oppression, poverty, world-wide economic collapse, environmental and climate devastation, ever-more sinister erosions of free speech and civil liberties, potential nuclear war…..

    What on earth has happened to ‘political’ the left? Maybe we need another word – this one seems to have become hopelessly co-opted by oppressors – at least some of whom seem to actually believe themselves to be left-wing.

    God help us.

  5. Mmmm… There is so much to love about these Greens, Chris. In fact, having reviewed the Green left’s equity policy, the Industry has decided to join.

  6. I think we know the answer to this.

    “Is this a structural shift? Or is this simply a group of highly-privileged young people using the enforcers of the university and/or the state to impose their notion of political debate on everybody else?”

  7. Right. So basically admitting that all violent in revolutions come from the the left, and wow, openly glorifying horrific human tragedy, encouraging comrades to be aggressive and violent – to what end? Funny how Gandhi was not set as an example. The “left” in this country cannot articulate any type of shift towards anything except abstractions, rainbows, “what if” fear porn, and name calling so what is even the point of “debate.” It is good they just go off to safe space. Encouraging violence will beget violence, and mark my words, the trigger of violence in this country will come from the left.

    • Yes, of course, Tabatha. Revolution is the province of the Left, for the very simple reason that most revolutions involve the overthrow of a tiny, privileged, yet murderous, ruling-class by the masses they have oppressed for centuries. That huge, popular majority in favour of fundamental change is, almost by definition, inspired by the Left.

      Revolutions are violent not because the Left is inherently violent, but because the ruling class almost never consents to being replaced by peaceful means. They resist – violently – and the people respond in kind. (That is why counter-revolution is almost always associated with the Right – the defenders of the status-quo.)

      And if you think the liberation of India was achieved without violence, Tabatha, then you know very little about the brutal history of British imperialism on the sub-continent. We are encouraged to remember Gandhi and his non-violence, so that the terrible violence of incidents like the Amritsar Massacre remains forgotten.

    • If we are going global Tabatha are you suggesting January 6th in the US came from the left? That was all about violence and a whole lot of inability to argue a point. What a generalisation.

  8. The woke have invented/weaponised the act of being offended for others. Being offended for a group that may or may not actually be ‘offended’ but with everyone being placed into a group/category, in a ‘box’ if you will, by these perpetually outraged woke who are not actually part of said group/category/box they are outraged and offended for.
    Their perceived superior morality is both staggering and sad at the same time.

    • I’m right that describes pin point these people who have appointed themselves our moral arbiter’s.
      Their belief they are superior is nauseating.
      Yet they can make a living out of their sham.
      Shame on those who vote for them.

  9. Well, it would be so rude to the kids of the polite society if someone actually disagreed with them. How rude. So rude. And rudeness coupled with a glass of wine would be the epitome of ‘so rude’. Can’t have that. Lets ban that shit.
    Vote Green, they will ban everything.

  10. “Anyone in breach of the rules should be immediately removed.”
    Good point to examine Chris – what if the person in breach of the rules were Maori . . I would imagine the very thought of having the security guards remove ‘an oppressed colonisation survivor’ from the room would be the stuff of nightmares for the UoA Greens (and subsequently enough to fall on their sword(s) in an attempt to atone for their own oppression of and racism towards their ‘long-suffering brown betters’) . .

  11. “Even harder to see Lenin and Trotsky insisting that their Bolshevik comrades engage only in “constructive conversations”.

    Not really. Once in power, they set up the equivalent of te Puni Matatini and FACT Aotearoa, which eventually became the Stasi.

  12. The ‘elite’ mental cabal offspring of mellinial karens & Dions muddle class. Thank fuck theyre a minority.
    Somebody take them on a day trip to find out if that bear really does shit in the woods. Take as long as it takes.

    • And, it is becoming more and more like a cult! Not a political party.

      So how does that qualify if questioned by the electoral commission? Do Cults qualify as political parties in NZ?

    • Cults:

      1. A charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose power. That is a living leader, who has no meaningful accountability and becomes the single most defining element of the group and its source of power and authority.

      2. A process [of indoctrination or education is in use that can be seen as] coercive persuasion or thought reform [commonly called “brainwashing”].

      The culmination of this process can be seen by members of the group often doing things that are not in their own best interest, but consistently in the best interest of the group and its leader.

      Lifton’s seminal book Thought Reform and Psychology of Totalism explains this process in considerable detail.

      3. Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.

      The destructiveness of groups called cults varies by degree, from labour violations, child abuse, medical neglect to, in some extreme and isolated situations, calls for violence or mass suicide.

      Here are 10 warning signs of a potentially unsafe group or leader.

      Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

      No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

      No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.

      Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

      There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

      Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

      There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader.

      Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

      The group/leader is always right.

      The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

  13. By all means, limit, or further limit, political debate….this has long being an aim of the ruling class after all. Thus, the Greens are now effectively working for the very class of people who drive marginalization! Rather than trying to find solutions to marginalization, the Greens now offer safe spaces for minorities to flourish. Well done Greens, the billionaire class salutes you.

      • This is the real world….the Greens clearly do not understand the consequence of their proposal here. Stifling political debate only serves the interests of the powerful. What do the Greens want, a safer world or a world where people are better able to take care of themselves. The former serves the interests of the ruling class, the latter threatens them. What do the Greens really want for us….

  14. Very mature and a shining example to us all of AUG to take this stance. Politics should only be discussed and debated over nothing stronger that a glass of kambocha. Certainly not over a jug of ale and a pie at the local.

  15. it reminds me so much of ‘the counter culture’ and punk, people freaked out at the enthusiasm of the young, but they’ll couple up get mortgages and another fad will come along.

    • I lived in London during the punk era and must say I found them amusing enlightening in fact.
      Johnny Rotten had a good understanding of politics.

  16. I might have missed the point – I’m perfectly happy for the Green sweeties to talk amongst themselves while the intelligent realists get on with addressing the very real problems ( ex Green member – they weren’t always so daft.)

    • Yes originally they were certainly not daft indeed most of them in my opinion good caring people with strong beliefs.
      Now they are made up of people who believe they are more intelligent than the rest of us.
      Smarmy and sarcastic.

    • I feel the same way about the National party, smarmy, arrogant and sarcastic.
      Bring back the intelligence of Bolger, the last time National were a legitimate center party and not hard right like today.

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