|Cuckoo In The Nest? Unlike Rod Donald, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, Shaw has never shown any recognisable affinity for the kind of Green Party they represented. Nothing I have ever heard from Shaw has ever reassured me that he subscribes to either the hardcore anti-capitalist critique of the ecological socialists, or the radical anti-materialist ideas of the Greens’ visionary forerunners in the Values Party. On the contrary, Shaw has always struck me as the sort of Green politician you would be sent if you asked a high-powered corporate public-relations agency to supply one.|
JAMES SHAW is
sorry. Yes he is! Genuinely, abjectly, politically and electorally sorry – as
he damn well should be! His decision to grant 12 million public dollars to a
privately-owned Taranaki “school” (which appears to specialise in promoting
every cliched remnant of the 1970s hippy culture) was way beyond stupid. If the
Greens sink below the crucial 5 percent MMP threshold on 17 October, then a
fair old chunk of the responsibility will belong to Shaw.
All over the
country, people are asking each other: “How could he have been so dumb?”
Leaving aside the school’s promotion of New Age mumbo-jumbo which, of itself,
raises serious questions about the adequacy of Ministry of Education oversight,
there was the small, but hopefully still important, matter of Green Party
policy. How could Shaw not have known that what he was doing contradicted his
party’s long-standing opposition to the public funding of private education?
Did he really think that Green Party members and supporters wouldn’t notice?
Maybe he did.
Unlike Rod Donald, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, Shaw
has never shown any recognisable affinity for the kind of Green Party they
represented. Nothing I have ever heard from Shaw has ever reassured me that he subscribes
to either the hardcore anti-capitalist critique of the ecological socialists,
or the radical anti-materialist ideas of the Greens’ visionary forerunners in
the Values Party. On the contrary, Shaw has always struck me as the sort of
Green politician you would be sent if you asked a high-powered corporate public-relations
agency to supply one.
Probably. But the transformation which has led the Greens to this unfortunate
fork in the road has been driven by the corporate world’s urgent need to,
first, disarm, and then, absorb, its most serious threat. The above reference
to public relations is, therefore, not intended as an insult. It speaks directly
to the way in which the world’s largest corporations have expended billions on
convincing the world’s peoples that, while capitalism may have got the planet
into its present predicament, it is also – paradoxically – the only viable
means of getting it out.
prior to entering Parliament, was built upon this dubious proposition. He
became an indefatigable promoter of “Green Capitalism”: a guide, if you will,
leading consumers to the promised land of “sustainable” capitalist production.
He offered living proof to the rising generation of ambitious Green Party
activists that they could look sharp, rub shoulders with the rich and famous,
and still be non-gender-specific siblings in the struggle to save Parent Earth.
Just like Bono.
So, why not
throw a wad of taxpayer cash at a couple of millionaires committed to
training-up an army of green warriors and sending them forth to take their
rightful places around the boardroom tables of a climate-change-stricken
planet? Fully conversant in the idioms of wokefulness; tested adepts of
ceremonial magic; shrewd manipulators of social-media and spreadsheets: what’s
not to like?
How like the
masters of capitalism to simply toss all the contradictory elements of the
green worldview into their cultural blender and flick the on-switch.
Gaia-worship and Marxism; Reason and Unreason; Science and Mysticism; mix ‘em
all up. Throw the empirical proof of climate-change and the radical paranoia of
the anti-vaxxers into the same swirling potion and invite all the wide-eyed
seekers after a better world to drink deep. When your only purpose is to render
effective resistance impossible, feeding people contradictions makes perfect
Just so long as
the Greens cease to be the party of well-informed idealists that bought this
country 20 years of freedom from genetic engineering. The party that forced all
the other parties in Parliament to at least pay lip-service to the reality of
climate-change. The party that offered voters the inspiring examples of Rod
Donald’s great heart and Jeanette Fitzsimons’ brilliant mind; the principled activism
of Sue Bradford; the wisdom and courage of Keith Locke; the resinous mysticism
of Nandor Tanczos. The party that, for however brief a moment, vouchsafed their
fellow New Zealanders a glimpse of what the world could look like if we loved
it and each other with equal fervour.
The only school
fit to teach young New Zealanders the geography of this new heaven, this new
earth, is a genuine Green Party. The sort James Shaw wouldn’t want to be found
This essay was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 4 September 2020.
Resinous mysticism? Never heard that expression before – do you mean cannabis resin? :)
The school funding fiasco may be a seminal event for the Greens, it could see them out of Parliament. This is not good, but it may force them to get their house in order. Not enough Boomers with long teeth in their ranks.
I assume James Shaw anti global effort attending all these conferences on emission levels, tree planting credits and all those obscure gestures and mathematical complexity, was just doing his bit to mislead the world that New Zealand is somesort of advanced intelligent state and people actually care about this sort of thing. Not somesort of declining farm economy with the main city, a near third world car city, with the attempt to put an underground railway and tidy up the more bohemian suburbs creates a war zone economy, particularly with all the masks. Today Auckland say that rather sinister old stager, Brian Tamaki speaking at Aotea Square. Brian had about 25 yellow vest real police to keep order or discourage green and nationalist agitators or provocateurs. There were none.Brian had about 40 flags and maybe 200 spectators who loved the immigration John Rowles. A few months ago a lady from Matamata told me it was a scandal John Rowles got the CBE knighthood. Rowles was useless and had been a drunk for years.
Nevertheless I was amazed Tamaki was mainly flying the United Tribes flag, a tame old duster than even the Mats might subscribe too I was expecting the red and black, the inverted German naval ensign of the Kaiser, which is prominent around Otaki and Graceland, Don McKinnons back yard. But never the less with all the supposed Maori Nationalist Party, as totally undesirable they all, the Vision thing, the Jamie Lee Ross Distortion etc, I assumed James Shaw and Julie Ann Center were just doing the decent thing. The 1080 idiots and feral greens were intolerable along with Wellington today. The parliamentary staff are always militantly uncooperative s.And at the National Library are Archive you don't get served or any real cooperation unless your a Maori Nationalist cause or a cripple, from the right tribe It's truly horrid. So it's a rook and queen sacrifice. It gives the military wing of NZ First a chance. I mean Julie Anne Genter probably prefers LA. Who wouldn't given the general state of Auckland and Wellington
You all are a bloody disgrace. Faced with a choice of a rock and a hard place, you choose the rock as if we have aeons ahead of us to make changes, and aren't in Desperation Alley with lack of welfare and humanity. An unfettered rant going after James Shaw over this matter is playing right into the scum National Party's hands. Bloody lefties, they can't organise a cake stall; some want only gluten-free cakes, some want no sugar only honey, and some don't want cakes at all, only muffins and savouries.
True to form, the blinkered green base as represented by the above correspondent (greenwarbler), can't see the forest for the trees. It's labour you fool, not National, that will be your demise. Hipkins not only threw Shaw under the bus but he backed it over him twice with the lightening quick approval of the Green school funding. Labour knew it was political suicide for the Green Party yet didn't give them the courtesy of a Help Line.
If the Greens could bury their ill placed hatred of National they could have formed a coalition party with them . Talk about diversity in Govt!. AndvWinsrin would not have been required ; just Blue & Green .
But alas they predictably grabbed Labours apron and since then their brand has been diluted and usurped as they dissolve into a
The irony is the so-called working class and those at the lower end of the social economic ladder do not vote Green.
The Green Party's biggest support base are the BMW SUV and Lexus owners in the most affluent areas of NZ.
At least James Shaw knows his audience , but he needs to take a leaf out ff Jacinda's playbook and distance himself from this school funding calamity.
She would have smiled and hugged her way out of this in an afternoon and then thanked her team of 5 million for being kind. And the hypnotised medus would congratulate her for showing "real leadership " and berate Judith Collins for daring to critique Labours performance. Who do bloody National think they are? an opposition party?
Meantime, Labour's record for non-delivery of every election promise remains unblemished. When questioned about these abject failures the blame will be deflected with a warm smile and a shrug of the shoulders.
What a time to be alive !
You might be an alien voice floating down from space for all the good you are. You are so far away from honing in on reality that your comments are just observations that we all know. I don't mind if you have a go at me. That is at least one of your thoughts that is straightforward.
I don't much bother with people so dense they can't even choose one word out of the millions? there are to use as a recognisable handle for oneself. But I think I understand. You haven't decided who you want to be when you grow up. It's part of our problem these days with changing technology and tides of fashionable incandescent emotion - one has to remain flexible.
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