Wednesday 27 August 2014

Democracy - Leonard Cohen

Because I've just come back from Nicky Hager's extraordinary public meeting in the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, here's Lenny's magnificent paean to the democratic ideal. If it's coming to the USA - why not here too?
Sail on, sail on, oh mighty ship of state
To the shores of need
Past the reefs of greed
Through the squalls of hate

Video courtesy of YouTube
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite


jh said...

Sail on, sail on, oh mighty ship of state
To the shores of need
Past the reefs of greed
Through the squalls of hate
O.k so that's National, the real world has a left and right, east and west, north and south.
In the other hemisphere are hazards such as a narcissisticly arrogant left :
Fantastic piece. Thanks so much.
Vancouver’s experience is probably like Canada’s on the whole. Trudeau brought in multiculturalism by federal directive in the 70s (“Although there are two founding peoples there is no founding culture…” and that mirrored Laurier before him…) Then in 1982, multiculturalism was enshrined in the Charter. Then in the mid-80s a Conservative PM enacted the “Multiculturalism Act”.
Now in Canada’s large cities it’s somewhat amusing to hear people speaking English. Fourth generation Canadians are seen as an amusing relic. Do you eat roasts? Do your parents wear sweaters to dinner and talk about classical music, ha ha ha?
The reality is that in NZ, the hegemony of Anglo Saxon culture refuses to die. The Interfaith dialogue was a fantastic example of that. Also, we never had (much) immigration from Central, Eastern or Southern Europe. We still treat South Africans and Pomps as “one of us”.
Most people that run this country (wealthy baby boomers) grew up not knowing anyone from different cultures and didn’t travel much when they were young. There is still a serious fear of the unknown. Let’s be honest, we NZers didn’t travel at all until very recently. There were really no coffee shops or restaurants in this country until the 90s for chrissake. How can you expect the political class to suddenly embrace all these different people?
That MP from Rodney would have had to flee the country in Canada after making jokes about fruit pickers during an election. The current PM didn’t even growl him let alone cut him loose. That would have been hanging offence #1 short of having kiddie porn or eating one’s young.
The truth is that non-white and non-English speaking immigrants to this country feel no particular sentimental loyalty to NZ. Most of them I speak to, and I speak to many, want to move to Aussie/Canada/USA. On a cynical realpolitik level, they are a somewhat unclaimed cohort of voters.
The magic that Trudeau created was that almost all of the immigrant communities in Canada became loyal to the Liberals.
In reality we suffer from the lamest form of racism: we’re kind of embarrassed by their accents and funny foods. At worst, we have Winston. At least Melissa Lee properly slammed Winston in her maiden speech.
It was on that basis that I felt Shearer’s election was a failure. Helen got the nod and it was a big deal that it went to a woman. Then it reverted to a physically capable, heterosexual, white, educated and wealthy male. Yipdee fucking shit.
And we struggle to even begin the process of developing an active and inclusive multiculturalism.

Anonymous said...

This will sound superficial to many, but hey, plenty of room at election time for a bit of superficial fluff. I am a female. After Cunliffe was appointed leader of the Labour Party having dispensed with Shearer, my female friends and I were discussing the likely ramifications. Outcome?? Women do not like Cunliffe. I have never seen a gender poll, but I have little doubt what it would tell us. And without a shadow of doubt based on the many discussions I have had with other women, if Shearer were the current leader of the Labour Party, Labout would not be in the position they currently find themselves. Sad but true...go ask a woman you know.

Victor said...


The woman I know best disagrees with you completely. Trust me. I've just checked.

jason rika said...

My wife disagrees with you anamolous