Thursday 19 September 2019

Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.

Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, “there he goes again”, handing his enemies a very large stick and inviting them to beat him to death.

GODWIN’S LAW hardly covers it. Drawing a comparison between the person, or persons, you are arguing with and the Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, was identified by US lawyer Mike Godwin, way back in 1990, as the point where meaningful debate ends. There can’t be many in John Tamihere’s mayoral campaign team who would disagree. JT’s “Sieg Heil to that!”, blurted out in response to a Phil Goff soliloquy on Auckland’s diversity has definitely become the takeaway comment from last night’s (17/9/19) bruising Pub Politics Mayoral Debate.

The elation in Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watch social media light up in indignation at Tamihere’s intervention. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, “there he goes again”, handing his enemies a very large stick and inviting them to beat him to death.

To make the whole debacle even worse, Tamihere explained his “Sieg Heil” quip by referencing Goff’s claim to have de-platformed Stefan Molyneux and Cheryl Southern – the two far-right Canadians prevented from holding a public meeting in Auckland in 2018. Given the views of the banned speakers, the comparison with Hitler was ideologically absurd. If Goff really did harbour Hitlerian tendencies, then he would have welcomed Molyneux and Southern with open arms.

If JT had to make some quip, “Long Live Chairman Phil!” would have sufficed. After all, it’s not just Nazis who censor their opponents, the Reds also have ‘form’ when it comes to putting a muzzle on free speech.

The other factor JT failed to consider before blurting was that, in the grim shadow of the 15 March mosque massacres in Christchurch, Goff’s impulse to de-platform the likes of Molyneux and Southern seems much less high-handed than it does prescient. Speaking up for the free speech rights of alt-right Valkyries and “scientific” racists was a lot easier before one of their gruesome tribe gunned down 51 innocent human-beings in their houses of worship.

So, why did he do it? What was he thinking?

The host of Pub Politics and Daily Blog editor, Martyn Bradbury, put his finger on it in his review of the Goff/Tamihere clash: “Trump and Brexit won by tapping into a deep resentment within the electorate, that resentment exists within Auckland and if JT wins, it will be because he understands that.”

“And because”, Martyn might have added, “he gives it a voice.”

Long before the Internet and its lawmakers, New Zealanders used to describe that all-too-familiar Kiwi stereotype – the authoritarian boss who thinks he knows everything and takes great pleasure in making the lives of everybody below him on the pecking order miserable – as a “Little Hitler”.

Those hard-bitten Kiwi soldiers returning from the Second World War weren’t overly tolerant of such people, and in the days when the trade unions still had some kick, they weren’t frightened to let them know. Blokes of a certain age, and blokesses too, will have no difficulty in recalling those moments when one of these Little Hitlers, having rattled-off their orders, provokes one long-suffering staff-member to raise their arm in a mocking “Sieg Heil!” salute to his retreating back.

Tamihere, in blurting “Sieg Heil to that”, wasn’t signalling his membership of some perverse right-wing fraternity. All he was doing was signalling his membership of something much less acceptable – the Maori working-class of West Auckland. (Not too many of them amongst the woke patrons of the Chapel Bar on a Tuesday night in trendy Ponsonby!)

And why might a working-class Maori from West Auckland consider Phil Goff to be a “Little Hitler”?

Could it have something to do with an Auckland Council that appears to only have ears for the bicycle-riders and the public transport theoreticians – by refusing to listen to the men and women who are forced to drive half-way across the city to work every morning in a car that gets harder and more expensive to warrant with every passing six months, and whose gas tank cost more to fill – thanks to Phil.

Could it be because when the Mayor waxes eloquent about diversity, the people in his mind’s eye are the wealthy property speculators and business investors from Asia – the ones who pour hundreds-of-thousands of dollars into the pockets of the New Zealand political class. That’s not the sort of diversity that trickles down the walls of those dank dwelling-places where the Maori, Pasifika and poor immigrant workers of Auckland live. Liberal Neoliberals like Mayor Goff don’t run into very many of them at their fundraisers.

At the doors of the Waipareira Trust, however, John Tamihere meets many such people. They come to see the doctors at its medical centre; the dentists at its dental practice. Many come for help with housing (far too many) or for a food parcel to see their kids through the week. Waipareira serves them all.

John Tamihere doesn’t ask for donations from the rich – he provides services to the poor. Has done for thirty years. His words may leave a lot to be desired at times, but you cannot fault his deeds.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Thursday, 19 September 2019.


John Hurley said...

Diversity is just code for multiculturalism, it is just that multiculturalism became unfavourable. behind it is anti-racist ideology which holds that there is no such thing as race and any doubts about differences are therefore, prejudices. This is why Goff banned the two speakers because in a debate Molyneux would have won (as Paddy Gower found out). People are individuals but people also have group identities and ethnic groups have varying degrees of ethnocentrism. Migrants don't just come here like acts in some big cultural extravaganza, in reality we also compete and we compete for claim to the national identity. In addition there is no evidence that the majority has benefited from immigration: Keri McDonald called it "a national disaster".
Essentially Donald Trump won when he spoke crudely(?) of Mexican border crossers as he drew a line between them and us. Tamahere isn't as good as Donald Trump as (like Winston) he is raised in the parliamentary environment.

PS. A man from Gore rams a police car, attacks the officer with an axe while yelling Allah Akabar and Goody Two-Shoes media decide it isn't news in the public interest.

John Hurley said...

"Speaking up for the free speech rights of alt-right Valkyries and “scientific” racists was a lot easier before one of their gruesome tribe gunned down 51 innocent human-beings in their houses of worship."
Areo Magazine has a post
Is and Ought: The Long Mile Between Douglas Murray and Brenton Tarrant
Quillette is on the side of the "scientific" racists. I find it much more enlightened than the NZ establishment. The official position of the HRC is that race is a social construct. Paul Spoonley's view is:
Racism is the ideological belief that people can be classified into ‘races’ ... [which] can be ranked in terms of superiority and inferiority ... racism is the acceptance of racial superiority … It is often used to refer to the expression of an ideology of racial superiority in the situation where the holder has some power. Thus prejudice plus power denotes racism in the modern sense ... racism is essentially an attitudinal or ideological phenomenon. … A dominant group not only holds negative beliefs about other groups but, because of the power to control resources, is able to practice those beliefs in a discriminatory way ... This ideological concept structures social and political relationships and derives from a history of European colonialism. The idea of ‘race’ has evolved from its use in scientific explanation (now discredited) and as a justification in the oppression of colonised, non European people.

By that you can only punch down not up.
It seems that academic enquiry and funding for the arts and media are heavily partisan. Goff and Adern live in the Castle, Tamihere is on the outer.

Unknown said...

You might like this Chris Trotter

Robert said...

My view on the Auckland mayoral race as both candidates are so awful and dismal in their policy, background, political record and anticipated performance that you could only vote for either if you consider the other one to be Hitler or Stalin. And it would actually be difficult to determine which is which. Superficially, Goff looks a fairly obvious Stalinist bureaucrat. However many of the serious officials in the actual Nazi German government of 1933-1945 could easily be described as 'Soviet style bureacrats- Borman, Himmler even Speer. Dr Goebells was always a displaced communist. The business and military interests who decided to use the Nazi party as a front were always troubled by the fact that Goebbels and the Strasser brothers were fairly obviousy Communists and Hitler had similar tendencies to a substantial degree.
The point was above all was that Hitler was essentially a military enthusiast and as runner between signicant staff headquarters of the German high command on the western front , Adolf got to sit around much of the day listending to serious staff officers, colonels and even generals discussing a lot of tactical movels and picked up a significant amount of military lingo and some fine points of military moves, blocking, fortifications, the logistics of army engineering and command, control, discipline and punishmnet. Since Hilter above all was interested in war and fighting rather more than social or political issues, he was just intelligent enough to grasp that, acceptable war in the 1940s could not be slow moving trench warfare and gallipoli liking attrocities, it would have to be a different sort of war with fast moving mobile war, led by intelligent officers. Therefore Hitler was largely prepared to go along with the very elitist demands of the German Army and SS clones. And therefore it is best to see Hitler and the Nazi party as a creation of the German military and the landowner class as an acceptable democratic front instead of the military coup that the German Army could easily have staged in 1931-2. It was not some sort of business conspiracy or peoples revolt.
In terms of Auckland I have yet to see any credible polls. But in 2011 what gave Len Brown victory was he got a substantial vote everywhere. Banks got no votes in West or South Auckland. Banks was thought to be a hero in West Auckland and that presumably is why Crosby Textor always recommended him. In many ways the Len Brown's term was far more libertarian at least at the surface, a lot of fast flash strip clubs reopened or opened, always equipped with very good looking ladies sometimes on the old site of what were, gay bars during the Clark government. Like a lot of Wilson or Blair ministers, Len had an exotic mistress. The Banks regime was essentially puritan, about motorways and the most responsible bars in Auckland, bars reluctant to serve people, drinking alone or even mildly tiddly.
I like your heading , Jo Jo Tamahire, which suggests John is like Jo Jo Coughlan, is like Don McKinnons former PR and Deputy Mayor of Welington, joanne Coughlan whose campaign for WEllignton Mayor was a pure marketing and Marshall McLunan, psychological propoganda effort, of suggestive slogans, '4 lanes to the Airport' on billboards like road signs with the subtle message to the Karori, Khandallah, and Kelburn middle class to move to Australia fast enough to save NZ for those poor dumb southland farmers. Coughlan is of course a typical National Party lady of leisure, a socialist Nat, with 10 Children on the taxpayer as a celebration of Catholic and global warming irresponsiblity. Jo Jo Tamahire like John Rowles a fellow lounge bar singer. Subtle subversive- Crosby Textor style right on. You can see the coal shuttle helmets on the antipodean Colonel Shutlz who sized power in Australia, Dutton and Morrison. Its politcs reduced to Hogans Heroes.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

" Superficially, Goff looks a fairly obvious Stalinist bureaucrat."
Given that he supported Roger Douglas against the left wing of the party I think it must be very superficial. Jesus Christ are the commentators on this site losing touch with reality? Yet one more conservative claiming that Hitler was a socialist of some sort. I sometimes wonder about the state of education in this country – and in others as well for that matter. All that word salad Robert is not worth a lengthier reply – it's just plain wrong..

another man said...

I thought JT comment in seig heil in relationship to Phil Goff, was completely appropriate.

Goff like the far lefty he is, is all about control.
Similarly he like his left ilk is a monoculturist, in that he brooks no others.

that isn't civil society, nor democracy.
But that doesn't matter, whatever it takes.

But be sure Goff and hois lefty ilk will be the first to cry foul if it doesn't suit them.
That's why the left can never be trusted, even the polite ones.

They just have no real backbone for civil society and the give and take that requires.
Because they are monoculturists.
Like the Taliban.

John Hurley said...

Isn't it interesting that Phil Goff should shout the praises of "diversity" while (on the other hand) an academic wrote an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun saying that diversity was bad for a nation but had it taken down following howls of outrage form journalists and academics?

Where is that little boy who pointed out that the Emperor has no clothes? Is he excluded from any conversation?

Unknown said...

I see you have been "on the money" Chris

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"They just have no real backbone for civil society and the give and take that requires.
Because they are monoculturists.
Like the Taliban."

"Isn't it interesting that Phil Goff should shout the praises of "diversity"

You know what, it's time conservatives made up their minds. Labour are extreme left monoculturalists? Or labour are imposing diversity on everyone against their wishes and are multiculturalists. Why don't you get together and hash out some sort of common policy here. Because to be honest, I can't argue against both positions now can I?:)

John Hurley said...

GS one is talking about diversity of opinion.

John Hurley said...

Remember Mai Chen's Superdiversity Stocktake and Paul Spoonleys "diversity dividend"?

Racial/national team diversity has no sig. impact on organizational creativity or innovation, says new meta-analysis. Diversity of thought, which does, is not related to racial/national diversity Eric Kaufmann