IN THE COMING YEAR New Zealand politics will be driven by two inter-related forces: brown poverty and white guilt. Jacinda Ardern’s government will not be given a choice on the issue of brown poverty. Dealing with white guilt, however, will be very much a matter of opting to behave wisely or foolishly. It remains to be seen whether Labour possesses the wisdom to not act like a fool.
The capital city rumour mills have recently been grinding out an intriguing story involving a head-on stoush between Grant Robertson and Willie Jackson. It seems that Robertson carelessly reassured a group of Treasury bureaucrats that spending across all portfolios would be strictly constrained for the foreseeable future. Grant’s big mistake was to say this in front of the Maori Development Minister.
As a general rule, ministers do not contradict each other in front of their departmental advisers. As Don Corleone admonished his eldest son, Sonny, in The Godfather, it is most unwise to display the slightest disunity in front of anybody other than “family” members. Apparently (and understandably) Willie called BS on that – openly contradicting Grant’s fiscal reassurances, at least as far as spending on Maori issues was concerned.
The ensuing barney was, reportedly, so intense that the whole dispute was handed-up to Jacinda for resolution. The fact that Willie is still in his post strongly suggests that if the rumour about this epic ministerial battle is true, then Grant did not win it.
What is indisputable about the current predicament of Maori New Zealanders is that if it is allowed to worsen, then some sort of explosion is likely to result. Poverty and homelessness are not improving with anything like the rapidity required to head-off major disturbances in the most deprived “brown” suburbs. One has only to read the Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Rawiri Waititi’s, maiden speech to appreciate how angry Maori are becoming:
I refuse to allow my tamariki or my mokopuna to one day sit in the same seat asking the same question. We will no longer accept this approach, as it allows the State to continue to feast on the dysfunction that it has created amongst our people. We will no longer accept that the State continues to fund itself every year to allow Oranga Tamariki to steal more of our babies, a justice system to lock up more of our people, a welfare system that keeps my people dependent and poor, an education system that keeps my people dumb, a health system that keeps my people sick, and a housing system that keeps my people homeless. This has to stop.
Willie Jackson, with his longstanding and very close ties to urban Maori, knows that if he and Labour’s Maori caucus do not produce meaningful progress on the failings enumerated by Waititi, then the Maori Party will be quick to exploit their failure. That’s why Jackson is unwilling to keep silent about the prospect of an austerity budget. If they are to make a real dent in poverty and homelessness, then he and his Maori colleagues are going to need money – lots and lots of money.
Almost against its will, Ardern’s government is going to have to engage in massive amounts of public spending. What’s more, it will not be politically acceptable for this mobilisation of state resources to be directed solely at Maori communities. Working-class Pakeha, Pasifika and other immigrant families will have to be offered the same fiscal support. Jacinda and her colleagues are going to have to become socialists in spite of themselves!
It is at this point that the so-called “woke” elements of the Professional & Managerial Class (PMC) will have to choose whether or not to make, or break, the Ardern government. This includes members of the PMC inside Labour’s caucus, as well as those outside it. If Labour MPs, under pressure from guilt-ridden white radicals, opt to offer legislative validation to the most divisive elements of the so-called “Culture Wars”, then the broad social unity needed to buttress a colour-blind programme of social uplift will be undermined. The war against poverty and homelessness will be fatally compromised by the war of the woke against the un-woke.
Sadly, there is a real possibility that the PMC will do exactly this. So great is its guilty sense of having been born with far too many advantages, and so certain is it that Pakeha workers, denied its guiding hand, will never be able to understand the true extent of their “privilege”, the PMC is perfectly capable of deciding that homelessness and poverty are second-order issues. Matters to be addressed only after the Pakeha working-class has proved itself worthy of enjoying the socially integrative benefits of warm, dry, affordable houses and well-paying jobs.
The woke are very big supporters of “intersectionality” – the concept of fighting all the ills of society simultaneously, rather than “privileging” one form of injustice over another. It’s a concept that conflicts fundamentally with the idea of politics being all about the ordering of priorities. What is often called “the art of the possible”. With Labour’s Maori caucus prioritising action on poverty, housing, education, justice and health, about the best thing the PMC’s woke intersectionalists could do to assist the Ardern government, and working-class people of all ethnicities and genders, is maintain a solidaristic silence.
This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Thursday, 24 December 2020.
As long as the welfare system only redistributes wealth to subsidize more consumption by a "hand-to-mouth" (hedonistic) cultural section of the population too liberally so as to increasingly encourage people not to earn or work too much so as not to lose their entitlement for that welfare -
only economic stagnation and widening poverty can result, leading to the need for more universally enforced austerity eventually.
To prevent that, an individual wealth ownership creative savings should be built into our taxation system, so that the resulting widening of wealth ownership will reduce the proportional needs for wealth redistribution based benefits and with this actually enable more effective (liberal?) welfare for a shrinking proportion of inevitable unfortunates really in need for whatever reason.
Cheers - Jens.
If Labour is foolish enough to engage in the politics of race, then they deserve all that's coming to them. What I find disturbing about the Maori parity and the maiden speech you quote, is its complete lack of reflection and self awareness. All the problems that exist for Maori are caused by the State. All solutions are to be found in the State, or at least in State funding.
If the Maori party truly believe this, then they are actively contributing to the problem.
I believe you are right about the clash between wokedom and the population at large will be coming. There is not the support there for the irrelevant BLM or whatever the trend of the day is. The booing at Millwall is just the start and where UK or Australia go, we follow. At least we haven't had any significant TERF wars but no doubt they will get here. That clash between conservative Maori and the PMC will be defining.
On their form so far, no impression will be made in reducing homelessness and poverty. It is almost certain to significantly increase. And once the infighting between the various factions in government start, things will rapidly deteriorate.
I know what you mean about displaying disunity Chris
"White Guilt" is a deliciously self-indulgent but sadly fraudulent syndrome observed mainly in members of the white middle class with liberal arts degrees, of whom it can be truthfully said, " a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". Typical symptoms indicated by "sufferers" are virtue-signalling, either spontaneous or group induced via the latest trending hashtags, and an expectation that their guilt will be expiated by working class "rednecks". The later suffer restrictions on their often too robust sense of free expression, they are ritually abased through guilt indoctrination in state schools, and they enjoy reduced access to services such as surgery waiting lists in public hospitals where Tangata Whenua and Pasifika are now given priority. ("White Guilt" sufferers of course typically maintain medical insurance policies that enable them to skip the queues). There is indeed no humiliation the white working class should be spared if the demon of "white guilt" is to be satiated, however fleetingly.
Brendan, is what you are suggesting is that Maori have failed through their own initiative to pull themselves individually from the mire?
Id suggest if so theres merit to that argument across individuals in every class and ethnicity in NZ. Can you accept that that however is only one factor? Would you admit that not everything is within the control of the individual? Maybe that this is not a binary issue?
I would contend that Marx is correct that markets create an uneven playing field. Id contend that colonialism creates long term disadvantage. Id also contend that for some their own initiative transcends these disadvantages.
How to correct this? Encourage free education and access to vocational skills for all. Add to that equality of opportunity the acceptance that individuals will fail, or reach levels where they will need assistance. Put state resources at the front line of housing and health whilst diminishing government departments who employ the PMC.
100% correct Brendon. But all current political parties are actually part of the problem because they all buy into the same mindset and throw money at the perceived problem mentality. None of them will or can set New Zealsnders free to truly be equal.
Brendan MacNeill wrote:
"What I find disturbing about the Maori parity and the maiden speech you quote, is its complete lack of reflection and self awareness. All the problems that exist for Maori are caused by the State. All solutions are to be found in the State, or at least in State funding."
The Maori Party is a political party. Like all political parties it aims to get control of the state. Like all political parties it concentrates its attention on the alleged or real failings of the state and argues that the state has been mismanaged by opposing parties. Like all political parties (yes, even "libertarian" parties such as ACT), it argues that the state can be structured and set to provide or allow an enhanced quality of life for its supporters.
So if your criticism was to be fair and unbiased it would have to be directed at political parties in general.
Maori have other non-parliamentary and non-state institutions (iwi organisations, iwi and hapu marae, runanga, hahi and so on) which attend to the problems that are not the creation of the colonial regime (and some that are). Therefore Maori parliamentary representatives tend to focus on the state, the evil that it has done to Maori and the good that it supposedly could do for Maori, leaving other Maori institutions to get on with the work of actively serving their communities in positive and constructive ways such as healthcare, education, housing, food production and distribution and so on.
I personally do not favour political involvement in the colonialist parliament and state, but the Maori Party does and therefore it should be judged by the same standards as any other political party.
The Maori Party conducts itself exactly as one might expect of a party which functions in the environment of a Westminster style legislature working under MMP rules. If you don't particularly like that (and I can't say that I do) then follow a different system.
Thanks for understanding and doing so much for the underclass these 36 years, Brendan. You alone! You alone! And, what, your people have also produced Trump too! Good fucken shit.
I have heard a very good summary of why 'underprivileged' groups around the world are slowly but surely becoming further and further distanced from the centre of society.
I think it was Lyndon Baines Johnson who was president at the time that major social legislation was made law in the USA - and the main one being anti-discrimination. LBJ said something like "Now we cant expect these people to just catch up without help and we have to bring in programmes to raise their hopes".
That was the beginning of programmes all around the world where the administration doled out billions of dollars in positive advancement programmes. This started the process whereby these lower socioeconomic groups firstly became dependent on these lolly scrambles (as only a few really benefited - the group leaders usually) and then later became totally reliant on handouts. In many cases they cant do anything without a handout. As an example in New Zealand a Maori or Pacifica cant become a doctor unless they get to medical school via the lower grade admission programme. The lower grade admission is practically the ONLY way they can become a doctor. This system - supposedly to help them - is actually squeezing them into a dead end. A system dreamed up by probably some woke person in the ministry of Health.
Currently these handouts are selected by the administration - more and more becoming populated with the 'woke' of the social world.
The ability to break out of poverty and bad health is actually being restricted by the people who think they are dreaming up ideas to help - but in fact they are more and more restricting these groups by slowly but surely surrounding them with the fences of 'lets help you' programmes - and they are getting more and more barbed wire along the top all the time.
Yes - having sent meaningful jobs overseas doesnt help - but sending your kids off to Kura Kaupapa thus almost guaranteeing that they cant communicate with most of society doesnt help either. A programme thought to help but is restricting those children even more so within the 'helpful programme' barbed wire fence.
Throwing money at Willy Jacksons demands will only increase the tension on the fence strainers.
Thre are no snakes in New Zealand. But when someone writes anything about the difficulties of being brown, or poor, or being addicted and dragged down by it, and disadvantage, and being dragged down by it, then there is a lot of venom released. Now where does that come from generally; it seems most of all from white snake-like humans, which become visible when the temperature rises. We should never allow snakes into this country. A variety of humans have expanded into this niche in nature.
I think Maori and plenty of other Polynesian people have done remarkably well, considering their cultures' lack of competitiveness. Their cultures were at least 6000 years behind when suddenly exposed to the most advanced ones on the planet. And their guns, germs and steel …
So perhaps it is their culture, not racism or colonialism that is, to the marginal extent it is of course, keeping Polynesians, on average behind Pakeha. Pakeha culture works better.
If this was not the case, then Maori would have sailed to Europe and taken it over, not vv.
But all this angst would be solved if we just loudly and daily pointed out to the radicals like Jackson & Waititi that 'their people' are ‘our people’, yes Pakeha people too, just Pakeha with some Maori ancestors. Culturally all are Pakeha here as they have grown up in an overwhelmingly Pakeha country and have majority Pakeha ancestors to celebrate too. Race does not enter the picture.
We are all Pakeha now so all of the ways and means of our uniting culture are open to all.
Throw off your victimhood! Throw out the guilt ridden tossers!
"I think Maori and plenty of other Polynesian people have done remarkably well, considering their cultures' lack of competitiveness. "
I'm trying to have a holiday, but as Charles is back with some incredible bullshit I can't let this go. Charles, before Maori lost the basis of their wealth and community i.e. the land – they were as competitive if not more so than Pakeha. They in particular ran coastal trading all around New Zealand, as far as Australia. And they supplied pretty much all New Zealand towns and cities with agricultural products. I see from your stereotypes you're stuck in the 1920s, and your racism is showing as well as your ignorance. Christ, even a glance at the end Cyclopedia of New Zealand would have told you different. A belated Merry Christmas to you Chris. Still trying desperately to be polite.
Maori lost the basis of their wealth and community i.e. the land
1. True in so far as land is tribal boundary
2. True in so far as wealth tends to be passed down through families.
3. False in relation to population growth as resources are divided amongst growing populations (at least at some point)
4. False in so far as "Maori" are a strategic essentialism "with the purpose of wresting power from the majority".
5. False in so far as capturing the ecosystem for agriculture greatly increased the carrying capactiy. [The above statement implies Maori were farming on a great scale when (in fact) the population was very small. You could perhaps compare it to the pre Adamites of the Canterbury Settlement. In other words it implies the Maori farmer was pushed off by the European farmer].
6. True in the sense that history could have been different. Most successful were the balloting system after WW2 but you would have to be motivated to make a go of it.
As Benjamin Franklin noted there was a clear preference amongst Amerindian and white children who experienced both ways of life for a preindustrial/preagricultural society.
We are seeing a kind of new-agey myth here of a marriage of tribalism and (efficient) industrial society. It is an unexamined trope on the left.
Nesrine Malik is arguing that when Boris Johnson compares hijabs to letterboxes there is an increase in hate crimes so we have to take that into consideration. Given the data collection you can see where that would lead.
She also argues that we have a free speech crisis which is the free speech argument turned on itself. People are having to censor their complaint because of cries of "free speech" and "PC gone mad" whereas these expressions of opinion should have been "rightly stigmatized". People want the right to say "X" (anti-immigrant sentiment). These should be subject to (this ,that and the next thing) social engineering. Paul Spoonley puts that this way "communities talking to one another" and "we cannot have a conversation via the internet". Clearly he wants to interfere in the wider dialogue and route it through approved channels. The genie is already out of the box there because while we know there are crazies (tin foil hat) the blank slate view of behaviour is looking rather passé these days.
Nesrine Malik assumes a sort of common ground (fish tank) in which the "peoples" and their cultures all swim about. But whose fish tank is it? She tries to pin Peter Hitchens down as with a smirk gets to "so you want a monocultural society..."
Jordan Peterson says society needs an over riding narrative. As a rule we have motes around our society. As in our homes we don't put our dirty linen on the wall we have smiling pictures (capping ceremonies, children). We don't have the news item about Unlce X the pervert. Yet progressives want to go through our society and do that to the majority to make minorities feel legitimate. Criticizing minorities are out of bounds as Greg Clydesdale found out. A good example is Scott Hamilton. Bully Hayes raped a 9 year old girl (1860?). "She came up the beach with the blood running down her (1860 nine year old) leg". On the other hand he is adamant that when Chinese go to Samoa (recent) it is "enriching" (let's home there's no rape with blood running down anyone's legs - or whatever else his historical microscope can dig up)?
This is the wikipedia snippet on hijab:
In its traditional form, it is worn by women to maintain modesty and privacy from unrelated males. According to the Encyclopedia of Islam and Muslim World, modesty in the Quran concerns both men's and women's "gaze, gait, garments, and genitalia." The Qur'an instructs Muslim women to dress modestly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijab
What Boorish would know about Muslim clothing would fit on a tissue. The hijab is now in many cities and western countries worn commonly in the form of head covering, with a long scarf over, or a square of material with a space in the centre to go over the head; hardly different from a scarf often worn by the Queen when out in the grounds of her castle. He needn't be a smart-alek about it.
The unusual hats worn by boys at Brit public schools are examples of difference from the norm.
Another custom of Brit public schools. I wonder what B. Johson, Esquire says about this: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/eton-college-avoids-millions-tax-14728604
Perhaps then GS, go back to quietude...
I’ll try to send you back to sleep with this …. This ... lecture…
Do you really believe Western Culture only rules the world because it took land and resources, and imposed tariffs and other trade restrictions on others? Was it that simple & easy? Was it just raw power?
Was it through power the Jewish people who found their way to Europe thrived without land, rights and with constant pogroms for over a 1000 years? Was it power that Christianity ( pretty much just Judaism for non Jews) had to win over the Romans? Most scholars over the centuries tell us it was not due to power, except the power of winning ideas. Yes guns, germs and steel helped when Europeans lit out for the four corners of earth, but before that in Europe & the ME it was way more too surely.
In my opinion, the massive expansion of human ideas and then material and moral progress took off with the Jews escaping Egypt as it declined, with a partly Egyptian idea on board. It became a fundamentally correct progressive culture, 3000+ years in the making.
It started with an essentially psychologically correct religious idea they latched on to. That every individual is equally valuable before an exacting, judgemental creator (but one you can argue with) and before the laws of the community (which you can argue with). The debatable rule of law not man, and the divine value of each person, however obviously flawed he is. The argumentative bit is essential, as we demonstrate daily. (I believe the name ‘Israel’ means he who debates with God)
It was unique human progress, which much of the world still has only a thin bit of, like the Islamic states, and the appalling regime with its boot on the neck of China for example.
What a brilliant idea Moses & Sons Inc had, and how well it has turned out so far. So brilliant that Polynesians among many many more peoples grabbed it and ran with it immediately, after 1000s of years of unchanging 'philosophical & psychological poverty' as I would call it.
Or perhaps you see these as white supremist ideas, which is what some black American idiot radicals now say they are? Well even individual responsibility, reading and free speech are now called white racist ideas... White? What is that? Now that bitter resentment really is a way to stay at the bottom of the heap …. Cain would be proud of that idea.
No, culture counts, and cultures are never equal in any way shape or form. All are similarly full of flaws but some are progressive, both materially and morally. I maintain they are marginally superior and over time that margin continues to count across the board, significantly.
I'm very happy to be seen as a cultural supremist. It’s an utterly unselective group, open to all, absolutely all of the human race. We believe cultural appropriation is not only fine, but a must.
I overwhelmingly agree with the first part of this, seeing the poor suburbs in Gisborne -- that is what the Labour Maori caucus will be judged by. And I don't understand the last 'Woke' part. Mebbe I'm old.
My two priorities are the neediest and climate change. Incompetent Lab has 3 years to come through for the vastly easy first of these. Pulled, pushed in that direction. I'll continue to vote to the left of Labour since I spoiled my vote in 1987.
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