Tuesday 13 July 2021

Louisa Wall: Rebel In A Wrong Cause

Running The Wrong Way: Brave though she undoubtedly is: and tough as an old Rugby boot; on the crucial issue of China, Louisa Wall is just plain wrong.

I WISH I could like Louisa Wall. I really do. Labour has so few mavericks in its ranks these days. Following the historical contribution of the late, great Jim Anderton, they’ve rather gone out of fashion. And, no, I’m not forgetting the exploits of the hapless David Cunliffe. He did, indeed, show every sign of being a gutsy maverick – right up until he won the Labour leadership and self-destructed. (Albeit more slowly that Todd Muller!) Certainly, Labour’s due a rebel or two. Someone to recall the party to its core principles. Which it needs. Unfortunately, Wall is not that person.

Which is not to suggest for a moment that Wall hasn’t made an important contribution to New Zealand political history. Her Marriage Equality legislation fulfilled a long-standing goal of the LBGTQI community – on whose behalf she has been a tireless fighter.

Wall’s staunch advocacy on these issues has not been without cost. In the South Auckland Pasifika communities she represented there were many who harboured deeply-held religious objections to the causes she espoused. Wall’s outspokenness saw her fall prey to the internal machinations of Labour’s factions. That she faced them down, and forced them to back-off, bears testimony to her courage and resilience. As Jacinda Ardern discovered, Louisa Wall is one tough cookie.

Tough to the point of pig-headedness. It’s the greatest weakness, as well as the greatest strength, of the maverick. Once they get hold of an idea, or attach themselves to a cause, they will not let it go. Neither, sadly, will they suffer anyone to interrogate their adherence. Mavericks are not very good at seeing both sides of the story. They are even worse at admitting that their version of the story might not be the right one.

Hence my unwillingness to join Wall’s fan-club. Brave though she undoubtedly is: and tough as an old Rugby boot; on the crucial issue of China, Louisa Wall is just plain wrong.

If you intend to make your next big stand on the field of foreign affairs, then the very first thing you have master is the art of due diligence. In the fraught field of geopolitics, claims and counter-claims fly back and forth like artillery shells – with almost as much destructive effect. Before committing yourself to one side or the other, it is absolutely imperative to discover who is making those claims – and why.

Nowhere is this more important than on issues relating to China. Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China is asserting its interests in ways that make the rest of the world – especially the United States – uneasy. For more than a century, China was on the receiving end of Western and Japanese imperialism. Weak, and prey to foreign exploitation and conquest, it had not been in a position to assert very much of anything. The rest of the world is neither accustomed to, nor comfortable with, a powerful China. Predictably, it is resisting its resurgence.

China’s treatment of political dissidents and ethnic minorities has provided her enemies with extremely useful propaganda targets. Rather than examine the reasons for the Chinese Government’s behaviour, which, in its essence, is indistinguishable from that of all other great powers when confronted with internal challenges to their imperium (think of England’s treatment of the Irish, or the United States’ treatment of Native Americans) China’s enemies accuse her of committing the most appalling atrocities – up to and including genocide.

Wall has proved herself to be an eager consumer of these horror stories. She has been convinced that the Chinese authorities are “farming” political prisoners for their organs. Rather than believe that the Chinese state is willing to use the organs of executed criminals to either save or improve the lives of desperately ill citizens, she has accepted at face value the claim that officials are murderously “harvesting” the organs of innocent civilians for profit. Rather than accept the Chinese authorities’ explanation that it is incarcerating Uighur nationalists and Islamists in re-education-through-labour camps in preference to going after them militarily, Louisa has bought into the USA-driven accusation that the Chinese are engaged in “genocide”. Given that the Uighur population of Xinjiang province is roughly twice as large as it was 50 years ago, one could be forgiven for observing that the Chinese definition of genocide is somewhat different to our own!

At the heart of just about all of these accusations against the Chinese Government one finds the virulently anti-communist cult known as Falun Gong. It is from Falun Gong that supposedly independent groups like End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) and The China Tribunal are fed the outrageous and unproven charges of organ farming, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

It is highly instructive that prior to the election of Xi Jinping as China’s head-of-state, Falun Gong’s horror stories were largely received with the international disdain they deserved. It is only since China’s new assertiveness began manifesting itself around the world, that the cult’s claims have been accepted as admissible evidence. The United States has ceased to treat China as a friendly off-shore manufacturing platform, and begun portraying it as a disruptive and increasingly aggressive force in world affairs. In this new endeavour, set in motion by President Barack Obama, the gruesome propaganda of Falun Gong has proved invaluable. So much so, in fact, that one could be forgiven for thinking that it was created for just such a purpose!

Given Louisa Wall’s political achievements, her descent into the murky waters of anti-Chinese propaganda is deeply regrettable. (Especially so, given the Falun Gong cult’s vicious homophobia.) There are already more than enough New Zealanders busying themselves in fomenting the next Cold War, without this hitherto formidable Labour MP joining their ranks.

The well-being of hundreds-of-thousands of New Zealanders depends upon this country’s diplomatic and economic relationship with China remaining strong. China’s enemies will not reward New Zealand for engineering a break with Beijing. Their local helpers will be cast aside with as much dispatch as they were recruited.

It is a great pity that Louisa Wall appears to have forgotten that mavericks are called mavericks precisely because they refuse to be driven in the same direction as the rest of the herd.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 13 July 2021.


David George said...

There's so much to like about China. If this was going on in my home town square I'd be happy.
Anyone that can dance like Dandan should have automatic residency.


Tom Hunter said...

Rather than believe that the Chinese state is willing to use the organs of executed criminals to either save or improve the lives of desperately ill citizens,....

What? Seriously? WHAT? Would you like to read again what you hav just written. I am often accused of being verbose but truly, words fail me.

given that the Uighur population of Xinjiang province is roughly twice as large as it was 50 years ago...

And again. Sure, I can see the utilitarian argument here, but let me put it this way. It is precisely the same argument that supporters of Israel use when Left-Wingers charge them with genocide or perhaps a lessor amount of death, inflicted against the Palestinians.

Nick J said...

It is interesting that most commenters on this site have views on the US and Europe that demonstrate our close cultural affinity and knowledge. China by contrast is definitely a foreign country.

I visited Beijing a few years ago on business, and it was difficult to get a picture of how China actually operates. Even harder from a distance. One thing was obvious, there is a cultural and conceptual divide, as Kipling said, "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet".

The implications of Louisas' opinions for Chinese observers of NZ might not be as significant as how they observe the opinions of our increasingly large Chinese community. Or how that community regards the rest of NZ. As the Asian community grows larger (as current demographics indicate) we may find that we gain better understanding of their homelands to guide our relationships. We will also have to demonstrate the cultural and political qualities on these islands that Louisa criticises in China.

Mark Hubbard said...

We do understand there is a genocide going on in China, and the CCP is pure evil?

Do we?

Jinping has destroyed, utterly, human rights and the free society in Hong Kong, and was never held to account by the West or UK to honour the two systems commitment.

Next up, Taiwan.

Goodness me. More power to Wall.

And by the way, the only thing I've taken heart from as NZ heads along the road to serfdom of Woke, is the people of Cuba demanding freedom on the streets from their tyrannous communist government - why am I not surprised there is no principled support offered to the protestors from our dreadful government. Wish we could ship some of our MPs to live in the gulags they want to create for us here, where in the actual spirit of 1984, even a billboard displaying the dictionary definition of a woman is classed as hate speech. No, hang on: we're there already.

Bennett said...

CIA agent like Guled Mire?

Glad to have found this blog today. I am in class with Guled.

oneblokesview said...

I agree with your comments about the Chinese re Genocide etc etc.

Having done business with Chinese firms over a number of years and travelled extensively in China. I find it hard to accept much of the western(Mainly US based) propaganda about the Chinese.

This is not to say that the CCP is saintly white. As you point out they are surging ahead with making China a great power under their new leader.
Lets not forget what great strides they have made with dragging 100's of millions of their population out of poverty. While the west digs its politically correct, social justice driven grave. Think coal fired power generation. Power being essential to remove poverty.

While I sometimes shout at the screen when reading SOME of your writings I believe that we would find a lot in common given the chance to debate our views.
You the lefty, me proudly on the right.

You remain one of the few opinion piece writers that is on my must read and ponder upon list.

Keep up the good work.

Geoff Fischer said...

Luisa Wall is not a maverick. She is not a rebel. She is absolutely representative of the hypocritical New Zealand parliament which voted unanimously to condemn the Peoples Republic of China for the same kind of behavior practiced daily by its partners in evil, the Five Eyes Alliance.
Admittedly that unanimity only became possible once the parliament, through its constituent parties and at the direction of the SIS, had purged itself of ethnic Chinese representation in a master class lesson to Rwanda, Serbia and Myanmar that these things can be achieved without shedding blood or provoking international outrage.
Be that as it may, the colonialist Parliament is unanimously wedded to the Five Eyes and it hardly requires courage for Luisa Wall to obediently follow the directions of Washington, London, Canberra and Pipitea House.
If by "maverick" you mean a disgrace to the nation and one who is at odds with the mana of our people, then Luisa Wall qualifies, but so does every other member of the colonialist parliament.

greywarbler said...

The west governments are NOT for social justice! How can you think that with the conditions that the western countries, thinking 5-Eyes, display. Politically correct is just something that they have allowed to balloon because it gives the zealous something to concentrate on while the scaffolding for society is removed. The zealous will be left hoist on their own petard; but so will most of us also. There lies the rub.

greywarbler said...

It seems to me that Geoff Fischer represents one side of Maoridom or Maori support, with never a good word to say for pakeha society as its learned the lesson that Maori have attributes some behind and some beyond pakeha. Then on the pakeha side there is the PFPMC or Patronising Female Professional Middle Class who think they know everything and plan to clean up the world like Super Woman and Man combined. I'm making a little list:

John Hurley said...

At this stage those claims about organ transplants are unknowable although there is a very short wait (it seems)?

sumsuch said...

When religion's 'love' don't work it goes down cul-de-sacs. You re China. We hate them. We didn't hate them prior to the prick who gave himself a life presidency. Since I'm always open to reason why haven't you convinced me? Why do all China's neighbours dislike her?

Geoff Fischer said...

I do not criticize pakeha. I criticize the British Crown in New Zealand. As a blind and mindless supporter of the British Crown and the racist anti-democratic character of the Realm of New Zealand, the pseudonymous greywarbler has no recourse except to wilfully misrepresent anyone who takes a principled patriotic stand in favor of mana motuhake.