Tuesday 19 July 2022

The Danish Solution: How Repudiating Co-Governance Could Be the Saving Of Labour.

Copenhagen Was Worth A Mass* The Danish Social-Democratic Party leader, Mette Frederiksen, greeted by supporters during her successful 2019 general election campaign.

THINK OF DENMARK – go on, think of Denmark. What springs to mind? Lego? The Little Mermaid? Squishy little segments of surprisingly tasty cheese? Bacon? Slaughtered Minks? How many of you are thinking of a social-democratic political party reversing its electoral decline by adopting the immensely popular immigration policies of insurgent right-wing populists? Not a lot. Hardly surprising. How often do New Zealand’s news editors think of Denmark?

“The Danish Solution” is worth considering, however, as our own General Election draws ever nearer. Since the political survival instinct is every bit as strong as any other, we should not be surprised when failing politicians and failing parties adopt policies that outrage their supporters. If their ideological heresy is rewarded by the voters, then it’s amazing how quickly that outrage fades. If the voters remain unimpressed? Well, then there will be blood.

Faced with impending electoral disaster, what might New Zealand’s social-democrats throw overboard?

If Denmark offers us any guide, then the choice will be driven by fear of the racial “other”. The right-wing populist Danish Peoples Party made huge electoral gains in 2015 by offering to protect their country from the problems Sweden had brought upon itself by opening its doors to refugees and immigrants from the ravaged countries of the Third World.

Over the course of five decades, Sweden went from being one of the most racially homogeneous societies on Earth, to a global poster-child for the virtues of multiculturalism. For Swedish social-democrats, this policy of welcoming the persecuted and the vulnerable was an article of left-wing faith: proof that their country, unlike so many of their European neighbours, was not irredeemably racist.

Except that large sections of Swedish society were deeply hostile to multiculturalism. Among the Swedish upper-classes, in particular, the ideology of 1930s fascism lingered on long after the end of the Second World War. As the number of immigrants grew, the Swedish far-right grew with them. Racist xenophobia and Islamophobia inspired racist assaults and arson attacks on refugee centres. Undaunted, the Swedish social-democrats held firm to their multicultural dream – and were voted out of power.

Determined not to lose again, the Danish social-democrats opted to bend to the will of the majority. The massive surge of support for the Peoples Party’s hardline anti-immigration policies convinced them that the Danes had no intention of going down the same road as the Swedes. Failure to respond to the clearly expressed preferences of the electorate threatened to condemn the Danish Social-Democratic Party to the status of an also-ran: politically correct, but reduced to making up the numbers for larger, more responsive and racially exclusive coalitions of political parties.

Among the Danish anti-racist Left, the social-democrats’ about-face on immigration represented a shameful capitulation to all that was rotten in the state of Denmark. Better, they said, to remain pure and powerless, than to compromise their foundational principles in the name of reclaiming the DSDP’s lost power.

But, as the Australian Labor leader, Gough Whitlam, told the ideologically obdurate and inflexible left-wing of the Victorian Labor Party in 1967, by advancing such an argument: “We construct a philosophy of failure, which finds in defeat a form of justification and a proof of the purity of our principles. Certainly, the impotent are pure.” Or, as the late Jim Anderton expressed it, rather less tartly: “One day in Government is worth a thousand days in Opposition.”

It may soon be the New Zealand Labour Party’s turn to make a similar choice between the impotence of morally unimpeachable Opposition, and the ethical compromises attendant upon winning, retaining and wielding political power. Just as Helen Clark was required to choose between capitulating to the Court of Appeal’s foreshore and seabed decision, and seeing Don Brash’s National Party ride to victory in the 2005 General Election; or retaining sufficient Pakeha support to remain in office, even at the cost of alienating enough of Labour’s Māori support to make the formation of an independent Māori Party a realistic proposition.

It would be fascinating to know just how far the electorate’s opposition to Labour’s policies of “co-governance” extends. Given the extent of its polling and focus-grouping, one can only assume that Labour’s strategists are well aware of the consequences of rolling out the policy as currently configured. Were it not for National’s and Act’s clear determination to exploit the Pakeha public’s fear of co-governance, it would be easy to assume that only a small minority of the population are sufficiently exercised by the ideas contained in the controversial He Puapua Report to make them the key determinants of their voting choices.

That National and Act are unwilling to give away the co-governance issue (as Key gave away National’s opposition to the anti-smacking legislation in 2008) strongly suggests that Labour’s policy is shaping-up to be one of the hottest “hot-button” issues of 2023.

The only explanation for the Labour Caucus’ Pakeha majority’s consistent refusal to jettison the party’s commitment to co-governance is its fear that such a decision would spark a full-scale revolt in Labour’s Māori caucus. A revolt so serious that a mass desertion of Māori MPs to the Māori Party could not be ruled out.

In such circumstances, neither the continued loyalty of the Greens, nor that of the entire Labour caucus, could be counted on by the Labour leadership. The resulting parliamentary crisis could only be resolved by calling a snap election.

Could the adoption of “The Danish Solution” rescue Labour? Much would depend on how effectively the Labour leadership presented the range of choices confronting the electorate. If National and Act could be presented as the radical right-wing alternative, whose extremist policies would almost certainly spark serious civil strife, Labour would be able to present itself as a moderate hand-brake on the equally radical co-governance ambitions of the Māori Party and the Greens. Adroitly handled, Labour could emerge from the crisis as the only party capable of keeping the peace. As such it could call upon the electorate to give it the numbers in Parliament to frustrate the reactionary plans of the Right and the revolutionary programme of the Left.

National and Act would gnash their teeth in fury. The Māori Party and the Greens would condemn Labour as sell-outs, moral cowards and traitors. But when the smoke cleared, Labour would find itself finally free of its historical ties and obligations to Maoridom – those would now belong to the Māori Party exclusively. From this position, Labour could advance itself as the only reliable defender of te Tiriti o Waitangi and the democratic and egalitarian principles it embodies.

An altogether preferable alternative to Labour fading into political irrelevance, as a triumphant Right lays waste to New Zealand’s three most precious taonga: Egalitarianism, Democracy – and the Treaty itself.

* Henry of Navarre, a protestant, by converting to Catholicism, made himself King Henri IV of France. When asked to justify his abandonment of Protestantism, Henry replied: “Paris is worth a mass”.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 19 July 2022.


Brendan McNeill said...

The Danish people discovered eventually that culture is thicker than geography. You can re-locate people from an alien culture into your towns and cities, but for some reason immigrants prefer to retain their own religion, customs and attitudes long after they have arrived. This is equally true for the host culture. For some inexplicable reason the locals preferred their own cultural expressions and chose not to adopt the cultural habits of the immigrants.

Turns out you can have large scale immigration and “multiculturalism” but you risk paying a high price in lost social cohesion. It’s a numbers game of course, and only the cynical would believe that host governments were anything other than altruistic in their motives.

The reality is that nothing will save Labour at the next election. The risk of being in Government is that eventually people begin to observe the depth of incompetence on display day in and day out. Even a bought and paid for media finds it can no longer ignore the stench of political decay.

They will have had six years in Government, time enough to enact their reforms, build houses, rescue children from poverty, build train services to Auckland airport, new cycleways and bridges, implement a Capital Gains Tax, plant a billion trees….. Labour has discovered that it’s not enough to be aspirational, to have idealistic dreams and goals, to set up endless steering groups and committees. Eventually you.have.to.deliver.

There is no “Danish solution” for Labour.

Ellen said...

A Life-long Labour voter of the Michael Joseph Savage leaning -"applied Christianity" "a fair day's work for a fair day's pay" etc I am enraged that He Puapua should be lumped into the left-right continuum. It does not belong there - it is racial separatism - apartheid - stupidity. I know many former Labour voters who will not vote Labour again. I will vote ACT because although I deplore their financial policies, I figure they will not get the Treasury benches, but hopefully give some muscle to the pretty lukewarm National bunch (Deputy Leader excepted). David Seymour is almost unique in his courage to say what so many think, but will not speak for fear of being called 'racist' - it is just so ludicrous that anyone who calls out He Puapua racial separatism is called racist - many people have lost - or never possessed - the ability to think logically. NZ is in trouble. ( That off my chest, thank you Chris. You are an excellent thinker and a brave voice - keep it up.)

Odysseus said...

Except "co-governance", even if it were desirable, is no such thing in practice. Many people have now prepared their submissions on the Water Services Entities Bill which are due by the end of the week. If you go into the detail you will see what is actually proposed is the wholesale confiscation of community-owned 3 waters assets and their handing over to iwi control which is exercised through binding "Te Mana O Te Wai" statements that by law only Maori can issue, as well as by an effective iwi veto within the regional representative boards.

I cannot fathom the motivation of any major political party that would inflict such a recipe for potential disaster on a country. Race-based control of access to fresh water and the infrastructure by which it is managed is so provocative it beggars belief. Needless to say, it also violates the Bill of Rights and international human rights law to which New Zealand is party. If this bill passes in its entirety there would seem to be no middle road left and little hope of return to common sense.

greywarbler said...

How often do New Zealand’s news editors think of Denmark?
How often does stuff think to print anything from overseas that isn't American particularly usa, or American connected like Afghanistan or NATO or Ukraine. We have someone living in NZ from every country on earth, prove me wrong!, but you can see who is behind stuff's ownership or supply of news, not Reuter or NZPA. You'd think Stuff was bought to advance USA hegemony or with hedge money perhaps! I'm so funny, I crack me up.

The Barron said...

A cornucopia of ideas somehow put together to again question co-governance. First point, only because it is not stated in the piece. Demark is a member of the EU and has free labour movement from the EU countries. The immigration policies are specifically about non-EU immigration, noticeably refugees and humanitarian from non-EU countries with different ethnic backgrounds. When there should be both international and EU commitments to refugee levels, countries like Denmark or Hungary so have policies that could be seen as racist.

From my reading of your piece, the segue to co-governance seems that it is acceptable to be accused of being racist to be populist. You seem that because Labour poll and focus-grouping they must be aware how unpopular co-governance is. That seem predicated by a conclusion that any auditing of views would agree with yours. I have no knowledge of what electorate dredging would show, but, unless you have firm evidence, assumption should not be used to back an argument.

There has also been an on-going assumption that the proponents of co-governance are all in the Maori caucus, and this group is internally bullying the rest of the party. Again, this is a conclusion bereft of evidence. Chris Finlayson has affirmed that co-governance was a naturalised part of settlements and structures he was involved with. No Maori caucus there, certainly no Labour Maori Caucus.

The term 'Labour's Pakeha majority', is unclear. If you are speaking about the caucus, it is again an assumption that the 'Pakeha' members are not advocating co-governance as vehemently as their Maori colleagues, noting the 'co' being inclusive. It also seems to render the Pasifika caucus and those from new migrant ethic backgrounds as outside the shaping of our democracy nd service delivery.

If you are talking of the Labour Party, the same argument applies. If you are talking of the Labour movement, it is worth noting that Unions and the State Sector have all been working through their own commitments to differing management constructs which will include Maori as Tangata Whenua and other ethnic groups for inclusion and participation.

Today, in Auckland schools, Pakeha are no longer a majority but the largest minority. It is something that Labour in all manifestations must adjust to now and in the future.

As the great grandson of T.W.Ratana is about to be Speaker of the House, it is worth pondering how many times both the Maori vote and electorates have propped up Labour Governments, Party and movements since the alliance of Koata with the Labour Party in 1936.

greywarbler said...

Maori under co-governance would be blamed for everything that was wrong in NZ. Hah would the detractors say, they (Maori) are bigger muddlers than Labour. They would start off with a hiss and a roar but end up with unhappy people being the majority even within Maoridom I reckon.

People who have done much study at university in the practice of theory and desired principles of a pure kind, will tend to be like the ANC fighters in South Africa, unprepared for the reality when they achieve their less than objective and delineated goal. Operating on emotion and strong feelings as prime driver for decisions is no way to advance a polity or a hapu or iwi.

Remember the catchy phrase 'Too many hui and not enough dooey'? But it's not simple, getting stuck into dooey too fast, without controls, specifications, parameters and when it is a big multi-iwi or hapu matter would lead to a loss of value, time, and dissatisfaction.

Climate change advances and we cringe. If we are to cope, then now is the time to come to the aid of the party, that's the slogan, and the party is us all, and helping those whose brains are not the sharpest to decide what is important for their well-being and then helping them themselves work towards it. De-centralised projects registered with a central ministry set up to monitor and provide limited funding woule be the way to go. And Maori already have bright sparks all over the motu. They could pull all the threads together and weave a great cloak, without most of the cost of top administration and their often paralysing opinions, even when they are Maori. The let's-get-on-with-it brigade getting a sounding board, good advice, a limited budget, and being a back office to ensure the money goes to the right scheme - how about that? Everybody should be involved. As one of the USA Constitution developers said 'We must hang together or assuredly we will hang separately'

David George said...

"choice between the impotence of morally unimpeachable Opposition, and the ethical compromises attendant upon winning, retaining and wielding political power"

Really Chris? Morally unimpeachable?
The implementation of racist co-governance is morally bankrupt, contrary to accepted democratic principles and most likely in contravention of our human rights legislation - as David Parker belatedly realised when he bothered to look at the implications of the Rotorua LA proposal.

Quite how He Puapua advances "Egalitarianism, Democracy – and the Treaty itself" is far from clear. The treaty lays the ground for actual democracy not division along racial lines. I can only speak for myself but, from what I can see, the widespread and palpable disgust is not motivated by selfish or racist instincts but by genuine concern for the country, it's people and some very important principles we (foolishly?) believed were sacrosanct. The only demographic set to benefit is a small coterie of avaricious Maori elites. The rest of us will be worse off in every way.

Sweden and Denmark are faced with the inescapable reality that the large numbers (mostly single young men) of refugees are creating serious crime and other problems, their noble attempts at addressing those largely unsuccessful hence the wise decision to limit newcomers and deport the offenders. Nothing to do with "Racist xenophobia and Islamophobia inspired racist assaults" on the part of the indigenous; such as they are. Sweden now has two million foreign born (not all refugees I presume) and some very serious problems with gang violence, sexual assaults, grenade bombings - you name it pretty much. What government would even try and pretend they are working for the people by ignoring that.

greywarbler said...

Before someone shows their prejudice after reading my comment and jumps to the conclusion that when talking about people 'whose brains are not the sharpest', I had a racial profile in mind.

Actually I am talking about all who don't bother to take note of politics and question costs and method and outcomes, and themselves about what they think, and politicians and their accolytes the same. Just asking 'why', looking for the answer and some examples of the problem and solution is educational, and then getting more background fills in the picture. Doing this regularly makes for a wiser late middle and old age.

But one can see when looking at the older age group, that this is not a widespread practice. There are more golf clubs than debate clubs, science lectures than participative philosophy discussions. When do brains get exercised in NZ as regularly as mountain bike meets pump leg muscles?

David George said...

Their foolish decision to open their borders to destabilising and dangerous migrants aside, the Swedes deserve credit for their courageous and correct decisions over covid.

Here’s the actual data recently released by the World Health Organisation for 2020-21.

Measuring excess deaths (the difference between expected and actual mortality) Sweden recorded 56 per 100,000 population, one of the lowest rates in Europe.

Sweden made their non-lockdown rule aware of the collateral damage of lockdowns on the economy, healthcare and education in particular.

The UK for example, recorded 109 excess deaths per 100,000 putting it 15th out of 28 European nations and ahead of the likes of Germany and Italy.

As the Daily Telegraph editorialised, “It’s about time the world apologised to Sweden”.

If it weren't for the unfortunate exposure early on in rest homes they would have had one of the lowest death rates in the world. They did, however, manage to keep their economy ticking over without the dysfunctional mess we are experiencing. Good for them.

greywarbler said...

An anecdote here - an important example to think about. What effect would co-governance have on this situation? Would Maori people be able to demand action from the government when the complaints of citizens under our present arrangement had been ignored, filed away on a high shelf, or indeed apparently gone past the round filing basket to the shredder. This is another of those amazing Maori stories of stalwarts insisting that they not be ignored.


And I add to this the old beneficiary who travelled in his wheelchair or mobility scooter for kms down a regional road to the social welfare office (when there was still one) to have a face to face conversation with social welfare. I think this was in Northland decades ago.

It may be necessary to make swingeing changes now when there is a window of opportunity as Labour seem to be a defeated limp entity - a bunch of sausages with form but who knows what's in their filling? It may be a case of forming a bicultural citizens discussion group and nutting out a sensible plan that considers everybody including the Pacific Island, Chinese, Filipino and Indian voices who have been here so long with increasing numbers
under neoliberalism. There would be needed protective legislation so that no-one gets squashed under heavy-footed progressive yet also repressive legislation.

We haven't much time left for unfolding new laws. None of our leading political parties can cope in this century delivering climate dumps which we now say we didn't order, yet we have to pay for them, disgrace! Then in addition there will be the dumps of wealthy locusts who will come here after they eat up all the goodies at their other sites.

DS said...

Problem: no-one gets rewarded for taking the middle-ground in a Culture War (cue the line about people in the middle of the road getting run over). And frankly, the only people who benefit from a shouting match over co-governance are the Maori Party, ACT, and (depending on how they play it) National. It's a losing proposition for Labour all-round.

Labour's best option is to avoid Culture War and rediscover its commitment to economic justice.

AB said...

One teeny, tiny difference from your Danish comparison is that Maori aren't recent immigrants here. The Danish have legitimate choices, because it's not unreasonable to assert that any nation has a sovereign right to set its own immigration and population policy. It's not unthinkable for a social democratic party to control immigration - especially if it has the potential to be used as a weapon to undermine the wages of the working class.
In contrast it is much harder for a social democratic party to assert that the interests and worldview of the indigenous population of its own country are of no account - and the majority view must prevail in every instance. In fact the whole idea of co-governance seems to be an attempt at that balancing act - how to give recognition to the fact of indigineity without compromising democratic ideals. The opponents of co-governance want to ignore or cancel the notion of indigineity altogether.
Which is incidentally why the vociferous opponents of co-governance seem to have some cross-over with various conspiracy theorists who assert that a pre-Maori white people lived in NZ and built stone walls in the Kaimanawa ranges and all the scientists are hiding the fact. The desire to erase the facts of history in some way (any way will do) is strong.

Alan said...

I don't believe that some Left / Right situation exists here. It is the stuff of majority / minority, and that lies at the heart of political democracy.

In reality it is that simple. Yes there are issues of inequality underpinning health both physical and mental, education, housing, employment and crime which certainly need addressing, and it is here that Left or Right solutions can be identified and debated but if it is not under the umbrella of one citizen, one vote we will set this nation up for a bucket of trouble.

And that seems to be the Government's current undemocratic drift to electoral extinction.

Alan Rhodes

The Barron said...

The Swedish government committed geronticide on a grand scale. They allowed Covid19 into the aged persons homes and as a result the vulnerable dependent upon the State were culled. Statistics only show that these were people that did not have high life expectancy and would have featured in the natural death rates anyway.

The Harold Shipman type elder care by a nation with a very troubling eugenics history is not a model worthy of apology in the civilized world.

The Barron said...

Probably worth again stating the obvious. The Danes refusing refugees does not solve the refugee problem. Most of those the Danes should be considering are already in the EU, or they are in refugee centres where they have been designated refugee status because they have had to flee their homeland. Denmark's lack of humanity is simply shifting the pressure points within the international community.

David George said...

AB: "The opponents of co-governance want to ignore or cancel the notion of indigineity altogether."

Is that right AB? Perhaps you would like to present some evidence for that claim; sounds like a cheap attempt at discrediting and dismissing what are genuine and widespread concerns over the introduction of systemic and statutory ethno-nationalism. Something that has never, and should never, be contemplated in a functional democracy.

These "blood and soil" notions have a widely accepted place in mythology culture; introducing them into the political and economic sphere is dangerous and has been hugely damaging.

"Ethno-nationalism has political categories based on racial classification – the belief that our fundamental identity (personal, social and political) is fixed in our ancestry. Here the past determines the future. Identity, too, is fixed in that past. In contrast, democratic-nationalism has one political category – that of citizenship – justified by the shared belief in a universal human identity."

"The democratic political arena is where we meet as New Zealanders, as equal citizens of a united nation. That public arena is textured by contributing communities certainly, but it is the place where we unite – as a modern pluralist social group that is also a political entity. If we choose not to unite in this way, and the He Puapua Report is recommending that we don’t, why have a nation – New Zealand?

When we politicise ethnicity – by classifying, categorising and institutionalising people on the basis of ethnicity – we establish the platform for ethno-nationalism. Contemporary and historical examples should make us very wary of a path that replaces the individual citizen with the ethnic person as the political subject.

Interestingly those examples show the role of small well-educated elites in pushing through radical change. In Rwanda the ethnic doctrine ‘the Mahutu Manifesto’ of 1953 was written and promulgated by eleven highly educated individuals identifying politically as Hutu. The raw material of the ethnic ideologies that fuelled the violence in Bosnia and Serbia was supplied by intellectuals. Pol Pot began his killing campaigns immediately on his return from study in Paris.

In my 2006 speech to the NZ Skeptics I said: “In New Zealand we are obviously not far down the track towards ethno-nationalism. However we need to recognise that the ideas which fuel ethnic politics are well-established and naturalised in this country and that the politicisation of ethnicity is underway”. Fifteen years later the He Puapua Report shows the progress towards ethno-nationalism. Why has this racial ideology become so accepted in a nation which prides itself on identifying and rejecting racism?"

David George said...

The Barron: "The Swedish government committed geronticide on a grand scale."

Are you seriously suggesting that, at the very early stages of the pandemic, the Swedish government intentional allowed, or encouraged, the virus to spread into the elderly rest homes?

Do you somehow think you can make the most outrageous, speculative and offensive claims without evidence and still be considered someone worth listening to?

David George said...

Alan Rhodes: "if it is not under the umbrella of one citizen, one vote we will set this nation up for a bucket of trouble"

It's surprising to me that otherwise sane and sensible people can't see that Alan. I watched a great interview of JP by Frosti Logason in Iceland.

"We don't know the pathway to Auschwitz and you cannot stop yourself from walking down that pathway when you don't know when you're on it"

"When you know the path to Hell you can start to feel out it's counterpart"

Here is that clip set to play at the relevant part - the whole thing is really great and well worth watching in full. https://youtu.be/6n0T-SLJPwQ?t=206

John Hurley said...

I'm half-way through this
Dominant Ethnicity and Dominant Nationhood: Empirical and Normative Aspects

This I have read all through much of it went in one ear and out the other but I think I get the gist of it

Ethnic studies stripped of Critical Theory is much less judgmental

The Barron said...

Yes, the Swedish government had the same knowledge as all other European governments as to the spread and the mortality of the aged with Covid19. Unlike all those other governments, Sweden did not put appropriate restrictions on access to Aged Persons Homes.

The Barron said...

"Do you somehow think you can make the most outrageous, speculative and offensive claims without evidence and still be considered someone worth listening to?"

Well David, maybe if you don't know something you could try this new thing called Google before you think that you are worth listening to.

You could try Sweden's own commission into this
Reuters -
"Systemic shortcomings in Sweden’s elderly care coupled with inadequate measures from the government and agencies contributed to the country’s high death toll in nursing homes, an initial report by an official commission said on Tuesday".


"After the pandemic’s deadly first peak in April 2020, it became clear that Sweden’s quest to protect its elderly had failed...the virus made its way into nursing homes, spreading from staff and visitors to residents, until the government, too late, banned visits on April 1, 2020. A month later, a report showed that nearly half of the 2,075 deaths in the country — one of the highest per-capita death rates in Europe — had occurred in nursing homes, and 90 percent had happened among those aged 70 and above..."


"Sweden has seen more than 5,800 deaths from Covid-19 — nearly half of them in care homes. Prominent scientists have criticised the authorities' approach and the government has itself admitted it failed to adequately protect the elderly.
"They didn't try to save their lives. They were scared that the intensive care units would be overwhelmed and you couldn't take care of young people,” says Anders Vahlne, a professor of virology at the Karolinska Institute. “And so they were selecting [patients], a bit too harshly I think".


"The son of an elderly man in Sweden has told BBC Panorama his father ‘was left to die’, after he tested positive for COVID-19, in a care home last April. Thomas Andersson was shocked to find out that his father, Jan, 81, was not receiving medical treatment, but given end of life care instead. After Thomas alerted local press, Jan was put on a drip and is now alive and well. In December 2020, a Swedish commission report concluded Sweden’s pandemic strategy had failed to protect the elderly."


The Guardian
"Anger in Sweden as elderly pay price for coronavirus strategy
Staff with no masks or sanitiser fear for residents as hundreds die in care homes...Lena Einhorn, a virologist who has been one of the leading domestic critics of Sweden’s coronavirus policy...She argues that the reason why Sweden has a much higher number of cases in care homes than in Norway and Finland is not because of the homes themselves, but because of Sweden’s decision to keep schools and kindergartens open, and not to shut restaurants or bars...There’s a basic system fault in their recommendations."


Who is outrageous, speculative and offensive? I would think those minimalizing the loss of life without even an attempt to check what has actually happened.

John Hurley said...

We have no grounds for speaking of cultures as 'synonymous with a nation or
a people.' (Kymlicka 1995: 18) Instead, what we may say is that cultural
symbols may function as markers for ethnic and national boundaries while
cultural myths might furnish the material for group narratives. In all cases,
however, the ethnic or national community is the active agent, not the culture.
Therefore it is all the more pressing that we synthesise liberalism with active
communities, and not merely passive cultures. Cultures may offer us contexts
of choice, and this may further the aims of liberalism. However, what really
ought to concern us is the manner in which liberalism can accommodate
communities' use of cultural contexts for the purposes of boundary
demarcation and mytho-symbolic group narration. (Kaufmann 2000: 1092)

As in Ngai tahu claim water because ___ and ___ and __.

Anonymous said...

Japanese do not take in refugees. The oil rich Muslim countries do not take in refugees.
Perhaps these nations should explain to Denmark and New Zealand why we have to.

David George said...

Thanks for the links Barron. As should have been clear from my earlier comment, I'm aware of what happened in the Swedish rest homes. My concern was your implication of intent.
BTW; a similar, but far worse, thing happened in New York when disgraced Governor Andrew Cuoumo sent thousands of infected patients into aged care facilities.

"New York dispatched more than 6,300 recovering coronavirus patients into vulnerable nursing homes during the height of the pandemic, officials said this week.

The transfers were made under a now-scrapped, highly criticized policy that barred nursing homes from refusing to take in COVID-19 patients — a directive from the Cuomo administration intending to free up hospital beds for the sickest patients."


"New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) administration undercounted coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a damning report released Thursday.

In a statement, James said it’s “imperative” to understand why nursing home patients in New York “suffered at such an alarming rate.”

As The New York Times reported, Cuomo has been especially sensitive of suggestions that his administration’s response played a role in the disastrous spread of the virus in nursing homes in the state. The state’s official death toll at nursing homes is about 8,500, according to the Times."


greywarbler said...

David George You have criticised two people at least here in emotionally negative terms.
If you want to present yourself as an erudite commenter worth reading then you pull back and simply say that you fail to understand how the other could present what seems a very incorrect view because it ... whatever, overstates, neglects - there are a thousand? words in the thesaurus for precisely shaping your critique. So the stuff to The Barron and AB -
'sounds like a cheap attempt at discrediting and dismissing what are genuine and widespread concerns over the introduction of systemic and statutory ethno-nationalism.' are OTT.

The Barron said...

Strange response. You state the Swedish government is owed an apology because of criticism of their Covid response. I state no because the dereliction of duty to those in aged persons homes. You state I am making unsupported outrageous claim. I provide the proof. You state you knew it all the time, but New York State was also negligent to those in Aged Persons homes.

So Sweden should be praised because an American state was also at fault? Never really understood the rights intellectual paupacy of the "what abouts".

The Barron said...

Just a quick note on 'intent', I suggest you watch the January 6th hearings to understand dereliction of duty and culpable negligence.

The Swedish government was given the same advice as all other European governments as to how Covid19 would spread to aged persons homes. They decided to leave all decisions to localized authorities and refused a coordinated response. They decided not to centrally supply PPE, they decided not to enforce lockdowns, including to the vulnerable aged homes. The Swedish government ignored majority reports and went with now discredited minority reports on herd immunity.

They did so on an ideological view of self responsibility, but then restricted emergency wards and intensive care based on age.

Enough to reach a legal threshold for intent. Of course, the Swedish governments own commission of inquiry found the government was negligent.

David George said...

Thanks Barron, my point was simply that "The Swedish government committed geronticide on a grand scale" is an inflammatory and offensive accusation for what was (and what you now describe as) negligence. The statistics (see previously linked article) now show that, despite a bad start, the Swedish approach of low level intervention was the better option. The epidemic of social, economic, and psychological impacts largely avoided and a lower death rate than the European countries that introduced extended draconian lockdowns, school closures and persecution of the un-vaccinated. Spain, Italy, UK, Belgium, Austria etc.

The Barron said...

David, see above over culpablity and decisions made with the full knowledge that those in aged homes would be left to die.

Regarding stats showing over 2 1/2 years, of course the premature death of those with limited life expectancy will catch up in statistics. It comes down to whether all life is protected by the state, or a government decides which sector is disposable and their lives and quality of life of less concern. It is that mode of state ideology that draws a direct line from Sweden's eugenics history.

Swedish state policy made decisions as to who will live and who will die. After long lives building the Swedish state, the elderly were knowingly sacrificed.