Wednesday 21 December 2011

Time for a rant

Democracy, fascism and the Green Party
Reflections by Seemorerocks

Seemorerocks with .... "Seemorerocks' (aka Biscuit)
This blog has been in part stimulated by a piece by Gordon Campbell, "Surely it's Time for a Little Transparency".

I have been following the deteriorating political situation in the United States and Europe.

The United States is sliding rapidly towards fascism as they introduce an’enabling law’ (neatly hidden within a military procurement bill) that allows for indefinite detention of anyone that the president regards as a terrorist.

The environment is becoming rapidly nastier with violent repression by the police of peaceful demonstrations.  The police are being supplied with military equipment (because under the Posse Comitatus Act the army cannot be used to repress the population) - so the natural response is to militarise the police.

If  the provisions of the US constitution have not YET been taken away then the constitution is ‘hanging on by a thread’

In Europe democratically-elected governments are being replaced by governments ruled by Goldman Sachs bankers while the populations are being robbed by the banksters.

Here in New Zealand we have our own peculiarities.

We are part of the Westminster system and don’t have a constitution - in fact we don’t even have an Upper House to act as some form of check.

(I have to say I am not a constitutional lawyer so am open to correction).

So, it is easier here in New Zealand than the United States to circumvent democracy.  If the central government decide to sack a democratically-elected local body they can just do it - by decree as it were.

So perhaps we won't see the same sort of violent denial  of human rights as in America.

The advantage we do have is a Proportional Representation (MMP) voting system which enables smaller parties to have representation and reduces the likelihood of ‘elected dictatorship’.

However, the last three years of right-wing government have shown how right-wing agendas can still be pushed through.

The first requisite is a right-wing corporate media that manufactures consent by waging a constant propaganda campaign against the Labour alternative and building an altogether false picture of the prime minister as a ‘likeable’ and ‘reasonable’  man who has the interests of the common people at heart.

Legislation that is controversial can be kept under the radar, out of select committees and then passed ‘under urgency’ - so avoiding the inconvenience of public scrutiny.

Before the election we had the public ‘cup-of-tea’ (although this did not extend to what was discussed).

The intent was to have the ex-mayor of Auckland, right-winger John Banks elected to bring Dr Brash in on his coat tails.  This new ACT party (with the right wing economic agenda minus the Libertarian policies of the old ACT) would allow the National Party to introduce their extreme right-wing agenda without  having to take any responsibility.

As it turned out Banks was elected by the ACT party received only 1 percent of the vote.  This still allowed National to go into alliance with the one representative and to introduce previously worked-out policies without the need of taking them to the electorate.

Essentially, we have a situation that is different from that of America but the same in substance.

Which ever way you play it democracy and public participation has been circumvented.

What we have to look forward to are right-wing policies that further redistribute wealth and impoverish a larger group of people.

We can look forward to our rights being signed away, whether by legislation or by international deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

We can look forward to more destruction of our waterways by dairying, more raping of our resources by mining and now fracking - also to ever more roads.

All this while New Zealand enters a worldwide depression - and finally economic, financial and social collapse.

I have never been more convinced that there are no answers to be found in national politics than over the last period of time.

There is no voice in parliament to warn the populace and tell things the way things are.

I have never had a high expectation of any party in parliament, with the exception of the Green Party of which I have been a member for 15 years.

As I have made clear before I regard the adopted position of the Green Party of putting out ‘positive’ messages, promising a ‘richer New Zealand’ and ‘thousands of green jobs’ as despicable and dishonest at a time when the landscape is changing before is - and the possibility of positive change through the political process is taken away from us.

The Green Party has (I would have thought) the knowledge of the failure of the infinite growth paradigm which brings with the predicament that humanity as a whole faces of ecological destruction, catastrophic climate change, resource depletion and collapse of the economic system.

Today I posted a post about preparations to evacuate Britons from Spain in the case of economic breakdown  in countries such as Spain and Portugal.

The response (from a known Green party member) was being queried:  “would it be better if no plans were made" and then the contention that “sensible people make plans for bad but very improbable things all the time. I'm going travelling to India soon, so I got a polio vaccine injected into me. Does this mean I expect to get polio in the future? Of course not - only that I prefer to be ready”  

He did go on to say he agreed that the likelihood of“extremely bad problems” is very high.

Quite apart from the fact that problems (even if ‘extremely serious’ can be solved whereas a predicament cannot  (and can only be responded TO) - in this regard I recall Caroline Baker saying there is nothing we can do ABOUT collapse but we can work WITH it - there is a contradiction between the two contentions and, I suspect a whole lot of denial.

What can we look forward to over our summer break? - a continuation in the breakdown of the world economy, furtherance of attacks on democracy and further escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.

I don't think it is a time for us here in New Zealand to just go bush or lounge on the beach - no time to let our guard down.  It would be a obvious time for things to blow up (I desperately hope not literally).

The only certainty I can see at the moment is that things are extremely UNCERTAIN and that I cannot make any assumptions about myself and the world in the year 2012.

For all best wishes for a happy Christmas and New Year.


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