Lets not get into the annual Waitangi Day racist redneck rants of the uneducated idiots populating our media. They are just a sad indictment of their barren minds and of their media handlers’ desire to find an ever lower common denominator for the listening and watching public.
The serious business of the week was conducted on Thursday with the signing of the highly controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Instead of choosing an iconic beautiful New Zealand setting like Millbrook Resort near Queenstown away from the angry protesters the government opted for maximum provocation with the in the middle of Auckland venue of the seedy Sky City Casino. This casino was one prime example of government corruption cited by an overseas monitoring organisation Transparency International for New Zealand slipping down the corruption ranking.
The government pollsters and spin doctors had told the Prime Minister that nothing would be more effective to detract our minds from the toxic substance of the TPPA and even turn it into support than coverage of ugly and violent protests and hundreds of people arrested.
However, the provocation backfired.
Not only did the number of protesters by far exceed expectations but they came from all “walks of life” and were good natured and peaceful. Even the police, which in recent times have become a more politicised instrument of the government refused to play ball. After initially intimidating activists by knocking on their doors in the lead-up the police overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and clever peaceful tactics of the protesters did not make one single arrest.
The mainstream media – briefed to drive the neoliberal corporate agenda – were deprived of images of violence and turned instead to show clips of some inarticulate young Maori men who couldn’t quite tell why they were protesting and what was wrong with the signing of the TPPA. If anyone would have asked the same questions of the media on the ground most would have been more articulate but looked even more stupid if confronted with the facts than their interviewees having fun. And don’t get me started on the talk-back radio hosts and callers. You couldn’t get a more opinionated and less informed group of people if you tried.
As the media didn’t have any horror story to tell they made it up. The state broadcaster TVNZ in the prime time news hour reported that the two Labour Party dissenters and TPPA supporters had received death threats. On the late night news when nobody was watching they retracted that story and apologised. Damage done.
Prime Minister John Key was now desperate to get out of his commitment to attend our national day’s celebrations at the birthplace of our nation in Waitangi. He was scared of more protest as it is tradition on Waitangi Day and his pollsters had told him that his racist redneck constituency was rather in favour of not attending. He tried to cleverly exploit the diversity of opinion within the host tribe about where he was to speak to fabricate an excuse to break his long term commitment.
Former Maori MP and still activist Hone Harawira was spot on calling for the Prime Minister to stop being a cry-baby.
However, John Key again achieved one of his main goals to distract us, the New Zealand public and potential voters, from the real issue, which is the toxic content of the TPPA.
Instead we were treated to the image of a dildo flying across the face of senior government minister Steven Joyce at Waitangi free of charge i.e. the female protester was not charged by the police.
To add to the hilarity pony-tail pulling hypocrite John Key called it a bad look for New Zealand. No wonder that John Oliver’s “John Key the Ponytail Puller” clip appeared again on my Facebook page.
It looked all up from here starting with some good intelligent conversation with open minded people on Friday night’s jour fix at the pub.
Happy Ending on Sunday
On Sunday I enjoyed the sunny weather and open drive into Auckland without traffic jams. With a friend I went for a walk in the Domain to listen to some live music at the rotunda.
Crossing the sports fields we saw a figure almost colour coordinated with the beautiful tree he was shading under. He was sitting in the Lotus position hands open in his lap as if meditating, looking serene. Only when we came closer we saw the smartphone in his hands. Meditation 2016 style.
People had gathered in front of the rotunda having picnic and enjoying the sunny afternoon under the trees. Some were dancing to the music. Then one tall blond women joined in with a huge belly showing that she was close to giving birth. Her partner was careful not to pump into her just from time to time gently holding her hands. Her dance moves were so beautiful and graceful that it was pure joy to watch. As I am of an age where I can safely approach women without getting punched in the head I talked to her when she sat down. I thanked her for dancing and that it was the loveliest thing I had seen for a long time and that I bet that her baby was having the time of it’s life. I hope that I made her day as she did mine.
Later at Orewa beach I had a swim in the surf being pummelled by the breakers. As an immigrant of over 30 years I still pinch myself how lucky I am to live in this blessed country.
On my drying off walk along the beach I watched to my great enjoyment an as feisty as mad little Jack Russel dog chasing along with the kite surfers and charging into the water to catch them. Being an ideal day for kite surfing with many surfers zipping along there was to be one very tired little dog at the end of it.
Today I am wondering if there was a lesson to be learned.
Shouldn’t we all stop chasing red herrings pulled across our noses like flags, dildos and pony tails.
Shouldn’t we instead keep the eye on the ball, which is the neoliberal corporate takeover of New Zealand and the world.
Still that Sunday and Waitangi week for me had a happy ending.