Booker Price winner Eleanor Catton
has done us all a favour with her criticism of New Zealand’s “neoliberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture. They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want. I feel very angry with my government.”
Her recent interview in India not only attracted attention in the local but overseas media like the Guardian, which goes into great detail to describe what Catton called a “jingoistic national tantrum”.
The favour lies not only in the fact that she describes the present New Zealand government correctly for instance that they destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want with their ‘Drill Baby Drill’ energy policy.
The main favour in my view is the fact that she has held up a mirror to look at ourselves. Many didn’t like what they saw and reacted angrily. I give just one example from the letter pages of the NZ Herald, which is too awful to reprint so I just give you my response as printed in this weekend’s edition:
“Eleanor Catton must be vindicated by the reaction to her remarks.
Emmerson’s cartoon found some ‘cultural wasteland’ (Sean Plunket). And on the opposite letter page we find an example of ‘intellectual wasteland’. How else can one describe the contribution from Windsor Park comparing Eleanor Catton’s alleged lack of loyalty (a strange requirement for authors and poets) with Soviet spies recruited at Cambridge who lived as moles in the British secret service for decades spying for the cold war enemy. The connection between the two is ‘disenchantment with their own country’s politics.’ If that is enough then about a million New Zealanders disenchanted with the policies of our present government are to be regarded as in the same boat as traitors and Soviet spies.”
The main perpetrators of the witch hunt Sean Plunket (insults) and Steve Braunias (ridicule) can be best described as follows :
And then there is what the Guardian described as “an activist group” with reference to Patrice Dougan in the Herald going ‘so far as to publish the amount Catton has received in public funding, suggesting she should pay it back if unhappy with the support she has been given’.
Lets not forget who this activist group – the NZ Herald gives space in its paper – the “Taxpayers’ Union”and it’s “executive director” Jordan Williams are. The financiers behind this man are no union and they are no taxpayers, if they can help it. They are big business, which do everything to avoid taxes. They instead fund anti-democratic campaigns for instance against MMP, which Mr Jordan fronted. And Mr. Jordan is the point man in Wellington for gutter blogger Cameron Slater who can ring him in the middle of the night to get out of bed and try to get some incriminating photos of a prominent opposition politician having drinks at a bar. So it has been revealed in Nicky Hager’s book “Dirty Politics“.
If we look into the mirror Eleanor is holding up to us with her comments we will be ashamed not only looking at our present government and it’s policies and even more so looking at the reaction to having it pointed out to us by her correct and truthful observations.
Prophets, eh !Tweet ##NZPOL