Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, December 13th, 2012 - 59 comments
Categories: child welfare, class war, Economy, greens, labour, mana, Metiria Turei, news, poverty, quality of life - Tags: jacinda arden
In the MSM-supported mainstream of parliamentary politics it’s been a year of the battle of the men, as NZ becomes more divided and unequal. Gender equality in the political landscape, like economic, income and life-style equality in NZ, has been going backwards under the NActUF watch. In all these areas, the country has been turning away from many hard-won gains.
So it was very encouraging to watch Metiria Turei’s Adjournment Speech, delivered in the house yesterday. She focused on the issues that have so often been marginalised by the male-dominated power-plays of late: issues such as income inequality, diminishing quality of life, decreasing numbers of jobs playing a living wage, increasing child poverty, and the need to work collaboratively and inclusively to counter the downward slide of the country in too many areas.
Recently, on more than one occasion, I have been critical of the way both Labour and the Greens seem to have been influenced by the misogyny of Key’s government, so that now all the opposition parties seem to have become largely male-dominated. It is not just that there are more men in the top positions, or contesting them, in the Labour Party. Dominant voices in the MSM seem to have designated Russel Norman as the de-facto leader of the Green Party. So, it was great to see co-leader, Metiria Turei, deliver the lead Green Party speech in the adjournment speeches: all the other leaders’ speeches were by men.
Recently, LudditeJourno posted about the white masculine bias of MSM political journalism, which tends to favour white males when ranking the performances of politicians. The following is focused on the kind of highly important political efforts that the MSM tends to ignore or marginalise:
Yesterday, Metiria Turei began her speech describing an idyllic NZ childhood experience of Christmas/summer at a bach. Initially, the speech seemed like it was going to be a heart-warming one, wishing us all well over the holiday break. However, the speech then turned to daily reality for many New Zealanders:
But this is not the Christmas story for an increasing number of New Zealand children, and it wasn’t mine.
Turei told of her childhood experiences of summer holidays. Her father would arrive home from a hard days’ work at the bread factory in his Holden Kingswood, and take the children swimming in the communal space of the local river.
We didn’t have much, but I did grow up in a family that nurtured and loved me, in a country that made sure I had enough to eat, a good school to go to, and a safe, clean river to spend my summer holidays swimming in.
Aotearoa: A country to love and fight for
That’s a country to love and fight for — a country that protects its most vulnerable, loves our beautiful environment, and empowers all its children to become the best they can be. That’s a country I want my kids to grow up in, and my neighbour’s kids to grow up in too, no matter who they are, rich or poor, Maori or Pakeha, girl or boy.
For I believe that this is a vision we can only achieve together. I believe this is the only way to live with dignity and grace. I believe this is what we, as New Zealanders, in our own modest ways, all quietly yearn for.
But our lucky country is slipping away from us, from right under our feet.
Our country has never been wealthier, yet the swimming hole of my childhood is now at risk of becoming unsafe to swim in, like more than half our lowland rivers that are already polluted.
It’s worth watching the whole speech, that was listened to, largely in respectful silence by those in the House.
Shearer gave a competent speech, but the more impassioned one, dealing most strongly with the political, economic and everyday realities, came from Jacinda Ardern.
In her speech, Ardern also foregrounded the rally opposing child poverty, outside parliament yesterday: the sort of thing not given a lot of attention by the MSM, because they are more focused on reinforcing the power on the money men now dominating NZ politics. While finance ministers and spokespeople do play an important role, other men and women in the Green, Mana and Labour Parties (as at the Onehunga rally this week) are putting a major effort into areas of most importance for New Zealanders: ones that the finance people should be servicing.