A country to love: a country to fight for

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:

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.

59 comments on “A country to love: a country to fight for”

  1. viper shorts 1

    Turei’s speech was magnificent

    The Greens have been outstanding all year… Labour could learn a lot from them

    • Dr Terry 1.1

      Karol, you never fail me/us! Thank goodness for the speech from Metiria! How refreshing and human. As Karol rightly points out, too often Russell Norman is represented as de-facto leader.

      Jacinda Adern restores, at last, my belief in the Labour Party. If you wanted a truly stirring, factual, challenging, magnificent speech, well, here you have it. There has been nothing other to compare with this. Here, one hopes, is a Leader in the making. It cannot be too soon!

  2. higherstandard 2

    Blah blah blah.

  3. framu 3

    yes – and compare the tone and subject of turei’s speech to the schoolyard braying of key’s

  4. The Al1en 4

    Jacinda Ardern best be careful.
    We all know what happens to red champions in waiting.

    • Anne 4.1

      Will watch later…
      I note the Mallarfia god-father has fallen asleep.

      • fender Viper 4.1.1

        He actually died in that cycling accident, but the “wise” caucus decided it best to pretend he was fine and had robotics implanted to keep him looking alive.

        The incompetent Hipkins was given the task of charging the battery, but he’s not even capable of this one simple task because he is only a school bus prefect after all.

    • kiwi_prometheus 4.2

      “white masculine bias of MSM political journalism, which tends to favour white males when ranking the performances of politicians.”

      Gender feminists like you, Karol, suffer brown feminine bias.

      It’s like you have a ranking system of “victims” and “perpetrators” ( you know Karol, like “binary opposites”), non white = +1, white = -1, female = +1, male = -1000000, gay = +1, straight = -1.

      Women make up the majority of the population, so why don’t you start the Women’s Party and wave your flag, surely if you are the crusader for womens lib you think you are, they will come flocking an you would storm in to power. Even if you got a fraction of them you would be a powerful minor party.

      Then again maybe the vast majority aren’t that impressed with your man hating gender feminist ideology.

      • One Tāne Viper 4.2.1

        Funny little chap. Karol is not the pain in your mind.

      • karol 4.2.2

        high k_p.  Do you have an automatic sensor set to detect any posts that mention gender/women?

        We will continue to disagree about this. I don’t need a women’s party.  We already have some excellent opposition women (and men) MPs.  I’m particularly glad that currently we have Mana and the Greens dealing with many of the crucial issues.  Pity the MSM marginalises some of the ones dealing with the most crucial issues.  I favour an inclusive left on all these issues.  

        Why is it you rarely, if ever, comment on my posts that deal with issues other than gender?  There are a few I’m am concerned about, as indicated in the above post: income inequality, jobs paying a living wage, the state of the MSM, anti-worker legislation, TPP, affordable housing, public brodcasting.

        Do you have any concerns about child poverty, income inequalities, etc?  

        • vto 4.2.2.1

          I think what kiwi prometheus is getting at is how often times an unnecessary tag is added to some debate or issue.

          Other examples include the tags “middle class” and “middle aged” or even simply “old white men”

          This tendency points to tendencies in thinking as much as tendencies in issues, and that thinking is somewhat bigoted at times. Of course if the issue is old white middle class men then sure bag the hell out of them, they deserve it after all, bloody responsible for so much in society today, which is hardly surprising given they have been in the driving seat the last long whiles and have turned out a country as useless as this one.

          Don’t forget the bouquets as well as the brickbats. Eh. Or were other people responsible for the good bits…

          • karol 4.2.2.1.1

            Actually I do give bouquets as well as brick-bats.  I have criticised Ardern’s performance in the House, and Labour’s approach to beneficiaries in the past.  Ardern delivered a very good speech, and she responded to the invite to the Onehunga rally this week, and said some things I support.

            vto: an unnecessary tag is added to some debate or issue.


            I presented some arguments showing that the focus on gender is necessary. I supported this by links to evidence: eg on the way Norman is treated as de facto leader of the Greens by the MSM, and the way the MSM’s rankings of politicians is biased in favour of white males.

            What evidence-based arguments do you have that this focus is not necessary? 

            • vto 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Well you may well be right that such a focus is appropriate in this particularity. I was getting at the wider point. I guess the fact that kp bit at the offal tossed over the side illustrates a sensitivity to that wider point – a sensitivity born of recent decades, perhaps necessary at some junctions but overcooked at others. Speaking of which, best get me onions and toms on…

        • King Kong 4.2.2.2

          “I’m particularly glad that currently we have Mana and the Greens dealing with many of the crucial issues”

          What exactly have they dealt with? They have done nothing. I think you have incorrectly used “dealing with” instead of “ineffectively, wanked on about” in this sentence.

          • framu 4.2.2.2.1

            monkey no like!
            monkey smash!

          • karol 4.2.2.2.2

            In opposition, the main things that can be done is draw attention to issues, develop policies, and act where possible.  The Greens and Mana have had some significant private members Bills, fcoused on poverty issues drawn from the ballot.  Turei’s one to extend WFF was voted down by the usual suspects.  Mana’s one on feeding the kids is due in the House in February.

            Mana and the Greens focusing on issues related to low income, child poverty etc, has belatedly drawn Labour, especially Ardern, into joint support of some of these issues.  As Bradford said at the Onehunga rally this week.  We need to keep the pressure on Labour not to sell out on such issues as improving social security, when they once again lead a government.

            The Labour Party also have had a couple of significant Bills voted down, that I posted on at the time, eg on child labour.

            Also, Mana actively supporting the protest and Glen Innes and other places to raise the issue of state housing.

             

      • Dr Terry 4.2.3

        kw. You are so dated that you resurrect the term “women’s lib.” Just this tells us all we need to know about you and your kind. Nor is the superb Karol any kind of rabid feminist (but you just do not get it). People of Karol’s worth will simply wash you off like dirt. But this is Christmas, so we must remind ourselves that it takes all kind to make a world, very hard as that is to accept when we read remarks such as yours.

      • QoTViper 4.2.4

        So you divide the world into gender, racial, and orientation binaries, huh? Interesting.

        I won’t ask if you bothered to read LudditeJourno’s post. I mean, of course you did. You’re a fairminded commenter of integrity who thinks things through. You don’t just leap into every post made by a woman-identified author to scream randomly about man-hating bitches who won’t worship your cock at all.

  5. bad12 5

    Yes, an extremely clever and intelligent speech from Green co-Leader Metiria Turei, on the surface a very apolitical Merry Christmas but if you listen carefully there is in that speech one hell of a message imbedded in there for Labour,

    I have to take Jacinda’s passionate speech on behalf of New Zealand children at face value, all the while a little voice in the back of my mind quietly reminds me that it has been on Labour’s watch that parts of that child poverty have been built,

    It was a good speech giving reference to some Labour policy,my problem tho with Labour is that once in Government will such policy materialize into action or will the Party do an Annette King moment where King during the 2011 election campaign promised to extend the Working for Families tax credit to benefit dependent families and then spent the next week qualifying this with such phrases as ‘in time’ etc,

    That election Labour nearly had my vote more on a support the underdog basis than on policy, the treatment of Goff by all and sundry just about had me giving Him a vote for the underdog, that support for Labour became definite upon Kings announcement and was gone in a week as She, (was forced???), back-pedaled at a high rate of knots from her earlier announcement,

    But, the subtle message to Labour inherent in Metiria’s speech???? have another listen i am sure you will ‘get it’….

    • Rhinoviper 5.1

      Yes, an extremely clever and intelligent speech from Green co-Leader Metiria Turei, on the surface a very apolitical Merry Christmas but if you listen carefully there is in that speech one hell of a message imbedded in there for Labour

      Quite cunning in fact, because it’s hard to counter her points without seeming churlish as each of her points is attached to something we all hold as positives – ie., every counter to her claims can be matched with “What, you mean that you hate kittens?”
       
      Contrast that with the ABCs ham-fisted santimony and bullying or the pointy-haired boss’s beltway insider jibes.

      The Greens at least seem to be able to attract and hire people with talent if their speechwriters are a gauge, and their MPs recognise that, seeing her performance. Take note Robertson – your manoeuvring is all very clever in your own terms, but does it sell?

      Edit: noting that the tricks to render something italic or blockquote that used to work aren’t any more…

      Edit 2: Oh hang on, the italic did on a second try… but not the block quote.

    • karol 5.2

      bad12: I have to take Jacinda’s passionate speech on behalf of New Zealand children at face value, all the while a little voice in the back of my mind quietly reminds me that it has been on Labour’s watch that parts of that child poverty have been built,

       
      In her blog post today on the Beneficiary impact action this week in Onehunga,  Sue Bradford says something similar about Labour, with reference to Labour’s record in government in the 2000s, and to David Shearer’s roof speech.

      Representatives of all parliamentary parties had been invited to speak to the rally about their welfare policies, but only three showed enough interest and respect to turn up – Labour, Greens and Mana. …

      Bradford also has strong words for Bennett, then says,

      At the same time, those of us who care about what’s happening for unemployed people and beneficiaries cannot afford to let Labour off the hook either.

       And adds,

      So my challenge goes out equally to Labour – please let us know clearly before the next election what your policies on welfare and jobs are going to be. Are you going to overturn all of National’s reforms? Are you going to grant the In Work Tax Credit in respect of all children? Are you ever going to listen to those of us who do know what’s actually happening out here when you formulate your next round of income support and employment policies? 

      • Rhinoviper 5.2.1

        Thank you – right to the point again.

      • bad12 5.2.2

        Aha,all 3 of us,Sue Bradford, Metiria Turei and myself were involved in the same area of activism in the early 1990’s so we tend to see the same picture as far as employment issues and the mis-treatment of beneficiaries by Governments of various hues goes…

  6. TightyRighty 6

    The jews / zionists feel the same way about the state of Israel.

    • karol 6.1

      Different kind of country, different kind of “fight”, with a different history. 

      • TightyRighty 6.1.1

        same feels though. 

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          Israel is a relatively powerful country supported by a major super power, and sees it’s main militaristic fight as being by the government against a less powerful country.

          Metiria is talking about the struggle against enemies/forces within NZ that would make less fair, equal and livable country. The Greens fight is a political, economic and social one against  destructive forces that currently most strongly embraced by the NAct government

  7. TightyRighty 7

    I wonder how much of the run-off from the peroxide in Metriria’s hair contributed to the decline of “her” swimming hole?

    • bad12 7.1

      You are as amusing as mud and as boring as a worm…

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        So i’m still more amusing and interesting than you. Not difficult I know.

        • McFliper 7.1.1.1

          A response worthy of Oscar Wilde himself, indeed a veritably crapulous collection of wit and charm.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.1.1

            take a bow, you’ve managed to elevate the mundane to the interesting. Claim it now, it’ll be one the few opportunities you’ll ever have.
             

            • Rhinoviper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I would like to claim that my penis has a quite significant girth and length.  Does that count?

              • TightyRighty

                Depends, How close do you park to the curb?

                • karol

                  I would be grateful if you can stay on topic…. as it was somewhere back where this series of exchanges started.  Otherwise the subsequent off topic replies will get moved to open mike.

                  • Rhinoviper

                    Thank you!  My point too – I’m sure you got it, but TR clearly hasn’t.

                  • TightyRighty

                    I started on topic, but allowed myself to drift off during feeding time. I apologise, so back to topic. Just love the hypocritical grandstanding of the greens. Get the feel they are about to become the victim of their own success.

                    • fatty

                      What’s an example of their hypocritical grandstanding?
                      Considering they are eco-capitalists, how have they been hypocritical?
                      ..and who is not hypocritical?

                    • karol

                      fatty: Considering they are eco-capitalists
                       
                      I would describe the Green Party these days as eco-social democrats.  However, some of their MPs are more socialist than the general direction of the party.  Norman has been pulling it rightwards.  Turei is more focused on low income people.  

                      Social democracy is kind of a compromise between socialism and capitalism.

                      ex-Green MP, Sue Bradford describes herself as an eco-socialist on her Twitter profile

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Social democracy is kind of a compromise between socialism and capitalism.

                      I’d disagree with that. It kind of implies that social democrats are really ‘socialists’ who are just compromising for the nonce.

                      Most western LW parties are way more influenced by Rawls than Marx, even if they don’t talk about it, or even know it for that matter.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      “Hypocrisy”
                       
                      Ah yes… is that a dysphemism for “imperfect” – and who, after all, is not perfect?  Is it not also a way of dismissing opponents by insinuating that because they are not 100%, pure (to borrow a phrase), everything they say should be dismissed?
                       
                      “The greatest crime is to do nothing because one can only do a little” – Voltaire.  

                      The Greens aren’t perfect, and perfection is not possible, but that doesn’t mean that they can be easily dismissed.

                    • fatty

                      true Karol…I’m not sure if there even exists a term ‘eco-capitalist’ (a quick wiki search shows its something quite different)…it was a preemptive label I used because I knew that tightyrighty would reply with a whaleoil rehash about the Greens being socialists, when they are clearly operate within a capitalist framework.
                      Still looking forward to tightyrighty’s explination…

        • Tim 7.1.1.2

          and obviously so far up yourself you can’t see past your sphincter – fcuk mate, just trawl back thru’ what you posted above including resorting to attack. Well….maybe don’t bother – I’ve no doubt you won’t see the bleeding obvious.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.2.1

            As I sit here and ponder the obvious things that I see Tim, I don’t detect an circular opening restricting my peripheral vision in a way that would seem unusual. While that could be symptomatic of always seeing through a sphincter, my optometrist congratulated me on my excellent eyesight only just the other day. 
            Here are some obvious things I can see
            Outside, there is blue sky. It is a beautiful day in auckland
            Left of me there is a scanner / printer / copier. An ugly but neccessary modern appliance
            Even as I consider the obvious things I can see, I doubt you’ll see the most obvious

            • the pigman 7.1.1.2.1.1

              “Left of me there is a scanner / printer / copier. An ugly but neccessary modern appliance”

              I see a person insecurely gloating about being surrounded by the trappings of a white collar office job. Congratulations, you made it!

              Well, don’t just stare at it, remember that Mr. Jefferson needs 50 copies of the semi-annual report on his desk by 9am tomorrow!

              • TightyRighty

                I don’t have an office job, I have an office that am sometimes in. I’m very mobile defensively and proactively for my job. Having a job/s is more than most commentators in this site regardless. so maybe you should think of it as using neccessary tools to often get paid? 
                Try harder next time though for belittiling me for having a job.

    • Dr Terry 7.2

      TR. I presume you are referring to Metiria? Misspelling an important person’s name is kind of offensive (without need to refer to your further offensiveness here).

      • TightyRighty 7.2.1

        I know it’s offensive. google chrome doesn’t have Maori names in it’s dictionary so it was going to be redlined regardless.
         
        Good on you for being a complete fuck knuckle over a simple typo. It’s not like I called her Metitira or material girl or any other casually terrible and obnoxious puns. So you are offended on someone elses behalf. want to deny my right to speak in case you get offended again? You really a doctor? or just an internet tough guy?

  8. One Tāne Viper 8

    Heh. You’ve stirred up a hornet’s nest Karol. Look at all the little hornets buzzing with outrage.

    Here comes the pesticide 🙂

  9. muzza 9

    So we have some more passionate speeches, which will lead to what exactly, been a few decades of them now, with worsening results

    The system can’t/won’t/does not want to change, and those inside of it, no matter how doo their intent might be, will not make any difference.

    Not unless they are prepared to collectively side up, and start rounding on the instituations which have lead to and created the inequality, which amplifies and progresses the porty, and other social ills which is now the norm for large swaths of Kiwis.

    One of the institutions they need to round on, is the one they are currently operating inside of!

    Who are these people that operate inside of our parliament, and why are they not only ineffective, but actively propagating the misery!

    EDIT: These people are stealing the present and future away from all of us, and it is well past time for that to be stopped.
    Wishing/hoping that any future government is going to turn it around is to be responsible for allowing the theft to happen!

    • Dr Terry 9.1

      Never despair muzza! Our hopes are kept alive so long as we have people like Jacinda, Metiria, Karol, and David (Cunliffe) to represent our deeper interests and concerns.

  10. lurgee 10

    It doesn’t matter how good these speeches are, as they’re only being watched by a dozen MPs.

  11. Olsviper 11

    I thought that both women gave excellent speeches. Metiria’s harboured a much needed appeal to the better side of human nature, and Jacinda’s was well-informed and forthright.

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