web analytics

Building a mass movement

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, January 19th, 2016 - 58 comments
Categories: capitalism, equality, gender, identity, Left, political alternatives, political education, racism, vision - Tags: , , , ,

Republished by request, and permission from Stephanie Rodgers at Boots Theory

[Content note: mentions of transphobia, sexual violence and violence against people of colour]

This was a line of thought which fell out of yesterday’s post, but that was getting quite long enough.

The article I quoted from, with its laundry list of stupid, trivial, oversensitive, left-destroying complaints, went on to lament that we’re not building a “mass movement” on the left. It’s a common question: post the glory days of compulsory unionism, how do we get thousands of people to march on Parliament and demand social change?

I have a question in response, though. How on earth do you folks expect to build a mass movement when you insist on ignoring – or not just ignoring, deliberately rejecting – issues faced by the majority of people in society?

“But we’re not!” they protest. “We just want to focus on things that really matter, material issues!”

As I’ve blogged about a lot previously, there are two problems with this “analysis”.

In no particular order, the first is that many of these “symbolic or linguistic” issues do really matter. It does really matter to trans people that they can be outed by airport security scanners, and that their bodies are publicly described as “anomalies” when it happens. The choice is: Travel, and be outed. Travel at the expense of being physically assaulted by strangers. Or refuse to travel, and lose your job or never see your family or go to Disneyland or do a hundred other things which cis people would consider “living a normal life”.

It does really matter to people of colour that ingrained, unconscious attitudes affect whether or not they get shot walking through their own neighbourhoods or arrested entering their own house.

It does really matter to women that society reduces us to sexual objects and promotes attitudes which allow our rapists or abusers to walk free – and to have those attitudes reinforced in a hundred different ways every day.

The second problem is that identity is a material issue. The labour of women and people of colour is undervalued – deliberately. Queer and trans people are marginalized in order to reinforce capitalist norms about heterosexuality and child-rearing.

Karl Marx and Friedrich bloody Engels had this stuff figured out.

And to get personal for an instant? When high-profile leftwing men call me crazy or irrational, or stroke their chins musing whether I’m a liability to the organisation I work for, damn straight sexism is a material issue for me.

Class is an identity. Identity is inextricable from class. The working class in New Zealand isn’t just a row of white dudes in cloth caps any more. It’s Pasifika women cleaning office buildings on the graveyard shift and Maori men and women in the meatworks and young people on zero-hour contracts at fast-food restaurants.

We have to treat them – and everyone else – as people. People with lives and families and interests and needs. Not just “workers” whose existence begins and ends at the shop door.

It’s not easy. But what should be easy, for people who are committed to fairness and justice and who can see that the imbalances of power in our society have to be overturned, is to be aware of the fact that life isn’t simple. Capitalism isn’t a one-dimensional foe. And if we’re open-minded to change and willing to acknowledge we’re not perfect and have plenty to learn, maybe people will start to see the left as a relevant political project again.

If that isn’t step one in building a mass movement, I don’t know what is.

58 comments on “Building a mass movement”

  1. Bill 1

    This comment is the gist of one I left at Boots Theory this morning.

    For me, the idea of a movement is inseparable from notions of democracy. But for as long as people are wont to view politics as existing on a left/right spectrum, we’re going to struggle with that. Peoples current political perspectives tend to be contained within, and political habits determined by, a context demarcated by statism (the ‘left’) and corporatism (the ‘right’); Both are decidedly anti- democratic.

  2. just saying 2

    I think we are all to some degree sexist, heterosexist, racist etc. I know I am. Liberation is freeing ourselves of bullshit defaults that we might not even be aware of, – being open to listening and not being so defensive.

    We weren’t puppies – walking in two weeks, ready to be separated from our mothers in six, full grown in two years, we were children. Our brains developed in conjunction with about 20 years of intense social conditioning, including complex conceptual and abstract language, formal and informal education – of taking how things are or were as being how the world (including humanity) actually is. Political awareness is coming to challenge those assumptions when we are still children, and then later, making the decision to deliberately make the effort to think, read, listen, and change in accord with our values, in light of new information.

    Some of the ideas and beliefs that are hardest to let go of are the ones that allow us to enact unfair privilege such as are bestowed by gender ethnicity etc. People who have been kicked around a bit by life, every bit as much as the elites, want to believe that some sort of privileged group identity reflects innate superiority and a higher entitlement and position relative to others, even if we wouldn’t want to express those beliefs and assumptions bluntly, but rather than as rationalisations for the “moderate” beliefs that reflect them. But it’s not just the “winners” of those lotteries who, at some level, believe the lies. It can be really hard to overcome internalised prejudice and stigmatisation. And it makes us, the majority, so easy to divide and conquer. We have a greater vested interest in solidarity, especially as things get shittier with the clusterfuck of catastrophes the world is undergoing.

    It seems to me that we have two choices – coming togther in a new way or retrenching into familiar and narrow groups in competition with each other.

    • “Liberation is freeing ourselves of bullshit defaults that we might not even be aware of”

      This is a great point.

      imo There is no equality if another group still suffers inequality. we all get there or no one does.

      The beauty of the ‘left’ is that everyone has a passion, a particular inequality or inequity they are working to address. I cannot say my particular issue is more important than someone else’s issue. It isn’t, therefore for my issue to advance requires other issues to advance and I will support those other issues just about as much as mine or to the best of my ability.

      and i find it difficult to understand contrary opinions on this.

  3. Thinking Right 3

    I see a headline, “Building a Mass Movement” and then I read the body of your post bewailing ill treatment of people primarily because of some subgroup they belong to.

    Is this a Part 1 of a series?

    How does eliminating the likes of racism enable a left wing mass movement?

    • weka 3.1

      Google intersectionality. Or try following the links in the post, it’s all there.

      If on the otherhand you just want to take a potshot at the main point of the post (which to be honest is spelled out pretty clearly), without putting up an actual argument, you do realise the conversation will quickly descend into you being called a troll (not sure if you are new here or not). Being immediately derogatory of the post and the people its discussing doesn’t exactly suggest good faith debate.

      • Thinking Right 3.1.1

        Not trying to troll anyone.

        I read the headline and thought ok sounds like someones got a good plan to herd the cats of the left into moving in one direction politically which is what the headline suggests to me.

        I then read the body of the post and its primary point is that because of the existence of racist/xenophobic/homo phobic views amongst some on the left this is preventing the left from uniting.

        There just seems a disconnect from the one to the other.

        Also I can’t imagine accusing others on the left of being racist/xenophobic is a good way of helping to unite the left – more likely to get the hackles up of those who feel so-accused.

        Is the author hoping that all the left will aspire to a certain level of pc purity and this will engender a mass political movement – all I say is good luck with that.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I then read the body of the post and its primary point is that because of the existence of racist/xenophobic/homo phobic views amongst some on the left this is preventing the left from uniting.

          Not quite. It’s because some on the left want to exclude the politics of so many people until later that the left can’t unite. Too many people don’t agree with the basic premise that economics is the base of all evil in the world and that once that is solved the other -isms are also resolved.

          Also I can’t imagine accusing others on the left of being racist/xenophobic is a good way of helping to unite the left – more likely to get the hackles up of those who feel so-accused.

          I don’t think that’s what she did, that’s your framing.

          Is the author hoping that all the left will aspire to a certain level of pc purity and this will engender a mass political movement – all I say is good luck with that.

          No, she’s saying that the people calling for a mass movement are blocking the very thing they want by their own actions.

          If you want to make the argument that so called identity politics is in fact just an attempt at PC purity, please try. Because at the moment you look like you are either misinterpreting the points, or deliberately skewing them.

        • cogito 3.1.1.2

          “I read the headline and thought ok sounds like someones got a good plan to herd the cats of the left into moving in one direction politically which is what the headline suggests to me.”

          That’s what I thought too. Then by the end I was totally lost.

        • just saying 3.1.1.3

          Also I can’t imagine accusing others on the left of being racist/xenophobic is a good way of helping to unite the left – more likely to get the hackles up of those who feel so-accused.

          Which is why I suggested that all our brains were soaked in the prejudices of the prevailing culture as they developed, and that being open rather than defensive might be part of the answer.

          And why do you think that the feelings of those who would behave abusively towards others matter more than the feelings of those being abused?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      How does eliminating the likes of racism enable a left wing mass movement?

      The trick is to get people to notice that racism, stupidity, and right wing political beliefs all come from the same cesspool.

      • Thinking Right 3.2.1

        Does racism include publicly highlighting and discriminating against certain people because their surnames appear to originate from a particular Asian ethnicity?

        Also, would members of that same Asian ethnicity not be part of the left wing which the poster is trying to unite in a mass left wing movement – if some of them are, how would a public attack on them make them feel included/united as part of the same left wing movement?

        Does that mean that Phil Twyford qualifies for coming from that same particular cess pool?

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          Labour’s actions in that case were racist IMO. The left aren’t saints, and I’m not sure that Labour in that case were being particularly left wing anyway. They’re not actually that left wing so much as centrist a lot of the time.

          I would hazard a guess that OAB would say that Twyford was indeed pulling ideas from a RW cesspool, but myself I’d say that neither the left nor the right have moral high ground when it comes to racism and it’s better to view racism as existing independently of the left/right spectrum, not least because OAB’s framing just entrenches stupid left/right arguments that go nowhere. See if you can avoid getting caught in the trap eh?

          • Sacha 3.2.1.1.1

            Sure wasn’t the left they were dogwhistling with that foul stunt. How many of Winston’s supporters did it earn them in the end?

        • Chris 3.2.1.2

          “Does that mean that Phil Twyford qualifies for coming from that same particular cess pool?”

          Yes, and most of his Labour MP mates, and before anyone asks most National, NZF, Maori Party, some Green MPs, too, and no doubt a whole bunch of others.

  4. This may be of interest in a ‘plus ca change’ kind of way.

    “Beyond the Fragments” was a pamphlet, an influential conference and then a book from the late 1970’s that covered the issues that Stephanie is writing about now. Sheila Rowbotham, Lynne Segal and Hilary Wainright were the editors and though the content shows that there was no Golden Age which synthesised the strands of feminism, collectivism, class and issues of concern to LGBTI, minority ethnic communities into the broader progressive movement the questions and the way they were being framed at that time might be useful for thinking about and as a reference point.

    What forms of political organizing can adequately reflect the personal experiences of marginalized and oppressed groups without dismissing these experiences as secondary to class struggle, or as something to be sorted out “afterwards”? How is it possible to link up local organizing with national campaigns and movements? What’s the relationship between unions and smaller initiatives? Between feminism and the state? How to link up participatory forms with representative forms, and representative democracy with direct participation?

    the book asked.

    This article is from the Jacobin magazine but the book was republished in 2013 and all three women are still working on these issues so there are a number of related articles from the last few years reprising the conference and the issues of that time and relating them to current circumstances. Hilary is at Red Pepper magazine. and the other two are academics in what I think are now emeritus roles. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2013/10/back-to-the-fragments/

    • Sacha 4.1

      Thank you. And good to see you here.

    • Sacha 4.2

      This from the magazine seems pertinent:

      “when the reactionary rhetoric of Tory ‘freedom’ can evoke such a groundswell of working-class support, socialists need to ask a few questions about our inability to translate the awareness of a vanguard of socialist activists into any lasting change in mass consciousness.”

      Hearts and minds.

      • Jan Rivers 4.2.1

        Thanks – belatedly.

        I was taken by the idea of prefigurative politics although it’s rather oddly described in the article – as no hierarchy, no meetings and no separation between personal life and political work. I had thought of it more as ‘being the change you want to see’ in which respect it speaks of including people who are marginalised and disadvantaged and their issues and concerns in the building of a more just and a sustainable economic framework. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on it – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefigurative_politics

  5. The lost sheep 5

    what should be easy, for people who are committed to fairness and justice and who can see that the imbalances of power in our society have to be overturned, is to be aware of the fact that life isn’t simple. Capitalism isn’t a one-dimensional foe. And if we’re open-minded to change and willing to acknowledge we’re not perfect and have plenty to learn,

    Be aware life isn’t simple?
    Admit Capitalism is complex?
    Be open minded?
    Acknowledge we are not perfect?
    We have something to learn?

    Asking the Left to take those concepts on board?

    Houston, I think we have a problem.

    • weka 5.1

      Have you come back just to troll? Because I can’t see any point to your comment other than to poke a stick into a nest of lefties to irritate them. Plus, making out that all lefties think and act the same is a form of prejudice (and boring to boot).

      • The lost sheep 5.1.1

        Stephanie said, “and if we are open minded to change”…

        So who will put their hand up an say “I can/ do / want / need to change?

        You Weka?

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          Lots of people here have already put their hand up. I find your original comment and its follow up disingenuous. If you want to pick a fight, go ahead, just don’t expect any respect.

          • The lost sheep 5.1.1.1.1

            I agree with Stephanie that change is necessary on the Left before “people will start to see the left as a relevant political project again.”

            You say lots of people have put their hands up for that, but I see no evidence that enough have done so to have a positive effect on the ‘relevance’ of the NZ political Left.

            If anything, I see the the overall perception of the left going backwards, with an increasingly negative conspiracy tinged narrative emerging, and an ever widening philosophical schism between the hard and middle.

            To my dismay, after 6 years of watching the Left fail to react effectively to their lack of ‘relevance’, I don’t believe the change Stephanie believes is necessary will occur. Maybe JK winning the next election will finally prompt it?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, we know you “see” that. By a staggering coincidence, it exactly matches worn-out attack lines authored by Tory shills well before you ever started commenting here.

              Congratulations, you’re Fisiani’s little helper 🙄

            • weka 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks for explaining. I have to agree with OAB though, what you ‘see’ probably won’t be of much use to this conversation. You’d have to provide some evidence, or some more credible theory. Your personal opinion as a centrist rightwinger isn’t going to mean much otherwise. You’ve been here long enough to know that 🙂

              For example, I would say the fact that the standard is continually growing and is the largest left wing blog in NZ and has a substantial readership is not only an example of people stepping up and doing the work, but is also an example of how the left and the political culture have changed. Only a couple of years ago social media was still being written off as irrelevant. Now it’s acknowledged as a critical part of the political scene. That’s in part thanks to the people who run the standard (and the commenters).

              That’s a theory and I can provide some evidence to back it up.

              You have some ideas about the left and are quite critical, which is fair enough (many people here are too). But to use that criticism to basically write off everyone here and what they do comes across as personal shitstirring rather than making political comment. I’m suggesting you up your game.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    I’m not sure that making the elimination of racism/sexism/trans or other phobia an obligate precursor to progress on the left is desirable. It asserts ‘identity politics first’.

    There was some obiter dicta around the development of negligence law – that the law did not require that people love their neighbours, only that they not harm them.

    Is it not sufficient that the left find common economic ground, common enemies, and a shared belief in and support of democratic principles? This creates an environment in which identity politics can make some progress – but if identity politics asserts primacy many people will not trust that it is not Blairism revisited.

    • just saying 6.1

      If we are to work together we have to treat each other with respect.

      If we try to recreate hierarchies with with assumptions about “inferior” groups shutting-up and deferring to the interests, desires and worldview of a new elite, we will fail. Our picture of the world is crumbling with our ecosystems. We need a new picture, not the old one with the faces of those front and centre cut out and replaced by new faces.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        Well I think you’re getting it wrong.

        We work together by starting to work together. If someone treads on your sensibilities you have a quiet word with them – and if your relationship is positive they’ll listen to you.

        • just saying 6.1.1.1

          You do get how hierarchies work, Stuart?

          Quiet words, being extra nice, and winning over elites has never ever worked.
          Doesn’t matter if it’s a working class elite or the .0001 percent.

          • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.1

            We’re not talking about winning over elites – we’re talking about rebuilding a popular movement. If you want to play post-modern linguistic warfare with folk who would otherwise be your allies, you won’t have any allies.

            • just saying 6.1.1.1.1.1

              If you want to play…linguistic warfare (or any other kind of oppression games) with folk who would otherwise be your allies, you won’t have any allies.

              Completely agree

              There are many kinds of elitism. The left is far from immune.

              • Stuart Munro

                I’m afraid I doubt you know anything important about either oppression or hierarchies.

        • weka 6.1.1.2

          Stuart, the point is that many people are not being listened to no matter how they phrase things, they’re being told to shut up for the good of the cause.

          It’s gobsmacking that in the 21st century a quiet word about sensiibilities is seen as a solution to institutional and entrenched racism, sexism etc.

          btw, I don’t think this is about making identity politics a primacy and your interpretation in that way suggests you don’t yet understand what is being said.

      • Bill 6.1.2

        If we try to recreate hierarchies with with assumptions about “inferior” groups shutting-up and deferring to the interests, desires and worldview of a new elite, we will fail.

        Yup. And for as long as we hang on to a view of the political landscape as something extending from left to right on a continuous spectrum with some notion of Boshevik Russia as the left and (say) Mussolini’s Italy as an example of the right, then we’re going to habitually recreate hierarchies.

        Our basic problem is that where we see examples of separate and implacably opposed beasts (Bolshevik Russia versus Hitler’s Germany or Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain etc), what we’re really looking at is two heads of the same beast.

        Communism is diametrically opposed to fascism and is built on the concept of democracy . But the example we throw up as being communist, or as a route to communism, was never any more communist than those other regimes I’ve named above.

        We need then, to get our heads around the fact that all of the left right spectrum we use as a guide is, in reality, fundamentally anti-democratic; drop it all in the dirt and move on.

        For the more ‘moderate’ among us – the committed social democrats who would have it that they stand at the sensible point between hard left and hard right – Nope. They’re positioned between two variants of fascism…state and corporate.

      • Magisterium 6.1.3

        If we are to work together we have to treat each other with respect.

        Then I’m not interested. Some people are fucking stupid and I’m not going to respect them just because some dogma says I “have to”.

    • just saying 6.2

      By the way, Stuart, how does treating everyone as being equally important and worthy of respect put identity politics first? Why is it a problem for you?

  7. Jason Simmons 7

    This identity politics shit is nonsense, it’s ripping the left apart. Take this horsecrap to the electorate and they will reject it, because it is stupid. Quit why you are ahead.
    See people as individuals, see them as who they are, not what they are. Honestly, this identity politics crap would be MLK spin in his grave. Focus on economics, or you are doomed.

  8. Ad 8

    Anyone here going to the Big Gay Out?

    If anyone can help me with why Nikki Kaye and Louisa Wall get on so well I might understand ‘intersectionality’ better.

  9. Lucy 9

    Good article Stephanie as someone around in the 80s and was able to see the left when they were able to pull large amounts of people onto the streets. I would say that back then the world was different, to get a living wage for the household was not relying on 3 – 4 jobs, students were not having to spend 5k per year for their degree. And there was a great deal more underground media – posters, varsity rags. Nowadays all the alternate media is online which a vast majority do not access.

  10. Michael 10

    Completely agree.

    There exist not one, but three, forms of oppression: class, race, and gender.

    Surely progressives movements should fight for all disadvantaged and marginalised groups – whether it is fighting for women’s equality, racial justice, or trade union rights.

  11. Grim 11

    Bollocks there is only one form of oppression, those that seek to have power other others; regardless of class, race, gender or religion.

    Those with power oppress those without.

    The only way you can address this by becoming powerful.

    Individual groups that work only to address their own oppression, seek power for their group, and join the powerful, without raising the majority out of oppression.

    Individuals and special interest groups don’t seek equality, they seek power.

    They want their will to be obeyed. They become the oppressor.

    • Stuart Munro 11.1

      Dead right.

    • RedLogix 11.2

      The only way you can address this by becoming powerful.

      There is another way. To elevate the ‘service to others’ as a higher value than ‘power for myself’.

      Most people at the moment are still too fearful to be willing to try it. (It’s also why alcohol remains such a popular drug.)

  12. Incognito 12

    This post, the comments, and other recent discussion threads here on TS made me think.

    We all seem to be guilty of linear one-dimensional and dichotomous thinking (not: reasoning) from time to time. The kind of you’re wrong-I’m right black & white thinking. In principle, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this.

    Do you think it is possible to be Left and Right at the same, politically speaking? This seems like a stupid question, doesn’t it? Of course, you cannot; you’re either on the fence or on either side of the fence, right? However, you could also briefly pause and think about this seemingly simple and straightforward question. You may then come to realise that there may be, or better: could be, more to the question. You may, for example, realise that by simple left-right polarised thinking you limit the number of possible different viewpoints (e.g. from above, or below) and miss relevant context. In short, it limits your thinking options and thus your decisions & choices.

    Again, I think there’s nothing fundamentally ‘wrong’ with this way of ‘viewing’ things but my point is that it is not the only possible way.

    Why is it so hard to take different viewpoints and possibilities into consideration? Well, it takes time to think things through, from different angles, and we don’t want spend time on something unless it is really (!) important … But I think another major reason is that we’re not used to this kind of thinking; we haven’t been taught and we have learned it. A third and possibly the biggest reason is that we resist it. We’re attached to our (single-minded) views, we associate with like-minded folks and this defines who we are, our identity; the way we view ourselves and others and how we’re viewed by others. This is not a huge step away from Identity Politics, is it?

    Because we tend to limit our viewpoint & thinking it is much harder for us to acknowledge that other people have different views, and respect let alone consider these. In fact, we might fear them, the other views and thus the other people. Or we may fight them because they upset our cosy little world and threaten our identity and fragile little egos that could shatter at the slightest. More often than not we simply swat them away saying that they’re wrong or that something is impossible.

    Similarly, we reject ideas about ourselves outright as impossible or ridiculous without really examining them or giving them due consideration. All this can lead to a self-limiting and/or self-defeatist attitude as well and we’ve only got ourselves (our thinking rather) to blame (or our parents or teachers, of course).

    A tell-tale sign of this kind of thinking is the use of those nasty ‘sticky labels’ and ‘narrow small boxes’. You know what I mean?

    By choosing a single point of view we don’t give ourselves a chance to gain better understanding of or deeper insight into an issue or other person’s thoughts and feelings; there will be much less room also for empathy and compassion and there seems to be a shortage of these while ‘demand’ is rising (no, the prices won’t go up because these are priceless).

    I believe this will also hamper calls such as “building a mass movement” or “unite Labour” or “unite the Left” or “a non-partisan approach”, for example, or creating (!) a socio-economic & political system that will provide better outcomes than the current one. It is like herding wild cats. My thesis is that this is largely due to our limited & limiting ways of thinking, about (political) issues, about others, about ourselves. Unless we change our ways I believe we will continue to face ongoing as well as reoccurring uphill battles and not just here in NZ.

    So, where to start? I don’t think we can expect or force others to change their way of looking at things; this would not be a real change from the ‘old tradition’ of “my way or the highway”. To affect a change we have to change ourselves, start with ourselves, and become more open-minded about other viewpoints. We would not lose our identity, nor would we become spineless or soft, weak, flip-flop or a lesser person or anything else that we might consider negative or ‘bad’. On the contrary, we would become ‘a bigger person’ with much less ‘investment’ in and attachment to personal idiosyncrasies and therefore more free to choose from a smorgasbord of options & possibilities that we would never have known about – because we were blinkered, blind & deaf – or even contemplated previously.

    I’d say: try a different viewpoint, look at things from a different angle, literally and figuratively. It doesn’t mean you must or will give up your perspective or your opinions even but I reckon you just might do that occasionally – would that be such a bad thing?

    What do you reckon?

    PS Apologies for the length of this comment

  13. + many. Now you’re talking – this could go up as a post? Holding positions can be a real trap and cuts down the opportunities for exploratory thinking. There is some interesting work on “positions, interests, needs” as a way of cutting through dogma and groups elsewhere working on ‘community dialogue for change’ to help communities work through delicate and intractable problems as a couple of starters.

    • Incognito 13.1

      Thank you! As was recently explained to me in a comment the submission process for Guest Posts has or takes low(er) priority than keeping TS running (smoothly). I am more than happy to have this go up as a Guest Post though since the take home message is very basic & simple but also very important (IMO) and impacts on pretty much everything we think, say & write, and do.

  14. Perhaps Stephanie would be prepared to host a discussion along these lines on Boots Theory if it’s problematic for the Standard. It could go on the public good website but the audience is relatively small and it’s an important discussion.

    It seems to me the realpolitick ‘winner takes all’ approach in some of the comments above is also problematic. That has been ably addressed by you, Redlogix, Grey Warbler, Marty Mars and others to good effect but to add to that there is Audre Lorde’s observation that “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change”.

    If I can help to make this conversation happen and steer it to some positive results get in touch via http://www.publicgood.org.nz or text me on the number there.

    Jan

    • Incognito 14.1

      Hi Jan, my apologies for the late reply.

      I can see a number of potential problems with my comment being posted as a Guest Post here on TS:

      1) No appetite;

      2) Not high enough priority relative to TPPA and related stuff;

      3) lprent is too busy.

      If you think it is worthwhile to post or discuss it somewhere else (?) by all means go ahead; you have my permission but I don’t know how this works in relation to TS since it first appeared here as a comment. Hopefully, one of the Moderators and/or lprent may respond. If not, just go ahead with proper ‘acknowledgment’ to TS to avoid stepping on their toes. That said, it might still go up here on TS.

      Please let me know if I need to contact you anyway via Public Good.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        I’ve just spotted this conversation. I’m happy to put it up as a guest post tomorrow morning if you like.

        Is that ok?

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          could probably do with some editing to get people to read it right through. Good topic though.

          • Incognito 14.1.1.1.1

            Not sure what you mean by “editing” and whom you were addressing though it was RedLogix I assume.

            I did write it as a comment but that said, intentional (and sub-conscious) subtleties can easily get lost in an editing process. And as you can tell, I think language with all its nuances is very important.

            But if it needs tweaking so be it.

            • weka 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I haven’t read all of it yet. I think if you want to get more people reading all of it and commenting appropriately there is more chance of that if it’s edited down to less words. Not that that has to happen, just that people seem to read and comment on shorter posts. However, I appreciate that editing doesn’t always improve a piece, so it’s just a suggestion to consider 🙂

              • Incognito

                Thank you for your helpful suggestions, which I will take to heart.

                Yes, you’re right that shorter is more appealing and easier to digest. Unfortunately, I terribly struggle with getting my thoughts on paper in a concise way. The reason is that my writing and thinking occur simultaneously, more or less, and it takes me ages to draw the line. This is another reason why I failed as a blogger. I write as much for myself, possibly more so, as I do for others. That said, it is very satisfying, in a reaffirming way, to get feedback even if it is only from one person and the briefest of brief 😉

                • weka

                  It’s good it got put up as is (it looks less long as a post than it did as a comment!). I really liked it, and appreciate the topic being opened up for discussion. Interesting that it’s happened the same time as McFlock’s one too.

                  Congrats btw (is that your first guest post?).

                  • Incognito

                    Thank you!

                    I don’t want to display false modesty but much of what I wrote was stimulated by Stephanie’s excellent post and the very good associated comments. I get a lot of inspiration from reading TS and thinking about it. I should also thank Jan Rivers for being the catalyst for this, my second, Guest Post!

                    My first Guest Post appeared in much the same way: Employment and Unemployment.

                    I also submitted Guest Post to TS on 28 Dec entitled Utopian Musings: Companionship, Community, Compassion, Passion, which will hopefully see the light of day here as well.

                    And I have another long-ish comment half-written for Fisiani Gets it Right but that may have to wait for another time and I’d better pay some attention to my Guest Post.

                    So many things to do and so little time …

        • Incognito 14.1.1.2

          Yes, that’ll be great, thanks!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    7 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    7 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Ron Mark: “NZDF focused on protecting troops in Iraq from retaliation”
    As tensions in the Middle East continue to grow after the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the New Zealand Defence Force is focusing on the protection of Kiwi troops deployed in Iraq. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago