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The Blame Game.

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, June 20th, 2013 - 84 comments
Categories: assets, business, class war, economy, Economy, equality, Social issues, socialism, workers' rights - Tags:

Blame beneficiaries, blame the young, blame the old, blame the boomers, blame Maori, blame Pakeha,  blame granny, hell, why don’t we just blame the Jews!

Anything except place the blame where it belongs. On successive Governments who have sold us out to the rich, and offshore corporates. And the system which allows a few stupid politicians dictatorial powers over the rest of us.

(As someone once said. “If voting made any difference, they, would abolish it!”)

Politicans who do whatever the corporate puppet masters, who fund them, wish! Whether it is for ideological reasons,  (useful idiots/puppets )  or out of pure self interest, in their retirement  sinecure from grateful corporates after they leave parliament.

You would think that people like Bernard Hickey would be wise to the lessons of history.

The powerful scapegoating those rendered powerless,  while they sell out, exploit and steal from, the rest of us is  an often repeated meme.

84 comments on “The Blame Game. ”

  1. pollywog 1

    I feel a song coming on…

    • karol 1.1

      Like how Rita Haworth tells it?

      Bernard Hickey is an interesting commentator, “white anting” capitalism?

      • KJT 1.1.1

        Yes, and often I agree with him, but he is still enmeshed in his financial background.

        Hence he sees things in terms of money, not resources!

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          And that may be true, but for the foreseeable future we need to play the monetary and credit system real smart as it is the only way to direct the access flow and use of those resources in a way which doesn’t kill our chances. Building an alternate monetary consensus is going to take a lot of time and effort and I can see no one who can achieve it. Even the Greens have had to give up on a moderate well understood step that every major power is doing – printing money.

  2. Winston Smith 2

    Blame Canada.

    [lprent: Are you exposing your yankee ancestry? And here I was thinking that your illiteracy was kiwi made. If you want to make a reference in the top level comment in a post then explain *why* it is relevant to the post. ]

  3. Pete 3

    The powerful scapegoating those rendered powerless, while they sell out, exploit and steal from, the rest of us is an often repeated meme.

    I don’t dispute that, but I’m not ready for the dictatorship of the proletariat just yet. Nor am I interested in an anarchist free-for-all.

    What I do dispute is the idea that things aren’t getting better (I view this government as a momentary setback). At least in historic terms. Life expectancy continues to improve. We have a public service that is relatively uncorrupt. We live under the rule of law. Violence is declining (if you believe Steven Pinker), average intelligence is improving (if you believe Jim Flynn). Literacy is improving. Social attitudes on gender, sexuality and race are far more civilised. The communication of ideas is far easier, and we enjoy political freedom.There’s always room for improvement.

    I would much rather be alive now than at any time in New Zealand’s history. I do not dispute that there are problems – the emergence of the Precariat and environmental sustainability being chief among them. I have issues over what is going on with Environment Canterbury and the Sky City deal. I want a more robust constitution to act as a check on this kind of behaviour (incidentally, you have until 1 July to submit your views to the Constitutional Advisory Panel). I want to see a change of government in 2014 as most people do on this site, but implying we live in some dictatorial hell-hole (I note your allusion to the Nazis) is the kind of Chicken Little/Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf outlook that damages the left when there are serious issues to address.

    • KJT 3.1

      Aren’t you contradicting yourself a bit. After detailing some of the things that are wrong, caused by our rotating dictatorship, and their absolute power, you then claim there is no real problem.

      I suggest that recent and proposed law changes that reduce workers power, add to the powers of spy agencies, restrict access to the courts and increase central Government powers are, indeed, steps towards fascism. Steps way too far.

      As a moral view, who should have the right to change laws affecting all of us. About 6 people in Parliament, as now, or, everyone?

      It is depressing that, many on the left are prepared to live with whatever shit right wing governments enact, so long as they also get their 3 years of dictatorship.

      The dictatorship of the proletariat works rather well in the only place it has had a real chance. Switzerland!

      • Populuxe1 3.1.1

        Switzerland, where they have obligatory national service in the military.
        Also, direct democracy is a funny thing – one wonders whether it would have been all that progressive in bringing about Homosexual Law Reform or even Universal Suffrage.

        I get annoyed when people start getting misty-eyed over the way of life in other countries because usually they negelect to take into account the unique social circumstances behind them (Scandinavia being a classic example, but Switzerland having its own problems and rather oppressive laws)

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          Indications are, in New Zealand, direct democracy would have bought homosexual law reform, universal suffrage and many other rights much sooner.

          Laws in direct democracies tend to reflect the wishes, and mores, of their society, as they should

          It was parliament which lagged behind public opinion .

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          What’s the problem with compulsory national service? A massive standing army helped keep both sides well away from Switzerland in WW2.

          • vto 3.1.1.2.1

            Really?

            I thought it was because the dirty Swiss held onto pretty much everybody’s ill-gotten booty, hiding all them gold bars, priceless art, treasures and jewels in their mountain caverns. For all sides on every conflict all the time.

            Then when the various looters never returned to claim their ill-gotten booty the Swiss used it to build their sanitised roads and tunnels and watches and then went off yodelling as if they were some kind of peaceful bohemians minding their business and making cheeeeesseee….

            Don’t know enough to know but methinks the Swiss hide some tales….

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Indeed. A neutral country like Switzerland doesn’t play the game with just one piece on the chessboard, nor do they use just one gambit at a time.

              Invade us, and we will hurt you badly. Don’t, and we will show you the ways that we can be helpful.

              Clever Swiss.

              • Rosetinted

                Also Sweden

                • Colonial Viper

                  Although, iron ore and bank loans from Sweden to Nazi Germany. Very useful (to the German war effort).

                  • Rosetinted

                    CV
                    Invade us, and we will hurt you badly. Don’t, and we will show you the ways that we can be helpful.

                    Sweden was helpful, that was part of the point I made. Near the end of the war negotiations between the Allies and Sweden resulted in a drop in the level of materiel previously supplied to the nasty Nazis. I was just reading that the other day in a book I was dipping into.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep that’s what I understand as well. Those nations acted in the best interests of their populations, and turned a blind eye to some small other details in order to do so.

            • Populuxe1 3.1.1.2.1.2

              Well that and they were the go-between for Nazi Germany

          • AmaKiwi 3.1.1.2.2

            Direct democracy and conscription reduce the chances of going to war as demonstrated by Australian conscription referendums during WW 1, WW 2, and the Vietnam war (and Switzerland).

            US conscription ended the Vietnam war sooner because the middle class didn’t want their kids’ balls shot off in what was obviously an idiotic war.

            Without conscription the USA enlisted ranks are now primarily poor young people with few job prospects besides gambling their lives defending “the generals’ empire” (General Motors, General Electric, General Dynamics, etc.).

            It is INSANE that a our PM has the dictatorial power to send New Zealanders to Afghanistan to terrorize its people. I know, our SAS are fighting “terrorist.” Like the Afghan terrorists who blew up the Rainbow Warrior!

            • Jokerman 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Like this.

            • Rosetinted 3.1.1.2.2.2

              amakiwi
              general insanity for sure

            • Populuxe1 3.1.1.2.2.3

              And also results in a substandard non-professional army in the eventuality that you do have to go to war

              • Arfamo

                Oddly enough the substandard non-professional armies became professionals very quickly in WWII and eventually as I recall the war was ended by them winning.

                • Populuxe1

                  There were many reasons for the allied win which have nothing to do with your simplistic formulation. Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; political objection, for example to service for a disliked government or unpopular war; and ideological objection, for example, to a perceived violation of individual rights. Also it’s less economically efficient than having a standing army.

                  • Arfamo

                    Thank you. I realise these things. I’ve been around for a while and experienced and read stuff, like you have.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Then why make the comment in the first place?

                    • Arfamo

                      Because I could. Same reason for many of your comments, from what I see.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Let me translate that for you: “I’m rubber, you’re glue”

                    • Arfamo

                      I can categorically assure you I am not glue. I cannot imagine that you are rubber. But if you say you are, and you believe you are, I am not going to disagree with you about that. I was attempting to find out what your point was re having a substantial non-professional army in the event you do have to go to war. Was it just to argue, like now?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Yawn

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3

          Also, direct democracy is a funny thing – one wonders whether it would have been all that progressive in bringing about Homosexual Law Reform or even Universal Suffrage.

          I think we would have had both far sooner if we’d had participatory democracy. In the Paris Commune of 1871 it wasn’t just the men fighting and making decisions.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.3.1

            Majority rules? Really?

            Work for the dole, “tougher” sentences, the right to hit assault children, and that’s just for starters. Public opinion is easily manipulable, especially with a compliant media.

            • AmaKiwi 3.1.1.3.1.1

              With direct democracy, the MSM does not have a monopoly on issues to be voted on. These are debated across dining room tables, at lunch breaks in the factory, across the backyard fence, at the RSA and golf club houses.

              Can the people possibly be more stupid than our some of our MPs?

              • Rosetinted

                amakiwi
                Can the people possibly be more stupid than our some of our MPs?
                Was that a rhetorical question? 😯

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                With actual democracy, the MSM does not have a monopoly on issues to be voted on either. Debates occur in all the places you mention.

                I’d much rather have an entrenched constitution (based on Te Tiriti O Waitangi and the BoRA) that binds Parliament than binding referenda. Make the select committee process more robust – rules of evidence etc. and increase powers of judicial review too.

              • muzza

                Can the people possibly be more stupid than our some of our MPs?

                Yes, yes they can.

                The share the same ideals, they go to the same clubs/lodges, and are propped up in similar ways by their brothers and sisters, so they relate all too well to MPs, and their banhaviour

                There are many of them, they operate the country, and they’re not that interested in the well being of others.

                Yup, they can easily be more *stupid*

                • KJT

                  Evidence shows that where they have BCIR people en mass are, on the whole, a lot less stupid than politicians.

                  Which also agrees with evidence from business management, that involving as many people as possible in decision making makes for better decisions and more effective implementation of necessary changes.

                  Concern that democracy will not make the decisions that you personally want, is not a valid reason to oppose it!

                  In fact, almost all the arguments against participatory democracy, also apply against any system that allows people outside Government to influence policy.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3.1.2

              Work for the dole, “tougher” sentences, the right to hit assault children, and that’s just for starters. Public opinion is easily manipulable, especially with a compliant media.

              Possibly and as they fail everyone gets to accept that their decision was wrong rather than placing the blame on the disassociated government. Everyone would have to change their minds as the facts get sent to them (Fuck relying on the MSM).

              I’d much rather have an entrenched constitution…

              Possibly do that before going to full participatory government. I’m not someone who thinks that it can all be done at once – the culture needs to change and that takes time.

              • KJT

                Note that the people of California are voting to reverse their famous, and dysfunctional, tax cuts that were bought in by referendum.

                Something that would have been unlikely if bought in by politicians.
                Whose attitude seems usually to be, “If it doesn’t work we need more of it!”. Rather than admitting they have fucked up.
                Anyone still waiting, for labour’s apology for the 1980’s.

                Can you see any Labour Government, in the near future, reversing NACT’s tax cuts for the rich.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Can you see any Labour Government, in the near future, reversing NACT’s tax cuts for the rich.

                  Well, they are reversing their tax cuts to those who earn up to $5000 pa. Does that count?

    • tc 3.2

      Well said pete, its not impossible to reverse the sellout, right the crooked deals and rebalance NZ society. We have plenty to go around its a question of equitable distribution and focusing on being self sufficient as a country in terms if food and energy needs.

      • KJT 3.2.1

        Except it never gets totally reversed, so we get a little more sold out with each Government. As someone said., like boiling the frog.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.1.1

          Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

          It’s a constant struggle.

        • UglyTruth 3.2.1.2

          Fabian socialism is one way to boil a frog. Fabius Maximus gave the Fabians their name due to his strategy of gradually wearing down an adversary.

    • just saying 3.3

      For ever-increasing numbers of NZanders, poverty, hardship, unrelenting stress, overwork, and the impossibility of obtaining decent, properly renumerated, stable employment are facts of life. Significant numbers, a quarter of children detrimentally affected

      (I view this government as a momentary setback)

      For many the last five years have been really tough. I’m guessing you’re not one of them.

      I’m not ready for the dictatorship of the proletariat just yet.

      Yeah, well I’m not ready to throw in the towel and say “you’re right, it is a fact that only the feelings and concerns of the comfortably off and powerful that actually matter, all others’ lives are worth jack shit, and out of consideration of the comfy, should be rendered invisible or blamed for their misfortune.

      I’m glad you can’t see anything unpleasant except in the furtherest distance, from where you are sitting. Must be real comfortable living in neverland where there is no crisis of capitalism, peak oil, peak soil, peak fresh water, recession, or climate change, and things just keep getting better and better.

    • Saccharomyces 3.4

      Well said Pete, refreshing to hear a moderate voice here.

      • karol 3.4.1

        And “moderate” is a good thing, because….?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.4.2

        Moderation is fine – unless you need radical and extreme action. ATM, we need the latter and not the former.

        • Populuxe1 3.4.2.1

          You forgot the IMO bit – and the last time we had radical and extreme action we ended up with Rogernomics and Ruthenasia – no thank you

          • Draco T Bastard 3.4.2.1.1

            Yeah, and so we need to be taking extreme action to reverse that extreme action.

            • Populuxe1 3.4.2.1.1.1

              Funny thing about revolutions – actually means going around and around in circles.

    • Jokerman 3.5

      pie-in-the-sky.

  4. Saccharomyces 4

    “If voting made any difference, they, would abolish it!”

    Or,

    It doesn’t matter who you vote for, politicians still get in!

    • tc 4.1

      Or
      Dont vote it only encourages them

    • AmaKiwi 4.2

      They are abolishing voting!

      The Auckland Super City demolished hundreds of elected positions (7 city councils and dozens of community boards). They have abolished much of the voting and representative decision making in CHC.

      Local body elected positions were the training ground for parliament. People learned the “trade” of representing people, of listening, of weighing the choices, of compromise, of having to defend their decisions to their immediate neighbours.

      The Labour party caucus is being strangled by bureaucratic morons who have no prior experience in getting elected to public office and making decisions which will impact their immediate neighbours.

      (I don’t know what the numbers are for National and The Greens.)

  5. Rosetinted 5

    South Park said it “BLAME CANADA”.

    [lprent: And why is that relevant to this post? ]

    • woodpecker 5.1

      William Shatner.

    • Rosetinted 5.2

      Sorry lprent too many capitals – irritating. The post is all about blame and how easy it is to spread it round – as I said South Park lampoons it. That’s my point. Blunted as it may be.

  6. vto 6

    My own mind is beginning to swing heavily now towards a system which abolishes lobbyists in their current form, and donations to political parties. This was something the Clark was strong on and her reasons seem to be becoming more paramount.

    Lobbying can be a form of corruption.

    Party donations can be a form of corruption.

    Weed out all of this shit so that the operation runs on a pure and simple basis where all decisions in the political process are made on the same basis as the elections i.e. one person one vote. Each person has equal sway on every decision.

    • AmaKiwi 6.1

      Donations:

      I personally would like to trial a system where every donation must be declared with the name and IRD number of the donor. No one would be allowed to donate more than a limited amount of money.

      The big money (bribery) is corporate and that’s where the evil lies.

      America allows limitless donations and claim, “We have the best system of government money can buy.”

  7. vto 7

    Also been doing some thinking on the precariat phenomenon. It is very real of course and causes breakdown in stable society. This combined with the breakdown caused by the neoliberal approach since 1984 points us downwards to a worsening place. Breakdwon leads to people having less at stake, thus less care for society and others, thus giving the finger to law and order, thus leading to more heavy ‘enforcement’, thus to further downwards.

    The entire issue imo rests on ensuring as many people as possible have an important and self-fulfilling place in society. That they are valued and respected.

    This is not happening. Rather it is the reverse, and this fucking horseshit government is exacerbating this very problem.

    down
    down
    down

    down

    down

    down

    .
    .
    .
    .

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Bullseye. People must feel that there is both a role and a place for them in society.

      • pollywog 7.1.1

        …and not try to rise above it ?

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          bloody uppity coloureds… 😈

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          No, encouraged and supported to change it if they feel that it no longer reflects them. People do change over time and so their role in society, as they see it, will also change.

          And what’s this above bit? All roles should be equally valued.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1

            And it’s the people who should be equally valued as a starting point, and the contribution of the role to the community (as apart to how much money it makes for a capitalist somewhere else) being part of how it is valued.

    • emergency mike 7.2

      Indeed vto. IMO a piece of what you are saying has to do with the devaluation of arts and culture. Antisocials like Key can’t see any value in them, so their place in society becomes increasingly marginalized. Countries that value arts and culture are colourful and vibrant, and generally happier. But gee how does that help the NZX40?

      • vto 7.2.1

        “Countries that value arts and culture are colourful and vibrant, and generally happier. But gee how does that help the NZX40?”

        It helps the NZX because when people live in colourful and vibrant societies and people are generally happier then they are generally more prosperous, instead of impoverished.

        The fact National Party bozos don’t link this with the complete and utter relative failure of the NZX reflects on their paucity of worldly and humanly understanding. They think people act as self-interested consumers and that is the end of it.

        Complete and utter fools = complete and utter failure of the NZX. They really are so very shallow – example, John Key

  8. infused 8

    Sounds like you describing Labours poll ratings.

    [lprent: And why is that relevant to the *content* of this post? To me it seems to say that you only looked at the title? No ability to read more than three words? ]

    • emergency mike 8.1

      Sounds like you’re doing a John Key and dismissing a serious criticism with a lame joke about Laaaaabour.

      • Rosetinted 8.1.1

        I can be nice when someone meeting the public asks me that invasive question ‘Have you had a good day?’. It puts the customer in the position where if they haven’t, then they must lie so as not to depress the worker. No, my mother just died, I have found I have cancer, I’ve lost all my money in a mouldy, leaky house, or from some smartarse scalpers with a ‘name’ promoter, or at the pokies!

        That is not fair or reasonable to dump on the worker – stupid question. But turn it on its head – if I say ‘How’s your day or morning going?’ They feel like a person not a machine, I smile and leave some pleasant social interaction. Note for me: I must be pleasant and not grouchy.

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          Agreed, Rosetinited. I often get asked that when I visit the supermarket after working on a Sunday. Curiously, they tend to assume I haven’t been working. We then exchange work-day comments after I ask about their day.

          • Rosetinted 8.1.1.1.1

            karol
            I imagine that they feel a bit imprisoned to their tills and counters. That you are on the other side of the counter seems huge Freedom.

  9. Rose 9

    What can one person do in one day to make for a better life in NZ? Be nice to people I meet today. Don’t look them up and down and judge them on the clothes they’re wearing. Plan my spending before I go to the supermarket or shops. Pay off my debts. Smile.

  10. xtasy 10

    Thanks for raising these issues, KJT

    As for legal aid cuts, blamed on rising costs of aid paid for by the government, this is info that needs looking at:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/60499/cuts-could-result-legal-aid-log-jam

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Powers-legal-aid-cuts-unpopular-in-law-community/tabid/419/articleID/206850/Default.aspx

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1201/S00063/children-at-risk-as-legal-aid-cuts-bite.htm

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10744532

    http://www.lawfuel.co.nz/news/197/family-legal-aid-cuts-harmful-to-justice-say-law-society

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1202/S00306/legal-aid-cuts-challenged-in-high-court.htm

    I wonder why the marked increase in legal aid costs for the government is perhaps also, because there is more injustice happening, so people take legal action to address this. Some of this may well also be due to the government bringing in laws that create injustices, forcing people to take legal actions to protect their rights. When the government does not guarantee justice, where are people meant to go? The courts are the last resort for many, not just those charged with criminal or other offences.

    “Pete” writes above: “We have a public service that is relatively uncorrupt. We live under the rule of law.”

    Well are you so damned sure? Have you ever had to try and fight for justice? Have you ever applied for legal aid for a civil case? Most lawyers are not keen on legal aid cases, as it barely covers the true costs. Also are there laws that actually give people limited options, so they have to go to court, but then it first requires them to convince a lawyer, to convince Legal Aid, to convince a court, to take the case on and deal with it.

    As for relative lack of corruption, I feel that this is not what I have experienced. People in key positions, that includes Commissioners and the likes, are often somewhat biased and do not offer much in the way of justice, for instance the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner under the present commissioner seems to be reluctant to seriously deal with medical and health professionals that do not do a proper job. They rather “talk” with them, to allow them to improve, rather than sanction and fine.

    Also the new welfare regime to come in will create much injustice, starting with imposing social obligations only on beneficiaries with kids, not all parents. That is discrimination. Sick and disabled will face work capacity testing with a relentless focus, and the “appeal” available is only to a MSD appointed Medical Appeal Board, where WINZ trained designated doctors make determinations. NO appeal at the courts or elsewhere.

    Try judicial review, but getting there, breach of law must be proved, and one needs to jump over many hurdles.

    I am sorry, but talk about “justice”, fairness, “lack of corruption” and people supposedly demanding more than they deserve, I think some live on another planet, not the one I live on day in and out.

    Heard of the “Old Boys Network” at any time?

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