Prime Minister John Key (centre) with right wing bloggers Cameron Slater (right) and David farrar (left)
Reprinted from The Daily Blog
By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director
Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil.
We need not be so surprised.
It takes a certain type to support the growth in inequality in our society and champion the super rich as our natural leaders.
This type is happy to prostitute their skills to serve the wealthy and rationalise their interests as being “our” interests or “society’s” interests.
That is also why the tobacco lobbyists become National Party MP’s.
To a degree I must admit even I was a little shocked at just how venal and corrupt the gang around Whale Oil are.
But we must always remember they would have been nothing without being empowered by those in power. It was the rich and powerful who paid them for their services. It was the rich and powerful who supplied access to the information that could be packaged as news or blogging material. It was also often the mainstream media that ran with the “stories” made up in the fevered imaginations of the right wing blogosphere.
If the left get back into government they must clean all these scumbag out of the various positions they have been appointed to over the years. We must not have a repeat of the last Labour Government which left Don Brash in charge of the Reserve Bank. The right wing used the absurd cult of the central banker that operates in many countries to puff up this intellectual pip squeak into a figure that they then could impose as leader of the National Party. If it hadn’t been for Saint Nicky Hagar we could well have him as Prime Minister today. They also left the awful Act founder Ruth Richardson on the Reserve Bank board for three years after being elected government in 1999 despite her crimes against working people.
Some people will argue that you can’t sack these people and that is simply nonsense. All a government minister has to do is say publicly that they do not have confidence in this person to represent the best interests of New Zealand and they would have no choice but to resign. This is exactly what Mayor Brown should have done to the board of the Ports of Auckland when Cameron Slater leaked private details of a worker at the port that had been leaked to him by the board.
So-called “centre-left” governments have a propensity to leave all sorts of right wingers in charge of areas like finance, the military, security and the police. Too often they use these positions to inflate their own importance and when necessary undermine the government they are meant to be serving. Too often the hard questions are not asked.
Recently I was speaking at a public meeting discussing the GCSB, and security services in NZ. David Lange was praised for writing a foreword to Nicky Hagar’s book “Secret Power” on Waihopai and the GCSB. Lange wrote:
“In the mid-1980s we bucked the system. We may have been ahead of our time on matters nuclear, but we were out of step with what was called the ‘Western Alliance’. It took a break with the United States and Britain to make the people of New Zealand aware that we were part of an international intelligence organisation which had its roots in a different world order and which could command compliance from us while withholding from us the benefits of others’ intelligence.
Life at the time was full of unpleasant surprises. State-sponsored terrorism was a crime against humanity as long as it wasn’t being practised by the allies, when it was studiously ignored. In the national interest it became necessary
to say ‘ouch’ and frown and bear certain reprisals of our intelligence partners. We even went the length of building a satellite station at Waihopai. But it was not until I read this book that I had any idea that we had been committed
to an international integrated electronic network.”
When I read that I was simply appalled that a government could make a decision like that without asking why?
We have been part of an international “Five-Eyes” spy network since just after world war two. Governments were not told of its existence officially until the mid 1970s. This network has been part of the US-led empire’s war against progressive governments internationally. We were complicit in crimes against humanity that these agencies committed. NZ military forces took part in illegal, secret operations against the nationalist government of Indonesia in the early 1960s. That government was overthrown in 1966 in a right-wing military coup and half a million nationalists and leftists were murdered. You can imagine the celebrations in the spy agencies’ headquarters in the US, UK, and NZ. Less than 10 years later that same murderous right-wing military regime invaded East Timor to prevent a radical nationalist government coming to power there. At that time there were Labour governments in Australia and New Zealand. Both stayed silent. Meanwhile a half million Timorese were to die in the ensuing military occupation that wasn’t to end until 1999 with Timor’s independence.
The US-led empire to which we are allied has the same problem as the National Party in NZ. When it overthrows governments (some of which may be rotten to the core in one way of another) it has no one to replace them with other than corrupt businessmen, gangsters, drug runners, warlords and the like. Even in Europe, the only people they can find as allies in the Ukraine are fascists and plutocrats willing to slaughter their own people. That is also why the bombing of Libya or the actual invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have turned to crap.
(Unite National Director Mike Treen has a blog hosted on the TheDailyBlog website. The site is sponsored by several unions and hosts some of New Zealand’s leading progressive commentators. Mike’s blog will be covering union news and general political comment but the views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of Unite Union.)