Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fiona Mackenzie: Bullies Cleverly Shut Down Debate

Identity politics is a pervasive trend. The extent of it in promoting political causes and preventing freedom of speech was recently brought to my attention by an excellent article in The Australian newspaper - “Stifled by the Party Line” by Dan Ryan (30/1/13). Having lived in China, Mr Ryan compared the way the Chinese Communist Party squashes criticism with the techniques used by other groups to shut down intelligent debate.

The Communist Party presents its views as being those of all Chinese people – so if you criticize any policy, you are disloyally criticizing all of China’s citizens. Foreign residents daring to query where leaders have obtained their vast assets from don’t have their visas renewed, and citizens end up being ostracized.

This technique is evident in Australia. There are examples of men complaining about the Australian Labor Government, lead by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, being branded as misogynistic. And anyone daring to question the behavior of someone of Aborignal descendent is considered a blatant racist.

Mr Ryan’s 3-step guide to modern identity politics is as follows:
  1. Assert that because a person belongs to a particular racial, sexual or other identity group, their views on a subject cannot be questioned. 
  2. Encourage members of an identity group to perceive their identity as synonymous with holding particular views, so that any attack on those views is seen as akin to a physical attack. 
  3. De-legitimise and denigrate all those who disagree.

Are any bells starting to ring? Does this sound familiar? Look around and we can see this operating at many levels here in New Zealand.

A cafĂ© owner politely trying to ensure customers’ peaceful enjoyment is reported on in the media, with complainants angrily branding him as “anti-mothers” or “anti-children”. While some people (parents or otherwise) might sympathize with the reasons for cafe owner’s actions, their views are not even canvassed.

New Zealanders raising concerns about how we are being priced out of land ownership by competition from wealthy, non-resident property purchasers have been branded as sinophobic. Would it hurt to put the name-calling aside and have a discussion about the pros and cons of limiting land sales to international buyers?

Then there’s “Maoridom” and here we have a totally irrational situation. Should you dare to support equality of all peoples before the law and “one person, one vote” (- you know, something Kiwis fought against the Nazis for in World War II, vigorously protested for in South Africa and our Government stridently demands for Fiji), then you are labeled a “redneck” or a “racist”.

 “Que?” (As the poor, confused Manual used to say in the entertainingly frustrating TV sitcom, Fawlty Towers).

This refusal to allow questioning of anything “Maori” or anyone identifying as “Maori” seems to be embedded in our government and taxpayer-funded organisations.  A recent debate held at Te Papa on the Treaty of Waitangi was rather radical in that there was only one opinion expressed. (Perhaps that’s the way they hold debates in North Korea, but I’d like to think New Zealand hadn’t reached those depths yet.) Some might consider the aggressive promoting of two separate peoples as contradicting both the written Treaty and Captain Hobson’s comment to each Maori signatory - “Now we are one people”.  But this perspective wasn’t invited into the so-called debate.

The bottom line is that bullies employ identity politics. Their tactics prevent free and open discussion about the hot issues of the day. The power-hungry use this technique to “impoverish political debate” and prevent principles, concepts and ideas from seeing the light of day. This safeguards their status and income sources while ensuring that the good of the country and all its peoples is never at the top of the agenda.

Next time you are watching an interview, are involved in a discussion or see our political leaders in action, look for evidence of this technique.  Be brave enough to ask questions. Be brave enough to insist our politicians, activists, friends and family focus only on the facts. Be brave enough to seek the truth. Surely you won’t be sent away to a re-education camp just yet.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately NZ's "re-education camps" are very real and have been hard at work masquerading as NZ public schools and universities for the last 30yrs. They have been doing an exceptional job of "dumbing a nation" with a revised / fictitious history of NZ. The rot is now too deeply entrenched into the psyche of a whole generation of young NZers .... they who have been so completely brainwashed by the lies that it's going to be very difficult to undo the mess .... especially when there is so much taxpayers money up for grabs to the perpetrators of the lies.

Anonymous said...

"Surely you won’t be sent away to a re-education camp just yet.".....
NZ and the NZ media has become one big 're-education camp'...

Trina said...

Fiona, this is a brilliant article!

New Zealanders who do not agree with what is going on, need to see the vicious insults for what they really are and lose their fear of speaking out publically.

Thank you for giving us all the encouragment.

Sam said...

The fact of the matter is this, if the pakeha had not shown up on these shores the Maori would have done to themselves what they had already done to many species in this land, and that was extinction.
As for this loving caring Maori society, what a crock that is, and a lot of Kiwi society believes that line of hoqwash.

Graeme said...

Thanks Fiona it's a pity more people don't recognise these these tactics for what they are. No one likes to be called a racist, especially when arguing for equality, but unfortunately this is very common.
Time for us to stand up to these bullies and face down their intimidation.

Barry said...

Brilliant, Fiona. Thank you.

NZ is another white Western country committing suicide by government.

Mike Crowl said...

The same situation applies to anything to do with gay, lesbian etc. Dare to query why there should be gay marriage, and you're a gay basher. This is how dictatorships form.

Anonymous said...

Yes, great article. With maori having free reign to turn lies, myth and hearsay into cold hard facts at the table of the "independent" Waitangi Tribunal, and an education system ready to regurgitate such drivel (and be rewarded for churning out more lies) we must all question everything that the govt tells us.

Anonymous said...

QUOTE: " “Que?” (As the poor, confused Manual used to say in the entertainingly frustrating TV sitcom, Fawlty Towers)."
I rather think that ought to be Manuel - not Manual!

Dave Hill said...

Very good article Fiona, no doubt you will be branded racist because you dared to speak up. I go to a lot of official and not so official events, it now seems mandatory to open every event with a Karakia, 99% of those attending gaze at their feet not knowing what is being said. This is just another submission by the mostly White NZers to all things Maori that have now taken on an almost mystical, holy persona. If every meeting was opened by a white minister saying a prayer in English or any other language I'm sure there would be an objection by the mostly non religious society we live in, but no one would ever dare question why we have to endure these long mumblings in a language we don't understand. Just another example of how we have become a weak, gullible, submissive people willing to let the will of a few dominate all of us.